A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members December 8, 2005
Association News

2006 AWI Convention To Be Revamped...Change is Underway

In response to member wishes, AWI is revamping its 2006 Annual Meeting & Convention, Oct. 5-7, 2006 in New Orleans. 

A Letter to the Membership from AWI President Rick Kogler of Architectural Wood Products outlines the new direction the convention will take.  The exciting changes in store for members affect hotel accommodations, airport transport, opening reception, supplier tabletop displays, sports activities, educational programs, and more.

Watch for President Kogler’s letter in the December NewsBriefs mail pack.  And, mark your calendar now for the 2006 AWI convention...it will be a departure from tradition.

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AWI Invites You to Get Involved

Do you have talent, expertise and time to “give back” to your industry?  AWI is seeking a few good men and women who are interested in serving on the AWI Development Council or the Board of Directors.

AWI’s Nominating Committee will be working hard over the next three months selecting candidates for the Council and Board.

Get a “first look” at what is going on at AWI National.  Gain a macro-perspective of the woodworking industry.  Gain exposure to other industry leaders.  Give back to your association and gain back ten-fold.

Find out about the qualifications and candidate submission procedures.  Deadline for advising AWI’s Executive VP Judy Durham of your interest is Dec. 23, 2005.  Use the convenient “Get Involved” form found in your December NewsBriefs mail pack or click here to download a form.

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Industry News

USGBC Launches First Web-Based Training Course

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has partnered with Turner Construction to launch the USGBC's first web-based training course designed to educate building industry professionals about LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Professional Accreditation requirements. According to the USGBC, LEED Accreditation enables industry professionals to demonstrate their understanding of integrated design and green building practices and principles, and ensures that they have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully steward a building project from design to LEED certification.

The three hour web-based course entitled "Essentials of LEED Professional Accreditation" includes selected case studies, interactive learning exercises, and a practice exam with questions similar to those encountered on the LEED Professional Accreditation exam.

The course is also ideal for professionals who are new to green building, or who just want to learn more about sustainable design and construction and the LEED rating process.

To take the course, go to http://www.usgbc.org. The course is available for purchase through the USGBC Products & Services catalog under "Workshops." The cost of the course is $150 for USGBC Members and $200 for Non-Members. After purchase, the course is accessible for 60 days. For more information about the Web course, contact USGBC at 202-828-7422 or workshop@usgbc.org.
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Regulatory Issues

IRS Offers Taxpayer Filing Extension, Enhances Web Site

Filing Extension

Taxpayers will be able to request an automatic, six-month tax-filing extension for most common individual and business returns under regulations released recently by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

The new regulations provide streamlined and simplified procedures that are expected to save taxpayers between $73 million and $94 million, annually, by eliminating or consolidating several existing IRS forms. As a result, beginning Jan. 1, 2006, most individuals and businesses will be able to request a full six-month tax-filing extension, without a reason or even a signature.

Beginning with 2005 returns due in 2006, individuals will be able to use a single IRS form (Form 4868) to get an automatic six-month extension of time to file. This will replace the existing two-step process under which an automatic extension was only allowed for four months, generally until Aug. 15.  Extension procedures will also be streamlined for business taxpayers, thus eliminating three existing forms.

For more details, visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=150456,00.html.  Look for document IR-2005-131 dated Nov. 4, 2005.

Updated IRS Web Site

Meanwhile, a new and improved IRS.gov debuted this week with a fresh look, enhanced search capabilities and easy access to tools that help taxpayers and tax professionals.  An improved search function will allow for searches by Keyword or search term. The “Search” feature is more intuitive than formerly. It also provides easy access to the advanced search options and search tips. 

New features include a ”Most Requested Forms and Publications” section which highlights the top five most requested forms and publications across the IRS.gov Web site, based on documents that the public is requesting. This feature will help many users find their desired form with just one click.

The “Online Tools” section features several of the most frequently used online tools available on IRS.gov. From filing electronically to determining refund status, check this area for the tools that make taxpayers’ lives easier.  Click here to learn more about the IRS web site improvements.

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Standard Mileage Rates Change for 2006

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2006 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 44.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, other than activities related to Hurricane Katrina relief.

Click here for more details.

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Professional Development

AWI Winter CATE Week Close By and Comprehensive

Drive, motorcycle, hike, bicycle, fly. You asked for a centrally-located, regional seminar site with reasonable travel and lodging rates.  You’ll find it during AWI Career and Technology Education (CATE) Week, Feb. 21-25, 2006 in Charlotte, NC.

Register for one day, two days, three days, or the whole conference for the low tuition of $159 per person per day.

The state-of-the-art, Plain Sliced Select White Maple Harris Conference Center is located on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College.

The AWI Winter CATE program is within easy driving distance of 568 AWI member firms, and right next to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).  For more details, watch for your December issue of AWI NewsBriefs and the special CATE promotional material.  The comprehensive program is designed to deliver tools for you to increase your profits.

Learn more here.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

Check out the AWI chapters sponsoring important education programs in your area...Minnesota and New Jersey.

AWI New Jersey Chapter
When: Jan. 10, 2006
Program:  "Making QCP Work for You"
Speaker: Randy Estabrook, AWI Director of QCP
Contact:  John Hogan – call 732.356.7310 or e-mail jjestim@optonline.net

AWI Minnesota Chapter
When: Jan. 19, 2006
Program: Cost of Doing Business Survey
Speaker:  Rick Kogler (AWI President), Architectural Wood Products
Contact:  Rick Siewert at rws@siewertcabinet.com
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Safety Matters

2006 Renewing AWI Members Get New Safety Solutions CD

Compliance with OSHA safety standards is a priority for AWI’s members.  To see the free resources and e-tools that OSHA provides, go to:  http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/woodproducts/tech_woodworking.html .  For extraordinary resources dedicated to architectural woodworkers, look for your FREE copy of the NEW Safety Solutions when you renew your AWI membership for 2006.

Your AWI Insurance and Safety/Loss Control Committee says, “Safety Pays!” 
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Legislative News

Increased IRS Section 179 Deduction

Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows you to choose to deduct all or part of the cost of certain qualifying property in the year you place it in service. You can do this instead of recovering the cost by taking depreciation deductions over a specified recovery period. There are limits, however, on the amount you can deduct in a tax year.

You may be able to claim an increased section 179 deduction if your business qualifies as an “enterprise zone business.” The increase can be as much as $35,000. This increased section 179 deduction applies to “qualified zone property” you place in service in an empowerment zone. 

For more details visit http://www.irs.gov/publications/p954/ar02.html#d0e670.  Scroll down to “Increased Section 179 Deduction.”  The Small Business Legislative Council also has information at www.sblc.org

AWI has learned that the IRS Section 179 deduction was extended through Dec. 31, 2007, and that Congress is considering legislation that would give Section 179 another two year extension.  According to information obtained by AWI, the Senate version of the bill also allows a $200,000 bonus deduction due to damage in the Gulf States area resulting from Hurricane Katrina.  Aside from capital gains, small businesses also have the R7D tax credits available to them, provided detailed paperwork is submitted.

AWI cautions you to consult your tax accountant about these issues.
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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

The next edition of AWI e-briefs will be published on Jan. 5, 2006.   AWI extends warm Seasons Greetings to all e-briefs subscribers.  Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!
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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org


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