Hiring your first employee is an exciting time for your company. Your daily duties have expanded and you need to hire someone to take over some of the responsibility. Before you interview and find the person you want to bring into your company, you need to understand the legal requirements for hiring and maintaining employees.
Over the past couple of years, controversy rose around independent contractors. The line between employee and independent contractor has thinned, and many are confused over how workers should be classified. In general, the independent contractor is considered to self-employed, and the company is their client. This means that there are some vast differences between the tax obligations for independent contractors and employees.
The IRS, nearly every state tax agency, and even some cities require employers to withhold a certain amount from their employee’s paychecks to cover income tax, social security, and medicare obligations. These are payroll taxes, and it’s your responsibility, as a small business owner, to collect and send them in. The amount varies from state to state, and in some cases city to city, but there are three main steps to collection.
Everyone you hire fills out a W-4, which gives you some basic information like family size and other deductions. (more…)
Estimated tax payments are a pretty straightforward topic. You probably remember that, back when you worked for someone else, you had your taxes taken out of your paycheck. You don’t get out of having to pay tax when you start your own business – the IRS still expects you to pay what you owe. But what if you’re just starting out and not making much money? Or you’ve had a bad quarter and don’t have the money to cover what you normally send in? Do you still have to send in your estimated tax payment?
If you expect to owe more than $1,000, then you very likely have to pay estimated taxes. (more…)
Just like the annual trip to the dentist, tax season has crept up on us once again. To take the analogy a step further – if you have brushed, flossed, and rinsed as you should, your visit to the dentist will be quick and pain-free (both physically and financially). However, if not, the pain will long and agonizing. Similarly, if you have kept your accounting records in order the whole year with a constant eye on the upcoming tax season, preparation of your accounts will be pain-free (both from a time and cost factor). If not, the auditor may come to pay you a visit.
Thankfully, these days there are numerous tools to ease the burden of preparing all your tax season documentation. The following are five tools that will help you through the tax season with a minimum of fuss.
1. Salary Calculator – If you haven’t been using a salary calculator to assist in calculating what is left of your gross salary after taxes or to extrapolate weekly, monthly, or annual wages from an hourly wage rate, then you have been wasting your time. There are salary calculators freely available online. They are easy to use and are an excellent basis for preparing your tax return.
Limited Liability Companies were, originally, meant to be a replacement for the standard partnership. In 1977, the IRS ruled that it would treat the very first LLC, a Wyoming-based oil company, as a partnership for tax purposes. That meant any money earned by the company would flow through it, directly to the members of the LLC. It wasn’t until 1988, however, that the IRS chose to recognize all LLCs as partnerships, rather than corporations. LLCs are thus, at the federal level, treated as partnerships, which complicates matters for Single Member LLCs. Single Member Limited Liability Companies thus face challenges unique to its business structure – challenges that anyone considering forming a SMLLC should know about and expect.
What are the differences between a Limited Liability Company and a Single Member LLC?
The main difference is right in the name. A single member LLC only has one member, or owner. Limited Liability Companies were primarily created to protect the interests of everyone involved in running the company. The assets and debts of the company were its own, and the assets and debts of each member was their own. If one member misbehaved and owed creditors money, the creditor could not seize control of the LLC – they could only collect on the proportional share being paid to that owner. Likewise, if the company went bankrupt, the personal assets of the members were safe. Single Member LLCs, on the other hand, are not partnerships and it has been up to the state courts to decide how much protection a single-member LLC should really provide.
This week we’re covering the Land of Enchantment – New Mexico! Though admitted to the union in 1912, New Mexico has, for centuries, been home to the native Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache people. With the fourth-largest native population in the United States, New Mexico continues to be an important center of Native American culture. This culture, along with New Mexico’s stunning natural beauty, are the two of the main drivers of one the state’s biggest industries – tourism.
Along with tourism, New Mexico has a rich deposit of fossil fuel and natural gas, and is home to multiple military bases. In fact, federal spending is one of the biggest sources of revenue for New Mexico. The government of New Mexico is always looking for ways to help small businesses grow, and there are loads of tax incentives available to entrepreneurs in the state! But what does it take to start a small business there? How do you form an LLC or incorporate in New Mexico? And are there any special rules you should be aware of?
What is needed to start your small business in New Mexico?
Anyone that does business in New Mexico has to register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and be issued a CRS Identification number. Your CRS number is used to collect and pay tax on gross receipts. In addition to registering, all new small businesses should apply for a ‘Doing Business As’ name with the Secretary of State’s office so that they can advertise, collect checks, and open a bank account under their business’s name. If you’d like, we are happy to run a free DBA name search on your behalf!
Our next state is famous for producing 33% of the potatoes grown in the U.S., and 85% of commercial trout. This state is also home to the famous Salmon River- the longest free-flowing river to flow within a single state. Who is our mystery state bachelor? None other than Idaho!
Idaho is located in the northwestern region of the United States. It comes in as the 14th largest, 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the states. Its capital is Boise.
As far as starting a business in the potato state goes, Forbes ranks it at number 19 for the best states for business due to its average rankings of business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life.
California– the golden state, home to San Francisco, Los Angeles and, of course, MyCorporation! California’s flag is none other than the Historic Bear Flag, its capital is Sacramento, its flower the poppy and its motto: Eureka!
One would think that a place with so much start-up history would be an excellent place to start a business nowadays; however, California is actually not the best place to start a business as it turns out.
California is one of the most expensive states to incorporate in with a flat, corporate tax of 8.84%. Additionally, the state’s tax codes are known to be pretty complicated. Not to mention the large amounts of bureaucracy that a small business has to cut through in order to open.
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN for short, is basically a social security number for your business. Like with social security numbers, the IRS uses EINs to track what businesses need to certain types of tax. However, not all businesses are technically required to have an EIN as sole proprietorships can be identified by the owner’s SSN instead. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should avoid filing for one, as there are three main reasons why obtaining an EIN is important for a small business.
It allows the business to hire employees.
If you run a sole-proprietorship and you are the only employee that works for the business, all of the profits and losses are going to be reported as part of your personal income. You then pay whatever state and federal taxes you need to, just like you would if you received an income from anywhere else. However, when you hire an employee, you are responsible for withholding any necessary taxes from that employee’s income. The IRS then cannot simply use your SSN to keep track of what they are owed as there are now two different employees, and that’s where the employer identification number comes in. EINs let the IRS and other tax-collecting bodies know what businesses need to be sending in the usual payroll taxes.