I’ve talked to a lot of QuickBooks users who have told me their QuickBooks file is too big.
According to several Pro and Premier end users, they were told by different support resources that you should upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise Edition if your company file size exceeds 150MB.
Whoa, hold on pardner!
Although Enterprise is designed to handle larger database sizes, it’s also several times more expensive than Pro or Premier, both for initial purchase and for annual upgrades. And the support plans cost much more.
I’m not sure where this perceived 150MB limit came from. The underlying database QuickBooks uses has not changed much since the 2006 version; the technical capacity of the database hasn’t changed recently. And most QuickBooks Pro and Premier users we talk to have file sizes of over 150MB.
Nonetheless, there is a point at which your file size gets too big and you notice slowdowns in QuickBooks. Or QuickBooks starts to crash. Whether that point is at 150MB, 300MB or 700MB…you tell me! Is QuickBooks working great for you, or are you starting to experience problems?
If your QBW file is getting too big to perform well, you do have options other than upgrading to Enterprise:
1. Condense/Cleanup your file. There is a built-in utility in QuickBooks that will reduce the file size to some extent. In many (most?) cases, however, the file size change resulting from this method is relatively small, or the command crashes or freezes.
2. Supercondense your file. This process removes old, closed transactions from your file. Optionally, old unused customers and/or items can be removed too. File sizes are typically reduced by 50-80%.
CASE STUDY/INTERVIEW: User with a Big, Slow QuickBooks File
The goal of these methods is to save money by avoiding software upgrades, but at the same time making QuickBooks perform better and with more stability.
By the way, you can check on the size of your company data file by pressing the F2 key in QuickBooks when you have your company open.
How big is your QuickBooks company file? Are you noticing any performance issues?
Call Mike McVay a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for more detailed information. 850-725-5696. www.VirtualBookkeepersUSA.com
If you’re uninsured, you’re probably wondering who is exempt from the Obamacare “individual mandate,” and if there’s a way you can qualify before being fined.
But not everyone who wants to “opt out” of coverage can. There are very specific circumstances that qualify you for an exemption.
Qualifying and applying for an exemptionYou could qualify for an exemption from the individual mandate to have health coverage if:
Enter your ZIP code to see plans and prices. All plans qualify for discounted prices under the Affordable Care Act.
Call Mike to find out if you qualify for a penalty exemption.
Applying for an exemption does take some effort. The necessary application form depends on the exemption you are hoping to qualify under.
Some exemptions, like being unaffordable, can be claimed when you file your taxes. Others, like being a member of a religion that objects to insurance, require you to fill out an application form. These forms and related instructions can be found on the Healthcare.govwebsite, or through helpful online tools like the Turbo Tax Exemption Check.
Look here for more information on how Obamacare will affect your taxes.
If your gap in coverage does not exceed three months, if you are not in the U.S. lawfully, or if your income is low enough that you are not required to file an income tax return, you do not have to apply for or claim your exemption.
Qualifying and applying for a hardship exemptionFinancial problems can make it difficult to pay the bills, let alone take on new expenses like health insurance. A hardship exemption is tied to an event or obstacle that may have made the health insurance requirement particularly difficult.
You may qualify for a hardship exemption if:
From Fantasy Football to alimony payments, here are 10 things taxed by the IRS that might surprise you.
1. Social SecurityYou may have worked all your life to qualify for Social Security, but the IRS still takes its cut come tax time if you have enough outside income to move past its threshold. If your income is greater than $25,000 as a single taxpayer, or $32,000 if you're filing jointly, up to 85% of your benefits will be subject to taxation. You can have funds withheld or make estimated tax payments to the IRS quarterly to settle the obligation.
2. Alimony Payments
If you’re getting alimony payments, it's the same thing as getting a paycheck to the IRS. You’re supposed to calculate the proceeds along with the rest of your income and pay taxes on it based on your tax bracket, the same as if it came from an employer and not your ex-spouse. Child support payments, however, receive greater protection. The IRS doesn’t touch those.
3. Major GiftsDon’t worry – you won’t have to pay taxes on that $100 gift card you got for your birthday. If the sum starts getting larger, however, the IRS gets interested. If someone gives you more than $14,000 as of the 2013 tax year, or $28,000 if it's from a married couple – gift taxes are owed on the overage. If the money is designed for a specific purpose, like college tuition, giving the money directly to the institution can help avoid this tax.
4. ScholarshipsMany students think scholarships are tax free – and they are, as long as the funds pay for tuition, fees, books and supplies. But some scholarships cover room and board as well, or subsidize travel expenses to attend a conference or other similar activities. Scholarship money used for that purpose is taxable, since it's not directly tied to the classroom.
5. Gambling WinningsYou’re not the only one with reason to celebrate that winning bet at the racetrack. Casinos, racetracks and other gambling venues must report to the IRS whenever a gambler has winnings that exceed $600. If you hit it big, then next year the venue will mail you a 1099 form. You can offset your winnings with anygambling losses, but will need to have betting slips or other documentation to prove to any auditor that you’re not always that lucky.
6. Fantasy FootballIf you’re playing fantasy sports for money, those winnings are treated like any other gambling winnings, according to the IRS. The commissioner of your private league probably won’t send you a 1099, but if you’re playing in an online league for money, that website will. Either way, that’s considered taxable income – so if you brag about your payday on your Facebook page and wind up being audited, that’s something that could come up in the investigation and increase your bill.
7. Found PropertyEvery kid dreams of finding buried treasure in the backyard. If you have that kind of good fortune – whether it’s suitcases of cash in the attic of an old house or a diamond ring in a jar you bought at an antique store – the IRS considers that to be income. Property that comes into your possession after being lost or abandoned is subject to tax at its fair market value the first year it comes into your undisputed possession.
8. Big PrizesIf you’re fortunate enough to win a prize based on the quality of your work, that’s taxable income under IRS regulations. This is true whether the prize comes in the form of cash or something else. For example, if your employer awards you a two-year lease on a car for winning a sales promotion, you will have to declare the value of the lease as income.
Have you caught Powerball fever? Much of the country has, creating long lines at convenience stores and driving today’s jackpot to a record-breaking $1.5 billiondollars as of publishing. Admittedly, your chances of correctly choosing all six numbers are slim – one in 292 million – but today’s big drawing is a prime opportunity to think about the tax implications of winning money, big or small.
Your Lucky Day
All lottery winnings are subject to Federal and (sometimes) state income taxes, and sizeable jackpots are taxed at the maximum federal rate of 39.6%. That means if you were to take your winnings all at once instead of over 30 years, an $930 million cash payout like today’s will equal roughly $368 million owed in Federal taxes.
Income tax will automatically be withheld from any lottery prize, but only at a 25 – 28% rate – so winners need to put aside an additional lump sum to pay their Federal tax bill, which will be based on their actual tax rate. Believe it or not, many lottery winners don’t do this and have to pay the consequences of a much higher tax bill later on.
If the Powerball winner lives in a state with a personal income tax, he or she will also owe taxes to the state. In most states, the tax rates on high-income individuals range from 5% to 10% – so that means between $47 million and $93 million additionally should be held for state taxes for this particular jackpot. Some cities have local income taxes to consider, as well.
The Facts About Gambling Winnings
The odds are you won’t need to worry about paying taxes on more than a billion dollars. (If only!) But, the odds are good that you’ll someday win a smaller jackpot, a sports bet or a stack of cash at the blackjack table.
Casinos and other gaming organizations will send you a Form W-2G when you win $1,200 or more on a slot machine or from bingo, keno jackpots of $1,500 or more, more than $5,000 in a poker tournament and all other games you win $600 or more at, but only if the payout is at least 300 times your wager. Not all gambling winnings are subject to W-2G reporting. When you file with TurboTax, we’ll ask simple questions about your gambling winnings and losses. Then we’ll do the math and fill in the appropriate tax forms based on your entries. Just plug in some numbers from your W-2G and we’ll do the rest.
If you had an unlucky year, know that gambling losses are tax deductible, but only to the extent of your winnings. While gambling winnings are treated like ordinary income, losses are itemized deductions. This requires you to report all the money you win as taxable income on your tax return. However, the tax deduction for your losses is only available if you itemize your deductions. If you claim the standard deduction, then you can’t reduce your tax by your gambling losses. For example, if you won $10,000 in 2015 and lost $20,000, you can only claim $10,000 in losses (up to the amount of winning) in your itemized deductions. For more information call Mike McVay, Accountant 850-725-5696.
The cost of unhealthy accountancy can catch up to you later. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to ignore this aspect of your business, tho' several small business owners do. Most business owners try to cut costs by hiring a part-time employee that may or may not have bookkeeping experience. In this case, they can save money in the begining but end up spending far more money for a CPA (Charging $80-280.00 per hour) to find errors and make revisions to your books.
By hiring someone that is not a Certified Public Bookkeeper and doesn't have the experience and tax knowledge necessary, you can even lose valuable tax write-offs that can save your company thousands. CPAs don't always find all errors because they are overwhelmed with tax season and filing on time, but here at Virtual Bookkeepers USA we assure you that we monitor, keep track and advise of any tax advantages and savings you can make to help you grow your business. This is why having a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly bookkeeping package is necessary to growing your profits! Call Mike McVay today to learn more. 850.725.5696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike McVay, Tax Accountant Blog
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor & Licensed Tax Accountant Pensacola, FL
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