Tuesday, June 27, 2017

4 Best Features of E-filing Form 941

The second quarter is quickly coming to a close! Don't forget 941 Forms reporting wages and taxes for April through June are due by July 31.

Why should you e-file Form 941, the Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return with ExpressTaxFilings? We are an IRS-authorized comprehensive solution for generating and e-filing in the simplest, quickest way possible. One of ExpressTaxFilings’ best features is our US-based customer support.

Feature 1: Experienced US Support
Our US based customer support is available to help! Contact us today using one of these three options below.

Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST 



Live Chat 

Feature 2: Completely Cloud-Based IRS-Authorized E-Filing
With ExpressTaxFilings you can easily complete your second quarter 941 form without downloaded software, no monthly fees, and easy access from anywhere.

Feature 3: Safe and Secure
ExpressTaxFilings is IRS-Authorized to e-file for our users. Feel secure knowing we’re COMODO certified.

Feature 4: Bulk Upload Data and Built-in Error Checks
Whether you’re an individual business e-filing your Form 941, or an aggregate filer filing for multiple businesses, your information is securely stored from year-to-year. Rest easy knowing that all filings undergo our instant error check!

Pay by individual quarter or pay for 4 quarters and save 10%. Single quarter e-filing Form 941 is just $4.95. Click below to sign-up for your free account and easily e-file Form 941 today!

Form 941 Pricing

If you’re ready to simplify your e-filing process with an online PIN, follow these simple instructions.

Simply create or log into your account at ExpressTaxFilings. From there, select to create a new Form 941 and enter or select your employer details. Next, follow the step-by-step, Q&A-style process to complete the required information. Then, enter your Online Signature PIN to transmit your return directly and securely to the IRS.

If you do not possess an Online Signature PIN, you will be required to complete and e-sign either Form 8879-EMP or 8453-EMP. Or, if applied well enough in advance, you can complete the 94x Online PIN Registration process and receive an Online Signature PIN for your business.

How to e-file Form 941: Simplified

  1. Create an account 
  2. Select create new 941 Form 
  3. Enter or select employer details 
  4. Follow step-by-step information process 
  5. Transmit form directly to IRS
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Everything Business Owners Need to Know About 941 Forms

What Is a Form 941?

The 941 Form, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is used to report employment taxes. If you own and operate a business with employees, you will likely need to file IRS Form 941 four times a year. You, the employer, are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee's paycheck. This form is also used to calculate the employer’s portion of social security and Medicare tax.

Who Needs to File Form 941?

Typically, all businesses that pay wages for employment are required to quarterly file Form 941 and continue to do so even if there are no employees during select quarters. However, the exceptions are seasonal employers and agricultural employees, who are not required to file each quarter.

What Will You Need to File?

To file, you will need your company/business details such as your EIN and preferably an Online Signature PIN. You don't necessarily need a PIN to file, however, it will make the process simpler. If you don’t possess a PIN, you will need to complete and e-sign either Form 8453-EMP. Both forms are available here at ExpressTaxFilings!

Also, to file each quarter, you will need the following information: Number of employees, total paid wages, and the IRS tax amount you withheld during the quarter.

Don’t Have an Online Signature PIN?

Well, you’re in luck! Here at ExpressTaxFilings, not only can you file your 941 Form, but you can also apply for your Form 94x PIN for FREE.

Simply create or log into your ExpressTaxFilings account and select the Create New Form option. Select the 94x Online Signature PIN Request option, and you will then be prompted to enter your employer details. Or, if you’re a previous user, you can conveniently select your details from your address book. You will then arrive at the Request PIN screen where you will need to provide all the required information on you signing authority.

But Keep in Mind! It can take up to 45 days to receive your PIN. If you have not already applied, you will need to fill out Form 8453-EMP or 9979-EMP this quarter. But no worries: we have you covered, making filing quick, easy, and secure.

What if I File Late or Not at All!

Dun Dunn Dunnnnnnn!!! *Piercing screams in the distance*
A failure to file on time results in a 5% penalty on the tax return for each month the return is late. This penalty will cap at 25%.

The IRS will also heavily penalize you for late payment or not paying the full amount owed. You will be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax determined by the number of days it remains unpaid.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's Almost Time for Second Quarter Filing!

Believe it or not, June is almost over - and with it, the second quarter of the fiscal tax year! And you know what that means:

Second Quarter Filing Starts July 1
And it ends July 31! For your second quarter Form 941, you’ll be reporting taxes and tax information from April, May, and June of this year. You can submit your Form 941 on paper OR you can e-file it! Just remember that if you e-file, you must be prepared to e-sign your form, either with an Online Signature PIN or by using Form 8453-EMP.

E-filing Form 941 with ExpressTaxFilings
At ExpressTaxFilings, we make e-filing your Form 941 easy! Whether you have an Online Signature PIN or need to use Form 8453-EMP, you can e-file your second quarter 941 Form in just minutes using ExpressTaxFilings. The seven steps to e-filing with ExpressTaxFilings are
  1. Log into your account
  2. Begin a new 941 Form
  3. Choose your tax year and filing quarter (in this case: 2017 and second quarter)
  4. Follow our simple step-by-step process to enter all of the information required on Form 941
  5. Enter your Online Signature PIN or select to complete Form 8453-EMP to e-sign your form
  6. Pay our one-time transmittal fee and review your 941 Form
  7. E-file your Form 941 securely with the IRS
With ExpressTaxFilings, you even have the option to pay any taxes due at the time of your 941 Form e-filing - it really is an all-in-one process!

So start getting everything together to e-file your second quarter Form 941 for the 2017 tax year: the time to file is coming up!

If you have any questions about e-filing your Form 941 with ExpressTaxFilings, we’re available by phone, live chat, and email to help! Our US-based customer support team will be happy to answer any questions that may come up in your e-filing.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

The CF/SF and How it Helps YOU

If you’re a seasoned 1099 filer, or even if you’re new to the game, you’ve probably seen the abbreviation “CF/SF” floating around. But just what does it mean? Well, we’re here to tell ya!

The CF/SF Program
CF/SF stands for “Combined Federal/State Filing,” and most 1099 Forms can be filed under the CF/SF Program. Originally, the CF/SF Program was established to simplify the filing process of information returns for payers. So through this program, when you e-file with the IRS, they’ll automatically forward your information returns (original and corrected) to your state, if it also participates in the CF/SF program.

Forms and States that Participate in CF/SF

Now, this is a pretty sweet deal: you only need to file your forms once, and only with the IRS since they’ll take care of your state filing. But this deal is only available for certain forms and only with participating states. So, the following information returns can be filed under CF/SF:
  • Form 1099-B, Form 1099-DIV, Form 1099-G, Form 1099-INT, Form 1099-K, Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-OID, Form 1099-PATR, Form 1099-R, and Form 5498

And the following states participate in CF/SF:
  • Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Where You Need to File
Remember: you need to e-file to be eligible for the CF/SF Program when you submit your 1099 return with the IRS. So the best place to file your forms is right here with ExpressTaxFilings! We offer e-filing for Forms 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC, and 1099-R, and are always adding more!

Keep in mind though that some states may require documentation in addition to your 1099 Form that you’ll need to send along to your state’s Department of Revenue. You can also check with them if you’re unsure of whether or not your state requires additional filing.

So that’s the CF/SF Program! If you have any other questions, leave us a comment or ask our awesome US-based customer support team. We’re available by phone, live chat, and email so you’ll be sure to reach us if you need us!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tax Facts: Filing as a Newlywed

The season of weddings is upon us!

Right now, love is certainly in the air and, if you’re a newlywed, your taxes are probably the furthest thing from your mind. But it’s important to keep in mind now that you’re hitched that, come tax time, things are going to be a little different. So here are a few tax tips from the IRS to get you through any newlywed tax filing changes!

Remember the Name Change
A lot of newlyweds are surprised to see the amount of paperwork that comes with getting married, and your name change is going to be one of the most important things to document. If your name changed when you got married, you’ll need to make sure to update the Social Security Administration (SSA) with Form SS-5 so they can update your Social Security card and ensure your SSN matches your new name. Trust us: if your SSN and name don’t match on your tax return as they do with the SSA’s records, you’re in for quite the headache.

Update Your Address
The IRS will almost always contact you through the mail if they need to get in touch with you, whether it’s to report an error in your filing or to send you your tax refund. So if you move after getting married, you’ll want to make sure to update the US Postal Service so you can have your mail forwarded to your new address. It’s also a good idea to let the IRS know of your address change with Form 8822 (just in case) and to let your employer(s) know so they’ll know where to send your W-2 Form(s).

Choose the Right Form
You’ve probably gotten used to filing the same form for your tax return each year. But as a newlywed, you may have enough deductions to itemize your return. And if you choose to itemize, you must use Form 1040 instead of Form 1040A or 1040EZ.

And Pick Your Best Filing Status
So long as you’re married by December 31, the IRS considers you married for the full year. This means you get to pick whether you’d like to file alone or file a joint return with your spouse. Depending on your income, deductions, and a few other factors, how you decide to file may end up saving you money:
  • Married Filing Jointly - this allows spouses to combine their income and deduct combined deductions and expenses on a single return. Both spouses are required to sign the return and you’ll both be held responsible for the contents of your return.
  • Married Filing Separately - if you file separately, you and your spouse are each responsible for signing and filing your own tax return using your own income, deductions, and credits. Keep in mind though that if one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must do so as well.

But that’s enough tax talk for now - go enjoy the honeymoon and first year of marriage! Just be sure to remember all this for tax time next year! And stick with ExpressTaxFilings for all the tax facts you need!

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Did You Know E-Signing Form W-9 is FREE with ETF?

What do you do when you need to submit 1099s or W-2 Forms or anything else like that to the IRS but you don’t have all the information you need from your payees/employees? Do you:
          a) Tell them to send you a quick email with their name, SSN, and anything else you need
          b) Leave those sections blank on the forms you send to the IRS
          c) Take your best guess at their SSN, address, etc.
          d) Have them complete IRS Form W-9

If you said “d) Have them complete IRS Form W-9,” you’re right, and you’ve been paying attention! Obviously, option A is out because emails aren’t a secure way to share sensitive information like a social security number. Additionally, if you submit incomplete or incorrect 1099s or W-2 Forms, the IRS will reject your return, eliminating options B and C.

As you go through the year, running your business, there are many people you pay for services - employees, contractors, your good friend’s brother who’s great with plumbing. So it makes sense that you might not always have all the information you need to get your tax forms in order and ready for filing. The IRS tries to remedy this issue with Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.

ExpressTaxFilings takes that one step further to make completing Form W-9 easier than ever. And did we mention it’s free?! All you have to do is log into your ExpressTaxFilings account and find that big orange button that says Start New Form. Select the Form W-9 option and all you’ll need to do is enter the names and email addresses of the people you need information from. Then, we’ll take it from there!

What we do is send a secure email to your recipient with an explanation and a portal for them to access their W-9. They’ll fill out the required information, e-sign it, and then it’s securely sent back to you! Now, at this point, they can reject your request to fill out Form W-9, so make sure they know you are sending this (so they know it’s legit) and that you need them to complete it for your (and their) yearly tax return.

Depending on how you set up your email alerts…oh, wait, let me back up a sec: when you send out your requests, we’ll ask how you want to be alerted that they’ve been completed. We’ll either send you an email every time a recipient e-signs or a daily summary email of the status of all your open and closed requests. Okay. Fast-forward:

Depending on how you set up your email alerts, you’ll hear from us soon after they complete, e-sign, and send back Form W-9. Once they’ve done this, your Address Book in your ExpressTaxFilings account will automatically update with your contact’s information so you can quickly and easily fill out that 1099, W-2, or ACA Form for them.

Seems pretty simple, right? And don’t forget: it's free! It’s just another way we’re here to help you do everything you can to be prepared for your yearly IRS filings. And if you have any questions about e-signing Form W-9 or the process with ExpressTaxFilings, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re available by phone, live chat, and email, and are happy to help with whatever you need!

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tax Facts: Avoiding an Audit

In a perfect world, there would be no need for the dreaded tax audit. Because, in a perfect world, everyone would pay their taxes on time, accurately, and earnestly. Also in a perfect world: chocolate chip cookies are what grow on trees and keep the doctor away when eaten at least once a day.

Since (sometimes unfortunately) we live in this world rather than that perfect, cookie-filled one, tax audits are a thing we have to deal with. An audit from the IRS doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong - many are conducted at random - but they can be quite a hassle. So here are a few tips that can help you stay off the IRS’s radar and avoid that audit.

Be Honest & Accurate
The best way to stay off the IRS’s list is to be as honest and accurate as possible when doing your taxes. This means reporting ALL income you’re required to report and being honest about the donations and deductions you’re reporting. It’s also important to be as accurate as you can, meaning no rounding numbers up or down (unless the instructions say otherwise) and completing every required box on every required form.

Another key to keeping your forms accurate is making sure all of the basic information you’re reporting (like you or your business’s name, TIN, and address) matches what the IRS has on file. You can verify your information with the IRS directly by calling 1-877-829-5500.

Double Check Your Dependents
If you have children, double check to make sure they actually qualify as your dependents in the eyes of the IRS. Children can be claimed as dependents until age 24 if they’re attending college and until age 19 if they don’t. Trying to list children who don’t qualify as dependents is a big red flag for the IRS audit office.

The Devil’s in the Details
Once you’ve been filing for a while, the IRS assumes your return is going to be more or less the same from year to year. That’s why it’s important to be as detailed as possible: a significantly larger than normal charitable contribution can be suspicious unless you’ve provided an explanation that your business doubled its earnings this year and therefore you had more to donate. This is what the “Notes” section on each form is for, so make sure you use it!

Know Your Deadline
Knowing when to file and pay your taxes is very important if you want to avoid an audit. If you do, the IRS will have to issue penalties and, once they’re looking at your info, they may decide it’s time for an audit. Remember: the best ways to avoid an audit always involve sending as few red flags as possible to stay off the IRS’s radar.

Get More Time to File If You Need It
It never hurts to apply for an extension of time to file. Filing an extension won’t raise any red flags with the IRS and, if you do, they’ll leave you alone for a while so you can focus on making sure everything in your return is accurate and filed on time (by your new due date, that is).

As always, we’d like to advocate e-filing as the best, easiest way to file your IRS Forms accurately enough to avoid an audit! It’s not a 100% guarantee, but you are less likely to file a return with errors when you e-file. So if you have any questions about e-filing your return, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! And stay tuned with ExpressTaxFilings for more of the tax information you need!

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Form 1040 is Due June 15 for US Citizens Abroad

One way to get an extension on your personal tax return is to file Form 4868, the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return. Another way is to be out of the country on the official Tax Day for everyone else (April 15).

Of course, this extension doesn’t give just anyone vacationing out of the country a couple more months to complete their personal tax return on Form 1040. There are certain stipulations to receiving this automatic two-month extension of time to file. In order to qualify for the extension, you must either
  • -Live outside the US and Puerto Rico and your main place of business is outside the US and Puerto Rico, or
  • -Be on duty in the military or naval service outside of the US or Puerto Rico.

Special exceptions may apply if you’re serving in a combat zone or in a qualified hazardous duty area while outside the United States. If this applies to your situation, check out this IRS publication for more info on your tax deadline extension.

This extension can also apply to your spouse if you file and pay taxes jointly. If you file separately, however, the extension can only be applied to the spouse that qualifies for it.

So there ya go! If the above conditions apply to you, your personal tax deadline was automatically extended to June 15, 2017, to have your 1040 Form for the 2016 tax year submitted to the IRS. In order to alert the IRS that you do qualify for this extension, you’ll just need to attach a statement to your 1040 return explaining that.

Happy filing everyone!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Summer Tax Tips

Summer’s almost here and you know what that means: warm weather, vacations, trips to the pool, oh, and working on your taxes!

While most of us think of tax season as the month or so leading up to Tax Day (April 15), it’s pretty smart to plan for your taxes all year long. So here are four things you can do over the summer to help improve your standing with the IRS when you file your 2017 taxes next year!

Take a Look at Your 401(k)
You already know you can make a pre-tax contribution of part of your cash wages to your 401(k) retirement plan at any time during the year. Why not now? When you defer your wages to your 401(k), they’re not subject to state or IRS tax withholding and aren’t reported on your Form 1040. And you can contribute up to $17,500 this year - or $23,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Some employers will even make a matching offer when you contribute to your 401(k). So go talk to someone in HR and start setting some funds aside for all the vacations you’ll take during your endless summer of retirement!

And Track Any Charitable Donations
Donations can get you a serious write-off on your taxes if you’re tracking them throughout the year. While it may seem like a lot to note every t-shirt and pair of shoes you drop off at GoodWill, doing so will get you a lot farther (and a lot more back) than just listing “a bag of clothing.”

When it comes to charitable donations, it’s much better to be the ant than the grasshopper!

Go Ahead and Pay Some Taxes
Are you self-employed? Have a side hustle? If so, you may be required to pay estimated taxes to the IRS on a quarterly basis. If you are required to pay estimated taxes, this one is less of a suggestion and more of an IRS rule: make sure you’ve postmarked and mailed them to the IRS by June 15!

Review Your W-4 Withholding
The IRS hands back billions of dollars in tax refunds each year, which means a lot of taxpayers are having too much tax withheld from their paychecks. What amount is withheld is determined by how you completed your W-4 Form, which you can request and change at any time during the year.

Of course, if you adjust your W-4 now, this could mean a smaller refund than what you’re used to around tax time. BUT it can help put more money in your pocket paycheck-to-paycheck, which could help out during any travels you take this summer!

Be sure to stay tuned with ExpressTaxFilings for all your tax, IRS, and e-filing info! And have a safe and fun summer!

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