ACA Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) Brings Complexity To Tax and HR

ACA LogoThere are many changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   We’d like to thank our valued strategic partner Ankur Khosla-Ghandi with PAYCHEX for the following information regarding the Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions that are almost here. Are your clients prepared to comply with the new guidelines?

An important part of the ESR provisions is the End of Year (EOY) reporting requirement that provides details on the insurance coverage that was offered to full-time employees.

  • Employers who are considered Applicable Large Employers (50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents) based on their 2014 calendar year workforce, are required to begin reporting ESR information to the IRS for calendar year 2015, using Forms 1094-C (employer transmittal

Prepare for Next Tax Season

Expanding Your Business

While you may be anticipating extensions, the toughest part of tax season will soon over, and it’s time for you to plan your celebration!  We highly recommend that you book a serious vacation or just spend a few days lounging around your home.  After that, you should consider investing in your business by adding a complementary service to your offerings.

If you intend to continue your business, be it full-time or on the side, you limit yourself by only offering tax preparation services.  It’s possible to build your business by landing more tax clients, but you’ll have more luck if you enhance your service offerings.  By adding complementary services like accounting, QuickBooks consulting, loan application services, and business turnaround help, your current clients are likely to request some of

Volunteer for the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

panelAre you looking for a good opportunity to serve your community while advancing your career as a tax professional?  Serving on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) would not only be a good opportunity to engage in civic-minded service, but it would also demonstrate your investment in the tax profession as well as taxpayer rights, all of which looks good to current and prospective clients.

The Internal Revenue Service is currently looking for volunteers to sit on the TAP, a federal advisory committee that give taxpayers voice, identifies key issues and recommends improvement in IRS service.

TAP includes representative tax preparers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and one abroad representing international

IRS Resources You Should Know About

Treasury tax check with cash.The IRS, in addition to being a somewhat ominous government agency which exacts compliance and accuracy, also provides taxpayers with resources designed to simplify the tax reporting process.  As a tax preparer, you should be aware of these resources and not only share them with clients but utilize them yourself.  Here are just a few you should know about:

e-Services for Tax Pros.  As described by the IRS, “e-Services is a suite of web-based products that will allow tax professionals and payers to conduct business with the IRS electronically.  There services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the internet.”  The following are available to all those

Home-Based Business Strategies

home-based-tipsWhile running a business from home can be inexpensive and convenient, it can get tricky as you try to balance work and home life, sometimes all from the same room.  In order to ensure that your professional and personal lives don’t collide in the process, you should have a strategy or at least some techniques that will help you manage your home-based business effectively.

In a recent SmallBizTrends article, author Timothy Carr shares “Work at Home Strategies for Success that May Surprise You.”  Here we detail 5 of his 9 suggestions:

1. Set a Morning Routine.  The way you start the morning will set the tone for the remainder of your workday. When

5 Markers of Emotional Intelligence

healthy-work-environAccording to author and entrepreneur Travis Bradberry, “people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.”  He goes on to explain that the difference lies in a key characteristic: “90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.”

While emotional intelligence is somewhat difficult to define, there are certain markers, of which Bradberry shares 18 in his article entitled “Are You Emotionally Intelligent?  Here’s How to Know for Sure.”  Here we detail six of Bradberry’s most noteable markers:

  1. You Embrace Change. We can’t experience growth without change, so it’s important to embrace it.  Resisting change ensures things won’t get better than they are this moment, and the truth is, even

Sharpening the Saw

sawIn Stephen Covey’s well-known and oft-quoted book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the last and final habit is known as “sharpening the saw.”  Covey explains that this habit “means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.”  If you’re like many professionals, the idea of taking a time-out to rejuvenate yourself may seem a little self-indulgent.  Aren’t you too busy sawing, for heaven’s sake?  Unfortunately, too much sawing and not enough sharpening makes your work less effective and eventually, inadequate.  Consider creating your own program for self-renewal using the following suggestions:

Physical. Neglecting your health will come back to haunt your business at

The Be-Do-Have Mentality

productiveWe’re a couple months into the New Year.  How are you doing with those resolutions?

Some of us struggle with resolutions.  And unless they represent life-long changes, often resolutions can be useless.  The problem with resolutions is that we focus more on doing or having certain things instead of just being.  What?  I know; it sounds confusing.  Let me explain.

We believe that in order to achieve a certain state of being—say, happiness or contentment or fulfillment, we must do or have.

  • If I exercise more, I will be healthy.
  • If I have more money, I will be successful.
  • If I read more books, I will be wise.

The truth is, we have it all backwards.  We

5 Simple Tips to End Procrastination

procrastinateWe’ve all procrastinated at one time or another.  And while for some, procrastination may represent a brief lapse in productivity, others are plagued with chronic procrastination that threatens their livelihood and business.  Wherever you may be on the spectrum, it’s important to recognize your tendency to procrastinate and respond promptly, especially now that tax season is upon us.

The following five steps will help anyone, regardless of the severity of their procrastination problem:

1. Determine the holdup. Whether you’re addicted to the adrenaline that comes from waiting until the last minute, you believe you work better under pressure, or you’re lacking the experience and expertise to complete a particular task, you’ll be unable to resolve your procrastination issues until you know

Good Management Skills

teamwork-skillsYour ability (or inability) to motivate your staff will be reflected in the quality of their work, morale, and cooperation.  By just focusing on just a few things, you can change the temperament of your workplace and ensure a happy and motivated staff.

1. Be positive. Lead by example.  This can be done by demonstrating a good attitude that naturally accompanies a positive outlook.  If you don’t have that, chances are your employees are simply reflecting what they see in you.

2. Permit others to do their jobs. Because you’re invested in your business’s success, it’s tempting to look over shoulders and micromanage your employees.  However, as a manager, you can