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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

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

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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.”

How Much Data Can QuickBooks Hold?

via QuickBooks Tip – How Much Data Can QuickBooks Hold?.

How much data can your QuickBooks company file hold before it becomes “stuffed”, overflowing like a file cabinet, and SLOW?  This is a very good question that most people don’t take into consideration — well because it’s software and should hold an unlimited amount of data.

QuickBooks Pro and Premier are designed for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees and annual revenues of less than $1 million per year, according to the latest information from the ProAdvisor certification study materials.  It is intended to store at least 2 years of detailed information in a company file – this allows you to compare your current business years performance with that of a previous year.

Quickbooks Enterprise is designed for larger businesses having 20-250 employees, needing up to 30 simultaneous users, stricter user access to financial information with 115 different permission settings, want to connect multiple locations, perhaps have remote workers, need to combine financial statements from multiple company files, and have more than $1 million in annual revenue.

How fast a QuickBooks file grows varies significantly from one company to another.  there is no “average” or “typical” company file size, since every business tracks different information.

How quickly a data file grows to “overflowing” will depend on the number of transactions that are entered, the amount of information entered per transaction, and the number of “links” per transaction.

For example, a company that enters 500 1-line invoices per month might find that their data file is smaller than another company that enters 100 5-line invoices per month.  Another example would be a company who usually receives 5 separate payments per invoice would have a larger data file than a company who receives one payment per invoice.

A good way to estimate the growth of your QuickBooks company file is to take the average number of monthly transactions (keeping in mind that an invoice, a payment and a deposit represent 3 separate transactions; while a bill and a bill payment represent 2 transactions), and multiply that by 2 KB to determine approximately how much your file will grow each month.  You can then take the monthly amount and multiply it by 12 to determine an estimated yearly data file size.

According to Intuit, QuickBooks can handle a maximum or 2 billion transactions, however, they do not state which version, (Pro, Premier, or Enterprise) this figure applies to.

In addition to estimated annual file growth and a maximum number of transaction that QuickBooks can handle, business owners must also take into consideration the maximum number of List items that QuickBooks can can accommodate.

The table below indicates the maximum number of items that can be held in individual and combines lists.

List Name
Maximum Number of Items
(Simple Start, Pro, Premier)

Maximum Number of Items
(Enterprise)

Chart of Accounts
10,000
10,000

Items, including Inventory Items
Group Items can contain 20 individual items
14,500
>100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 & earlier)

Job Types
10,000
10,000

Vendor Types
10,000
10,000

Customer Types
10,000
10,000

Payroll Items
10,000
10,000

Payroll Items per Employee Record
25
100

Price Levels
100
100

Classes
10,000
10,000

A/R & A/P Terms – TOTAL
10,000
29,000

Payment Methods
10,000
10,000

Shipping Methods
10,000
10,000

Customer Messages
10,000
10,000

Memorized Reports
14,500
29,000

Memorized Transactions
14,500
29,000

To Do Notes
10,000
10,000

Total Names – Employees, Customers,
Vendors, Unit of Measures and Other
Names – COMBINED
14,500
100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 and earlier)

Sales Reps
14,500
29,000

Sales Tax Codes
10,000
10,000

Billing Rate Levels
100
100

Fixed Asset Items
10,000
10,000

Ship Via
10,000
10,000

Templates
10,000
10,000

Units of Measure
10,000
10,000

Ship To Addresses
Unlimited (?)
Unlimited (?)

 

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.

Are You Ready to Turn Your Skill into a New Business?

Are you GREAT at what you do?  Do you have years of experience in a particular trade or field and are now an expert?  Maybe now you are thinking “Hey, I might start a business and make a living out of this.”  Your expertise and hard work are only half the battle.  Now comes the hard part.

Entrepreneurship can be a great source of income, pride and accomplishment.  It can also be quite challenging to run and maintain “the business side” of a business.  This is a common source of confusion and frustration for many new business owners, even for small, single owner operations and they often become sad statistics of startup failure.   It’s important to take steps to make sure you set yourself up to succeed from the beginning.

Here are some common snafu areas for many business owners which can make or break your new venture:

1.  The Business Plan – I know, I know.  You’ve heard it a million times but it’s all written down in your head.  Not only do you need one, you need to revisit it once a year and make sure that is consistent with helping you meet your objectives and goals.  I also recommend writing a “Vision Statement”, which is where you see yourself in 5 years, written in present tense.  For example:  We are the largest supplier of buttons in our metro area of _____ with revenues of_____ per year.  You get the idea. Only a concrete, well thought out goal can be obtained and be able to withstand any challenges.

2.  Taxes and Legal Compliance – Understanding your tax obligations and making sure you are in legal compliance is crucial.   From Federal to State level, there are income taxes, annual filings and reports (if you are incorporated), state Sales and Use Taxes, and Payroll Taxes just to name a few.  Even simple mistakes in any of these areas can lead to stiff penalties and fines, in some cases enough to force you to close your doors.  Even something seemingly as innocent as misclassifying an employee or contractor can have expensive consequences. Don’t get caught off-guard!  Consult an Accountant and/or an Attorney to plan your business, pick the right legal structure and get off to a good start.  You can also start with this FREE Virtual IRS Small business tax workshop available online, anytime.  Oh, and don’t forget about protecting yourself with good insurance!

2.  Accounting and Record Keeping – Not knowing where you stand financially is not only a common cause of business failure but frustration in general.   Having your data organized and keeping track of income and expenses can give you the tools you need to make decisions to steer your business in the right direction.  This will also help save you money at tax time by making sure you don’t miss any allowable deductions.  A good bookkeeping system can also help you with fraud detection and monitoring for theft (if you carry inventory).  This is definitely an area that you will want to hire a professional to help you with from the beginning.  If you weren’t an accountant before you started your business, you won’t be one after.  “Flying blind” will cost you far more in the long run than you’ll pay your bookkeeper.

4.  Marketing – Okay, so you’re awesome at what you do but who else knows it?  How will you reach new customers and let them know how awesome you are?  Have you taken into consideration an advertising budget to get your brand off the ground?  This is also an area where you may need to hire a marketing expert to help you.  With so many new online media streams to promote yourself, it’s important to have a brand or “image” and a consistent marketing message.  This could include everything from your business cards to your website (don’t even THINK about not having one), your social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook, etc.,  and your blog (like this one I am writing).  There are also many free and inexpensive ways to get customers which are time consuming but necessary.  Word of mouth referrals and good old face-to-face networking are tried and true methods to meet potential clients and build relationships.  Remember, business is personal and these contacts will be key to your long-term growth and success in surprising and unexpected ways.

5.  Pricing Services or Products Correctly – This is a tricky one because so many variables come into play.  Your costs, your volume, and your competition should all be considered when trying to get to that “sweet spot.”  A break-even analysis will be an invaluable tool in helping you understand what you need to charge for each item or service and how many you need to sell just to cover your costs.  You need to know if your pricing structure is both viable and sustainable.

6.  Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – Chances are that whatever your business model is, someone else is already out there doing it and doing it well.  Take some time to talk to some folks who are already in the field and learn from them.  If their business is successful, it’s because they are doing something right.  You can always add your own uniqueness or improve upon “tried and true” formulas to make it your own.  It’s also equally important to use this learning opportunity to figure out what NOT to do and avoid costly mistakes.

Hopefully, you  have been doing research about starting your own business and haven’t been scared off or deterred so far.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you are willing to accept that your dream of business ownership may come with some serious (but manageable) responsibilities, then you are on your way to having a successful future filled with unlimited possibilities.

New 1099-K Form Requirements start in 2011

December 31, 2010 1 comment

Starting in 2011, if your business processes credit cards as a form of payment, your credit card processor must issue you a form 1099-K for the gross amount received if you processed more than 200 payments AND for more than $20,000. This is also true for all online retailers including Ebay and Amazon sellers who use PayPal to process their transactions.

If you are an online seller and meet these thresholds, you are more than a “casual seller” and you may consider starting a business entity to protect your identity and for tracking your expenses to offset the revenue that will be reported on your 1099-K. It will be for the gross amount and will not include a reduction for their fees. 

If you feel this affects you, please get advice from your trusted accountant or qualified tax professional.

IRS Article: http://www.irs.gov/govt/fslg/article/0,,id=226894,00.html

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