Welcome to PayTech’s July Update
IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass-Shooting
The Internal Revenue Service today issued a consumer alert about possible fake charity scams emerging due to last weekend’s mass-shooting in Orlando, Fla., and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups.
When making donations to assist victims of last weekend’s terrible tragedy, there are simple steps taxpayers can take to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to quickly and easily check out the status of charitable organizations.
While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims and families of Orlando, it is common for scam artists to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.
The IRS cautions donors to follow these tips:
- Be sure to donate to recognized charities.
- Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.
- Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money.
- Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
- Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.
Bogus websites may solicit funds for victims of this tragedy. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.
Additionally, scammers often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.
Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.” More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”
The Internal Revenue Service is working on a process for tax year 2016 to provide more information to employers receiving error messages generated after filing Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance, and 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, an official from the agency said June 2.
Filing 2015 Forms 1095-C and 1094-C through the Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) system may result in acceptance, acceptance with errors or rejection of the forms.
Employers receiving error messages may not be able to determine on which individual forms the errors occurred, complicating the correction process, said Martin Pippins, director for customer service and stakeholder relations of the agency’s ACA office.
The IRS hopes to have more precise error messages in place for forms filed next year, to help employers identify and correct mistakes, Pippins said during the IRS monthly payroll industry teleconference. The issue was first raised in the May industry teleconference.
A mismatch of the name and taxpayer identification number often triggers the error message, Pippins said. A form accepted with errors is not subject to penalties at this time.
Officials on the call also said… (read more)
PayTech is presenting a free webinar on the new FLSA Overtime Changes on Tuesday July 12th, 2016 at 10 am PT / 1pm ET.
New overtime rules affecting millions of American workers are slated to take effect later this year. The rules more than double the minimum salary threshold for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime – from $23,660 a year to over $47,000. In this webinar, we’ll go over key steps you should take now to implement these new changes.
The Best Ways to Reward Employees
Having an effective reward program in place can help solve many of your HR issues.
Every company needs a strategic reward system for employees that addresses these four areas: compensation, benefits, recognition and appreciation. The problem with reward systems in many businesses today is twofold: They’re missing one or more of these elements (usually recognition and/or appreciation), and the elements that are addressed aren’t properly aligned with the company’s other corporate strategies.
A winning system should recognize and reward two types of employee activity-performance and behavior. Performance is the easiest to address because of the direct link between the initial goals you set for your employees and the final outcomes that result. For example, you could implement an incentive plan or recognize your top salespeople for attaining periodic goals.
Rewarding specific behaviors that made a difference to your company is more challenging than rewarding performance, but you can overcome that obstacle by asking, “What am I compensating my employees for?” and “What are the behaviors I want to reward?” For example, are you compensating employees for coming in as early as possible and staying late, or for coming up with new ideas on how to complete their work more efficiently and effectively? In other words, are you compensating someone for innovation or for the amount of time they’re sitting at a desk? There’s obviously a big difference between the two.
The first step, of course, is to identify the behaviors that are important to your company. Those activities might include enhancing customer relationships, fine-tuning critical processes or helping employees expand their managerial skills… (read more)
When the Summer heat keeps you indoors it’s the perfect time to read a book or two that can help you improve your business. Check out the top 10 books every entrepreneur should read!
When the guy who re-wrote the book on Google Advertising shared his list of must-read books for entrepreneurs, we listened. A highly sought-out consultant, Perry Marshall is the author of seven business books dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses owners like yourself gain more from online advertising to teaching you how to get more sales from 20% of your customers.
Here, Marshall shares his go-to books to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey.
- Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer.
In all transactions, someone has the upper hand. Honest folks are squeamish about this. Passive-aggressive “screw you over” types are not. You must recognize this truth and apply it wisely. One of the best books ever for sales rookies. If you hate the title, that means you especially need to read it.
- My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins.
Most people don’t read the great masters, but Claude Hopkins invented direct response advertising as well as the coupon. This book takes you inside the mind of one of the great business titans of all time. If you read closely he’ll reveal to you what advertising is really all about.
- The Proverbs of Solomon.
We all make tactical business failures and strategic failures and there are thousands of books to address those problems. But most long-term career failures and business tragedies come from ignoring the principles in Proverbs: not the tactics and strategies, but failures of wisdom, discernment, morals, discipline and character.
Proverbs is the most influential business book of all time, a fount of Jewish business wisdom. It’s sold more copies and shaped more leaders than Adam Smith, Napoleon Hill, Peter Drucker, Ayn Rand, Jack Welch, Dale Carnegie and Stephen Covey put together. It’s even more relevant in our information-drenched age of social media… (read more)