Sunday, March 29, 2020

Employer Requirements During Coronavirus Pandemic

As an employer, display the Department of Labor (DOL) poster regarding employee rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  This must be posted in a prominent place in your office, accessible to all employees.  If some of your employees are not usually in the office, or are working from home, I would suggest emailing a copy to them and requesting confirmation of receipt. This should satisfy the requirements for notifying employees.

Below are links to the Department of Labor and Treasury Department web pages related to the Coronavirus.  It would be advisable to check these often over the next several weeks to stay up-to-date on any future legislation, as well as any updates on implementing the various provisions of the FFCRA.  There is a lot we do not know yet because the details have not been developed or published, so stay tuned for more.

Link to Dept of Labor web page:

Link to Treasury Dept web page:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Our COVID-19 Response

The health and safety of our Ed Slovacek CPA team and clients in Brazos County is our top priority. With the COVID-19 virus having an increasing impact in our community, we want to let you know how our business is addressing this situation.
Currently, our offices are still open for appointments. To accommodate any concerns, we are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and have:
  • Increased the cleaning and sanitation of our offices
  • Added additional alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Informed our staff – if anyone is feeling ill, they need to stay home.

We are also here to serve you via the phone and using our online portal.
  • All clients are encouraged to use our Portal to send us files and exchange documents online. You can access the portal via our website or
  • Please call us at (979)846-4667 if you want to schedule a phone appointment.

We are committed to serving our clients with the care, and we are confident we are taking precautionary measures to promote the health and safety of our staff and clients. Please check with us on any changes in our work schedule and contact us if you have any questions.

Ed Slovacek CPA PLLC
1716 Briarcrest Drive, Suite 120
PO Box 3598
Bryan, Texas 77805-3598

Friday, February 14, 2020

QuickBooks Online Payroll Subscription Changes

QuickBooks Online is changing their payroll subscription options.  If you are currently enrolled in Enhanced Payroll, this payroll subscription will be replaced with Payroll Core in March 2020.  Payroll Core functions differently than Enhanced Payroll.  Here are some affects you will notice when this change is implemented fully:

  1. Paychecks cannot be edited, voided or deleted once they are created.
  2. Once payroll has been set-up for the company, no changes can be made.  Changes are still allowed for employees (e.g. payrates).
  3. Electronic payroll tax payments are made automatically by Intuit based on your depositor schedule.  You will no longer be able to pick the date of the payroll tax payment.
  4. Payroll tax returns will be electronically filed automatically by Intuit.
  5. If anything does need to be edited, voided, or deleted, a call will need to be made to QuickBooks Online Payroll Support.  Intuit may charge a fee for these support calls.
Intuit’s intent with these changes is to maintain the integrity of payroll data.  The unintended consequences of these changes take away the freedom to edit, correct, and customize payroll.  We expect some of the features and efficiencies you’ve come to expect and enjoy will be sorely missed.  We have communicated with Intuit the need for these features, and Intuit is considering making changes to accommodate this need.

In the meantime, we are exploring other payroll processing companies.  If you feel Payroll Core will not work for your company’s needs, please let us know.  We will be happy to work with you to find an appropriate solution.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Small Business Tax Errors

Accidentally failing to comply with tax laws, violating tax codes, or filling out forms incorrectly can leave taxpayers and their businesses open to possible penalties. The IRS encourages small businesses to explore using a reputable tax preparer like a certified public accountant to help with their tax situation.

Being aware of common mistakes can also help tame the stress of tax time. Here are a few mistakes small business owners should avoid:

Underpaying estimated taxes
Business owners should generally make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed. If they don’t pay enough tax through withholding and estimated tax payments, they may be charged a penalty.

Depositing employment taxes
Business owners with employees are expected to deposit taxes they withhold, plus the employer’s share of those taxes, through electronic fund transfers.  If those taxes are not deposited correctly and on time, the business owner may be charged a penalty.

Filing late
Just like individual returns, business tax returns must be filed in a timely manner. To avoid late filing penalties, taxpayers should be aware of all tax requirements for their type of business the filing deadlines.

Not separating business and personal expenses
It can be tempting to use one credit card for all expenses especially if the business is a sole proprietorship. Doing so can make it very hard to tell legitimate business expenses from personal ones. This could cause errors when claiming deductions and become a problem if the taxpayer or their business is ever audited.     

Source: The IRS

Friday, December 20, 2019

Will You Owe Tax?

Those who need to make an estimated tax payment for 2019 should remember that the fourth quarter payment is due Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

These taxpayers will want to check to see if their 2019 federal income tax withholding will unexpectedly fall short of their tax liability for the year. They can check this by using the Tax Withholding Estimator on

Before using the Tax Withholding Estimator, taxpayers should gather their most recent pay stubs and income documents from all sources. They should gather documents related to pensions, annuities, Social Security benefits and self-employment income. They should also have a copy of their 2018 federal tax return. This will help estimate 2019 income and answer other questions asked during the process.

If a taxpayer follows the recommendations at the end of the Tax Withholding Estimator and changes their withholding for 2019, they should recheck their withholding at the start of 2020. A withholding change made in 2019 may have a different full-year impact in 2020. So, if a taxpayer does not file a new Form W-4 for 2020, their withholding might be higher or lower than they intend.

Taxpayers should remember that the Tax Withholding Estimator’s results will only be as accurate as the information provided. People with more complex tax situations should not rely solely on the results of the withholding estimator. 

Source: The IRS

Monday, December 16, 2019

Final 2020 W-4 Available

The final version of the 2020 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate (pdf) is now available on

The new W-4 form better incorporates the changes ushered in by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowing employees to more accurately estimate the amount of tax they ask their employers to withhold from their paychecks beginning in 2020. In addition, the goal of the new design is to balance simplicity, accuracy and privacy for employees while minimizing burden for employers and payroll processors.

A few of the visual changes that were made in the last draft shared include:

·         it is now a full page
·         there are no withholding allowances (which is why the title of the form changed to “Employee’s Withholding Certificate”)
·         steps 1 through 5 to guide employees through the form
·         instructions, worksheets, and tables follow the first page

Changes since the last draft include minor edits to verbiage, but more notably, on page 2, under “Your Privacy,” more language was added to help the taxpayer understand exactly what checking the box in step 2(c) may do to withholdings.

The IRS encourages all payroll professionals to become familiar with the new form now so that they can help employers and employees with proper withholding in 2020.

The new Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods, to be released in mid-December for use with the new 2020 Form W-4, will provide the employer steps to figure federal withholding.

Go to About Form W-4 on for additional information.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Changes to QuickBooks Payroll

We received a letter from QuickBooks regarding changes to their payroll packages.  Here are some helpful highlights from QuickBook's letter:

Here's a summary of changes you will experience, effective on or after March 1, 2020:

Product Name Changes
Previous Name
New Name
QuickBooks Online Enhanced Payroll
(Self Service)
QuickBooks Online Payroll Core
QuickBooks Full Service Payroll
QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium

New Feature Highlights
More information about these features here.
QuickBooks Online Payroll Core
QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium
Full-service payroll, including automated tax and forms
Premium time tracking by TSheets to run payroll faster and bill more
Auto Payroll for salaried employees on direct deposit
Expert Setup Review to ensure your setup is done right
Access to health benefits for you and your team
Access to an HR support center powered by Mammoth

New Price Structures

QuickBooks Online Payroll Core
QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium
Base Fee
Wholesale Base Fee
50% off retail price for lifetime of subscription
50% off retail price for lifetime of subscription
Employee Fee
$4/month per employee
$8/month per employee
Contractor Fee
$4/month per contractor payment via direct deposit
$8/month per contractor payment via direct deposit

For more details on pricing, including discounts for companies with more than 10 employees, please refer to this Guide to QuickBooks Online Payroll: transition to new lineup.

This is just a snapshot of the new features available to you and your clients. For more information on QuickBooks Online Payroll Core and Premium, as well as our new product, QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite, check out our in-depth guide.

There's nothing you need to do now—we'll monitor the transition closely to ensure there are no interruptions your business or your clients'. Learn more about what you will experience in our Guide to QuickBooks Online Payroll: transition to new lineup.

Reminder: If who are directly billed by Intuit, you may upgrade, manage or cancel your subscription at any time by visiting Account and Settings and selecting Billing & Subscriptions.