The April slow down in architecture billings was significant enough to result in a negative score for the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), released by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) on May 22, 2013. The April score of 48.6 was the lowest in almost a year. The new projects inquiry index score was 58.5.
The negative April reading should cause contractors to pause and evaluate backlog, especially since the decrease in the ABI score may possibly be a result of financing concerns, as noted by Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist. The next couple month’s scores will provide a better barometer for which way construction spending may go, and will provide your company the information it needs for short and longer term business planning.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s May 22nd press release.
All employers, including construction contractors, are required to complete form I-9 which verifies identity and authorizes employment of an individual hired in the United States. On May 7, 2013, a revised form released by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be required to be used for all new hires and re-verifications. Please ensure your contracting company is using the new forms or your company may be subject to penalties.
The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare or Health Care Reform, has created many questions for employers throughout the construction industry.
Join Aronson LLC and Independent Benefit Services on May 8, 2013 for an informative presentation on the various provisions of healthcare reform that will have a profound impact on how healthcare is delivered and funded in the United States. Our experts will cover the major changes for 2013 and 2014, including new W2 reporting requirements, the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, The Employer Mandate, The Individual Mandate, and The Exchange. Continue reading »
The March Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on April 23, 2013 reflected another month of increases in design activity with a score of 51.9, however the rate of growth has decelerated. The new projects inquiry index score was 60.1, which also reflected a decrease from the previous month.
Despite the decrease in March, the fact that the score remains positive should be encouraging news to construction contractors, as this may indicate more work to bid on in the future.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s April 23rd press release.
The Obama Administration’s recently released fiscal year 2014 budget contains several provisions that are less than advantageous as they relate to retirement plans. These provisions are by no means final, however, as Congress has yet to work its way through them.
The proposed budget contains two specific provisions that would greatly reduce the attractiveness of retirement plans to small businesses: Continue reading »
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released their latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) on March 20, 2013. With a score of 54.9 the ABI has shown steady growth for the past several months. The press release noted that this is the strongest growth seen since 2007. The new projects inquiry index also increased over the previous month with a score of 64.8.
The recent trend seen in the ABI index should provide contractors hope in the coming months that there will be more work to bid on with a possible return of more profitable work. Based on how this index works, the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2013 could be a time of growth for contractors.
To learn more about the most recent ABI score please read the AIA’s March 20th press release.
In the past, the District of Columbia required business taxpayers to make any tax payments (business, payroll, sales tax) exceeding $10,000 by electronic funds transfer (EFT). We have recently received information that the threshold has now been decreased to payments exceeding $5,000. The DC Office of Tax and Revenue had adjusted their system to issue notices assessing a 10% non-compliance penalty when a payment is submitted by check for over $5,000.
With this in mind, we recommend taxpayers to register for making EFT payments with the Office of Tax and Revenue’s Electronic Taxpayer Service Center (eTSC) as soon as possible. The registration process can take 7-10 business days before receipt of ID and password access to the website, which is sent out via regular mail. Registration can be found via website at:
The website contains both an online registration option and a paper form version, which can be filled out and submitted by mail.
If you have received a notice assessing penalties for this particular reason, we can request a waiver of the penalties under the circumstances due to the lack of notice provided by DC to the taxpayers on this matter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have concerning this matter.
With the arrival of the New Year, it is also time for many construction contractors to begin planning and preparing for their annual financial audit. The importance of this preparation cannot be understated. Adequate planning and preparation will potentially decrease audit fees for your construction company, and it will save your staff valuable time throughout the audit process during a very busy time of the year. Listed below are some of the top ways to plan and prepare for your construction company’s annual audit.
On November 20, 2012, Affordable Care Act guidance was issued in the form of over 300 pages of proposed regulations. The guidance is broken into three parts: 1) requirements for essential health benefits, actuarial value, and other exchange related requirements; 2) various market reform initiatives; and 3) regulations related to employee wellness programs.
At this time, the proposed regulations related to the exchange requirements, as well as the market reform initiatives, will be more meaningful to industry practitioners. The proposed regulations related to wellness programs will be of greatest interest to employers.
In general, as of January 1, 2014, health plans will not be able to underwrite based on health status. Wellness programs have been granted a limited exemption. The maximum allowable reward under a wellness program as part of a group health plan has increased from twenty to Continue reading »
The IRS announced it is granting relief to benefit plan sponsors affected by Hurricane Sandy. This relief also includes plan providers whose services impact the filing of Form 5500. In general, plans in the affected areas will have until November 7, 2012 to file returns that otherwise would have been due October 31, 2012.
Relief is automatic, with no action required by plan sponsors. In the event a notice for delinquent filing is received, then the impact of Hurricane Sandy should be referenced in the plan sponsor’s reasonable cause statement. As additional details emerge regarding the storm’s impact, additional filing relief Continue reading »