Remotely Control A PC With LogMeIn

There are several services that allow you remotely control someone else’s computer. LogMeIn and TeamViewer are among the most popular.

LogMeIn free version is designed and marketed as a way to set up your own computer for remote access, but it can easily be used to set up someone else’s instead. First you set up an account at Then you download a small piece of software onto the computer you wish to control and use that application to link that computer to your account. You don’t need firewall, router or proxy configuration, as well as no requirement for remote PC admin rights. You can add as many computers to your account as you wish.

Once you’ve linked a computer to your account, you’re able to view and control it from any Web browser of any other internet-connected computer after logging into your account and entering the password you assigned to it. It doesn’t require you to have any special software on your end — just a computer and an Internet connection. Or you can use an Apple smartphone or tablet and Android mobile devices.

When you take over another computer, it will appear in a window on You have the option to view that window in full screen, effectively turning your keyboard and into the other computer’s. That’s not to say that the remote computer user locked out of using her machine when you access it; her computer will accept inputs from her or you, so you both can switch off if need be. If you both try to do different things at the same time, the computer gets a little confused and the cursor doesn’t really move, so you have to work in turns.

LogMeIn Free allows the host computer to control some of the parameters of remote access. You can set it so whoever is requesting access has to get your consent before they can control your computer, or you can grant them automatic access. When your computer is being controlled remotely, LogMeIn will display a small window on your screen letting you know it’s been entered. A user can also turn LogMeIn off at any time, making remote access impossible. You also have the power to cancel a remote session if you’d like.

There is a little bit of lag time when you’re controlling someone else’s computer. Don’t expect the cursor to move perfectly smoothly, as it will jump and stutter a little bit. LogMeIn is great to change a setting or find a misplaced file.

LogMeIn Free includes also copy and paste between computers; wake on LAN; reboot/reconnect (including safe mode); basic reports (remote access sessions and user access); chat, AES 256-bit encryption; SSL/TLS intrusion detection; and IP address lockout.

There are some other limitations to LogMeIn Free. You can’t drag a file from your desktop and drop it into the remote computer; for that, you’d have to upgrade to LogMeIn Pro, which is not free. 

Syncing Financial Application Files in the Cloud 

File sharing services such as Dropbox and SugarSync are like a flash drive located in the cloud (i.e. a server) that allows you to back up and synchronize folders between multiple computers and a wide range of mobile devices, access files from anywhere, and share specific files or folders with others. Most of these services provide small size storage space for free. 

If you wish to sync financial application files and folders, you won't pay a penny to use it by signing up for Dropbox’s free 2GB plan or SugarSync's free 5GB plan (you'll get an extra MB if you use these referral link). All you need to provide is your name, email and a password.

You may wonder whether you can use the file sharing services to share financial application data files like QuickBooks (QBW file) and Quicken file with someone else, or whether you can use Dropbox or SugarSync for the QuickBooks company working file so you can access it from work, home or anywhere.
Using the file sharing service can be a great method of offsite storage for QuickBooks backup or portable files (QBB or QBM). However, you should not use the file sharing service with financial application data files. 

SugarSync clearly states on its website that Quicken and QuickBooks files are not currently supported for syncing and database files of any type should not be synced. It reminds users that database driven applications use file locking to protect their data files whenever the application services are running. This file locking can cause SugarSync to create duplicate files when it tries to update a file on another computer.

According to an accounting software expert, it is absolutely not good practice to use Dropbox for QuickBooks data file (QBW) as the risks of file corruption are too great. The reason is that the QuickBooks company file is always being written to by the database server and it is completely unpredictable as to what state the file is in at any given moment. So if two computers have a “synced” version of the QuickBooks file, how will either know whether the other guy has it “open”, and then how will they be sure that all the syncing is complete even if the user says they’re not “in the QuickBooks” file? 

Even you are the only one using QuickBooks file, there is constant read-write going on a QuickBooks data file (QBW). You don’t want a QuickBooks file that’s open and being worked on to be synced onto the Dropbox cloud folder. 

You can use Dropbox, SugarSync, or other cloud-based file sharing services synchronize a QuickBooks backup or portable file between multiple computers or to share it with clients or others. However, you do not put the QuickBooks working file (QBW) or Quicken file in these cloud folders. 

To back up QuicBooks backup file into SugarSync, follow these steps:
  1. On your computer, create a folder to hold your backup of Quickbook files.
  2. Launch SugarSync and go to Manage sync folders and sync this backup folder.
  3. Open Quickbooks. Select "File" and "Save Copy or Backup" from the menu.
  4. Click the radial button beside "Backup Copy."
  5. Click the "Next" button.
  6. Select "Local Backup." Click "Options."
  7. Choose the "Browse" button. Select the folder that you created to save your backup from the pane in the "Browse for Folder" window. Click "OK."
  8. Click "OK" in the "Backup Options" window. Choose "Next.'
  9. Select "Save it Now" from the "Save Copy or Backup" window.
  10. Type a file name for the backup in the area next to "File Name." Click "Save.".

To back up Quicken backup files into SugarSync, follow these steps:
  1. Start Quicken and click on File, then click on Backup.
  2. Set the file location. Create a directory that will only be used for backup files, or use your Magic Briefcase.
  3. The backup includes five files with the file extensions QTX, QSD, QPH, QEL and QDF.
  4. Next, add your backup directory to SugarSync. Every time a backup file changes or a new backup file is added to the directory, SugarSync will upload the new changes.

Payroll Taxes

Who pays payroll taxes? From this point of view, the payroll taxes consist of two major categories:
  • Taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks
  • Taxes paid by employer based on the wages paid to employees

Payroll taxes consist of:
  • Social Security and Medicare
  • Unemployment (federal and state)
  • Personal income tax (federal and state)
  • Other state taxes

Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid by both employers and employees. An employer withholds the employee’s part of the taxes and also pay a matching amount.

Social Security is a tax with a wage cap, which means that the tax is calculated only up to a maximum dollar amount of wages per employee each year. The caps may be adjusted by the governing agency (typically annually). For 2011, the wage cap for Social Security is $106,800.

There is no wage cap for Medicare tax, which means the tax is paid on all of the wages that the employee earns.

Federal Personal Income Tax

The amount of federal income tax withheld from employees’ paychecks depends on their projected annual income, their marital status, and the number of withholding allowances (exemptions) they claim on Form W-4.

An employee reports several items on Form W-4:
  • Filing Status. This is the marital status that dictates which tax table will be used to calculate income tax withholding. For federal income taxes, there are four filing status options: single, married filing jointly, head of household, and married filing separately.
  • Withholding Allowances. Also called exemptions, withholding allowances reduce taxable income by a designated amount per allowance. The IRS updates allowance amounts periodically. Factors such as number of dependents influence how many allowances an employee will claim.
  • Additional Amount to be Withheld. This amount is added to the income tax calculated for each paycheck. It is on top of the amount of income tax withholding based on the employee’s filing status and withholding allowances. An employee working multiple jobs might choose to have an additional amount withheld to compensate for understatement of annualized wages (and therefore understatement of his real tax rate) by each employer.

The W-4 includes several worksheets intended to help the employee arrive at the most accurate projection of tax liability possible.

State Personal Income Tax

All but nine states (exceptions are AK, FL, NV, NH, TN, TX, SD, WY, and WA) have a personal income tax. It may be a flat tax rate (as in Illinois), regardless of projected income, or a graduated tax rate based on annual income, like the federal income tax.

In some states, employees also pay local tax (to cities, school districts, or counties) through their paycheck.

Federal Unemployment (FUTA)

The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), along with the state unemployment systems, provides for payments of unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. The tax applies to the first $7,000 employers pay to each employee as wages during the year.

However, if any of your employees are exempt from State Unemployment Insurance (for example, they are Directors or Officers), your FUTA tax may be higher. Also, if your state has borrowed funds from the federal government to cover shortfalls in its unemployment insurance program, all employers in your state may be subject to additional tax liability at the end of the year to repay those loans.

State Unemployment Insurance (SUI)

All states maintain a reserve for unemployment that is funded through an unemployment insurance tax. In most cases, SUI is paid only by the employer. Employees in some states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, also contribute to SUI through their paychecks.

Most states have established a starting SUI rate for new employers. After a designated period of time, employers are assigned an experience rate, which may be higher or lower than the new employer rate depending on the employer’s reserve account balance. You will receive a notice from the state if your rate changes.

Other Payroll Taxes

Some states administer disability insurance (SDI) or workers compensation as a tax collected through payroll. Many states also have a tax paid jointly with SUI that is used to fund job training programs.

Special Tax Exemptions

Some types of employees are exempt from one or more payroll taxes, which mean that they do not pay those taxes. For example, a minor working for a parent who is a sole proprietor does not have to pay social security, Medicare, or FUTA.

In addition, certain portions of regular employees’ wages may be exempt from one or more payroll taxes. For example, tax-sheltered or pretax insurance plans save both the employer and the employee money by exempting premium amounts from all federal taxes and some state taxes. Some fringe benefits, like S-Corporation owners’ health insurance, are also taxed differently from regular wages.

If your company is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation, you do not pay FUTA at all–regardless of who your employees are.

Paying Payroll Taxes

An employer remits taxes to the IRS and to state agencies either by paying electronically or by using a form provided by the tax agency. Before we discuss the timing of tax deposit due dates or deposit frequency, we’ll acquaint you with some common payroll terms.

Constructive Receipt
You become liable for payroll taxes on the date you pay your employees, regardless of when they did the work associated with that paycheck. This rule is known as constructive receipt. If you only pay employees on Fridays, you only report a tax liability on Fridays, even if employees earn wages every day of the week.

A common point of confusion is when work is performed in one tax period, but employees are paid in a different tax period. The IRS only tracks when employees are paid, not the span of time when the money is earned.
  • Lookback Period. This is a reference period used by the IRS to determine your federal tax payment due dates. The IRS evaluates your tax liability during this twelve-month period and determines whether you are a monthly or a semi-weekly depositor (see below) for the coming year. Most new employers are monthly depositors.
  • Deposit Period. Refers to the span of time during which tax liabilities accumulate for each deposit due date.
  • Payment Coupon. This is the form with which a payroll deposit is submitted. When you pay electronically, you don't need a payment coupon.

Note: Effective for tax payments after January 1,2011, the IRS has eliminated and will no longer accept the Form 8109 and 8109-B tax payment coupons. All tax payments must be made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

Federal Tax Deposit Schedules

The following deposit schedules apply to all federal taxes other than FUTA.

Monthly depositors: You are a federal monthly depositor in 2011 if your company's federal tax liability during the lookback period (7/1/09–6/30/10) was less than $50,000. This is why all new employers are monthly depositors. Monthly depositors pay taxes for a given month by the 15th of the next month. For example, June taxes are due by July 15th. However, if the 15th falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the taxes are due the next banking day.

Semi-weekly depositors: If your lookback liability is greater than $50,000, you are a semi-weekly depositor. You pay taxes three banking days after the end of any semi-weekly period in which you accrued a liability. The IRS divides the week into two periods: (1) Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and (2) Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Taxes accrued during the Wednesday–Friday period are due on the following Wednesday, and taxes accrued during the Saturday–Tuesday period are due on the following Friday. In some cases, when a bank holiday (such as July 4th or Christmas) occurs during the week, semi-weekly depositors have an extra day to make their tax payment.

Exceptions to the Deposit Schedule Rules

There are three main exceptions to the monthly and semi-weekly tax deposit requirements, as follows.
  • Next-Day Deposit Rule: If you accrue $100,000 or more in federal tax liability at any point during a deposit period, you must remit taxes on the next banking day. This could result from a single payroll, or it could result from multiple payrolls within a single deposit period (month or semi-week). For example, if you are a monthly depositor and pay a one-time bonus to employees that results in more than $100,000 in liability on a single day, you must pay the amount due immediately. You also become a semi-weekly depositor until your lookback liability falls below the $50,000 threshold again.
  • Quarterly exemption: If you owe less than $2,500 in federal taxes for a quarter, you can choose to pay when you file your taxes at the end of the quarter (instead of making deposits during the quarter). If you're not sure how much your business will grow, you should make more frequent deposits: the IRS will assess penalties if you owe more than $2500 at the end of a quarter and have not made tax deposits.
  • Annual exemption: If the IRS has notified you in writing that you are a 944 filer, and your total annual federal tax liability is less than $2500, you can make your federal tax deposits annually. The 944 filing status is for very small employers who typically pay $4000 or less in annual wages.

Paying FUTA

Unlike other federal taxes, FUTA (federal unemployment tax) is paid on the last day of the month following the end of each quarter:
  • April 30 (for Q1)
  • July 31 (for Q2)
  • October 31 (for Q3)
  • January 31 (for Q4)

If you accrue less than $500 of FUTA liability in a quarter, you do not need to make a deposit until the following quarter.

State Withholding Schedules

Like the IRS, states have established deposit schedules for paying income tax you’ve withheld from your employees’ paychecks. When you register with the state revenue agency they notify you of your state deposit schedule.

State Unemployment Insurance (SUI)

Like FUTA, state unemployment insurance (SUI) taxes are remitted once a quarter, regardless of the employer’s size. In addition, other taxes administered by the state’s unemployment commission, such as Arizona’s Job Training Tax or New York’s Re-employment tax, tend to be paid jointly with the SUI tax on a quarterly schedule. In states such as Florida and Nevada, where there are no state taxes withheld from employees’ wages, SUI is the only payroll tax employers pay, so all employers pay taxes quarterly.