Love these tax quotes! (had to share from a great Forbes article)

Posted December 4th, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Individual Taxes, Small Business Tax & Accounting

“For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”–Winston Churchill

“Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.”–Herman Wouk

“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money.”–Arthur Godfrey

“A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”–G. Gordon Liddy

“The taxpayer: that’s someone who works for the federal government, but doesn’t have to take a civil service examination.”– Ronald Reagan

“The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.”–Barry Goldwater

“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.”–Calvin Coolidge

“This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher. The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”–Albert Einstein

“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”–Will Rogers

“In 1790, the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren’t much happier about taxation with representation.”–Lyndon B. Johnson

“Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?”–Peg Bracken

“You must pay taxes. But there’s no law that says you gotta leave a tip.”–Morgan Stanley advertisement

Upcoming QuickBooks Classes at CMC

Posted November 6th, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in QuickBooks, Small Business Tax & Accounting
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I’ll be teaching 3 QuickBooks classes at Colorado Mountain College in December.  If you or your staff needs to learn, improve or master QuickBooks, there’s a class or two for you!  Classes will be held from 4 – 6:50 at the CMC campus in Dillon.  Beginner class will be 12/3, Intermediate on 12/10, and Advanced on 12/17.  Call 970-468-5989…cost is $99 for the series of 3, or $40 each.  See you there!

Introducing the People Resource Center

Posted July 9th, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Small Business Tax & Accounting

My colleague and her team just launched a great new HR resource, the People Resource Center at www.link2prc.com.

What type of questions can our human resource experts help you with?

  • New and Pending Employment Regulations
  • Investigations
  • Discrimination and Harassment Concerns
  • Employee Handbook Policy Issues
  • Reductions in Force and Lay-Offs
  • Time and Attendance Issues
  • Overtime Pay and Exemption Status
  • Leave Management
  • I-9s & Immigration
  • Documentation
  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Orientation
  • Employee Relations
  • Performance Management
  • Retention and Rewards
  • Discipline and Discharge
  • Benefits and COBRA Issues
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Wellness in the Workplace

People Resource Consultants are:

  • Certified Human Resource Professionals or Employment Attorney’s.
  • Human Resource consultants with more than 15 years of experience
    each.

HR professionals are available by phone or email to answer questions, provide advice and consult on all areas of HR management.

Call  877-218-3390 or email prc@symmetryconsult.com with your questions, and let them know that Knight Accounting & Technology sent you!

Knight Acctg & Technology posted on CNN Money!

Posted March 9th, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Individual Taxes, Small Business Tax & Accounting

Check out slide 12 of 14…last year I was in the Wall Street Journal, now I’m quoted on CNN Money!  I may not have aspirations to see my name in lights, but I can’t get enough of seeing it in print!

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/pf/taxes/1203/gallery.wacky-tax-deductions/12.html

 

Do You Know the Rules for Independent Contractor vs. Employee?

Posted February 17th, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Not for Profit, Small Business Tax & Accounting
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There is a great webinar on February 28 to help small business and non-profit executive directors understand the difference.  It’s worth your time, so please read on!

Employee or independent contractor? That’s the million-dollar question-literally-facing many employers these days:

  • Classifying workers as contractors can be very tricky – especially since the IRS, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII, and state-level regulations all define “contractors” in different ways.
  • U.S. Labor and Treasury regulators just announced a huge new enforcement campaign, hiring more inspectors and giving grants to states to pursue employers that misclassify contractors.
  • If you incorrectly designate an employee as a contractor (even if it’s an honest mistake), you’ll face costly penalties and back-tax claims.

Learn the latest strategies for correctly classifying and managing independent contractors with this webinar recording, as our expert speaker explains how to avoid the biggest mistakes employers make with contractors,.

Plus, you’ll learn:

  • The most current federal and state tests used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor
  • The safest ways to correct contractor misclassifications (without triggering a legal claim in the process)
  • What steps you should follow to sever your relationship with any contractor
  • Best practices for dealing with special contractor issues such as workers’ compensation claims and the use of temporary employees 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (PST)
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (MST)
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (CST)
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. (EST)

 How Do Webinars Work?

A webinar is remarkably cost-effective and convenient. You participate from your office, using your computer with an Internet connection and speakers. You have no travel costs and no out-of-office time. Plus, for one low price, you can get as many people in your office to participate as you can fit around a speakerphone and a computer screen. Because the conference is live, you can ask the speakers questions – either on the phone or via the webinar interface.

You will receive access instructions via e-mail three days before the event and the morning of the event. Your conference materials will be included in these emails for you to view, print, and download prior to the event. They are also available on the webinar interface when you log in.

 The cost of the webinar is $25. If you are unable to join the webinar on January 24th, you may purchase recordings of the webinar for $100. To enroll in the class email webinars@symmetryconsult.com. Include a contact name and phone number. Someone will contact you to get payment information.

About your Speaker:

Karolynn Humberd St-Pierre is a top HR Consultant, Author of “The Small Business Human Resource Bible”, Small Business Advisor and business owner who knows how to help the small business remain compliant with state and federal employment guidelines.  

In 2009 Ms. St-Pierre founded Symmetry Consulting, LLC – www.symmetryconsult.com.  Symmetry Consulting partners with their clients so they can focus on their bottom line and growing their business while Symmetry manages the sometimes confusing HR functions and labor law compliance tasks. 

Prior to founding Symmetry Consulting, LLC, Ms. St-Pierre spent 15 years working for some the largest human resource consulting companies providing advice to Fortune 500 companies including:  Microsoft, Coors, Target and Ford.

HR Webinars Start Tomorrow

Posted January 23rd, 2012 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Small Business Tax & Accounting

My colleague, Karolynn St-Pierre, is a phenominal HR expert and is starting a series of webinars tomorrow.  Her first webinar is about How to Hire & Fire Employees, followed by Employee vs. Contractor, Performance Review Blues, Comepsnation Strategies, Benefits, Management Employees, and Documentation in future months.  If you have employees in your business, I highly recommend that you take advantage of these training sessions.

Visit her website for more details and to sign up: http://www.symmetryconsult.com/webinars.html

This is BIG! IRS Announces Payroll Tax Relief on Misclassified Employees.

Posted September 23rd, 2011 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Small Business Tax & Accounting

IRS Announces New Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program;
Past Payroll Tax Relief Provided to Employers
Who Reclassify Their Workers as Employees

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today launched a new program that will enable many employers to resolve past worker classification issues and achieve certainty under the tax law at a low cost by voluntarily reclassifying their workers.

This new program will allow employers the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit.

This is part of a larger “Fresh Start” initiative at the IRS to help taxpayers and businesses address their tax responsibilities.

“This settlement program provides certainty and relief to employers in an important area,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This is part of a wider effort to help taxpayers and businesses to help give them a fresh start with their tax obligations.”

The new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is designed to increase tax compliance and reduce burden for employers by providing greater certainty for employers, workers and the government. Under the program, eligible employers can obtain substantial relief from federal payroll taxes they may have owed for the past, if they prospectively treat workers as employees. The VCSP is available to many businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government entities that currently erroneously treat their workers or a class or group of workers as nonemployees or independent contractors, and now want to correctly treat these workers as employees. 

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • • Consistently have treated the workers in the past as nonemployees,
  • • Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years
  • • Not currently be under audit by the IRS, the Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers

Interested employers can apply for the program by filing Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, at least 60 days before they want to begin treating the workers as employees.

Employers accepted into the program will pay an amount effectively equaling just over one percent of the wages paid to the reclassified workers for the past year. No interest or penalties will be due, and the employers will not be audited on payroll taxes related to these workers for prior years. Participating employers will, for the first three years under the program, be subject to a special six-year statute of limitations, rather than the usual three years that generally applies to payroll taxes.

Full details, including FAQs, are available on the Employment Tax pages of IRS.gov, and in Announcement 2011-64, posted today.

New 2011 Mileage Rates Announced Today

Posted June 23rd, 2011 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Individual Taxes, Small Business Tax & Accounting

Good news for taxpayers, bad news for tax preparers…the IRS announced a new mileage rate to take effect July 1, 2011.  The rates will jump as follows:

Business Mileage – from 51 cents to 55.5 cents
Medical/Moving Mileage – from 19 cents to 24.5 cents
Charitable Mileage remains the same at 14 cents

These new rates refelct the increased gas prices this year,  but it means that small business owners ABSOLUTELY must track their mileage on a regular basis in order to properly classify their mileage and be able to take advantage of the increased mileage rates.

Unemployment Insurance Assessment on the Way

Posted May 9th, 2011 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Small Business Tax & Accounting

Are you an employer in Colorado?  Be watching your mailbox in June or July, because an assessment is on it’s way.   Colorado employers pay premiums into the Colorado Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to pay for unemployment benefits. The recent economic downturn caused an unprecedented demand for unemployment benefits in Colorado and across the country. In January 2010, Colorado joined 30 other states in borrowing money from the federal government so that we could continue to pay unemployment benefits from the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  Unless Congress acts, by law, certain experience-rated employers must make an annual interest payment on borrowed money from the federal government (see the Colorado Employment Security Act 8-77-103). All active, experience-rated employers must share in the repayment of the federal loan interest, so when you get an assessment bill, please don’t think it’s junk mail and throw it out!  If you are an employer in Colorado, you will need to make this payment or else be subject to interest and penalties.

1099 Law Repealed!!!

Posted April 15th, 2011 by Michele Knight, CPA and filed in Individual Taxes, Small Business Tax & Accounting

On April 14, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 to rescind the Form 1099 tax reporting requirement included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of Heath Care Reform.  (In English, the President reversed part of the Health Care bill)

Under the reporting requirement, businesses would have been required to issue a Form 1099-MISC to corporations as well as non-corporate entities for the purchase of tangible goods and services over $600. The tax filing requirement did not directly relate to health care but was initially included as a funding measure for the health care bill by reducing un-reported and under-reported income that would otherwise be taxable. However, small firms and self-employed individuals voiced concerns that the requirement would bury them in paperwork.

 In addition, the law also repeals the expanded Form 1099-MISC reporting under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that required individuals who receive rental income from real estate to report rental property expenses on Form 1099-MISC.