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TaxToolsIn this issue:

  • 2019 Software Releases
  • Initial Release or Update?
  • Offsite Backups Are Best
  • Information Return Deadline
  • Tax Season Humor

2019 Software Releases
The following 2019 CFS programs have been released:

To download any of the above programs...

  1. At our web site, click on Download Software.
  2. Enter your Customer ID and ZIP Code, then click the Go to download page button.
  3. Download and install your software, following the instructions at the top of the page. Note the yellow table beneath the instructions, which contains your license code(s). You can copy the license code from here and paste it into the program when you install it.

If you ordered your software on CD, you may have already received it by first-class mail.

Initial Release or Update?
Download or Update?This time of year, we send out many e-mails notifying customers of both initial releases and updates. Initial releases require a download and install of the full program file, whereas updates only require a smaller update file.

If you receive a notification e-mail from us, be sure to note on the header whether it is an initial release notice ("DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE") or an update notice ("PROGRAM UPDATE"). If it is an update notice, make sure you have installed the program before installing the update.

All update notice e-mails include the following message, with a link to the page where the full program file can be downloaded:

NOTE: Do not attempt to install this update if you have not previously installed the complete program. Either install the program from the latest CD (if you have received one) and then download the update, or download and install the latest version of the complete program from our Software Download page.

Offsite Backups Are Best
Anyone who has experienced the failure of a hard drive knows the importance of backing up data to another drive. CFS programs can easily be configured to automatically back up program data to an external hard drive, flash drive, or a location on your network. It's also not a bad idea to back up the entire contents of your hard drive.

Even if you back up your data to another drive, a disaster such as a fire or flood could destroy both your original data and backup. We have heard from several California residents who lost all of their data, including backups, in last year's horrific brush fires. For this reason, it's best to have an offsite backup.

You can physically carry your backed-up data to another location; for instance, you could back up your work computer each day to an external hard drive and take it home with you. Or you can use an online backup service. Online backup services charge a monthly fee to store your data on their servers, in other words "in the cloud." Many such services are available, with varying prices and degrees of service. For more information, search the web for "online backup services."

Information Return Deadline
The January 31 filing deadline for all Forms W-2 and for Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation is just days away. If you are unable to meet the deadline, file Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns. The form can be found in CFS Payroll System under "General Forms/Utilities."

If you are applying for an automatic 30-day extension (not available for Form W-2 or Form 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation; see below), you can file an online fill-in Form 8809 through the FIRE system at https://fire.irs.gov, or, if you have the 2018 W2/1099 E-File Add-On, create a Form 8809 file that can be uploaded via the FIRE system.

Notes:

  • Automatic extension requests are not available for Forms W-2 or Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation (NEC). Extension requests for these forms cannot be made electronicallly; they must be made using a paper Form 8809 signed by the filer/transmitter or a person who is duly authorized to sign a return.
  • States have their own requirements for filing an extension. Check with your state tax agency.

Tax Season Humor
"The way my accounting system works is, when I get home at night, I take off my pants. (Usually inside the house.) If I find what might be tax-related documents in my pockets, I put them into a two-ply grocery bag labeled TAXES. At tax time, I go through this bag, hoping to find receipts that say things like, 'BUSINESS SUPPLIES TO BE USED FOR BUSINESS -- $417.23.' Instead, I find some ticket stubs for Shrek the Third and several hundred wadded-up snippets of paper on which the only legible printing says 'Thank You.'"

óDave Barry

Happy New Year and Tax Season!

CFS Customer Service

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