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Medlin Software, Dennis

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  1. Nothing is provided free. Free email? No, the provider is somehow making money from you and trying to limit their expenses such as over aggressive filtering to reduce bandwidth. (One example, and why free email is not wise for business use, or really not even for personal use, the lack of control over what you actually see and when.) “Gmail is a part of (but does not make up entirely) Google’s “Google Search & other” ad revenue segment on their annual report. Which, in 2021, generated $148.95 billion of Google’s total $257.63 billion in revenue.” It is safe to believe getting non generic info, such as via the tracker; is more valuable than just serving ads. On the other hand, many don’t bother with over worry about privacy, accepting the risks and enjoying the “free” services.
  2. Thank you. It is not my day, it is a day to remember others.
  3. Eventually I will have to have that surgery too. Currently, it is floaters which are the annoyance. Getting older by the second, and an "0" BD tomorrow!
  4. I just ran across something stating the PTB want to revise the W2 process to have B,C,2 on one page, but they are delaying because of complaints the new design will not fit in the window envelopes folks already have in stock (or maybe that form suppliers need time to figure how to avoid lost $ from less pages to sell?). The PTB realize few are using carbon paper and impact printing, and do not need all copies to have the same print locations. The PTB may not realize many have been using 4 up copies for decades. The PTB may not realize the employee copies are getting to be moot (other than one) with efile, and the ability for people to access a copy machine (or create their own) if multiples are needed. On the other hand, I would so much be happier if the PTB would get things to a better place, so I do not get blamed for "my software" causing deposit mismatch, incorrect deposit, and other issues "my software" is not causing. Even when I can show the paychecks were entered correctly by the customer, and the software gives correct totals (it does math just fine) based on the customer entered data, the customer still believes it is my fault when they get a nastygram from the IRS. I make and handle enough mistakes my human self, I have some mental space to handle the mistakes of others, but some days... I work harder to find someone to replace me.
  5. The irony (or other suitable term) is, if taxation was simple and fair, we would not be having this discussion at all... as we would be in some other line of income generating activity. It is something I actually discuss with those who ask me about what I do, or about any sort of job with bookkeeping, taxation, and the like. One has to accept the unfairness or waste (to me) time thinking about the unfairness. Why a waste of time? IMO, few who have (now un)common sense are in a position to make changes, and those with (now un)common sense have enough of it to not get into positions to be able to make changes (smile). Fair or not, my (our?) business is dealing with the field given, always looking to pay all we have to, but not one cent more.
  6. Sounds worse than doing the entries yourself, and likely more costly for your customer. Funny though, I get comments from my customers that their tax person is “making” them change to QB. My usual comment is why, as the tax person likely needs the reports, not access to make or change entries, since the tax person is not likely being paid for data entry. My preparer, if they have a concern about a figure, make me explain or correct myself as they are not retained as my bookkeeper.
  7. Indeed, B&W W2/W3 forms can be used, from approved vendors, since TY 2001. Look at the output. There will be a "vendor" code on the output if approved, and you can ask to see the SSA approval letter for the particular tax year. Use decent quality printer paper, non glossy. Also, use a laser printer for the best results, although many jet printers will also work (if it is a TY where the form text is not too close to the bottom of the page). Caution on the IRS free forms. Generally (have not tested personally in a few years), they work well only for manual fill in. The alignment is not usually the same as forms approved for computer printing. (Meaning I get, every year, complaints about the free forms not working in someone's printer.) 1099 forms can be B&W printed, except for the red drop out ink copies sent to the IRS. Some say the IRS accepts the B&W printed forms, but officially, their policy is drop out ink only.
  8. I would move one to a different physical location. Don’t rely on just one location, not even a safe which claims to be disaster proof (they are not, if consumer priced). Aversion to online storage is a red flag for a tech (to me). Even if one does not trust the security of their online vendor, one can encrypt before upload. Online storage means you can have fresher backups and do not have to spend as much time recreating what happened since the backup was made. Two backups are not enough, and stored in the same place is not good enough.
  9. You can put anything in W2 box 14, but there is no requirement to put HA there. Cleanest is letterhead, once when "hired" (has to be documented in advance) then annually at EOY (restating the next year's amount, and listing the year closing's amount). Whether or not the clergy person receives remuneration triggering 1099 or W2 is immaterial to HA (some may get HA as a retirement bene, for instance, or receive other income via direct gifts, or no other pay at all). For tax prep, you likely have a good idea of what reasonable and allowed housing costs are in your area, and can inquire deeper if the amount seems excessive. I would prefer not to have to rely on an email (as mentioned in the OP) for audit, but letterhead is acceptable. Even those who use Box 14, that alone will fail audit, since there must be documentation showing the planned HA in advance of receipt of the money. I cannot remember an exact reference, but there is at least one great independent resource for clergy/church accounting. I would not reply only on the denomination provided information. Sometimes the denomination is mistaken, or too risky with their advice.
  10. Experts in that area say HA should be documented twice a year. Once to award, and at EOY. Letterhead suffices. I say nothing on a tax doc unless required, so no HA on a 1099 or W2, since there is no such requirement to do so.
  11. While not reasonable, it is reasonable I suppose. It comes down to cost. There are ways to give better uptime, but they are more costly. Latency is more likely your connection to the server. I have been testing my choice of servers for a few years. No significant downtime yet. Is not AWS, Asure, etc. Mains are in TX, to reduce distance to the coasts. Even with what seems like a reliable connection, I am still going the hybrid route for the reasons shared above. Personal connectivity often gets the blame. In my personal case, my wired connection is not symmetrical. They give up on upload and sell download. (Cable, and they will eventually roll out better upload, maybe even symmetrical.) I have other connections I can route through when desired. - For me, the "events" so far, flood in '86 (a week without utility power), quake in 2014, and bug out for fire/smoke a couple of times in the last few years. There have been other events, but those three are the ones where our lives were changed. The best way to see your "status" is to try recovering without accessing your current computer or connection. THAT will tell you how ready you are for any sort of outage, loss, theft, or failure. A good time is when you get a new computer, try setting up without touching your existing machine.
  12. There is also the problem of where you are in relationship to your storage. Cloud is somewhat of a misnomer as it really means a physical storage somewhere on land. Personally, for storage, I can choose a close server farm for main, and different regions for backups. Serving data likely has a main location, hopefully close to you physically, and multiple mirrors in different regions. Advanced usage will offer serving from the closest location possible. A good way to test location variance is to use a speed test app which allows you to select different servers to test. Local vs thousands of miles away differences are clear.
  13. Catch-22. Many feel data should only be in the cloud as it is likely more secure than a random box in a home office or small office. Given the number who refuse to even keep their OS current, this is tough to argue. I get daily discussions about how a Vista machine still works fine. There are some who prefer to and have the skill to manage their own data, but we are aging out. There are some laws in a few areas making cloud storage not proper (claiming safety). One issue is connectivity. If one assumes daily connectivity, cloud at rest storage is good for most. There seems to be at least annual bouts of major connectivity issues, which can stretch into multiple days. Another issue is data entry and update speed. Even a one finger keyboard jockey can likely outpace feeding data back and forth to a cloud (especially upload for many connections). The likely best answer is a hybrid. At rest storage online, and a backup local. Working data is local only. All data is secure by the software so walking away from the machine is safe and cloud is safe too. Load time is minimal as download is reasonable for lost, and if there is a local copy, you can compare instead of download. Program load time is what people see. Cleanup is slower but acceptable as upload is often slower, but people expect and accept closing to take longer.
  14. Getting the out of trust assets down to whatever the state allows for simple handling (in CA, "small estate") should be a priority. Delay waiting for court to give status/approvals can be costly.
  15. Personally, we did not look at tax +-. For us, it is about creating an entity which could be managed by a fiduciary if needed. In a way, just like setting up an entity over a sole prop. While we expect the named persons to outlive us, one cannot be certain. The remaining heirs could be as yet unborn, or will not be of age, so we are more comfortable having a fiduciary if the named trustees are not willing or able. In our case, we expect to have to rewrite again once I get to FRA, so we can sort of preplan that into the framework to reduce the amount of change. What we are finding is the trust items will likely not change, but the remainder (will items, kept under the CA small estate level) will likely change several times. In the case of CA real property holders, unless one expects the property to be sold, there are issues with Prop 19 to deal with. The practical effects are still being fleshed out. Sadly, we had to be somewhat precedent setting, needing to get a (as much as possible) binding letter for out situation. The nice thing, for us at least, is the estate industry seems to have gone to a flat fee model, or a subscription model, with few going the hourly route. The subscription model is very interesting for those on the younger side, who may need multiple changes and monitoring by their experts. I am a bit biased though, after having to sped a couple of years cleaning up two intertwined intestate estates... Even a simple one paragraph will would have saved the estates more than $10k each.
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