OffAssist

A Note from Candy

January 2016
Volume 20, Issue #1

Happy New Year! I always kind of chuckle when I hear “A new year, with a new slate” because it always feels like us bookkeepers are a month or quarter behind the rest of the world. January is an interesting month for us because clients are fired up and want to implement new things and move forward - out with the old, in with the new, right?

 

But…. we’re still dealing with the previous year. Filing 1099s and W2s, doing other quarterly and yearly reports and filings. My team have all been with me for years, as have many of our clients, so we’ve grown used to it. If you want to know why I always implement new changes in June… that’s why :)

 

Time is short for the poor overworked and overwhelmed bookkeepers in January. Give yours a hug. Or chocolate. Or wine. ;) See you guys in February!

 

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In this issue...

Article: Mileage Logs and 2016 Mileage Reimbursement

Tax Deadlines: February 22 through March 15, 2016

Spotlight: Monkey Town 6

Social Media Tip: Be Social

Humor: Next Year!

Article: Mileage Logs and 2016 Mileage Reimbursement

By Lanel Taylor

 

One task that is often burdensome to people is tracking mileage.  Most people want to take advantage of the mileage reimbursement/expense but it’s important to have records of your business trips to back any mileage you claim.  Even though it’s necessary many people fail to track mileage which can cause issues if you were to find yourself in an audit.  As a bookkeeper I have to admit I’m really bad at tracking my mileage which ends up hurting me because I lose out on that expense.  Recently I’ve been looking for an app that would help make this task a little easier.  I’ve tried a few but think I finally found the one I like:  TripLog (referral code:  http://trplg.co/51058).

 

TripLog is available on Android and iOS.  After a little (very simple) set-up the app works almost without you asking it to.  They offer a free version plus three upgraded levels that are very reasonable, starting at $10/year.  In the eight days I’ve been testing the app I’ve logged $117 in business mileage that (I’m embarrassed to admit) wouldn’t have tracked without that app.

 

As an employer you can add users to your account to track your employees mileage for reimbursements. There are IRS compliant reports that you can download and keep (the free version has limited reports, the paid versions have more options for customizable reports).  I’d suggest checking it out --- it’s some expenses you don’t want to miss.

 

The IRS has released the standard mileage reimbursement for 2016.  The rate went down this year to $0.54 per mile.  The following is from our January 2015 newsletter but is worth repeating.

 

We are often asked about paying more or less than the IRS rates, so here’s a quick answer.

 

What if I want to pay more than the standard rate?  Employers can reimburse employees any amount they choose however, only $0.54 per mile can be a tax-free
reimbursement.  Anything above the standard rate is taxable income to the
employee and subject to all employment taxes.

 

Do I have to pay the standard rate to my employees?
No, you can reimburse any amount you choose, the only restriction is the
max that can be reimbursed tax-free.

 

Tax Deadlines

2/2/2016 File Form 2290 - Heavy Highway Vehicles

2/2/2016 Furnish W-2s recipients

2/2/2016 Furnish 1099 MISC to recipients

2/2/2016 Furnish 1099 Interest to recipients

2/2/2016 Furnish 1099 Dividends to recipients

2/2/2016 4th Quarter Payroll Reports

2/2/2016 File Employers Annual Payroll Reports

2/2/2016 File Annual Payroll for Agricultural employees

2/2/2016 4th Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher

2/15/2016 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

3/1/2016 File W-3, W-2's with Social Security Admin

3/1/2016 File US transmittal of US information Returns

3/1/2016 Mortgage Interest file Form 1098s with IRS

3/15/2016 Foreign Persons US Income subject to withholdings

3/15/2016 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

 

 Spotlight: Monkey Town 6

A dining experience and movie experience like no other! Monkey Town 6 is a video cinema and dining installation from New York City that is in Austin for a 3-month period only. The show runs through February 7, 2016 only so make your plans fast.

The audience sits inside a massive 27 foot cube, watching a two-hour multi-channel video program, dining on 4 or 5-course menus from Chef Sonya Coté. After 10 years in New York, Monkey Town traveled to Denver in the spring of 2014 for a highly-praised 3-month run, and then to Barcelona in the spring of 2015.

 

Monkey Town is listed as Austin’s Best New Pop-up  by Thrillist, Best of 2015 and 10 Best Things To Do in Austin by USA Today.

 

Visit their website for more information or to purchase tickets: http://monkeytown6.com/

 

Social Media Tip: Be Social

By Carol Mikel

We’ve all heard about getting those “organic numbers” on the social media networks, which basically means reaching people without paying for post boosts or ads. The best way to increase your reach is to actually be social. Don’t just schedule your posts and walk away. Engage with your audience, show some personality. Don’t be afraid to be silly sometimes too. Chime in on other posts and like posts as your business page instead of your profile. Remember, social media is all about being social. Hence, the name….social media. 

 

Humor: Next year!

Why didn't I think of this in December?

 

Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip? Email candy@offassist.com.

The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the the coding talents of Next Level Digital Solutions.

 

This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2016

Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research, professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA or other professional.