Latest IRS Updates and News Releases

IRS Business Use of Your Home Webinar is Now Available on Demand!

http://www.irsvideos.gov/BusinessUseofYourHome

This IRS webinar is now archived and available for viewing in the IRS Video Portal.  It originally aired on September 10, 2014.

Topics discussed during the webinar included:

  • Simplified and regular option for claiming the home office deduction
  • Requirements for qualifying to deduct expenses
  • Types of expenses you can deduct and how to figure the deduction

For more on upcoming programs for small businesses, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website and type webinars in the search box.
To view other archived webinars, please visit the IRS Video Portal and click the All Webinars link at the bottom of the page.

Your Business - Start Smart Workshop
Offered by the US Small Business Administration

Friday, October 17 - 12:30 - 3:00 pm

Seattle Central Library

Registration Required - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/your-business-start-smart-tickets-12786463657

 

Gain valued perspectives from a local entrepreneur educator on what it takes to be successful in a small business, learn the fundamentals needed to get started, and access free resources from the Seattle Public Library and SBA. Visit the SBA website for more information or to register.

BBB Secure Your ID Day

http://www.bbb.org/alaskaoregonwesternwashington/get-involved/bbb-secure-your-id-day/

Be the first line of defense when it comes to protecting identity. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is teaming up with Wells Fargo to host Secure Your ID Day on October 18 at the Tacoma Mall Parking Lot.  This identity theft prevention event features free on-site shredding and tips to protect your identity. Mobile shredding trucks will be on-site accepting up to three bags or boxes of unwanted documents per person.  Please note that cardboard and three-ring binders cannot be accepted.

 

Saturday, October 18 -- 9 a.m. – 1p.m.

Tacoma Mall Parking Lot, Tacoma WA

 

Secure Your ID Day coincides with National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  BBB staff will be available to answer questions about preventing identity theft and provide resources for victims.  View BBB’s suggested Records Retention Schedule to see how long to keep personal information before shredding.

 

Workshops for Minority & Women Business Enterprises and Disadvantage Business Enterprises Seeking State or Federal Certification
http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=deb7fbb817796c3301192f26e&id=18dc5f8bf6&e=cb8858a923

The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) and Washington Procurement & Technical Assistance Center are teaming up to provide workshops for businesses who wish to gain a competitive advantage with State or Federal certification.  OMWBE is the sole certifying agency for minority, women, and disadvantaged small businesses in Washington State. Meet with the certification experts from OMWBE who will talk about the benefits of the certifications and walk you through the application to help you with any sticking points. 

This workshop is great if you are thinking of applying and want to get a handle on the application, or you've already started applying and have questions on any section.

Click the links below to see the eligibility criteria for each certification:
     Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
     Woman Business Enterprise
     Minority Business Enterprise

 

Session for Minority & Women Business Enterprises

November 5 - 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Register here

 

Sessions for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

October 30 - 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce - Vancouver, WA

Register here

 

November 19 - 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Greater Spokane Incorporated - Spokane, WA

Register here

 

Find more workshops offered by Washington PTAC and partners here: http://washingtonptac.org/events-workshops/

 

Service Member for Life Transition Summit
http://wamilitaryalliance.org/summit/

October 21-23 - Joint Base Lewis McChord

This three-day summit brings together key federal and state agencies, influential military leaders, innovators in the business and employer community, and local community leaders with transitioning service members, veterans, and their families.  Day 3 (Oct 23) is a Small Business Resource Fair with the SBA.

For a detailed schedule and registration information, visit http://wamilitaryalliance.org/summit.

Boots to Business: Reboot
http://www.sba.gov/tools/content/edmonds-boots-business-reboot

November 4-5 – Edmonds Library - Plaza Room (tentative)

650 Main Street, Edmonds, WA

Open to all honorably discharged Veterans and their spouses only. Reboot is an entrepreneurial education program offered by the SBA in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. The program provides assistance to veterans exploring self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and the foundational knowledge required for developing a business plan. Participants are also introduced to SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance. Seats are limited, register now. Workshop is free, lunch on your own, free Edmonds library parking. For more details and registration information, visit http://go.usa.gov/vXWW.

Export 101 Seminar Nov. 6 in Tri-Cities

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/export-101-your-door-to-the-world-tickets-13290519301

Did you know 95% of potential customers live outside of the U.S.? It’s time to learn how to connect with them.

 

Attend Export 101: From Your Door to the World to access local resources to help your small business expand globally at this full-day seminar covering: 

•  Developing an export business plan
•  Determining appropriate international markets
•  Finding qualified buyers, agents, and distributors
•  Determining pricing and methods of payment
•  Mitigating non-payment risks and financing export transactions
•  Shipping your product overseas

 

Thursday, November 6
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Port of Pasco at Osprey Pointe
1100 Osprey Pointe Blvd., Suite 201 | Pasco, WA

 

Cost: $30 (covers manual and lunch)

Space is limited so please register online.

 

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Business

http://www.sba.gov/healthcare

The SBA and Small Business Majority are holding weekly Affordable Care Act 101 webinars. During the presentation, small business owners can learn about the law and what it means for their company and employees.  Visit the web page above for a complete schedule and to register, but webinars are generally held every Thursday at 11:00 am Pacific Time.

 

Starting July 8th, Spanish-speaking small employers throughout the country can join representatives from SBA, HHS, and Small Business Majority for ACA 101 webinars in Spanish. See the page above for dates and to register.  The Spanish language webinars will be held every other Tuesday at 1:00 pm PT throughout the summer and fall.

 

Small Business Workshops – Seattle SBA Education and Training Center
Small Business Taxes & Bookkeeping for the Small Business Owner - 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month - 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Learn about important information regarding your tax responsibilities as a small business owner. Topics covered:

  • What taxes to pay and when they are due
  • How to choose the right accountant and the right accounting software
  • How to document expenses and activities
  • How to take care of employee and contractor payroll taxes
  • The difference between city, county, state, and federal taxation
  • What the tax advantages are for the sole proprietor or for business entities in general

 

Workshops are held at the 4th & Battery Building - 2401 Fourth Avenue, Suite 450, Seattle

Please pre-register by calling 206-553-2664 or e-mail workshops@sba.gov.

SBA and SCORE also offer a variety of other workshops for small business owners – find out more here: http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3157

 

Seattle SCORE Workshops

http://seattle.score.org/localworkshops

SCORE offers workshops designed to give you the skills necessary to start your own successful business.

Nov 5 -- Starting a New Business

Oct 28 – Understanding Financial Statements

4th & Battery Building - 2401 Fourth Avenue, Suite 450, Seattle

 

Spokane SCORE Workshops

http://www.scorespokane.org/workshops

Spokane Regional Business Center (SRBC), 801 W. Riverside Avenue, Suite 444, Spokane

Nov 5  -- Starting a New Business

Check website for current listings and registration information.

 

Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries - Free Contractor Training Days

http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Contractors/Workshops/Contractor/

More than 25 different classes are offered on subjects including: safety, managing your claims to control your workers' compensation costs, public works contracting, business planning, risk management, marketing and more.  See the link above for registration information.

Oct 24 – Spokane -- Spokane Community College (www.scc.spokane.edu)

Dec 5 – Renton -- Renton Technical College (www.rtc.edu)

 

Employer's Introduction to L&I Workshops

http://lni.wa.gov/Safety/TrainingPrevention/workshops/WorkshopInfo.asp?WkshopID=78

This workshop is designed for new businesses or businesses that plan to hire workers for the first time. It explains an employer’s rights and responsibilities and provides an overview of the services and resources available at Labor and Industries.

Oct 23 – Tacoma -- 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Nov 4 – Moses Lake -- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nov 5 – Everett -- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nov 6 – Spokane Valley --  9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Dec 10 -- Tukwila -- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 

New Business Tax Workshops – Washington State Department of Revenue

https://fortress.wa.gov/dor/efile/SecureForms/Content/WorkshopsAndEducation/AttendAWorkshop/RegisterForWorkShop.aspx?ID=213

Learn the basics of Washington State taxes. This free workshop will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities. Tax reporting classifications, deductions, sales tax collection, and recordkeeping requirements will be discussed. You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions regarding taxes that apply specifically to your business. To find out when the next workshop will be held in your area, and to register, see the link above.  Can’t attend a workshop in person? Watch an online workshop or tutorial.

 

IRS Updates & News Releases:

Did you know? One of the best ways to get information is by visiting the IRS Small Business Tax Center where you can learn everything from how to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online to how to best navigate an audit.

 

Tax-filing and Payment Extensions Expire Oct. 15; Check Eligibility for Overlooked Tax Benefits; Choose E-file; E-pay with New Direct Pay

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Tax-Filing-and-Payment-Extensions-Expire-Oct.-15;-Check-Eligibility-for-Overlooked-Tax-Benefits;-Choose-Efile;-Epay-with-New-Direct-Pay

The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers whose tax-filing extension runs out on Oct. 15 to double check their returns for often-overlooked tax benefits and then file their returns electronically using IRS e-file or the Free File system.  More than a quarter of the nearly 13 million taxpayers who requested an automatic six-month extension this year have yet to file. Although Oct. 15 is the last day for most people, some still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone localities who typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.

 

Tax Payments Top the One Million Mark with New IRS Direct Pay; Free Online System Makes it Easy for People to Pay Their Federal Taxes

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Tax-Payments-Top-the-One-Million-Mark-with-New-IRS-Direct-Pay;-Free-Online-System-Makes-it-Easy-for-People-to-Pay-Their-Federal-Taxes

With more than one million tax payments already processed this year through IRS Direct Pay, the Internal Revenue Service today encouraged anyone facing upcoming tax payment deadlines to consider choosing this free online system to quickly and easily pay what they owe. More than one million tax payments totaling over $1.7 billion have been received from individual taxpayers since Direct Pay debuted earlier this year. Available through the Pay Your Tax Bill  icon on IRS.gov, Direct Pay allows individuals to e-pay their tax bills or make quarterly estimated tax payments directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or pre-registration.

 

NOTE: Direct Pay cannot be used to pay business taxes. Taxpayers who wish to e-pay their federal business taxes should enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or click on the Pay Your Tax Bill icon to check out other payment options.

 

New ACA Information Center for Tax Professionals

http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/ACA-Information-Center-for-Tax-Professionals

There is a new page on IRS.gov with links to information on the Affordable Card Act – although the page is titled ‘for Tax Professionals’ there is good information on it for payroll professionals and small businesses. Additional content will be added or linked to this site in the coming months.

 

New YouTube Videos Provide Tips on Health Care, Tax Returns

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/New-YouTube-Videos-Provide-Tips-on-Health-Care-Tax-Returns

IRS YouTube Videos:
IRS Commissioner: Individual Shared Responsibility Provision: English
IRS Commissioner: Premium Tax Credit-Changes in Circumstances: English

 

Several new YouTube videos are available to help taxpayers get important information about the Affordable Care Act and tax return filing. The new videos, which are part of a series on the IRS YouTube channel, feature IRS Commissioner John Koskinen discussing the premium tax credit and the individual shared responsibility provision. These provisions of the Affordable Care Act will affect people's tax returns next year when they file their 2014 returns.

 

In the video about the premium tax credit, the Commissioner talks about how it can help make purchasing health care through the Health Insurance Marketplace more affordable for people with moderate incomes. In the video about the individual shared responsibility provision, Koskinen discusses important facts about coverage requirements, coverage exemptions and the individual shared responsibility payment. He covers who must make a payment, who is eligible for exemptions, and what people need to do when filing their tax return.

 

Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers Have More Time to Replace Livestock; 30 States Affected

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Drought-Stricken-Farmers-and-Ranchers-Have-More-Time-to-Replace-Livestock;-30-States-Affected

Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought, like the drought currently affecting much of the nation, have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. Farmers and ranchers who, due to drought, sell more livestock than they normally would may defer tax on the extra gains from those sales. To qualify, the livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period. The IRS is authorized to extend this period if the drought continues.

 

The one-year extension of the replacement period generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes due to drought. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, and poultry are not eligible.

The IRS is providing this relief to any farm located in a county, parish, city, borough, census area or district, listed as suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), during any weekly period between Sept. 1, 2013, and Aug. 31, 2014. All or part of 30 states are listed. Any county contiguous to a county listed by the NDMC also qualifies for this relief.  Details on this relief, including a list of NDMC-designated counties, are available in Notice 2014-60,

 

IRS To Realign Compliance Operations

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-To-Realign-Compliance-Operations

Starting Oct. 20, the IRS is realigning its tax compliance organizations serving individual and small business taxpayers. Realigning core business operations in its Wage and Investment and Small Business/Self-Employed divisions is expected to make processes more efficient. In addition, the realignment will reduce redundancies and position ourselves to improve our ability to identify emerging compliance issues. This change will be seamless for taxpayers and tax professionals. The goal of the realignment is to primarily focus SB/SE on post-filing compliance and W&I on pre-refund compliance.

 

Business E-File Jumps 10 Percent This Year; Doubles in 4 Years; 7 in 10 Corporate and Partnership Tax Returns Now Filed Electronically

Business e-file rose nearly 10% this year, continuing the growth that has seen the number of corporate and partnership returns filed electronically double in just four years. An additional 600,000 corporations and partnerships e-filed their tax returns this year. As of Sept. 21, more than 7 million corporations and partnerships e-filed, an increase of almost 10% over the prior year’s total, and twice the nearly 3.5 million returns e-filed during the 2010 fiscal year. About 70% of all corporate and partnership returns have been e-filed during 2014.

 

Tax Tips

http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Tax-Tips

 

Five Easy Ways to Spot a Scam Phone Call

Health Care Tax Tips

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Health-Care-Tax-Tips2

Check out the tax tips for your health care questions on this page.