We hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Spring weather as we make our way through March. The newsletter this month brings us a market update that will teach you 6 ways to think outside the box to creatively market your small business. Our payroll topic brings you an important update from the IRS. Be sure to read on for helpful tips from our HR and Accounting teams as well.
The U.S. tax code, which includes all of the rules, regulations and various legal jargon that make up tax laws, is almost 4 million words long. If that doesn’t sound like much, compare it to the entirety of Shakespeare’s works, which only total about 900,000 words. Ouch.
Market Update – 6 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Small Business
Sometimes budget limits small businesses from executing their marketing ideas, but not every successful strategy requires a lot of money. Here are six outside the box ways to market your small business that are both inexpensive and effective.
1. Get personal.
Customers love the opportunity to make something their own. Studies have shown that 56 percent of consumers said receiving a personalized incentive would improve consideration of the brand. Think Personalized M&M’S and Share a Coke. If there’s a way for you to allow customer customization, give it a try and see how your audience responds. Not sure how to add a personal touch to your business? Anything that gets your customer’s name on your product works — using frosting to write the order name on your donuts, or offering free monograming on your inventory of purses or apparel.
2. Promote customer engagement.
In today’s social world, whatever you can do to make your small business more shareable is good for marketing. What is something you could implement that your customers would find Insta-worthy? Create an opportunity for photo opps and increase your social reach without spending a cent. A “selfie campaign” is a great way to encourage posting and sharing. You can even add a prize component to entice people to use your custom hashtag or tag your business in their posts.
Payroll Update – IRS Releases the 2018 W4 Form Which Includes a Withholding Calculator Update
On February 28, the IRS released the 2018 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and its updated Withholding Calculator. Both the form and the calculator have been updated to reflect changes in the tax law made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub. L. 115-97). Now that these tools are available, the IRS is suggesting that employees do a “Paycheck Checkup,” to check that they are having the correct amount of tax withheld from their paycheck.
Revised Form W-4
The new instructions explain how employees can claim exemption from withholding; suggest that employees use the tax calculator if they have a complex tax situation; and provide additional guidance to filers with multiple jobs or a working spouse, nonwage income, or are nonresident aliens.
The three worksheets used to determine the number of allowances to claim – Personal Allowance Worksheet; Deductions, Adjustments, and Additional Income Worksheet; and the Two-Earners/Multiple Jobs Worksheet – have all been updated. For instance, the Personal Allowance Worksheet includes information on the child tax credit and the credit for other dependents.
HR Update: 20 States Are Suing the Federal Government Over the Afforable Care Act
Just when you thought the fight to kill the ACA was finally over, a brand new chapter of the Obamacare-repeal saga has emerged. And on the surface, this chapter looks like it could potentially be the last for the controversial law.
Earlier this week, a 20-state coalition of attorneys general (AGs) filed a lawsuit against the federal government — specifically the IRS and HHS — over the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The claim: The ACA is no longer constitutional after the repeal of tax that enforced the requirement that people purchase health insurance policies or pay a fine — a.k.a., the individual mandate.
Accounting Update – How to Set a Close Date in Quickbooks After You Receive Your Tax Return Copies for the Prior Year
Have you ever had your Accountant ask you “Did you change anything in your QuickBooks file from last year?”… after the tax returns have been completed? If you or a member of your staff have made changes to last year’s data, it can cause issues with an account called “Retained Earnings”. The Retained Earnings account tracks your cumulative earnings (or losses) from the time you started the business entity up to the last day of last year. To avoid being on the receiving end of the question above, here’s how you can set a close date in Quickbooks after you receive your tax return copies for the prior year:
**Imporant Note: When you set the closing date and password, be sure to let your account know! At Pay-Tech we maintain your closing date password with your permanent file information in a secure online file.
QuickBooks Desktop does not require to close books as part of year-end procedures. However, it allows you to limit access to closed accounting period by setting up a closing date and closing date password.
Once you set up closing date password, QuickBooks Desktop asks foir the password every time you try to save any changes that will alter the balance of the closed accounting period. This includes adding, editing or deleting transactions within closed period. See the pros and cons of closing your books as part of year end procedures to help you decide.
You can set up or change closing date password anytime. If you lost or forgot the password, you can remove the closing date password as long as you are logged in as the Admin of the company file.
Set Closing Date Password
- From the Edit menu, choose Preferences and select Accounting.
- Under Company Preferences, select Set Date/Password.
- (Optional) Choose your closing date and set your closing date password.
- Click OK to close the Set Closing Date and Password window.
- Click OK to close the Preferences window.
Note: To remove the closing date password, log in as the admin and remove the encrypted password on the Set Closing Date and Password screen.
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