May, 2007

Buddha’s Birthday

I’m told April 30th is Buddha’s birthday.

We thought about throwing a party, but he doesn’t seem like the sort to enjoy a big event that generates leftovers, and it seemed unlikely that he’d attend in person.

Now might be a good time to clean up the books for the first quarter of ’07. If there are any nagging problems, things that don’t quite look right, or things you just want reviewed, Andy Sara and Nedrah are currently “more available” than we were mid-March and mid-April. If you’ve felt neglected, let us visit you now.

We’re frequently told we are the “most relaxed tax office” our vendors have ever seen during tax season. We managed to file pretty much everyone who had their materials together for us by Friday the 13th without yelling at anyone, in spite of the delays our software caused. We do have some clients who are on extension, but that seems to happen every year. Now our goal is to finish those remaining returns up well before the extended due date of September 17th or October 15th.

Classes – "The 'S' Corporation," “Schedule C,” and Basic Payroll

Andy will be doing an hour long presentation on “Why I love the “S” Corporation” for the East Bay Association of Enrolled Agents on June 20th in Pleasanton. A link is available to the Bulletin at

If you missed Andy’s “Preparing your own Schedule C” class at the Small Business Administration in SF, the next class is scheduled for July 10th at 6 pm. Click on and go to the Events Calendar. This class covers basic business tax preparation and is intended for new business owners who want to know more about their own taxes.

Also, in conjunction with the IRS and EDD, Andy's going to be doing some Basic Payroll seminars coming up in the near future. Andy will present part of a day’s seminar in Vallejo May 9th (the afternoon segment) at the Solano Employment Connection, 1440 Marin St 9am – 3 pm Reservations may be made at 866 873-6083 for the Federal/State Basic Payroll Tax Seminar, or on line at

New Employees?

If you’ve hired a new employee in California, here’s a checklist, with links to the PDF forms you’ll need to gather from each employee. You don’t mail the federal forms in; you DO mail in the DE-34 to California, and if your new employee claims more than 10 exemptions on the W-4, contact us for more info.
If you have an employee with NO withholding, they may be eligible to receive “advance EIC.” Contact us or your payroll service if this happens, or if an employee asks you about it.

  1. The W-4 collects an employee’s name, SSN, address, and tax withholding status. California also has a version (DE-4) if the state and federal are DIFFERENT, otherwise, just use the W-4 for both.

  2. The I-9 is now from the Department of Homeland Security and verifies eligibility for employment.
  3. The DE-34 reports new employees to the Employment Development Department—You DO mail this one in. This lets the EDD track people who have skipped out on child support while they’re still working for you and before quarter end reports get mailed and processed.

You should keep these forms for 4 years.


Well, published on the web. We have an article on Incorporating titled “Should I Incorporate?” posted to the Lafayette Chamber on-line Resources page available at: This is a brief overview of types of entities and where they are useful.

Refund Status – where’s my refund?

Paper filed Federal returns take up to six weeks, electronically filed returns take up to three weeks. (Amended return refunds take 8-12 weeks).

To check the status of your refund, the IRS has an on-line service called “Where’s My Refund?” at
or you can call 800 829-1954, but they want you to wait 4 weeks after you mail your return to call.

You’ll need your Social Security Number, filing status (MFJ, Single, etc) and the exact amount of the refund shown on your return. Of course, it will be down this week-end, but should work after that. They say you can “run a trace” if you don’t receive your refund within 28 days.

California also has an on-line version at and you’ll need your SSN, Mailing address and the refund amount.