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Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Hired someone recently?

If you have hired someone recently, you could be eligible for a tax credit as well as not having to pay the employer’s portion of the social security tax… first, this is just my own understanding, you should check with your tax adviser of course.

If you hired them after Feb 3, 2010 and before January 1, 2011 and they had not worked for more than 40 hours the previous 60 days, you may qualify for a tax break (this includes laid off employees) through the newly passed HIRE Act. Basically, you do not have to pay the 6.2% social security tax for the first 52 weeks they are employed by you and you could be eligible for a $1000 tax break on your federal tax return.

For more information about the HIRE Act, please follow the links below:
IRS Site – http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220326,00.html
Intuit Site – http://payroll.intuit.com/federal_hire_act/index.jsp?cid=social_payroll_prpay_landing_hire

If you have an employee that qualifies for this, they will need to complete a W11. A copy of the W-11 form can be obtained at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw11.pdf

It’s important to note that you cannot hire a relative and take the credit. I found a great write up from Taxgirl’s blog (always full of good info if you’re a business/accounting geek).

PostHeaderIcon Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes…

Okay, first, the random – I heard this morning from Twitter that Corey Haim died this morning, looks like it’s true, being reported by CBS as well as TMZ as of the time I’m writing this. So sad. The Coreys were my teenage crush. One of them was going go swoop down in my small town in South Carolina and take me to Hollywood to live with them where we’d live happily ever after. What? It could have happened! My thoughts are with his family, it appears to be an overdose. Sigh, they always are, aren’t they? So very sad.

Oh yeah, business blog… need to stop reliving my youth… heh.

I saw a post on Brad Farris’ blog this morning about the various budget crisis that are popping up again. I commented on my thoughts, but I really am sick of the waste that goes on. You’d think with that many supposed smart people running something, they could put together and stick to a workable budget. It’s ridiculous that they simply don’t.

Last night, a friend of mine (Hi, Dy!) and I were laughing because we got a letter in the mail this week. Do you want to know what that letter was for? That letter was from the Census Bureau to tell us that we were going to get another letter from them and to be on the look out for it. Yes, my friends, we got a letter telling us they were sending us a letter. I really wonder how many of those taxpayer dollars went to that. Could we, like, feed a starving kid or two instead? Really?

And then, there’s just the ridiculous. I saw an article this morning from The Austin American Statesman. Apparently some nosy neighbor down in South Austin decided to be a pain in the butt and reported a good number of their neighbors (like 50 of them) for random code violations. What are these heinous acts? Oh, they converted their garages to living spaces – TWENTY or more years ago. Oh, they added a professionally installed carport – TWENTY years ago. Seriously? And the people who issue the permits so the neighbors can try to stop being fined? Yeah, those people only work half days, apparently. Really, Austin, is this type of red tape necessary? There really should be some sort of statute of limitations or something. Completely ridiculous. Hopefully some local attorney with a big heart (yes, they do exist) or something will step in and help these people. It’s one thing if it’s a matter of filing for $123 permit that should’ve been done TWENTY years ago, but it’s another if you’re talking about widening a driveway or tearing down a usable carport!

My point? I don’t really have one. It was just one of those mornings that seemed to remind me that people really are crazy.

PostHeaderIcon Rollercoaster Rates for Mileage

The IRS announced the 2009 mileage rates on Monday.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates will be:

  • 55 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The new rates for business, medical and moving purposes are slightly lower than rates for the second half of 2008 that were raised by a special adjustment mid-year in response to a spike in gasoline prices.

For the short & sweet rundown, read the accountingweb summary.

For the long and governmental, get the details straight from the IRS.

PostHeaderIcon Gustav Buys Time

Residents and business owners in areas affected by Hurricane Gustav now have until January 5, 2009 to pay taxes due between September 1, 2008 & January 5, 2009. These include things like quarterly estimated taxes, extended tax returns, and more.

For full details, there’s a pretty good article at CNNMoney.com.

Oh, and yes, we are as flummoxed as the rest of the world by the Fannie/Freddie bailout. We’ll be posting on it later this week, we just want time do a little research.

PostHeaderIcon Bad Economy=Bad Time for the IRS

Americans are pretty much always disgruntled with the state of our ridiculously overcomplicated tax system and the agency that administers collection of it. Add a declining economy and, well, it’s getting ugly out there.

The latest? A Center Point, Alabama man tries to kill himself (?? the article is a little unclear on this point) by ramming his car into the Birmingham, Alabama IRS office.

PostHeaderIcon Tax Provisions in the New Housing Bill

The new housing bill signed by President Bush has a lot of tax provisions and changes in it. They are, quite honestly, over ~my~ head, so if you have questions ask Candy, or your tax attorney.

For accountingweb.com’s lowdown on the changes, read their handy cheatsheet/article here.

PostHeaderIcon New Form 990 Instructions Released

Last December we told you about the new Form 990 for tax exempt entities that was coming–effective in 2009 for filing 2008 taxes.

Now the IRS is telling folks how to fill it out when the time comes.

The IRS released instructions for the long form 990 today, and announced that instructions for the 990-EZ form will be coming soon. The need for separate instructions belies the form’s name in my mind (EZ?) but, I don’t work for the IRS…

The new forms are intended to make the operations of non-profit and tax exempt entities more transparent to the public, since their tax returns are public records.

PostHeaderIcon Tax-Friendly Places to Plant Your Business

As a virtual assistant I am particularly aware of how little affect geography can have on a business’ ability to survive and thrive. That said, where you base your business can impact how you conduct business.

If you’re thinking about opening a business, or thinking of moving one, check out KPMG’s 2008 Competitive Alternatives report.

For the short version, check out the accountingweb article about the report here.

PostHeaderIcon Wanna Talk Back to the IRS?

Now’s your chance!

The IRS released draft versions of several new tax forms last week and invited the public to comment on them. This isn’t the first time, either. The changes in the form drafts released this week were made to reflect comments made by the public when the initial drafts were posted for public comment in August 2007.

Read the rest of the accountingweb article here.

Or get it straight from the horse’s mouth here.

But if you have something to say, speak up quick! Public comments on the form drafts need to be directed to Judith.A.McNamara@irs.gov and must be sent by the 25th of August (8/25/08).

PostHeaderIcon Bargain Hunting for Dummies

Hunting for the lowest price is not always a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves a bargain, and had the bargain hunter in the article below succeeded, well, it would have been horrible. But he didn’t. So instead it is just disturbing and frankly, funny-sad that anyone would be (a) this vindictive and malicious & (b) this stupid.

Never bargain hunt for a hitman to take out your IRS auditor!