New Overtime Rules Take Effect in December

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On December 1, 2016, about 4.2 million workers who were previously classified as “exempt” could become eligible for overtime pay due to modifications to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and many small businesses have been scrambling to comply with the new rules. Following is a brief summary of why the changes were enacted, and what they may mean for both workers and employers. In May 2016, President Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced major changes to the FLSA that are intended to improve the situations of lower-salaried workers who typically work more than 40 hours per week, … Continued

Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Identity During Tax Time

IRS Summertime Tax Tip The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. The IRS is making progress against this crime and it remains one of the agency’s highest priorities. Here are ten things to know about ID Theft: Protect your Records.  Do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with your SSN on them. Only provide your SSN if it’s necessary and you know the person requesting it.Protect your personal information at home and protect your computers with anti-spam and anti-virus software. Routinely change passwords for Internet accounts. Don’t Fall for … Continued

Choosing a Tax Preparer

Today, The IRS re-released a Tax Tip they published last year: Ten Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer. At Siena Accounting, our preparers are either CPAs or CPA/Attorneys and all work done by our staff is reviewed by these professionals. Additionally, our procedures and policies adhere to all of the recommendations in this IRS release. We would be happy to discuss our services with you. Top Ten Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer IRS Tax Tip 2014-07, February 05, 2014 Many people hire a professional when it’s time to file their tax return. If you pay … Continued

Siena’s 2015 Financial Planning Desk Guide

Siena has compiled a non-exhaustive list of frequently requested financial, education and estate tax planning numbers for the 2015 tax year. This list is designed as a desk reference for use at home or at the office. We encourage you to use this guide in collaboration with your accountant or tax professional. Siena will update this tax guide every January in the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Click here to view the guide!

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies 5 Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS. These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an … Continued

Health Care Law Brings Changes to IRS Forms

This year, there are some changes to tax forms related to the Affordable Care Act. Along with a few new lines on existing forms, there will also be two new forms that will need to be included with some tax returns. While most taxpayers will simply need to check a box on their tax return to indicate they had health coverage for all of 2014, there are also new lines on Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ related to the health care law. Here is information about the new forms and updates to the existing forms: Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions … Continued

IRS Releases New Standard Mileage Rates for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be: 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations The standard mileage rate for business is based on an … Continued