Burger King vs. teaching:

One man’s choice I’ve seen a lot of back-and-forth about the education changes in this year’s state budget. But an email from Justin Ashley, a fourth-grade teacher at McAlpine Elementary, to House Speaker Thom Tillis, stands out.

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Image  —  Posted: August 25, 2013 in Interesting News
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IRS Simplifies Late S Corp Elections

The Internal Revenue Service has combined parts of several revenue procedures into a new revenue procedure that provides relief to companies that make late elections to become S corporations.

Image  —  Posted: August 16, 2013 in Business, General Business, IRS, IRS Update, News, Planning, Tax
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PRF Accounting and Tax Announces NEW website!

Come visit PRF Accounting and Tax completely redesigned website! October 15th is coming quickly, so if you need to get your 2012 taxes filed we can help!! Also we have provided tools to help you get organized to file 2013 Form 1040.

Image  —  Posted: August 14, 2013 in Business, General Business, IRS, IRS Update, News, Tax
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Worker wages: Wendy's vs. Wal-Mart vs. Costco

By Emily Jane Fox @emilyjanefox August 6, 2013: 1:37 PM ET

worker pay

The workers hold similar positions at these companies. Levels of experience vary but the wages are representative of the average worker we interviewed.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Can a company pay its workers well and also make money?

Many aren’t quite hitting the right balance. Hundreds of dissatisfied workers at major American companies like Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), McDonald’s (MCD, Fortune 500) and Wendy’s (WEN) have joined protests nationwide in the past year demanding higher wages and better benefits.

One company that hasn’t had to deal with such strikes is Costco.

The no-frills warehouse chain pays its hourly workers an average of just over $20 an hour, compared to just under $13 at competitor Wal-Mart. Even President Obama praised Costco in a recent speech about helping the middle class.

Related: The real budget of McDonald’s workers

The recession has been good for companies that targeted budget-minded customers. Sales at Costco (COST, Fortune 500) have grown an average of 13% annually since 2009, while profits have risen 15%. Its stock price has more than doubled since 2009.

During the same period, discount retailer Wal-Mart’s sales grew an average of 4.5% each year, profits rose 7%, and its stock price increased 70%.
Costco seems to be investing some of those profits back into its employees.

Cesar Martinez, a 37-year-old fork lift operator, has worked at a Costco in North California for 19 years. He makes $22.82 an hour, gets health benefits and a pension plan. He manages to save, and doesn’t worry about hospital bills for his daughter, who suffers from asthma.

“That’s the reason why I’ve been here for so long,” he said. “The company gives you a decent wage and treats you with respect and takes care of you. That’s why we all give 100%.”

Some experts say companies aren’t able to adopt the Costco model, because they can’t charge its $55 annual membership fee.

Related: Calling all Apple Store employees! Share your story

However, research shows that it pays to pay employees well, because satisfied workers are more productive and motivated, according to MIT Sloan School of Management professor Zeynep Ton, who focuses on operations management.

“How many times have you gone to a store, and the shelves are empty or the checkout line is too long, or employees are rude?,” she said. “At Costco, you see a huge line that disappears in minutes.”

The productivity translates into sales, she said.

According to Ton’s research, sales per employee at Costco were almost double those at Sam’s Club, its direct warehouse competitor owned by Wal-Mart.

Why I’m protesting my fast food job

Why I’m protesting my fast food job

Workers who are dissatisfied with pay are joining picket lines. Last week, fast food workers in seven cities from chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Yum Bran (YUM, Fortune 500)ds-owned KFC, protested for higher wages of $15 an hour. It’s a demand they’ve been making since last November.

It’s been spreading — from hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers in Germany to Wal-Mart workers walking off work, all calling for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.

The median pay for fast food workers nationwide is $9.05 an hour, or about $18,800 a year.

“While the fast food and retail industry is making record profits, its workers are forced to rely on public assistance just to afford the basics,” according to Fast Food Forward, a union- and community group-backed organization behind some of the protests. To top of page

First Published: August 6, 2013: 6:05 AM ET

Image  —  Posted: August 7, 2013 in Business, General Business

There is time to sign up for the “Individual Provisions of the Affordable Care Act” webinar scheduled for Tuesday, July 30th at 1PM EDT. Various dates in August have also been scheduled. Check out dates/times by clicking the link below.

Image  —  Posted: July 31, 2013 in Business, General Business, IRS Update, Planning, Tax
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IRS Cancels Next Employee Furlough Day

Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2013)
By Michael Cohn
http://www.taxprotoday.com

The Internal Revenue Service told its employees and the union representing them Tuesday that it has taken various budget-related steps that will enable it to cancel the next planned unpaid furlough day for employees on Monday, July 22.

IRS employees already have undergone three such days, according to the National Treasury Employees Union.

“While I am concerned that this announcement comes so close to the planned furlough day, it is a positive development arising from our continuing discussions with the agency on furloughs,” said NTEU president Colleen M. Kelley in a statement. “We have been encouraging the agency, and working with it, in an effort to find savings sufficient to allow it to cancel employee furloughs. As we continue these discussions, we will be pressing for cancellation of the fifth and final planned furlough day, on August 30.”

Kelley added that the NTEU is also pleased that the IRS has embraced the union’s recommendation to allow employees to use unscheduled leave next Monday. She emphasized that the IRS will be open for business next Monday. It was closed to the public on the three furlough days (see IRS Closed Friday Due to Budget Cuts and Sequester).

“Dealing with tax matters is a year-round business, not just during the traditional tax-filing season,” Kelley said. “Whether you have an estate issue, want to know about filing an amended return, are dealing with the growing crime of identity theft or have any of a number of tax-related questions or issues, the IRS needs to be open for America’s taxpayers,” she said. “Closing it is not just unprecedented, it is damage caused by the foolhardy policy of sequestration.”

The NTEU noted that it is still in talks with the IRS about the payment of awards earned by employees for performance in 2012. NTEU earlier had rejected the suggestion from senior IRS leaders that canceling furlough days was contingent upon not paying performance awards. NTEU believes both objectives can be reached.

Last week, IRS principal deputy commissioner Danny Werfel emailed an internal memo to IRS staff saying he hopes to eliminate the estimated $70 million in bonuses this year for IRS employees because of automatic spending cuts imposed by the budget sequester.

According to the Washington Post, Werfel said he had directed senior staff members at the IRS to come up with ways to eliminate the performance awards even though the IRS has collective bargaining agreements with the NTEU guaranteeing the bonuses if certain conditions are met.

“It is my intention to continue to pursue eliminating award payouts this year to bargaining unit employees,” Werfel said in the memo, according to Fox News. “This approach is consistent with government-wide policy, which requires suspension of awards during sequestration to the extent appropriate legal procedures are complied with.”

-Tax Pro Today

Image  —  Posted: July 18, 2013 in IRS, News

Be kind to others.

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Ann Landers

Image  —  Posted: July 18, 2013 in Business, Ethics

You may be required to report the account to the Department of the Treasury.
Any United States person who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any financial account(s)located outside of the United States is required to electronically file a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), if the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Report by 6/30/13. No extension of time to file is available and a penalty of up to $10,000 can be asserted for each failure to file.

To comply with this law:
• Answer FBAR-related questions on federal tax and information returns. For example: Check the block
on Form 1040 Schedule B, Part III.
• Complete electronic version of Form TD F 90-22.1.
• E-file the completed form using the FinCEN electronic filing system available at http://www.fincen.gov
• The FBAR must be e-filed by June 30 of the year following the calendar year being reported.

For assistance complying with the law:
Visit http://www.IRS.gov or http://www.fincen.gov to view the electronic version of the FBAR and related
information. For assistance with completing the FBAR, call 866-270-0733 (for callers within the
U.S.) or 313-234-6146 (for callers outside the U.S.). Questions regarding the FBAR can be sent to
FBARquestions@irs.gov

Image  —  Posted: May 30, 2013 in IRS Update, Tax
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“Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us every day.”

– Sally Koch

Image  —  Posted: May 30, 2013 in Ethics
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If you are a working parent or look for work this summer, you may need to pay for the care of your child or children. These expenses may qualify for a tax credit that can reduce your federal income taxes. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is available not only while school’s out for summer, but also throughout the year. Here are eight key points the IRS wants you to know about this credit.

1. You must pay for care so you – and your spouse if filing jointly – can work or actively look for work. Your spouse meets this test during any month they are full-time student, or physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

2. You must have earned income. Earned income includes earnings such as wages and self-employment. If you are married filing jointly, your spouse must also have earned income. There is an exception to this rule for a spouse who is full-time student or who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

3. You must pay for the care of one or more qualifying persons. Qualifying children under age 13 who you claim as a dependent meet this test. Your spouse or dependent who lived with you for more than half the year may meet this test if they are physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

4. You may qualify for the credit whether you pay for care at home, at a daycare facility outside the home or at a day camp. If you pay for care in your home, you may be a household employer. For more information, see Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide.

5. The credit is a percentage of the qualified expenses you pay for the care of a qualifying person. It can be up to 35 percent of your expenses, depending on your income.

6. You may use up to $3,000 of the unreimbursed expenses you pay in a year for one qualifying person or $6,000 for two or more qualifying person.

7. Expenses for overnight camps or summer school tutoring do not qualify. You cannot include the cost of care provided by your spouse or a person you can claim as your dependent. If you get dependent care benefits from your employer, special rules apply.

8. Keep your receipts and records to use when you file your 2013 tax return next year. Make sure to note the name, address and Social Security number or employer identification number of the care provider. You must report this information when you claim the credit on your return.

For more details about the rules to claim this credit, see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses. You can get both publications at IRS.gov or have them mailed by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Additional IRS Resources:

Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Tax Topic 602 – Child and Dependent Care Credit
Frequently Asked Questions – Child Care Credit
Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide
Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons With Disabilities

Image  —  Posted: May 29, 2013 in Planning, Tax
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