The day your business receives a DR-840 notice from the Florida Department of Revenue will be one that you won't soon forget. This is the state's infamous Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records. Your first action might be to crumble up the notice, toss it on the floor, and yell, "Why me?" This might feel good, but it's not going to prevent the state from auditing your business.
Professional Consultants seeking to provide services to the Florida Department of Transportation must be certified as “qualified” annually in accordance with Chapter 14-75 of the Florida Administrative Code.
The First & Primary Requirement
Regardless of whether the “Request for Qualification Package for Professional Consultants” is the initial submission or an annual renewal, the package must include evidence that you (the Consultant) maintains an accounting system adequate to separate and accumulate direct and indirect costs and to support billings to the FDOT Department and other clients.
The capability to identify and separately report direct and indirect costs is the first and primary Departmental requirement for your accounting systems.
When you (the Consultant) has the expectation of billing for direct labor by the hour, a job cost accounting system is required in order to “support billings to the FDOT Department.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – better known simply as tax reform – allows more small business taxpayers to use the cash method of accounting. Tax reform now defines a small business taxpayer as a taxpayer that has average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less for the three prior tax years and is not a tax shelter.
Paid tax preparers are an integral part of the U.S. tax system. They do about 60% of all returns each year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Not all tax professionals are alert to the subtle signs of data theft. The IRS and its Security Summit partners note that there are many cases where tax preparers are victims of theft and don’t even know it.
Eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees during tax years 2018 and 2019 might qualify for a new business tax credit.
This new employer credit for family and medical leave is part of tax reform legislation passed in December 2017.
The intent of the business tax credit is to encourage companies to offer paid time to their employees for family responsibilities, offer relief of some financial pressure. Under the guidelines, employers can get a tax credit equivalent to a percentage of the wages normally paid to employees during any period for up to 12 weeks, who are on family or medical leave.
Employers setting up or updating a leave policy may also be eligible for retroactive credit.
If your business is anything like ours, it probably gets hundreds of unsolicited emails and calls every week. Whether it’s a seemingly innocuous request for payment information or a blatant attempt to swindle the company, scammers are constantly out to get our (and your) money and private information. Both are desirable to scammers, but information may be even more valuable than cash because they can sell it to numerous other fraudsters.
Florida Law (Chapter 337.14 F.S.) And Rules of the State of Florida, Department of Transportation, (Chapter 14-22, F.A.C.) require contractors to be prequalified with the Department in order to bid for the performance of road, bridge, or public transportation construction contracts greater than $250,000.00.
Prequalification is accomplished by using an annual application process. Applicants should read Chapter 337.14 F.S. and Rule 14-22 F.A.C. to review for compliance prior to completing the application.
All corporations, LLCs, limited and general partnerships, LLPs and LLLPs wishing to do business within the State of Florida must register with the Florida Department of State here. This registration is renewed annually. An active registration is required before a certificate of qualification can be issued.
A FAR compliant accounting system is a common prerequisite for becoming a pre-qualified consultant for a state transportation department.
Your accounting system must, among other functions, properly segregate direct and indirect costs in accordance with the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) of Federal Acquisition Regulation(FAR) Part 31 for you to work government contracts.
If you do not have a FAR compliant accounting system, you could fail to get or keep pre-qualified consultant status and perhaps miss opportunities to bid on transportation contracts all together.
Engineering firms must provide annual reimbursement rate audit reports to the Florida Department of Transportation to bid on contracts larger than $500,000.
FDOT Reimbursement Rate Audit Guidelines contain specific Departmental requirements in addition to the general guidelines contained in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Uniform Audit and Accounting Guide.
The Florida Department of Transportation requires consultants requesting professional services prequalification at the unlimited level (greater than $500,000 in fees) to certify the establishment of an accounting system that separates and accumulates direct and indirect costs, and identifies and records labor charges and expenditures for specific projects or jobs.
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