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Business owners must collect, report and submit payroll taxes as required by federal and state laws. It is important that payroll systems and processes are accurate and efficient to meet federal and state obligations. Otherwise, a corporate officer or other responsible party (as defined by the IRS) may be personally liable for payroll taxes that are not reported or deposited, even if someone else processes payroll.

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Jan. 31, 2017, is the new deadline for employers to supply W-2 forms to workers and file copies of Form W-2 with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the 2016 tax year. This is one month earlier for paper filers and two months earlier for electronic filers. It also applies to businesses filing Forms 1099-MISC that report payments exceeding $600 for the year to independent contractors or other service providers.

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Cash is essential to running day-to-day operations and improving a company’s financial position when presented to banks and other creditors, so contractors continue to search for ways to keep cash available. One of the best opportunities to keep more cash in the company is to create a tax deferral. Tax deferral strategies for contractors are often overlooked or misunderstood.

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The look-back is a complex area of tax law that can cause compliance errors and missed opportunities. Filed on IRS Form 8697 “Interest Computation Under the Look-Back Method for Completed Long-Term Contracts), the look-back is a hypothetical recalculation of a contractor’s taxable income based on the actual performance of its completed jobs.

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