Beyond the Bottom Line February 2013

Video Tutorials

BMSS has launched video tutorials that are free to access in the top right corner of our website.  We realized there is a need to have step-by-step instructions for our new clients to learn how to access the portal, as well as current clients who need a reminder how to upload and download files. (As a reminder, clients can access their portal 24/7 at no cost.)

In addition to our client portal videos, we provided tutorials on how to backup a QuickBooks files, enter manual checks and enter account payable bills into QuickBooks. These are questions we are asked often from our clients. We hope these instructions allow you to become more efficient and effective in operating your business.  Do you have a topic you would like to see as a BMSS tutorial? If so, let us know!

Transferring a One-Owner Business: Things To Consider

BMSS works with closely-held business owners and entrepreneurs to make plans for the transfer of their businesses in the event of retirement, disability, death or to begin another business. 

One-owner businesses are not just sole proprietorships; they also include single-member LLCs and one-owner corporations. When the 100% owner of a business wants to make plans to sell the business in the event of retirement or death, there are only three choices: 1) the entrepreneur can plan to sell to a third party 2) plans can be made to sell to one or more key persons, or 3) the entrepreneur can create an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which can be used to sell the business to all employees.

What if the entrepreneur is interested in selling one day, but there are no existing buyers? 

Alabama Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. (CST) on Friday, February 22 and ending at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, February 24, Alabama will hold its second annual severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday. 

Shoppers have the opportunity to purchase certain severe-weather preparedness supplies (including batteries, cell phone batteries, cell phone chargers, battery-powered or weather-band radios, flashlights, plastic cloths, duct tape, coolers and can openers) free of state sales or use tax. Retailers are required to participate and may not charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the Sales Tax Holiday. View a quick reference of exempt items…

Although state taxes are waived, local sales and use tax may apply see a list of cities and counties participating in the Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.  For more information, visit the Alabama Department of Revenue's website.

Independent Contractors v. Employees - Misclassification

Today more and more businesses are making increasing use of outside workers to cut costs, including payroll tax costs. Unfortunately, this trend has caught the attention of the IRS. 

What the IRS is looking for are workers who are treated as independent contractors but who actually are employees. If the IRS is successful in reclassifying workers, there is the potential of a substantial tax bill, consisting of, just for starters, the employer's back social security taxes and FUTA taxes, plus possible penalties and interest.  Read more about the IRS enforcement efforts and what your business can do to maintain compliance…

Reminders from IRS and Alabama Department of Revenue

  • The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS should be reported to the IRS at
  • If you receive a letter via mail from the IRS indicating identity theft, follow the instructions in that notice. If you believe you are at risk of identity theft, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit immediately at 1-800-908-4490 (also contact your BMSS CPA).
  • Read tax filing tips from the Alabama Department of Revenue...

Abacus IT Solutions Hires Gib Johnson as President

BMSS sister company, Abacus IT Solutions, has hired Gib Johnson as President. Gib has over 25 years of experience in business development and technology. As President, Gib will oversee all executive decisions and operations of the company along with providing client solutions and client development. Greg Hardy will serve as Chief Operating Officer.  Abacus IT Solutions provides network assessments, monitoring, servers, data security, accounting software consulting and business telephone systems. If you would like more information on Abacus IT Solutions, contact your BMSS CPA or Gib Johnson at 205-443-5921.

BMSS & Employee News

Keith Barfield, one of the founding members of BMSS, has been elected to be the Vice Chair of Finance and Administration for the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Keith will lead the Finance Committee, work with the Chamber staff on financial matters, provide monthly financial reports to the Board of Directors and serve on the Chamber’s Executive Committee. He has served on the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2002.

In the Birmingham Business Journal Top Accounting Firms list, BMSS ranked as the third-largest firm in Birmingham. BMSS also ranks in the top 10 in Alabama and top 200 in the United States. Thanks to our employees, clients and friends that have allowed BMSS to grow so quickly over the past 21 years!

Questions about this newsletter or how BMSS can help you?           Back to top of page           More News & Alerts

IRS Circular 230 Notice: Federal regulations apply to written communications (including emails) regarding federal tax matters between our firm and our clients. Pursuant to these federal regulations, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the addressee or any other person or entity for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.