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QuickBooks Training Workshop (Raleigh, NC) – Tues, May 8th 2012

http://qbworkshopmay2012.eventbrite.com/

Brush up on your QuickBooks skills or learn new ones! Join our Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for this interactive and informative QuickBooks training class. This will be a four hour “crash course” that will cover the basics and provide live working demonstrations so you can  quickly learn to use QuickBooks to manage your accounting data.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • Setting up your Company File and Chart of Accounts
  • Working with Lists, Items, and Classes
  • Customer Transactions: Sales Receipts, Invoicing, and Receiving Payments
  • Vendor Transactions: Writing Checks, Entering and Paying Bills
  • Recording Bank Deposits and Credit Card Transactions
  • Preparing and Understanding Reports

Additional content may be covered if time permits.  Every participant will receive a free training packet that will include step-by-step student lessons and other useful information for future reference and support.  Bringing your own laptop to follow along is optional but not required. Light Refreshments will be available.

Time: 1:00-5:00PM.  

Ticket Price: $99.00

Hurry, seating is limited!

Venue Info: Team Nimbus Center – 3801 Computer Dr.  Suite 101  Raleigh, NC 27609

Presented by: netWorth Bookkeeping & Payroll Services of Cary, NC – www.netWorthBookkeeping.com

216 E Chatham St, Suite 102, Cary, NC 27511

For more information: 919-249-6200 or info@netWorthBookkeeping.com

It’s almost tax time! Tips to Streamline Your Year-End Processes.

It’s December already and we wanted to provide some helpful reminders in order to help you streamline your year-end and tax return processes for 2011.

S-Corp Owners Health Insurance Reportable on W-2 – From the IRS: “Heath and accident insurance premiums paid on behalf of the greater than two percent S corporation shareholder-employee are deductible and reportable by the S corporation as wages for income tax withholding purposes on the shareholder-employee’s Form W-2. These benefits are not subject to Social Security or Medicare (FICA) or Unemployment (FUTA) taxes. The additional compensation is included in Box 1 (Wages) of the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, issued to the shareholder-employee, but would not be included in Boxes 3 and 5 of Form W-2.”

For more information, including information about sole shareholder/employee situations, please see: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=203100,00.html

NC County Business Property Tax Listings – “Any individual(s) or business(es) owning or possessing personal property used or connected with a business or other income producing purpose must file a county business property listing by January 31, 2012 unless an extension is filed.” For more information on registering for an account and to obtain forms for filing, please visit the following county Triangle, NC County websites as they apply to you.

Wake County – http://www.wakegov.com/tax/forms.htm
Durham County – http://www.co.durham.nc.us/departments/txad/Business_Personal_Property_Taxation.html
Orange County – http://www.co.orange.nc.us/assessor/BusinessPersonalProperty.asp

NC Employment Security Commission Notices – NC ESC will be sending out notices through the end of the year to address any changes in your unemployment insurance rate for 2012. Be sure to provide these to your payroll service provider to update their systems.

1099 Forms Due 01/31/12 – If you have paid or will pay subcontracted vendors more than $600 in non-employee compensation in tax year 2011, you will need to have a W-9 form on file for each of them in order to issue their 1099 form. The W-9 form will allow you to obtain the information needed to determine 1099 eligibility, their taxpayer ID number, and a current address for mailing. The deadline to submit 1099 forms to the taxpayer is January 31st and the deadline to submit to the IRS their copy is February 28th. Failure to file on time can result in penalties.

The W-9 form can be downloaded here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf.

Please also see the following IRS Publication http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf.

IRS Virtual Tax Workshop – If you would to obtain more information about your tax requirements, the IRS offers a free virtual workshop for small business owners and self-employed individuals at http://www.irsvideos.gov/virtualworkshop/

Three Tips for Employers Outsourcing Their Payroll

November 1, 2011 2 comments

Three Tips for Employers Outsourcing Their Payroll Special Edition Tax Tip 2011-05, September 2, 2011 via IRS.GOV

Outsourcing payroll duties to third-party service providers can streamline business operations, but the IRS reminds employers that they are ultimately responsible for paying federal tax liabilities. Recent prosecutions of individuals and companies who – acting under the guise of a payroll service provider – have stolen funds intended for payment of employment taxes makes it important that employers who outsource payroll are aware of the following three tips from the IRS:

Employer Responsibility – The employer is ultimately responsible for the deposit and payment of federal tax liabilities. Even though you forward the tax payments to the third party to make the tax deposits, you – the employer – are the responsible party.If the third party fails to make the federal tax payments, the IRS may assess penalties and interest. The employer is liable for all taxes, penalties and interest due. The IRS can also hold you personally liable for certain unpaid federal taxes.

Correspondence – If there are any issues with an account, the IRS will send correspondence to the address of record. The IRS strongly suggests you do not change the address of record to that of the payroll service provider. That could limit your ability to stay informed of tax matters involving your business.

EFTPS  – Choose a payroll service provider that uses the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You can register on the EFTPS system to get your own PIN to verify the payments.The IRS web site – http://www.irs.gov has more information on the responsibilities of employers outsourcing payroll, payroll service providers and EFTPS.

via Three Tips for Employers Outsourcing Their Payroll.

for more information about online payroll services: www.netWorthPayroll.com

Steps For Adding Payroll Services To Your Business

If your small business is growing, and it’s time to add an employee, you may be wondering just where to start to begin this process (our focus for this blog is NC because that’s where we are located, your state requirements may differ). Most of the time, your payroll service provider will give you a checklist and packet of forms to complete in order to add employees to your payroll. There are three major components that will be needed to set your company up for payroll services.

First, you will need a Federal EIN, otherwise known as an Employer Identification Number. You may have already received this when you started your business but if you are a sole proprietor, you may need to apply for a new number:

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97860,00.html

Secondly, you will need a State Withholding Tax Id Number. If you already collect and file Sales and Use Tax, the number will be the same and you just need to call the state and add withholding tax to that existing number.  To apply for a new NC withholding account number, you can apply online here:

http://www.dornc.com/electronic/registration/index.html

Third, you will need a new NC Unemployment Security Commission account number to collect and remit state unemployment insurance withholding:

https://www.ncesc1.com/business/web604/web604Main.asp

Now that the main peices for the employer portion are out of the way, let’s take a look at what forms the employees will need to provide in order to receive payroll wages. The employer must retain these documents for their records for each employee:

W-4 Form (Withholding Allowance)

I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)

NC-4 (State Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate)

In NC, employers must also provide New Hire Information to the state. A form can be mailed or you can report your new hires online at www.NCNewHires.com.

For more information about whether a worker is an Employee or Independent Contractor, see: Employee or Independent Contractor?

Contact netWorth Bookkeeping Services for more information about our  easy, affordable, online payroll services

President Obama Signs 1099 Repeal

via President Obama Signs 1099 Repeal | PropertyCasualty360

President Obama late Thursday signed into law legislation repealing the 1099 reporting provision enacted as part of the healthcare reform bill.

Several insurance industry trade groups issued statements lauding the president’s decision.

The bill is H.R. 4, the “Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.”

The repealed provision would have required all business entities to file a 1099 form with the Internal Revenue Service for each vendor for whom they have cumulative transactions of $600 or more. It would have gone into effect in January 2012.

The legislation also repeals an additional Form 1099 reporting requirement imposed on owners of rental real estate.

The 1099 provision was expected to contribute $19 billion toward paying for healthcare reform. The repeal legislation makes up the shortfall by making consumers repay all of their insurance subsidies under the healthcare law once their income rises beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty line.

House Democrats called that a tax increase on the middle class.

In signing the bill, President Obama said he looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to improve the tax credit policy in the legislation and is “eager to work with anyone with ideas about how we can make healthcare better or more affordable.”

Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), says, “With the repeal of this provision, small businesses can now worry a little less about Washington red tape and continue to focus on creating jobs and rebuilding our economy.

He adds that NAMIC hopes Congress and the president “will continue to look for ways to improve government regulation by removing needless burdens on American businesses.”

Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents  Brokers of America (IIABA), says, “In a strong show of bipartisan cooperation, the president and Congress have done the right thing by standing up for small businesses and repealing the 1099 reporting mandate.

“Our thousands of small business members and their clients will breathe easier knowing this ill-advised provision will not take effect.”

Are Unpaid Internships Legal?

With the down economy, many companies are looking to “hire” unpaid interns as a way to save money. I recently came across this article which explains the “do’s and don’t’s” of unpaid internships, which includes a link to the new federal criteria so I thought I’d share:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html

From the Article:

“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division.

Ms. Leppink said many employers failed to pay even though their internships did not comply with the six federal legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid. Among those criteria are that the internship should be similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s activities — in other words, it’s largely a benevolent contribution to the intern.”

The 6 Criteria:

• The training given in the internship must be similar to what would be given in an educational setting, or vocational school

• The training should be for the benefit of the trainee

• The trainee’s work not replace workers who are regularly paid

• The employer receives no immediate advantage from the trainees’ activities, and the employer’s operations may actually be impeded on occasion

• At the end of the training, the trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job

• Both the trainee and the employer understand that the trainee is not entitled to wages during the training period.

See Also: Compliance Assistance – Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

How Remote Services Can Help Save You Time and Money

Now more than ever, businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and operate more efficiently.  Some contracted services, such as bookkeeping and accounting, are outsourced to local professional firms or independent contractors in order to save the company the hassle and expense of hiring an internal employee.

Traditionally, these services have been provided “onsite” or at the place of business which requires additional time and/or mileage to be paid to the professional. Today, there are various resources and business applications that will allow services like these and even internal functions to be provided remotely from anywhere. With the cost of fuel rising once again, let’s explore some of the ways your business can have “remote” or “offsite” workers to help you grow your business while saving you time and money.

     

  • Online Banking Sign up with your bank to access your accounts, transfer funds, and pay your bills online from anywhere.  You can even link your QuickBooks accounting file to your banking account and download all of your transactions onto your ledger with the touch of a button.  Even those paper statements are becoming a thing of the past and your accountant can download them as needed to work on your books from anywhere.

  • QuickBooks Online Payments In addition to being able to download all of your daily transactions into your accounting software right from your bank account, you can now also accept customer payments via EFT every time you email an invoice. Simply register for this feature and your customers can click the link provided with the invoice and enter their routing and account information.  You receive your payment as an electronic deposit in a few days and only pay a small transaction fee of $0.50 each.  No more running to the bank to make deposits or tracking what payments apply to which invoice.  It’s VERY easy to use, free and convenient for the customer.  My clients love it!
  • Log Me In This service allows you to securely access any computer from anywhere.  Access files, work remotely, or transfer documents on your work computer when you’re not there.  Great for offsite workers and for peace of mind because you can always access your office computer.  For more info:  www.logmein.com
  • ShareFile A secure file transfer system that allows you and your customers to transfer files back and forth that are too large to email (like some QuickBooks files).  They even design the interface to match your website and color scheme.  Customer service is top notch and they are based right here in the Triangle area of NC!  www.ShareFile.com
  • Virtual Phone Number Not in the office? No Problem! Just get a “virtual phone number” to have one main number that is as mobile as you are. Each employee or contractor can have a unique extension that forwards to their cell phone or individual voice mail box.  The system can also forward your voice mails as an MP3 file to your email or transcribe it as a text message right to your phone. The best part? The cost for one business extension starts around $6 per month.  www.phone.com
  • CutePDF Your computer recognizes this nifty little FREE program the same as any other printer. Instead of printing your documents on paper, simply save as a PDF and archive it digitally.  It’s quick, easy to use, and you get to save trees and help our environment, too. www.cutePDF.com
  • Instant Messenger There are various free instant messenger programs out there such as Yahoo, AIM, Windows Live, and even Gmail.  Save on phone charges and stay in touch with remote employees and workers by instantly being able to communicate with them.  You can even set your status if you are busy, away from your desk, or on the phone.  A life saver when you just need information in a pinch!
  • Cloud Computing I’m sure you’ve heard this is all the rage as of late.  Actually, it’s been around for years just not with such a trendy name.  The “Cloud” is actually nothing more than “internet based applications” that allow you to store and access your data and software at an affordable price.  Instead of buying your own server which can cost thousands, you can simply “rent” server space and access your data and software applications over the web.
  • Online Payroll Services Payroll is one of those areas that causes a great deal of stress and forces a lot of business owners to be tied down to their payroll schedule. Enter the online payroll service! These simple to use, convenient web-based services allow you to process your payroll over the internet from anywhere.  Some of them (like the payroll service we offer) even pay your taxes and file all your Federal and State forms electronically so you don’t have to.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!
  • Online Accounting and Billing Software If you need to access your accounting data or bill your clients while you are on the go, consider moving to an online accounting or billing service.  There are many out there to choose from so do some research to see which meets your needs best. Some of the more popular ones are QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, Outright, and Kashoo.

These are all tools that you, your employees, and contractors can utilize to help save money, time, office space (save on rent!), paper, mileage, and our environment.  What are some ways your business uses to stay green, fast, and efficient?

Are NC Unemployment Insurance Policies Preventing New Hiring?

Recently, a client of mine was considering hiring a temporary employee to help out on a big job they had coming up.  They found the right person and were all set to move forward and hire the worker.  Everything was going well… until they realized that the worker was currently collecting unemployment benefits from being previously laid off from their last job.

What does that matter?  In the state of NC, there is a six month period that a person has to be employed in order to qualify for new unemployment benefits.  However, if a worker has an already established or open claim, and they are hired by a new company, there is no minimum time required before they are eligible to receive unemployment benefits from their “last employer” (even if it is a temp job).   That would mean that if my client were to hire this person temporarily, even for a week, when that job ended, that person could reopen their claim and it would be collected on THEIR unemployment insurance fund, not the employer they were originally collecting from before that.

Because my client is a new business, and has a small payroll that they just started, they have little money accrued in their unemployment insurance fund.  This situation would would have raised their rates and they would have had to keep paying that higher rate into the system to pay off the claim from this temporary worker for years.  Instead of being able to put an unemployed person to work, even if just for a few months, they were unable to hire this person, who is now just  still collecting benefits from their original unemployment claim.

This is a very unfortunate policy because there are millions of people that would love an opportunity to work, even a temporary job, which can lead to permanent employment in some situations.  Additionally, there is always the possibility a new employee won’t work out, even if they are hired permanently.  Employers are aware of the burden they take on when they hire someone who is currently collecting unemployment benefits and may be deterred from doing so.  The system that is designed to help unemployed workers is actually hurting their chances of being rehired by small businesses.  No wonder our state unemployment rate remains so high.

An individual who has established a claim, returned to work and become unemployed again during that one year period, may reopen an existing claim. For reopened claim purposes, the last employer is the one for whom the claimant most recently worked prior to reopening an existing claim, regardless of the duration of the job.

via ESC NC Business Services: UI Information – Claims.

1099-Misc Forms Explained

1099-Misc is a type of information return required by the IRS for income reporting purposes to track payments made to independent contractors. These are usually people who provide services to your business such as accounting, general construction contractors, service technicians, attorneys, landlords, etc. who are NOT employees of your business.   These payments may also include mileage reimbursements and materials provided.

According the IRS:

What is nonemployee compensation? If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as nonemployee compensation.

  • You made the payment to someone who is not your employee;
  • You made the payment for services in the course of your trade or business (including government agencies and nonprofit organizations);
  • You made the payment to an individual, partnership, estate, or, in some cases, a corporation; and
  • You made payments to the payee of at least $600 during the year.

The biggest challenge is making sure you know how to properly classify independent contractors and employees.   This will help avoid penalties for not withholding income tax from these payments if they are deemed to have been employees.

In order to determine tax payer status, ID information, and 1099 eligibility, you must obtain a FORM W-9 from each of your subcontract vendors.  It is a good policy to adopt that you do not issue payments to new vendors until you have their W-9 form on file.  That way, you will not be scrambling at year-end to get information such as their tax ID and address in order to process their 1099 forms or to know if they are exempt as a corporation.  1099 Forms are due to each recipient by January 31st and to the IRS (form 1096) by February 28th.

New Changes to the 1099-Misc Rules :

Few people are aware of new changes to the 1099 Rules that were passed with the Healthcare Reform Bill. Under the old rule, non-employee compensation for services that totaled more than $600 per year required having a 1099 form issued. Also, under the old rule Corporations were exempt so you wouldn’t have to issue a 1099 to PCs-R-Us, INC.  if they fixed your computer, for example.

The new rule states that beginning in 2012 payments that total $600 or more (at once or cumulative) made to ANYONE for ANYTHING, including corporations for services AND GOODS must be issued a 1099-misc form. You read that right! If you are a business, and you purchase more than $600 worth of supplies at Staples or Walmart, you will be required to issue them a 1099 form at year end.  There are currently attempts at repealing this provision which have so far, (as of this writing) have been unsuccessful.

The IRS has also created a new 1099-K form requirement which is already in effect for 2011.

There are actually many various 1099 forms for different types of payments and you should always consult with a qualified accountant or tax professional for specific help in this area for your business.  Feel free to contact us for more information.