Can you believe we're already halfway through Q3?
If you're like us, summer has rushed past you in a blur of fun, sunscreen and barbecue smoke. (Somehow all that time we've spent relaxing made it go by even faster!) Hard to imagine during these dog days of August, but in just a few weeks, we'll be craving pumpkin spice lattes as hard as we're craving sweet tea right now.
To help you savor every last bit of the summer, we've put together the best of the past quarter's information, news and online biz tips (along with a heavy dose of this quarter's juicy intel) into a single “roundup” post. Enjoy!
Online Business News
Millions of Amazon shoppers found out the hard way on Prime Day that their Amazon purchases are no longer tax-free. (Sad face.) Amazon fought a long hard battle against charging sales and use tax, but the company (and its third-party sellers) are now required by law to collect it in every state that has a sales tax.
Get the lowdown here.
Speaking of sales tax, the Multistate Tax Commission recently brokered a deal with a growing number of states to offer tax amnesty to ecommerce sellers who agree to start collecting it from now on. This may be the only occasion in our lifetime where we're offered a free pass for not paying taxes, so it's worth looking into!
In other Amazon news, the company recently launched its latest innovation: a nifty platform called Spark that promises to enhance the social fun around shopping.
PayPal also upped their game with a new offering: a one-stop-shop setup for online retailers. It's called Business in a Box.
As of August 1, the IRS began mailing CP-48 Notices to more than 1 million taxpayers whose individual tax ID numbers (ITINs) are expiring at the end of 2017. If you use an ITIN instead of a social security number on your taxes, check to see if it has the middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80. If so, you should renew quickly to avoid refund and processing delays.
Learn more here.
Uncle Sam seems to be making a real effort to catch up with the times! Forbes reports that the IRS has announced a new “web-based virtual conference option” for taxpayers and their representatives. If you get audited and want to appeal the results, you can now resolve it with a federal tax representative online, using a secure screen-sharing platform.
Find out more here.
The Trump administration is turning its attention from healthcare to tax reform. Needless to say, there's a lot to dig into here.
2nd Quarter Blog Roundup
- Our favorite lady tax blogger, Forbes' Kelly Phillips Erb (aka “Tax Girl”), offered her usual bumper crop of stories–both news-related and personal–that help take the edge off tax preparation (and also make you feel really, really smart). We loved her post about the latest phishing scams that use phony tax software updates to get access to your information.
- On Mike Michalowicz's ever-popular Profit First blog, July saw him culling his network of ecommerce and online retail powerhouses for tips on making your ecommerce business pop. Catch his “Top 9 Tips to Increase Profit Now” post here. (Tip #3 – “Choose Proven Products” – is a freakin' gold mine in just 4 paragraphs.)
- Been wondering about whether a part-time or full-time hire is right for you? Mark J. Kohler explains it all (both legal and financial ramifications) with his post “The Difference Between Subcontractors and Employees.” And if you're paralyzed by the different options in health insurance policies, be sure to also check out his post “The Power of the Health Savings Account.”
Upcoming Deadlines for 3rd Quarter
- Filing your 2016 taxes on an extension? Your deadline is approaching. Make sure you know whether your taxes are due Sept. 15 or Oct. 15, and set aside the time to get 'em done!
- Federally estimated tax payments from June 1 – August 31 are due Sept. 15.