Answers to 5 Questions about Overtime Rules By Barbara Weltman on October 17, 2019

If you are an employer, be sure to understand that working past 40 hours triggers overtime rules for certain employees.

There’s no law—federal or state—that caps the number of hours a person can work (other than for minors). But if you are an employer, be sure to understand that working past 40 hours triggers overtime rules for certain employees. Some of these rules have been around for years, while others are new. Here’s what you need to know for 2020 and beyond.

  1. What does overtime pay mean?

Federal overtime pay rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) come into play when employees who are not “exempt” (explained below) work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Once they pass this threshold, they must be paid one and one-half times their regular rate per hour (“time and a half”). For example, if a nonexempt employee’s hourly rate is $16 and he/she work 42 hours, two hours must be paid at the rate of $24 ($16 + $8).

A workweek is the period fixed by an employer, but need not start on Sunday or Monday. So, any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours is a workweek. There is no requirement to pay double time if the extra hours are worked on nights, weekends, or holidays.

  1. Which employees are subject to overtime pay rules?

The overtime pay rules apply only to employees who are not considered “exempt.” Exemption is based on how much they’re paid, how they’re paid (hourly or by salary), and the type of work they do.

Under a new final rule effective on January 1, 2020, the standard salary level at which employees remain nonexempt and must receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours is increased to $684 per week, up from the current $455 per week (the equivalent of $35,568 per year, which is up from $23,660). Because of the increase in the salary level, the government estimates that more than 1.3 million workers are potentially eligible for overtime pay.

Employees who are subject to a “minimal duties test” and receive certain compensation are called highly-compensated employees (HCEs) who are exempt from overtime rules. These include executives, administrators, outside sales people, and certain computer employees. To qualify for the exemption, in addition to the minimal duties test, such employees must receive salary of at least a certain amount. Under the same final rule, the HCE duties test has not changed, but the salary level is increased starting on January 1, 2020. The salary level for HCEs is $107,432 per year (up from the current $100,000 level).

Employers can take into account nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level.

  1. What hours are counted?

An employer must count all hours that employees work. But this does not include meal breaks, whether paid or unpaid, if employees are relieved of duties during that period.

  1. Can overtime rules be avoided?

If an employee is nonexempt, he or she must receive overtime pay related to hours in excess of 40 for the workweek. This cannot be avoided in most cases by offering “comp time,” which would allow employees to work fewer than their required hours in another workweek to balance things out. This cannot be done!

  1. Do state rules take precedence over federal rules?

States can create their own overtime pay rules. If these rules are more protective for workers, they control over federal rules.

  1. Final thought

The new federal rules do not provide for automatic increases in the dollar amounts for the standard salary level and the HRE salary level. But it indicated that it intends to update the thresholds more regularly in the future. For more information and resources, go to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division.

Federal Grants for Small Business Owners to Fund your Innovations! – HCC Alief Hayes

July 12 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
 « Small Business Tax Workshop – HCC Missouri City
 #BOSSUP Workshop – Entrepreneurial Mindset – HCC Missouri City »
Did you know $2 billion to $2.5 billion is granted annually to support small business innovation?
This SBIR workshop begins with some basics of the SBIR/STTR programs and then covers the process for developing a competitive proposal, and ends with an awardee panel discussion.
The workshop is suitable for newcomers to the SBIR/STTR programs, as well as those who have previously submitted proposals but have not received awards.
The SBIR program (Small Business Innovation Research) is a federal program administered by eleven U.S. federal agencies to provide early-stage Research and Development funding to small technology companies or individuals who will be developing a product and company. The STTR Program (Small Business Technology Transfer) is a similar program that supports small businesses teaming up with nonprofit research entities, such as a university.
 SBIR & STTR Program Overview
 Developing a Competitive Grant Proposal – How to succeed with the application process
Featured Speakers:
 Mark Winchester, Deputy District Director, Small Business Administration, Houston District
 Debra Mansfield, Owner, Debra Mansfield Business Services, Advance Coach SXSW Accelerator, Advisor, TMCx Accelerator
 Tim Jeffcoat – Panel Moderator – Small Business Administration District Director, Houston District
Smal Business Owner Panelists – SBIR/STTR Grant Recipients & Implementers:
 Michael Heffernan, PhD, PE- Fannin Innovation Studio
 Dean Baker, Advanced Powder Solutions
 Dr. Glauco Souza, Nano3D Biosciences
 Event Fee: FREE
 Thanks to our partners and sponsors, we offer this event at no cost to ALL attendees!

 Registration is REQUIRED!
 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Check-In and Networking
 Reserve your seat now and note,



We as entrepreneurs believe we are in control of our own destiny, however, when it comes to running a business we still need to pay our start up expenses.

When creating a business plan we often overlook these costs in their financial projections. Even the savviest business owner might forget to invest in an area or two that is necessary for their small business to succeed such as necessary items like chairs and desk and what about paper. While we are trying our best to move to a paperless business model paper is still very prevalent in businesses today.
Don’t let these expenses catch you unawares.
1. EINS: When you register and EIN this allows you to establish a business bank account, and hire employees. The hidden cost is in the employee. Entrepreneurs often overlook the hidden cost of an employee the employers match to payroll taxes.
2. Office Equipment: Whether you are setting up a store front or in need of office space or working from home you still need equipment to operate your business.
a. Computers, tablets, laptops, cell phone (needs to be business cell phone to be deductable to the business as an expense)
b. Computer software, accounting software, being able to process payments to the business, and MS Office Suite.
c. Internet connection and WiFi connection routers, on sight backup or cloud hosting
d. Phones most people today use cell phones but phones need to be owned by the business to be a business expense
e. Like I said before as much as we try to be paperless in our business and we are getting closer but currently we still need printers, toners, ink and paper.
f. One piece of equipment I find most valuable is my scanner, as I can use it to convert paper documents to pdf files and not have to keep the paper. However, then it becomes important to have an offsite storage for these pdf documents in case something happens to your onsite computer system. Extremely important to business going paperless or trying to.
g. Other office equipment that you need to think about are business cards, pens, paper clips, staplers, hole punchers, stamps, notebooks (the paper kind), file folders, trash receptacles, file cabinets and recommended a shredder for sensitive documents. Depending on the size of your office might be a good idea to have an outsourced document shredder provider. Make sure they are proper licensed and know the correct procedures for shredding of your materials and get a document from them that the shredding has been done according to properly.
h. If you have an office or a storefront when I think of storefront I think of a retail location that deals directly with the public. If you do then you might have to think about a break room area for employees so that means things like having a coffee maker, coffee cups, a small refrigerator, clocks, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and again a table and chairs.
3. Internet and Phone providers: While there might be one or two to choose from in your area if you are in business you will need a high speed internet provider that is reliable. I know that I have my cell phones, however, I also have a VOIP phone system in my office. I am not always in a position to answer my cell phone and I like having a different phone number for my business also just my preference.
4. Do you need a license and/or permits to operate your business? You will need to check with your local authorities to find out if a license or permits are required for you to operate your business.
5. Business Entities: Depending on what type of entity you are going to setup the cost can vary greatly from establishing a DBA, a partnership, an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp all states have different costs for each so decide what it the best entity for your to protect your personal assets. Most likely you will have to hire an attorney or should to setup a partnership, an LLC, a S-Corp or a C-Corp and a CPA to give guidance on taxes associated with each of these entities.
As you can see there are many costs most entrepreneurs might over look when starting or even expanding their businesses. B Meyer Bookkeeping Solutions would be happy to help you in any way we can or send you to reliable sources to assist you in your business success. Please give us a call at 281.240.0326 or email at , visit our website at and fill out our contact us form and we would be happy to get back in touch with you.

Hispanic Small Business/ Lender-Borrower Matchmaking – May 15, 2018

o You Need Financing for Your Business?

Hispanic Small Business/ Lender-Borrower Matchmaking

Hispanic matchmaking

Lenders will be on hand to meet with existing and start-up business owners to discuss funding options.   This is a one-stop forum for business owners and entrepreneurs to:

·         Pitch financing needs to multiple lenders in one-on-one 15 min. sessions (speed dating format).

·         Access to free small business counseling through SBA’s resource partners (SCORE, SBDC, & WBC).

WHEN:          Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

TIME:             8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.      Registration & Networking

                       9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.      Welcome Remarks

                       9:20 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Matchmaking Meetings

WHERE:        Leonel Castillo Community Center

                       2101 South Street, Houston, TX 77009

CONTACTS:  Sonia Maldonado (713) 773-6554

 Valerie Maher 713-773-6541

BRING:  Financial Information, a One Page Pitch, & Business Plan if available

For help with these items, contact SBDC,, SCORE, or WBC,

COST: Free; however, registration is required

The SBA Houston District would like to thank and Camara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston for their support and contribution to this event.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made major changes to the tax law.

 Because of this, you and your employees should do a paycheck checkup using the Withholding Calculator on and, if necessary, complete a new W-4 form.

 The calculator will help determine the right amount of withholding and can help prevent having too little (or too much) tax withheld.

Recent changes affecting withholding include:

  • Reduced tax rates
  • Elimination of personal exemptions
  • Increased standard deductions: $12,000 for singles, $18,000 for heads of households and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • Increased child tax credit: $2,000 per qualifying child and a new $500 credit for other qualifying dependents
  • Changes to itemized deductions

A paycheck checkup is especially important if you or your employees:

  • Are a two-income family
  • Have two or more jobs at the same time or who only work part of the year
  • Claim credits like the child tax credit
  • Have dependents age 17 or older
  • Itemized deductions in 2017
  • Have high income or a complex tax return
  • Have a large tax refund or tax bill for 2017

For more information, please see For updated withholding tables, please visit the IRS newsroom and the IRS withholding table FAQs

Just received this from one of my payroll providers and thought it important enough to pass along.

Advantages of SBA Financing

If you are buying a business, expanding a business, buying out a business partner, or starting a new business, an SBA loan may be your best solution for financing.  SBA loans almost always provide lower down payments, longer repayment terms, and easier qualifying criteria than conventional bank loans.  When financing small business real estate, the down payment requirement can be as low as 10%, and it is typically half the amount of down payment required for traditional bank financing.  Another benefit of SBA loans is long term financing.  The repayment term for an SBA real estate loan is 25 years, so the business owner does not have the risk associated with renewing short term bank financing each time it matures in intervals like every three or five years. Since the SBA loan program is actually a business loan, and not a real estate mortgage, a business owner can include financing for other business expenditures as part of the same loan.  With funding for new business equipment or working capital, in addition to financing the real estate, the SBA loan program is very versatile in its funding accommodation.  With SBA financing, these loans have helped many small business owners realize the dream of owning their own real estate where the business operates.    Let’s discuss what Fidelity Bank SBA Lending can do for you.

I felt this could be of value to all the small businesses out there especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and still in the rebuilding process.

Bruce Hurta  SBA Business Development Officer  Fidelity Bank 281-384-2595

Martin Meyer of B Meyer Bookkeeping Solutions in Sugar Land

Help Employees with Withholdings Penalities

Encourage your employees to check this years withholdings on the IRS website when filing their 2018 tax returns in 2019. The new calculator is scheduled on the IRS website at: click here.

The IRS encourages everyone to use the Withholding Calculator to perform a quick “paycheck checkup.”  This is even more important this year because of recent changes to the tax law for 2018.

The Calculator helps you identify your tax withholding to make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck at work.

There are several reasons to check your withholding:

  • Checking your withholding can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.
  • At the same time, with the average refund topping $2,800, you may prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in your paychecks.

If you are an employee, the Withholding Calculator helps you determine whether you need to give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. You can use your results from the Calculator to help fill out the form and adjust your income tax withholding.

Hope you find this helpful.

QuickBooks Setup: The Basics

I have been looking over articles on the most common mistakes in QuickBooks and I see a list of 10 to 20 common mistakes. I agree with all these as being mistakes made once you start using QuickBooks.

What I have found is most of the articles do not cover the source of the mistakes the Initial Setup of Your QuickBooks Data File.

While the setup of QuickBooks Online is somewhat different than QuickBooks Desktop Versions there are some basics we can address in the setup. I am not going to try to explain all the differences in QuickBooks Online setup and QuickBooks Desktop setup as most of the difference are in what in naming of the different areas and the user interface in setting up.

There are 4 areas I am going to address the Chart of Accounts, item list (desktop), Products and Services (online version), vendor list and customer lists.

Chart of Accounts is the basis for all your company’s financial reports and is a critical part of setting up QuickBooks both online and desktop versions.  If you do not properly classify and create your chart of accounts you will get errors in your management reports and inaccurate data. How can you make informed business decisions with bad data?  Remember the information contained in the chart of accounts is the information that flows through to your Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, and your Cash Flow Statement.  Balance sheet shows Assets, Liabilities, and Equity accounts. The Profit and Loss is your Income, Costs of Goods Sold (if you sell a product), and your business Expenses. The cash flow statement is distinct from the income statement and balance sheet because it does not include the amount of future incoming and outgoing cash that has been recorded on credit. Therefore, cash is not the same as net income, which on the income statement and balance sheet, includes cash sales and sales made on credit. Cash Flow Statement lets you know how much income is coming in vs. cash going out. We are not going to get into more advanced analysis of the different financial reports at this time. Just be aware that the Chart of Accounts is the building block for your entire accounting system.


Item Lists (desktop) and Products and Services (online: are necessary for the creation of Customer Invoices, Estimates, Sales Receipts, Vendor Purchases, and Inventory. There are several different types of items, products and services available in QuickBooks depending on your company’s needs. Item list, products, services and inventory are used for two reasons one they help illuminate double entry as they flow back to the chart of accounts and it helps make the chart of accounts condensed and easier to use.  Items link back to your cost of goods sold, expenses, and inventory and income accounts depending on the item.

Customer List: is just what is says it is a list of the people and business you sell your products or services to.  This is where you decide when payment is due such as upon receipt, or net 10, or net 30 etc.. You can also enter payment information if they pay your by credit card, however, you will need a merchant services account to accept credit card payments. Remember this is also where your item and product and services list come in when you create your customer invoices or sales receipts.

Intuit now offers Intuit Payments which allows you to take credit cards or to get payments directly from your customer’s bank account at the customer’s option or by previous agreement. I suggest you gather as much information as possible on each of your customers such as email address, birthdays always nice to send a customer a greeting on their birthday.
Vendor List: is exactly as it sounds the list of people you buy from. When creating vendor bills in QuickBooks you will use your item, products and services listings. This again flows back to you inventory, cost of goods, and expense accounts depending on the type of business you have. You can also setup the terms of payment you have with your different vendors. If you use subcontractors or individuals they will also be part of your vendor listings and you will need to get a Form W9 from them to report payments to them on Form 1099 at year end.

If you are a start up business and need assistance please give us a call and we can discuss what you need to do to properly setup your QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop accounting system.

Give us a call or go to our website: and fill out our contact us form or give us a call at


If you are an existing business and know you have problems with your setup and need assistance to fix these problems Give us a call or go to our website: and fill out our contact us form or give us a call at





Many Hurricane Victims Qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit; Special Method Can Aid Workers Whose Income Dropped

IR-2018-10, Jan. 23, 2018

WASHINGTON – The IRS is urging victims of last year’s hurricanes, especially those who lived in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, to see if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). According to the IRS, many people whose incomes dropped in 2017 may be eligible to choose a special option for figuring the EITC, a credit for low- and moderate-income workers and families.

A special computation method, available only to people who lived in one of the hurricane disaster areas during 2017, may enable them to claim the EITC or claim a larger than usual credit. Under this method, taxpayers whose incomes dropped in 2017 can choose to figure the credit using their 2016 earned income rather than their 2017 earned income. Eligible taxpayers should figure the credit both ways — the regular way using 2017 earned income and this special way using 2016 earned income — to see which yields the larger EITC. For more information and special instructions on how to report, see the instructions for Form 1040, Line 66, and Publication 976, available on

The EITC helps working people who don’t earn a lot ($53,930 or less for 2017) and meet other eligibility requirements. Because it’s a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim it could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a refund.

EITC can mean up to a $6,318 refund for working families with qualifying children. Actual credit amounts vary based on income, family size and other factors. Workers without a qualifying child with incomes below $20,600 could also be eligible for a smaller credit of up to $510. On average, EITC adds $2,445 to refunds.

To qualify for EITC, an eligible taxpayer must meet basic rules and have earned income from working for someone, being self-employed or running a business or farm. This includes home-based businesses, the sharing economy and employment in the service, construction and agriculture industries. In addition, certain disability payments may qualify as earned income for EITC purposes. The EITC Assistant, available on, can help taxpayers determine eligibility and estimate the amount of their credit.

To get the credit, people must file a tax return, even if they owe no tax and even if they normally aren’t required to file. The fastest and easiest way to do so is by filing electronically, whether through a qualified tax professional; using free community tax help sites; or self-preparing with IRS Free File.

By law the IRS cannot issue refunds before mid-February for tax returns that claim the EITC or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This change helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they deserve and gives the agency more time to detect and prevent errors and fraud.

The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no issues with the tax return.

The IRS and partners nationwide will hold the annual EITC Awareness Day on Friday, Jan. 26 to alert millions of workers who may be missing out on this and other refundable credits. One easy way to support this outreach effort is by participating on the IRS Thunderclap to help promote #EITCAwarenessDay through social media. For more information on EITC and other refundable credits visit the EITC page on

Please contact us as we have excellent CPA’s to refer you to for getting your taxes done correctly.