SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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SurePayroll's Mid-Year Tax Checkup -- 5 Things Small Business Owners May Not Know

New Laws, Programs Give Employers Opportunities to Take Credits, Avoid Penalties

GLENVIEW, IL--(Marketwired - June 25, 2014) - As we reach the halfway mark of 2014, small business owners will look to ensure their tax situation is in order, whether that means taking advantage of credits or avoiding costly mistakes. In 2013, the IRS issued 6.8 million penalties totaling $4.5 billion related to errors in employer tax filings.[1]

To help assist small business owners, SurePayroll, a leading provider of payroll services to small businesses nationwide, is issuing a mid-year tax checkup.

"It can be challenging for a small business owner to remain compliant and stay on top of ever-changing tax laws," said Jamal Ayyad, vice president of service delivery at SurePayroll. "Especially when it comes down to the wire, and the focus is on their company's sales rather than tax season. However, when a small business owner plans for tax season strategically and consistently throughout the year, they can create a much better financial outcome for their company."

So how can a small business owner exercise greater control over their tax filings and avoid common -- and costly -- mistakes? Consider these 5 mid-year tax checkup tips:

1. Take advantage of the health care credit - Small business employers with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees with average wages of less than $50,800 who provide health insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) may be eligible for a tax credit. Small business owners can visit www.healthcare.gov for SHOP plan options. Beginning in 2014, they may be eligible for a maximum of 50 percent of premiums paid and the credit will be limited to two consecutive years.

2. You may have options if you owe payroll taxes - Small businesses having trouble paying their payroll taxes may be able to take advantage of an IRS installment plan. If you owe less than $25,000 in combined tax, penalties and interest, and filed all required returns, you may be eligible.

3. Avoid retirement plan penalties; get relief if needed - Failure to file Form 5500 by employers sponsoring retirement plans can mean fines as high as $15,000. Small business owners should make sure they are on top of this filing requirement. If, however, they were unaware and are facing a penalty, the DOL has a program to reduce or eliminate DOL and IRS penalties and for one-participant plans the IRS began a one-year pilot program this month to help small employers avoid the penalty. 

4. Take the simple deduction option if you work in a home office - Taking the home office tax deduction is typically filled with complicated requirements and qualifications. Recently, the IRS created a simple option that allows you to take a standard $5 per square foot of your home used for business.

5. Keep in mind, you could pay more unemployment taxes - Some states take loans from the federal government to meet unemployment benefits liabilities. If they have not repaid those loans, there will be a reduction in the credit against the FUTA tax rate, meaning employers in those states will have to pay more. A number of states may be affected, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina and the Virgin Islands.

Organizing tax records now can make filing taxes much easier and faster later on. When a small business owner gets their information together well ahead of time, they greatly improve the odds of filing a complete -- and accurate -- return.

In addition, using an outside payroll services provider can help take much of the tax burden off of small business owners. A quality online payroll provider will do all of the calculations, pay employees via direct deposit, and automatically pay and file payroll taxes.

Being compliant is the law, but instead of merely checking taxes off of a list of things to do at the end of the year (and/or April), a savvy small business owner knows that preparation and planning ahead are key components to success.

About SurePayroll

SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. Whether a business has 1, 10, or 100 employees, SurePayroll delivers peace of mind by combining innovative, industry-leading technology and personalized support from an award-winning, U.S.-based customer care team. SurePayroll also provides private-label and co-branded services for accountants and banking partners as well as offering efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers' compensation, employee screening and more. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit www.SurePayroll.com. Follow us on Twitter -- Circle us on Google -- Connect with us on LinkedIn -- Like us on Facebook.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers' compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 570,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2013. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit www.paychex.com.

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