IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates

The IRS has announced the standard mileage rates that may be used in 2016 instead of deducting actual expenses. The new rates, which have decreased or stayed the same, are as follows:

  • For business driving, the rate is 54 cents per business mile (it was 57.5 cents in 2015).
  • For medical and moving expenses, the rate is 19 cents per mile (it was 23 cents in 2015).
  • For charitable travel, the rate is 14 cents per mile (the same as in 2015).

Note that you can add related tolls and parking fees to these flat, IRS-approved rates. For more information, visit www.irs.gov.

 

February Tax Tips, Updates and More

February 2016 General Client Newsletter

Our busy season is in full-swing. Tax organizers were sent out to all of our 1040 clients in January. If you haven’t received yours, please let us know. Do you use our online portal to send your information to us? If you have questions on how to access or complete it, check out our tutorials at http://weltmanbernfield.com/category/videos/web-portal-instructional-videos/

In this month’s issue:

February 2016 QuickBooks Tip

1099s on QuickBooks Online

by Miriam Treshansky, CPA and Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor®

You can use QuickBooks Online to prepare 1099s. First, go to the vendor list and click on the “Prepare 1099s” tab. The first screen that comes up is for the company settings. Here, you need to verify and update, if needed, the company name, mailing address and tax ID number. Then, click on the vendor and confirm that all relevant data is complete — the name, mailing address and tax identification number or, in many cases, a social security number. Again, you can update any changes, if necessary.

Next, assign vendor payments to the various 1099 categories corresponding to the boxes on the 1099 form. Here, you’re mapping the expense accounts used when the vendor was paid, such as rents or non-employee compensation, to the correct 1099 box.

As an aside, if there are several vendors in a particular expense category, go to that account, click customize and sort by vendor. That way you have the amount paid to each vendor separately shown.

Also, by default, QuickBooks will show vendors whose total payments meet the IRS criteria for needing 1099s. So if the payments made are under $600, there won’t be a 1099 created for that vendor.

After this is done, be sure to review the payments and make sure they’re assigned to the correct 1099 boxes.

If you would like help in setting up this process, please call one of our talented QuickBooks ProAdvisors. They would be happy to help you.

What QuickBooks’ Calendar Can Do for You

February 2016 QuickBooks® Newsletter

QBC newsletter logoYet another calendar? Yes. It’s a good idea to use QuickBooks’ calendar to stay on top of your financial transactions.

These days, some of us find ourselves updating multiple calendars. There’s the Outlook calendar or other web-based solution for scheduling and task management. Maybe a smartphone app to track to-do’s on the road, and a paper calendar as backup.

But where do you keep track of your everyday financial tasks? Including these in your scheduling calendars and/or task lists will make for very crowded screens, not to mention how inconvenient it can be to keep switching between applications.

So consider adding one more tracking tool: the QuickBooks calendar. This graphical screen isn’t designed for data entry (except for to-do’s). Rather, it’s designed to give you a quick overview of your financial activity, both historically and in the future.

The QuickBooks calendar

Figure 1: The QuickBooks calendar consists of two parts. The graphical calendar itself displays one of three types of entries: Entered, Due, or To Do. The number in parentheses refers to the number of each type that occurred or will occur that day. Details of each entry appear below; double-clicking on one opens the original form.

Calendar Setup

Before you start using the QuickBooks calendar, you should designate your display and content options. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences | Calendar. Make sure that the My Preferences tab is active.

Click on the arrows to the right of every field to open the menu that displays your choices. The first of these are:

  • Calendar view. Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Or do you want QuickBooks to remember the last view that was open?
  • Weekly view. Should the calendar only display the primary workdays or all seven?
  • Show. What items would you like to have displayed on the calendar? It defaults to All Transactions, but you can filter it by transaction type.

You can also specify whether you want past due and upcoming entries to be included, and for how many days.

Tracking To-Do’s

QuickBooks calendar to-do items

Figure 2: You can create to-do items and have them appear on the QuickBooks calendar.

The QuickBooks calendar also offers tools for creating to-do’s of several types (call, fax, email, meeting, appointment, or task). These will appear on the calendar unless you filter them out.

Tip: The link that opens the to-do window is rather hard to find. It’s in the lower right corner of the graphical calendar.

Click on Add To Do to get started. The window pictured above opens. Click the arrow to the right of the field under TYPE and select the type of to-do that you want to define. You can also select a PRIORITY level if you’d like.

Below those two fields is a small box to the left of WITH. If you want to connect that activity to a customer, vendor, or employee, click in the box and select the type. Then click the arrow next to the field below it and choose the correct individual or company.

You aren’t required to create this link; you can simply designate your to-do type and enter a DATE, TIME, and DETAILS. The activity will still appear on your QuickBooks calendar. But if you do associate it with a specific entity, like a customer, it will appear in that customer’s record when you click on the To Do’s tab.

A Word About Reminders

QuickBooks Calendar Reminders

Figure 3: You can get advance notice of scheduled financial activities by setting up Reminders. Go to Edit | Preferences | Reminders | Company Preferences.

The QuickBooks calendar is not really a reminder tool. You’ll need to use QuickBooks’ Reminders to get help with advance notice of due dates.

But the calendar will display the actual due dates for transactions. If you’ve entered a bill that’s due on February 28, for example, the word Due will appear on that date in the graphical calendar; the number of transactions due will appear in parentheses after it. All entries for that day appear in a list below. To see the original form, you’d double-click on the one you want to see.

Using Reminders in conjunction with the QuickBooks calendar can help you stay current with sales and purchases, if you have you due dates established in a way that will be good for your cash flow. Let us know if you want some help scheduling incoming and outgoing payments in a way that will work to your advantage.

Also see our QuickBooks Tip of the Month.

Got a QuickBooks question? Contact our QuickBooks Pros.

January 2016 Tax Legislation Updates, Business Tips and More

January 2016 General Client Newsletter

Happy New Year!

We hope that you had a good holiday and are ready for 2016. We look forward to another year of working with you and hope that you find the tips and updates in our monthly newsletters helpful. If you have questions, please contact us.

In this month’s issue: