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It’s important to know how many full-time employees you have because two provisions of the Affordable Care Act – employer shared responsibility and employer information reporting for offers of minimum essential coverage – apply only to applicable large employers. Employers average the number of their full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, for the months from the previous year to see whether they are considered an applicable large employer.

 

Whether your organization is an ALE for a particular calendar year depends on the size of your workforce in the preceding calendar year. To be an ALE, you must have had an average of at least 50 full-time employees – including full-time-equivalent employees – during the preceding calendar year. So, for example, you will use information about the size of your workforce during 2016 to determine if your organization is an ALE for 2017.

 

In general:

 

  • A full-time employee is an employee who is employed on average, per month, at least 30 hours of service per week, or at least 130 hours of service in a calendar month.

  • A full-time equivalent employee is a combination of employees, each of whom individually is not a full-time employee, but who, in combination, are equivalent to a full-time employee.

  • An aggregated group is commonly owned or otherwise related or affiliated employers, which must combine their employees to determine their workforce size.

There are many additional rules on determining who is a full-time employee, including what counts as hours of service. 

 

For more information, see the Information Reporting by Applicable Large Employers and the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions pages on IRS.gov/aca


 

As the nation celebrates Small Business Week May 1-7, the IRS will host four free webinars. The webinars will help small business owners with their taxes. The IRS also highlights popular products and services available on IRS.gov.

 

Here are some details about the free webinars:

 

1. Tax Tips for Your New Business, May 2. Small business owners and tax professionals with small business clients who may be starting new endeavors are the focus of this webinar.

Topics include:

  • Deciding if it’s a business or hobby
  • Selecting a business structure.
  • Understanding business taxes.
  • Recordkeeping requirements.
  • Choosing a tax preparer.
  • Finding out where to go for IRS help.
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2. Staying Afloat: Planning for Emergencies Before they Happen, May 3. Small business owners, tax professionals and payroll organizations learn about emergency preparedness in this broadcast.

Topics include:

  • Business continuity planning.
  • How to create an emergency plan.
  • Employee preparedness.
  • Payroll continuity and supply chain protection.
  • Protecting your records and data.
  • What happens after a disaster is declared.
  • IRS resources to help you plan.
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3. Worker Classification: Employee or Independent Contractor? May 4. This webinar is in Spanish. It teaches Spanish-speaking small business owners, tax professionals and payroll organizations how to classifying workers.

Topics include:

  • Differences between employees and independent contractors.
  • Common law rules.
  • Form SS-8.
  • Employment tax obligations.
  • Voluntary classification settlement program.
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4. Tip Reporting and Tips vs. Service Charges, May 5. This webinar provides small business owners, employers, tax professionals and payroll organizations with details on tips and reporting.

 Topics include:

  • Recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities.
  • Understanding the difference between tips and service charges.
  • Filing Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips.

     

All four webinars are an hour long and start at 2 p.m. (ET). Live Q&A sessions with IRS experts will be available. To register and to find out more visit the Webinars for Small Businesses page on IRS.gov.

 

Many other IRS products and services provide small business owners with the help they need. Here are three pages that you can check out anytime:

 

  • The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center is your complete tax resource. For example, you can link to a list of free workshops and events offered in your area. Or visit the IRS Video Portal to watch videos on a wide range of topics, including prior live webinars.

  • The Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center is for sole proprietors and others who are in business for themselves. This site has many useful tips and references to the tax rules that a self-employed person may need to know.

  • The Online Learning and Educational Products page has tools that can help you learn about taxes on your own time, and at your own pace. For example, the IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed has important tax dates for your business.

Visit IRS.gov to get small business forms and publications. You can also call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to get them by mail.

 

Follow the IRS on Twitter. The IRS has three key accounts: @IRSnews, @IRStaxpros and @IRSenEspanol. For all the IRS Small Business Week information, keep an eye on these IRS Twitter accounts and the key hashtags: #IRSsbw16 and #DreamSmallBiz.



 

In advance of the tax deadline, the Internal Revenue Service today warned tax professionals of a new emerging scam in which cybercriminals obtain remote control of preparers’ computer systems, complete and file client tax returns and redirect refunds to thieves’ accounts.    

Although the IRS knows of a handful of cases to date, this scam has potential to impact the filing of fraudulent returns in advance of the April tax deadline and is yet another example of tax professionals being targeted by identity theft criminals.  

The IRS urges all tax preparers to take the following steps:

·         Run a security “deep scan” to search for viruses and malware

·         Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access; make sure your password is a minimum of 8 digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters

·         Be alert for phishing scams: Do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders

·         Educate all staff members about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts and calls

 

Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendor uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine. Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security.

Issue Number:    IRS Tax Tip 2016-40 

 

You don’t need to be a tax expert to run a business, but knowing the basics about taxes can help you run it better. You’ll find the basics and much more on the IRS.gov Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center. You can apply for an Employer Identification Number, download a form or learn about employment taxes. The Tax Center also includes the following resources:

 

 

  • IRS Video Portal. Watch helpful videos and webinars on many tax topics. Find out about filing and paying business taxes. Check out how an IRS audit works. Look for the “Small Biz Workshop” under the “Businesses” tab to learn the basics about small business taxes.

 

  • Online Tools and Educational Products. The list of small business products includes the Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed. You can view key tax dates and actions for each month with this tool. Install the IRS Calendar Connector tool on your computer to get important tax dates and tips, even when you’re offline.

 

  • Small Business Events. The IRS holds small business workshops, meetings and seminars at many locations throughout the country. Find out what the IRS has planned in your state by clicking “Small Business Events.”

 

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

 

 

IRS YouTube Videos:

 

IRS Podcasts:

 

 

If you lose your job, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. While these payments may come as a relief, it’s important to remember that they may be taxable. Here are five key facts about unemployment compensation:

 

1. Unemployment is Taxable. You must include all unemployment compensation as income for the year. You should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments by Jan. 31 of the following year. This form will show the amount paid to you and the amount of any federal income tax withheld.

 

2. Paid Under U.S. or State Law. There are various types of unemployment compensation. Unemployment includes amounts paid under U.S. or state unemployment compensation laws. For more information, see Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.

 

3. Union Benefits May be Taxable. You must include benefits paid to you from regular union dues in your income. Other rules may apply if you contributed to a special union fund and your contributions to the fund are not deductible. In that case, you only include as income any amount that you got that was more than the contributions you made.

 

4. You May have Tax Withheld. You can choose to have federal income tax withheld from your unemployment. You can have this done using Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request. If you choose not to have tax withheld, you may need to make estimated tax payments during the year.

 

5. Visit IRS.gov for Help. If you’re facing financial difficulties, you should visit the IRS.gov page: “What Ifs” for Struggling Taxpayers. This page explains the tax effect of events such as job loss. For example, if your income decreased, you may be eligible for certain tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you owe federal taxes and can’t pay your bill check the Payments tab on IRS.gov to review your options. In many cases, the IRS can take steps to help ease your financial burden.

 

For more details visit IRS.gov and check Publication 525. You can view, download and print Form W-4V at IRS.gov/forms anytime.

 

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

 

Additional IRS References:

IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Podcasts:

 

 

The premium tax credit is a credit for certain people who enroll, or whose family member enrolls, in a qualified health plan offered through a Marketplace. Claiming the premium tax credit may increase your refund or lower the amount of tax that you would otherwise owe.

 

If you did not get advance credit payments in 2015, you can claim the full benefit of the premium tax credit that you are allowed when you file your tax return. You must file Form 8962 to claim the PTC on your tax return.

 

You can take the PTC for 2015 if you meet all of these conditions.

For at least one month of the year, all of the following were true:

  • An individual in your tax family was enrolled in a qualified health plan offered through the Marketplace.
  • The individual was not eligible for minimum essential coverage, other than coverage in the individual market.
  • The portion of the enrollment premiums for the month for which you are responsible was paid by the due date of your tax return.

To be an applicable taxpayer, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • For 2015, your household income is at least 100 percent but no more than 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for your family size.
  • No one can claim you as a dependent on a tax return for 2015.
  • If you were married at the end of 2015, you must generally file a joint return. However, filing a separate return from your spouse will not disqualify you from being an applicable taxpayer if you meet certain requirements.

Individuals can use the Premium Tax Credit Flow Chart to determine if they are eligible for the credit. Answer the yes-or-no questions in the chart – or via the accessible textand follow the arrows to find out if you may be eligible for the premium tax credit. You can also use our interactive tool, Am I eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit? to find out if you are eligible.

For more information about eligibility requirements see Eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit and also the instructions for Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit on IRS.gov/aca.

If you received the benefit of advance credit payments in 2015, you must file a tax return to reconcile the amount of advance credit payments made on your behalf with the amount of your actual premium tax credit. You must file an income tax return for this purpose even if you are otherwise not required to file a return. You’ll file Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, with your tax return to reconcile the credit.

 

Remember, that filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as the software does the math and guides you through the filing process. Electronic filing options include: free Volunteer Assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software, and professional assistance.