5 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
(Long Island, N.Y.) The latest reports from the Federal Reserve System say consumer credit card debt continues to decline. For the past 14 months, revolving credit has steadily dropped, and is now down $83.3 billion since the fourth quarter of 2008.
This would be good news except for the implications: People remain uncertain about the economic future, saving more and cutting spending. The same is true for many Long Island businesses. However, President Obama’s proposed tax incentives, the Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Cut, could provide tax credits for small businesses who hire new employees or increase wages.
In addition, tax laws for 2009 mean many small businesses may be expecting generous tax refunds sometime soon. Whether you’ve already filed or are just preparing your taxes, here are five worthwhile ways to invest your tax refund.
1. Faster computers – Looking for a way to boost company morale and productivity without spending a lot? Upgrading to faster computer systems – and energy efficient monitors – can save thousands of dollars in lost productivity from slow computers. Experts recommend, for the best return on your investment, to replace computers approximately every four years. If employees complain that their computers run slow, or if your computers barely meet requirements for robust new programs, it may be time to upgrade.
2. SEO optimization / content creation for your website / social networking – Do you offer compelling material that drives traffic to your website and keeps visitors checking back often? Is your content SEO optimized so you rank well in the search engines? Do you have someone handling your social networking? SEO requirements change frequently, and with Bing now powering Yahoo search, and Google introducing “Social Search” results, these three factors are more important than ever when it comes to marketing your business.
3. Backup systems – If you’re not already backing up your important data, start now. From online backup to hard drives, a multitude of secure options exist to make sure you’ll have everything you need to run your business, even in the event of a system crash. If you’re purchasing new computer systems, this is the perfect time to institute daily automatic back-ups.
4. People – The Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Cut, if it passes, promises a $5,000 tax credit for every net new employee hired in 2010. The amount is capped at $500,000 per firm, ensuring that small business owners benefit. Additionally, small businesses would be reimbursed for the Social Security payroll taxes when their payroll increases, giving business owners a tax break for offering raises to employees earning less than $106,800 annually.
Even if Obama’s proposed plan does not pass, there’s no better investment you can make in your business than in the people who keep it operating day after day. If the bill does pass, why not use the incentive to put a social media expert on your payroll, reaping the rewards of a stronger Internet presence, enhanced customer service and innovative marketing techniques from fresh faces in your organization?
5. Green improvements – From compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to solar energy systems, green improvements pay for themselves in tax credits and reduced energy bills.
While New York State solar energy incentives have changed in the past year, there is still money available for improvements. Additionally, LIPA offers several programs that make it worthwhile for businesses to make energy efficient improvements to the workplace.