Government Policies

Government Policies

Most small business owners are well informed about what government policies apply to them, specifically what FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) policies they need to be in accordance with according to their business. However, an increasing number of small businesses have been cited for policy violations. It makes one wonder if small businesses are as informed as they think they are about some of the more common FLSA policies. Below is a list of some of the more egregious violations.

Unpaid Compensable Time

A good example is unpaid compensated time; this is when an employee works through lunch but is not paid for that time. That is if the lunch is unpaid, but the employee engages in work that benefits the company they can be entitled to appropriate compensation. Granted, there is some gray area to this policy, but it is one that is in need of handling through communication with the employee and the proper authorities instead of hoping that no one notices.

Unpaid Vacation Time

Unpaid vacation time occurs in mainly one instance: when an employee leaves (whether through being fired or quitting) they are entitled to their paid vacation time. Though the FLSA does not require paid vacation, if the company offers it then it is considered part of the employee’s compensation for their work, just like their wage or salary. If the employee is no longer working for the company, they are entitled to these earnings.

Overtime Status

The FLSA guarantees overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Conversely, they do not guarantee it to exempt employees. The rub is the classification. Now, there are numerous criteria to determine which classification an employee falls into, but it is up to the small business owner to make sure that they are correctly designating the people that work for their company. This can be a major violation if the government finds the owned to be non-compliant.

Overtime Pay

Likewise, if the calculation of overtime pay is determined to be faulty, it can be a major FLSA violation. The FLSA states that any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek is to be paid one and half times their wage. Of course, there can be a miscalculation as to when exactly an individuals work week begins or ends, which is to say that if a small business has non-exempt employees, it needs to double check that it is paying the overtime as per FLSA regulations.

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How Do You File an Amended Tax Return?

How Do You File an Amended Tax Return?

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re doing your own tax preparation. The IRS has a special procedure for fixing them.

That sense of accomplishment you feel after you’ve filed your income taxes can turn quickly to dread if you realize later that you made a mistake. What do you do now?

The IRS knows that this will happen to some taxpayers every year. The tax code is so complex, and if you prepare your taxes manually, you’ve probably been shuffling a lot of papers around.

So, first: Don’t panic. You can fix this. The IRS offers what’s called an amended return, the Form 1040X, for just this type of situation.

If you’ve made a mistake on your income tax return, you’ll be able to file a Form 1040X.

What IRS forms does the 1040X cover?

If your original tax return was filed using a Form 1040, 1040A 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ, you should file a Form 1040X to amend that return.

What if I realize I made a math error?

The IRS will make the necessary corrections, so you usually don’t need to file an amended return. However, you should submit one if there was an error related to your filing status, income, deductions, or credits.

I forgot to file my Schedule B. Should I file an amended return?

Usually, no. The IRS will request missing forms and schedules from you.

Can I file a Form 1040X electronically?

No. You must submit a paper return.

How much time do I have to file a Form 1040X?

You can usually file an amended return up to three years after the date of your original income tax return or within two years of actually paying the taxes – whichever date is later. Look at the above image of Form 1040X. You must indicate the year of the return you’re amending by checking a box or entering a year after This return is for the calendar year…

What if my amended return entitles me to an additional refund?

Don’t file a Form 1040X until you’ve received the first refund. Once that’s in hand, you can file the amended return and cash the check. Keep in mind that it can take up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process an amended return. It may not even appear in the system for three weeks after you’ve mailed it.

The IRS Form 1040X uses a three-column approach to help you illustrate where errors have occurred.

I realized that I owed more income tax than I sent, but it’s only March. Can I file a 1040X and include the additional funds?

Yes, as long as it’s received by the April due date for that specific year. You’ll avoid taxes and penalties.

Can I check on the progress of my amended return?

Yes. Go to this IRS page. You’ll need to supply your birthdate, Social Security number, and Zip code. You’ll be able to view the status of your return: received, adjusted (refund, balance due, or no changes), or completed.

Accuracy and Thoroughness Critical

The Form 1040X is not the most complicated of the standard IRS forms, but neither is it the simplest. It’s critical that you complete it absolutely correctly, so you don’t start having to amend your amended returns.

The completion of your Form 1040X can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including the presence of errors. It may take more than 16 weeks to process because it’s:

  • Incomplete.
  • Unsigned.
  • A victim of fraud or identity theft.
  • In need of additional information.

Avoiding Amended Returns

We can help you determine whether you need to file an amended return at all, and if so, how you should fill out the form.

If you don’t want to risk going through this whole thing again, talk to us about getting you started with year-round tax planning. It makes the whole tax preparation process (which we can handle for you, too) much easier and less stressful. We’ve worked hard with other individuals and small business to minimize their tax obligations, and we can do the same for you.

 

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Paper Timesheets versus Time Tracking Apps

Paper Timesheets versus Time Tracking Apps

Many businesses continue to rely on the conventional paper timesheets for their employees to track their attendance. Paper timesheets require a lot of dedication in the creation process and it can also increase your monthly cost. So why not go for a simpler solution that will make things easier for you? Here’s a quick look at some reasons why you should stop using paper timesheets and start using time tracking apps.

 

1. Reduce Clerical Mistakes

Paper timesheets require writing out the details of employees attendance and sometimes the words or numbers don’t appear clear. However, with time tracking apps, names and time tables are so clear that you will not have an opportunity to mix up things.

 

2. Save Time

The truth is that paper timesheets can be poured over for hours by employers. This is simply inefficient and costly for the business because that time could be used for other business dealings instead. A digital timesheet is non-negotiable as the employer can see when the employee logged in and out of the computer.

 

3. Increase Visibility

The pendulum swings both ways and the employer can be at fault with messing up paper timesheets. The employer can be accused of adjusting the paper timesheets. There is room for debate with paper timesheets that no employee would welcome.

Time tracking apps are more reliable and they include audit trails. The employees have digital records to back up their claims as to when they signed in and signed out for the day. This can really help when an employee has a dispute regarding the hours that they were paid for. There is that added bit of proof that an arbitrary piece of paper cannot provide.

 

4. Added Features

An employer can do more with digital timesheets than a piece of paper can provide. They can delegate some of their managerial responsibilities to the program’s features such as approvals, reporting, automatic reminders and online scheduling. The entire workplace operation process is streamlined.

These reasons are just a few of the advantages that time tracking apps, such as TSheets, provides over paper timesheets. The choice of using a virtual process is a no brainer in this digital age.  

We love TSheets time tracking and think you would too. Employees can track time on any device, you can easily integrate with various payroll programs, and the customer experience team is phenomenal! There are tons of amazing features, try it free for 14 days by clicking here:

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Salon & Spa Bookkeeping

Whether you manage your own accounting books with a small salon business accounting software, or you have hired a professional salon bookkeeper to help, you will find that managing your books will help play a major role in the success of your salon business.

Even though the salon business is a little different in how it is run, the bookkeeping doesn’t need to be such a challenge.

You will mostly receive income for services, products, booth rentals, and even commissions.  Along with this might include a lease, payroll, products, equipment, insurance and other license fees.  Your salon business will require some of the bookkeeping methods to help you keep your revenue and expenses straight.

Probably the best advice I ever got in my life was from the head of the accounting department, Mr. Hutchinson, I believe at the Glidden Company in Chicago, and he told me, ‘You really aren’t cut out for accounting.

Bob Newhart

Here are some handy Beauty Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Tips:

USE APPROPRIATE SALON & SPA BOOKKEEPING METHODS

You sell to your clients your services and products, so you need meticulous records to keep up with it all.  If you deal with any receipts, you will want to use some sort of binder to track them and divide it into months.  Then use it to keep bank statements, receipts, and deposit slips.  This will provide easy referencing and will protect you in the case of an audit.  So you will want to use your business checks or your business debit card to make purchases.  Always remember to save your receipts and deposits correctly.

Good bookkeeping for salon owners involves tracking expenses.

A salon business with inventory is normally required to report under the accrual method.  However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Inventory as items purchased with the intent to resell, like shampoos, brushes, and other salon products you might sell in your salon & spa business.  If your salon fits under a certain annual gross income, and most small salons fit in this group, then you can elect to choose a much simpler cash basis method to account for your inventory.  Simplicity is the main reason Salon & Spa owners want to choose this cash based method.  Setting up and using the accrual method proves to be much more complex to manage for small salon owners.

But if you’re managing a larger inventory in your salon, then we recommend an accrual method of accounting for your salon.

For most small cosmetology, hair, tanning, beauty and other salon & spa owners who are not inventorying heavy, the cash basis will prove to work best in most cases.

If you are unsure, contact a Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Professional

Setup and Use Salon & Spa Bookkeeping Technology

Think about all the services your business offers, products your business sells, and even how many stylists might work in your salon.  Setup any products you will sell.  You will need to setup your business, corporation, tax information, and employees to get started.

Go over your accounts monthly, and track receipts, deposits, and bank statements to your folders.  This would be a good time to consider using proven Beauty Salon & Spa accounting software.

Salon & Spas are cash-intensive businesses.  Features you might need in your accounting software include payroll, inventory, commissions, invoicing, payments and reports.

Hire a Professional Salon & Spa Bookkeeper to Help Out

Salon & Spa owners are no different when it comes to needing help.  If you are not interested in struggling with all the setup and management of the software, look into hiring an online salon & spa bookkeeping expert to come help you.  Rather than struggling with this, make accounting easier by hiring a bookkeeper or investing in salon business management software.  These tools can help you track your expenses, and generate invoices.  This will help you implement bookkeeping practices for your salon business.

Also, don’t be like other salon owners, and wait until the end of the tax year to get their financials organized.  Waiting until the end of the year can also result in more errors so be careful about being too hurried.  If you follow these simple bookkeeping guidelines for salon & spa business, your year-end tasks will be less daunting.  You will be better prepared to meet your salon business financial obligations.

Your main goal is to get clients to come in so you can, in turn, provide them with a great experience, so make sure to use technology to help you.  So, let STAC Bizness Solutions help you with your Salon Bookkeeping.


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