Archive for the ‘Tax Advice’ Category

IRS Offers Helps to Victims of Hurricane Irene

September 7, 2011

According to a September 2011 report on AccountingWeb.com the IRS will be offering “tax relief to individual and business taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Irene.”

“The IRS has announced that certain taxpayers in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico will receive tax relief, and other locations are expected to be added in coming days following additional damage assessments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” states the AccountingWeb.com article.

Some tax filing and payment deadlines will be moved to October 31, 2011. For information on disaster recovery visit disasterassistance.gov.

The following counties and municipalities are able to ask for tax relief:

  •  North Carolina: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, and Tyrell;
  •  New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset;
  •  New York: Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster; and
  •  Puerto Rico: Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Cayey, Loiza, Luquillo, and San Juan.

Contact the IRS to learn more.
 

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Bookkeeping Tips: Tax Preparation Checklist

April 1, 2011

It is that time of year again and it is so important to have a plan in place when you file your taxes. You may need to consult with an accountant or bookkeeper. You may need to inquire about which deductions are the most advantageous for your situation. You may need to make sure you are not missing important pieces of paperwork. The simple tax preparation checklist below will get you started and on track.

1. Do you have copies of your W-2’s or 1099’s? There may also be additional paperwork related to investments of any kind that must be filed. If you are not sure ask an expert. .

2. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule time with your accountant or bookkeeper. This time of year is crazy for people in the financial industry and you will want to make sure they have time to assist you. Last minute pressures can sometimes lead to hasty decisions.

3. Keep up on any tax credits you can take advantage of or ask an expert. New tax bills are always being passed and it can be confusing. The IRS website is a great resource for helping you stay up to date on the current tax laws. Of course there is no substitute for hiring a trustworthy accountant to stay on top of all the details.

4. If you are a W-2 employee there are deductions you can take advantage of. Ask your accountant about these and what you need to do. If you are self-employed there are a wide variety of deductions that can work for you. Be sure and keep all business related receipts and ask your accountant or bookkeeper what expenses can be used as deductions.

5. Compare itemizing your deductions vs. not itemizing them and see which scenario provides the best result for you. Again if you don’t know how to evaluate this then hire an expert.

6. Double check any exemptions you are claiming.

7. Check your eligibility for tax credits such as the child tax credit, adoption credit, education credits, etc.

8. Will you file electronically? Make sure you have everything you need in order to do so.

9. If you are a business or self-employed be prepared to make your tax payments on time.

10. Have a massage or night off planned once your taxes are done! Nothing is complete without a celebration. Enjoy that fact that another year has gone by and you have managed your finances.

Happy tax season!

 

Bookkeeping Tips: Filing Your Taxes after April 15th

March 25, 2011

Protocol for Filing Taxes After the 15th

What do you do if you can’t meet the IRS filing deadline? How to file an extension on your 2010 tax return.

The federal tax return filing deadline for tax year 2010 is Monday, April 18, 2011

If you miss the deadline and do not file for an extension, it’s very important to file your taxes as soon as possible. One way to file that is fast and easy is to use TurboTax. TurboTax offers some great tips on how to file your extension and what details you must remember in order to comply with IRS requirements.

Why file for an extension?

Filing an extension automatically pushes back the tax filing deadline until the fall and helps you avoid late-filing fees.

If you file an extension by April 18, 2011 you have 6 months. The late filing deadline is October 17, 2011. Keep in mind an extension of time to file does not mean you are not responsible for paying your taxes. If you owe money you are expected to pay by the April deadline, but paperwork can be filed as late as Oct. as mentioned above.

If you don’t ask for an extension the consequences differ depending on whether you owe the IRS money or the IRS owes you a refund.

If you expect a refund and are correct there is no penalty for failing to file your tax return by the deadline, even if you don’t ask for an extension.

Ask your accountant or bookkeeper if an extension is right for you and be sure and make your payments on time if you owe the IRS.

To learn more visit TurboTax and read their article on tax filing extensions for 2011.