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Aside from the traditional New Year’s resolution to prepare for the year ahead, it’s filing of taxes that we also need to fulfill this year. Even if you are not a typical early filer, preparing early for the year will save you from the stress of last-minute filing and you will also have an opportunity to claim your tax refund sooner.

Checklist for Tax Preparation: List of required documents for Tax Filing

Here are the list of required documents you’ll need before filing for taxes.

Personal Information

  • Social Security number (including your spouse and dependents, if applicable) or Tax Identification Number.

Employee Information

  • W-2 Forms for the last year

Childcare Expenses

  • Fees paid to a licensed day care center or family day care for care of an infant or preschooler.
  • Wages paid to a babysitter.

Charitable Contributions

  • Cash amounts donated to organizations such as school, church etc.
  • Records of non-cash charitable donations
  • Records of donations to non-profit organizations
  • Mileage driven for charitable purposes

Medical Expenses

  • Total amount paid for healthcare insurance and expenses; along with itemized receipts
  • Health Insurance
  • Form 1095-A or Form 1095-B and/or 1095-C
  • Marketplace exemption certificate (ECN) if you applied for and received an exemption from the Marketplace

Self-Employment Information

  • Form 1099-MISC
  • Schedule K-1
  • Income records to verify amounts paid if not reported on a 1099-MISC
  • Records of all expenses paid in the last year related to your self-employment business
  • Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation purposes
  • Home office expenses

Retirement Information

  • Total amount you contributed for the previous year
  • Total value of your retirement accounts as of Dec. 31 of the previous year
  • Pensions, IRA, and other retirement income (Form 1099-R)
  • Social Security income

Rental Income

  • Records of income and expenses paid in the last year
  • Rental asset totals – cost, date placed in service for depreciation determination.

State & Local Taxes or Sales Tax

  • Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding) or amount of state and local sales tax paid
  • Invoice showing amount of vehicle sales tax paid

Financial Information

 

  • Your bank account and routing number
  • A list of taxes you paid the previous two years ( including property, state and local taxes ; estimated taxes you paid)

 

Educational Expenses

  • Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
  • Receipts from qualified educational expenses
  • Records of scholarships or fellowships you received
  • Form 1098-E ( for those who paid student loan interest)

Job Expenses

  • Employment related vehicle expenses (tolls, mileage, gas, maintenance, license, property tax, interest expense, parking)
  • Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12)
  • Employment-related expenses (dues, publications, tools, uniform cost and cleaning, travel)
  • Job-hunting expenses
  • Record of moving expenses not reimbursed by employer

 

Preparing this requirements may be overwhelming, but the key to prepare tax requirements is organizing them and not to rush it, that’s why it’s important to start early. The tax checklist mentioned above is generic and may not apply to all filers, so be sure to check each requirement if it’s applicable for you.

If you need to file tax return, just call us or Contact us.

Tax preparation is a lot of responsibility – and as the tax season comes, you might be tempted to rush it which could result to errors and you might be charged with serious penalties. This is surely an utter nightmare for every one out there, so here are 5 mistakes to avoid in tax preparation.

5 Errors to avoid in Tax Preparation

1. Wrong input of names

This might sound unlikely, but yes it’s one of the common mistakes among taxpayers out there. Sometimes, you might not done this on purpose- some taxpayers misspell the names of their dependents and spouse. The rule is that the names on the tax return should match the names as they appear on your SSA (Social Security Card). If there would be a name change, you should contact first SSA to avoid conflicts in the future.

2. Incorrect Bank Account Numbers

Make sure you enter your bank routing and account numbers correctly, because it could cause a huge hassle for you when you entered the wrong account or bank routing number. If you e-file and you use direct deposit, you can get your refund back in a few weeks, but only if you entered the correct information.

3. Unsigned forms

An unsigned tax return is an invalid return, and this mistake is actually common as cited by the IRS. A return is only considered timely filed if it is properly signed and submitted on time. Also remember that if there is a joint return, both spouses must sign the return in order for it to be valid.

4. Math error

This is also one of the common mistakes committed by tax payers and it usually involves just simple math errors. A small miscalculation can already cause a serious impact and you might get into trouble with the IRS. To avoid this mistake, there are available tax preparation software programs to use (not all of them are free) or hire a professional accountant who would crunch the numbers for you. It is very important to double-check your calculations before filing.

5. Not updated to the recent tax laws

Always remember to look out for major changes to the tax code every year before filing. Here are some changes effective for this year 2018:

  • Those who are married and filing jointly will have an increased standard deduction of $24,000, up from the $13,000 it would have been under previous law.
  • Single taxpayers and those who are married and file separately now have a $12,000 standard deduction, up from the $6,500 it would have been for this year prior to the reform.
  • For heads of households, the deduction will be $18,000, up from $9,550.
  • The personal exemption has been eliminated with the tax reform bill.

You can search online or contact IRS for the complete changes in the tax code this year.

 

There are still a lot of mistakes that are committed by taxpayers and you can avoid it by simply preparing your taxes on time, following the instructions and keeping everything organized. Mistakes are bound to happen, so it is important to check your work time to time and slow things down- it is better to commit a small error while starting compared to a huge error once you had finished your tax preparation.

Taxes, even for large companies, can cause a lot of confusion and frustration which sometimes leads to incorrect or longer tax preparation. According to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association, 50 percent of small businesses in the United States spend more than 40 hours per year managing their federal taxes.

With this kind of problem many businesses and companies faces, here are 4 strategies that will help you prepare your taxes much easier and less-hassle for the tax season.

4 Best strategies to Prepare Tax

1. Find a financial expert

Ofcourse, you want all you financial management work, especially tax preparation to go smooth and accurate as possible. A financial advisor will be a great help since she knows the ins and outs of financial business and may help you improve your financial strategies for the year. You can also consider outsourced CFO services, which provides accounting experts that can help you manage your entire financial management.

2. Use of Technology

In this computer age, using technology such as softwares and applications can be a real time life saver in tax preparation. Tools like Quickbooks, Xero or TaxJar can help you in breaking down your business’s expenses and also helps you understand how much you can deduct based on the amount of money you’ve spent. IRS2Go is also a must-have software since it helps you search for quick tax information and calculate taxable income for different filing statuses.

Aside from saving you from a longer tax preparation, it could actually save you money.

3. Scan your receipts

Aside from keeping the hard-copies of your receipts, make sure to scan them and have a file storage of all of your receipts in your computer. Faded and torn receipts may cause you a lot of trouble when it’s time for monitoring your expenses, especially when you need to figure your deductions.

Aside from scanning, you can also take a photo of your receipt once you purchased something. This soft-copies of receipts acts also as a backup in case your hard-copies get lost. You can also use Wave Accounting, a helpful accounting application which offers  receipt input option.

4. Set aside funds

To avoid the possibility of having to drain your bank account due to surprise of a great tax bill, set aside funds for tax payments ahead of time. A helpful application is Qapital, which connects your checking account to an FDIC-insured account. All you need to do is select the percentage of your income you want to set aside for quarterly tax payments, and the app automatically transfers money from your checking account to your FDIC account. You can also use the FDIC account when it’s time to pay your quarterly taxes.

 

Tax preparation is one of the important things to do when you have a business, no matter what size it is. A correct and timely tax preparation will surely help a lot to improve your financial management and at the same time the growth of your business.

Financial information is one of the greatest things that a business value. Entrusting financial information to someone is very crucial because it can lead you to success or distraction. Many taxpayers have been in trouble because they had been fooled with the promise of huge funds or had committed fraud in their name. Here are 6 signs you shouldn’t miss to avoid fraud tax preparers.

6 Things to check before hiring a Tax Preparer: Avoid fraud firms

They promise you a higher refund

These fraud tax preparer’s job is to lure you- he boasts that he can get you a larger refund and even promises you a certain amount of refund without reviewing your financial documents and past tax returns. Once you are fooled by this, it can lead to some serious consequences, even if it is done by the tax preparer. You can be banned from taking the earned income tax credit in the coming years.

False Credentials

The IRS requires every tax preparer to have a valid preparer tax identification number, or PTIN. Once you came across a tax preparer that, have no PTIN, don’t bother to let him prepare the tax returns. To find legit tax preparers with PTIN, the IRS provides a directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers.

You may also encounter tax preparers who claims to be endorsed by the IRS. This is an automatic red flag, as IRS doesn’t endorse anyone and no tax preparer can use the IRS identity within his or her own name or use the IRS or Treasury department seal on advertisements.

Requests you to sign a blank return

Signing a blank return is like signing a contract you haven’t seen- and it means that once you signed it, you are agreeing in their terms and conditions. You are held responsible for all of the important information on your tax return, so make sure to review all of the paper-works of the tax preparer before signing it.

Ask you to deposit your refund in a different account

They suggest that you should deposit your refund in an account that doesn’t belong to you. These fraud tax preparers fools you that depositing your refund in an account will be more quick and convenient, but the truth is you may lose all of your refunds. This is the reason why this is prohibited by the IRS, so better watch out on these kind of fraud tax preparers. You can check IRS refund status time to time and check with your bank as well.

They don’t offer e-filing

E-filing is means of security from the IRS. They requires paid preparers with 10 or more clients to file electronically, and also recommends you to e-file your return and directly deposit your refund into the bank.

They file your tax return using your last pay sub

All tax preparers are required to file tax returns using W-2 and they should review your records, receipts and asks you about your finances. Once you encountered a tax preparer who doesn’t do any of this is an automatic red flag and considered fraud tax preparer, since it breaks the IRS rules.

Many fraud tax preparers are out there and even with punishments and consequences, they won’t be totally removed. Prevention is better than cure, so it is important to watch out for these signs and report the fraud tax preparer immediately to the IRS.

Hire a professional Tax preparer to avoid frauds. Contact us now.

Outsourced accounting services have been popular among business owners because of its many benefits. With trained CFO professionals, outsourced CFO services helps the business in managing their finances in a less hassle way, and a more organized and secured financial management. It also helps grow and make more money in your business.

So, do you think you should consider outsourced CFO services? In making a good decision it is important to weighing the pros and cons so you can identify if it’s the right thing for your business. Here are pros and cons of outsourced CFO services.

Pros of Outsourced CFO Services

It is more cost effective

Hiring an outsourced CFO Service provider is cheaper and cost effective than hiring an in-house staff, because you won’t have to pay for health insurance, PTO, retirement, vacation and sick leave credits and other compensations. Another benefit is that outsourced CFO services provides you a team of financial experts which will guarantee you a reliable, secured and quality financial management.

Experienced Guidance

As what I’ve mentioned, outsourced CFO services contains professionals, and these professionals are already exposed to many areas of accounting for a long time. Compared to hiring an in house staff, they will not only crunch the numbers, but also provides financial guidance and can identify errors and implications in your business.

Reduce Fraud

Like any other businesses, small or large, Fraud is next to a nightmare. This is usually caused by a one person or more at the helm of accounting. Many businesses have already experienced it and it’s easy to see why- one can easily manipulate the book keeping or the expenses and sometimes, it goes unnoticed for years. This can be caused by poor handling, lack of knowledge or carelessness of the employee.

With outsourced CFO services, you have many professionals act as a lookout on your transactions and reports, which will have more internal control. They are also more likely to identify anomalies and errors quickly than one employee who handles it all.

 

Cons of Outsourced CFO Services

It has hidden costs

Like any other services, there could be some additional fees especially if there is one task that results into multiple tasks, and charged to you without knowing. To avoid this, make your terms and conditions clear and set the expectations already by the start of the contract.

Less control over your business

Even from the word outsourced, business owners starts to worry because they might lose control of their accounting if they availed outsourced CFO services. Not seeing your financial performance and transactions can be worrisome and owners might feel something wrong will happen.

That’s why it is very important to have a constant communication and transparency with your local CPA or accountant. You can do this by having a scheduled meeting once a week or every quarter to monitor the business financial performance and overall transactions. In this way, you won’t be in the dark and also to gain control over your business.

Limits in communication

Having people who are working for you physically present in the office provides convenience in communication which may be difficult if you are availing outsourced CFO services.  However, this can be easily solved especially in this modern world. There are available chat systems, like Slack and Hipchat which are used by many freelancers. Be sure to have a constant communication style decided between you and the outsourced accountants.

 

There are pros and cons to every service and the decision will be still up to you. Choosing the right service business can be difficult, but choosing carefully and wisely will surely lead your business into places.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us to get professional Outsourced CFO Services

As your business grows, there’s a lot to focus on- bills, expenses, supplies etc. Financial management will be lot a more difficult, so you’ve decided to outsource bookkeeping services. But what is outsourcing bookkeeping services is all about?

What is outsourcing?

Also known as Business Process Outsourcing, it is the process of hiring an individual or company, either internationally or domestically, to work on various business activities. It has since became a standard business practice for the growth and quality of the company without investing a lot of money or time.

This is the best option for those who don’t have resources to hire an additional full-time employee or extra equipment in their business.

Different categories of outsourcing

Most outsourcing providers falls into one of the categories below, in regards to the services they offer to the client.

  • Inbound Customer Service
  • Outbound Telemarketing
  • Web Design & Development
  • SEO and Online Marketing
  • Back Office / Admin Support
  • Virtual Assistant Services
  • Accounting and HR Management
  • Marketing & Sales Support

To summarize it, outsourcing means that they can easily manage some of your business tasks which will make life a lot easier for business owners. Since they provide professionals which has knowledge in bookkeeping more than you do (or people within your business), they ensure you that they do their job timely and accurate. Not to mention that you can save a lot of money compared to hiring someone full-time for bookkeeping.

Things to look for when outsourcing

You need to look for an outsourcing company that is a great fit in your company’s objectives and culture. Some of the factors to look for are:

  • Expertise of the company
  • Their cost range, which should be reasonable and most importantly suits your budget.
  • Integrity and Honesty. The company you are looking for should ensure the privacy of your financial transactions. This is important because aside from cash flow, they will be also handling other confidential data of your business.
  • Must be flexible enough the use the latest accounting softwares, like e-conomic, Dinero, Billy’s Billing, SAP, Navision, QuickBooks, and Xero.

Once you considered all of these factors, you’ll be finding a great outsourced book keeping service in no time.

Aside from bookkeeping, here are some tasks you can delegate to a virtual assistant:

  1. Payroll Processing
  2. Account payables and receivables
  3. Reporting to authorities (SKAT, Danish Business Authority) and Management.

Outsourcing can be really a great advantage to every business, not just with bookkeeping. Once you’ve find the right outsourcing company for you that will provide their service, it will surely help grow your business and ensure the quality of its financial management.

The Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) is a provision that allows nonprofit organizations(charities, educational institutions etc.) to be exempted from paying certain taxes. However, according to the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, more than a hundred 501(c)(3) organizations lose the exempt status every year due to non-compliance of the guidelines. Every non-profit organization should open a bank account for better transparency.

Below are requirements of the IRS which are regularly reviewed by them. This is to ensure that the organization continues to do their job that led them to be exempted from certain taxes.

Non-Profit Tax Return: What is required for 501c3 Tax Return?

Non-Exempt Activity

All the activities and income of the organization must be solely focused only on the purpose that they reported to the IRS. For example, if your organization is a high school institution then you used your funds to give college scholarships, your exempt status might be questioned by the IRS. It is important to notify the IRS first before changing the purpose of your organization.

Personal Benefit

It is strictly prohibited for a shareholder or an insider to receive personal benefits from the organization. For the case of the employees and directors, they can receive only reasonable salary or compensation for the job completed. Extravagant salaries are not allowed- it violates the rule of IRS and may remove your organization from its exempt status.

Unrelated Business Income

This includes money made or purchased from activities that are not related to the organization’s purpose, such as office rent or selling merchandise, although some unrelated business income is allowed. The organization must pay taxes on unrelated business income and report the income on Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.

Politics

All 501(c)(3) organizations are not allowed to participate in any political or substantial lobbying activity. This means that the organizations must not contribute to any political campaign funds or promote a candidate for the political office. Lobbying is only allowed if the expenditures are under a certain amount based on the size of the organization. Charities may file Form 5768, which allows the organization to spend a portion of their funds on lobbying; the organization may have to pay excise tax on expenditures that are more than a certain amount. This is ensure that their organization will not lose its exempt status.

Annual Report

All exempt organizations are required to file an annual report, although some organizations, including churches and those with small budgets are exempted from this. The state where the organization is located may also require the organization to file reports annually or biannually. Many nonprofit organizations are also required to pay employment tax, excise tax, unrelated business income tax, and also state and local taxes.

 

ConclusionIt is important to follow all the requirements of the IRS for the welfare and the credibility of the non-profit organization. The IRS must also be informed when the organizations are making changes to avoid being removed from the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

For those with businesses, large or small, bookkeeping is very vital to your business and can be also time consuming. Bookkeeping involves recording of financial transactions-from receipts, contracts and purchases, so this might be difficult for you to monitor other aspects of your business as well.  Here are 3 reasons why you should consider outsourced bookkeeping services- and how it can contribute a lot to the growth of your business.

Reasons to hire Outsourced Bookkeeping Services

It Will Save You Time & Money

Like what I’ve mentioned earlier, Bookkeeping can be time consuming as it involves a lot of monitoring and recording financial transaction.  Outsourcing bookkeeping services will be lot better because those people who are already involved in bookkeeping business can work faster and more effectively than doing it all by yourself.

It can also save you money-you will only pay for the time you needed a bookkeeping service. Outsourced bookkeeping services firm will bill you only a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

Bookkeepers are always updated

Bookkeeping services are the first to know the latest knowledge in the field of finance.  This will enable your financial operations stay updated to the regulatory changes- from payroll, hiring etc. It’s a huge contribution to the welfare of your business-without this expertise, you may do the same bookkeeping processes over again.

They can help you a lot to understand your business.

Aside from providing efficient and updated bookkeeping support, they can help you a lot to understand your business and what processes are needed for your business to grow. They will advise you on how to improve financial process from an outsider perspective. This will help you a lot in making your financial plans and business strategy for the year.

Bookkeeping services aren’t just there to assist you in the financial aspect, but also helps your business thrive. Maybe now is the best time to consider outsourced bookkeeping services- for a less hassle and wise financial management.

In today’s world, more businesses and companies are growing each day- from financial, marketing or any other industry. As their business grows, more people are finding ways to cut costs to stay in the economy and one of the popular process they do is outsourcing services. But how outsourced CFO services can help your business?

5 Benefits of Outsourced CFO Services for Business

1. Cost savings

The average CFO salary is around $250,000 and for those with small business or just starting, paying a full-time accountant might be next to impossible- that’s why many people are starting to use outsourced CFO services available in Rockville, Maryland. With outsourced services, you don’t need to pay taxes and other compensation benefits for your accounting. This can save you a lot of money without sacrificing the quality of financial work.

2. Accuracy

Worry no more with mistakes in financial documents, outsourced CFO services are there to help you. They are trained professionals who are already experienced in all aspects of accounting, so rest assured that they will process all the financial matters of your business timely and accurately.  

3. Financial Expertise

Outsourced CFO services aren’t just there to crunch the numbers- they also provide financial guidance to your company. As trained financial professionals, they know all the knowledge in accounting and updated to its changes- which you do not have access. They can also educate you on best ways to save money and improvement in overall handling of financial matters in your business.

4. Use of best accounting systems

CFO consultants are also expert when it comes to use of accounting systems– they know processes which can save you money through updated accounting software and other labor practices. Out-of-date accounting processes can cause a negative impact in accuracy and efficiency of your financial management.

5. Security

Most companies, especially the small ones have dealt with fraud, theft and other huge trouble in their financial management due to inaccurate and poor performance of their employees. For outsourced CFO services, these CFO professional will reduce the risk of these dangerous circumstances- they ensure that all of the financial documents and other confidential matters of the company are secured.

There are other benefits you will discover and receive once you decided to hire outsourced CFO services in Rockville, Maryland. With the great competition out there in the marketplace due to constant changes, having a professional and trained CFO will be much more than just assisting you with the numbers and data.

With outsourced CFO services, you can focus more on other aspects of your business like customer service and marketing- without worrying about the financial health of your business.

Taxation is the privy source of revenue most government depend. And with the diversity principle of taxation, understanding what fiduciary task is may help determine the impact and effect of the tax payable.  Fiduciary income tax is a tax type that reports estates trusts and the small business income. With the mushrooming of the real estate business of late, the fiduciary tax base keeps growing and becoming one of the most sources of government income.

Know about Fiduciary Income Tax

Who is a fiduciary?

This is the person responsible for the execution and the administration of fiduciary income for deceased individuals. The fiduciary still holds the assets in trusts. When they need to settle the transactions, the fiduciaries must settle all the responsible tax obligation before the transfer of property to the heirs and trusts. This will mean that they must remit the taxes for earnings which can be done in a lot of the different ways. Some of the forms that will be necessary for the filling of the fiduciary form include the Form 1041 for USA.. However the forms vary depending on the state and country

What is an Estate and A Trust?

With the death of an individual, there will be the creation of the legal entity – estate.  The fiduciary will be assigned to oversee the settlement of all the legal affairs until the time when all the transition tax are remitted and the house is transferred to the rightful heir.

On the other hand, a trust is a legal arrangement that includes the transfer of legal ownership- by a grantor to the trustee who will finally transfer the legal ownership of the property to the beneficiary.

To successfully seal the transfer interested parties should fill the trust document. The document will highlight all the grantor terms which will be subject to a lot of discretion. And estate and trust representative will be required to record and report the fiduciary income to the government.

Reporting of Fiduciary Income To The Government

Fiduciaries will file and report the taxable income to the government. They do so following all the set government taxation principles and it’s the same process just as filling individual tax return, organisation tax return. They, however, fill different forms and their tax filing must be due on time.

How To Set Small Fiduciary Business Trusts?

There are rules and regulations that apply to individuals who want to set up new business trusts. First, the rules ensure that in the whole fiducial process, the beneficiary receives the interest as requested. And the same interest is seamlessly transferred after during the grantor life or at death. There are other tax co-corporation forms that must be filled and will enable the trusts to pass the income and losses to the shareholders for the purpose of taxation

In conclusion, there is more to the fiduciary income tax preparation. There are still a lot of other different parties apart from the government, trusts and fiduciaries that are privy to the whole process.  But I believe you know partially understand what fiduciary tax is.