Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Wilbraham business owner agrees to pay $1.3 million to federal government to settle false-claims case - MassLive.com

Wilbraham business owner agrees to pay $1.3 million to federal government to settle false-claims case - MassLive.com

Wilbraham business owner agrees to pay $1.3 million to federal government to settle false-claims case - MassLive.com

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 12:17 PM PDT

The owner of a Massachusetts-based construction management company has agreed to pay $1.3 million to the federal government to settle an ongoing dispute that the company fraudulently represented itself in order to win government contracts over a six-year period.

U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John H. Durham and officials with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the General Services Administration announced on Tuesday an agreement has been reached with Classic Site Solutions Inc., and its owner Cheryl Sady of Wilbraham.

The company performs construction management and general contracting services for different federal agencies.

The government charged that Sady made false statements to the Small Business Administration that allowed her company to obtain a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) company. The certification is intended to promote small businesses that locate in geographical areas that have historically have had a hard time attracting businesses.

Classic Site Solutions has two locations, Framingham and Wilbraham.

A HUBZone certification gives a company an advantage when applying for government contracts. Between 2009 and 2015, Classic Site Solutions was able to bid on and be selected for government contracts worth millions of dollars, officials said.

The government said that after the fraudulent certification was discovered, Sady continued to mislead federal agents about the location of her main office, in violation of the federal False Claims Act.

U.S. Small Business Owners Feeling Peachy Even as the Global Economy Sputters - TheStreet.com

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 05:30 AM PDT

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Business Owners: You Need Your Own Retirement Plan - Journal Advocate

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 06:37 AM PDT

As a business owner, you can't afford to ignore your competition. You can't afford to miss out on the trends affecting your industry. You can't afford to alienate customers. And here's one more item to add to the list: You can't afford not to create a retirement plan for yourself.

Of course, you might think that, one day, you'll simply sell your business and live off the proceeds. But selling a business isn't always simple, and there's no guarantee you'll receive enough to pay for a comfortable retirement – which is why you should strongly consider creating a retirement plan now.

Here are some of the most widely used plans:

SEP-IRA: You can contribute up to 25 percent of your compensation — as much as $56,000 in 2019 — to a SEP-IRA. Your contributions are tax deductible and your earnings grow tax-deferred until withdrawn. This plan offers you significant flexibility in making contributions for yourself and your employees. Plus, as an employer, you can generally deduct, as business expenses, any contributions you make on behalf of your plan participants.

SIMPLE IRA: In 2019, you can put in up to $13,000 — or $16,000 if you're 50 or older — to a SIMPLE IRA. As is the case with the SEP-IRA, your earnings grow tax deferred. You can match your employees' contributions dollar for dollar, up to 3 percent of compensation. If you work for yourself, you can combine employee and employer contributions, so if you use the 3 percent matching rule, and you earn enough to fully match employee contributions, you can put in up to $26,000 per year (or $32,000 if you're 50 or older). Alternatively, you could contribute 2 percent of each eligible employee's compensation each year, up to a maximum of $5,600, regardless of whether the employee contributes. Contributions to your employees are tax deductible.

"Owner-only" 401(k) plan: If you have no employees other than your spouse, you can establish an "owner-only" 401(k) plan, which functions similarly to a 401(k) plan offered by a large employer. Between salary deferral and profit sharing, you can contribute up to $56,000, in pre-tax dollars, to your owner-only 401(k), or $62,000 if you're 50 or older. Like a SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA, a 401(k) provides the potential to accumulate tax-deferred earnings. However, you could choose to open a Roth 401(k), which can be funded with after-tax dollars. With a Roth 401(k), your earnings can grow tax-free, provided you've had your account at least five years and you don't start taking withdrawals until you're at least 59-1/2.

Which plan is right for you? The answer depends on several factors, such as whether you have any employees and how much money you can contribute each year. But all the plans mentioned above are generally easy to establish, and the administrative costs are usually minimal. Most important, any one of them can help you build some of the resources you'll need to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you've envisioned. To select an appropriate plan, you may want to consult with your tax and financial advisors.

In any case, don't wait too long. Time goes by quickly, and when you reach that day when you're a "former" business owner, you'll want to be prepared.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Member SIPC. Ann Bowey is an Edward Jones financial advisor in Sterling.

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