Blue Skies?

But Wait, Theres More

A couple of miscellaneous changes: The new law extends the employer-provided educational assistance tax credit through May 1997. "That's a good one," says Knight. "It encourages employers to upgrade their work force by allowing employees to go back to school. Up to $5,250 of employer-provided educational assistance is tax-free to employees." But act fast: Unfortunately, the window closes and the undergraduate credit disappears after May 31, 1997.

More good news: A major headache for small businesses has been relieved, if only for a short time. A six-month extension has been granted to businesses mandated to enroll in the IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

Businesses exceeding $50,000 in federal business payroll taxes in 1995 were supposed to begin using EFTPS by January 1, 1997. Now they have until July 1, 1997.

If your payroll receipts are under $50,000, don't get too complacent, however. By 1999, companies with employment tax deposits exceeding $20,000 must use the system. What business doesn't have at least $20,000 in payroll receipts? You'd better start firing up those computers.

Overall, the minimum wage law is a mixed bag, with both good news and some less welcome tidings. But while the new law is not perfect, for small business, it's clearly a step in the right direction.

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This article was originally published in the November 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Blue Skies?.

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