Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
Add to Technorati Favorites

Friday, January 09, 2009


I addressed most of the problems that I laid out in last week’s post. If you missed that, you ought to read it before this one.

I finally – finally! – got the return labels for my double-shipped orders from DCI. It took all of one phone call. Our living room looks downright cavernous without those five enormous cartons dominating it. It still remains to get my $1,200 refund; at the moment I have neither my money nor the merchandise. I’ve been dangling the promise of a large new order in front of both the sales rep and the customer service rep, but neither of them seems very motivated.

I finally – finally! – quit dithering and submitted my application for merchant services from CDG Commerce. Yes, after three years I am bidding Merchant Express and Pipeline Data a not-so-fond adieu. Here’s hoping for better service at lower cost.

Hours after I posted the story of the UPS 2nd Day Air screwup, another customer complained that her Express Mail shipment (supposedly overnight) took a ridiculous 10 days to reach her. I immediately refunded her money, of course. Unlike UPS, the post office honored its service guarantee and refunded my shipping cost -- in cash -- on the spot.

Months ago I foolishly agreed to accept a Canadian check drawn in US funds. Business was dreadfully slow then and the risk was small, so why not? First, the customer took over a month to send payment. Then my bank bounced the check without explanation. I took it to the local branch, where they scratched their heads and suggested that I redeposit it. Yesterday it came back again. This time, though, they gave a reason: The date field wasn’t filled in. :rolleyes: At least there are no bounce fees, since they keep intercepting the check before depositing it. I shall fill in the date and try again. Third time’s a charm, right?

Customer returns are still coming in. Sales would’ve been pretty good last week if I hadn’t had to refund nearly $300. Those blankety-blank Coin Factory Banks (see “The Worst Product Screwup” in last week’s post) are the biggest problem. I suspect that a few other customers changed their minds about what they could afford as their December charge bills arrived. I still managed to edge out LY despite the negatives, but I fell far short of plan and I have at least two more large payouts yet to come. January could wind up looking weak despite decent sales.

Now taxes are the last big nasty steaming thing on my desk. I intend to file my Q4 state returns online today, and see if my federal form 941 has arrived yet. I see that Massachusetts has added new tax withholding requirements for pass-through entities, and that Kraken Enterprises is such an entity. Here’s what their introduction says:

The pass-through entity compliance program allows non-exempt members of pass-through entities to meet their tax obligation by: agreeing to file and to subject themselves to personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts; participating in a composite return by the pass-through entity; or having the pass-through entity withhold and pay tax on their behalf. These three options are explained more fully below. The compliance program generally exempts the following members: Massachusetts resident individuals, estates, and trusts; federally tax-exempt organizations; corporations with income (other than pass-through entity income) subject to tax under M.G.L. c. 63 for which they are filing a return; and pass-through entities that are filing a return. To be treated as exempt by the pass-through entity, these members must file an exemption certificate (Form PTE-EX) with the pass-through entity.

Crap. Being a Massachusetts resident individual, I am probably exempt, but there are going to be paperwork requirements anyway. It looks like I have a little light reading to do before I can slide several thousand dollars to various governments and get back to running my business.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Google Search