10 Cyber Security Tips for Every Business

Digital technology is an absolute requirement for most businesses these days. Reaching new markets and increasing productivity and efficiency means access to broadband and information technology. However, businesses need a cybersecurity strategy to protect both their data and their customer’s data from the never relenting forces of cybersecurity threats. See more ›

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2017 Standard Mileage Rates Announced

The Internal Revenue Service has 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. 2010-51. Notice 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.

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IRS changes W-2 & 1099 Filing Deadlines for 2017

In an effort to combat fraud, The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 revises the filing deadline for Form W-2 and certain types of Form 1099.

Previously, employers had to ensure employees received a copy of their Form W-2 by January 31st while paper filings submitted to the Social Security Administration had to be in by February 28th (March 31st for electronic filings). Beginning with 2016 forms, employers must file all Federal W-2s—both employee and agency copies—by January 31st. This deadline is for filing paper or electronic returns.

This January 31st deadline also applies to certain types of 1099s. If you’re filing Form 1099-Misc and reporting amounts in Box 7: Nonemployee Compensation, then you will need to meet the new filing deadline of January 31st.

If you don’t have amounts in Box 7, then the deadline remains February 28th for paper filings or March 31st for electronic filings.

This new deadline makes it important for employers to be well prepared to complete year-end tasks. This means:

  • Verifying the accuracy of employee information
  • Reporting/submitting any year-end adjustments as soon as possible
  • Reviewing year-end totals for discrepancies

If corrections are required after you send your file to the Social Security Administration, you can do so by filing Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement.

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The 2017 Tax Season: What’s New?

Tax season is stressful for individuals and business owners as they scramble to file their tax returns accurately and on time. Some notable changes and challenges for the 2017 Tax Season may affect your 2016 tax year filings. Here are some of the biggest changes along with some of the potential hurdles, and what you can do to be prepared.

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DOL Overtime Changes: Are You Ready?

The Department of Labor recently announced the final updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act that will take effect on December 1, 2016. Not being prepared for this update could cost you thousands in higher wages or employees lawsuits. See more ›

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