Tag: business accounting systems

How to Defend Your Deductions

How to Defend Your Deductions

When faced with questions on your tax return deductions, it is getting all too common for tax authorities to deny everything and then make you prove that your deductions are valid. Do not let this happen to you. Here are some suggestions. The one-two punch To prove your deduction most auditors are looking for two key documents. Miss one of…

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The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

There is no magic to making money by investing. It requires discipline, determination, perseverance, and hard work. In deciding what investments are suitable for you, you must first understand the nine basic rules of investing. 1. Risk versus return. The greater the risk that you will lose not only the return on your investment but your original investment as well,…

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Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

It is one thing to be taxed on retirement contributions and their related earnings when you withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA, it is quite another when you pay the tax PLUS a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Need funds prior to retirement and want to avoid the early withdrawal penalty? There are cases when this can be done: Medical…

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How to Protect Your Business from Employee Theft

How to Protect Your Business from Employee Theft

Employee theft happens frequently enough for it to be a concern of every business. It makes no difference whether your business is a one-employee medical office or a forty-employee retail outlet. Absentee business owners should be even more alert to the problem of employee theft. Busy managers find it easy to turn the record keeping over to a qualified employee.…

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Lifestyle Audits. A thing of the past?

Lifestyle Audits. A thing of the past?

The word “audit” is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. If the IRS agent then tells you they want to see bank accounts and personal records you may need a heart monitor. Should this happen to you, you could be in a process known as a lifestyle audit. Background The lifestyle audit was a tool used by auditor’s to ascertain…

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Financial Basics: Buy the Right Insurance

Financial Basics: Buy the Right Insurance

To keep your insurance costs down, don’t buy insurance to pay for every small medical bill, auto repair, or financial loss. Build a savings account to handle life’s small financial inconveniences. Think of insurance as protection against catastrophes. You can lower your insurance premiums significantly by taking larger deductibles. Also, look for comprehensive insurance, not coverage for one specific event.…

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Six Questions Every Family Business Should Answer

Six Questions Every Family Business Should Answer

Tax and business planning is important for the success of any organization, but especially for the family-owned enterprise. Here are some important questions that owners of family businesses need to address. 1. Do you have a plan? Without a plan, your business has no direction and possibly no future. You can be sure your strong competitors have written plans. Write…

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Nine Basic Rules of Building a Nest Egg

Nine Basic Rules of Building a Nest Egg

Building a nest egg to give you a secure financial future doesn’t require a degree in economics, just a degree of common sense. The rules are easy and time-tested, and the smart players always abide by them. 1. It’s never too late or too early to start. Think back five or ten years and say to yourself, “Where would I…

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Cut Taxes With Lifetime Giving

Cut Taxes With Lifetime Giving

If you want certain individuals to receive property from your estate, there may be advantages to making those gifts while you are still alive. Consider these facts about making lifetime gifts: Gifts to spouses. The tax law permits a married individual to make gifts of any amount to a spouse without incurring any gift tax. The value of these gifts is…

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Amended Returns: What You Should Know

Amended Returns: What You Should Know

Out of sight, out of mind. When it comes to old tax returns,that’s an approach many people like to follow. But before you completely forget about your old tax forms, you may wish to consider filing an amended return. Why file an amended return? If you made a mistake on a prior-year tax return, an amended return is the way…

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Where to get money for a growing business

Where to get money for a growing business

The following sequence of events is common to many new and expanding businesses. The Short-Term Squeeze You start your business with a limited amount of capital and an abundance of good ideas and ambition. The sales activity has been adequate to produce a net profit. Your inventory is about twice as large as you intended. Your accounts payable are past…

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Use financial information to increase your business profits

Use financial information to increase your business profits

Most successful business managers use financial statements and other special reports to generate higher profits. If you haven’t been using all the financial tools available to you, here are some ideas to get you started. There is no need to feel intimidated by financial statements. If your company’s record system is properly designed, you should be getting regular financial reports…

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Tax strategies for homeowners

Tax strategies for homeowners

Be aware that important tax consequences are often associated with some fairly common events involving your home. Here are some handy things to know. Home purchase. When purchasing a home, you may pay a portion of the mortgage interest in advance. This loan origination fee, or “points,” is a percentage of the total amount borrowed. If points are paid for…

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Don’t Overlook Valuable Tax Credits

Don’t Overlook Valuable Tax Credits

Tax credits are one of the most powerful ways to lower your income taxes. A tax credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar. A tax deduction, on the other hand, only reduces your taxable income, so your benefit is determined by your tax bracket. For example, a tax deduction of $1,000 will lower your tax bill by $320 if…

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High medical bills? Consider these 3 tips to save…

High medical bills? Consider these 3 tips to save…

With increasingly high costs of medications, doctor visits and hospital stays, remaining healthy has become an expensive proposition. In addition, it seems as though health insurers are passing along more and more costs in the form of higher deductibles, increased premiums and larger co-payments. Out-of-pocket costs for even one hospital stay could break a household budget. Fortunately, you can control…

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Seasonal spender or credit card addict?

Seasonal spender or credit card addict?

It’s not a big surprise if you found yourself reaching for your credit card more often around the holidays. The National Retail Federation projected that consumers would spend an average of $1,007 on gifts, decorations,and candy this season. However, if you’ve noticed your plastic habits don’t fluctuate throughout the year, it could mean you’re living beyond your means … and…

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Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

Want to Minimize Rent and Storage Costs? Consider This

For many small businesses, office rent and inventory storage costs are perceived as fixed. But are such expenses truly inflexible? Oftentimes, no. Because rent and storage costs often constitute a significant portion of a business’s total expense budget, creative owners who find ways to minimize those costs may reap substantial rewards. Consider the following questions when trying to shave some…

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Business Owners: Do You Have a Succession Plan?

Business Owners: Do You Have a Succession Plan?

Succession planning is very important for business owners, especially those with a family-owned business. Before you sit down with your tax and legal advisors to draw up a succession plan, you should think through three important issues: Who: The question of who will succeed you in the business can be the toughest of all. Most owners want to pass the…

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Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Everyone loves a free meal – especially employees. However, your business tax return will be affected differently depending on the circumstances of the mealtime experience.   While you can generally deduct only half the cost of meals related to your business activities, the tax code includes specific exceptions that allow a deduction of 100 percent of what you spend on…

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Tax planning is good for corporations too

If you own a calendar-year corporation, you can benefit from planning moves you make before December 31.  For example, corporations can accelerate or defer income or deductions to stay within a certain tax bracket.  You’ll also want to look at your corporate alternative minimum tax exposure to determine whether you qualify for an exception to the tax.  Finally, reviewing estimated…

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Back to school? Check this tax credit

If you or a member of your family is off to college this fall, you may be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.  Eligible students may take this credit for the first four years of higher education.  The credit can be up to $2500 annually.  Expenses that qualify for the credit include tuition, fees, and related expenses. Forty percent…

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A Quick Recordkeeping Guide

Is your cabinet overflowing?  Do you hesitate to purge tax information because you’re not sure what to keep and what to discard?  Here’s a quick guide to help you cut through the clutter. Expenses.  Substantiation for deductions includes charitable donation acknowledgments, receipts for employee business expenses, and automobile mileage logs.  Retain these at least seven years after you file the…

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Business Tip: Don’t sell property; exchange it

A tax-deferred exchange is a tax planning technique which should be considered by any taxpayer that is relocating or disposing of property.  Often referred to as a “tax-free exchange,” the tax-deferred exchange allows you to exchange certain business or investment property for other “like-kind” business or investment property and pay no income taxes currently.  Your tax liability is deferred until…

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Don’t overlook above-the-line deductions

Even if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return, you may be entitled to certain “above-the-line” deductions.  These deductions are subtracted from your income to arrive at your adjusted gross income, an important number because it determines your qualification for certain tax credits and various tax breaks.  Above-the-line deductions include such things as IRA contributions, health savings account contributions,…

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Summer job tax tip

If your child has a summer job, consider opening an IRA for him or her.  According to the tax rules, anyone under age 70 1/2 who has earned income can contribute to a traditional IRA.  There’s no age restriction for Roth accounts, though the amount of the contribution phases out at higher income levels.  The advantage of a Roth over…

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Midyear tax planning tip

Take time this summer to examine your investment portfolio for potential tax savings, such as selling stocks that are worth less than you paid to offset your capital gains.  You might also donate appreciated stock that you have held for more than one year to charity and avoid capital gains altogether – plus getting a deduction for the stock’s fair…

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Accurate inventory numbers are crucial for your business

For many companies, inventory is a significant dollar amount on the company’s financial statements.  So it’s crucial that recorded inventory balances reflect actual values.  When such accounts aren’t properly stated, the cost of goods sold and current ratios – numbers that often matter to decision makers – may be skewed.  If banks discover that your company’s inventory accounts are overstated,…

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IRS launches new “misclassification initiative”

How you classify your workers – as “independent contractors” or “employees” – matters a great deal to the IRS.  The IRS is aware that employers prefer to treat workers as independent contractors to avoid paying fringe benefits and payroll taxes.  The IRS estimates that 80% of workers who are classified as independent contractors are actually employees.  About 100 new auditors…

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Filing deadline extended in 2016

Next year, taxpayers will get a few extra days to file their 2015 income tax returns.  The District of Columbia will be observing Emancipation Day on April 15, 2016, the usual filing deadline.  Because April 16 and 17 fall on a weekend, the 2016 filing deadline is moved to the next business day which is April 18.  Taxpayers in Maine…

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Public safety heroes law passed

A new law, the “Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act,” was signed on May 22, 2015, to clarify the tax treatment of federal and state benefits for public safety officers killed or injured in the line of duty.  Under the law, such benefits will not be subject to federal income tax.

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Check out the current issue of South Jersey Biz magazine featuring Business Accounting Systems, P.C.

Business Forecast sjbiz jan2015 PDf South Jersey Biz January 2015 Our Vice President, L. Scott Elwell, MST, EA is currently featured in the January, 2015 edition of South Jersey Biz Magazine.  The article features predictions from local industry leaders on what 2015 has in store for the South Jersey business world.  Here is a copy of the article as well as…

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Not all “income” is taxable

There are several sources of revenue that are not subject to income tax. Here are the most common sources of money that are not taxed on your federal income tax return: Borrowed money such as from banks or personal loans. Money received as a gift or inheritance from family or friends. Money paid on your behalf directly to a school…

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Year-End Tax Strategies for Businesses

YEAR-END TAX STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESSES Gift shares of stock to family members who are in a low tax bracket before declaring a dividend, as part of a larger plan to shift ownership of the business to younger family members. The owners of pass-through entities, such as S corporations and partnerships, have the income taxed on their personal tax returns.  The…

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IRS Impostors Phishing for Personal and Financial Information: Report them immediately

It is important to be aware of pop-ups or emails ‘phishing’ for personal information. They are transmitted electronically and done so very easily. You may even receive a text, SMS message or a personal message through social media platforms. These false requests are daily occurrences and are sent in hopes to lure innocent victims into disclosing personal and/or financial information.…

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Professional Payroll Services Simplifies Employee Compensation

Active business owners know that using a professional payroll service is a smart business decision. Busy owners and administrative employees adhere to the valuable benefits a good payroll service can bring to a company’s overall financials. Outsourced payroll services decreases payroll burdens and frees up administrators’ and owner’s time to focus on other important business aspects.

Seek Accountable and Compliant Payroll Services

Knowing what kinds of services to expect out of a payroll company will help in the search for one. 

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