Many small business owners received a letter in the mail this week called the Periodic Report – Directors / Shareholders – Colorado Corporate Control. The bill is for $225. This is NOT from teh Secretary of State and is NOT a legitimate bill for you or your business. DO NOT PAY IT! Your Secretary of State registration is controlled at their website, www.sos.state.co.us, and a timely filed annual report costs $10, not $225. Please help me spread the word!
Without a moment to spare, Congress has passed an $858 billion tax bill, setting rates for both 2010 and 2011. The good news is, it’s all good news!
The biggest relief for taxpayers is that the Alternative Minimum Tax patch is in place once again for 2010, sparing over 20 million taxpayers from facing a huge surprise bill. If you’ve paid AMT in the past, you’ll most likely still pay it, but at least millions of new taxpayers won’t be pulled into it. The “Bush Tax Cuts” have also been extended two years, so tax rates will be staying the same through 2012. And, the estate tax is going to remain at 35% for amounts over $5 million through 2012.
Working American’s will see another form of tax relief in lower payroll taxes. Each pay period, workers are forced to pay 6.2% Social Security tax on their first $106,800 of income, which is withheld from their gross pay. For 2011, this rate drops to 4.2%, so it’s the equivalent of a 2% raise for all working American’s. I haven’t been able to determine if this applies to self-employed workers as well, but hopefully the details will be hammered out soon. The last form of benefits applies to the unemployed. These individuals receive another 13-month extension on their benefits.
There is no doubt that this tax bill is highly favored by the Republican’s and goes against the Democrat’s agenda. It will actually cost lower-income earners money because they benefited more from last year’s Making Work Pay Credit than they do from the lower taxes. And, wealthy individuals making $500,000 and up will save almost $4,000 over their last year’s tax bill. Since some of the provisions, such as the AMT patch, expire at the end of 2010, and others such as the tax cuts expire at the end of 2011, we still don’t have a solid picture of what the future holds. But, we can still be thankful that our government was able to come together at the 11th hour and prevent an across the board tax increase!
My heart goes out for the fire and natural disaster victims around the country, especially those close to home in Colorado. I just want to share a thought on my mind as I am glued to the news lately…have you protected your vital tax records? To help protect your family, please consider the following:
1) Take an hour to walk through your house with a digital camera. Take detailed pictures of each room. In the event of a loss, these pictures will be very helpful in filing a claim for loss with your insurance company.
2) Scan important documents into your computer, and also store the hard copies in a folder that is easy to grab in the event of a quick exit. In our family, those important documents include our wills, life insurance paperwork, a photocopy of the contents of our wallets (front and back for credit cards, etc, so that the customer service numbers are visible), and special photos of our parents, grandparents, etc that were taken before the digital age.
3) Once you have everything scanned in, BURN IT TO DISK or STORE IT ON A THUMB DRIVE, and then store those files offsite! This is the most important step…all too often, people keep great records, but if they aren’t able to get to those records in their time of need, their work is lost. By sending your disk or drive to a relative or friend’s house, they will be available for you when you need them.
Greetings! In order to continuing improving my service offerings, I have redesigned by website, www.cpamichele.com, and added a blog. I strongly encourage you to follow the instructions below and sign up for the blog…I will use it to update you on pertinent tax information in a timely manner. While I will still send out my annual newsletter, this blog will help me keep you posted throughout the year.
1) Visit www.cpamichele.com. On the right, you’ll see a link that says “Click here to subscribe to my blog.”
2) The next screen is the registration screen…please create a username and enter your email address. Then, click on the box next to “Click here to subscribe to email notifications for new posts” and click Register.
3) Your password will be emailed to you, along with a link to log into your subscriptions.
4) Once you log in, you will see a screen that allows you to enter various information (there is no need to!) and also change your password to something easier to remember at the bottom.
5) More importantly, once you are logged in, there is a link to Subscriptions on the left side. Under subscriptions, you have the option to select or deselect various categories. When I post a blog, I will assign it to a category…choose the ones that interest you, and you will receive an email when I post a blog to that specific category.
a. Personal – Dave, Jacob and I keep pretty busy, and personal posts will be about the things we do and the places we go!
b. Shopping & Savings – CPA often stands for “Cheapest Person Alive,” so when I get a great deal or find a fantastic bargain, I’ll post it here!
c. Individual Taxes – Sign up here for updates on tax changes that affect you & your family, and I’ll do my best to help you save money on taxes and take advantage of all the tax deductions and credits available to you.
d. QuickBooks – As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, I often get early notices of Intuit updates and produce releases, and I will communicate those as well as my favorite tips on this post.
e. Small Business Tax & Accounting - If you own a small business, this is the feed for you! I’ll keep you posted on tax changes and provide relevant accounting updates as they come across my desk.
f. Urgent – This category will be used sparingly, and only as a means of me communicating the ‘you absolutely need to hear this!’ issues.
g. Not-for-Profit – If you work for, or run, a Not for Profit, these posts will keep you up to date on the ever-changing world of governance and reporting.