Archive for July, 2017

IRS Piloting Program for Virtual Appeals

Monday, July 31st, 2017


IRS Virtual Appeals Service Being Piloted

As part of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights posted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), taxpayers, including small businesses, have the ability to appeal and resolve any disagreement you might have with the IRS. To simplify the appeals process, the agency just announced a new web-based virtual conference option you can use from anywhere.

One of the difficulties for small businesses (or for anyone filing for an appeal) is the limited number of IRS offices with appeals officers. Even though you can meet over the phone with an appeals officer, many people like face-to-face interactions.

IRS Virtual Appeals Service

If there is not an appeals officer in your location, you either have to settle for a phone meeting or travel to another city. As part of a pilot program, the web-based virtual conference platform will launch on Aug. 1, 2017. After the pilot, the IRS will evaluate the outcome, which will include customer satisfaction with the technology before implementation.

For businesses and individuals looking to appeal an IRS decision, the technology will save time and money. All you need is an internet connection and you can initiate a web-based virtual conference. This is especially useful for taxpayers in remote locations or places where appeal officers are not available.

According to the IRS, there are more than 100,000 appeals being filed each year. So what is an appeal?

The appeals office is separate from departments investigating or auditing tax returns. An impartial officer settles the dispute on matters such as disallowing a deduction. You can have an attorney or CPA represent you, or you can do it yourself.

If it all works out according to plan, IRS Chief of Appeals Donna Hansberry, said, “In the future, the technology may give taxpayers greater options in engaging with Appeals and could allow us the flexibility to serve taxpayers virtually from any location using mobile devices or computers.”

IRS Building Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “IRS Piloting Program for Virtual Appeals” was first published on Small Business Trends


Westinghouse nuclear project halted in South Carolina

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Suspension deals another blow to power business of Japan’s Toshiba

US sanctions Venezuela’s Maduro over constitutional threat

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Critics say new assembly will consolidate authoritarian leader’s grip on power 

GoDaddy Launches Premium WordPress Support for Small Business Sites and Administrators

Monday, July 31st, 2017

GoDaddy WordPress Premium Support Now Available for Small Business Site Owners and Administrators

Internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE:GDDY) is introducing WordPress Premium Support. The new customer support option gives small businesses and individuals the ability to contact one of over 40 on-call WordPress developers and GoDaddy’s best-in-class customer support team. This formidable pool of resources is available anytime site owners need help managing and optimizing their websites.

According to the Scottsdale, Arizona-based web hosting service provider, the new support offering will help small business site administrators and managers too. The goal is to help small business owners maintain high-quality WordPress websites and boost their online presence more easily and effectively than ever before.

GoDaddy WordPress Premium Support to Boost Small Business Online Presence

One of the more critical things small businesses need today is to bolster their online presence. Not only will this increase your brand’s reputation, but also establish you as an authority in your industry and help to attract more customers.  GoDaddy says its new support offering, dubbed WP Premium Support, sets itself apart by providing “unparalleled support and a new level of access to WordPress expertise.”

This premium offering will reportedly help small businesses fix, update and optimize their WordPress sites more quickly and conveniently than ever before. WP Premium Support promises to give customers round-the-clock access to a large team of on-call WordPress developers to provide expert guidance on resolving website issues and boosting performance at the drop of a hat.

“Small businesses have better things to do than spending their time figuring out how to troubleshoot and implement WordPress fixes on their own,” said Alex McClafferty, Director of Product and founder of WP Curve, which was acquired by GoDaddy in 2016. “Whether it’s a plugin that stops working or a theme that needs updating, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ additional support will need to be called in. With WP Premium Support, we’re providing peace of mind to small businesses whose WordPress websites can be kept up and running as they should be, with fixes expertly implemented, and fast.”

To sign up for WP Premium Support, contact the GoDaddy customer care center at 480-463-8824, or visit the WP Premium Support product description web page to find more information. Basic plans for this subscription-based service start from $79.99 per month moving up to $149.99 per month for the Ultimate plan, as per the information on the product page.

Image: WordPress

This article, “GoDaddy Launches Premium WordPress Support for Small Business Sites and Administrators” was first published on Small Business Trends


Ineos wins injunction against shale protesters

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Activists face action for contempt of court if they obstruct operations

Can Customers Find Your Company’s Phone Number? Here are the Places They’ll Look (INFOGRAPHIC)

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Best Places to List Your Business Phone Number

Want to make it easier for customers to connect with you?

Make sure you update your phone number in online directories. It turns out these are found to be the most popular means to obtain contact numbers.

That’s according to new research by National Cellular Directory, a Minneapolis-based information commerce search engine.

Data compiled by the company determines online directories are the most reliable at helping users fine contact numbers at about 84 percent.

Traditional Phone Directories are Not Very Useful

The report also revealed the diminishing relevance of traditional phone directories (usually in booklet form) since they contain only landline numbers. These directories are therefore “becoming less and less valuable” Brent Christensen, president and CEO of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance told USA Today.

Moreover, only 9 percent of Americans answer their landline, which further makes phone directories less attractive to users.

Stay Updated on Google and Social Media

With 95 percent of U.S. adults owning a cellphone today, Google and social media have become more popular for searching phone numbers.

Businesses should therefore update their phone numbers on their Google listings and social media pages.

Try Not to Change Your Phone Number Too Often

Most customers will save your number when they find it. That’s why it can be quite annoying for them to try your number again a couple of months later and find it doesn’t work anymore.

In certain cases, when you just have to change your number, make sure it is updated everywhere.

Best Places to List Your Business Phone Number

Curious to know more? Check out the infographic below:

Best Places to List Your Business Phone Number

Images: National Cellular Directory

This article, “Can Customers Find Your Company’s Phone Number? Here are the Places They’ll Look (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends


Many business travellers prefer not to interact with others when on trips

Monday, July 31st, 2017

AS ANYONE who flies regularly for work can attest, business travellers are not constantly being doted upon. Flights are not all booked by a travel manager, nor are never-ending drinks being poured by dutiful attendants. Indeed, corporate travel might be becoming a more independent affair.

According to a recent survey, a growing number of business travellers would prefer to avoid interaction with people when on the road, at least until something goes wrong. The research by Egencia, Expedia’s business-travel arm, questioned nearly 5,000 business travellers in Europe, America and Australia. Half of them said they want to avoid human contact while travelling.

That is not because business travellers find their time on the road repugnant and want to bury themselves in their smartphones….Continue reading

Reports on the Death of Microsoft Paint Have Been Exaggerated

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Don't Listen to the Microsoft Paint Rumor

Good news for fans of MS Paint fans! Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced reports of the popular app’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Instead of killing off the popular tool, Microsot says it will be moved to the Windows Store — and offered for free.

Earlier reports that MS Paint might be laid to rest all together led to some elegant eulogies to the popular software on Twitter.

R.I.P. My childhood with Microsoft Paint 1998-2017. :’(. #MSpaint

— Kayla Rae??? (@KaylaColgan) July 24, 2017

RIP MS Paint. RIP our childhoods

— Ramsha (@Economistaken) July 24, 2017

However, Microsoft quickly responded to the news in a tweet saying:

Microsoft Paint: Here to stay

— Microsoft (@Microsoft) July 25, 2017

Don’t Listen to the Microsoft Paint Rumor

Microsoft’s General Manager Megan Saunders also reinforced the company’s position in a blog, saying: “Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app. Amidst today’s commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news: MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free.”

It is, however, important to mention that part of what made Paint a powerful tool is that it came by default. It chose users and not the other way round.

Microsoft also said that the new app for creativity — Paint 3D — will now be available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Small business owners who once relied on MS Paint for their design needs, will doubtless find enhanced fearures with Paint 3D. In addition to its 3D capabilities, the new app also features many of MS Paint’s features, including line and curve tools, photo editing, and 2D creation.

So while Paint is put out to pasture, small business users who praise its features might also want to give Paint 3D a try.

Image: Microsoft

This article, “Reports on the Death of Microsoft Paint Have Been Exaggerated” was first published on Small Business Trends


World leaders condemn ‘dubious’ vote in Venezuela

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Critics say new assembly will consolidate unpopular Maduro’s grip on power

Poland Vows to Keep Logging Ancient Forest Despite EU Court Ruling

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Poland said on Monday it would press on with logging the country’s primeval Bialowieza forest in defiance of a ruling by the European Union’s top court, saying it needed to cut down trees to defeat insect pests, according to

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Poland last week to immediately stop large-scale logging in the ancient forest, one of many cases that has pitted the nationalist, eurosceptic government in Warsaw against the bloc.

But Poland said it would keep logging in the forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus.

“We are acting in line with the EU laws,” Environment Minister Jan Szyszko told a news conference on Monday.

He argues that “protective measures” in Bialowieza are needed to stop the biggest beetle outbreak in decades.

Szyszko brought a jar of Bialowieza beetles to the news conference, saying they were enough to kill a thousand trees.

But non-government organisations including Greenpeace and Wild Poland Foundation say the vast majority of trees felled so far were unaffected by the beetles.

They also say 2017 timber targets set for all three administrative areas of Bialowieza have already been significantly exceeded.

NGOs also say that while the logging continues, the foresters and guards from the agency that oversees state-run forests have become more aggressive towards protesters.


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