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March 16 is Coming: Taxes for S Corps and Partnerships

By the time you read this blog, Monday, March 16, 2020, will be even closer! No, this is isn’t “Mr. Obvious” talking here. It’s your business tax advisor sending you a notice to get on it to avoid IRS fees and penalties. 

Why is this date so important? If you own an S Corp or a Partnership, your taxes are due at that time. (Normally it is March 15 but that is a Sunday so it was moved to Monday.)  

Here are the business tax returns and their due dates: 

  1. S corporation returns must be filed on Form 1120S with Schedule K-1 for each member: March 16, 2020. 
  2. Partnership returns file a partnership tax return on Form 1065 with Schedule K-1 for each partner: March 16, 2020.
  3. Multiple-member LLC returns filing as partnerships file on Form 1065 for the partnership and give Schedule K-1 to each member: March 16, 2020.

So, be proactive and take action now. Here are six things you need to send to your tax advisor so they can file it on time for you:

  1. Year-end bank/credit card statements: Compile all of your bank and credit card statements. These should show all of your purchases and monthly statements.  
  2. Payroll tax reports: IRS Form 941 is used to report the federal income tax, Medicare and Social Security amounts you withheld from your employees’ paychecks. Also, report your portion of Medicare and Social Security on this form. Employers are responsible for making federal unemployment tax contributions. You will pay taxes on the first $7,000 earned by each employee. Employees are not allowed to contribute to your unemployment tax liability, so you cannot deduct the tax from their wages. It is filed on Form 940. 
  3. QuickBooks (or other copy of your books) copy if you have one: A copy of all your business bookkeeping. If it is Quickbooks, you send a copy of the bookkeeping records to your small business accountant.  
  4. Last year’s business return (new preparer only): If you have a new accountant, you need to include a copy of last year’s tax return. This will save, and your bookkeeper, a lot of time. You may be spared phone calls and emails from them as they can use it as a template for this year’s return.  
  5. Vehicle mileage (total & business): Submit all of your vehicle business mileage. Include business mileage and total mileage. (You may want to use an app to record all of your business mileage.)***   
  6. Details on large business purchases: Did you purchase a vehicle for your business? (truck, car, motorcycle, etc.) You may have purchased smartphones, copiers, printers, computers, cameras, etc. Any large business purchases need to be reported.   

You have enough time to get these records to your tax advisor for them to complete the forms and file them with the IRS. Please don’t delay. It will save you time, money and a phone call from the IRS, which nobody wants. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors who can advise, complete and file all of your business tax returns by March 16. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville and Montgomery County. MD area.

***A list of business mileage apps can be found here

Tax Preparation Time: Getting Ready to File Your 2019 Tax Returns

We are only a few weeks into 2020. You haven’t even had time to pack away the Christmas tree, yet. 

January seems too early to be thinking about anything other than just trying to get into the routine of work again. 

However, now is the time to get ready to file your 2019 tax returns. As those tax documents start showing up, pop them into your 2019 tax return file to send to your preparer. You haven’t seen anything yet, and still thinking it’s too soon? Well, the IRS has announced that they are going to open filing for individual 2019 tax returns on January 27, 2020!***  

Here are some ways you can prepare to file your 2019 tax returns now:

  1. Electric Organizers: Instead of filling out your organizer by hand, your tax preparer has probably sent you an electronic organizer. Do your best to fill it in. The organizer will give you a good idea of what documents you need to send to your tax preparer. Still not sure what to do? Use the notes space in the organizer to alert your tax preparer to any questions or concerns you have. If there’s not enough space, send a quick email or call your preparer to get your questions answered. 
  2. EDocuments: Remember the old days of bringing all your tax documents to your accountant in a thick Manila folder? Those went out with floppy discs and ripped-knee jeans. Now, you can scan all your documents then upload them using a secure link that your accountant has sent you. Make sure to keep a copy of your scanned documents for your file. It will save you time and make filing easier. Not sure which documents to send? Send your W2,1099, and 1098 forms to start. 
  3. Remember to send form 1095 – showing 2019 health insurance coverage: This tax form declares the type of health insurance coverage that you have, the period covered and the number of dependents that are covered. (If it is a health plan paid by your employer, it would have the company name and name of the employee.)
  4. Mileage expenses: If you used your vehicle for business and have recorded the miles used for work, submit the total mileage and your business mileage for the year. 
  5. Business use of the home: If you have a home office, with square footage exclusively used for your business, disclose the total amount of square feet in your home and the square footage of your home office. Be sure to disclose to your preparer expenses used to run your home such as utilities, insurance, security, and/or repairs and maintenance items. 
  6. Charitable contributions: Include an itemized schedule of all your donations to deductible charitable organizations. Any donation of $250+ must have a receipt from the receiving charity to be deductible. 
  7. Your 2018 Tax Return: If this is the first time you have worked with this tax preparer, bring or electronically send last year’s tax return. Your tax preparer will use it when completing this year’s tax return. 

Now is the time to prepare for your 2019 taxes. As you receive your tax documents, put them aside. Fill in your electronic organizer. When you’re ready, send your completed organizer and scanned documents to your tax preparer. Please remember to keep copies of your 2019 documents for your records.

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax preparers who prepare and file personal and business tax returns. Our friendly and efficient tax preparation staff can file your taxes and represent you to the IRS, District or state. Call (301) 365-1974 for an appointment. ***See the IRS 2019 Tax Filing information here.

Five Reasons to Hire a Financial Advisor in 2020

2020 is almost here and you have a million things that you plan to do in the New Year. From starting a new business to getting out of debt to buying a car to sending a child to college, you and your family have plans. 

Then, there are plans that may happen whether you plan them or not: employment change, aging, inheritance, and other events out of your control. So, let’s talk about how these life events give you reasons to hire a financial advisor in 2020:

  1. Inheritance: The unfortunate death of a family member may bring an inheritance. That money and/or property may be substantial. You may have questions on whether it should be invested, taxes owed, (if any), or how it should be distributed or sold. An inheritance can be both a blessing and a burden. Your financial and tax advisor can advise you on using the inheritance to pay down debts, invest in IRAs or other investment vehicles, and other ways to work toward achieving personal and business investment goals. 
  2. Family planning: On the reverse, you may be planning to have children or there may be a pregnancy now. How do you financially plan for that? A child may cost around $234,000*** to raise during their eighteen years at home. Then there is college! Your financial advisor can give you guidance on how to save money for that child, even before they are born, and how that money can be used for a college education years later. Your tax advisor can discuss any tax benefits from these decisions.  
  3. Retirement: Many people hope to retire and enjoy their later years. Some people reach retirement age (65-70) and cannot stop working for financial reasons. However, even if you are in middle-age, it’s not too late to plan now. Your financial advisor can help you make smart retirement investments and plan your social security and estate. 
  4. Remarriage or divorce: Getting remarried or divorced brings on new life challenges. Do you and your new spouse have investments to cover your goals? Do you need to plan a new financial and investment strategy? How do you plan to pay your taxes in the coming years? How do you file your taxes in the coming years? Do you have a plan for Medicare and social security? If you divorce, how do you plan to pay child support or use child support? There are several crucial areas that a financial and tax advisor can direct you to make wise decisions.
  5. Selling or buying a home: You may be planning to purchase a bigger home or a smaller home based on your family needs (full nest or empty nest). How much do you need for a down payment? How much can you afford to pay as a mortgage payment? If you are selling, how much should you use to buy a new home from that sale? Will the gain from the sale of your home be taxable? A tax advisor can help you make the best decision for you.   

A New Year is a “clean slate” in some ways. The new year gives you the opportunity to make major financial decisions you didn’t make or were unable to make in 2019. Consult your financial advisor and let them guide you toward smart investing for now and the future. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors on staff who can help you plan for the tax consequences of these important financial decisions. Don’t wait. If you have a big life change, it’s time to reach out and call (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville and Montgomery County. MD area. ***See the report here.

Plan on Estate Planning in 2020

Next year is almost here. In just a few weeks, 2020 will arrive. Are you ready?

Yes, it is an election year. It is a leap year. It is a new year to plan and move ahead with those plans. 

Should it also be your “Estate Planning Year”? Yes. As hard as it may be to think about, let alone talk about dying and what happens with all our stuff when that happens… it is a fact of life. 

So, while we have covered the topic of estate planning in other blogs, it is a subject that is worth revisiting. As this year winds down, you can act now to plan for your estate and help protect your family and loved ones. 

As you sit down with your trusted financial and estate planning advisor, keep these five points in mind:

  1. Life Insurance: There was a popular radio commercial about life insurance many years ago that said “Life insurance isn’t for the deceased. It’s for the living!” It seemed like a trite, non-sensical statement but it is so true. Life insurance is primarily used to protect a loved one from loss of income when the spouse or family member dies. Life insurance is a tax-free income that the beneficiary may use for income and expenses. If you’re not sure where to begin with life insurance policies, go to www.consumersadvocate.org/life-insurance/ for the latest reviews.      
  2. Beneficiary Designations: Life insurance, 401(k)s, IRAs and personal property all will be owned by someone upon the owner’s death. So, designate beneficiaries for all of these items. Review and update those beneficiaries every few years. Backup beneficiaries can also be named should the first beneficiary pass away.
  3. Charitable giving: Non-profit organizations receive billions of dollars each year from the generous giving of estates. Legacy giving is popular for churches, temples, alma maters, non-profits, civic groups and other legally designated 501 ( c ) 3  organizations. You can also discuss with your financial advisor the advantages of setting up a CRAT (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust). 
  4. Form a Trust: Discuss with your estate planning advisor revocable or irrevocable trusts. Discuss your wants and needs and find out if one of these options matches your goals for estate planning.                             
  5. Reduce debt load: Pay off your debts! It is that simple. Your estate may end up paying those debts off which means leaving less for your heirs. Begin now at paying off credit cards, liens, and loans. 

Why work on estate planning now when there’s always tomorrow? It’s a lot of work! Truth is, making an appointment to start the estate planning process, making a plan, and then working towards that plan will set you and your family up for success! Don’t wait, act now. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has an experienced estate planning advisor and attorney on our staff who can help you do it all. We can begin now and take you through the entire process, professionally and compassionately. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 to schedule a consultation. Our accounting firm serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County, Maryland areas.    

Financial Advisor: Five Year-End Retirement Planning Strategies

This is the time of the year when most people are thinking of the holidays and what presents they may be buying for their friends and family. Few people are thinking about retirement planning and that is understandable. Amidst all the turkey, football and naps, you are tempted to take time off from all the work hubbub. 

Yet, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are the perfect times to begin retirement planning. The business year is ending. The tax year is ending. If there was a time to start a retirement investment portfolio, it’s now!

So, here a few retirement planning strategies your financial advisor may tell you:

  1. Charitable contributions: At this time of year, donations to non-profits are at a yearly high. People feel driven to donate to causes such as homeless shelters, food banks, disease research, and other charitable organizations. So, they can do a QCD or Qualified Charitable Distribution. It is complicated but basically works like this: People with IRAs subject to a required minimum distribution have not yet taken it for the year, they can then use the qualified charitable distribution (QCD) provision. Thus, they can make their contributions directly from their IRA. It is then counted toward the RMD and be excluded from income. Thus it creates a tax deduction in addition to the standard deduction. It applies only to IRAs, not to plans, and only IRA owners or beneficiaries who are at least 701/2 qualify. Donor-advised funds and private foundations are not eligible. No gifts can be accepted, either. This must be done by December 31, 2019. 
  2. Roth IRA Conversions: Since 2018, conversions cannot be reversed. Now, they are permanent and the tax is due after funds are converted. Roth conversions qualify for this year if the funds are converted from the IRA or plan by year’s end. There are a lot of things to keep in mind here such as Social Security taxability, Medicare Part B/D premium increases, financial aid and other considerations. Please consult with your financial advisor on this strategy. 
  3. Split inherited IRAs by December 31: If the owner of the IRA died last year and had a number of named beneficiaries, those beneficiaries can use their life expectancy for calculating required minimum distributions. The IRAs are split into separate shares before the year is over following the IRA owner’s death. 
  4. Pay off debt: If you can pay more on your mortgage payments and pay it off early, you can then pay more money into your IRA. Pay off credit cards, car loans, and balloon loans. 
  5. Plan where you will live when you retire: Every state is ranked on which is best or worst to retire in. You choose where you want to live and then calculate how much you will need to retire and begin investing now to do that. There are a number of websites such as www.moneywise.com which rank the states as to which is most retirement-friendly and how much income you need to make to live “comfortably.” 

There are a number of other financial moves you can make before the end of the year. So, the best step to take? Consult your financial advisor. They can help you to make the smart moves NOW, before the holidays and the year-end. 

Enjoy time with your family and friends. Those memories are priceless. But, retirement isn’t. So, call your financial advisor today and take those first or additional steps that will make your retirement better and smarter. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced financial advisors who can advise you on retirement planning, no matter what your occupation or age. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our accounting firm serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County, Maryland areas.   

Financial Advisor: Small Business Tax Planning for Fall 2019

Fall is only weeks away. Summer is basically done

So, what does that mean for you, the small business owner? Well, you can begin making moves that will positively affect your 2019 IRS tax bill. The IRS has made many changes recently that many small business owners may not be aware of or use.  

Here are some ways you can start your small business tax planning that most financial advisors would endorse as we move into the fall season:

  1. Start your 401 (k) now: In 2019, small business owners can deduct up to $51,000 with matching. In other words, you can use $18,000 as a deferral before matching and $5,500 for employees 50 years and older. (Check with your payroll officer or business accountant before taking this measure.)
  2. Buy a business vehicle: Small businesses can purchase a truck or any vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds or more. This year, businesses can deduct up to $25,000 depending on the business use percentage and cost of the vehicle. 
  3. Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA: Your traditional IRA is not giving you all the benefits. Instead, convert your IRA to Roth. You will pay taxes at a lower rate and avoid paying takes on future withdrawals. Check with your accountant or financial advisor before changing over. You must do it by December 31, 2019. 
  4. Add your children and spouse to the payroll: A forgotten-sometimes abused-way of saving money is by bringing your spouse and children onto the payroll for doing real work for the business. Pay them through a sole-proprietorship or single-member LLC. If children are under 18 years old, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. Additionally, the child can use a standard deduction of $6,300 against any income you pay, as its earned income and so no income taxes! However, if it’s an S-/C-corporation, the IRS requires that you withhold FICA from all employees on the payroll. (Again, check with your small business accountant for details and guidelines.) Office cleaning, filing, shredding, driving to errands, etc., are jobs both children and spouse can do for you. 
  5. Set your payroll amount: By December 31, all S-Corporation owners or newly elected LLC S-Corps must complete their payroll. The fourth quarter is coming and it may draw an IRS audit but you may want to lower it or increase it based on the net business income. 
  6. Close on the rental property: Your rental property may be costing you write-offs now as laws have changed. Check with your accountant to see if the real estate professional classification has changed. 
  7. Make your LLC an S-election: Done in December, if you’ve paid a high amount of self-employment tax and had an LLC, you can elect to be taxed as an S-corporation, retroactively, to January 1, 2019. The application is easy and does not cost a lot. Be sure to do the payroll and take some payroll for yourself. 

There are a number of other tax strategy steps you can take. Please consult an experienced small business tax accountant before you do. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced small business financial advisors who can assist you and represent you before the IRS and even do your payroll. Call us at (301) 365-1974 or email info@cpa-maryland.com. A.K. Burton, PC serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County areas.

Ask a Financial Advisor: Should You Do Your Startup Business Now?

We have all seen the headlines: “Best economy in fifty years!” 

We’ve also seen the story about the person who lost their job and said they weren’t going to work for “the man” anymore. So, they started their own business and now are multi-millionaires! 

Great economy. 

Wealthy entrepreneur. 

There are plenty of success stories. There are also plenty of failures. Starting a business is a risky venture which can make or break an individual and their investors. It should be done carefully and with research. 

Before you hand in your two-week notice, pack your office and take out a loan to start your new business, it is important, from a financial advisor’s view, to consider these factors:

  1. Starting a new business by yourself is almost impossible: You will not be able to do it all on your own. You may need a business coach to help you prepare. You may need the advice of a financial advisor to set up a budget. You may need an accountant to do your bookkeeping. You may need an admin assistant to take phone calls and do your records. You may also need to create a team of subcontractors. In other words: You will need a support system. 
  2. Start-up is a way to not make money for a while (i.e. years): If you had planned to replace your income during your startup time period, you will be disappointed. Many new entrepreneurs go without paying themselves for years, sometimes five years or more until the business begins to pay. Most income goes into paying for rent, utilities, equipment, Wifi, fees, and payroll. You may need to keep your present job just to pay the bills or depend on your spouse, family or investors to pay your personal expenses. It may pay off eventually but, in the meantime, you may live a Spartan lifestyle. 
  3. Take care of your mental and physical health: We’ve heard the horror stories of doing 20-hour workdays and working seven days a week. That cannot last long. The body and mind will shut down. A new startup will require long hours but doing a ridiculous schedule will only burn the new entrepreneur out. Share your difficult times with your spouse, family, church/temple or networking group. Get 6-8 hours of regular sleep, eat three meals a day, exercise fifteen minutes a day, reduce alcohol consumption and dependence on drugs to keep you going. Finally, practice humility. You cannot work all day, every day. You won’t survive. Put your mental and physical health first. 
  4. Be comfortable with change: Life is all about adapting to change and leading a startup can be quite chaotic. Be ready to accept changes, some big (moving the business to a new storefront) and some small (changing copiers). Change may also signify success. Embrace it and roll with it. Most changes are not negative, even if they take a while to adapt. 
  5. No job is too low or too dirty: Running your own business, at first, may mean cleaning your bathroom, emptying your trash, mopping the floor, dusting the desk and doing the inventory. You are part of a team and that means not being afraid to get your hands dirty. 
  6. Keep a tight watch on your finances: As a financial advisor, I have seen startups that have been disciplined in their spending and others that have become debt-ridden as expenses got out of control. Either hire an experienced bookkeeper to watch every expense or have someone on the company keep tabs on expenses. Most business failures come from out of control spending that is not paid for by income. Debt is part of doing a startup but it can send businesses crashing to the ground, too, never to return. Bottom line: watch every penny and be disciplined in spending.   

After reading the above, you may still be asking: Should I start my own business? You have to make that decision on your own after getting seasoned and smart advice. If you can handle all that we talked about, you may be ready to start your own business. 

A.K. Burton, PC, works with small businesses and entrepreneurs every day. Our experienced legal and financial advisors can help you with planning, budgeting, and payroll.  Contact our friendly and experienced staff at (301) 365-1974 or email info@cpa-maryland.com. A.K. Burton, PC serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County areas. 

How QuickBooks Can Change Your Small Business Accounting

Online accounting has been around awhile. In fact, most accounting is done online now in a cryptic, password-protected program.  

 One of the most popular programs is Quickbooks. It is used by millions of subscribers for business, small and big. Quickbooks accounting programs have led the way in innovative bookkeeping and easy functionality. 

 If you are feeling overwhelmed trying to organize your books, consider using Quickbooks. Here are some ways Quickbooks can change your small business accounting:

1.    Invoicing: You can create and send your own invoices. You can now increase your cash flow and decrease your accounts receivable.

2.    Cash flow control: By keeping your Quickbooks file updated, you can use it then to manage your cash flow. You have to enter your financial transactions regularly and do daily reconciliations. It is done by sorting the Quickbooks bank accounts by sing cleared status.

3.    Manage employee time: On the home screen, employee time can be entered (either a single time event or a weekly timesheet). This tracking system measures employee productivity. 

4.     Memorized Transactions: Regular transactions can be automatically entered on a regular basis. Quickbooks memorized transactions may include invoices, bills, journal entries, and payments.  Thus, your accounting should be much more efficient. 

5.    Accept Online Payments – The “Intuit payment network services” allows customers to pay your invoices online. It costs only $0.50 per transaction with no percentage of the invoice being charged as a fee.  

6.    Payroll Management – Payroll can be processed directly in QuickBooks. Your outsourced payroll can be recorded directly in Quickbooks. All payroll companies can import your outsourced payroll data into QuickBooks.  

7.    Financial Reporting: Small business financial reporting is a critical part of your small business bookkeeping.  

8.    Email Invoices and Statements – All of your small business invoices and statements can be emailed directly from Quickbooks. It reduces the time it takes for your customers to pay you. 

9.    Accounting questions listed: There may be some transactions that you may not know how to handle and could keep you from reconciling and closing out your financials.  The “Quickbooks Ask My Accountant” code on your chart of accounts lets you enter the transaction in question then reconcile all of them while keeping your questions organized in one spot.  

Quickbooks can become an essential part of your small business accounting and bookkeeping. The software can help organize your business and centralize multiple business functions. However, just understanding where to begin with Quickbooks can seem impossible. At A.K. Burton, PC we use QuickBooks as a tool to help our small business clients manage their businesses. If you don’t know where to begin with your small business accounting, we are here to help. We specialize in small business accounting services. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has Quickbooks accountants experts on staff who can help you set up and use this exciting accounting program for your business. Contact our friendly and experienced staff at (301) 365-1974 or email info@cpa-maryland.com. A.K. Burton, PC serves the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County areas.

Financial Advisor 101: Vacation Budgeting

It’s almost summer but vacation season really begins now: Memorial Day Weekend.

The grills come out. The bags are packed. The beach hotels are full. The gas tank is filled. Everyone is in vacation mode. The next three months will have millions of Americans spending billions of dollars taking time away from work.

Speaking of billions of dollars, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on your vacation if you plan it right. In fact, using tried and true methods, you can budget your time away and have it paid off, even before you leave.

Here are some financial tips to save on your vacation:

  1. Get a Travel Card from your bank: Every major bank has a card that you can use for vacation. You can transfer funds to it and take it with you. If it is lost or stolen, you just report it and it will be canceled. You won’t lose money. Plus, it keeps you honest. If you have $1,000 on it, you will try to keep within that number when vacationing.
  2. Stay at a vacation rental of Air BNB: Hotels typically hike their rates during the summer so you could spend $250-$450 a night at a resort or middle-class hotel, depending on the location. That means you could spend upwards of $1,500 for six nights at a hotel. That could be a budget buster. Instead, load the VRBO app at www.vrbo.com. Using this app, you can find vacation rentals which are in people’s homes and spend, instead, around $75 per night. A huge difference in savings!    
  3. Flight prediction apps: We all know there are better and cheaper days and times to fly. (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, typically.) You could spend $850 on a roundtrip flight to San Francisco that leaves on Friday or save money and leave on a Tuesday but spend only $375. Load the Hopper app (www.hopper.com) to your smartphone and save. This flight prediction app gives you the best days and times to fly. It also tells you when flight fees go up or down. Once you see the cheapest ticket, you buy it. It is simple and saves you a lot of time, too.
  4. Eat where the locals eat: Of course the tourist trap restaurants will be pricy. They have a captive audience who is looking for convenience. Instead, find out where the locals eat. Go to Yelp (www.yelp.com) and Chowhound (www.chowhound.com) to see the restaurants locals like. Also, ask for recommendations from people you meet.
  5. Meet with your financial advisor before you leave: Your licensed and experienced financial advisor can help you budget and also make money-saving recommendations.

Here at A.K. Burton, PC we wish you a summer vacation for the books! Contact us at (301) 365-1974 or info@cpa-maryland.com. We serve the Bethesda, MD area.    

Tax Preparation 2020: No Time Like Now to Make next Year’s Returns Easier

Tax Season 2019 is over.

Yay!! Taxes are filed! Time to party and enjoy life until next April, right?

Wrong.

Well, yes, you could procrastinate doing your tax preparation like millions of other Americans. Out of sight, out of mind. That works for some folks, but not for others. Often, that means delaying the inevitable. You hope that the mistakes you made on your returns will not be repeated next year.

tax returns AK Burton

There is a better way. Here at A.K. Burton, PC, we specialize in helping our clients tax plan. Even if it seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, we are here to help you. We can help prepare now, this year, to get your tax plan in order and get ahead of the game. Here are several ways you can prepare for next year’s tax return now:

  1. Plan your tax write-offs: You have old equipment (mowers, tractors, espresso-makers, computers, cars, etc.) that needs to be replaced. Now is the time to plan on purchasing that equipment to use in your business. However, before you purchase the new equipment that is high-dollar, check with your financial adviser on the tax benefits of the items.
  2. Set up estimated tax payments: When you filed your 2018 taxes this year, your accountant may have advised you to begin paying your estimated tax bill for 2019, now. Depending on your 2019 projected income and withholdings, your accountant may give you estimates for federal, state, and local taxes. Pay attention to your payment options.  For a federal estimated payment, you can register and pay online at www.EFTPS.gov or you may have the option of sending payments by direct mail. You may be advised to pay monthly or quarterly. Paying ahead and lessening your burden (or erasing it altogether) by April 15, 2020, is a guaranteed way to get ahead. If you need to generate estimated payments for 2019, AK Burton PC provides this service.
  3. Make changes to your withholding: If you had a child, got married, got divorced, adopted a child, purchased a home, or made other life changes, you may need to adjust your withholdings from your pay. If so, file a new W-4 with your employer. Many of our clients seek our advice on this topic. Choosing the wrong number of allowances can lead to an unwanted surprise when filing your taxes.
  4. Give more to your 401k: You may not be working all your life. You may have plans to retire one day. If so, then put more money into your company or private 401k account. You can contribute up to $19,000 each year now, excluding catch-up contributions. If you’re interested in maximizing your retirement and minimizing your tax liability, A.K. Burton, PC is here to help you.
  5. Re-examine your business structure: “Business as usual” is not always a smart strategy. Becoming an LLC, S or C Corporation may be an upgrade that you need. Check with your tax adviser for the designations which may benefit your tax strategy. At AK Burton, PC we take the time to understand our small business clients and maximize tax strategies such as restructuring.
  6. Stop procrastinating! Whether your business has just begun or has been around for several years, there are evolving tax strategies to consider. Stop procrastinating and make the changes now. It takes time, and you may have to make some adjustments. But in the long term, it will be worth it for you, your business, your clients, and your family.

Here at A.K. Burton, PC we specialize in tax planning and strategies. We provide the services that our clients need in an ever-evolving work and regulatory environment. It is our mission to use our expertise to help our clients achieve the best results possible for their unique circumstances.  Today is the day to begin that strategy. Contact one of our tax advisers at (301) 365-1974 or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com. We serve the Bethesda, MD and the Washington, D.C. area.