Thursday, April 30, 2009
Kyle, a "C" corporation can have a fiscal year-ending at the end of any calendar month. Either there is a misunderstanding, or you need to find yourself a professional tax advisor who is a little more knowledgeable about such basic matters. If this is what the accountant really thinks, consider yourself lucky that this person revealed his ignorance so early in your potential relationship.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Consumer confidence in the U.S. exceeded the predictions of economists in April, the Conference Board reported. The Consumer Confidence Index, a widely followed benchmark of how consumers feel about the economy, reached its highest level since November. Google/The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Derek, I hope all is well. First of all, make sure that you check with your tax advisor on the wisdom of changing year-ends. We usually like to have a different corporate year-end than our personal year-end. Different reporting periods allows us to move some money back and forth between the taxing entities and therefore postpone paying tax.
For example, if the corporate income is high on June 15th, the corporation could pay a bonus to the individual prior to June 30th and get a deduction which reduces the corporate tax. The individual, on the other hand, would not have to pay tax on the bonus until April 15th of the next year when he or she files the return.
Changing year-ends is fairly easy. The IRS does not even require advanced approval to change year-ends. All you have to do is file the short year tax return.
Again, you must review this with your tax advisor because there is annualization of income that must take place, which is not a big deal but you better check it out before you file the short year return. In addition, if you have any loss carry-overs or other attributes they might be impacted by filing for the new year-end.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Ted, the IRS has made checking the status of your refund pretty easy. If you already filed your federal tax return and are due a refund, you can check the status of your refund online. Just go to www.IRS.gov and click on Where's My Refund?
Where’s My Refund? gives you online access to your refund information. If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will be available within three to four weeks.
When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:
- Your Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
- Filing status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)).
- Exact refund amount shown on your tax return.
I hope that you get your refund soon.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Monday, April 27, 2009
After posting, I received the following from a reader that took issue with the article. As stated in my response, I think that he missed the point of my article
Larry Kopsa CPA
The following is the reader's response. (LK note: I have listed John's comments in red.)
"Do you really buy into this? Most professionals have learned to read right through this spin! Do you do programs for Mitchell distributors? If so I guess I get it? These products and many more are going through a web that is designed for these diverting companies to avoid being found out that they are turning their heads, allowing diversion and gaining the sales. It's just a matter of greed.
Stay focused on the areas that you are providing benefits to the profession, don't go and boost these companies esteem. You just don't look good.
This is from your newsletter.
- The next time you buy a professional hair product in a drugstore or grocery store, you may want to think twice. It’s either diverted or counterfeit, and using these products could put your health at risk. The professional hair care industry identifies product as “diverted” when a professional-use-only product or a product that requires a professional recommendation shows up on grocery, drug or Internet store shelves.
- In most cases, manufacturers will guarantee professional hair care products only when purchased from a hair salon. John Paul Mitchell Systems, manufacturer of Paul Mitchell, is one such company. “The professional salon industry is our only business,” said John Paul DeJoria, Chairman and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems. “If you buy Paul Mitchell at a grocery store, drug store or from the Internet, it’s not authentic and it’s not guaranteed.”
Comment from John: This is a joke! Go to CVS, do you think they are buying counterfeit products every week?
- It’s a Health Hazard. How diverted products reach mass retail shelves is a dark story. Generally acquired through the gray or black market, diverted products are tampered with, so what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle.
Comment from John: Are you kidding me? Go JP.
- Counterfeit products are even more dangerous independent tests run by FOX News found toxic levels of bacteria in the counterfeit products it analyzed. More importantly, these types of diverted products can make their users sick enough to require medical care. (Source: FOX News, June 2003 and Independent laboratory analysis.)
Comment from John: Whose products? This is the only story Mitchell was able to pull off way back in 2003.
- It’s a Steal – Not a Deal Buying diverted products can actually cost more than if you purchase authentic products at a hair salon. The product passes through so many hands before reaching a mass retailer’s shelves that a single bottle can cost as much as $3 more than if it was purchased in a hair salon.
It’s Professional for a reason. Manufacturers invest millions of dollars to train hairdressers on the proper use of professional salon products. In turn, hairdressers share their expertise when recommending products clients can use for their hair type and condition.
April 27, 2009
John, I appreciate your comments. Your point is valid. As you well know, we see articles all the time blaming the manufacturer or the distributors for diverted products. Vindicating the manufacturers was not my point for posting the article. The reason I posted the article was not for the professional behind the chair, but rather the average consumer. How many average consumers know about diversion? My guess is very few. The salon that placed this article in the school newspaper was, like myself, trying to educate the average consumer. I say ‘hats off’ to the salon for running this article!
Larry Kopsa CPA
Nancy, sorry, no appeals are built in, but you may not be in a bad spot. I presume that you are referring to the 2009 stimulus, not the 2008 stimulus. (It would seem that we should be pretty stimulated with all of this so called stimulus that they are throwing around). Anyway, here is the deal on the 2009 law.
· Since you are an employee, you will get the stimulus through a reduction in your payroll taxes. The money will come though a higher payroll check estimated at about $13 per month. You will get this no matter what.
· The IRS gave your employer new payroll withholding payments. You should probably have seen an increase in your net payroll check.
· When you file your 2009 tax return (by April 15th of 2010), you or your tax preparer will determine whether or not you qualified. If you did not qualify, you will have to pay the money back with your 2009 1040.
· Since you are married, in order to qualify your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2009 would have to be under $150,000. The additional money that you made in 2008 makes no difference; it is just your 2009 AGI.
· If you are wondering what your AGI is, for 2008 it is on line 87 on the bottom of page one of your 1040.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if your question was on the 2008 stimulus. It is a pleasure serving you.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Friday, April 24, 2009
Hats need to go off to GG & Company of Omaha, Nebraska. Christina Larson, CPA, one of our great staff people, was for some reason looking at her kindergarten daughter’s school news paper. There in the middle of the school newspaper was an article entitled “CAUTION: This shampoo may be hazardous to your health.” The content was provided by GG & Co., a full service salon.
I like to have these blog entries fairly small and easy to read so I would rather link you to the article, but unfortunately the kindergarten newspaper is not online so I have to reprint the whole thing.
The next time you buy a professional hair product in a drugstore or grocery store, you may want to think twice. It’s either diverted or counterfeit, and using these products could put your health at risk.
The professional hair care industry identifies product as “diverted” when a professional-use-only product or a product that requires a professional recommendation shows up on grocery, drug or Internet store shelves. In most cases, manufacturers will guarantee professional hair care products only when purchased from a hair salon. John Paul Mitchell Systems, manufacturer of Paul Mitchell, is one such company.
“The professional salon industry is our only business,” said John Paul DeJoria, Chairman and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems. “If you buy Paul Mitchell at a grocery store, drug store or from the internet, it’s not authentic and it’s not guaranteed.”
It’s a Health Hazard
How diverted products reach mass retail shelves is a dark story. Generally acquired through the gray or black market, diverted products are tampered with, so what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle.
Counterfeit products are even more dangerous independent tests run by FOX News found toxic levels of bacteria in the counterfeit products it analyzed. More importantly, these types of diverted products can make their users sick enough to require medical care. (Source: FOX News, June 2003 and Independent laboratory analysis.)
It’s a Steal – Not a Deal
Buying diverted products can actually cost more than if you purchase authentic products at a hair salon. The product passes through so many hands before reaching a mass retailer’s shelves that a single bottle can cost as much as $3 more than if it was purchased in a hair salon.
It’s Professional for a Reason
Manufacturers invest millions of dollars to train hairdressers on the proper use of professional salon products. In turn, hairdressers share their expertise when recommending products clients can use for their hair type and condition.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We’ve all heard the saying “Success Leaves Clues.” As an accountant I can tell you that it is true. I see common trends between the successful salons and spas I deal with and those that are struggling. The following conversation I had this morning is a good example.
We meet with the salons that we work with on a monthly basis to look at operations, answer questions and to advise. This morning I met with two clients. The difference between these clients is extreme. As I thought about the two meetings, I could see the difference between the successful client and the client that is really struggling.
In my first meeting with the successful client, I asked her how last month’s accounting was. She gave me her service and retail numbers and said, “It’s up compared to last year.”
When I asked the struggling salon the same question, she said, “I have no idea, I haven’t looked at the numbers yet.” It was the 10th of the month and she had not looked at her numbers yet. I dare to say that even if she had looked at them they may not have given her a clue. Numbers need to be looked weekly if not daily.
The trend – the successful client is watching her numbers and knows how things are going so she can make adjustments and hit her goals the struggling salon is flying in the dark.
When I asked the successful salon why their sales are higher than last year, when the current trend is lower sales, they told me they had set goals for each of their stylists, and they monitor those goals on a bi-weekly basis. This allows the stylists to know that they’re hitting their numbers and reaching success. She said that the stylists have no problem up-selling or selling retail because they know how it impacts them. As a matter of fact, she said that one of their stylists mentioned that she had never taken her child on vacation. This year, because of the goal setting they set up last year, she and the child went to Disney Land. You could tell in her voice how good that made her feel.
In my second phone conversation, the owner had no idea why her sales were down. She spent some time complaining about diversion and the economy being the reason sales were down.
Lesson learned – Successful salons have goals and communicate with and lead their staff.
These are just a couple of examples of trends that are evident with successful salons and spas. It takes systems like these to get to the next level. More on successful trends in later issues.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Keep an eye out for more information on our FREE upcoming webinar - ‘Surviving’!
During these uncertain times, none of us has all the specific answers on just what steps we should take to navigate our business through the challenges we face. Learn the best survival strategies successful salon and spas are using and how you can use these strategies.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Minor picky point - This tax return is for 2008, before they took over the White House. Yet, look at what they showed as their occupations for 2008.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
T.R., extending a return depends on your situation. We extend 100's of returns every year. I always extend my return. Don't forget, this is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. We don't extend returns just to give us more time to finish the returns. We have most of the returns ready to go, but rather than send to the IRS we hold them until the extended due date.There are a few reasons that we like extending the returns:
- First, when we file your tax return, we have in effect closed out any options we have for the year. This includes items we have made elections on or how to depreciate equipment, taking fast depreciation, capitalization of certain items, etc. Waiting until September/October 15, 2009 gives us a chance to determine whether or not the elections we make at this time are correct.
- The second reason is, supposedly there is less chance of being audited if you do not file your tax return immediately. According to some experts, in order to start the audit process, most 2008 tax returns are chosen for audit by September 1, 2009. Since your return will not be filed, you will not be part of the “audit lottery.”
- We extend your returns because if an earlier year’s return should happen to be audited before we file the extended return, the Internal Revenue Service will not have the current return to look at.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Inez, remember you can get an extension of time to file, but not an extension of time to pay.
You can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file from the IRS by filing Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File. You must submit the request by April 15. You can get a copy of the form on http://www.irs.gov./
The extension gives you until October 15 to file the tax return. If you think that you owe taxes, you should make a payment when you file the extension.
Remember, if you owe money and don't pay with the extension, you will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax.
You did not say what state you are in. You should check with your Department of Revenue to determine how to extend your state tax return.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Teddy, don't you just hate this time of year. You can get an installment agreement with the IRS. The good news is that it is automatic if you owe under $25,000. There are two ways to request the agreement.
- You can use the
Of course the government is not going to let you get by without getting a little more money out of you.The IRS charges a user fee to set up your installment agreement. The user fee for new installment agreements is $105 and $52 for agreements where payments are deducted directly from your bank account, along with interest on the unpaid balance.
If your income is below established levels, based on the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines, you can apply for a reduced user fee of $43.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Carrie, I am sorry about your problem. Don't worry, you are not going to jail. You should consider requesting a payment plan from the IRS. There is a hefty interest rate, but no penalties.
There are penalties if you do not file your return and pay the tax by the due date. Here is what you need to know about failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties.
1. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return and explore other payment options in the meantime.
2. The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of the taxpayer’s unpaid taxes. As you can see, this is a rate that is only charged by the Soprano's. A bank loan is much cheaper.
3. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax.
4. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file penalty if you can show that you failed to file on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect.
5. In addition to the penalties above, you will have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid.
6. If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty. However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax.
So the answer is, round up as much money as you can because the penalties are huge and non-deductible. In addition, you need to start thinking about 2009 tax. You do not want to end up in the same situation at the end of this year.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Larry Kopsa CPA
WASHINGTON — Credit or debit card convenience fees charged for paying federal individual income taxes electronically are deductible for some taxpayers who itemize, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. Federal law bars the IRS from paying any fees associated with these credit or debit transactions. Card processors normally charge taxpayers for convenience fees when they use their credit or debit card to pay taxes. Fees vary but average about 2.5 percent of the tax payment.
In reassessing a previous position, the IRS decided that the convenience fees associated with the payment of federal tax, including payment of estimated tax, can be included as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. However, only those miscellaneous expenses that exceeded 2 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income can be deducted.
Not everyone who pays the fees will be able to deduct them. Taxpayers first must be eligible to file a Form 1040 Schedule A to itemize their expenses. And, taxpayers must have enough miscellaneous expenses to exceed the 2 percent threshold. These expenses include items such as tax preparation costs, job search expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses.
The answer is yes, but there are huge fees involved. We don't advise the use of credit cards. The fee is generally $3.49 plus 2.49% of the amount charged. In addition the credit card will be charging you interest of 18% or higher until you pay them off. You would be better off borrowing the money from the Sopranos.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Twila, you are correct. You can take up to $4,000 for post secondary education. The good news is that you do not have to itemize to get the write off. If you are in a 33% federal and state tax bracket this will save you $1,320 in taxes.Below are ten important facts about this deduction that the IRS has on their website.
1. You do not have to itemize to take the Tuition and Fees deduction. You claim a tuition and fees deduction by completing Form 8917 and submitting it with your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.
2. You may be able to claim qualified tuition and fees expenses as either an adjustment to income, a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit, or – if applicable – as a business expense.
3. You cannot take the tuition and fees deduction on your income tax return if your filing status is married filing separately.
4. You cannot take the deduction if you are claimed, or can be claimed, as a dependent on someone else's return.
5. The deduction is reduced or eliminated if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain limits, based on your filing status.
6. You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if you or anyone else claims the Hope or Lifetime Learning credit for the same student in the same year.
7. If the educational expenses are also allowable as a business expense, the tuition and fees deduction may be claimed in conjunction with a business expense deduction, but the same expenses cannot be deducted twice.
8. You cannot claim a deduction or credit based on expenses paid with tax-free scholarship, fellowship, grant, or education savings account funds such as a Coverdell education savings account, tax-free savings bond interest or employer-provided education assistance.
9. The same rule applies to expenses you pay with a tax-exempt distribution from a qualified tuition plan, except that you can deduct qualified expenses you pay only with that part of the distribution that is a return of your contribution to the plan.
10. IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, can help eligible parents and students understand the special rules that apply and decide which tax break to claim. The publication is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
I hope that this helps.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Jerry, I am sorry that you are having problems. You did not mention if the company is out of business or if they are just not following the law. You should have received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement by February 2, 2009.
Here is what we advise people that can’t get their W-2:
1. Contact your employer.
If you have not received your Form W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. Tell your employer that you have been advised to contact the IRS if you do not receive the form. That usually triggers their attention.
2. Contact the IRS.
If you still do not receive your W-2, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, have the following information:
- Employer's name, address, city, and state, including zip code;
- Your name, address, city and state, including zip code, and Social Security number; and
- An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the period you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.
3. File your return.
You still must file your tax return on time even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 and have completed steps 1 and 2 above, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.
Form 4852 is available on the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Here you go. Remember this list is no means all-inclusive. Also for some items you need a doctor to sign off.
3. Attendant to accompany a blind or deaf student
4. Artificial Teeth
5. Birth Control Pills
6. Braille Books and Magazines
7. Capital Expenses – computerized data bank payment
8. Car or car equipment for disabled person to drive
10. Contact Lenses – premiums for replacement of
11. Dental Treatment – including fluoride treatment
12. Drug Addiction expenses
13. Eyeglasses – non prescription sun glasses to protect sensitive eyes
14. Laser Eye Surgery
15. Lamaze Classes
16. Health clubs dues for mental condition
17. Hearing Aids and parts for
18. Home Care – services provided by a person other than a registered nurse.
19. Lead-Based Paint Removal
20. Legal Fees to authorize mental health treatment
21. Mattresses: boards designed for arthritic patient
22. Medical Services – long distance even if closer care available
23. Nursing Services – value of room provided for nurse
24. Orthopedic shoes
25. Reclining chair for cardiac patient
26. Special Education
27. Sexual dysfunction treatment
28. Stop-Smoking Programs
29. Telephone for the hearing impared
30. Vision correction surgery
31. Weight loss programs
Larry Kopsa CPA
If you take auto deductions and are audited one of the first things an IRS auditor will look at is documentation of mileage. The auditor realizes that most people don't take the time to meet the auto documentation rules. You can "audit proof" your return if you know and follow the rules.
Here is a are the documentation requirements:The IRS approves four methods to track business miles. All of them require "adequate records" or other sufficient evidence: to support business use. This means logging mileage at least weekly. If you are not using the "mileage method" you must keep receipts for all expenses over $75.
1. "Brute Force." Record every business mile for the year. Divide by the year's total miles to calculate your Business Use Percentage (BUP). (If you use more than one car for business this is the method that you must use.)
2. "90 Days." Record business mile for a "typical" 90-day period. Calculate BUP for that period and use it for the entire year.
3. "First Week." Record business miles for the first week of each month and calculate the result for the entire year.
4. "Simplified." Record the starting and ending mileage for a 90-day period. Record personal and commuting miles for that period and assume all the rest are for the business. Calculate BUP and use it for the entire year.
Monday, April 6, 2009
This has to stop! As one of the motivational speakers says "if you think you can't... you are probably right!" I have traveled quite a bit already this year and I have yet to see anybody that has quit taking care of their appearance.
Look at this! It was reported in the March issue of Salon Today that in a consumer survey shopper listed as "untouchables" items that they won't live without...Internet 81%; cell phones 64%; cable television 60%; hair cuts and color 40%.
The recession is no excuse for lackluster sales. Don't let your staff create lower sales by prejudging.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Saturday, April 4, 2009
1. You may be able to deduct some or all of your contributions to your IRA and you also may be eligible for a tax credit equal to a percentage of your contribution.
2. Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA at any time during the year or by the due date for filing your return for that year, not including extensions. For most people, this means contributions for 2008 must be made by April 15, 2009.
3. The amount of funds in your IRA are generally not taxed until you receive distributions from that IRA.
4. To figure your deduction for IRA contributions, use the worksheets in the instructions for the form you are filing.
5. For 2008, the most that can be contributed to your traditional IRA generally is the smaller of the following amounts: $5,000 or the amount of your taxable compensation for the year. Taxpayers who are 50 or older can contribute up to $6,000.
6. Use Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions, to determine whether you are also eligible for a tax credit.
7. You cannot deduct an IRA contribution or claim the Credit for Qualified Retirement Saving Contributions on Form 1040EZ; you must use either Form 1040A or Form 1040.
8. To contribute to a traditional IRA, you must be under age 70 1/2 at the end of the tax year.
9. You must have taxable compensation, such as wages, salaries, commissions and tips. If you file a joint return, only one of you needs to have compensation.
10. IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements, has information on the amounts you will be eligible to contribute to your IRA account.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Friday, April 3, 2009
Bill, deciding when to start drawing Social Security has to many variables for me to give you a correct answer. There is a very good article addressing this issue in the AARP websitehttp://bulletin.aarp.org/yourmoney/socialsecurity/articles/when_to_collect_social_security.html The article directs you to the Social Security Calculator that is located at http://www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators.htm
Remember if you start taking Social Security early you can only have earned income of $14,160 in 2009 or you will have to pay back $1 for every $2 over this amount.
Your accountant or the Social Security Administration should be able to provide you with more assistance on this matter.
Larry Kopsa CPA
A child can earn up to $5,700 in 2009 and there is no income tax. This is a combination of all wages. If you want to increase that amount you can put $5,000 into the child’s IRA. This would allow for wages up to $10,700 with no income taxes.
There will be Social Security and Medicare Tax withheld. A parent can pay wages to child under 18 without withholding employment taxes. After age 18 these taxes must be withheld.
If you are paying a child make sure that you have good documentation to justify the wage. In addition you need to make sure that you issue a W-2 at the end of the year.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Many bankers get confused by this. They need to realize that the purpose of the tax return is to determine how much tax you should pay, that is all. The financial statements are used to determine your true financial position.
Tax laws are different than financial laws. In your case the reason that the tax return varied from the financial statements is that the tax law requires a different method depreciation (not even called depreciation but rather Accelerated Cost Recovery System ((ACRS)) than Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Let me give you an example. The tax law allows us to depreciate $250,000 of equipment in the year of purchase. The law allows us to write off this large amount to encourage the purchase of equipment and thereby supposedly fueling the economy. In my example the net assets on the tax return due to this transaction would be $0 (Purchase of $250,000 less ACRS of $250,000). But for financial statement purposes, taking normal deprecation the asset is worth $225,000 so the financial statement would show $225,000 (purchase price of $250,000 less normal depreciation of $25,000).
I hope that this helps.
Larry Kopsa CPA
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This is upsetting. Are we getting closer to "Big Brother" from George Orwell's book 1984? Thought I should pass it along. Where is our privacy? Now you can see anyone's drivers license on the Internet, including your own!
I just searched for mine and there it was... Picture and all! Thanks Homeland Security Privacy, where is our right to it? I definitely removed mine; I suggest you do the same... go to the web site and check it out. Just enter your name, City and State to see if yours is on file.
After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked "Please Remove." This will remove it from public viewing, but not from law enforcement http://www.license.shorturl.com/