Online Advisor
Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates
 


Volume 16 Edition 10                Please email comments to newsletter@tuttlefirm.com                  Oct 2019


Major Events This Month:

For October 2019      

This month:

October 1

- SIMPLE IRA plan establishment due

October 15

- Extended individual and C-corp tax return filing deadline

October 31

- Halloween

Autumn's in full swing, meaning it's time to start preparing for the busy months ahead. You can get ready by learning about the Form 1040 updates you'll see this 2019 tax season, as well as the new Marketplace Facilitator sales tax laws for anyone that sells through Amazon or eBay. You can also brush up on your rights if a bill collector ever harasses you.

Call if you would like to discuss how this information relates to you. If you know someone who can benefit from this newsletter, feel free to send it to them.

Another Year, Another 1040

In 2018, the government attempted to ďsimplifyĒ the tax-filing process by drastically shortening Form 1040. The result was six new schedules that created a lot of confusion. Now the IRS is attempting to ease some of that pain by revising the form and removing some schedules. Will it help? Here is what you need to know:

How to prepare for the changes

The best way to prepare is to be aware that 1040 changes are coming. The information required to file your taxes will remain the same, but some additional hunting will be necessary to find the shifting lines and fields on the modified form.

Remember, changes bring uncertainty and potential for delays, so getting your tax documents organized as early as possible will be key for a timely tax-filing process.

Bill Collector Calling? Know your Rights

Maybe you're behind on paying your bills because of circumstances outside of your control. Or perhaps there's been an error in billing. Either way, these scenarios may lead to a run-in with a debt collector. Fortunately, there are strict rules in place that forbid any kind of collector harassment in the U.S. If you know your rights, you can deal with debt collection with minimal hassle. Here's what to remember:

If a debt collection agency is not following these rules, report them. Start with your state's attorney general office and consider filing a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well.

Amazon and eBay Sales Tax ALERT!

If you or your business sells product on Amazon using the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, you are well into the multi-state sales tax mess ... even if you are not aware of it. You may be asking yourself:

Background

The old sales tax standard required you to collect and remit sales tax only in states that you have a physical presence (also known as physical nexus). The recent South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc. decision by the Supreme Court then legitimized the concept of economic nexus. This means your business could be required to collect and remit sales tax based on where you ship a product and not whether you ever set foot in a particular state (economic nexus).

The bigger mess

States were quick to jump on the bandwagon and actively identify Amazon, Ebay and Walmart sellers to demand sales tax for website sales. Some states, like California, got even more aggressive and decided that FBA sellers actually have physical presence because Amazon may put your product in a warehouse in their state. They got seller lists from Amazon and sent out threatening letters to small sellers demanding back sales tax, even though businesses have no way to retroactively collect the tax because the customers are Amazon customers.

Marketplace facilitator to the rescue?

To help address this mess and alleviate the need for small businesses to collect and remit sales tax forms to 50 states, many states acknowledged the problem and have passed what is called Marketplace Facilitator laws.

In short, itís on the facilitator, NOT you. States with these laws require Amazon, Ebay and similar companies that facilitate sales for resellers to collect and remit sales tax on reseller Amazon activity. There are more than 30 states that have adapted these laws.

You DO NOT need to register your business to collect sales tax in states that have Market Facilitator legislation unless you are otherwise required to do so.

What you need to know 

Decoding the New Dating Scene

Are you feeling a little in the dark about the new vocabulary developing around dating? Itís not surprising, especially when you hear a term like getting "ghosted."

Luckily, youíre just a few dating slang definitions away from having a better understanding of this vocabulary ó often used on social media. It's important to understand, especially if you have young people in your life who are dating.

Here are a few popular slang terms and their definitions, plus conversation-starter ideas for when you encounter them:

Use these conversation starters to start a meaningful dialogue and ultimately promote trust and open conversations with your kids.

Reminder: Time to Start the Financial Aid Process

If you have a child in college or entering college during the next school year, you need to read this. You can now fill out your required Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) for the next school year.

FAFSA application timeframe

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process opened on Oct. 1.

The time to file is now

The earlier you file your application, the earlier you will receive aid packages from most participating schools. The application is used to receive grants, federal loans and work study awards. Here are some hints to ensure the application process works in your favor:

Filling out the form can be a daunting task for the uninitiated, but with proper preparation you can get your form done in quick order.

5 Ways Payroll Services Boost a Business

Is a payroll provider right for you and your business? While it is an added expense, there are good reasons to add a partner to help with this service. Here are five things to consider:

  1. Allows full attention on growing the business. If a portion of employees is focused on managing and processing payroll, business growth opportunity may be stifled. This is especially true if a key employee or owner is the one processing payroll. By outsourcing payroll responsibilities, the full workforce can concentrate on growing the business. 
  2. Improves accuracy and compliance. Most entrepreneurs didnít go into business to tabulate hourly time cards, calculate tax withholdings, or stay current with the constantly changing government filing requirements. Thankfully there are those who specialize in monitoring labor regulations, compliance updates and the number-crunching that payroll requires. This will invariably improve the payroll accuracy a business needs.
  3. Lowers audit risk and increases peace of mind. Federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment taxes and overtime requirements are long (and growing). Payroll services reduce audit risk on the front end and provide audit assistance on the back end.
  4. Enhances internal controls. Separation of duties is an important internal control for all businesses. This is tough to do in a small company. Businesses with one or two-person payroll departments are susceptible to fraud or embezzlement. Adding an outside payroll service can provide the checks and balances a company needs to stay protected.
  5. Save money. One of the key methods of reducing business costs is adding efficiency. Outsourcing payroll increases efficiencies because payroll professionals need fewer hours to get the job done. These time improvements, coupled with potential savings in penalties and interest, can have a positive effect on net income.

When laying out and understanding all aspects of using a payroll service, it may be time to review your situation.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your tax situation please feel free to call.


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The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information on anything in ONLINE ADVISOR, or for assistance with any of your tax, business, or financial strategy concerns, contact our office.

Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates
www.tuttlefirm.com