Did You Collect the Needed W-9s?

Article Highlights:

  • The IRS Form W-9 is used to obtain independent contractors’ tax ID numbers.
  • Tax ID numbers are required when filing 1099s.
  • 1099-MISCs must be issued to independent contractors that are paid $600 or more during the year for performing services for a trade or business.

If you used independent contractors to perform services for your business or trade, and you paid them $600 or more for the year, you must issue them a Form 1099-MISC to get the deduction for their labor and expenses and avoid potential penalties.  (This requirement generally does not apply to payments made to a corporation. However, the corporation exception does not apply to payments made for attorney fees and for certain payments for medical or health care services.)

It is not uncommon to have a repairman come out early in the year, pay him less than $600, then use his services again later and have the total paid him for the year exceed the $600 limit.  If this happens, you may overlook the information needed to file 1099s for the year.  Therefore, it is good practice always to have individuals complete and sign the IRS Form W-9 the first time you use them.  This eliminates oversights and protects you against IRS penalties and conflicts.

Many small business owners and landlords overlook this requirement during the year, and only realize in January that they have not collected the required documentation to issue 1099s.

If you have not collected W-9s throughout the year, do so as soon as possible, so you will have them available when it comes time to prepare 1099s for the year. It is sometimes difficult to acquire contractor information after the fact, especially from those contractors with no intention of reporting the income, so it’s always better to get it up front.

Form W-9 provides entries for the contractor’s name, contact information and tax ID number.  It also includes a signature block for the contractor, certifying the information and insulating you against penalties if he or she provides an incorrect or phony ID number.

If you have questions or need copies of the Form W-9, please call this office.  This office can also assist you with your 1099 filing requirements in January.

Posted in Bookkeeping Tips, Business Tips, Cost-Savings Tips, Management Tips, Payroll Tips, Profitability Tips, Tax Tips, Tax-Planning Tips, Time Management Tips | Leave a comment

I Need Advice On . . .

IF you could wake up tomorrow morning and know every decision you made from that point forward was the right decision, do you suppose you’d want to put yourself in that position?  Well… OF COURSE YOU WOULD!

IF you had a question or concern AND you could call an expert in that area AND that expert could tell you what would happen if you did this OR what would happen if you did that, is it fair to say that conversation would help you make a good (or better) decision?

Have you ever wasted valuable time or lost sleep googling answers to any of the following topics?

■ Landlord/Tenant Disputes.  Crooked landlord. Hazardous home conditions. Tenant eviction issues.  Lease Agreements.

■ Consumer Finance.  Tax disputes and IRS audits.  Collection agency harassment and billing disputes.  Vehicle financing issues and pay day loans.  Collect monies owed to you.

■  Traffic.  Moving traffic or parking citations, driving record, driver’s license suspension.  Car accidents, personal injury and damages.

■ Estate Planning.  Preparation of Last Will & Testament, Living Will, POA and related documents.  Simple Trust, Special Needs Trust, Guardianship/Conservatorship.

■  Real Estate.  Real estate closing, construction, oil and gas, zoning permits.

■  Employment.  Wrongful termination.  Mistreated at work.

■ Family Law.  Divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, grandparent’s rights, paternity, alienation of affection, adoption, name change.

■  Civil Litigation.  What happens if I get sued?

■  Criminal Charges.  Can I afford a good attorney?

IF I told you that you could call an expert and say, “I need advice on (any of the above topics)…” and (s)he would call you back within 8 business hours, would you worry less?

IF I told you that you could call as many times as you wanted and not receive a bill, would you worry less?

IF I told you that we are a 45 year-old company that serves over 1.6 MILLION members throughout the 50 states and 4 provinces, would you worry less?

To obtain more information or to sign up for a monthly membership (that costs less than 60 cents a day!), please contact me at terri@kerezmancpa.com or call my office phone (574) 291.9367 to schedule a 15-minute presentation. I am confident once you understand the power of our services, you will wonder how you lived this long without it.

Posted in Estate Planning Tips, Legal, LegalShield, Profitability Tips, Tax Tips, Tax-Planning Tips, Time Management Tips | Leave a comment

Time is Running Out!

Extended Tax Due Date Just Around the Corner

Article Highlights:

  • Extended Due Date
  • Funding Retirement Plans
  • K-1 Due Dates
  • Late Filing Penalty
  • Interest on Amount Due

If you could not file your 2016 tax return by the normal April due date and requested an extension, be aware that the final due date for your tax return is October 16, 2017. The date is normally October 15, but that falls on a weekend this year, giving you an extra day to meet your individual tax-filing obligation. There are no additional extensions, so this is it!

Even though you have until October 16, you need to be thinking about getting the return completed in advance of the actual due date. Preparing a return takes time, and last-minute issues may need to be resolved before the return is ready to file. In addition, between 10% and 15% of all tax returns are on extension, creating a rush for this office as many people file at once.

If you are self-employed, October 16 is also the final date when you can fund your existing self-employed retirement plan or establish a new one; without completing your return, there is no way to determine how much you can (or want to) contribute to that retirement plan.

The extended deadline for K-1s from partnerships, S-corporations, or fiduciary returns to be sent out was September 15, so if you have not received that information yet, you should make inquiries.

Extended individual federal returns are subject to a penalty of 5% of the tax due for each month (or part of a month) for which the return is not filed by the October 16 due date, with a maximum penalty of 25% of the tax due. In addition, if you end up owing taxes, the IRS will charge you interest on any tax due, going all the way back to the original April due date. If do not file a required state return and do owe state taxes, the state will also charge a late filing penalty and interest.

If this office is waiting for you to supply missing information to complete your return, we will need that information NOW! Please call this office immediately if you anticipate complications related to providing the needed information so that we can determine a course of action for avoiding potential penalties.

Posted in Retirement Planning, Tax Tips, Tax-Planning Tips | Leave a comment

Equifax Data Breach and Identity Theft Solutions

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that 143,000,000 people (nearly half of the US population) had their identities compromised between May and July of this year. Stolen information included names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers. 

As a CPA and Certified Small Business and Employee Benefit Specialist, I want to let you know there are steps you can take to educate yourself about the Equifax data breach and subsequent debacle.

  1. Get your FREE credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Ensure that your credit information is correct and up-to-date.
  2. Go to the Equifax link below to check your breach status.  It requires you to enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number. (I am guessing you have been impacted by this data breach.) www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/am-i-impacted/.
    1. Equifax is offering its own product called TrustedID as a solution to the most significant identity theft breach our country has ever seen. It is a bare bones breach product that will monitor your credit for free for 1 year.
    2. If someone initially enrolled with TrustedID, they unknowingly gave up their legal rights. Immediate public pressure has forced a change in this policy to better benefit the victim.
  3. Watch this short video where Morgan Wright, US State Department, Senior Anti-Terrorism Advisor, provides tips on what consumers can do to pro-actively protect themselves if they think their personal information was compromised from Equifax’s data breach.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/08/antiterrorism-advisor-how-to-protect-yourself-from-equifaxs-data-breach.html

  1. My team is doing an encore LIVE teleconference on Equifax and identity theft solutions on Thursday, September 28, 2017 between 8pm – 9pm EST.  Dial in for a 15-20 minute segment any time during the hour, but stay as long as you’d like.  The phone number is 712-770-4010, 160591#.

These past few weeks have been stressful for many of you, knowing that your personal information will be bought, sold and traded for years to come, as your name, social security number, driver’s license and birthdate are very valuable and they DO NOT EXPIRE! You may have realized that no matter how careful you are with your personal information, it is beyond your ability to protect your identity on your own. THAT IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN!

But, you do NOT have to go it alone! Get on the call tomorrow to educate yourself, and check out the identity theft protection plans available [COMPETITIVE COMPARISONS]. You will discover that IDShield is THE best identity theft solution for THE best price.

Posted in Identity Theft | Leave a comment

Equifax Survivors

By now, I am sure you are aware we have experienced one of the most significant identity theft breaches our country has ever seen.  Stolen information includes names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.  This type of information has no expiration date and will affect you and your family members for a lifetime.

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that 143 million people had their identities compromised between May and July of this year.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if you have a credit report, there’s a “good chance” you’re one of the 143 million Americans impacted.

Even though the Equifax data breach may be the largest data breach on record, it definitely is NOT the only data breach on record.  The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports 1,091 cases in 2016 and 1,002 cases in the first half of 2017 ALONE!  This Equifax data breach is just a harsh reminder that forces beyond our control can lead to the exposure of our personal information AND that everyone needs identity theft protection.

In response to the Equifax data breach, Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring.  However, please know the solution Equifax is offering is their own product called TrustedID.  Can you trust Equifax to provide minimum credit monitoring for free if they couldn’t protect your sensitive records in the first place? I highly recommend you DO NOT enroll with TrustedID, as it may give you a false sense of security.

In the following short video, Morgan Wright, US State Department, Senior Anti-Terrorism Advisor, talks about the significance of this breach, why you shouldn’t use TrustedID, and why he has selected IDShield (the service we provide) as the service of choice to handle identity theft.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/08/antiterrorism-advisor-how-to-protect-yourself-from-equifaxs-data-breach.html

This is a stressful time for many of you knowing that your personal information will be bought, sold and traded, but we’re here to help.  Our members have access to our dedicated and experienced licensed private investigators to ask questions and get help if they become victims of fraud.  Our members also have pro-active credit monitoring through EXPERIAN (NOT Equifax!) and are alerted if there are any changes to their credit report.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Here are steps ANYONE can take to provide an extra layer of security:

  • Set up a FRAUD alert with one of the main bureaus. If you place the alert with 1 bureau, it will ensure it’s placed with the other bureaus as well.
  • Be diligent with your information. Don’t give out your personal information.
  • Change your passwords. (IDShield Members can use IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password.)
  • If you don’t have IDShield yet, this is a great time to sign up for comprehensive identity protection with full service, white-glove restoration.

With over 2,000 data breach cases documented in the past 1 1/2 years, together with the largest known data breach in US history revealed to us just 2 weeks ago, isn’t it reasonable to believe pieces of your personal identity may have been exposed?  If your stolen data is used to get a fake ID, file a false tax return, or commit a crime, it could take up to 18 months or more to resolve, and you may need to take time off from work to deal with this issue.

Be proactive! Protect you and your family with IDShield, a comprehensive identity theft plan that provides access to licensed private investigators, credit monitoring, social media monitoring and more for as little as $9.95 a month.  Visit www.kerezman.com for additional information and to enroll TODAY!  Text me at (574) 215.5505 if you are interested in offering identity theft protection to employee groups at discounted rates.

Posted in Cost-Savings Tips, Identity Theft | Leave a comment

Google Pizza ID Theft

Hello! Is this Gino’s Pizza?

No sir – it’s Google Pizza.

I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.

No sir – Google bought Gino’s Pizza last month.

OK. I would like to order a pizza.

Do you want your usual, sir?

My usual – you know me?

According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses – sausage – pepperoni – mushrooms and meat balls on a thick crust.

OK – that’s what I want .

May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta – arugula – sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat, gluten free, thin crust?

What? I detest vegetables.

Your cholesterol is not good, sir.

How the hell do you know?

Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records.  We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.

Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza!  I already take medication for my cholesterol.

Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drugsale Network, 4 months ago.

I bought more from another drugstore.

That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.

I paid in cash.

But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.

I have other sources of cash.

That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.

WHAT THE HECK? ! ! ! !

I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.

Enough already! I’m sick to death of Google – Facebook – Twitter – WhatsApp and all the others!!

I’m going to an island without internet – cable TV – where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me !!

I understand sir – but you need to renew your passport first.  It expired 6 weeks ago.

Posted in Identity Theft | Leave a comment

Why Should You Take The 2017 Roadcheck Seriously?

ROADCHECK 2017
The CVSA’s Annual International Roadcheck Inspection blitz will be held on June 6-8, 2017. Although CARGO SECUREMENT will be the main point of emphasis for inspectors this year, drivers must be ready for a Level 1 Inspection.

LEVEL 1 INSPECTION
Inspectors will primarily be conducting the Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection.  It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

CARGO SECUREMENT
The 5 top load securement violations are as follows:

  1. Failure to prevent shifting/loss of load
  2. Failure to secure truck equipment (tarps, dunnage, doors, tailgates, spare tires, etc)
  3. Damaged tie-downs
  4. Insufficient tie-downs
  5. Loose tie-downs

ROADCHECK 2016
Here are some numbers that might interest you from Roadcheck 2016:

  • 62,796 trucks were stopped and inspected
  • 42,236 Level 1 inspections were conducted (67% of all inspections)
  • 9,080 trucks were found with Out-of-Service (OOS) vehicle violations
  • 1,436 drivers were placed Out-of-Service due to critical item violations. The top driver out-of-service violations were for hours of service and false logs.

The CVSA says an average of 15 trucks and buses are inspected EVERY MINUTE across North America during this 72-hour event.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE INSPECTION AND DO YOU HAVE LEGAL COVERAGE IN PLACE? Please contact me before MAY 26 if you want complete coverage before this year’s Roadcheck Inspection Blitz!

Posted in CDL Drivers, Legal | Leave a comment

Are You Missing a W-2?

Article Highlights:

  • Employers have until Jan. 31, 2017, to provide 2016 W-2s to employees.
  • Steps to take when W-2 has not arrived by scheduled tax appointment.
  • Contact employer if W-2 is not received, then IRS if it is still missing after Feb. 15, 2017.
  • How to proceed if W-2 is still missing by the return due date.

Have you received all of your W-2s? These documents are essential for completing individual tax returns. You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from all of your employers each year. Employers have until January 31 to provide or send you a 2016 W-2 earnings statement, either electronically or in paper form. If you have not received your W-2, follow these steps:

  1. Contact This Office – If your appointment is in the near future, you will be advised whether to keep the appointment or change it to another time. Generally, when a W-2 or 1099 is missing, it is best to keep the appointment so that everything else for the return can be completed. You can then mail the missing document to the office or drop it off at a later date. That way, your return can be finished as soon as the W-2 or 1099 is available, which will speed up your refund, if you are receiving one.
  2. Contact Your Employer – Contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer due to an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for the employer to resend or re-issue the W-2.
  3. Contact the IRS – If you still have not received your W-2 by February 15, you can contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. However, we recommend that you hold off from contacting the IRS until you are certain that you will not be receiving a W-2 from the employer. If you do call the IRS, have the following information on hand:
  • Employer’s name, address, city, and state, including zip code;
  • Your name, address, city, state, zip code, and Social Security number; and
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the period in which you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub, or your leave-and-earnings statement (LES), if possible. This office can assist you with making the estimate.
  1. File Your Return – Even if you don’t receive a W-2, you are still required to file your tax return or to request a filing extension by April 15.
  • If you anticipate that you will ultimately receive the missing W-2, this office can estimate your 2016 tax liability and file extensions for you. If you have a substantial refund coming, you may opt to have this office prepare a substitute W-2, enabling you to file without the W-2. Refunds for returns that include substitute W-2s can be delayed significantly while the IRS verifies the W-2 information.
  • If you don’t anticipate receiving the missing W-2, then this office can prepare a substitute W-2, enabling you to file your 2016 tax return.

If a substitute W-2 is used and it is later determined that the information used to prepare the substitute W-2 was in error, an amended return may need to be prepared for you to file with the IRS and state tax agency, if applicable.

Please call this office if you have questions or need assistance about missing W-2s, 1099s, or other tax documents.

Posted in Tax Tips, Tax-Planning Tips | Leave a comment

3 AWESOME Reasons to Execute Your Will TODAY

A Will is an official written expression of your wishes concerning many things to be carried out following your death.  With a properly executed Will, YOU name the Executor and his/her duties, YOU decide who takes care of your children, and YOU select those who are to receive your assets.  If you die WITHOUT a Will, the STATE makes these decisions for you.last-will-gift

Leaving a Last Will & Testament for your family is one of the BEST GIFTS you can give them. If you have always intended to, but not yet completed your Last Will & Testament, then I have a GIFT for YOU!

  1. A Will allows you to pick your Executor. Without a Will, the State will assign someone to take care of your children, your possessions, and your business.  This person will most likely request a fee, leaving less to distribute to your family.
  2. A Will allows a parent to transfer guardianship of minors to trusted friends or loved ones.  Without a Will, the State could place your minor children in temporary foster care.
  3. A Will allows you to spell out who gets your stuff.  Without a Will, the State determines who gets your stuff.

For more information, contact me to schedule a private presentation.  Enroll in January to take advantage of our FREE WILL PREPARATION BENEFIT, as well as receive a FREE $10 gas card.

Posted in Estate Planning Tips, Legal | Leave a comment

Are You in Compliance with your Multi-State Income Tax Filings?

Are You In Compliance With Your Multi-State Income Tax Filings?

Article Highlights:

  • Individuals with Multi-State Income
  • Businesses with Nexus In Multiple States
  • Federal Law PL 86-272
  • Dual Taxationusa

We all know that we must file individual and business entity federal tax returns when specified income thresholds are met, and we will also need to file a return for our resident state if it has an individual or business entity income tax filing requirement.

But what may be overlooked is the possible requirement to file returns in other states as well. This can happen in a variety of situations. Here are some examples for individuals:

  • If they earned wages in another state.
  • If they have rental property in another state.
  • If they receive gas or oil royalties from another state.
  • If they are a partner in a partnership or stockholder in an S corporation doing business in another state.

Generally, investment income, such as income from interest and dividends, is taxable to a taxpayer’s state of residence only and does not require multi-state filings.

Business entities can also be subject to state taxes in multiple states and to filing requirements in states where they have nexus. Although nexus is defined on a state-by-state basis, certain activities or conditions indicate when nexus exists. Nexus is generally present in the following situations:

  • Incorporation within a state
  • Having legal domicile within a state
  • Having a principal place of business within a state
  • Having an office or other facility within a state
  • Employment of capital or property within a state
  • Providing services within a state
  • Solicitation of business from within a state

Federal Law PL 86-272, enacted in 1959, blocks the various states from claiming nexus if the only contact within a state is the employment of salespersons or independent contractors whose only purpose is to solicit sales of tangible personal property for out-of-state approval and fulfillment.  This exception is very narrow and limits the activities of the salesperson or contractor; it doesn’t apply to solicitations for the sale of real estate, services or intangible property. All decisions and customer support must be handled outside the state or states in which the salesperson works.

Many states are extremely aggressive in their interpretation of nexus, often leading to confrontations with state tax authorities.  It is relatively easy for states to find delinquent tax filers by matching payroll, sales or property tax forms against required income tax filings.

If you have questions about the information providing here, please give this office a call.

Posted in Tax-Planning Tips | Leave a comment