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New Tax Info for Veteran Owned Businesses

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By Debbie Gregory.

You may be wondering how the latest tax bill will affect your veteran-owned small business.

For starters, the new small business tax laws allow you to take the full deduction in one year for most purchases that are intended to last for less than 20 years, rather than depreciating them over time. As a result, this just might be the year to upgrade your equipment or machinery.

While small businesses don’t get as hefty a tax break as corporations do, they do get a 20% reduction of taxable business income. S-Corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships are pass-through entities, which mean they don’t pay income taxes. Instead, the individual owner is directly taxed. So, a sole proprietor generating $200,000 of business income would be able to deduct $40,000 on his Schedule C. Instead of adding $200,000 to his adjusted gross income, he would add $160,000.

Starting in tax year 2018, all businesses with less than $25 million in receipts in the three prior tax years, even if they have inventory, will be able to make use of the cash method. For tax purposes, there are definite advantages to the cash accounting basis for accounting. Cash accounting ensures that taxes are not paid on monies that have not yet been received; this improves cash flow and ensures that funds are available for tax expenditures.

On the downside, you might not be able to deduct the full interest on your veteran business loans. In 2017, you could deduct the full interest from your loans, but now, any net interest expense over 30% of your company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization will be disallowed. This only applies to businesses with average gross receipts over $25 million, so most small businesses won’t have this problem.

You will no longer be able to carry back your business losses, and the net operating loss carry forward is limited to 80% of taxable income.

EBV SuccessBack in 2007, Syracuse University played home to the inaugural class of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. The EBV program is designed to open the doors of economic opportunities for Disabled Veterans and their families by helping them develop professional networks, and learn how to create and sustain their own businesses.

The EBV program has grown into a national movement, helping over 700 disabled Veterans. Several university campuses across the country now hold entrepreneurship boot camp sessions for Veterans.  Joining Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in offering the EBV program to Veterans are Cornell University, Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, the University of Connecticut’s School of Business, Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School.

The entrepreneurship training is offered, to qualified Veterans who are accepted into the program, at no charge to the Veterans, and without using any of their GI Bill. For the last seven years, 70% of EBV graduates have gone on to start their own companies.

One EBV success story comes from the very first session at Syracuse in 2007. Marine Corps Veteran John Raftery was preparing to start a contracting firm in Dallas when he read an article about a small business training program for Veterans with disabilities.  The former Marine immediately applied and was accepted into the EBV program.

Raftery credits the program with helping him take the critically important first steps as a small business owner. In 2012, Raftery’s company, Patriot Contractors, Inc., was on a list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country.

“I don’t think the business would have grown as quickly if not for the EBV program,” Raftery said.

Many Veterans served to preserve the American dream for their countrymen. Thousands of Veterans fulfill their own American dreams when their service to our country has ended. Already proven to have the winning spirit, Veterans make great entrepreneurs.

There are numerous resources available to help Veteran entrepreneurs succeed in their business ventures. The EBV program is just one of many. Please be sure to visit www.VAMBOA.org, as well as VAMBOA’s Resource Page to find out more information on the EBV program and many other state, federal and local programs for Veteran entrepreneurs.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Entrepreneur Bootcamp Success Story: By Debbie Gregory

Boots to BusinessBoots to Business program is set to benefit from $1.12 million in grants.

On September 19, 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with America’s Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC). This co-op has agreed to provide a total of $1.12 million worth of funding needed to facilitate resource partner participation in SBA’s Boots to Business program.

The SBA’s Boots to Business program provides training to transitioning service members and military spouses who are interested in business ownership. The program functions as part of the Defense Department’s TAP program. The original Boots to Business began as a pilot program in 2012, and was expanded in 2013.

Each year, more than 250,000 service members separate from the military ranks. With their experience and leadership skills, Veterans have proven to be natural entrepreneurs. Veterans are more likely to be self-employed than those with no active-duty military experience. There are approximately 2.45 million Veteran owned small businesses in the U.S., making up approximately 9% of all American small businesses. Veteran owned small businesses employ more than five million Americans, generating more than one trillion dollars of sales receipts each year.

“Veterans make some of our country’s best entrepreneurs, and we are investing in them by ensuring our partners are funded to maximize the training and support they provide to service members embarking on their post-service careers,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We owe so much to those who have served in our Armed Forces and sacrificed so much.  Our veterans deserve opportunities, and the SBA and our network of small business experts are ready to help them start their next chapter.”

Since January, 2013, more than 16,000 transitioning service members have participated in the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class that was offered on 165 military installations around the globe. This year, the Boots to Business program was appropriated $7 million in the federal budget.

To learn more about the Boots to Business Program and additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Boots to Business Gets $1.12M: By Debbie Gregory

Government Contracts

Obtaining government contracts can significantly increase a small business’ chance of success. The U.S. government awards close to $500 billion to buy goods and services each year. More than $100 billion of those contracts are designated for small businesses. Small business owners would be wise to capitalize on the government’s need for contracting them. However, contracting with the government is much different than selling to the private sector.

There are resources for small business owners who wish to locate and obtain government contracts. Federal Business Opportunities, also known as FedBizOpps.Gov, is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Their website, www.fbo.gov contains a wealth of information. The main function of the site is to allow government “Buyers/Engineers” to post, manage and award contract listings, and allow vendors/small business owners to search, view and retrieve the contract listings. Hundreds of opportunities appear on the site daily. There are currently more than 22,100 contract opportunities posted.

The FedBizOpps site also includes business training information and site user guides. The site posts information about events, news and changes in policy. Buyers and vendors need to set up a user account to access the site.

Another valuable resource that small business owners looking to obtain government contracts should utilize is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA works with federal agencies to ensure that at least 23% of government contracts are awarded to small businesses. The SBA’s website, www.sba.gov offers small business owners dozens of courses in government contracting. Each course is online and self-paced. These courses are free to use, but each course requires users to complete a registration form. The courses can be found on the website’s, Government Contracting Classroom portal.

The ability to obtain government contracts can make or break a company. Armed with the right tools, any small business can be awarded valuable government contracts. Make sure that your business is properly equipped to succeed.

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