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The Taxman Cometh

The Beatles sang about them. Ben Franklin talked about their certainty alongside death.

Regardless about how you feel about taxes, their legality, purpose or place in our culture, you do have to pay them. Make no mistake about it, you WILL pay them.

By the way, did you pay your 2020 taxes yet?

Just because you got an extension to file doesn’t mean you got an extension to pay them. They are still due. The original extension from April 17, 2021 to May 17, 2021, is still in place and you should have paid the 2020 tax years taxes that were due on April 17 by now.

Oops.

Extensions do not apply to quarterly estimated payments.  Those are still due on the dates provided on the payment forms.

As for how to pay:

  • Cash (using PayNearMe)
  • Check or money order
  • Direct Pay
  • Debit or credit card
  • Wire
  • Direct pay (through their EFTPS system)

And if you are due a refund it goes without saying you should be filing as soon as possible.  It is your money, after all.

But don’t forget that the taxes you owe is now their money.  Best to pay on time or expect a penalty.

For more on how to keep up with your taxes and other things related to your company’s accounting and bookkeeping, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Jon Tyson and Sharon McCutcheon, photographers)

 

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Could I Get an Interpreter Here?

Do you ever feel like you’ve been to a foreign country when you leave your CPA’s office? I mean, really, they seem to speak in an altogether different language.

It’s like you need an English-to-CPA dictionary. Or at least a phrase book. Now there’s a thought.

Instead of immersing yourself in a whole ‘nother culture and language of numbers, how about you learn a few key terms and notions that will help you navigate the financial landscape between you.  That is, the balance sheets, income statements and tax returns that describe your company in financial terms.  After all, you know your company best—they just know the numbers better.  It is, really, up to you to put two and two together…oh, sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Here are a few key words, phrases and concepts to keep top of mind when next you visit with the green-eyeshade monster:

  • Accounting period
  • Cash flow
  • Cost of sales
  • General ledger
  • Gross profit
  • Income statement
  • Liabilities
  • Liquidity
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Working capital

While this doesn’t cover everything, it will, in the continuation of the travel metaphor, at least keep you from missing your (financial) train. You don’t need to know all of these concepts in great detail, but you should at least have a passing definition and some examples in your mind for each one.  Over time and as your relationship builds with your financial team, you will become more literate in the language.  And they, in turn, will become more knowledgeable about your business and industry.

For more on how to speak the language of finance, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Ivan Shilov and Waldemar Brandt, photographers)

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Welcome to the Hotel Cali-Texas…

Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Used to be, the boss could call an all-hands meeting in the company cafeteria and look everyone in the eye and interact.

Well, in the age of COVID, having off-site employees might mean they are out of sight, but they really aren’t out of mind. And when it comes to payroll and other basics of human resource management, they really should be top of mind.

They might be in California when HQ is in Texas.

Having a remote workforce, particularly one that that spans multiple cities and states—and maybe even countries—is more the norm than it has ever been.  However, when it comes to payroll and other things that impact them, things change dramatically if they are in L.A. and you are in Dallas.

Here’s a list of considerations:

  • Payroll
  • Income and other taxes
  • Hiring rules
  • Wage and hour requirements
  • Immigration rules

Just because someone works for your company doesn’t mean the rules of your corporate home state (or even city and county) apply.  The fact is they reside some place else.  This means the rules where they are doing the work apply.  If an employee works for a Dallas company remotely in Atlanta, then payroll and income taxes for Georgia apply to them and must be paid to the state of Georgia.  Ditto the rules on the conditions of their employment and how their work hours are governed.

For more on how to manage your people, payroll and other important assets, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

**photos courtesy of Unsplash (Chris Montgomery, Keem Ibarra and Jamie Lopes, photographers)

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Demystifying that Five-Letter Word: “Audit”

The very utterance of the word makes even seasoned businesspeople cringe and cower in fear.

“Audit? Why do we need to do an audit?”

OK, before you go into hiding and crawl into the fetal position in a corner, let’s stop and realize just what an audit is, the kinds of audits there are and that an audit can actually be a good thing.

“Really? Oh, pray tell, please continue,” she said.

Actually, there are nine different types of audit.  And they all play a role in the success—or failure—of your business:

  • Internal
  • External
  • IRS tax (the one we all think of)
  • Financial
  • Operational
  • Compliance
  • Information system
  • Payroll
  • Pay

Audits are a way to objectively examine and assess a company’s performance—operational, financial, and other aspects of the company—to ensure things are working and where there might be room for improvement.  They all involve:

  • A review
  • Assessment of findings
  • Recommendations

In many cases, audits are a legal requirement.  But in the end, they all are about measuring performance and compliance with some entity’s rules. While having the IRS look at your books is daunting at the very least, if you are complaint and have kept up with your books, it will be a valuable exercise and worthy of lessons learned.

For more on how to manage your finances and use audit to your full advantage, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash (Stephen Dawson, Markus Winkler and Mwangi Gatheca, photographers)

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Rollin’, Rollin’ Rollin’…Payrollin’

Payroll.  If you’re on one, great.  You’re on the receiving end of pay.

But if you are responsible for payroll, you are the one who gets to make sure – or actually does—dole out the bucks to those you employ.

Seems simple enough. Yet, like most activities in business beyond your core business, it might not be in your skill set to deal with all of the things associated with paying your employees.

So what exactly is payroll? It’s really a process, usually handled by the human resources folks in a company in concert with accounting or finance departments.  And it involves:

  • Having employees fill out W-4 forms.
  • Finding or assigning Employee Identification Numbers.
  • Setting up a payroll schedule.
  • Calculating and withholding income taxes.
  • Paying payroll taxes.
  • Calculating and including deductions and reimbursements.
  • Filing tax forms.
  • Issuing W-2s to employees (or 1099 forms to contractors).
  • Paying your employees and contractors.

Contracting with an outside company (like TFO Solutions) can make life far easier by streamlining the process—you deliver the hours to the payroll company and the do all of the paperwork and heavy lifting and issue you the checks.  You stay informed by them through reports and updates.

For more on how to manage and distribute and account for your payroll, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their finances from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash

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