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Smith Office Solutions, Inc.

January 2012


In this issue
Important Dates
Feature: Online Time Clock
Minimum Wages for 2012
Social Security rates for Employees
Reporting for Employer-Provided Health Plan
QuickBooks Tip of the Month


January is here and it is probably one of the busiest months of the year for us "bean-counters".  You might be surprised to find out just how many people are remembering that tax season is coming up, and how many former employees have forgotten to let you know they moved.


This month, we send W-2's to your employees and 1099's to the eligible vendors along with some employment reports for the Feds & State.  In February, it will be time to send the W-2's & 1099's to the Federal & State agencies.  then in the beginning of March, we get to handle the Property Taxes.  Sprinkled in between each of these deadlines, is year-end review for most businesses.


In this edition of our newsletter, Smith Office Solutions shows you just how easy time clocks can be if you are using our Online Payroll.  We are also reminding you of changes in payroll tax issues.  Those of you who are using QuickBooks, and stay current with payroll updates, should be just fine; your employees however, may ask you questions and we want you to have the answers.


We have a great tip for you this month to help manage W-2's and 1099's that are returned in the mail, and chek out January's bit of fun trivia. 


The header at the top was designed for us by Constant Contact (aren't they great?), and will take you directly to the appropriate page on our website. Try clicking and see how easy it is.  Click through often as we are always adding new information we don't want you to miss.
We have created a website specifically for our bookkeeping services,, and will keep more for our consulting & training services.  A third website for office space and conference room rentals can be found at:

Important Dates:


1/1     Happy New Year

1/16   Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday celebrated

1/17   Payroll Tax Deposit due for Monthly Depositors



April 2012  QuickBooks 2009 Payroll Services are no longer supported by Intuit and you will be required to move to 2012.  If you are using Online Payroll Services you do not have to move up to 2012.  Online Payroll is not recomended for Job Cosing companies by Smith Office Solutions.


Feature Article: Online Time Clock 


Last month we talked about the Online Payroll.  This month I would like to talk about the Time Clock with Online Payroll. 


Salaried employees can have time entered, but not on the time clock.  The time clock is set up on a computer that your employees can access.  On the computer, their names will appear with buttons for clocking In & Out.  The employee just clicks on the appropriate button.  If they do happen to make a mistake, they can note it in the comment section.  You can even add passwords so that buddy punching (an employee clocking in/out for someone else) is less apt to happen.   


The time clock automatically downloads into the Online Payroll service; there is no need to enter the time separately.  You also have the ability to correct the time entered based on any comments left by your employees.


Smith Office Solutions NW, is constantly looking for ways to help you in this economy.  We will beat Intuit's price. Call us and let us give you a bid.


Click here to check it out.

If you haven't checked this out, you may be behind in your minimum wages due to the increase on January 1, 2012 if you have employees in the following states. 


Do you read the messages that Quickbooks provides on it's regular payroll program?  If you don't, you might want to look at the following.
"New State Minimum Wages in January 2012

Several states have updated their minimum wage requirements for 2012. These increases will be effective January 1, 2012.

Arizona: The state minimum wage increased to $7.65 per hour from $7.35.

Colorado: The state wage increased to $7.64 per hour from $7.36. The minimum wage for tipped employees also increased from $4.34 to $4.62 (in addition to tips).

Florida: The minimum wage increased from $7.31 per hour to $7.67. The minimum wage for tipped employees also increased from $4.29 to $4.65 (in addition to tips).

Montana: The state wage is going to $7.65 per hour-an increase from $7.35.

Ohio: The minimum wage increased to $7.70 per hour for non-tipped employees and to $3.85 per hour for tipped employees (in addition to tips). However, for employees whose employers gross $283,000 or less per year (and for minors ages 14 and 15 years old), the minimum wage is $7.25, which is equal to the federal rate.

Oregon: The minimum wage increased from $8.50 an hour to $8.80.

Vermont: The state minimum wage increased from $8.15 an hour to $8.65 an hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees also increased from $3.95 to $4.10 (in addition to tips).

Washington: The state minimum wage increased 37 cents to $9.04 per hour. "


It is really important to have you look at any messages relating to changes for Federal & your state.  As owners of the company, it is not enough to say "I didn't know."

It appears the the Federal Government will keep Social Security Tax Rate at 4.2% for employees.


We will keep you posted.

Reporting for Employer-Provided Health Plan Coverage

This is important whether or not your company is large.  This is taken directly from the QuickBooks newsletter.  In order to keep from confusing you, we left it just as it was.  If you don't have 250 W-2s in 2011 you probably will start this reporting in 2013.

"Large Employers Required to Report Employer-Provided Health Plan Coverage

In April 2011, the IRS published Notice 2011-28, providing interim guidance on informational reporting to employees of the cost of their employer-sponsored group health plan coverage. The guidance provides relief for small employers in calendar year 2012. If you are an employer who files fewer than 250 Forms W-2 for the 2011 calendar year, you will not be subject to the health coverage reporting requirement on Forms W-2 for the 2012 calendar year.

Employers who file 250 or more Forms W-2 for the 2011 calendar year will be subject to the reporting requirements for Forms W-2 for the 2012 calendar year.

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll will be adding a new tax tracking type to allow you to track the cost of group health insurance coverage per employee and report that cost on each employee's 2012 Form W-2."


As Intuit's Payroll Newsletters we will share more information.  On this topic we believe that it will hit smaller businesses 2013.

QuickBooks Tip of the Month


Smith Office Solutions doesn't send the government their copies of W-2's or 1099's until February, because you may get some back with "addressee unknown".  We recommend writing or stamping the date on the envelope when you get it back.  Also, write the employee or vendor name on the envelope and keep it in a file.  It will prove that you made a reasonable attempt to get the form to them on time.  You will need to send the W-2 out later.  If you haven't sent in the government copies, you can change the address and print another set before you send copies to the government.   


Did you know that you do not have to print the W-2's on the pre-printed forms?  We have the perforated forms for the employee copy of the W-2's; if you are one of our clients and need them, just give us a call.  The federal copies may be filed with the Social Security Administration straight from QuickBooks.  For a fee, the 1099's can also be sent through QuickBooks.



Last month:  What are Hugh Grant's middle names?
Answer:  Mungo


"What San Francisco landmark is located between Filbert St., Union St., Stockton St., and Columbus Avenue?"

See ya next month!
Answers given next month


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