• If you receive a call from a person stating you owe money to the IRS and need to pay it immediately or to verify your tax information over the phone immediately hang-up. If you are concerned of your taxes, please contact the IRS directly at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center or through one of their Phone Customer Service Representatives: Individuals 800-829-1040 or Businesses 800-829-4933.
• Check fraud is a reality, so make sure that you keep your company's checkbooks in a secure location. Create monetary limits for checks, set-up a special account for paychecks and keep all other checks made out to business and not individuals.
• Making sure to keep up-to-date records of all of your financial activities is important. This includes, paying bills, payroll, expenses, and profits. This information is required in order to properly file taxes and can cut accounting costs at tax time.
• Checking all your billing statements should be routine. Often times spotting extra, hidden or incorrect charges soon after they happen may help resolve issues that cost you extra money for nothing.
While looking at your statements or invoices, it's a great time to review the expense of doing business. If you appear to be spending too much money in one area, you may wish to find a cheaper, more cost effective alternative.
• If you find yourself too busy to balance your own financial records, they you should not hesitate to hire an accounting professional to keep track of your transactions. An accounting professional can be your greatest asset while doing business. Accounting professionals have access to information and knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your business. This will help you stay on top of your financials while still being able to focus on your business.
When should I deduct a credit charge?
You can deduct a credit charge in the year it was charged, rather than when you pay the bill. So if you charge a deductible expense on December 20th, but don't pay the credit card bill until January 17th, you should take the deduction for the prior year.
I can't afford to pay my taxes now. What should I do?
If you owe money on your tax return but you can't afford to pay it, don't fail to file timely. Instead, file the return timely and enclose what you can afford. Many taxpayer's do not realize that the penalty for "Failure to File" is 10 times greater than "Failure to Pay."
I was issued a 1099. What's my best course of action?
If you have received a 1099 form, you will need to contact either your tax preparer or the IRS to receive more information on what needs to be done regarding that form. The IRS website has a helpful webpage on 1099-MISC forms and Independent Contractors
I took some courses this year to improve my work skills. Can the cost of those be deducted?
You can deduct certain educational expenses. In general if the education is required by your employer or is to improve your skills in your existing profession you can write it off. Nowadays, with the need for higher education to secure employment, this is a deduction that can save big bucks and should not be overlooked.
What should I do about charitable contributions?
If you make a charitable contribution of $250 or less, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing; their name, the date and location of contribution, and a reasonably detailed description of the property. This is an ever changing area of the tax law. (IRS Pub.526 (2015) pg.18)
What do I need to claim an exemption for my child?
If you have a child you must have his/her social security number in order to claim an exemption. This is true regardless of your child's age. You can contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Make your life easy and just fill out the forms in the hospital when your child is born.
How a Summer Wedding can affect your taxes...
With all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, taxes may not be high on your summer wedding checklist. However, you should be aware of the tax issues that come along with marriage. Click here to check out some basic tips from the IRS to help with your planning.