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Tax Planning – Why and How – Proactive Tax Planning

Posted on July 30th, 2018

Many business owners and taxpayers are accustomed to the idea of “reactive” taxes. In this style of filing, you make your various expenditures throughout the year, see your company’s sales and expenses, and determine how much you owe at the end of the year. However, this form of filing often leads to business owners owing more in taxes. As a result, many accountants work with businesses to curb the amount you would owe during tax season.

Why Engage in Proactive Planning?

Proactive tax planning allows a business owner to limit tax liability by working within the various state and federal tax laws. Not only does this approach save business owners money, but allows your accountant more time in finding the best deductions and tax credits each year. The tax landscape is always changing, and implementing an effective tax plan can also help to ensure that your business’ books are kept up to date. This continuous knowledge of the state of your business and the developing tax laws can also help you find beneficial reductions to how much you need to pay.

Business owners looking to expand, incorporate, or otherwise change their business model during the year are especially well served by an adaptive tax plan. This way, you will be able to account for the change in your company and can have a strategy in place to mitigate the corresponding differences in the tax code.

How to Start Your Proactive Tax Plan

The first step in planning for the upcoming tax season is to find an experienced accountant or CPA. Hiring a professional will allow you to keep your attention on your business ventures, without needing to focus too much on current tax laws. Additionally, when creating your tax plan, it is always beneficial to allow your tax professional to assess the current state of your company to strategize a savings plan. If you have questions about tax planning or are looking for a strategy that is tailored to your specific income or business, contact our firm today.


How to make the most of your 401(k)

Posted on December 9th, 2017

If investing in your future is something that rests entirely on your shoulders, know that there are options. If you have employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, it’s imperative to that you properly optimize that plan to its fullest. But saving for retirement is a process, and its best to understand your avenues even if you’re just starting out. So here are some tips on how to start preparing for retirement.

– Consider maximizing your contribution which is matched by your employer in the 401(k) program at your company. In some cases, you could get a 50 percent return on your investment. By having the money taken directly out of your paycheck, you have an easier time-saving money without really thinking about it. If you match your contribution and had a direct deposit set up to add more, you will be on a good path towards affording retirement.

– Consider opening a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) account with an investment firm. There are tax differences between the two, so it is important to discuss the pay taxes now vs. late discussion with an advisor or tax accountant

– Look into a myRA – A singular investment option by use of U.S. Treasury retirement savings bond. This is a great option for those who do not have a 401(k) account at work but have dispensable income. The myRA is convenient in that it accept smaller contributions, with low-balance fees and a higher interest rate than a savings account. Contribute your next tax refund, payroll deduction, or a deposit from a checking or savings account. You have options in size, just know with this plan that once you save $15,000, the money must be rolled into a private Roth IRA.

Start saving and keep saving! Whether you’re saving for retirement or for another goal – don’t give up. If you’re just starting to save, start small and try to increase the amount each month, know your options as you get into more opportunities to save more money for that end goal.

 


Helpful Tips for Any Small Business Owner

Posted on August 1st, 2017

 

People looking to start small businesses face a daunting task. With the dominance of larger companies, global competition provided by the internet, and the increasing number of competitors within other small businesses, you may feel overwhelmed. However, these simple yet effective tips should help keep you ahead of the curve and competitive in the modern market.
1) Make Yourself Known: A great way to get your name out is through community outreach efforts, or even sponsorships of local sports teams. These efforts go beyond regular marketing efforts in that they allow local communities to know you, as well as your business, and make purchasing your goods and services personal.
2) Have a Plan: Before even starting your business, have a strong business plan that acknowledges your company’s niche, market potential, and values your current assets. This can help you in deciding a direction for your venture, and can cut back on unnecessary expenditures in the future.
3) Quality over Price: With the constant presence of corporations like Walmart and Amazon, trying to price match competitors can lead to a loss of profit, as well as confidence. Instead of trying to compete fiscally, focus on honing your service in a way that these companies cannot. Not only will your product benefit from your drive for excellence, but patrons will overlook price differences for superior quality products and service.
4) Acknowledge Missteps: Nobody likes to be wrong, but being able to accept flaws in your business’ model or your product are essential in setting yourself apart from your competitor. Accept criticisms as opportunities to improve. Adaptability is essential in the modern marketplace.
5) Use Technology: With the internet and technologies focused on the management of small businesses, the barrier for marketing and sales in greater regions has more or less been lifted. Be sure to use all of the resources at your disposal, whether this means creating a web-based storefront, or managing your accounts with programs like QuickBooks. While these strategies are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of establishing a successful business, they are helpful in getting your business a leg up over the competition.

 


Small Business Tips: How to expand your business

Posted on June 6th, 2017

Congratulations on successfully starting your business! If you’re ready to take the next step, but don’t know exactly how to go about that, here are some ideas for thinking about growing your business. Depending on the industry your business is in, and the type of business you own, the available resources, time, and money on hand, will determine the proper idea or ideas that is right for you and your business. Open another location – If you’re first business location is successful and under control, consider expanding by opening a new location. Look for specific areas in which your customer demographic prevalently frequents or is well known.

Collaborate with other businesses – By opening yourself up to another business that is similar or related to your own industry, take advantage of that network relationship and collaborate on a joint event. It’s a chance to market yourself to new customers that may have not known of your business.

Diversify your product – Look into seasonal voids, is there a product similar to your own that can be introduced? Diversifying is a great way to increase sales and profit margins. Seasonal or complimentary products or services, or offer to export other colleague’s products.

Turn your business into a franchise – If your business model is easily replicated, and you want to see your business grow quickly, think about franchising. As the owner, now referred to as a franchiser, of the name or trademark sells that right to a franchisee. However, be prepared to work through various regulatory and legal rules and obstacles when it comes to franchising your business. Look into the federal government rules, as well as state requirements, in order to sell your business.

Expand to the internet – In this digital age, it’s important to have a superior online presence to maximize your exposure to new and old customers. Look into creating a website so customer can discover your business through an online search engine.

Understand your limitations, resources available, and your capacity as a business owner before looking to grow your business. However, with a successful business plan, market savviness and dedication, there is always room to grow!


Do You Need to Fill out Schedules C & E

Posted on March 6th, 2017

Schedule C is a form that reports income for any self-employed individual. If you are the sole proprietor of your business (even if it is a single-member LLC) or an independent contractor, you need to fill this form out. Sadly, since you won’t have a boss that writes your own checks, you don’t have the opportunity to have taxes taken out for you; you have to pay the full taxes of your income. That being said, claiming any and all genuine business expenses on your Schedule C will reduce the amount of income that is taxable.

Make sure that you gather as many receipts for your business expenses as you can. Schedule E is the form for certain types of supplemental income: income from rental properties you own, any royalties you earn, and income reported on a Schedule K-1 (from partnerships or S corporations) are some of the more common examples. If, however, income from multiple rental properties is your primary form of income, you may have to use a Schedule C for your sole proprietorship instead. In addition to income, a Schedule E is also used to report business losses (paying for an apartment’s carpet replacement, for example) and helps prevent you from paying too much in taxes.

This only applies to “at risk” situations, which is not necessarily the same thing as the total money lost. When it comes to taxes, honesty is always the best policy; if you run your own business or rent a room to someone, and that income is at least the minimum taxable amount, you will need to fill out a Schedule C or E, respectively. Filling out these forms do not necessarily mean that you will be paying too much in taxes, nor does that mean that you won’t be able to make up for these taxes either. If you see yourself filling out either Schedule, feel free to contact your trusted tax preparer or accountant to discuss these forms. When tax day comes, being prepared for Schedules C and E can save you time and, possibly, money.


How to make the most of your 401(k)

Posted on December 16th, 2016

If investing in your future is something that rests entirely on your shoulders, know that there are options. If you have employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, it’s imperative to that you properly optimize that plan to its fullest. But saving for retirement is a process, and its best to understand your avenues even if you’re just starting out. So here are some tips on how to start preparing for retirement.
– Consider maximizing your contribution which is matched by your employer in the 401(k) program at your company. In some cases you could get a 50 percent return on your investment. By having the money taken directly out of your paycheck, you have an easier time saving money without really thinking about it. If you match your contribution and had a direct deposit set up to add more, you will be on a good path towards affording retirement.
– Consider opening a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) account with an investment firm. There are tax differences between the two, so it is important to discuss the pay taxes now vs. late discussion with an adviser or tax accountant
– Look into a myRA – A singular investment option by use of U.S. Treasury retirement savings bond. This is a great option for those who do not have a 401(k) account at work, but have dispensable income. The myRA is convenient in that it accept smaller contributions, with low-balance fees and a higher interest rate than a savings account. Contribute your next tax refund, payroll deduction, or a deposit from a checking or savings account. You have options in size, just know with this plan that once you save $15,000, the money must be rolled into a private Roth IRA.
Start saving and keep saving! Whether you’re saving for retirement or for another goal – don’t give up. If you’re just starting to save, start small and try to increase the amount each month, know you’re options as you get into more opportunities to save more money for that end goal.


Why Choose A CPA?

Posted on August 30th, 2016

 

These days there are plenty of options for anyone looking for help managing their finances.  Financial planners provide overall guidance for money management, investing and retirement planning, but for day-to-day financial management and procedures people often look to accountants or CPAs.  While Accountants and CPAs are often thought of as the same, there are definite differences and here are three reasons why a CPA can be the best option.

  1. All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.

While accountants are highly trained financial professionals, they’re not licensed. CPAs on the other hand, are licensed and certified through the completion of rigorous education and training which includes:

  • An accounting degree from an accredited college or university
  • Passing the four-part CPA Examination
  • Successful completion of the American Institute of CPAs Professional Ethics Exam
  •  1,800 working hours completed under the supervision of an actively licensed CPA
  • Ongoing compliance with continuing education requirements to maintain their license
  1. CPAs offer comprehensive services

If you’re a small business owner, hiring a CPA rather than an accountant can be especially advantageous.  While each function plays an important part in managing business finances, again, there are differences.   Accountants oversee and manage bookkeeping functions, then analyze the financials and prepare financial reports.

While a CPA has the experience to provide all those services, they will also provide big-picture assessments of all facets of your business finances as well as management of:

  • Business analysis, growth planning and risk assessment.
  • Creation and set up of the right accounting system for your business
  • Regular analysis of income, expenses and cash flow that provide ongoing insight on your business’s overall financial health
  • Budget creation and audits
  • Review and preparation of necessary financial statements
  • Investment management

 

  1. CPAs are Tax Experts.

No one wants to pay more in taxes than they need to.  CPAs stay current with all local, state and federal tax regulations, and can prepare accurate tax returns for any situation.  A CPA will can provide tax planning strategies to help clients keep tax liabilities as low as possible from year to year, and also have the knowledge to resolve tax problems such as unfiled or late returns, settlement of IRS debt through a payment plan or an Offer in Compromise and Innocent Spouse Relief for victims of spousal fraud   A CPA is also licensed to fully represent clients and make claims on their behalf during any IRS audit proceeding.


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