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PLNA e-News: Building Community

Ransome CAT Hosts PLNA MeetUp

Friday, December 11, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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MeetUpsBENSALEM – PLNA members gathered at Ransome Caterpillar in Bensalem for a seminar on important money-saving tax changes that affect small businesses and an update on federal and state truck and trailer regulations.

The seminar was hosted by Ransome Caterpillar at their Bensalem headquarters near Philadelphia.  Ransome was founded in 1916 by Arthur Giles and Percy Ransome, primarily selling concrete mixers and pavers. In 1932, Ransome became a Caterpillar dealer serving eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. Ransome now employs over 550 people at eight locations.

Income Tax Changes

RansomeThe seminar began with a presentation by Michael W. Donahue, CPA of Drucker and Scaccetti outlining the recent changes in tax regulations which now allow many items that had to be depreciated to be expensed.

During 2014, many small businesses grappled with understanding the nuances of the Tangible Property Regulations, which became effective January 1, 2014.  Among the many challenges is understanding the intricacies of the de minimis safe harbor.  The de minimis safe harbor allows small businesses that are not required to have an applicable financial statement (more on this later) to immediately expense certain capital items costing $500 or less.                                                         

Last week, in IRS Notice 2015-82 (Notice), the IRS provided an increase in the de minimis safe harbor limit from $500 to $2,500 effective January 1, 2016.  It’s important to remember the de minimis safe harbor limit is applied on a per invoice (or per item as substantiated by the invoice) basis.  This is a welcome change for small business taxpayers as the higher threshold reduces record keeping requirements.   The new $2,500 threshold allows small businesses to expense common items such as computers, tablets, smart phones, and small machinery and equipment that usually cost more than $500 but less than $2500.

For more, follow this link to the Drucker and Scaccetti website. Consult your tax preparation professional to see how these changes might benefit your business.

Truck and Trailer Regs

One of the most frequent calls PLNA gets from members involve truck and trailer regulations. They are complex and their interpretation often depends on the police officer stopping you. Unfortunately, the calls many times come after a member has been stopped for a vehicle inspection and received a fine of many thousands of dollars.

Officers from Lower Southampton Township were on hand to remind participants of the importance of compliance with state and federal truck and trailer regulations. In addition to reviewing the nitty-gritty of the truck and trailer regulations, the officers emphasized that the objective of the regulations are safety. They emphasized that when stopped for an inspection the driver should be courteous and cooperative. Keeping your trucks, trailers and equipment clean and in good repair can also help get you through an inspection with minimal trouble.

For more information on truck and trailer rules, go the PLNA website by clicking here.

At the end of the seminar, Ransome provided lunch and a tour of their facility to the participants.  

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