Do You Wish You Had a Coach for Your New or Growing Business?

Are you launching a business or product line? You may have relied on us for years for timely and personalized tax advice, but you may not be aware that we help business owners start and expand their companies every day with several types of services. In fact, we frequently serve as a business coach or mentor for owners seeking help in their strategic planning, setting up payroll or other systems or selecting the best accounting software, among other projects. Due to our extensive contacts in the community, we can also recommend attorneys and bankers to work with your business.

We’ve seen the many kinds of challenges they face and we know how to implement the right solutions. And we’re business owners ourselves! Be sure to contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your business goals.

Do You Qualify for the Healthcare Premium Tax Credit?

Individuals and families can buy private health insurance through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, which are marketplaces where individuals can find private health insurance.  If you purchase health insurance through an exchange, you may be eligible for a tax credit that will make your coverage more affordable.

The credit is aimed at middle-income individuals and families. A larger credit is available for older individuals whose coverage costs may be higher. The credit will be refundable, which means it can be used by people who pay little or no federal income tax. You can arrange for the credit to be paid to your insurer in advance so that you have little or no out-of-pocket costs.  Are you eligible for the credit? We can help you find out and work with you to make the best use of your health insurance dollars. Call us today with all your questions about health care finance or any other financial concerns.

Take the Uncertainty out of Health Care Reform

If you’re not sure what the new health care law means to you, you’re not alone. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that just over a third of the public had tried to find out more information about the law—the Affordable Care Act—in recent months. About half of the respondents to the survey said they remain confused about the law and its provisions.

If you have questions we can provide the answers you need. Among other things, our individual clients should be aware of the Shared Responsibility Provision. Under the provision, people of all ages, including children, must either have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption or make a payment when they file their tax return this year. We can help you understand whether your coverage meets the law’s requirements, how gaps in coverage will be treated and what circumstances qualify for an exemption. Contact us today to find out how the health care law will affect you. 

1099 Trouble? We can help

It’s not unusual for taxpayers to be surprised—and perhaps more than a little confused—by some of the correspondence that is received from the IRS. Here’s a case in point: Many taxpayers have been puzzled by notices they have received related to 1099 forms. For example, problems have arisen in the past surrounding notices related to Forms 1099-K (Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions) and 1099-C (Cancellation of Debt). Those who received the notices were frequently uncertain what they meant and how they were expected to respond.

If you have received one of these notices—or any other letter—from the IRS, be sure to contact us. The Service may simply need more information, have additional tax liability or are due a refund. No matter what the situation, we can help you understand the problem and work with you to resolve it.

What Do New Tangible Property Rules Mean to You?

Businesses often wrestle with understanding what items should be deducted versus what should be expensed. That task got a little more complicated this year when the Internal Revenue Service finalized new tangible property rules. They affect every business that has tangible property–buildings, machinery, equipment, furniture, vehicles‚Äîso they‚Äôre pretty far reaching. And they add a new layer of complexity to your tax planning.

We can help you address the new requirements, which may include determining whether you need to complete additional paperwork to request a change in accounting method. Be sure to contact us to learn about handling this and any other tax law changes that may affect your business.

Stop Tax Identity Theft

Imagine after sending in your annual tax return, you receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service saying that another return has already been filed using your name and Social Security number—and claiming a refund. Sound impossible? It can happen if you become one of a growing number of victims of tax return identity theft. According to one estimate, tax-related identity theft cases have soared more than 650% since 2008. At the least, this crime can lead to a delay in your refund, but the consequences may be much more serious. In addition, you may face a larger problem with identify theft if the scammer is also running up credit card debt or taking out loans in your name.

To avoid becoming a victim, we recommend steps such as safeguarding your Social Security number and other financial information, keeping an eye on changes to your credit ratings and taking precautions with electronic transfers of confidential information. Be sure to contact us if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or would like advice on the best ways to secure your financial information.

Stamp Out Tax Season Stress!

Are you ready for tax time? There are a couple of steps you can take now to alleviate some of the stress of filing your return. Plan to get organized early. Begin by putting together a tax folder with W-2s from your employer, 1099s for other income you may have earned, bank and other financial statements and receipts for things like medical bills and charitable donations.

Once you’ve gathered all your important paperwork, this is a good time to meet with your CPA to talk about changes in your financial situation or in tax laws that may have an effect on your return.  Having this discussion early is key to avoiding surprises at tax time and a great time to get started on planning that can potentially minimize your tax bite and strengthen your financial situation. Call us today!

What Do Last Minute Tax Deductions Mean For You?

There’s good news for taxpayers: A number of popular tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 have been extended into 2014, thanks to a new tax law passed by Congress in December. That means qualified individuals will be able to claim deductions for the state and local sales taxes and some higher education costs and exclude from income any mortgage debt cancellation for 2014. Businesses will benefit from one more year of bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing and from a research tax credit for some qualified expenses.

These are just a few examples of the provisions extended by the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. If you’d like more information, or if you’re concerned that you may miss out on some these last-minute extenders, be sure to call our office today. We can help you claim all the proper credits and deductions and offer advice on minimizing your taxes going forward. Keep in mind, too, that the yearend legislation has had no effect on the Internal Revenue Service’s schedule. As a result, we’re ready to get started today on all your tax planning needs.

It’s Not Too Late to Make a Retirement Plan Contribution!

Small business owners usually have a long list of items on their to-do lists. If contributing to your retirement plan was on your agenda last year, there may still be time to add more to your nest egg and reap the rewards on your 2014 return. If you are self-employed, for example, you may qualify for retirement plan options that include the SEP (Self-Employed Pension Plan) IRA or the individual 401(k).  In both cases, you’re allowed to make contributions to an established plan up until your tax filing deadline, or potentially as late as April 15 of this year (or later if you get an extension). You get two benefits: More money in the bank waiting for you when you retire and a tax deduction for 2014.

There are a number of tax-advantaged retirement plan options open to those who run their own shops, with different choices for those who have employees and those who don’t. If you’d like to learn more about them, or if you have any questions about your business, please contact our office. We can help you set up a plan that’s customized to your needs.