LAN Systems
July/August 2010
Microsoft Office 2010

If you haven't taken a look at Microsoft Office 2010, try it free for 60 days.  Go to LAN Systems Office 2010 Offer. 

Most new business equipment can either be depreciated over its useful life or expensed immediately under Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code; the latter tends to be the most popular among taxpayers. The $250,000 limit remains, with limitations, for 2010 (but be forewarned: for 2011, it's slated to plummet).
Try our brain teaser this month, go to LAN Systems July Puzzle

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Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in Word

Microsoft Word 2010Word has become the standard for creating and formatting documents of all types from simple letters to documents with a table of contents, index and glossary. Word has made the task of creating and editing documents easy.  Tools like spell check and thesaurus have made us look smart and polished. Thankfully, long gone are the days of typewriters, carbon paper and correction fluid.
Word 2010 has bold new features to enhance your document-formatting.  It also bundles mobile features so you can take your documents with you almost-anywhere.  With just a little practice, you can impress everyone with content-rich, visually compelling, professional documents for home, school or work. 
Add flair to your documents and get noticed!

Transform with photos - New and improved photo-editing tools let you transform pictures right in Word 2010 - no extra software needed.  Change color saturation, temperature, brightness and contrast to turn a simple Word document into a work of art.

Turn text into visual effects - Add more visual impact with enhanced text effects and SmartArt graphics. Change basic bullet-points into compelling visuals and add text effects like shadow, glow, reflection, and 3-D in just a few clicks. From Font, choose Text Effects and make your choice.

Word Text Effects

Work with anyone - anywhere, anytime
Easily co-author documents - Word 2010 redefines the way people can work together on one document.  With co-authoring, you can edit the same time as others, even if you are working from different locations.  The versions will keep in sync with version control.
Access your information from more places - Microsoft Word Web App is an online companion to Microsoft Word that enables you to extend your Word experience to the browser. View a high fidelity version of your documents and make light edits as well. Access some of the same formatting and editing tools that are in Word 2010, and work in a familiar editing environment, from almost any computer with a Web browser.

Microsoft Word Mobile 2010 gives you a lightweight editor for your documents that's especially designed for easy use on your Windows phone.

For more technical notes and information go to:

Article from guest contibutor, Cathy Iconis 
Understanding Payroll Taxes

Whether you've been in business for years or just starting out, many people still don't understand all the payroll taxes out there and how much it really costs to employ someone.  Here is quick summary of the real costs of hiring someone and the payroll taxes you'll have to pay.

Different Payroll Related Taxes




Federal Income Tax on Wages

Amount determined by tax tables and information on employee's W-4


State Income Tax on Wages

Amount determined by tax tables and information on employee's W-4


Social Security Tax

6.2% of wages up to $106,800

6.2% of wages up to $106,800

Medicare Tax

1.45% of all wages

1.45% of all wages

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)


6.2% of the first $7,000 wages paid to each employee

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)


Rate determined by state multiplied by the state's wage base

It is important to note that even though there are certain taxes that are the Employee's responsibility, they are usually withheld by the Employer and submitted to the correct tax authorities.  Businesses are usually required to submit the taxes periodically throughout the year.  The timing will depend on the total amounts withheld and will be determined by the taxing authority.  It is important to know when those taxes are due and how to report them.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

A lot of businesses prefer to list someone as an independent contractor because you don't have to worry about withholding taxes and paying the employer's portion of the Social Security and Medicare tax, but the IRS does not look kindly on businesses that do this if the worker is in fact an employee.

How do you know if someone should be classified as an employee?  Well, under common law there are three categories we look at to determine the person's status.  They all look at the degree of control and independence in the relationship between company and worker.  Here are those three categories to examine and related questions the come almost verbatim from the IRS's website.

1.     Behavioral: Does the company control (or have the right to control) what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?

2.     Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker's job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)

3.     Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits - pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc?  Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

If you determine the worker is an independent contractor, have them fill out a W-9 to keep on file for at least 4 years for future reference, if there is ever a question about the relationship.  You also want to file a Form 1099-Misc yearly for contractors that you pay $600 or more during the year.  Forms must be provided to the independent contractor by January 31st of the following year and must be submitted to the IRS by February 28th.

The information supplied here is for a general understanding and may not apply to your specific situation.  If you want to learn more about Employer taxes, take a look at the IRS's Publication 15.

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