Summer expenses may help cut taxes

Staten Island commercial bank pinpoints credit for child and dependent care

 


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Many parents have been paying for childcare or day camps in the summer while they work. If  you are among them, your costs may qualify for a federal tax credit that can lower your taxes.


Victory State Bank offers 10 facts from the IRS that you might wish to know about the Child and Dependent Care Credit:

 

  • Your expenses must be for the care of one or more qualifying persons. Your dependent child or children under age 13 usually qualify. For more about this rule see the IRS's Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
  • Your expenses for care must be work-related. This means that you must pay for the care so you can work or look for work. This rule also applies to your spouse if you file a joint return. Your spouse meets this rule during any month they are a full-time student. They also meet it if they’re physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
  • You must have earned income, such as from wages, salaries and tips. It also includes net earnings from self-employment. Your spouse must also have earned income if you file jointly. Your spouse is treated as having earned income for any month that they are a full-time student or incapable of self-care. This rule also applies to you if you file a joint return. Refer to Publication 503 for more details.
  • As a rule, if you’re married you must file a joint return to take the credit. But this rule doesn’t apply if you’re legally separated or if you and your spouse live apart.
  • You may qualify for the credit whether you pay for care at home, at a daycare facility or at a day camp.
  • The credit is a percentage of the qualified expenses you pay. It can be as much as 35 percent of your expenses, depending on your income.
  • The total expense that you can use for the credit in a year is limited. The limit is $3,000 for one qualifying person or $6,000 for two or more.
  • Overnight camp or summer school tutoring costs do not qualify. You can’t include the cost of care provided by your spouse or your child who is under age 19 at the end of the year. You also cannot count the cost of care given by a person you can claim as your dependent. Special rules apply if you get dependent care benefits from your employer.
  • Keep all your receipts and records. Make sure to note the name, address and Social Security number or employer identification number of the care provider. You must report this information when you claim the credit on your tax return.
  • Remember that this credit is not just a summer tax benefit. You may be able to claim it for care you pay for throughout the year.

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at  http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

    

5 Things To Consider Before You Buy A Franchise

Staten Island business bank identifies helpful guidance

  

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Because investing in a franchise can be a major financial undertaking and a serious personal commitment, it also can entail certain risks.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's commercial bank, suggests that guidelines by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might be useful when exploring whether a franchise is for you.

Understanding your abilities and goals, the FTC says, is a step toward deciding whether purchase a franchise.

In buying a franchise, you operate a business and sell goods or services with name recognition. You buy a format or system developed by the franchisor, and training and support. The risks are that franchisees must commit money and time, and must operate by the franchisor’s playbook.

Franchisors also have legal responsibilities, which are spelled out in the FTC's Franchise Rule. For example, they must give potential franchisees important information in a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) at least 14 days before a contract is signed or any payment is made.

In addition, some states require a franchisor to submit its FDD to state examiners for review before it can lawfully sell the franchise in the state. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the Franchise Rule.

If you’re thinking about investing in a franchise, the FTC advises weighing these five considerations:

Your financial situation

Buying into a franchise is a major investment. How much do you have to safely invest? Can you afford to lose your entire investment? Will you invest on your own or with partners? Do you need financing? Where will you get it?

Your need for income

Do you need a specific minimum annual income? It can take years for an investment in a franchise to become profitable; some franchises never make it. Do you have savings or another source of income to support yourself and your family until the franchise can?

Your abilities and goals

Consider your experience as a business owner or manager. What special skills do you have? Do you want a franchise that requires technical experience, or specialized training or education, like auto repair, home or office decorating, or tax preparation? What kind of work environment and routines do you prefer? Will you run the business yourself or hire a manager?

Your timetable

Is a multi-year commitment right for you? Franchise agreements generally are for several years, often 5 or 10. It can be difficult to end an agreement early. Once you commit to a franchise contract, you have to stay with it until the term ends, even if you’re not making as much money as you expected, or making a profit at all. How long do you want to stay in one location and engaged in one business?

Your comfort working under a franchisor’s control

As a franchisee, you are a business owner, but you don’t operate independently. You’re part of a network and you must follow rules that call for uniformity. A franchisor may limit your choices about sales area, training, suppliers, or the merchandise you sell. You may pay advertising fees and buy or lease from suppliers the franchisor chooses. If exercising creativity is important to you, think about whether you would be comfortable working with a franchisor’s controls.

If you decide you want to check out a specific franchise, the FTC recommends reading its "Buying a Franchise: A Consumer Guide" and ask a lawyer, accountant or experienced adviser to work with you.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Advice For Recovering From A Business Loss

Staten Island business bank urges owners to mull what-ifs

 



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The high likelihood that a business can hit a rough patch underscores a need to anticipate a worst-case curveball and its effects.


 Victory State Bank suggests that a "glass half full" may lurk beneath the woes, although it may take some soul-searching to realize it.


Say a key person departs, or a major account evaporates, or a sure-thing contract becomes less than certain. The consequences might be not just emotional but also, more importantly, financial and/or organizational.

After the initial shock, re-assessing and rebuilding could be the order of the day. And the half-full glass may emerge once the challenge seems to present an opportunity.

You may have needed a period of reflection anyhow, and now there is one, even though it forced itself upon you and the timing couldn't have been worse.

         

Nevertheless, stay focused on the prospect of innovation and new directions.

                           

It may seem simplistic to discuss existing strengths and resources, no matter how minimal they may be. Such an exercise can uncover a fresh approach. Examples can include rapport with vendors, your firm's reputation, and name recognition.

            

This assessment would also address current liabilities. Some liabilities can be redirected as assets, and the trick lies in converting them such as setting right a limited cash flow or looking at a new area to do business.


A truism is that obstacles contain the seeds of opportunity, and sometimes a mindset can make all the difference. Try a team approach and brainstorm the next available approaches. List everything, even the unrealistic. The path to rebuild may be hidden but usually can be found. 

Don't dismiss the possibility of a larger picture. Maybe the unexpected setback was an early signal that a course correction is in order and a learning opportunity has presented itself. 

As strengths, weaknesses, solutions, opportunities and strategies come into view, be clear about what you're solving so that a rebuilding plan can be devised. It may be in two parts, however: short-term and long-term. Strategies may be based on an attribute like customer service. 

Put your plan in action and determine who will lead it, who else will it encompass, capacities in which they'll serve, their accountabilities, the steps to follow, checkpoint deadlines, communication guidelines, progress-evaluation criteria, and proofs that the plan is working.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 

  

Feds Muzzle Illicit Payday Loans

Staten Island commercial bank delineates examiners' findings

  



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Payday loans that subject borrowers to deceit and harassment have drawn federal action describing them as illegal.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's business bank, cites a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that described problems with questionable payday-lending practices.

These types of loans are part of a larger scope of federal supervision over nonbank financial entities involving also debt collection and consumer reporting.

“For the first time at the federal level, nonbank financial institutions are subject to supervisory oversight that holds them accountable for how they treat consumers,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement.

In the nonbank markets highlighted in CFPB’s report, examiners found that many companies had systemic flaws in their compliance management systems, such as consistently failing to have a system in place to track and resolve consumer complaints. 

Specifically with payday loans, several problems were uncovered.

                        

These types of loans are frequently a way for consumers to bridge a cash-flow shortage between paychecks or the receipt of other income. Loans often have small-dollar amounts, require borrowers to repay quickly, and ask that a borrower give lenders access to repayment through a claim on the borrower’s deposit account.


When lenders called borrowers to collect debt, they sometimes threatened to take legal actions they did not actually intend to pursue. Examiners cited these threats as unlawful deceptive practices.

Other lenders threatened to impose additional fees or to debit borrowers’ accounts at any time, when this was not allowed by their contract. Examiners also found lenders lied about non-existent promotions to induce borrowers to call back about their debt.

 

CFPB examiners also found that payday lenders called borrowers multiple times per day. When lenders failed to track accurately how many times they had called a borrower, it increased the risk of a borrower receiving excessive calls.

Examiners also found that employees of payday lenders would sometimes visit borrowers’ workplaces in attempts to collect debt. Such practices by lenders can violate the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition on unfair practices.

Many payday lenders hire third parties to collect their debts. The CFPB expects payday lenders – and all institutions subject to its supervision – to oversee their service providers to ensure they are complying with federal law.

But examiners found that third-party debt collectors misled borrowers in a variety of ways, including falsely claiming to be an attorney and making false threats of criminal prosecution. Third-party collectors also harassed borrowers by calling at unusual times.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

How To Cover Your Business Risks

Staten Island commercial bank cites merit in insuring against havoc

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Business owners can avail themselves of many kinds of insurance coverages, and Victory State Bank suggests that one way to look at them is their being akin to investing in the enterprise's well-being.

There are several good lists of coverage types, with summaries of their purposes. One example is a roundup by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA).

Insurance coverage is available for every conceivable risk your business might face, SBA says. Cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers. An insurance agent or broker can advise you on the exact types of insurance you should consider purchasing.


GENERAL LIABILITY 

Business owners purchase general liability insurance to cover legal hassles stemming from an accident, injuries and claims of negligence. Policies protect against payments as the result of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, the cost of defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments required during an appeal procedure.

PRODUCT LIABILITY

Companies that manufacture, wholesale, distribute, and retail a product may be liable for its safety. Product liability insurance protects against financial loss as a result of a defect that causes injury or bodily harm. The amount of insurance to purchase depends on the products you sell or manufacture. A clothing store would have far less risk than a small appliance store, for example.


PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY

Business owners providing services would consider professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions insurance and/or malpractice insurance). This coverage protects your business against malpractice, errors, and negligence in provision of services to your customers. Depending on your profession, you may be required by the state to carry such a policy. For example, physicians are required to purchase malpractice insurance as a condition of practicing in certain states.


COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Property insurance covers everything related to the loss and damage of company property due to a wide variety of events such as fire, smoke, wind and hail storms, civil disobedience and vandalism. The definition of "property" is broad, and includes lost income, business interruption, buildings, computers, company papers and money.

Property insurance policies are in two basic forms: (1) all-risk policies covering a wide-range of incidents and perils except those noted in the policy; (2) peril-specific policies that cover losses from only those perils listed in the policy.



Examples of peril-specific policies include fire, flood, crime and business interruption insurance. All-risk policies generally cover risks faced by the average small business, while peril-specific policies are usually purchased when there is high risk of peril in a certain area. 


HOME-BASED BUSINESS

Contrary to popular belief, homeowners' insurance policies do not generally cover home-based business losses. Depending on risks to your business, you may add riders to your homeowners' policy to cover normal business risks such as property damage. However, homeowners' policies only go so far in covering home-based businesses and you may need to purchase additional policies to cover other risks, such as general and professional liability.


A compilation by Forbes adds a few more:

PROPERTY INSURANCE

If you own your building or have business personal property, including office equipment, computers, inventory or tools, consider purchasing a policy that will protect you if you have a fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage, etc. You may also want to consider business interruption/loss of earning insurance as part of the policy to protect your earnings if the business is unable to operate.



BUSINESS OWNER'S POLICY (BOP)

A business owner policy packages all required coverage a business owner would need. Often, BOPs will include business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance, and crime insurance . Based on your company’s specific needs, you can alter what is included in a BOP. Typically, a business owner will save money by choosing a BOP because the bundle of services often costs less than the total cost of all the individual coverages.



COMMERCIAL AUTO

Commercial Auto Insurance protects a company’s vehicles. You can protect vehicles that carry employees, products or equipment. With commercial auto insurance you can insure your work cars, SUVs, vans and trucks from damage and collisions.  If you do not have company vehicles, but employees drive their own cars on company business, you would need non-owned auto liability to protect the company in case the employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage.  Many times the non-owned can be added to the BOP policy.



WORKER'S COMPENSATION

This is for employees injured on the job. It provides wage replacement and medical benefits to those injured while working. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up his rights to sue his employer for the incident. It is very important for a business owner to have worker’s compensation insurance, Forbes says, because it protects you and your company from legal complications. All state laws require you to have workers compensation if you have W2 employees.  Penalties for non-compliance can be stiff.



DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

This type of insurance protects the directors and officers of a company against their actions that affect the profitability or operations of the company. If a director or officer of your company, as a direct result of actions on the job, is in a legal situation, this type of insurance can cover costs or damages lost as a result of a lawsuit.



DATA BREACH

If the business stores sensitive or non-public information about employees or clients on their computers, servers or in paper files, it is responsible for protecting that information.  If a breach occurs either electronically or from a paper file a Data Breach policy can protect against the loss.


Other overviews of the variety of  business coverages further add to the list:

CASUALTY INSURANCE

Some insurers will lump property and casualty insurance together and refer to the coverage as “property and casualty” insurance. In fact, some contend that  “packaged” policies of property and casualty are often the best purchase a business owner can make. However, to have an understanding of the difference between the coverage, I will discuss this as a separate type of insurance. Casualty insurance insures against loss or damage to the business.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION

Business interruption insurance (also see Property Insurance, above) insures against loss or damage to the cash flow and profit of a business caused by the business being unable to operate because of interruption. The easiest example is to think about a critical piece of machinery being struck by lightning. The repairs to the machine may be covered by other coverage such as property or casualty insurance. But, if you can’t make widgets for three months, then there is no replacement of that income without this coverage.

'SCRIPTED' POLICIES

It could very well be that your business is so unique to have need for coverage that is a mixture of some of the coverage listed above or something written specifically for your particular risk. One can think of some actresses, actors, or sports stars that have had legs insured at some point in there careers. This would be an example of a “scripted” policy.

BOILER AND MACHINERY

Boiler and machinery insurance, sometimes referred to as "equipment breakdown" or "mechanical breakdown coverage," provides coverage for the accidental breakdown of boilers, machinery, and equipment. This type of coverage usually will reimburse for property damage and business interruption losses. For example, this coverage would cover fire damage to computers.

DEBRIS REMOVAL


This covers the cost of removing debris after a fire, flood, windstorm, etc. For example, a fire burns your building to the ground. Before you can start rebuilding, the remains of the old building have to be removed. Your property insurance will cover the costs of rebuilding, but not of removing the debris.

BUILDER'S RISK

Builder's risk insurance covers buildings while they are being constructed. For example, a Builder's risk policy would cover losses if a windstorm takes down your partially constructed condominium complex.

GLASS INSURANCE


Glass insurance covers broken store windows and plate glass windows.

INLAND MARINE

Inland marine insurance covers property in transit and other people's property on your premises. For example, this insurance would cover fire-damage to customers' clothing from a fire at your dry cleaning business.

ORDINANCE OR LAW COVERAGE

Ordinance or law insurance covers the costs associated with having to demolish and rebuild to code when your building has been partially destroyed (usually 50 percent). For example, your three-story building is 100 years old. A flood destroys the basement and first two stories. Because more than 50 percent of your building has to be rebuilt, a local ordinance requires that the building be completely demolished and rebuilt according to current building codes. Property insurance covers only the replacement value, not the upgrade.

TENANT'S COVERAGE

Commercial leases often require tenants to carry a certain amount of insurance. A renter's commercial policy covers damages to improvements you make to your rental space and damages to the building caused by the negligence of your employees.

CRIME

Crime insurance covers theft, burglary, and robbery of money, securities, stock, and fixtures from employees and outsiders.

FIDELITY BONDS

A bonding company covers losses due to a bonded employee's theft of business property and money.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.