These are going to be interesting times for sure. It would be great if we could see some tax relief for the middle class and the working poor especially. The working poor pay the highest percentage of their income in tax. I can’t wait to see what the next four years bring, but if tax relief is achieved without losing essential services, I will be happy.
Good news for many small businesses who were going to be penalized under the affordable care act.
The House passed a bill yesterday exempting from penalties certain small business employers who offer qualified Health Reimbursement Accounts. It now heads to the Senate. This would be a game changer for some small employers offering relief from stipulations related to the Affordable Care Act.
Today is the Day…Support your local, independent businesses by shopping Small Business Saturday.
You will be surprised at the unique, creative, treasures you can find at your local gift, clothing, art store. Get out of the rut of shopping the mega-stores, the large, nationally owned chains with the same old expected fare. Shop local, support your community directly. Get out, walk the neighborhood shopping blocs. It is a gorgeous day here in Denver….get out and enjoy it while you give your local businesses a shot in the arm to ensure that we have these alternatives to the large store options.
My firm recently attended the QuickBooks Connect conference in San Jose, Ca and were amazed at the advancements of QuickBooks Online and the Apps that have been developed around the online bookkeeping product.
The winner of the App contest was “Share a Refund” which is a company that audits your shipping invoices and processes a refund for all of the shipping bills that we incorrectly billed on ones that are due a refund due to late delivery or other issues. There is no upfront fee, they simply process for your refund and keep 1/2 of the refunds they are successful with.
If you spend a significant amount of money on shipping, you will definitely want to check out this product. Below is information from their website and a YouTube video about Share a Refund.
Automatic refund credits.
UPS and FedEx give customers a full-refund on shipping costs when a shipment is delivered late, unshipped or misbilled. The catch is that these refunds are not automatic. Each shipment must be audited and a claim filed when a refund is due. A process that is both complicated and time-intensive. Share a Refund is here to help.
Share a Refund gets all of the refund credits available within FedEx and UPS accounts. A comprehensive, 40-point audit is performed on each shipment, and actions are immediately taken to secure 100% of the refund credits available.
Think of Share a Refund like auto-correct for FedEx and UPS shipping invoices, checking for late shipments and billing mistakes. When mistakes are found, claims are filed and refunds are secured back to your shipping accounts automatically. All work is done for a split of the savings delivered, hence the name: Share a Refund.
Small Business Saturday is the day to support your local, independent retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday usually benefit the large mega stores and online retailers, but Small Business Saturday is a way of ensuring that your dollars are kept in your local community, benefiting the small stores that make our neighborhoods interesting and engaging.
After the feast with the family, after the craziness of Black Friday and before you spend more than you intended on Cyber Monday, get to your local shopping community and see the treasures that they offer that are different than anything you can get at a Mega Store.
Here in Denver, walk Antique row on S. Broadway, visit S. Pearl and S. Gaylord with their unique stores and restaurants, walk the 16th Street Mall…you will find unique, affordable, one of a kind gifts that are more creative and interesting than the typical Black Friday or Cyber Monday offerings and you help grow your community, ensure we continue to have these unique stores and keep the revenue in your neighborhood. It is the small businesses and restaurants that are the fabric of our communities and give us a reason to leave the house and walk around.
Break the pattern of buying the same old, same old stuff from Costco, Walmart and Amazon….shop local…at least this one Saturday of the holiday season.
In an effort to combat fraud, The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December. The act revises the filing deadline for Form W-2 and certain types of Form 1099.
Until now, employers had two dates to keep in mind when remitting W-2’s:
January 31, to provide employee copies, and
February 28, for paper filings submitted to the Social Security Administration (March 31 for electronic filings)
Beginning with 2016 forms, employers will now have one filing deadline for all Federal W-2s, January 31. This is true for both employee and agency copies, or whether filing paper or electronic returns.
What about Form 1099-Misc? The new January 31 deadline applies to certain types of 1099s. If you’re filing Form 1099-Misc and reporting amounts in Box 7: Nonemployee Compensation, then you will need to meet the new filing deadline of January 31.
If you don’t have amounts in Box 7, then the deadline remains February 28 for paper filings or March 31 for electronic filings.
Impact for Employers
With this new deadline, it’s important that employers be well prepared to complete year-end tasks. This means:
Verifying accuracy of employee information
Reporting/submitting any year-end adjustments as soon as possible
Reviewing year-end totals for any discrepancies
If you need to make corrections after sending your file to the Social Security Administration, you can do so by filing Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement.
Impact on State W-2 filings
Many states have also adopted the Federal change the new deadline of January 31, beginning with the upcoming filings for 2016 Form W-2.
Don’t forget to finalize your extended personal income tax returns by October 15th. If you extended to fund a self-employed retirement fund like a SEP, you must make the contribution by October 15th and then file your return by that due date as well.
Fall is a great time to consider tax planning and preparing for 2017 with a better plan on how to manage your finances and taxes. If you have not fully funded your 401(k) for 2016, consider increasing your voluntary contributions during the last quarter of the year to get the tax advantage of retirement savings.
Consider changing how you spend money during the holidays and go with a more simple approach, save the money you normally spend for more important, long term goals.
Fund your HSA, fund your children’s college fund using a tax advantageous Colorado 529 plan (or the plan for your state if you do not live in beautiful Colorado)
Take control of your finances, re-evaluate your long term goals, connect with what is really important to your family’s future and cut down on that impulse spending to increase your chances of reaching bigger goals that getting that Starbucks fix today!