Sunday, March 29, 2009

IE 8 is Here

For those that did not know, Microsoft has finally unveiled their Internet Explorer version 8. We have currently been demoing the beta version of the product and must say that it has improved considerably. IE8 provides small business owners with more security and stability to help them run their businesses more efficiently. Small business owners that have not had a chance to beta test IE8 can now get the browser from the Microsoft website.

Download Internet Explorer 8

Technology N Synergy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A waiver goodbye

Taxpayers that are in their retirement years are provided a small bit of relief for 2009 with regards to their IRA’s. According to the IRS there is a temporary waiver being offered of the required minimum distribution rules. Taxpayers are not required to take a minimum distribution from their traditional IRA. The waiver is available to IRA participants and beneficiaries.

The change means that taxpayers can take withdrawals a year later than the past. With the economy down, the change allows retired taxpayers to not dip into retirement funds after waving goodbye to the majority of the retirement income. There are additional details regarding the waiver, so be sure to speak to your professional tax advisor for details regarding eligibility.

Your Taxes N Synergy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Technology Tax Breaks

Small business owners are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and increase productivity within their operations. Recently I was able to speak first hand with a group of small business owners at a networking event regarding how the new American recovery and Reinvestment Act would affect their businesses. One of the major changes within the Act was the changes to bonus depreciation and Code Section 179 depreciation (expensing) that will allow small business owners to deduct more of the costs associated with certain asset purchases. One common asset purchases for small businesses are computers and other technology equipment. Computers play an important role in the operation of a small business and a small business owner needs to know all the facts before purchasing a new system.

Those small business owners that are interested in purchasing a laptop, SB360 have developed a free training webcast on how to select the best laptop computer for your small business needs. The webcast will provide a small business owner with information on the different types of laptops available, how to evaluate the differences between laptop components, and your small business needs.

The webcast is a great way to get all the facts about laptops before you buy to ensure that the system that is purchased is the right one for your small business needs. After you have selected the model, be sure to speak to your tax advisor to carefully plan your depreciation deduction.

Technology Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Your Pay Is Up!!!

With the passage of the economic stimulus package recently there are a great deal of changes that will more than likely effect all taxpayers. One of the more important parts of the stimulus package is the Making Work Pay credit. In a nutshell the credit will increase the amount of an employees take home pay. There are income limitations however so higher income taxpayers may not apply. Typically an increase in an employee’s take home pay would be caused by a change in their withholding information (Form W-4). This credit ($400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly) can be claimed on the 2009 income tax return.

When Should a Taxpayer change their Withholding?

Taxpayers may want to update their withholdings if the following conditions apply:

• Taxpayer started a new job
• Taxpayer has self employment taxes and no estimated tax payments were calculated
• Taxpayer is employed and receives alimony
• Taxpayer is employed only part of the year
• Taxpayer held more than one job during the year.

Be sure to speak to your professional tax advisor regarding the stimulus tax changes, or withholding changes.

Taxes N Synergy

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Windows 7 Small Business Panes

Recently while reviewing small business networking sites and forums, a few conversations centered around small business owners trying to decide on new technology improvements and many were stating that they were going to keep their XP systems until the release of Windows 7.

Hold on there small business owners…..

As a small business that not only has run the beta version of Windows 7 on a business machine (not recommended by Microsoft) and one that tries to stay ahead of the technology curve waiting may not be a very smart move. While there will still be issues with software compatibility, small businesses XP computer systems may not be able to handle Windows 7 thus an upgrade will be needed. Microsoft will continue to service XP through 2014 so there is still some time to receive support.

A Vista machine makes the path towards Windows 7 at bit less painless due primarily to tighter compatibility between Vista and Windows 7 and lessens the chances of software problems. Small businesses thinking about adding the Windows 7 pane, should map out a technology plan that is in line with their goals and budgets.

Technology N Synergy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take More than Standard

When a taxpayer files their taxes they have the option to take either the standard deduction or itemized deductions that go on Schedule A. For those taxpayers that do not qualify for the itemized deduction, the IRS has a small bit of relief. For tax years 2008 and 2009 standard deduction taxpayers will be able to take an additional standard deduction for real estate taxes that are paid in those years.

There are a few things a taxpayer will need to ensure that they qualify to take the additional standard deduction for real estate taxes. Be sure to review the IRS Form 1040 instructions or speak to your professional tax advisor for details so you can take more than the standard deduction.

Keep Your Taxes N Synergy

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Small Business Paperless Options

Maintaining an organized back office and filing system can become quite a strain for many small business owners (SBO’s). Small business owners are currently more focused on cash flow and sales than taking care of the administrative tasks. There are a great deal of online tools available to SBO’s that can assist them with the administrative tasks. Many of the options can be added with a very small learning curve and price.

Here are a few examples of paperless options that small business owners can utilize to assist with back office administrative tasks:

• Company Intranets – Can help SBO’s stay organized, access documents, track progress on projects.
• Online File Storage – SBO’s have a centralized location for all documents.
• Online Backup – SBO’s have assurance that their critical documents are available in the case of a casualty, theft, loss, or disaster.

A simple search of “small business paperless options” will provide the SBO with all kinds of paperless solutions. When searching for paperless options SBO’s should look for solutions that are secure, improve productivity, improve customer service, and ensure business continuance. Typically the change from paper to paperless in an ongoing process and SBO’s should closely monitor technology expenses to ensure there is a cost benefit.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Get Your Money Off The Table

There was a recent web poll conducted by Liberty Tax that provided some very revealing information about our economy and tax refunds. Over 80% of the respondents filed their tax returns early because they really needed the money this year. This filing season more than ever, those taxpayers expecting a refund are getting their returns filed as soon as possible. Timely filing your taxes should be a priority every year, but according to the IRS, many taxpayers have forgotten to file all together. The IRS estimates that it has around $1.3 billion in unclaimed refunds from 2005.

Taxpayers that have not filed a 2005 tax return and have not received a “nasty gram” from the IRS may need to file a tax return before the April 15th tax deadline this year. After that time the statue of limitations will expire for refunds in 2005. If you are one of those taxpayers that may not be able to locate all of your tax information from 2005, there are additional forms that will need to be sent to the IRS that will ensure your filed return is accurate. Be sure to speak to your professional tax advisor for more information. In this economy, not leaving any money on the table can play an important role in your financial stability.

Keeping Your Taxes N Synergy