Financial Bookkeeping Tips for Contractors

2 Reasons You Should Hire An Accountant In Mechanicsburg PA To Process Your Payroll

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons You Should Hire An Accountant In Mechanicsburg PA To Process Your Payroll

As a business owner, it is tempting to take care of as much of professional matters on your own as much as possible, in the interests of saving money. Unfortunately, the IRS reports that about 33% of businesses make mistakes when processing payroll that result in fines and other financial punishments. Due to that, and the complexities of payroll, it is a good idea to consider outsourcing payroll services to an experienced accountant,  so that you never have to worry about making an unfortunate and expensive mistake. It will be helpful to note that accountants have many other tasks other than simply helping you file your taxes, such as payroll services and other tasks often handled by the human resources department. By outsourcing those tasks to an accountant, your human resources specialist can spend time on more important duties. #1-An Accountant Can Help You Plan For Tax Payments It can seem as if tax forms seem to get more complicated each year and failing to file even one form on time or correctly can be a pricey error. For instance, it is not unusual for accountant that provide payroll services to use online services to simplify the tasks. That takes less of your time and makes mistakes less common, since the computer programs are able to catch most mistakes. #2-An Accountant Can Process Any Payments That Need To Be Deducted From Paychecks The laws about payroll garnishment can vary tremendously, based on The dollar amount that is owed The sum that is past due The reason for the garnishment Current family situation For instance, some states permit past due debts (that are not child support) to be subtracted from an employee’s pay. If your state does, in general, only about 25% of their wages can be taken after taxes to pay approved debts. One exception to that is child support, which all of the states enforce through paychecks if necessary. Both past-due and current child support can be garnished from pay. Back child support can take as much as 50% of an employee’s paycheck and that goes up 60% if there is not another dependent currently being supported by the worker. One obvious benefit is that when outsourcing those tasks, the employer has plausible deniability. Specifically, when an employee is paid and realizes that half or more of their paycheck has been taken, you are not the one that did it. Instead, you can refer them to your accountant and that person needs to answer their questions. You will be informed of it and must tell the employee of it, but you are not the one actually doing it, which can make for a more comfortable working relationship.  In conclusion, the use of an accountant can help you limit the job tasks of your human resources department and comply with new or on-going tax laws. In addition, you will also note that the uncomfortable issue of garnishing an employee’s pay for past due debts or child support can now be handled by an expert, with little intervention from you. For more information, talk to a payroll service like Waggoner Frutiger & Daub...

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How To Claim A Qualifying Relative As An Income Tax Dependent

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Claim A Qualifying Relative As An Income Tax Dependent

For federal tax purposes, there are two types of tax dependents. A qualifying child is the most widely recognized type. The other dependent type, a qualifying relative, includes more than just immediate family members. In some situations, an unrelated household member may be eligible to be claimed as a qualifying relative. The tax advantage of a qualifying relative is considerably less than that of a qualifying child. None of the income tax credits are applicable to a qualifying relative. The only advantage to claiming a qualifying relative is that your taxable income is reduced by the amount of the exemption for the dependent. Extended family For extended family members to be claimed as a dependent, they must have received over half of their support for the year from you. Also, their income for the year must have been under $3,950. Extended family members possibly eligible to be claimed as a qualifying relative include the following: Parent or grandparent Stepmother or stepfather Aunt or uncle An in-law Dependents who are typically qualifying children may sometimes be qualifying relatives if they fail to meet all the requirements of a qualifying child. The IRS definition of a qualifying child is somewhat imprecise because it also includes siblings and their descendants. A related family member who is a qualifying relative does not have to live with you to be claimed. For tax purposes, a cousin is not considered a family member. However, a cousin may possibly be claimed in the same manner as an unrelated household member. Unrelated household member The IRS definition of a qualifying relative is also a bit imprecise. An unrelated person who lives with you for the entire year may be claimed as a qualifying relative if the following conditions are also met: You provide over half the person’s support The individual earned less than $3,950 Adult children When children become too old to be claimed as a qualifying child, they sometimes become eligible to be claimed as a qualifying relative. However, their earnings must be under $3,950, and they must receive the majority of their support from you. As a related family member, they are not required to reside with you to be a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative does make a tax filer eligible to file as head of household. Even so, the additional dependent included on your tax return helps offset the cost of their support. Contact a certified public accountant for more information about tax issues concerning...

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How To Report The Sale Of Stock On An Individual Income Tax Return

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Report The Sale Of Stock On An Individual Income Tax Return

Individuals who own stock in companies sell shares for a wide variety of reasons. Tax filers who have sold stock must report the transaction on their individual tax returns to determine if there is any taxable gain or loss. Corporate stock owned by an individual is referred to as a capital asset. A capital asset is an asset owned for personal use or for investment purposes. The designation as a capital asset is important because some gains on the sale of investment assets receive preferential tax treatment. Brokerage firms maintain detailed records and are required to provide a statement to their clients to summarize stock sales. Your brokerage statement is the starting point to reporting stock transactions on your income tax return. Form 1099-B After the end of each year, brokerage firms issue IRS Form 1099-B to clients who have sold stock during the year. Form 1099-B usually includes all the information necessary to report the stock sale on your tax return, including the following: Dates of acquisition and disposition Acquisition cost Sale proceeds Stock that you own for more than one year creates a long-term capital gain or loss when sold. Stock that is owned for a year or less creates a short-term gain or loss when sold. Some investors conduct numerous stock sales during the year. Because of the differing tax treatment, multiple 1099-B statements must be separated into two categories, short-term and long-term. Form 8949 IRS Form 8949 is used to report the details of your stock transactions. Form 8949 contains separate sections for short-term transactions and long-term transactions. The information from each 1099-B form is entered into the appropriate section of Form 8949. There are exceptions for situations in which Form 8949 is not required. If your 1099-B forms indicate that the basis of all of your sold stock has already been reported to the IRS, you may be able to report your sales directly on IRS Schedule D. Schedule D The detailed information on Form 8949 is only a supporting form for IRS Schedule D. The purpose of Schedule D is to combine short-term and long-term gains from all sources. The net gain or loss from Schedule D is entered on Form 1040. The tax rate on a net long-term capital gain is lower than the tax rate on ordinary income. If you have a net loss, up to $3,000 of the loss may be used to reduce your other taxable income. The remaining portion of a loss may be carried over to the next year. Contact an accountant for additional information on stock transactions. For more information, contact The Callen Accounting Group, PLLC or a similar...

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Annual Tax Reporting For A Tax-Exempt Organization

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Annual Tax Reporting For A Tax-Exempt Organization

Even though a tax-exempt organization does not pay income tax on its revenue, it still must file an annual return with the IRS. Officials of tax-exempt entities can ensure that their organizations maintain their exempt status by filing the appropriate form each year. Depending on the level of receipts, tax-exempt organizations are required to file only one out of three different IRS forms. The lengthy form required of a large national organization is very different from the short form required of a local animal rescue operation. For organizations of medium size, there is an applicable form. The three options are Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990. Form 990-N Organizations with revenue of up to $50,000 may file Form 990-N, which is a very short form. Form 990-N is not even available on paper and must be electronically filed. Perhaps due to its brevity, Form 990-N is also referred to by the IRS as an e-Postcard. Exempt organizations with over $50,000 in revenue cannot file the short e-Postcard. For larger organizations, your selection of form depends on both revenue and the amount of assets owned by the organization. Form 990-EZ Exempt organizations that are not eligible for the e-Postcard must file Form 990-EZ if total assets are less than $500,000 and revenue is under $200,000. Form 990-EZ requires a greater amount of detailed information about revenue, expenses, and assets. Form 990-EZ also includes a form section for listing key officials of the organization, along with their respective amounts of compensation received. Questions are also included on Form 990-EZ concerning the activities of the organization. Form 990 Form 990 must be filed by exempt organizations with revenue of $200,000 or greater. Form 990 is also required if assets total $500,000 or more. Form 990 is quite detailed and is filed by the largest exempt organizations. Maintaining your tax-exempt status is essential to ensure that contributions to your organization are tax-deductible to the donor. The IRS maintains a useful lookup tool that lists organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. Smaller churches with receipts of $50,000 or less are automatically eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, but they are not required to file an e-Postcard. An organization will lose tax-exempt status for itself and for donors if it fails to file the required information return for three consecutive years. Contact an accounting firm, such as Herman & Cormany, for more information about the filing requirement for your exempt...

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Top Tips For Hiring A Business Consulting Firm

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top Tips For Hiring A Business Consulting Firm

If you have been thinking about hiring a business consulting firm, you will need to keep reading. By taking a few moments to read through the following top tips, you should have no problem ending up with the best possible business consultant for your company. Prepare A Statement Of Work A statement of work is nothing more than a document that outlines just what it is exactly you are going to expect the consultant to do for you. Do you want him or her to find new prospects, streamline your inventory, or efficiently mold your employees to be faster workers? Business consultants can do a lot of different things. However, in order to make sure that you are getting lined up with the right one, you will need to prepare a statement of work that you can hand over to anyone that you are interviewing for the position. This gives him or her the fair chance of discovering whether they would truly be a great fit for your company. If he or she is not able to fulfill the wishes of your company, you will know right away and can move on to the next candidate for the job. This saves you a lot of wasted time and money on hiring a business consultant that will not give you what you need.  Ask For Professional Organizations They Belong To A reputable and experienced business consultant should belong to a few highly respected professional organizations. Ask those who you are interviewing if they belong to any. Some of the top professional organizations include the ICCA (The Independent Computer Consultants Association), or the IMC (Institute for Management Consultants). When consultants join such organizations, they are showing their commitment to their chosen field and will have a larger group of peers to learn from, which, of course, benefits you as his or her client. Discuss The Written Contract Make sure that you are avoiding any business consultant that wants to shy away from a written contract, as this is an essential part of any business deal. Also, it is nothing more than a piece of paper that protects the interests of both the business and the consultant. As you can see, you should have no problem making sure that you are finding the best possible business consultant for the job. The sooner you start your search, the sooner you will be able to make use of the benefits that come from his or her...

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Three Ways To Successfully Handle Your Paperwork As A Small Business Owner

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Successfully Handle Your Paperwork As A Small Business Owner

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting your own business can often be the culmination of years of dreaming and hard work. When it comes time to hire an accountant to handle your taxes, you can make life easier for the accountant — and yourself — by meticulously keeping track of your invoices, receipts and other financial documents. Even if finances aren’t particularly your strong suit, some careful preparation will avoid surprises around tax time and beyond. Here are three valuable ways to approach your paperwork before you present everything to your accountant. Divide Your Expense Receipts Into Categories Expense receipts are extremely valuable to small business owners. After all, logging these will reduce the amount of your net income and, in turn, translate into you having to pay less at tax time. Instead of simply throwing all your expense receipts into an envelope, sort them into a series of envelopes that reflect their nature. Individual envelopes can relate to office supplies, utilities and travel expenses, for example. In the latter envelope, for example, you can group all your receipts pertaining to hotels, gas and food that you ate while away from home on business. Take this systematic approach with each envelope and you’ll be well-organized when it’s time to present your paperwork to your accountant. Sort Paperwork As You Get It When your time is already at a premium, it’s easy to put off organizing your paperwork until a later date. This approach, however, not only puts you at risk of being late on paying an invoice, but can also lead to stress when your desk becomes buried under a mountain of paper. Make it a priority to deal with paperwork promptly; if not the minute you receive it, then at a scheduled time each day. Keeping track of your revenue and expenses also helps you to take a proactive role in the health of your company. If you aren’t monitoring your paperwork regularly, you won’t have an accurate depiction of the health of your business. Keep Your Personal Receipts Separate Many small business owners face the temptation of trying to figure out ways to claim personal receipts, but this strategy can put you at risk of an audit. When in doubt, keep a separate file of all your personal receipts. At tax time, meet with your accountant to determine if any of the receipts can be applicable to your business. It might be possible to use some, but an ethical accountant will advise you against being deceptive with your paperwork in order to save a little money. Contact a tax preparation service, like Jeff Baker & Associates, PS, with further...

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Keep Your New Business Financially Stable By Hiring An Accountant

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your New Business Financially Stable By Hiring An Accountant

If you have a new business you may not be bringing in a lot of revenue in the beginning, which means you need to be very careful with the money that is coming in and going out. You also need to make sure you keep up with your books, and make the right tax payments. One person that can help you deal with all of this and much more, is an accountant. Keeping the Books You may want an accountant to look over your books at least once a month. They will make sure everything is recorded in them, and that they balance out correctly. This is very important, as if you are ever audited, you will need your books to be perfect. The accountant can also suggest the best type of accounting software you can use to make keeping your books much easier on you. Maintaining the Accounting System Once your business starts growing, you will need to make sure you keep the accounting maintained. If you have independent contractors working for you, the accountant can make sure they are classified as such, and not as actual employees of your company. The accountant can explain all financial statements, and can help with payment process and the payroll. Because you own your own business, you will need to make estimated tax payments, because you do not know the exact amount of money you will make each month. The accountant will help you determine how much these tax payments are, and when you need to pay them. They will also submit any other financial reports and any needed information to the IRS. During Your Growth As your business grows and you start bringing in a lot more money, it may be difficult for you to handle it. An accountant can be a great help in helping you manage this. They can provide help on your cash flow patterns, pricing, business financing, and make sure you have enough products in inventory. The accountant will be beneficial in helping you prevent getting audited. If you do get audited, however, they can guide you through the process. The accountant can help you create a budget, and create financial forecasts to help you make the right decisions when it comes to your business. You should hire an accountant that has experience working with small businesses. This can make a difference, as some accountants work mostly with larger corporations. To learn more, contact an accounting services company like J H Williams And Co...

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Before You Cash Your Inheritance Check, Make Sure It’s All Yours

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Before You Cash Your Inheritance Check, Make Sure It’s All Yours

If a loved one has recently passed away and has left you an inheritance, before you cash that check, you need to make sure that all the money you have been given is actually yours. No matter where you live, the federal government has a right to be paid certain estate taxes before the money is distributed. Depending on where you live, your state may also levy their own inheritance tax as well. That’s why it is vital that you make sure the money is really all yours before you cash the check. Here are three things you need to do before you cash that check: Make Sure That All Estate Taxes Have Been Paid The first thing you need to do is make sure that all estate taxes have been paid. Technically, the federal government gets first grabs at any money, stock or significantly valuable property that your loved one left behind. The federal government can seize whatever assets were left over in order to fulfill any estate taxes that are due. Before anyone is paid their inheritance, the federal government should come first. If you are the executor of the will, you are responsible for paying the estate taxes first. If you don’t know how to go about that, a certified public account or CPA can assist you with that process. If you are not the executor of the will, ask to see the tax return that was filed on behalf of the deceased estate as well as a closing letter from the IRS before you accept and cash any inheritance check. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself. If you cash an inheritance check before the IRS gets their share, you could be liable for the estate tax down the road. Make Sure All Inheritance Taxes Are Paid Next, once you have taken care of the federal government, you need to make sure that your state does not collect inheritance taxes. Luckily, most states don’t collect inheritance taxes. However, there are a handful of states that do, including: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nebraska, Maryland, Kentucky, Iowa, and Indiana. If you live in one of the states listed above, you are going to need to figure out how much you owe in taxes before you use that check. A CPA can help you figure out exactly how much you owe and can help you file those taxes. Before you cash that inheritance check and start spending all the money you just got, make sure that some of it doesn’t belong to the federal government or to your local state government. You don’t want to spend the money and find out down the road that you now have unpaid taxes to take care of. If you are expecting or get an inheritance, run it by a CPA like Amos Maney & Payne CPA’s LLC to make sure that you can spend it as you wish...

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