Archive for Laura Anne

Be Positive in Any Situation

Thinkdobepsoitive

The power of remaining positive, whatever the situation, can never be underestimated. We are all here for a limited period of time, is it worth it to spend any of that time in a dismal mood? Being negative?
The true test of an individual to remain positive is when challenges become difficult. Remaining positive keeps one’s mind in the right state of balance and often opens resolutions to the problems at hand. Negativity is contagious; not only does it affect the individual, but it spreads to anyone they interact with. When only the negative perspective is in focus, the resolution process is impeded. Eliminating negativity and being positive is a mindset that can be turned into a welcome lifestyle.

  • Shift Your Thoughts – Be aware of your thoughts; especially when life just isn’t going your way. The moment you see that you are spiraling into frustration, agony, sorrow and low self-esteem – hit the brakes and shift your thoughts, by thinking about something completely unrelated. This breaks the pattern of self-pity, mind-created stories, and the negative dive downward. What makes us different from other mammals is our ability to control our thoughts and think for ourselves.
  • Discover the Lesson – There is a valuable lesson to be learned from every situation. No matter how unfortunate the situation may seem, recognize the lessons waiting to be uncovered. Sometimes lessons are expensive, but every problem is a learning opportunity in disguise. So you’ve made a mistake, now you can accept it and move on, knowing that you will make a different decision in the future. Understand this and be appreciative for the experience.
  • Attitude of Gratitude – You cannot be both angry and grateful at the same time. Start counting the blessings in your life, once you start looking for them, you’ll find more. What’s not to be grateful for? You are alive and breathing! Realize how lucky you are and all the abundance in your life.
  • Positive Affirmations & Visualization – Practice seeing yourself in a positive and confident light. Do this whenever you have a few minutes (examples; Waiting for a friend, sitting on the train, riding an elevator.) Self-affirmations (list of positive statements about yourself and your self-image) are another simple and powerful tool to train your subconscious to see yourself in a positive light. This is important, as many of us can be so hard on ourselves through social conditioning. but over time you’ll learn to recognize your gifts rather than finding false and self-imposed inadequacies.
  • Reservoir of Memories – Keep a reservoir of memories that will instantly make you smile. Those occasions where you felt happy, appreciative and loved; when you were at peace with yourself and those around you. Whenever you are in a negative frame of mind, consciously and deliberately pick up any nugget out of this reservoir and reminisce. Remembering those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.
  • Criticizing Detox Diet – Change your approach and attitude. Don’t criticizing others and situations. You don’t know what their situation is. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding.

Whether you are positive or negative, the situation around you does not change. So, we might as well be positive. And as with any habit, the habit of remaining positive in situations takes practice and a commitment to yourself to take control. Start small, pay attention to your emotions. Keep it going, and you will steadily become a positive source of energy that others will want around them! Won’t that be empowering?

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Summer Work Schedules

Summer is fast approaching and you know what that means? Employees are going to be distracted. For the productivity of your company, why not consider a flex schedule? Many companies keep summer hours, whether it’s an early out on Friday afternoon or a late start on Monday.

Who wouldn’t want to sneak out early to spend a few hours at the beach, while others are wondering what their kids are up to at home on summer vacation. Many businesses find that offering alternative summer work schedules help energize and rejuvenate their employees to be more productive, not to mention it’s a fabulous morale booster. If your type of business isn’t schedule-restrictive and you haven’t considered offering a flex schedule this summer, it’s not too late. Your employees will surely thank you!

A consolidated work week option is a common summer schedule to offer, from working four 10-hour days with one day off to 9 hour days with a half day off or 9 hour days with a day off every two weeks. In some companies employees are allowed to choose which of these options works better for their schedules.

Many companies allow working from home year round, while other companies permit it more during the summer. Employees with children off from school for the summer will find this especially helpful since they may have to provide transportation to daycare or camp.
As you design the plan that works for your company, think about your daily and weekly business demands. And will this plan work for all aspects of your company?

Be sure to advise your staff there may be times when all employees, or just a few, will need to forego their summer hours.

Inform employees upon implementation, that the program will be evaluated and may be changed at any time due to business needs.

The benefits to a summer hours program can be enormous, but should be carefully thought out prior to implementation.  Summer is the time many employees want to have fun, but you also need to ensure that the commitments of the business are met.

Do you keep summer hours?  What does your company do for summer? Let us know…

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What to Know about Late Filing and Late Paying Penalties

Issue Number:    IRS Tax Tip 2015-63


What to Know about Late Filing and Late Paying Penalties
April 15 was the tax day deadline for most people. If you are due a refund there is no penalty if you file a late tax return. But if you owe tax, and you failed to file and pay on time, you will usually owe interest and penalties on the tax you pay late. You should file your tax return and pay the tax as soon as possible to stop them. Here are eight facts that you should know about these penalties.

1.    Two penalties may apply.  If you file your federal tax return late and owe tax with the return, two penalties may apply. The first is a failure-to-file penalty for late filing. The second is a failure-to-pay penalty for paying late.

2.    Penalty for late filing.  The failure-to-file penalty is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. It will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.

3.    Minimum late filing penalty.  If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty for late filing is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.

4.    Penalty for late payment.  The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes. It applies for each month or part of a month your taxes remain unpaid and starts accruing the day after taxes are due. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.

5.    Combined penalty per month.  If the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty both apply in any month, the maximum amount charged for those two penalties that month is 5 percent.

6.    File even if you can’t pay.  In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you can’t pay in full, you should file your tax return and pay as much as you can. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. You should try other options to pay, such as getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up an installment agreement with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov.

7.    Late payment penalty may not apply.  If you requested an extension of time to file your income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. You will owe interest on any taxes you pay after the April 15 due date.

8.    No penalty if reasonable cause.  You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time. There is also penalty relief available for repayment of excess advance payments of the premium tax credit for 2014.

If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. You can also subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions.

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IRS – Report Phishing and Online Scams

Report Phishing and Online Scams

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The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.

Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov. Recent scams have used the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to attract potential victims.  Also, if you’ve experienced any monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their Complaint Assistant to make the information available to investigators.

NOTE: Please refer to Contact the IRS if you have a tax question not related to phishing or identity theft.


ALERT: IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scam


What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication

 If

 Then

You receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery.
  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. Visit our identity protection page if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
  4. Forward the email as-is to us atphishing@irs.gov. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
  5. Delete the original email.
You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee …
  1. Record the employee’s name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
  2. Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
    • If the person calling you is an IRS employee, call them back.
    • If not, report the incident to TIGTA and to us at phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘IRS Phone Scam’)
You receive a letter, notice or form via paper mail or fax from an individual claiming to be the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee …

Go to the IRS home page and search on the letter, notice, or form number. Fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters. You can also find information at Understanding Your Notice or Letteror by searching Forms and Pubs.

  • If it is legitimate, you’ll find instructions on how to respond or complete the form.
  • If you don’t find information on our website or the instructions are different from what you were told to do in the letter, notice or form, call 1-800-829-1040 to determine if it’s legitimate.
  • If it’s not legitimate, report the incident toTIGTA and to us at phishing@irs.gov.
You receive an unsolicited fax, such as Form W8-BEN claiming to be from the IRS, requesting personal information …

Please send us the email or scanned fax via email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘FAX’).

Visit the FATCA home page and Form W8-BEN for more information.

You receive an unsolicited telephone call or email, involving a stock or share purchase, that involves suspicious IRS or Department of Treasury documents such as “advance fees” or “penalties” …

… and you are a U.S. citizen located in the United States or its territories or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

  1. Complete the appropriate complaint form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Forward email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Stock’).
  3. If you are a victim of monetary or identity theft, you may submit a complaint through theFTC Complaint Assistant.

… and you are not a U.S. citizen and reside outside the United States.

  1. Complete the appropriate complaint form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Contact your securities regulator and file a complaint.
  3. Forward email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Stock’).
  4. If you are a victim of monetary or identity theft, you may report your complaint to econsumer.gov.
You discover a website on the Internet that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus …  send the URL of the suspicious site tophishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Suspicious Website’).
You receive a text message or Short Message Service (SMS) message claiming to be from the IRS …
  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious SMS and entered confidential information, visit our identity protection page.
  4. Forward the text as-is, to us at 202-552-1226.Note: Standard text messaging rates apply.
  5. If possible, in a separate text, forward the originating number to us at 202-552-1226
  6. Delete the original text.

How to identify phishing email scams claiming to be from the IRS and bogus IRS websites


What to do if you receive a suspicious email message that doesn’t claim to be from the IRS

 If

 Then

You receive a suspicious phishing email not claiming to be from the IRS … Forward the email as-is to reportphishing@antiphishing.org.
You receive an email you suspect contains malicious code or a malicious attachment and you HAVE clicked on the link or downloaded the attachment … Visit OnGuardOnline.gov to learn what to do if you suspect you have malware on your computer.
You receive an email you suspect contains malicious code or a malicious attachment and you HAVE NOT clicked on the link or downloaded the attachment … Forward the email to your Internet Service Provider’s abuse department and/or to spam@uce.gov.

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Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

medicalcareStarting January 2014, The Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act takes effect. This means that each and every taxpayer (and family member) is now required to maintain basic health insurance, also known as “minimal essential coverage.” You must either have health insurance coverage throughout the year, qualify for an exemption from coverage, or make a payment when you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015. Many people already have qualifying health insurance coverage and do not need to do anything more than maintain that coverage.  Plans that meet the minimal essential coverage requirement may be obtained through employer-sponsored coverage, government programs, or the Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit the IRS website for a chart of coverage types that qualify.

Health Coverage Exemptions

There are a limited number of exemptions from the individual shared responsibility provision. Types of exemptions include: members of certain religious sects, members of Federally-recognized Native American tribes, certain non-citizens, households with income below the return filing threshold, people for whom coverage is considered unaffordable, incarceration exemptions, and certain hardship exemptions.

Exemptions must be obtained through either the Marketplace or the IRS. Exemptions are reported on your income tax return, but you are automatically exempt if you aren’t required to file a return because of insufficient income.

Individual Shared Responsibility Payment

The 2014 tax return (IRS Form 1040) will ask whether you have health insurance coverage or if you qualify for an exemption. If you (or any member of your household) do not have the minimal essential coverage and do not meet the exemption criteria, you will need to make an Individual Shared Responsibility payment. For 2014, the individual shared responsibility payment is the greater of:

  • 1% of your household income above your tax filing threshold
  • The flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a family maximum of $285

Health Care Tax Tips

Here are some general tax tips for the Affordable Care Act:

  • Certain employers are required to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. Consequently, your employer may report the value of the health insurance provided to you on your Form W-2 (in Box 12 with Code DD) — however, it is not taxable income. This amount is only provided for informational purposes and should not be reported as taxable earnings.
  • If you are self-employed, you can deduct the cost of health insurance premiums (within limits) on your Federal income tax return, as well as on your state tax return in many cases.
  • Individuals and families with low or moderate income, who purchased health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (the “Exchange”), may be eligible for a Premium Tax Credit designed to help them afford insurance coverage. You can elect to have the tax credit paid in advance to your insurance company to lower your monthly premiums, or you can claim all of the credit when you file your Federal tax return for the year. If you choose to have the credit paid in advance, you will need to reconcile the amount paid in advance with the actual credit you calculate (based upon family size and income) when you file your tax return.
  • As part of the Affordable Care Act, an Additional Medicare Tax went into effect in 2013. This affects taxpayers at higher income levels (as measured by wages, compensation, and self-employment income). The rate of the Additional Medicare Tax is 0.9%. To find out if you are subject to this tax, you can view the income threshold chart on the IRS website.

Tax-Favored Health Plans

Some employers offer additional types of tax-favored health plans, including the following:

  • A health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) enables you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of money you contribute.
  • health savings account (HSA) allows your employer to put money aside for you, which is not taxable to you within certain limits. Money that you put into an HSA generally qualifies for a tax deduction and can reduce your income tax liability. Money that you withdraw from an HSA to use for qualified medical expenses is not considered taxable income. However, withdrawals for other (nonqualified) purposes are taxable and may even trigger an additional tax.
  • Money you receive from a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is usually not taxable.

Information for Employers

An employer’s tax responsibilities are based on how many employees they have and what type of health coverage they offer. The general rules are as follows:

  • Employers with less than 25 full-time employees may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which helps cover the cost of providing insurance coverage.
  • Employers with 50 employees or less are generally eligible to purchase coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
  • Employers with 50 or more employees must file an annual information return and report what type of health insurance they provide (if any). These employers are also subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions under the Affordable Care Act.

For more information about how the health care law may affect you, please visit the IRS website: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions.

Still have questions? Consult with your local tax professional. You can email us at: info@laebusiness.com

 

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Top Six Things You Should Know about the Child Tax Credit

Issue Number:    IRS Tax Tip 2015-26

 


IRSefileTop Six Things You Should Know about the Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit may save you money at tax-time if you have a qualified child.

Here are six things you should know about the credit.

1. Amount.  The Child Tax Credit may help reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child that you are eligible to claim on your tax return.

2. Additional Child Tax Credit.  If you qualify and get less than the full Child Tax Credit, you could receive a refund even if you owe no tax with the Additional Child Tax Credit.

3. Qualifications.  For this credit, a qualifying child must pass several tests:

• Age test.  The child must have been under age 17 at the end of 2014.

• Relationship test.  The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. The child may be a descendant of any of these individuals. A qualifying child could also include your grandchild, niece or nephew. You would always treat an adopted child as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.

• Support test.  The child must not have provided more than half of their own support for the year.

• Dependent test.  The child must be a dependent that you claim on your federal tax return.

• Joint return test.  The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the only reason they are filing is to claim a refund.

• Citizenship test.  The child must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien.

• Residence test.  In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2014.

4. Limitations.  The Child Tax Credit is subject to income limitations. The limits may reduce or eliminate your credit depending on your filing status and income.

5. Schedule 8812.  If you qualify to claim the Child Tax Credit, make sure to check whether you must complete and attach Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your tax return. For example, if you claim a credit for a child with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you must complete Part I of Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, you must complete and attach Schedule 8812. Visit IRS.gov to view, download or print IRS tax forms anytime.

6. IRS E-file.  Electronic filing is the best way to file your tax return. IRS E-file is the safe, accurate and easiest way to file. If you use IRS Free File, you can prepare and e-file your taxes for free. Go to IRS.gov/filing and review your options.

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Not So Great Expectations: Are You Setting Your Employees Up For Failure?


As employers, we invest a lot in our staff, and in return, expect a lot from them. From following company policies, procedures, to effectively completing assignments and job duties; in order to be successful, it’s imperative for every member of your team to comprehend exactly what’s required of them. If your employees don’t understand your expectations, how can they be expected to achieve them? Make sure you’re not setting your team up for failure with these two common blunders.



Having Unclear Expectations
When it comes to expectations, communication is key. Without a good understanding of what you require of them, at some time or another, your employees will not meet your expectations, which could lead to productivity, profitability, and morale issues for you. Take time to make sure every member of your team understands their job description, key duties, goals, and the role they play in your company. If you have specific expectations for a project, communicate those expectations clearly and concisely. By asking for their feedback and questions you are able to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Having Unrealistic Expectations
If the expectations set for your team are unrealistic; your employees could be doomed from the get go. Making sure the goals, projects, and deadlines you establish are realistic and attainable. A great place to start is by making sure your individual and company goals meet the “SMART” goals standard by being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. It’s crucial to ensure your employees have the skills, experience, and tools they need to complete the projects you assign.

For the most part people come to work with the desire to succeed. No one likes to fail and your team will stand a better chance of flourishing at work if you set these clear, realistic expectations from day one. 

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Small Business Tax Prep Checklist

 

LAE Business Services, Inc.
373 Smithtown Bypass Suite 134, Hauppauge, NY 11788
P : 631-793-1292                     F: 631-382-8334
www.laebusiness.com            Email: info@laebusiness.com

Small Business Tax Prep Checklist

Income

Gross receipts from sales or services

Sales records (for accrual based taxpayers)
Returns and allowances
Business checking/savings account interest (1099-INT or statement)
Other income

Cost of Goods Sold (if applicable)

Inventory
Beginning inventory total dollar amount
Inventory purchases
Ending inventory total dollar amount
Items removed for personal purposes
Materials & Supplies

Expenses

Advertising
Phones (landline, fax or cell phones related to business)
Computer & internet expenses
Transportation and travel expenses
Local transportation
Business trip (mileage) log
Contemporaneous log or receipts for public transportation, parking, and tolls
Travel away from home:
Airfare or mileage/actual expense if drove
Hotel
Meals, tips
Taxi, tips
Internet connection (hotel, Internet café etc.)
Other
Commissions paid to subcontractors
File Form 1099-MISC and 1096 as necessary
Depreciation
Cost and first date of business use of assets
Records relating to personal use of assets
Sales price and disposition date of any assets sold
Business insurance
Casualty loss insurance
Errors and omissions
Other
Interest expense
Mortgage interest on building owned by business
Business loan interest
Investment expense and interest
Professional fees
Lawyers, accountants, and consultants
Office supplies
Pens, paper, staples, and other consumables
Rent expense
Office space rent
Business-use vehicle lease expense
Other
Office-in-home
Square footage of office space
Total square footage of home
Hours of use, if operating an in home daycare
Mortgage interest or rent paid
Homeowner’s or renters’ insurance
Utilities
Cost of home, separate improvements and first date of business use
Wages paid to employees:
Form W-2 and W-3
Federal and state payroll returns (Form 940, Form 941, etc.)
Employee benefit expenses
Contractors
Form 1099-MISc
Form 1096

Other expenses:
Repairs, maintenance of office facility, etc
Estimated tax payments made

Other business related expenses:
Health insurance [This needs to be left-aligned with “Other expenses”]
Premiums paid to cover the sole-proprietor and family
Premiums paid on behalf of partners and S corporation shareholders
Information on spouse’s employer provided insurance

 

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How to Handle A Returned Check

How to Handle a Returned Check

For most any business, accepting checks is a service to its customers. Unfortunately, banks every so often return checks, and dealing with them can be a frustrating process. If you are the receiver of a bad check, you can take several steps to recover the money you lost on the sale, as well as the fees you incurred from your bank.

Handle the return check on your books:

The first thing you will need to do is record this returned check in your accounting system. You don’t want your accounts receivable and bank account to be misstated.  If you don’t have this item set up already in your QuickBooks you want to create a new item “other charge” for your Item List: Bounced Check.  Leave Amount at zero, tax code as non, and for the Account choose your checking account.  Also create another “other charge” item: Bad Check Charge — no amount, non-tax, and for the account set up an income item named “returned check charge”.  Then create an invoice to your customer using these two items.  Invoice for the amount of the check on item Bounced Check and for the bank charge on the Bad Check charge item. (Include a description of the NSF ck# number, date.)  This will have the effect of backing out the deposit and will match to your bank statement.   When you receive a replacement check from your customer, receive it as you would any other payment.

Now for the handling of the check with your customer:

Do not redeposit the check without first speaking with your customer. This will avoid additional bank fees if the check still isn’t good.  Call your customer. Good people make mistakes too, and giving your customer a call, and letting him know what happened often can solve the problem. Let the customer know the check number and dollar amount, as well as any fees your bank assessed you. The oversight might embarrass many people, and they will want make good on the check and then your problem is resolved.

If you don’t get anywhere after speaking with the customer, send a certified letter. Bad check laws vary from state to state but many State guidelines typically require you to send a certified letter to the check writer asking for payment of funds. Ask for payment to be made by a certified check or money order; request the check writer to pay bank fees you incurred because of the returned check. State law requires the check writer to respond within a certain number of days to your letter. Check with your state before sending the letter.

Place a follow-up call to the check maker. You are within your legal rights to go directly to small claims court if payment is not received. However, if you contact the check writer again and they pay restitution in full, then a court appearance can be avoided. Explain to the check writer that you will file a police report or take them to small claims court if they do not pay what is owed to you.

If none of the above actions are getting you anywhere, notify the police. If the check writer lives in your area, file a complaint with your local police department. You will need to fill out a police report and include copies of the bounced check, your certified letter, related receipts and document your attempts to recover the funds. Ask the police to pursue the check writer and bring forth charges.

Hopefully it will not come to the final step and you are able to recover the payment in full. But if not, it’s good to know there are steps you can take. The events might make you, the company; more cautious of whom you accept check payments from in the future.

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Boost Employee Morale and Increase Productivity

morale

We all have those days when we’re down in the dumps and just can’t get motivated. But are you seeing that more often than not at your office? Is productivity beginning to suffer?  Does the staff morale need a makeover?

There are many simple, but effective techniques you can use to boost employee morale, even if your staff is really down in the dumps.



Change up the schedule
When people are stuck in a rut, you need to break out of the daily grind. Allow them start a little later on Monday so they can tie up any personal loose ends leftover from the weekend and come in focused and ready to turn things around.

Have a daily pow wow
When people are down, keeping things quiet will only make it worse. Have a daily brief meeting where you can share the actions and progress you’re taking to make things better. Do this in a daily circle standing, like a huddle.  It creates a natural shot of energy and is better for you than coffee and doughnuts.
 


Say “thank you”
This is the easy one. It’s just two simple words. Say it and say it about something specific and with sincerity. Showing your staff they are appreciated goes a long way in the effort to increase morale.
 

Let them talk
If you’re a customer service person you’re taught that angry people need to vent before they’ll be open to change. Speak with your employees individually or in small groups to share the problems and challenges they’re facing. This technique is a considerable step in restoring morale. In large groups it’s more likely to get someone on a soap box harping on one problem, which can generate more problems than you can fix, so keep it to smaller more personal groups.

Change the scenery
Even in the greatest workspace, emotions can decline when the physical environment stays the same. Get your team out of the office occasionally for a unique and different activity, like volunteering for a day at Habitat for Humanity, community food drive or a company fishing trip. While everyone is out, have the office spruced up with fresh paint or floral arrangements with bright colors. The return to a clean bright space may be just the sparkle you need to improve morale.
 
Do something out of the ordinary
Bringing in doughnuts or bagels for breakfast is a nice gesture, but might not be enough to uplift the mood. Do something different: If your employees sit in front of their computers all day, hire a massage therapist to come in so employees can enjoy quick but revitalizing back and shoulder massage. Or how about hiring a yoga instructor to come in to teach a class for an hour? 

Remember-Have fun! You don’t have to dress in a crazy costume, but you can promote good spirits and enjoyment in the workplace. Go around and talk to your employees. Smile. Acknowledge what they do, for without them, you wouldn’t be in business.

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