Special Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Personnel

8.6_USAFlag

If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the IRS wants you to know about the many tax benefits that may apply to you. Special tax rules apply to military members on active duty, including those serving in combat zones. These rules can help lower your federal taxes and make it easier to file your tax return.

Here are ten of those benefits: [Read more…]

Tips for Taxpayers Who Travel for Charity Work

7.18_Travel

Do you plan to travel while doing charity work this summer? Some travel expenses may help lower your taxes if you itemize deductions when you file next year. Here are five tax tips the IRS wants you to know about travel while serving a charity.

  1. You must volunteer to work for a qualified organization. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit IRS.gov and use the Select Check tool to see if the group is qualified. [Read more…]

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

 

7.2_Newlyweds

Late spring and early summer are popular times for weddings. Whatever the season, a change in your marital status can affect your taxes. Here are several tips from the IRS for newlyweds.

  • It’s important that the names and Social Security numbers that you put on your tax return match your Social Security Administration records. If you’ve changed your name, report the change to the SSA. To do that, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can get this form on their website at SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or by visiting your local SSA office. [Read more…]

Summer Job Tax Information for Students

When summer vacation begins, classroom learning ends for most students. Even so, summer doesn’t have to mean a complete break from learning. Students starting summer jobs have the opportunity to learn some important life lessons. Summer jobs offer students the opportunity to learn about the working world – and taxes.

Here are six things about summer jobs that the IRS wants students to know.

  1. As a new employee, you’ll need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use this form to figure how much federal income tax to withhold from workers’ paychecks. It is important to complete your W-4 form correctly so your employer withholds the right amount of taxes. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. [Read more…]

Keep the Child Care Credit in Mind for Summer

5.24_Tax

If you are a working parent or look for work this summer, you may need to pay for the care of your child or children. These expenses may qualify for a tax credit that can reduce your federal income taxes. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is available not only while school’s out for summer, but also throughout the year. Here are eight key points the IRS wants you to know about this credit.

1. You must pay for care so you – and your spouse if filing jointly – can work or actively look for work. Your spouse meets this test during any month they are full-time student, or physically or mentally incapable of self-care. [Read more…]

Tips to Start Planning Next Year’s Tax Return

For most taxpayers, the tax deadline has passed. But planning for next year can start now. The IRS reminds taxpayers that being organized and planning ahead can save time and money in 2014. Here are six things you can do now to make next April 15 easier. [Read more…]

Where’s my refund?

4.16_Refund

The IRS provides some tips for people that filed their taxes and are wondering where their refund is. Your refund status is available to check with the IRS within 24 hours of submitting your e-filed return or 4 weeks after mailing in a paper return. The IRS does not recommend calling them but rather using this website to check on the status. You will need your social security number, filing status, and refund amount in order to check the status of your refund. The status of your refund only updates once a day so there’s no reason to check it more than once.

Tax Court Decision on Construction Worker Classification

The Tax Court has recently concluded that workers hired by a construction company to work on various residential projects were employees. Despite the fact that the workers were hired on a project-by-project basis, the overall facts of the case, including that the workers were controlled by the company’s sole proprietor and that they were an integral part of the business, indicated an employer-employee relationship. Accordingly, the company was liable for employment taxes for the year in dispute.

The case involved Mieczyslaw Kurek who was the sole proprietor of KMA Construction, a home improvement company that engaged in installing tile, sheetrock, doors, and windows, as well as painting and carpentry. Each of these factors were important during the court decision: [Read more…]

Track Mileage in QuickBooks

QuickBooks makes it really easy to track mileage for your vehicles.

Once the company file is open, go to Company -> Entire Vehicle Mileage.

2.21_Mileage1

The vehicle menu allows you to choose or add a new vehicle. The trip start and end dates choose when the job is starting and finishing. Typically, this will be on the same day. The total miles are automatically calculated by the difference between the odometer start and end values. The customer job, item, and class associates the total miles with a customer, job, or class. The billable button allows you to decide if you want to bill the client for those miles.

A report can be created to show the total miles during a certain period by going to Reports -> Jobs, Time & Mileage -> Mileage by Vehicle Detail.

2.21_Mileage2The current mileage rates selected in this picture are the 2013 standard mileage rates but you can bill your customers at a higher rate if you desire. Since the IRS and customers like to have a record of miles, QuickBooks makes it easy to keep track of this documentation.

Can an employee qualify for unemployment for being absent too much?

It IS possible for an employee to qualify for unemployment in the state of Georgia if it is not clear to the employee that attendance might cause them to lose their job. The relevant portion of the state code comes from O.C.G.A. § 34-8-194 (2)(B)(iv). An employee shall not be disqualified from unemployment if:

The discharge occurred as a violation of the employer’s rule of which the claimant was not informed by having been made aware thereof by the employer or through common knowledge. Consistency of prior enforcement shall be taken into account as to the reasonableness or existence of the rule and such rule must be lawful and reasonably related to the job environment and job performance…

Employers should have an attendance policy that is clearly written and states that those that violate the policy may result in the loss of unemployment benefits. This policy should be given to new-hires during orientation and a copy given to current employees if any changes are made.