The IRS just announced its standard mileage rates for 2014. The new rates will be a slight decrease — a half cent — from the 2013 rates for business, medical and moving expenses.
Effective January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a vehicle such as a car, van, SUV or pickup will be:
- 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
Small business owners, employees, self-employed individuals and other taxpayers can use the standard mileage rate to calculate their tax-deductible costs for using a vehicle for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
The IRS points out that these standard mileage rates are “optional.” That means you have the option of using the IRS-designated standard mileage rate for 2014. Or, in the alternative, you may keep track of your actual expenses of operating the vehicle and claim actual expenses instead.
There are some rules limiting when you can use the standard business mileage rates:
(1) You can claim the standard mileage rate for a maximum of four vehicles used simultaneously.
(2) You cannot use the standard mileage rate if you’ve already claimed a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.
(3) And you cannot use the standard business mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS).
What if Your Employees Use Their Personal Vehicles for Business?
A frequent question that comes up is “If my employees use their personal vehicles to run business errands or do work for the business, do I have to reimburse the employee at the standard mileage rate?”
In most states you do not have to reimburse expenses to employees — but most employers do so, using the standard mileage rate. The business can then deduct as a business expense the amount reimbursed to the employee, up to the standard mileage rate.
Of course, any reimbursement to the employee should not be treated as taxable income to the employee. The idea is that you simply are making the employee whole by reimbursing him or her for using a personal vehicle.
If you do not reimburse your employee for business use of a personal vehicle, then the employee may be able to deduct the unreimbursed expense on his or her 1040, Schedule A. In that case, you as the employer do not get to claim the deduction.
For More On Standard Mileage Rate 2014
For the 2013 tax year, see our article on 2013 mileage rates.
For more detail on 2014 mileage rates, see the IRS site. Contact your accountant for specific advice in your situation
Imagine you landed the interview of a lifetime! You know the one with that awesome company on the other side of town, the one where your neighbor’s uncle works at and after five years of applying for various positions, they want to give you an interview. You are so pumped for the interview you even go out and buy a new suit. “I’ve got this!” you think as you head into the interview room, but the work has just begun…
In the article, “How to Answer the Top 35 Interview Questions” Jorgen Sundberg offers simple tricks to effectively answer the most common interview questions. For example, Sundberg explains how to answer the question, “What is your philosophy at work?” Sundberg tells readers to skip the adjectives (I am very passionate about _) and simply to state your values. In summary, this article explains what employers are looking for when they level these often tricky questions at interviewees. They suggest your goal should be to answer every question positively; even explain weaknesses in a way that adds value to the position for which you are applying. Even if this is the only job offer you have, you do not want to appear desperate to escape your current job, so when answering the question “Why should we hire you?” focus on what skills you will bring to the company. You have great skills – you didn’t make it this far in life without them. Take the time to understand how your “weaknesses” might actually be assets to the hiring company.
It is important to display confidence with your answers as well. They aren’t granting you an interview as a favor; they already think you might be a good fit for the position. Let your confidence shine. Also, when looking for a job it is important that there is a good fit between you and the company, so have thoughtful questions prepared to ask them. Think about how your unique skill set will fit with their style, and how their style will work for you. Getting a job through a staffing agency is a great way to gain experience at a company without feeling committed to it for a year or more.
Click her to start your job search findyourdreamjob
Petaluma, California – September 16, 2013 – Star Staffing, (www.starhr.com), the leading provider of staffing solutions to the Wine and Manufacturing Industries in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area, was honored as one of the North Bay’s “Best Places to Work.” This recognition is based on the results of an employee survey conducted by the North Bay Business Journal. This marks the first staffing firm to receive the coveted Best Place to Work title. An award ceremony will take place September 18.
North Bay Business magazine also recently awarded Star Staffing the title of Best Placement Service in the North Bay.
Star Staffing Vice President and Owner Nicole Smartt is pleased to accept the award. “We are privileged and honored to be considered a Best Place to Work by our employees. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment. This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. There would be no Star Staffing if not for such incredible, devoted and talented employees.” says Smartt.
Star Staffing attributes its success as an employer to staying true to the core values that guide Star in their day-to-day business activities. Star embraces their core values and conducts business in the true spirit of these values in order to create a positive and rewarding experience for clients, candidates, and employees.
Star Staffing has an aggressive expansion plan for next 5 years and looks forward to providing outstanding service to an even greater area. Centered on finding working relationships that really fit, are based on integrity, safety and working in local communities, Star Staffing remains employee-oriented and dedicated to success for all. Lisa Shugarman, Owner and CEO of Star Staffing wrote, “I have long felt that our company is a best place to work so I am so honored that we have received this recognition. We have such an amazing staff whose tenures show how much dedication and satisfaction they have with our company. Through good times and bad we have supported and grown with one another and always have had each other’s best interest as well as the company’s success at heart.”
About Star Staffing
Founded in 1998, Star Staffing is the North Bay’s premier staffing provider and holds offices in Petaluma, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Napa with satellite offices in Sonoma, Ukiah, and Fairfield. Star Staffing was recently honored as a 2011 Best Placement Service by the North Bay Business Journal, and in 2012, a Best Company to do Business with in Napa. Star Staffing offers recruiting and screening, payroll and time attendance management, on-site management, risk reduction programs, employee rewards and benefits, and knock your socks off service to a multitude of companies, including manufacturing, industrial, clerical, administrative, accounting, finance, information technology, and professional services.
Managers and employees are constantly looking for the secret of “motivating their people.” Therein lies the inherent problem. You can’t motivate people. But you can set an example and create an environment where they will motivate themselves. As a leader, the secret to creating a successful work environment is to first create an atmosphere in which success can occur. This means a continuous positive attitude on your part, and continuous positive reinforcement from your employees. It means recognizing and rewarding great performance.
At Star Staffing, we treat our customers with the same care as our employees. We understand that our employees and internal staff are the ones who make us a Best Place to Work and a leader in our industry. We believe in recognizing our employees for performance and positive behavior. One of our employee recognition programs is our “Star of the Month” where we recognize an individual in each office that demonstrates the following:
- Performance – meeting and exceeding work load expectations, completing tasks early, taking on additional tasks when requested.
- Safety – adheres to all safety rules, makes suggestions for keeping the workplace and others safe.
- Perfect Attendance – always on time and ready to work, returns on time from breaks.
- Attitude – maintains a positive attitude, being willing, going above and beyond.
We value and appreciate each and every one of our employees.
Although we recognize them through numerous programs, we thought we would dedicate an entire month to celebrate them. We will be providing them with thank you notes, cupcakes and goodies, gifts, and in the last week of September, they will have a chance to win a 40-inch plasma TV! We are excited to take the month of September to recognize each individual on a specific attribute that contributes to our success.
Together, we make the difference!
Petaluma, California – May 10, 2013 — Star Staffing, (www.starhr.com), the leading provider of staffing solutions to the Wine and Manufacturing Industries in Northern San Francisco Bay Area, is continuing to expand and thrive.
“It is very exciting to be growing at the pace we are. So far this year, we have already increased our staff by 25%. We also plan to add an additional 15% in the next 2-4 months. One of the most instrumental new positions we have added to aid in our growth is a Director of Operations. We are pleased to announce the hiring of Mary Ann Mancuso as Director of Operations. Ms. Mancuso will be focused on supporting Star’s growing business through strategic workforce planning, implementation, and helping streamline and refine processes,” said Owner and CEO, Lisa Rogelstad.
“Star Staffing was the perfect choice for me after several interviews and multiple job offers. As a community advocate it means a lot to me to work for a company that is entrenched in the community and has a direct impact on the local economy. Lisa and Nicole have a philosophy that matches best with my vision of the kind of organization I want to be affiliated with. I wanted to work for a company where community and business relationships were a top priority and I found that with Star,” said Director of Operations, Mary Ann Mancuso.
“After an extensive search and a great deal of consideration, we have hired Mary Ann Mancuso as Director of Operations” said Star Staffing’s Vice President and Owner, Nicole Smartt. “She will bring a fresh approach to our team and the fact that she has industry knowledge and experience, within small and large size successful companies, will prove invaluable in the long run. We were looking for a Director of Operations with leadership ability and a strong personality and believe Mary Ann possesses those qualities. She’s very well respected in the Napa Community, is a consummate professional and her knowledge and background will be an incredible asset for our team and organization.”
Currently, Star Staffing has offices in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Napa with satellite offices in Ukiah, Fairfield, and Sonoma. Star Staffing has an aggressive expansion plan for next 5 years and are delighted to be thriving and growing so quickly.
About Star Staffing
Founded in 1998, Star Staffing is the Northbay’s premier staffing provider holding offices in Petaluma, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Napa with satellite offices in Sonoma, Ukiah, and Fairfield. Star Staffing was recently honored as a 2011 Best Placement Service by the Northbay Biz Journal and in 2012 a Best Company to do Business with in Napa. Star Staffing offers recruiting and screening, payroll and time attendance management, on-site management, risk reduction programs, employee rewards and benefits, and knock your socks off service to a multitude of companies, including manufacturing, industrial, clerical, administrative, accounting, finance, information technology, and professional services.
A popular topic in Human Resources with Employers is to pay or not to pay for travel expenses for Non Exempt Employees. What is the proper procedure and industry standard?
Employers are often confused as to whether they must pay nonexempt employees for time traveling to, and attendance time at, a work-related function.
Certain types of employees, who are classified as exempt employees (on salary), are not entitled to overtime pay as guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If an employee is classified as exempt (vs. non-exempt) their employer is not required to pay them overtime pay.
With the exception of travel from home to work and back, most travel time is considered work time.
You must pay nonexempt (hourly) employees for any time they are permitted to work or required to be there.
If you require nonexempt employees to attend a conference away from their typical work place, you must pay them for the travel time to and from the conference, minus the time of their usual commute. If air travel is required, you must pay them (subtracting their usual commute time) from the time they leave their house until they reach their destination, or until they no longer perform work (they have checked into the hotel). If they are free to do what they choose your obligation to pay ends. If they go straight to the conference, you continue to pay.
Because traveling does not require the employee to employ his/her skills, pay for travel time can be at a rate of pay less than the employee’s normal rate of pay. You can pay the employee as little as the minimum wage. The lowest hourly wage an employer may pay a nonexempt employee, currently $8.00 per hour, for travel pay. Travel time is counted as work time and overtime pay may be due for travel.
Unless you are specifically classified as an “exempt” worker, your employer must pay you overtime wages for any hours you work over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer must pay overtime wages at a rate of at least one and one-half times (150%) your regular hourly rate.
If travel time pay is less than the employee’s normal earnings, explain this difference to all employees in advance, make it part of your personnel policy. You must reimburse the employee for all out-of-pocket travel expenses.
Did you know?
If you are overweight, losing just 5-7% of body weight, that’s 10-15 lbs in a 200 lb person, can reduce your risk of diabetes. (National Institutes of Health)
Low sodium diets have blood pressure lowering benefits. It is recommended to consume less than 1 teaspoon of table salt a day. (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)
Physical activity not only helps control your blood pressure, it also helps you manage your weight, strengthen your heart and manage your stress level.
Small changes can make a big difference to your health and wellness. If people made the choices to eat better, engage in more physical activity, reduce the harmful use of alcohol and quit smoking, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – and over a third of cancers – could be prevented, according to the World Health Organization. Poor eating habits and lack of physical activity are the major contributing factors to being overweight and obese in the U.S.
Make healthy eating choices
Healthy eating can reduce the risk of chronic illness and disease, including the three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Healthy eating tips include:
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
• Make half the grains you eat whole grains – such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice
• Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks
• Choose lean sources of protein – such as seafood, turkey and chicken breast, eggs and beans
• Choose foods with less sodium – look for “low sodium” and “no salt added” on food packages
• Eat some seafood each week – such as salmon, tuna or crab
• Pay attention to portion size – when eating out, avoid “supersizing” your meal or take some home for later
For substantial health benefits, adults are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise*, five days a week. This can be done through activities such as:
• Taking a brisk walk at lunch
• Going for a bike ride after work
• Working in the yard
• Cleaning the house
• Joining a sports league
• Going to the gym
• Swimming laps at the pool
* Moderate activity is safe for most people. If you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes or other symptoms, talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity right for you