Do You Need to Worry About Being Audited?

Published: 4/30/2017 7:02:50 AM

The question has probably crossed your mind this tax season. What’s the reality? Unless you filed an extension, it’s likely that your annual tax preparation marathon is over. Whether you did your taxes yourself or had a professional complete your return, you probably breathed a sigh of relief as they were filed. At the same time, you may have been thinking about some tax-related issues that weren’t so pleasant. Did I declare all my income? Was I entitled to the deductions I claimed? What about credits? Should I really have taken them? And then the big, ugly one hits: What

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Paying Estimated Taxes? When You Should

Published: 3/23/2017 9:10:58 AM

It’s not just the self-employed who must submit estimated taxes. IRS obligations are pay-as-you-go. Much as we may grumble about them, estimated taxes and payroll withholding are good things. Imagine preparing your taxes in April having not paid in anything through the 12-month tax period. Chances are, a large percentage of taxpayers would be filing extensions (which doesn’t get you off the hook for paying by the April deadline: You’re still expected to submit an estimate of the tax due). If you’re a salaried or hourly employee of a company, it’s up to your employer to collect and submit an

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When a Hobby Becomes a Business

Published: 3/8/2017 10:45:21 AM

A few dollars here, a few dollars there. What do you do when the money from a hobby starts to add up? Maybe you didn’t consider it a real business when you first started working on friends’ computers or building birdhouses or designing logos and other graphics for people. At first, you just charged for materials. But eventually, you started charging more for your time, and then you realized that you were making a profit from your work. That’s when the Internal Revenue Service gets interested. If you’ve turned a profit for three of the last five years (including the

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Use QuickBooks' Tools -- and Common Sense Procedures -- To Prevent Financial Fraud

Published: 3/8/2017 10:44:20 AM

You work hard for your money. Strong internal controls can keep it from disappearing unnecessarily. You trust your employees or you wouldn't have hired them. That's what everyone says as they watch a valued staff member being hauled off in handcuffs.But I trusted him. Whether your accounting tasks are done on one PC or you have multiple users working on different screens, it's critical that you make use of all that QuickBooks offers in terms of internal controls. You'll also need to establish some common-sense rules. First Stop: Audit Trail An audit trail is very large report that displays every

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Are Your Social Security Payments Taxable?

Published: 3/8/2017 10:44:15 AM

They may be. The IRS’s rules for taxing Social Security benefits could require some studying on your part. If you’ve received Social Security benefits for more than a year, you probably already know the answer to this question. But if you started receiving those government-issued checks or direct deposits in 2016, now’s the time to find out. As you know, many IRS rules are absolutely cut-and-dried. But there are many others with exceptions, and this is one of them. Numerous factors are involved in determining whether your Social Security benefits are taxable. Here’s some of what the IRS considers. (To

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Memorizing Transactions in QuickBooks: Why? How?

Published: 1/21/2017 6:36:59 AM

QuickBooks saves time in countless ways, one of which is its ability to memorize transactions. Are you taking advantage of this feature? One of the reasons you started using accounting software, among many others, was to save time. And QuickBooks has complied. Once you create a record for a customer, vendor, item, etc., you rarely - if ever - have to enter that information again; you simply choose it from a list. You no longer waste time searching through endless piles of papers to find the one you need; you just do a search. And when you need a report

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Contractor or Employee? The Rules for Classifying Workers

Published: 1/13/2017 9:07:13 PM

The difference matters – a lot. Be sure you’re using the correct classifications for your staff. Employees. Contractors. They both create and support products or provide services for your customers. They’re your company’s most valuable assets. But the IRS looks at each very differently. And when you hire people and start dealing with their compensation, you, too, need to be very sure that you classify them correctly for income tax purposes. You probably already know the primary difference between them. You only pay contractors or freelancers a fee for their contributions. With employees, you’re also responsible for employment taxes and

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Get Ready for Tax Prep: What You Should Do

Published: 1/10/2017 4:09:41 AM

April 17 is still months away, but now’s the time to start preparing. You’re undoubtedly very busy right now. It’s the middle of the holiday season and moving quickly toward the end of the year, so you probably have reports and other documents to prepare. Perhaps you’re running sales or offering discounts to pare down your inventory before December 31. Why should you be thinking about something that’s not due until next spring? Two reasons. First, there are tax-related activities you may want to know about and take care of before the calendar flips over to January. And second, you’re

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Setting Up User Access in QuickBooks

Published: 1/6/2017 6:31:45 AM

Will multiple employees be working with your QuickBooks company file? You'll need to define their permission levels. If you ever did your bookkeeping manually, you probably didn't allow every employee to see every sales form and account register and payroll stub. Most likely, you established a system that allowed staff to work only with information that related to their jobs. Even so, there may have been times when, for example, someone pulled the wrong file folder or was sent a report that he or she shouldn't have seen. QuickBooks helps prevent this by setting virtual boundaries. You can specify which

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2016 Tax Update - Part I

Published: 11/30/2016 12:32:55 PM

Please take a moment to review the information stated below – these are important changes that will affect most of you. If you have any questions about these please reach out to me or your CPA. Our goal is to work together to incorporate these changes seamlessly. >>SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO FILING DEADLINES & OTHER REVISIONS: Revised due dates for Partnerships and C-corporations: Partnership tax returns (Form 1065) will be due 3/15/2017 instead of 4/15/2017C- Corporation tax returns (Form 1120) will be due 4/15/2017 instead of 3/15/2017 Revised due dates for filing 1099-Misc and W-2’s: Employers will now have one filing deadline for all Federal

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Last-Minute 2016 Tax Tips

Published: 11/1/2016 11:48:32 AM

November 2016 Last-Minute 2016 Tax Tips April 17, 2017, sounds like it’s a long way off. But December 31, 2016, isn’t. If you haven’t given much thought to your 2016 income tax obligation, it’s time. The holiday season has begun, and the end of the year is approaching. You probably have personal and business to-do lists a mile long. Gifts to buy. Friends and family to visit. Gatherings to plan, and customers to thank for another year of their patronage. Somewhere in there, though, we highly recommend that you add a few more items related to your 2016 income taxes.

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New to Estimated Taxes? The Rules

Published: 10/19/2016 11:36:53 AM

October 2016 New to Estimated Taxes? The Rules We’re into the fourth quarter of 2016: Have you been keeping up with your estimated income taxes? There are a lot of advantages to being self-employed, like—usually—no designated times you must be in an office somewhere. No dress code. Running to Costco when it’s not jammed. Having your dog as your administrative assistant and non-judgmental co-worker. But if 2016 was your first year of being your own boss, we hope that you’ve acquainted yourself with the most onerous disadvantage to being self-employed: the self-employment tax. We hope, too, that you’ve already made

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QuickBooks Reminders Prevent Problems

Published: 11/18/2015 12:36:09 PM

QuickBooks Reminders Prevent Problems Preserve your relationships with customers, vendors, and others by setting up reminders in QuickBooks.How many calendars do you maintain? Many businesspeople have more than one. Maybe you use a web-based or desktop application like Google Calendar or Outlook for meetings, task deadlines, travel dates, etc. Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) might have another. Perhaps you still have a paper calendar as backup.But where do you keep track of bills that need to be paid, invoices that have to be sent, inventory items that must be ordered, etc.? Do

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