Specializing in...

Distance Business Support,

QuickBooks training/support
through remote access, e-mail and phone

Bookkeeping & Payroll services tailored to your specific business

Miscellaneous services:
Business writing/editing
Excel spreadsheets

Welcome to the "Calculating" Woman website!

In these difficult economic times, business owners are facing more challenges than ever.  Maintaining accurate and timely books shouldn't be one of them.  I'm here to help!

Whether you need training or support to manage your own bookkeeping using QuickBooks accounting software, or if you'd prefer to share this load with someone else due to time or knowledge limitations, I offer flexible support and services at whatever level suits your business needs.  (Please click the About Me tab above for more information.)

This site is also a good place to come to for popular government forms and links (See Resources tab above), as well as periodic business news updates and QuickBooks operation tips.

My mission is to support your business to the best of my abilities at a reasonable price, so you can get back to the business of running your business!

Please see the tabs at the top of this page for navigating around the site.
Where it's all about YOU!
Small Business Accounting Support via Phone, E-mail and Remote Access
Small Business News
Sales Tax Tip
Popular Nonprofit Misconception - Sales Tax

Many tax-exempt organizations
think their tax-exempt status means they are exempt from having to pay or charge sales tax for their purchases and sales.  However, this is not always the case, at least not in California. 

This is important to know if you are a California retailer that sells goods to nonprofit organizations, as you are required to pay the sales tax to the Board of Equalization whether you charged the nonprofit customer the tax or not.  Please see BOE Publication 18 for additional information. 

Every state has its own laws regarding sales tax, so play it safe by checking the regulations for your state, especially in our current economic climate.
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2016 Federal Std Mileage Rates
The federal standard mileage rates for 2017 are as follows:

53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
New Deadlines for submitting W-2 forms & 1099 forms to the IRS

You probably already know that the deadline to provide employees and vendors with copies of their W-2 and 1099 forms for the year just ended is always January 31st.  But do you also know that starting with the end of 2016, the government agency forms are due to the IRS and SS Administration by January 31st as well?  This is unfortunate because it allows little time for making corrections to these forms before filing "in concrete" so to speak.  And let's face it, though businesses usually are able to get W-2 forms to their employees on time (squeaky wheels and all that), it is quite common for 1099 forms to be distributed after the January 31st deadline, mainly because many businesses don't follow the policy of getting W-9 forms filled out by vendors before they pay them rather than after.  Some vendors balk at having to report this income and often don't cooperate after they've already been paid.

Result:  There will be more penalties assessed because of overdue filings and there will be more amended returns filed because of rushed filings to avoid penalties.  This will also put an additional burden on bookkeeping and accounting firms that assist with the preparation of these forms since they typically prepare them for several businesses at one time.  To avoid these problems it's a good idea to prepare in advance:  Get those W-9 forms filled out as soon as possible during the year and get updated address information from employees before the end of the year.

Federal Unemployment Credit Reduction

Some business owners have been surprised to discover they owed more FUTA (940 tax) at the end of each calendar year when they've prepared their annual IRS 940 reports.  In 2015, businesses in eight states (including California) fell victim to this added year-end charge (or credit reduction, as it is phrased).  This can cause an unexpected tax burden, especially for businesses with several employees. 

Starting in 2011, the IRS has been reducing the federal credit they give to states that collect state unemployment insurance tax from businesses if the states do not repay the federal government for federal unemployment claims assistance. The rate of the credit reduction varies from state to state, but in California alone the credit reduction in 2015 resulted in tripling the amount due in FUTA.  But the rate has been different each year so it is difficult to plan ahead for it.  And we usually don't find out what the rate is until the end of the tax year.

Unfortunately, since QuickBooks accrues payroll taxes when the paychecks are originally issued, the payroll tax liability in the Employee Center does NOT reflect this increase in FUTA owed.  You will need to enter a payroll tax liability adjustment in the program as follows:

First process the 940 form as usual and note what the increase in tax actually is.  Also, check page 3 of the return to see what the credit reduction rate is for your state.  Then exit the form.

Now, if it's important for you to properly allocate the increased tax by employee, you'll need to determine the increase for each employee (If it's not important to you, skip to the next paragraph).  For all employees who earned $7,000 or more during the year, multiply $7,000 times the rate you found on page 3 of the 940 form.  If you paid the employee less than $7,000, then multiply the total gross wages paid to them by the rate.  Note the amounts for each employee.  When added together, they should equal the total increase on your 940 form on page 1.

Adjust the liability owed:  Click the drop-down menu Employees<Payroll Tax Liabilities<Adjust Payroll Taxes and Liabilities<Adjust Payroll Liabilities.  The date should be 12/31 of the year you're adjusting.  If you're not allocating the adjustment by employee, click the Company radio button.  Select the Payroll Item for federal unemployment in the first column; put the amount of the increase in the second column.  Enter a memo if you'd like, then click OK.  If you want to allocate the expense by employee you'll need to do a separate adjustment for each employee. Select the Employee radio button and select your first employee from the name field.  Enter the adjustment as mentioned above and click Next Adjustment and continue with each employee.  When you're finished, the total amount due in the Pay Scheduled Liabilities section of the Employee Center should agree with the amount due on the 940 report.  Proceed as you normally would to complete payment and the return.  Note:  to correct a previously created adjustment, go back to the adjustment window and click the Previous button to locate the incorrect adjustment and make your correction.  Have fun - NOT!

Federal Tax Updates