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About JohnH

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    ATX Supreme Guru

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  1. JohnH

    Non-Clients Calling with Questions

    Bart: As you well know, a sense of humor and not taking ourselves too seriously can get us through a lot of tough situations. Although I have to say a client took it real personal one time when I told him I'm not a caring person, but I am feeling person. (We were talking about a tax problem he had which was of his own making.) After staring in awkward silence, he replied he didn't understand. So I explained, "I really don't care, but sometimes I feel bad about not caring." You know, that guy left and never did come back.
  2. JohnH

    Non-Clients Calling with Questions

    Yep, clients come and clients go.
  3. JohnH

    Non-Clients Calling with Questions

    As a practical matter and aside from the attempt at humor in this post, I often answer simple questions for people who are not my clients. If the question is uncomplicated, the person is known to me, and we have a cordial relationship, I will often provide an answer with the proper qualifiers.
  4. Given that there may be more non-clients than usual calling with questions this year, what's your plan? Here's a possible script: Caller: "I just need a little bit of info about the new tax law so I can finish my return. Do you answer questions?" Preparer: "Yes, I answer one question for free and then there's a charge for each additional question." Caller: "How much do you charge for each question?" Preparer: "My fee is $200 per question. What's your next question?"
  5. JohnH

    Engagement Letter

    So Bart, did you have multiple letters for him so he could choose which one to sign?
  6. JohnH

    1099 online filing

    I highly recommend 1099Expess. I filed 260+ forms with them in early Jan after also running eVerify through them.. Cost was the most reasonable of anything I've seen (after the initial fee). Program is nimble and offers lots of options. Their Excel import can't be beat. Customer service is exceptional. http://www.1099express.com
  7. JohnH

    Starting 2019 Filing Season in a Good Place!

    Some of us will try to bait you into saying something inappropriate, just so you can join us in the doghouse. But if we don't succeed, we have confidence in the ability of our government to do the job.
  8. JohnH

    NC Payroll Reporting - Copy 1 of W2

    Great news! They finally relented and are now allowing paper filing of the NC3/W2 Copy 1. The penalty waiver is in effect for another year. I had already finished filing for my clients through their portal, so I learned a lot about how it works. The process really is as tedious as it first appears, and I don't see how they're ever going to make it user friendly. But at least they have another year to figure it out. This task of turning tax preparers into uncompensated data entry clerks marches forward. If I'm still preparing payroll reports next year, my clients are going to see a large increase just to cover this specific task. For now, you can paper-file as usual for the 2018 forms. The due date is still Jan 31, 2019, though. There's a pretty stiff per-form penalty for missing the deadline. Here's the notice: https://www.ncdor.gov/documents/important-notice-automatic-waiver-penalty-failure-file-form-nc-3-format-prescribed-secretary
  9. JohnH

    1099 software

    Another thing I failed to mention regarding 1099 Express is the reasonableness of their fee for doing the mailing of the 1099 to vendors. They only charge $1.35 per form, which INCLUDES the 50 cents postage. So that's a net rate of 85 cents per form to collate, fold, stuff envelopes, etc. Most prices I've seen are in the range of $3.00 per form and up. That per-form price goes down slightly as volume goes up.
  10. JohnH

    What To Do?

    I agree with all the advice given thus far.
  11. JohnH

    What To Do?

    Lots of things to consider, but only you know the nuances of this situation. You were comfortable with them leaving, so what has changed other than THEIR wants, needs, circumstances, desperation, etc? Your last sentence of the first paragraph may be the key to your decision.
  12. JohnH

    NC Payroll Reporting - Copy 1 of W2

    Terry: I've mentioned this issue to a half-dozen people involved in payroll report processing for small employers. None of them knew about it. That's a small sample size, but still it makes me question how well NCDOR has publicized the change. Once could argue that they've telegraphed the change by having put the requirements in place and then issuing a waiver for 2-3 years. However, it could also be argued that the repeated issuance of the waiver puts people to sleep. A couple of reactions I got were that paper is still OK if you only file "a few" forms. In one case I asked if they were confusing the "over 10" requirement for electronic filing that the Employment Security Commission announced via email within the past couple of weeks. That person immediately realized that was the basis for their assumption about the NC3/W2 filing requirement. In any event, unless another waiver is issued in the coming week or two, I think there are going to be many small employers and accountants being hit with the $200 penalty after they paper file. (NCDOR already has an after-the-fact waiver request form for that specific situation BTW, which may actually be a part of their overall implementation plan).
  13. If anyone happens to be preparing payroll reports with NC withholding, there's a new wrinkle this year. For the past 2-3 years, NC has been requiring that the Copy 1 of W-2 (accompanied by the NC3) be filed electronically by Jan 31. However, around mid-December they have been granting waivers from the electronic filing requirement because their portal wasn't ready for filers of small quantities of W-2. As of Dec 24, 2018, there has been no waiver granted for 2018 forms. This means that there's a $200 penalty for filing paper copies of NC3/W2 even if you only file a small number of the forms. The NCDOR is still working on a way to manually enter the W2/NC3 information using a specially-designed spreadsheet. The 2018 spreadsheet was available for trial use until a couple of weeks ago, when they took it down for "maintenance", stating that now it won't be available until Jan 2, 2019. Assuming they get it back up and going, this will mean that employer data and individual NC withholding data will need to be entered manually if the filer uses the spreadsheet (unless of course they grant another waiver in the upcoming week).
  14. JohnH

    Merry Happy

    Same you Catherine, and to everyone on this forum. No question this group of friends is the best tax community anywhere.
  15. Just asking if anyone has much experience with Letter 6042C. It's issued by Integrity & Verification Operations in Ogden, UT to verify information on an entity return. If I read the instructions correctly, the "Declaration" page is only supposed to be submitted if the person responding is NOT affiliated with the entity. Can anyone tell me if I'm correct, or must the "Declaration" page be submitted with all replies? (Neither the letter nor the IRS instructions on-line are clear about this issue).