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ExpressTaxFilings Blog

Monday, October 23, 2017

How To Avoid Form 941 Penalties

Failing to file Form 941 by its deadline can affect a business negatively -- small businesses especially. For example, if you fail to file your 941 Form by the upcoming October 31 deadline, your business will incur a penalty of 5% of the total tax amount due. An additional charge of 5% per month will also be charged for each month that the return in not submitted to the IRS. This fee can accumulate for up to 5 months.


Furthermore, if your business has failed to pay an owed tax bill, you will initially be charged an additional 5% of the unpaid tax amount. This fee will also increase each month that the payment remains unpaid.

If you filed your Form 941 but neglected to pay taxes owed or did not pay the amount in full, the following penalty rates will apply:



No. of Days
Following Deadline
Penalty Rate
Penalty on $3,000
(Based on Unpaid Tax Owned)
One to five days
2%
$60
Six to fifteen days
5%
$150
Sixteen or more days
10%
$300
10 Days After Receiving
Notice from IRS
15%
$450

Avoiding IRS Penalties

Businessman Frustrated with PenaltiesThe trick to avoiding these expensive penalties and fees is to stay organized and e-file with ExpressTaxFilings. Yes, that was a shameless “plug,” but that really is the best way to avoid wasting unnecessary money on failure to file fees.

Filing with ExpressTaxFilings is simple and can be completed in just five steps. With the 3rd Quarter 941 Filing deadline around the corner, you might want to “get the ball rolling” soon. Here’s what you’ll need in order to file and avoid those unwanted fees.

Required Information to File Form 941

When filing Form 941 there are two categories of information that you will need. These include:

Having this information organized and readily on hand will make your filing process a piece of cake. After all, you'll probably celebrate with something sweet after you submit your 941 Form in no time!

1) Employer Details -- Name, EIN, and Address (of the employer)

2) Employment Details:

  • Employee Count
  • Medicare Tax & Social Security
  • Deposit Made to the IRS
  • Tax Liability (Monthly or Semiweekly)
  • Signing Authority Information
  • Online Signature PIN or Form 8453-EMP

One Last Thing

IRS penalties are avoidable when you plan ahead and know where to file your Form 941 efficiently. ExpressTaxFilings, is an IRS-authorized comprehensive solution for generation and e-filing your small business tax forms.

In order to avoid penalties be sure to deposit or pay your owed IRS taxes by the deadline along with your Employer's Quarterly Tax Return Form. Also, you will need to report your tax liability accurately.

We're Here To Help

Head on over to ExpressTaxFilings.com and eliminate the worry of accumulating late fees or penalties by filing on time. The entire filing process is incredibly easy. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step guide to complete your form in a matter of minutes. You will be able to finish your form and transmit it directly to the IRS in no time.

If you need any assistance during this straightforward and easy filing process, have no fear! We’re here to help. If you need any assistance give the dedicated, US-based ExpressTaxFilings support team a call anytime Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxfilings.com.
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Friday, October 20, 2017

The IRS Will Reject Returns Without ACA Information

ExpressTaxFilings shares ACA
Tax season is coming up and will be here before we know it. Make sure you’re prepared to file to avoid getting hit with major late fees and penalties. Part of being prepared to file is staying up to date with tax news.

Every year the policies and requirements change and with the continuous efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act major reforms could take place any day now. However, with ACA still intact the IRS has released a major announcement. They will not accept returns without health coverage information.

The IRS Refuses To Accept Returns Without Health Coverage


The IRS recently announced that in the 2018 tax filing season they will not accept returns that are filed electronically where the taxpayer fails to address the health coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act. This is a new update, and this is the first time the IRS will refuse to accept this type of return.

You may have noticed that they specified ‘electronically filed returns’ and may think you can get away with paper filing without reporting on ACA requirements, but that’s not the case. Paper filed returns that neglect to mention ACA requirements may be suspended with delayed refunds until taxpayers can provide such information.

To have returns accepted on time taxpayers must clarify whether they had coverage, had an exemption, or if they will make a shared responsibility payment. This new process is put in place in order to reflect the requirements of the ACA and the IRS’s responsibility to administer the health care law.

During prior tax periods, the IRS didn’t prevent returns from being processed if the health care coverage box wasn’t checked but they were slowed down. Also, if taxpayers lacked coverage and didn’t receive an exemption they had to pay the individual shared responsibility payment.

ACA And Its Requirements

To help your business prepare for tax season we will go over the Affordable Care Act, which is the major healthcare reform to provide coverage to more individuals, constrain costs, and improve quality.
 
E-File ACA Forms With ExpressTaxFilings
Under the ACA employer mandate employers with 50 or more workers will face a penalty if they neglect to offer coverage to all employees. They will also be penalized if the coverage they offer doesn’t meet the minimum value or affordability standards.

To meet the minimum coverage the health plan must be designed to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population. It must also have benefits that include the substantial coverage of physician and inpatient hospital services.

If you qualify for an exemption such as the general hardship exemption, the short coverage gap exemption, and more, they aren’t automatically granted. You must apply for an exemption in advance and if approved must be reported. If your exemption is approved you will receive an Exemption Certificate Number or ECN to list on your return.

Be Prepared To File


You can file your ACA forms with the help of ExpressTaxFilings. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions to enter the health coverage information for all of your employees.

Or you can head to our sister company, ACAwise for full-service ACA e-filing. ACAwise does all of the complicated work for you, so you can instantly complete your forms!

Both ExpressTaxFilings and ACAwise offer postal mailing. You can have us print copies of recipient’s ACA forms and mail them out for you! Plus, we offer live, US-based customer support! If you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact an ACA expert at ExpressTaxfilings or ACAwise!
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

7 Ways To Protect Your Return From Theft & Fraud


7 Ways To Protect Your Return From Theft & Fraud

There’s been much talk about the Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return lately. With its 3rd Quarter deadline right around the corner on Tuesday, October 31, many employers have already completed their filing needs or need to do so within the next 12 days.

In order to successfully file Form 941, one must submit very private information to match IRS records.

With tax season being a prime time for phishing scams and fraud, it’s important to file with a safe and secured e-file provider like ExpressTaxFilings to avoid any form of tax-related identity theft.

Tax-related identity theft happens when someone uses another person’s stolen Social Security number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) to file a tax return to obtain a fraudulent refund.

Most times, taxpayers don’t find out they are victims of identity theft until they submit their tax returns and are notified that someone has already used their SSN to file. Here are some tips to protect you and your business from tax-related identity theft:

  • Protect Personal and Financial Records - Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse; only provide it when necessary. Keep your personal information protected at home and protect personal computers with anti-spam & anti-virus software. Lastly, routinely change your passwords for online accounts. 
  • The IRS won’t email you (directly) - Scammers often try to use emails designed to look as if it came from the IRS. Please know that the IRS will NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email. 
  • The IRS won’t ask for your PIN - The IRS will never ask for your PIN or credit card information via email, text message, or phone call. 
  • Don’t Use Public Hotspots - Tax related or not, always be mindful when using the internet on a public hotspot. Limit public Wi-Fi hotspot usage to harmless things such as reading the news or checking the weather. Never use a public hotspot to log into accounts or access sensitive information. Other users on the network have the opportunity to intercept your credentials or data. 
  • Always log out - Be sure to logout of sensitive sites and services to avoid the possibility of others having access to your information if they use the same computer after you. 
  • IRS Letters - If the IRS identifies a suspicious tax return (with a taxpayer’s stolen SSN), the taxpayer may receive a letter requesting them to verify their identity by calling a special number or visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. This is a legitimate request that should be followed through. 
  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords - Choose passwords that are difficult to guess and also use different passwords for different sites. Using the same password for multiple sites makes it easier for hackers to compromise many of your accounts. 
One last thing, always remember that the IRS will never initiate contact with you via social media or by text message. The first contact normally comes in the mail. 
Tax Filing Assistance

We're Here To Help


Whether you are preparing to file your Form 941 Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return or any other form that we offer, be sure to utilize the useful tips listed above. Feel free to share with other business owners as well.

Filing with ExpressTaxFilings is incredibly easy. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step guide to complete your form in a matter of minutes. You will be able to finish your form and transmit it directly to the IRS in no time.

If you need any assistance during this straightforward and easy filing process, have no fear! We’re here to help. If you need any assistance give the dedicated, US-based ExpressTaxFilings support team a call anytime Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxfilings.com.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

There Are Multiple Ways To E-Sign Form 941

ExpressTaxFilings offers free IRS online signature PINs
The clock is ticking and you’re officially running out of time to file your quarterly Form 941. The deadline to file this return is on October 31st, and that’s almost here! Before you panic and hire an expensive accountant, take a deep breath and head to ExpressTaxFilings.com.

ExpressTaxFilings is the market leading business tax e-file provider that has every tool necessary to simplify filing your tax returns online. The step-by-step process will help you complete your return in a matter of minutes, all on your own. Plus, we provide helpful tips and information along the way.

For example, we explain how to quickly and easily sign Form 941 online, even if you don’t have an online signature PIN.


How To E-Sign Form 941


Form 941

First, we will provide a quick refresher. Form 941 is the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return and it’s the report used to disclose employment taxes for those who own and operate a business with employees.

This report makes sure that you’re withholding income, social security and Medicare tax from your employee’s paychecks, which you’re responsible for doing. It’s also used by the employer to pay the Medicare and social security tax that they owe to the IRS.


Online Signature PIN


In order to complete Form 941, you are required to sign it online, and there are actually two methods for e-signing 94x series forms. For example, you could sign your Form 941 with your online signature PIN, which is a 10 digit code provided by the IRS.

If you don’t have an online signature PIN you can apply for one for free with ExpressTaxFilings! Just be aware that the process could take up to 45 days, so if you don’t have that amount of time before the deadline you’ll need a plan B.
ExpressTaxFilings make sit easy to e-file Form 941

Form 8453-EMP

Good thing ExpressTaxFilings provides plan b, which is Form 8453-EMP. This form allows you to instantly e-sign all of the 94x series forms and the process is easy. When you’re ready to sign your 941 Form you will download this form, fill it out, and upload it back to ExpressTaxFilings.

You can use Form 8453-EMP to sign your own form or as a tax preparer send it to your clients via email, fax, or postal mail.

To complete Form 8453-EMP all you need is taxpayer/business owner information such as your name, signature, title, and the date. If applicable as an ERO or Electronic Return Originator, you will need your SSN or PTIN, business name, address, and zip code. Also, if applicable, as a tax preparer, you will need your name, PTIN, firm’s name, address, and EIN.

E-Filing is Easy With ExpressTaxFilings


Giving you the ability to e-sign your 94x series forms is only one of the ways ExpressTaxFilings simplifies taxes. You can also use the bulk upload feature to upload information for all of your clients at once, have us mail copies of returns to any recipients, and more!

Plus, our dedicated, US-based support team is here to help every step of the way! If you need any assistance give us a call Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We also offer live chat and 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

4 Major Year End Tax Prep Tips

ExpressTaxFilings offers tax prep tips
Do you feel those cooler temperatures in the air? Have you already decided where your family is going for Thanksgiving? Have you already thought about what would make an excellent Christmas gift for someone? That’s because the end of the year is coming!

However, don’t let all of that holiday bliss cloud your mind when it comes to your small business because the end of the fiscal tax year is also coming. End this quarter on a good note by being prepared upcoming tax deadlines.

End Of The Year Tax Prep


Get Organized

Now is a great time to get organized. By preparing all of your paperwork now, as far as invoices, expenses, charitable donations, and more you will thank yourself because you won’t be scrambling to find everything by your tax deadlines. Instead of keeping everything in a drawer or shoebox place your receipts in a folder or document them online.

Part of being organized is knowing what you will need to file. For example, for Form 941 you will need to report the taxes you withheld from each of your employee’s paychecks, so it will good to have payroll information on hand when you file. Also, if you need an EIN (Employee Identification Number), online signature PIN, or even a tax extension take care of it now.

Why wait? Go ahead and look up the forms you need to file now and see what information is required to complete them so you will be ready.

Provide Your Employees With Their Materials

As a business owner with traditional employees, you are required to provide each of your workers with a copy of their W-2. W-2 Forms report how much federal and state income taxes were withheld from their paychecks your employees will need that information to file their income tax returns. Why wait until the last minute when you can instantly handle this process with ExpressTaxfilings?

Don’t forget about your independent contractors. Even though they aren’t exactly traditional employees if you pay them $600 or more you have to report taxes for them and provide them with Form 1099-MISC. This form reports how much you paid an independent contractor so they can list your business as a source of their income.

List Your Deductions

The number one tax mistake made is paying more than you have to because you failed to claim deductions that would have helped you save money. For example, if you have a part of your home that’s exclusively used as your office you can claim that space as a deduction.

You can also claim business travel expenses such as the cost of gas or a plane ticket and lodging expenses. Plus, you can deduct charitable donations made in your business's name. Just be sure that when claiming deductions that you meet the proper guidelines and have the correct documentation.

Handle all of your business taxes with ExpressTaxfilings
Make A Plan

Just like you would for an important project for your business, develop a plan to get things done. Schedule a day to organize your tax information and follow a plan for filing. If you need to hire an accountant research your options now. Also, try to schedule appointments in advance. As tax deadlines creep closer they will get busier and busier.

If you don’t want to hire an expensive accountant then file your business taxes yourself. Save big by finding a tax e-filing program like ExpressTaxFilings to handle all your business tax reporting needs online. From Form 941 to W-2 Forms, 1099-MISC Forms, the 990 Series, and more ExpressTaxFilings can do it all.

Simply create your free account and follow the guided step-by-step e-filing process to complete your form and transmit it directly to the IRS in a matter of minutes. You can also take advantage of our mailing center to mail copies of returns to your recipients, bulk upload all of your employee’s information at once, and more!

We’re Here To Help


If you need any assistance during any step of the e-filing process, the dedicated, US-based ExpressTaxFilings support team is here to help. Give us a call Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We also offer live chat and 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Take the Pressure Off! Best Methods to Keep Track of Deductions


Tax season will be here before we know it. In just of a blink of an eye, you will have major deadlines to face, but there's no need to panic. By giving yourself enough time to plan ahead and get your records together the filing process will be a breeze. 

Today in order to help you prepare for tax season we have a list of ways to easily keep up with your tax deductions during your fiscal tax year. This information was provided by Larry L.Bertsch, CPA and associates as a guest blog, and they have a multitude of tax solutions and tips. 

Take the Pressure Off! Best Methods to Keep Track of Deductions


Tax season can sometimes cause business owners to feel stressed out and anxious, but the best way to combat this is by preparing your tax records ahead of time. Many are worried that they’ll lose important paperwork or not have it when needed. They worry that the appropriate documents don’t exist or that they don't properly understand what constitutes a deductible expense.

What Things Can I Deduct?


The government has set forth certain restrictions on what can and can't be deducted when filing your taxes. If you incur costs as a result of your business, you'll need to consider what purpose your item is serving and plan accordingly.

“It is extremely important to keep your important papers straight for tax purposes, as tax planning statistics show that the lack of organized filing leads to a 20% greater chance of being audited.”

You may not be able to deduct the entire entertainment outing you take your partners or clients to, but you may be able to deduct part of your expenses. You can talk to your bookkeeper about the exact rules regarding the deduction of home office space. The rule, generally speaking, is that that space must exist exclusively for business purposes and that you must also measure the exact square footage of that location.

For those with businesses, you can log your:
  • Travel receipts
  • Miles driven
  • Meals
  • Tickets to trade conferences

Entrepreneurs also need to keep track of things like the hours their employees work and the general duties that they perform.

It is best to bring along all documentation and to allow your CPA to make the final determination. For people who do not own businesses, they can expect to bring tax statements from their mortgage company showing how much interest they paid on their house and car that year.

Medical expenses can be claimed if they are over a certain percentage of your income, and you can claim donations made to churches and charitable organizations.

Methods of Keeping Your Records in Order


Even if you have had trouble organizing in the past, there is no time like the present to develop a new system for tracking your receipts.

Paper Filing: You can use a file cabinet or a filer that sits on your desk. Additionally, you can even use a box or a small plastic bin. Whatever you use to house the documentation will need a method of labeling items further. You can even use envelopes or file folders to track specific categories.

It will be immensely helpful to then make sure that your information is stored in order of the date in which the action occurred. You may also want to make copies of your receipts and file the originals for safekeeping in a different location.

Your CPA will likely only need your facsimiles at tax time.

Digital Storage: Scan receipts online, and store bank and other important statements as PDFs. You can then keep them in folders on your computer. You can also use programs like Dropbox.

Smartphone Apps: Apps like Expensify let you merge information directly from your bank account onto their database. From there you can file your transactions into different categories.

It is extremely important to keep your important papers straight for tax purposes as tax planning statistics show that the lack of organized filing leads to a 20% greater chance of being audited. Avoid audits, keep your information straight, and reduce your stress this tax season!

Thanks for sharing, Larry L. Bertsch, CPA & Associates!

Don't let tax season sneak up on you. It will be here sooner than we think. Be sure to refer to the information provided by Larry L. Bertsch, CPA & Associates to learn how to keep track of your deductions. If you have anything to add to this list please mention it in the comment section below and for my tax blogs visit ExpressTaxFilings.com. 


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Friday, October 13, 2017

All About the Deposits: Head to the Bank Like Oprah & Ellen

Transaction.jpg

Talk show legends and media moguls Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres recently sat down on Ellen’s Show Me More YouTube series and answered some “burning questions” while sitting in the hot seat. Interesting facts such as Oprah’s favorite comfort food and feel-good activity were revealed on Ellen’s most recent episode.

The most intriguing topic that emerged from their hilarious conversation was when the two celebrities discussed how they haven’t had to go to a bank in years. Unable to remember their PIN numbers, Ellen does remember the last time she made a deposit (too many years ago to recall) it was for a $5,000 check, in which she was extremely proud of.


Oprah chuckled and then revealed that she hadn’t stepped foot in a bank since 1988. She then stated that she recently made a trip to her bank to deposit a check...for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Well, it was actually a check for TWO MILLION DOLLARS...I guess she lost count (LOL). “Yeah, I just wanted to go there just to do it. I stood in line, just to do it...it felt fantastic!” Oprah said regarding her trip.



Although Oprah & Ellen rarely have to make any type of deposit at a bank, business owners who file Form 941 quarterly are required to make deposits for their employee’s social security and Medicare taxes annually. Here’s some insight on Form 941 and its necessary deposits:

Form 941 Overview

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

Deposit Schedules

"You get a deposit...and you get a deposit...Everybody gets a deposit!" 


There are two deposit schedules (monthly or semiweekly) that determine when you deposit social security and Medicare taxes as well as withholding federal income tax. These schedules will tell you when a deposit is due after a tax liability arises such as a pay period. This deposit schedule has to be determined before the beginning of each calendar year and must be based on the total tax liability reported during a lookback period.

Deposit Rules for Form 941

Deposit schedules for Form 941 are based on the total tax liability which was reported on your Form 941 during your four-quarter lookback period (beginning July 1 and ending on June 30).

Although Form 941 is filed quarterly, you can pay your total Form 941 tax liability when you timely file Form 941 if:

  • Your total Form 941 tax liability for either the current quarter or the preceding quarter is less than $2,500 and
  • You don’t incur a $100,000 next-day deposit obligation during the current quarter. 

If you’re not sure that your total liability for the current quarter will be less than $2,500, and your liability for the preceding quarter was not less than $2,500, you should make deposits using the semiweekly or monthly rules to avoid any failure to deposit penalties.

Federal Tax Deposits

All federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer, which is usually made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

If you prefer to have a third party handle the payment on your behalf, such as a tax professional, financial institution, or payroll service, this can easily be done with your consent.

Deposits made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System must be submitted by 8 p.m. EST the day before the date the deposit is due. If you fail to submit a deposit through the payment system on time, a same-day wire payment can be accepting.

Form 941 Lookback Period

As previously stated, the lookback period begins July 1 and ends June 30. If you reported $50,000 or less of Form 941 taxes for the lookback period, you’re a monthly schedule depositor; if you reported more than $50,000, you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor.

Next Steps

Filing Form 941 doesn’t have to be a hassle. The process is actually quick and stress-free with the help of ExpressTaxFilings, the market-leading IRS authorized e-filing program. It will guide you through the filing process to complete your form in a matter of minutes online. Have some questions or want to make sure you’re processing everything correctly? Feel free to contact us for assistance. We’re available Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to E-file Form 941 With ExpressTaxFilings

E-file Form 941 online with ExpressTaxFilings
The Form 941 deadline is coming up on October 31st. It’s actually the 3rd quarter deadline so you should have already filed this return twice this year already. How was your filing process? If you filed here with ExpressTaxFilings then we already know it was hassle free.

However, if you used another program it may have been expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. Plus, if you hired an accountant to file it may have been even more expensive! Don’t torture yourself and bank account each quarter. Simplify the Form 941 e-filing process with the help of ExpressTaxFilings. Check out how to e-file right now!

First, What Is Form 941?


In case you need a little refresher or this is your first rodeo we will begin by going over Form 941. Form 941 or the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return is the report used to disclose employment taxes for those who own and operate a business with employees.

You are responsible for withholding Medicare, income, and social security tax from your employee’s paychecks. This report makes sure that you’re doing that and also reports the amount withheld from each paycheck. It’s also used to pay the amount of social security and Medicare tax owed by the employer to the IRS.

How To E-File Form 941


The entire filing process is incredibly easy. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step guide to complete your form in a matter of minutes. You will be able to finish your form and transmit it directly to the IRS in no time.

You’ll begin by creating your free ExpresstaxFilings account, then you will click the orange ‘Start New Form’ button and select Form 941 from the list. This is where things really start to take off.

Then you will enter your employer details such as your business type, name, contact information, and EIN (Employer Identification Number). All of this information will be saved in your account for next time, so you won’t have to re-enter it every time you file. You will also enter your signing authority and aggregate filing information in this section.

Next, you will choose your filing quarter and tax year. You can file for the current and previous tax year and the current tax year is 2017. Then select ‘Start Filing’ in your corresponding tax quarter, which is currently the 3rd quarter.

Instantly Complete Form 941 with ExpressTaxFilings
Then you will answer questions related to your wage and tax information. You will also answer questions related to your tax deposit schedule and indicate if your business closed, was sold, if you’re a seasonal employer who doesn’t need to file on a quarterly basis, or if you have stopped paying wages. This is also where you will enter your third-party designee information if applicable.This process is easy, there’s no reason to feel nervous because our program will alert you if you enter information in the incorrect field.

After that, you have the option to pay any of the taxes due to the IRS before your deadline. Then you will be presented with a summary of your information to make sure it’s correct. Click the Edit button to make any changes on your form. Also, an internal audit check will be performed to catch any basic errors.

Next, when you’re ready you can e-sign your form with just a few clicks of your mouse. You can use your free online signature PIN, which takes 45 days to become active with the IRS or you can use Form 8453-EMP.

After your form has been signed you will pay the filing fee and transmit your tax form 941 directly to the IRS! Once it’s accepted by the IRS you will be notified via email. Then you can download PDF copies and print them from the Print Center or have us print and mail them to your recipients.

We’re Here To Help


If you need any assistance during this straightforward and easy filing process, have no fear! We’re here to help. If you need any assistance give the dedicated, US-based ExpressTaxFilings support team a call anytime Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxfilings.com.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What To Consider When Hiring Independent Contractors

ExpressTaxFilings makes it easy to file Form 941 online
Sometimes when it comes to having a project completed for your business you may need a little extra help. For example, maybe you want to create a video about what your business does but none of your employees have video editing experience. What do you do?

Do you hire an in-house cinematographer to have someone available for video editing purposes at all times? Or do you look for an independent contractor to edit this video, even though you may need more videos edited in the future?

This can be a tough call, but you have to choose the right fit for your business based on what suits your needs. We’ve made a list of the pros and cons of hiring independent contractors to help you make this difficult decision!

Independent Contractors Vs Traditional Employees


Time is Managed Differently

When it comes to independent contractors you may save some time in the beginning because you won’t have to train them. Independent contractors are generally hired for a specific skill that they have pretty much already mastered. However, you will have to spend time looking for a qualified person.

The time-consuming interview process is pretty much eliminated because you can hire someone online based on their skills and portfolio. Also, you don't have to go through the entire process of officially hiring them as an employee.

However, the turnover rate among independent contractors is high. Instead of having someone in the office to instantly go to for a project you have have to frequently find new independent contractors.

You May Save With Independent Contractors

With an independent contractor, you set your own terms within a single contract. You may agree to pay your worker a flat rate per project or an hourly wage. Whereas with a traditional employee you would pay them a salary or for all of the hours they spend in the office, not just for working on a particular project.

You also don’t have to offer independent contractors the same amenities as a traditional employee. You don’t have to pay for their equipment or office space and you don’t have to offer them benefits, unemployment, or worker’s comp.

Although, you may not get what you pay for. The project completed by an independent contractor may be considered their work and it won’t be owned by your company. With a traditional employee, everything they do for you can belong to your business.
 
Quickly E-File Form 1099-MISC with ExpressTaxFilings
The Taxes Are Different

For traditional employees, you need to file Form 941 on a quarterly basis. The Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return is used to disclose employment taxes because you’re responsible for withholding Medicare, social security, and income taxes from your employees. The 941 return is also used to pay the amount of social security and Medicare tax owed by the employer to the IRS.

You also need to file W-2 forms for your traditional employees to report their salaries, withholdings, and other compensations during the year.

If you pay an independent contractor $600 or more during the year then you have to report that amount. You can do this by sending them a copy of IRS Form 1099-MISC. It’s used to report payments for services rendered for a business by people not treated as it’s employees.

Employee Taxes Are Easy

No matter if you hire independent contractors or traditional employees, reporting their taxes is easy with ExpressTaxFilings, the market-leading tax e-filing solution. All you have to do is select which form you need to file and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete it in a matter of minutes.

Plus, there are tons of innovative feature to streamline the e-filing process even more. For example, you can use the bulk upload feature to import all of your employee’s information at once or the print center to have us print and mail copies of your client’s returns to them. Don’t let tax season sneak up on you, get started with ExpressTaxFilings today!
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Friday, October 6, 2017

The IRS Provides Major Tax Breaks For Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

ExpressTaxFilings shares that the 14 day absence period is extended
Hurricanes have rocked the U.S. this year with Harvey, Irma, and Maria causing substantial damage to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and more. However, the damage faced in the continental U.S. isn’t close to what Puerto Rico experienced after being hit by both Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Disaster relief efforts are still in effect and many residents of the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who evacuated still can’t return due to the catastrophic damage. Many don’t even have homes to return to anymore. The IRS has recognized this and provided a major tax break as a result.

The IRS Extends The 14-Day Absence Period


Typically during a declared disaster under residency tax rules residents are allowed a 14-day absence period under the 183-day general presence test. However, the IRS has extended the 14-day period to 117 days, starting on September 6, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2017.

Anyone who is absent in the U.S. Puerto Rico and Virgin Island territories during this 117 day period will be treated as either having the inability to return or leaving due to hurricanes Irma and Maria. This issues relief to many citizens as they will not lose their status as a ‘bona fide resident' for tax filing and reporting purposes.

When living in a foreign country or territory like Puerto Rico you can qualify for foreign earned income exclusion by being a bona fide resident. To become a bona fide resident you have to pass the bona fide residency test.

Part of passing this test involves residing in that country for an entire tax year, from January 1 through December 31. Also, you can not have a tax home outside of the relevant possession and you can not have a closer connection to the United States or to a foreign country than the relevant position.

Most importantly, you will have to meet the presence test. As a U.S. citizen or resident alien to pass the presence test in Puerto Rico or the Virgin islands you must meet one of the following conditions:
ExpressTaxFilings explains the physical presence test
  • You must be present for at least 183 days during the tax year. 
  • You were not present in the United States for more than 90 days during the tax year. 
  • You had no significant connection to the United States During the tax year. 
  • You were present for at least 549 days during a 3-year period in the relevant possession. This includes the current tax year and 2 immediately preceding tax years. Also, during each of the 3 years, you must be present in the relevant possession for at least 60 days. 
  • You didn’t earn more than $3,000 in income in the United States and were present in the relevant possession for more days than the United States during the tax year. 
By extending this declared disaster period from 14 to 117 days, residents who had to evacuate and can’t return home yet now have more time to resolve their situation. Being away during this period will not hurt their physical presence test or bona fide resident status.

How To Help


The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need our help after getting hit by two major hurricanes. You can help spread the word on social media to raise awareness for the cause. Many people are unaware of the catastrophic damage that occurred, and spreading awareness could increase donations.

You could also donate money to a hurricane relief organization or charity. When donating food, water, and clothes make sure that your source has enough funds to transport the materials to the affected areas. Also, you could head to the disaster areas yourself to volunteer.

Please share your donation tips in the comment section below and visit ExpressTaxFilings.com for more tax blogs.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What Happens If I Don’t File Form 941?

File Form 941 With ExpressTaxFilings Online
It doesn’t matter how big your business is, we know you’re pretty busy running it. There are a lot of things to keep up with from employee time off requests, meetings, bills, and more. We can’t even begin to list all the daily tasks you probably have on your plate!

However, with the busier you get the easier it can be to let stuff slip through the cracks and forgetting about certain tasks can create major problems down the road. Especially if you miss an important tax deadline and get hit with major penalties and fees, or even worse, and audit.

Simplify your business taxes and never miss a return with the help of ExpressTaxFilings. Today we’re covering the facts about Form 941, including what happens if you don’t file.

Form 941 And It’s Penalties


It’s important to be prepared for October 31st because it’s actually the 3rd quarter deadline for e-filing Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return. This quarterly report is used to disclose employment taxes for those who own and operate a business with employees. If your business pays wages to an employee then you’re required to file Form 941 four times a year.

Because you’re an employer, you are responsible for withholding federal Medicare, social security, and income tax form your employee’s paychecks. Quarterly Form 941 is used to make sure that you’re doing so, and it reports on the amount withheld from each paycheck. It’s also used to pay the amount of social security and Medicare tax owed by the employer to the IRS.

If you fail to file by the deadline the amount you owe could quickly grow because the late filing penalty is 5% of the total tax due. Plus, this amount will accrue on a monthly basis until the penalty reaches 25%.

If you fail to make a full payment on the amount of tax you owe by the deadline you will face an additional penalty of 2 to 15% of the total amount due to the IRS. This amount varies depending on how many days late your payment is. Late payment penalty amounts are determined by calendar days starting from the due date of the liability.
 Follow the step-by-step Form 941 e-filing guide

How To E-File Form 941


Filing Form 941 doesn’t have to be a hassle. The entire process is actually quick and stress-free with the help of ExpressTaxFilings, the market-leading IRS authorized e-filing program. It will guide you through the filing process to complete your form in a matter of minutes online.

You will start by creating your free ExpressTaxFilings account, then you will select ‘Create New 941’ form and enter your employer details, such as the name, address, and EIN. Next, you will select your tax year and quarter, deposit made to the IRS, and enter your deposit schedule and tax liability.

Then you will sign your form with your free online signature PIN or complete Form 8453-EMP. After that, you will review your information, pay for your form, and transmit it directly to the IRS.

Trust us, the entire process is incredibly quick and easy. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions that explain what information is required to complete your form and where it needs to be entered.

We’re Standing By To Help


The ExpressTaxFilings dedicated, US-based support team are here to simplify tax filing. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have! We’re available Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.
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