Updates on Taxes for 2015!

Taking guesses on your tax form can quickly turn into the IRS and your business engaging in the world's most dangerous game.

Here are the latest updates on individual mandate and self-employed tax law brought to you by Hajiani CPA. For more details or a consultation on taxes or accounting please contact Alamir Hajiani at al@alamircpa.com! 

The employer Affordable Health Care ACT (ACA) mandate starts to kick in.


Companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer health coverage to full-timers or pay a tax. Full-timers are those employed at least 30 hours-a-week on average, but there’s a good chance this number will be raised.


Starting in 2016, firms with 50+ full time-equivalent workers will be subject to the pay-or-play rules, and the coverage offer will be expanded to dependents, including kids under age 26.


The 20 % top rate on dividends and long-term gains starts at a higher level for 2015...singles with taxable income above $413,200 and joint filers above $464,850. The 3.8% Medicare surtax boosts the rate to 23.8%. The regular 15% maximum rate applies for filers with incomes below these amounts, except that filers in the 10% or 15% income tax bracket still get the special 0% rate.


The basic Medicare Part B premium remains $104.90 per month in 2015. But the upper-income seniors still have to pay higher Part B and D premiums if their modified adjusted gross income for 2013 exceeded $170,000 for couples or $85,000 for single people. The 2015 Part B surcharge doesn’t change, while the Part D add-on rises slightly. The total surcharges on upper-incomers can be as large as $301.60 a month. 


The adoption credit can be taken on up to $13,409 of costs, a $210 boost. If the credit is more than a filer’s tax liability, the excess is not refundable. The full $13,400 credit is available for a special needs adoption, even if it cost less. The credit starts to dry up for filers with AGIs over $201,010 and ends at $241,010. 


The kiddie tax has a little less bite. The first $1,050 of unearned income of a dependent who doesn’t work is tax-free, a $50 hike. The next $1,050 is taxed at 10%, and any unearned income over $2,100 is taxed.


The standard mileage rate rises to 57.50 cents a mile for business driving, up 1.5 cents. The rate falls to 23 cents a mile for medical travel and moving and remains at 14 cents for charitable driving. Standard rate users can also deduct the cost of parking and tolls.

Many key dollar limits on retirement plans are a little higher this year: The maximum 401(k) contribution rises to $18,000, up $500 from 2014. Individuals who were born before 1966 are allowed to put in as much as $24,000.


New Equipment and Machinery: Only $25,000 of assets qualifies, down from $500,000, and the $25,000 phases out once more than $200,000 of assets are put in service.

Questions, concerns, comments? Let us know and we'll put you in touch a quality CPA!

Taxes have a reputation for being difficult and bogged down with official jargon. If you're experiencing difficulty please reach out to Cambridge Local First. We're here for the community and have connections with reputable, local accountants who are willing to give you a complimentary consultation. 

Join us March 18th for our “Understanding Healthcare Benefits” Seminar!


Have you ever had any questions regarding health care benefits for your employees? Unsure of how recent changes in healthcare legislation, including Obamacare, will impact your business? CLF can help! This seminar, sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company, will discuss how businesses can manage health care benefits for their employees.  

WHEN: March 18th from 9-11AM

WHERE: Cambridge Trust Company at 1336 Mass Ave in Harvard Square 

Our Speaker, Bob McGowan from The CIP Group, is an industry expert in healthcare benefits and reform. The CIP Group is dedicated to providing a complete range of fully integrated employee benefits, executive
benefits, administration services, payroll and HR solutions to clients.

Eventbrite - Understanding Healthcare Benefits


Will there be time for questions?

Absolutely! We pride ourselves on small, interactive seminars with plenty of oppurtunity for individualized attention and discussion

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Cambridge Trust Company is conviently located just steps from the Harvard Square T-Stop. There is limited street parking and an affordable public parking garage nearby at 65 JFK Street. 

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Simply send an e-mail to info@cambridgelocalfirst.org. 

Can I update my registration information?

Yes, any changes can be addressed via email at info@cambridgelocalfirstorg. 

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Nope! We will have a list at the event for checkins. 

Here’s How the Local First Initiative Helped Small Business Last Year!

The Institute for Local Self –Reliance has just released the results from its 2015 Independent Business Survey, and the results put a smile on all of our faces! According to the data the ILSR collected, thanks to organizations like CLF, business in an area supported by a Local first network received more business as compared to areas without Local Firsts. In 2014, businesses affiliated with Local First networks had an average sales increase of about 9.3%, and an average holiday sales gain of about 5.7%. Cities without Local First initiatives only saw an average revenue growth of 4.9% and an average holiday sales gain of about 4.2%.

ILSRgraph 1ILSR graph 2


Aside from the numbers, businesses in areas with Local Firsts were provided with other benefits including: increased local media coverage of independent businesses, improved loyalty of existing customers, new customer growth, more collaboration and support among other local businesses, increased city awareness and supportive of local businesses, and increased overall customer traffic.

We are so happy to be able to offer these kinds of benefits to all of our members, and if you are not a member yet, it’s never too late to join! To read more from the ILSR report, click here.

Table for one please!



Whoever said you needed to show love for another person on Valentine's Day? Show some love for yourself and visit on of Cambridge's local spa, acupuncture, and massage centers like Moose and Mimi Relaxolgy, Antonina Bodywork, or Acupuncture Together. Community Card Members receive discounts on services at all three!



Feeling some aggression from the strains of life, love, and this awful winter? Release all your tension physically with Majestic Yoga Studio's 'Back bending your way out of the winter blues' special or a first timer's unlimited kickboxing special at Redline Fight Sports.


Forget your troubles, grab a friend, and bust out those killer dances moves you learned in high school at one of these great shows in Cambridge.

Cuisine En Locale brings you the Luxury CD Release Party for Bones and the Beaten Heart on Friday February 13th, doors open at 9pm.

There will be a double feature at The Lily Pad on Valentine's Day. RAKN performs from 7pm-9pm and after SOME LIKE IT HOTTT will pay from 9pm-1am.

As always there are so many options at The Middle East. Downstairs Leedz Edutainment and Lifted Productions present, Trapped in the 90s a Valentines Day Special Party dedicated to 90s Hip Hop and R&B. Music by DJ Tedsmooth and The Legendary Ron G - 18+ $10 Advance / $12 Day of Show, doors open at 10pm. The Corner Show will be, Call Of Booty - 21+ $5 10pm



Start the day off right with a free Crafter's Brunch at Gather Here on February 14th. Make something new, enjoy some treats, and mingle with other crafters, goes from 10am-12pm. 

Later in the evening you can put your craftiness to a use for a good cause and dedicate some time to making bowls for Mudflat Studio's annual Empty Bowls campaign against hunger with Food for Free. Starts Friday night at 5pm, goes until 10pm, all are welcome to drop by or stay the whole night! 

Locally Unorthodox Love



AppleCinema will be showing the new 50 Shades of Grey movie on Valentine's Day. Check it out and see what all the hype is about!


If you're in the mood for a twisted comedy, Brattle Theater will be showing Secretary at midnight on February 14th.



If you are looking to wind down and "escape" the cold stop by cre8cafe's Hawaiian Winter Valentine Event, February 13th starting at 2pm.


For the craft lovers out there, why not try a pottery painting date at Made by Me?


To take your Valentine's Day to new heights, try out a rock climbing session at Central Rock Gym Cambridge !


Only one week until our seminar with the legendary Paul Saginaw!

Pathways to Extraordinary Customer Service

Thurs, Feb 19 | 8am-12:30pm | NonProfit Center Boston | 89 South Street
Presented by SBN, Cambridge Local First, and Cambridge Trust Company
Paul Saginaw, the legendary small business leader & co-founder of Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI is coming back to lead his latest & greatest version of his popular & practical workshop on extraordinary customer service. This is Zing Train's third visit & each visit has had a profound impact on participants.
Presenters: Paul Saginaw & Katie Frank
*Previous Zing Train Workshops have filled up early - Limited Space*
Refreshments: Complimentary Continental BreakfastPricing:
  • $75 for SBN & Local First Members
  • $65 each when 2 or more tickets are purchased for SBN & Local First Members
  • $90 for nonmembers
  • $80 each when 2 or more tickets are purchased for nonmembers




How an Obsession with Extraordinary Customer Service can Grow your Business!

Wed, Feb 18 | 7pm-9pm | Jamaica Plain Library | 12 Sedgwick St, Jamaica Plain
Presented by SBN and Jamaica Plain Local First
Zingerman's co-founder Paul Saginaw will share the lessons he's learned from creating what has been called a 'Small Giant' by growing his local deli into a successful independent business that has a major impact on the local economy & the community.
Presenters: Paul Saginaw
  • $5.00 for SBN & Local First Members
  • $10.00 for nonmembers 



Going Deep into the Weeds:
A Conversation with Legendary Entrepreneur, Paul Saginaw

Wed, Feb 18 | 2pm-5pm| SBN/CLF Boardroom| 99 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge
Join Paul Saginaw & 25 other local business leaders in an intimate look into how Zingerman's succeeds & what lessons we can learn from this outstanding entrepreneur & local business icon.

Presenters: Paul Saginaw & Katie Frank
*25 Spots Available, No More than Two per Business*
Refreshments: Coffee & snacks will be provided


  • $45 for SBN & CLF Members
  • $65 for nonmembers


Love Locally




Classic R&B singer Mario performs at Ryle’s Jazz Club Wednesday February 11th, doors open at 7:30pm.


Inspired by David Bowie and John Lennon folk artist Jeffery Gaines plays at Passim Folk Center Friday February 13th at 8:00pm.


Local Bands LOVE LOVE and The Darlings play an intimate venue at Toad in Porter Square on Feburary 14th. Music starts at 7:00pm.


League Podcasts Authentic Acoustic Sounds bring NYC gem Walter Schreifels & The Dead Heavens to the Middle East Upstairs


Formaggio Kitchen’s The Perfect Pair entitles you and yours to a night of cheese and wine sampling on February 14th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm


Trademark Tours brings you Boston Wine Tours. Book today and sip your way through the city. Community Card Members enjoy 15% off tickets!  



A Palo Seco comes to the Multicultural Arts Center to perform traditional flamenco on February 14th at 9:00pm. Dessert included! Community Card Members are privy to a buy one ticket get one free for all Multicultural Arts Center Destination Dance shows. 

Catch Casablanca at The Brattle Theater running February 13th-14th.  

Night Cap

Enjoy a steamy retreat at Inman Oasis and reserve a private hot tub for two! Community Card Members enjoy 15% off!

I’m Locally Yours



Brattle Square Florist: 31 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Central Square Florist, 653 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139

Coady Florist, 1540 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139


Boston Bead Company, 23 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Irish Imports, 1737 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Nomad, 1741 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

Rebekah Brooks Jewelry, 17 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138

Singing Stones Jewelry, www.singingstonesjewelry.com

Tis tiK, 54 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138



Black Ink, 5 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 

Bob Slate Stationer, 30 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

GrayMist Studio & Shop, 364 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Joie de Vivre, 1792 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

Sign of the Dove, 36 White Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Xylem, 287 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02142



40 Winks, 56 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Boutique Fabulous, 1309 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Clothware, 1773 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

LOOKS, 11 Holyoke Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Mint Julep, 6 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 

Oona’s Experienced Clothing, 1210 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138



Booze Époque, www.boozeepoque.com

Camberville Dog Treats, Special Deal: Free shipping this week!, www.cambervilledogtreats.com

Cambridge Spirits, 9 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142

Cardullo’s, Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Central Bottle Wine & Provisions, 196 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Follow the Honey, Special Deal: Free Delivery on orders of $75!, 1132 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Formaggio Kitchen, 244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 

Salt & Olive, 1160 Mass Ave , Cambridge, MA 02138 

For even more to make your Valentine’s Day complete, visit our of web directory for local businesses and restaurants.

Book your appointment with a Tax Professional




Tax season is notoriously stressful for the bouts of confusion many documents and densely worded forms. Now is your opportunity to sit down one on one with a tax professional! CLF business member, Alamir Hajiani of Hajiani CPA, will be available to sit down for thirty minutes of consultation time with you on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 649 Massachusetts Ave in Central Square.

Your session will be free of charge and confidential. But these sessions are limited in quantity and are first come first serve so book now!

RSVP for our upcoming Business Improvement Seminar


With the recent changes in Massachusetts law, it can be hard to navigate how best to care for your employees within your current business model. This seminar, presented by Cambridge Local First and sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company, will discuss the recent changes in Massachusetts law regarding paid leave and the minimum wage and how to accommodate them.

Maura McLaughlin practices with the law firm of Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP, advising and representing employers in all aspects of employment law issues. Maura has extensive experience counseling clients on the various facets of the employment relationship, including hiring, discipline and termination, drafting and revising employee handbooks and policies, leaves of absence and accommodation issues, and compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws. She conducts training and counsels clients on workplace best practices, including preventing and investigating complaints of unlawful harassment and/or discrimination and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Certified Harassment Train-the-Trainer Program. Maura also represents clients in litigation in state and federal courts and agencies including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Tickets are $35 for the public and $20 for members of Cambridge Local First.

Where and When: Wednesday, February 4th 2015 from 9-11am at Cambridge Trust Company in Harvard Square, 1336 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139