Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Using Purchase Orders in QuickBooks Online

A purchase order (PO) is a document you can send to a vendor/supplier. It states your intent to purchase products or services from them and defines the details of the purchase, such as quantities and prices. If the vendor/supplier accepts your PO, it means you have an agreement with them to receive those products or services under the terms given.

Purchase orders are not available with QuickBooks Online Essentials and Simple Start. You need to make sure you have subscribed to QuickBooks Online Plus. To turn on the purchase order feature in QBO Plus follow these steps:

  1. Choose Gear Icon > Company settings.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Expenses.
  3. To the right, click on the pencil next to Purchase Orders.
  4. Check the Use Purchase Orders box.
  5. Enter titles for up to 3 custom fields (optional).
  6. Enter a Default Message to vendors/suppliers on purchase orders (optional).
  7. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

If your business purchases products from vendors that you use on your job sites or products that you resell, you'll want to use purchase orders. These forms simply tell your suppliers what items you want to buy from them, what the cost is and payment terms.

Not all companies that you buy from will require purchase orders. However, if you place an order without one and the wrong items are delivered, you won’t be able to prove that your order was filled incorrectly.

Purchase orders add an additional layer to your bookkeeping – one that can improve accuracy and accountability.

Entering a purchase order or PO:
  1. Choose Plus Sign Icon > Purchase Order. If you don't see this, click Show more at the bottom.
  2. Use the Vendor/Supplier drop-down arrow to select or add a vendor/supplier.
  3. If shipping a product directly to a customer instead of to yourself, use the Ship To drop-down arrow to select the customer.
  4. If you're using custom fields, fill them in as needed.
  5. Use the Item Detail section and/or the Account Detail section to enter the purchases.
  6. Click Save and Send, Save and Close or Save and New to complete the entry.
  7. If you need the PO applied to a particular job or project so you are able to accurately job cost the project, you want to add the customer or "job name" to the PO.
As you enter a purchase order, you'll see that the Status in the upper-left corner is automatically set to Open.  This status will be changed to Closed when the PO is added to a vendor/supplier transaction.  You can edit an existing PO at any time to change its status if needed.

Applying a purchase order to a vendor/supplier transaction:
If a PO is accepted and the product/service is provided by the vendor/supplier, you'll need to record a bill, a check, or Expense (a credit card charge, or a cash transaction showing what you paid (or what you owe)) to the vendor/supplier.
  • When you select a vendor/supplier on any of these transaction types, a Purchase Orders section will appear on the right hand side of the screen. To add a PO to the transaction, just click Add on the purchase order displayed. The PO will be added on the first available line in the Item Detail, Product/Service or Account Details section below.
  • POs are automatically changed to a Closed status when you add them to a transaction and then save the transaction. This prevents them from appearing on the next transaction you enter for that vendor/supplier.
  • If the wrong PO is added to a transaction by mistake, you can remove it by clicking the Trash can on the far right of the line item, if this is done before saving the transaction, the PO will stay open.  However, if you save the PO to the transaction and then have to edit the transaction by deleting the PO, the PO will remained close and must be manually changed back to Open. 

Purchase order reports:
QuickBooks Online has a number of reports that will help you with with your purchase orders. 
  • To view these, choose Reports > All Reports, then click Review Expenses and Purchases. 
  • In the Review Expenses and Purchases reports area, you will find an Open Purchase Order List report and various Purchase Detail reports.

At LAE Business Services, we offer QuickBooks consultation and training. If you would like further information on how we can assist you with your bookkeeping needs, contact our office at (631) 793-1292 or info@laebusiness.com to schedule an appointment with our team.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Handling Payroll Yourself...Not as Easy as You May Think

As if payroll itself wasn’t complicated enough, there are IRS reporting deadlines and deposit schedules to comply with as well. And, to make things ever more challenging, it can change depending on how your payroll changes through the year. So how can a small business owner keep up with it all?

Small business owners don’t have to struggle with all the rules and regulations if they outsource their payroll processing to a payroll service like ours. In fact this is one of the biggest reasons we hear from small business owners when making the decision to outsource to our payroll services at LAE Business.

Why does outsourcing your payroll makes sense; when you know all the consequences of making a mistake. Form 941 must be filed on a quarterly basis and is due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. Deposits must be made electronically if the Form 941 reports $2,500 or more in payroll taxes for the current quarter unless the prior quarter payroll taxes were less than $2,500. That means that a deposit may be required on quarter but not the next and vice versa.

Form 940 is the Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return (FUTA) and must be filed annually by Jan. 31 of the following year. Deposits must be made if an employer has accumulated more than $500 in undeposited FUTA tax at the end of any quarter.

Form 944 is an annual form reporting federal income tax withheld and the employer and employee shares of FICA taxes. It is due by Jan. 31 of the following year.

All deposits for payroll taxes must be made electronically.

Payments must be made via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS); unless you use a payroll software that has this feature.( the software provider will generally charge you more money for this feature). Every employer must establish an EFTPS account, get a PIN and have an Employer Identification Number. The system requires payment by phone or by internet and requires arrangements with your bank account to make transfers directly to the United States Treasury.

When are Deposits Due?

The IRS says that the easiest way to be sure you are in compliance is to make a deposit the same day you make payroll. But as we all know sometimes cash flow can be an issue, so here are the IRS payment guidelines.

Deposit due dates are on a business-by-business basis. Why is that you ask? This is because the deposit schedule is based on prior years and the amount of taxes paid in the "lookback period". If you have filed only Form 941, then your lookback period is a 12-month period ending June 30 of the prior year. If you have previously filed Form 944, then the lookback period is the second prior calendar year.

If you are a new employer and had no employees in the lookback period, the IRS automatically considers you a Monthly Schedule Depositor. Monthly deposits covering all paydays in a month are due by the 15th of the following month.

After determining the lookback period and reviewing the payroll taxes reported in that period, if the taxes totaled $50,000 or less, you are required to make monthly deposits. If the taxes totaled $50,000 or more, you must make semiweekly deposits. Deposits are due by the Wednesday or Friday following each payday, even if wages are paid only once a month. The actual day of the week is determined by the day wages are paid.

Deposits for FUTA taxes which have accumulated to $500 or more are due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

Adjustments to Forms 941 filed previously may change your deposit due dates. Also, any time you trigger the $100,000 Next Day Deposit Rule, your due dates and deposit schedule may change.

The $100,000 Next Day Deposit Rule and its effect on deposit due dates

The $100,000 Next Day Deposit Rule means that any time an employer accumulates a tax liability of $100,000 or more, that employer will be required to make deposits by the next business day. Once the $100,000 next day obligation is triggered, the employer must make deposits on a semiweekly schedule for the rest of the year and all of the following calendar year.

Is there a difference between filing reports and making deposits? Absolutely!

Only a lot! They are definitely not the same. Reporting is required by the due date for each form. But deposits may or may not be due at the time the reports are filed. Returns are reported and deposits are paid.

Also, please note that the deposit due dates do not refer to how often you pay wages to your employees, only to the rules that must be followed regarding tax deposits to the IRS.

What happens when you don’t report or deposit on time?
Penalties will be assessed AND interest will be charged. This can add up very quickly. The information from the IRS is concise, so here is the info directly from the IRS Resource Guide:

As you previously learned, it is important to make timely federal tax deposits because most of the money belongs to your employees. If you make these deposits late, you will receive a penalty. This penalty is called a “failure to deposit” penalty and is computed by multiplying the amount of tax you have underpaid by a penalty percentage rate based on how many days late you make the deposit.

In addition to the above deposit penalties, you will also be subject to penalties if you file your Forms 940, 941, or 944 late, or don’t pay the amount due on the return.

Reminder: In addition to penalties, you also must pay interest. Interest rates are set quarterly. For example, the interest rate has recently varied between 3-6%. You will continue to pay interest until you pay all the money you owe the government.

A ten percent avoidance penalty is assessed if you do not deposit as required. The penalty is charged if you send a payment to the IRS when you are required to deposit. The avoidance penalty is assessed at the same time as the failure to deposit penalty, not in addition to the failure to deposit penalty.

Why take chances?
It’s complicated – and this is just the fundamentals, each state has it's own regulations too. If there are any adjustments or errors, it gets REALLY complicated. LAE Business Services handles payroll processing, reporting and deposits routinely. We know how to ensure accuracy and work through any changes with the agencies. You don’t need – nor do you probably want – any of the headaches. 

Join the ranks of small business owners who outsource this critical task to experts; contact us at LAE Business Services - info@laebusiness.com to find out how to get started today!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tax Filing Season Opens January 23, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service
has announced
that tax season will open on
Monday January 23, 2017.
The IRS will begin accepting 
electronic tax returns that day!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Only Accountants Can...

Can Save
The World...

Through Peace, Goodwill 
and Reconciliations!

Friday, December 16, 2016

New York State Minimum Wage Increase

Upcoming Minimum Wages Increase!

The Minimum Wage rates are scheduled to increase each year on 12/31 until they reach $15.00 per hour. Employers must post a Minimum Wage Information poster in their establishment.

Effective December 31, 2016 the New York State Minimum Wage is going up... Please see the chart below for the correct rates. The rates in NYC are based upon the number of employees you have.

Long Island and Westchester have separate rates as well... And the remainder of NY State fall under one rate.

General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule
NYC - Large Employers (of 11 or more)$11.00$13.00$15.00
NYC - Small Employers (10 or less)$10.50$12.00$13.50$15.00
Long Island & Westchester$10.00$11.00$12.00$13.00$14.00$15.00
Remainder of New York State$9.70$10.40$11.10$11.80$12.50*

If you are are clear on what rate applies to your business, you can refer to the NYS DOL website.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Tax Accountant

The Tax Accountant through other people's eyes...

Throw Me To The Wolves...

Be honest, Be kind and Be true, but Never be pushed to the breaking point!

Throw me to the
wolves and I'll 
return leading 
the pack!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

IRS 2017 Standard Mileage Rates

2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced   

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.   The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
These and other requirements are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51Notice 2016-79, posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Why Do You Need a Professional Bookkeeper?

You may have discovered that by owning your own business you spend countless hours trying to keep track of the accounting paper trail nightmare instead of doing what you enjoy, growing your business. Wouldn't you rather use your strengths and skill set to build your business instead of worrying about accounting issues? Can you answer the following questions at any given time? 

  • Who owes me money? 
  • Who do I owe money? 
  • Did I make enough money this month to cover all my expenses? 
  • When was that financial statement due anyway? 
  • Am I meeting my filing deadlines? 
  • Am I keeping up with corporate record compliance?
  • How do I accurately process payroll? 
  • What about taxes (sales, property, income)? 

Questions like these reveal that there is a lot more to keeping a proper set of books than just knowing how to write a check.

As a small business owner you have more important things to do than bookkeeping. Bookkeeping at LAE Business Services we provide  experienced, affordable and dependable bookkeeping and daily money management services to small businesses on Long Island and in NYC. We can take care of your books, so you can get back to the job of running your business and generating profits! 

We will also work with your outside CPA to help you save tax return preparations. 

Sales Tax Reminder


NYS Sales Tax is Due Dec 20th!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Employers & Health Coverage Providers:

You Have More Time in 2017 to Provide Information Forms to Covered Individuals

IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-78, November 30, 2016
The IRS extended the 2017 due date for employers and coverage providers to furnish information statements to individuals.  The due dates to file those returns with the IRS are not extended. This chart can help you understand the upcoming deadlines.

Action2017 Reporting Due Dates for…
Applicable Large Employers – Including Those That Are Self-InsuredSelf-insured Employers That Are Not Applicable Large EmployersCoverage Providers  – other than Self-Insured Applicable Large Employers*
Provide 1095-B to responsible individuals Not Applicable**Mar. 2Mar. 2
File 1094-B and  1095-B with the IRS Not Applicable**
Paper: Feb. 28
E-file: Mar. 31*

Paper: Feb. 28
E-file: Mar. 31*

Provide 1095-C to full-time employees Mar. 2Not ApplicableNot Applicable
File 1095-C and 1094-C with the IRS 
Paper: Feb. 28
E-file: Mar. 31*

Not ApplicableNot Applicable
*If you file 250 or more Forms 1095-B or Forms 1095-C, you must electronically file them with the IRS. Electronically filing ACA information returns requires an application process separate from other electronic filing systems. Additional information about electronic filing of ACA Information Returns is on the Affordable Care Act Information Reporting (AIR) Program page on IRS.gov and in Publications 5164 and 5165.   
**Applicable large employers that provide employer-sponsored self-insured health coverage to non-employees may use either Forms 1095-B or Form 1095-C to report coverage for those individuals and other family members.
This chart applies only for reporting in 2017 for coverage in 2016.
See IRS Notice 2016-70 for more information.

New I-9

On Monday, November 14, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification..

The new From I-9 contains numerous changes, including instructions and the ability to enter multiple preparers. The new Form I-9 must be in use by 1/22/2017

The new Form I-9 will have an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019.

Changes to the Form I-9

The new form is designed to address frequent points of confusion that arise for both employees and employers. The proposed changes specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, and include:
  • Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly. The form will validate the correct number of digits for a Social Security number or an expiration date on an identity document, for example.
  • Drop-down lists and calendars.
  • Embedded instructions for completing each field.
  • Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over.
  • Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators. If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled, "I did not use a preparer or translator."
  • The requirement that workers provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used. This is to avoid possible discrimination issues and to protect the privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names
  • The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.
  • A new "Citizenship/Immigration Status" field at the top of section 2.
  • A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training extensions.
  • A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to streamline enforcement audits.
  • Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form, however.

It's important to remember that this new smart I-9 form is not an electronic I-9 as defined in the regulations. Employers filling out the new form I-9 using Adobe Reader will still need to print the form, obtain handwritten signatures, store in a safe place, monitor reverifications and updates with a calendaring system, and retype information into E-Verify as required.
Please contact us for more information info@laebusiness.com or visit The US Citizenship and Immigration Services Website.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

From our Family to your Family

We hope you have a 

wonderful Thanksgiving this year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Eight Tips for Deducting Charitable Contribution

Charitable contributions made to qualified organizations may help lower your tax bill. The following tips will help ensure your contributions pay off on your tax return. Always consult your tax professional regarding your specific situation.

1. If your goal is a legitimate tax deduction, then you must be giving to a qualified organization. Also, you cannot deduct contributions made to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for rules on what constitutes a qualified organization.  
2. To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.  
3. If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, tickets to a ball game or other goods and services, then you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received.
 4. Donations of stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. Clothing and household items must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.

 5. Fair market value is generally the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.
6. Regardless of the amount, to deduct a contribution of cash, check, or other monetary gift, you must maintain a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written communication from the organization containing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount given.  
7. To claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must have a bank record, payroll deduction records or a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization showing the amount of the cash and a description of any property contributed, and whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. One document may satisfy both the written communication requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement requirement for all contributions of $250 or more. If your total deduction for all non cash contributions for the year is over $500, you must complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Non cash Charitable Contributions, to your return.
 8. Taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.

For more information on charitable contributions, visit  http://www.irs.gov or call (800-829-3676).

 Always consult your tax professional regarding your specific situation.

Friday, November 18, 2016

15 Ways to Know You're a Tax Nerd

You know you are a tax nerd if:

1. At your wedding on December 31, you insisted that the photographer take a picture of you exchanging vows in front of the Big Ball in Times Square to prove to the IRS that you got married before midnight.

2. On April 15th you keep moving west as you prepare income tax returns so as to extend the filing deadline by three hours.

3. When you finish preparing a return, instead of saying 10 4 over and out, you say 1040 completed and filed.

4. You insisted that your daughter Katie pay kiddie tax on her lemonade stand income.

5. You consider a Rabbi Trust an example of a reputable clergy person.

6. You think a tax table is where deals are cut with the IRS.

7. You think that any person who masters the Internal Revenue Code is entitled to a Lifetime Learning Credit.

8. You think Batman collects taxes for the Commissioner.

9. Whenever you explain a QTIP, you give your client an earful.

10. You think that people who get paid under the table use the cash method of accounting.

11. You keep changing your mind when asked if you recommend creating a revocable trust.

12. You think people who create disregarded entities lack self confidence.

13. You equate the office of the IRS Taxpayer’s Advocate to the fox watching the hen house.

14. You think of an IRS furlough day as a tax holiday.

15. You think those who are careless with their tires should be subject to a flat tax.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New York Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns

Every person who sells taxable tangible personal property or taxable services (even if you make sales from your home) must register with the NYS Tax Department before beginning business. If you aren't sure whether you need to register for sales tax purposes, see Tax Bulletins Do I Need to Register for Sales Tax? (TB-ST-175) and Sales from Your Home (TB-ST-807)

If you are registered for sales and use tax purposes in New York State, you must file sales and use tax returns. We’ll explain the sales tax filing requirements for quarterly, part-quarterly (monthly), and annual filers, including the E-file mandate.

Election Day! Get Out and Vote!

Every Vote Matters!  Get out there Long Island!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Do You Have Sales Tax Nexus in New York

What is Nexus?

The need to collect sales tax in New York is predicated upon having a physical connection with the state. This is a concept known as nexus. Nexus is a latin word that means "to bind or tie" and it stands as the deciding factor for whether the New York Department of Taxation and Finance has the legal authority to require your business to collect, file, and remit sales tax.

Friday, October 21, 2016

3rd Quarter Payroll Tax Returns..

Just a friendly reminder that 3rd quarter payroll tax returns are due by October 31, 2016

Contact us for an appointment to ensure your company returns are filed on time.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Taxes are Due Today!!

Don't forget to file your taxes by October 17, 2016!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

12 Bookkeeping Tips For Your Business

Bookkeeping is probably not the most exciting part of your day, but it is a crucial components of running your business that cannot be ignored. Whether you hire someone else to so it of you or do it on your own, it needs to be regularly maintained and monitored. By keeping your financial records organized throughout the year you will be able to keep your business focused. Additionally you will be able to assist your accountant when it comes time for the financial year end.

Here are 12 bookkeeping tips to help your business stay on track and flourish:

Find a good bookkeeper
A professional bookkeeper can train you on your software, answer any questions and fix any mistakes that might have been made. Ask for help when it comes to running your business in the best way possible. Your business can only benefit when your financial affairs are all in order.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Past is Your Lesson...

The past is your lesson.
The present is your gift.
The future is your motivation.

IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Matthew

IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Matthew; Many Extension Filers in North Carolina Now Affected; Relief for Other States Expected Soon 

IR-2016-131, Oct. 11, 2016
WASHINGTON –– North Carolina storm victims will have until March 15, 2017, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, with similar relief expected soon for Hurricane Matthew victims in other states, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.
Following this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS said that affected taxpayers in Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt and Robeson counties will receive this and other special tax relief. Locations in other states are expected to be added in coming days, based on damage assessments by FEMA.

Dear Sir,

Dear Sir,

We have misused all of the money that you send is and we need you to send us more.

Thank you,

Internal Revenue