All posts by Loebig Web Team

Wake up and smell the coffee!: Small business accounting services that your accountant has-and you should be using

“Shoot, if I had only known!”

How many times have you said that to yourself. If you had only known that your favorite restaurant had a free dessert Wednesday night or that suit you wanted was half price, yesterday, or that the radio station was giving away tickets to your favorite singer’s concert.

Oh, if only…

It’s a familiar lament but, sometimes, there are second chances to great opportunities. Those opportunities missed are aggravating because you realize that you’ve lost out on something beneficial to your life. However, there is a much more important opportunity that exceeds any dessert, suit or concert ticket. We are speaking of small business accounting, of course.

Your business pays the bills and may even be the main source of income for your employees. It is crucial to your life. Don’t take the accounting and bookkeeping services your accountant has to offer for granted.

As any accountant will tell you, you may understand a lot about bookkeeping, but no one knows everything. Leave that to the professionals.   

So, here is a list of small business accounting services your accountant has and you should be using:

  1. Quickbooks Advice: Quickbooks is always updating, changing and upping its game. It is still the premiere business accounting program. Sometimes, keeping up with those changes can be a chore, if not impossible, during your long work weeks. Your accountant must keep up with the updates as they are probably using it themselves! Utilize their knowledge and expertise on this program and all you have to do is call.
  2. Setting up an Accounting System and Structure: Starting a business is a huge challenge and getting the correct accounting system for your business can be agonizing. There are many choices and many different fees. Do you know which accounting system is best? Most business owners and managers are not accountants plus they have too much on their plate, already. So, contact your accountant. They will analyze your business according to volume of business, number of employees and other factors to help you figure out which accounting system is best for your business. Then, your accountant can help you install it and set it up.
  3. Startup/New Business Consultation: You’ve got a great idea for a new business. You’ve done the research and even chosen a storefront. But, how do you get the financing? Hire employees? Set up payroll? Purchase inventory? Those and many important questions need to be answered. Your accountant can help you make all of these crucial, business startup decisions and get the launch of your dream off right.
  4. Record-keeping techniques: It is imperative that your business keep accurate accounting records. You have to deal with suppliers, employees, vendors, landlords, travel agents, garages, the IRS. That’s no small list of people and agencies who depend on your company to pay them. So, use the best accounting record-keeping methods you can find. Your accountant can advise you on what you can use that will be efficient, affordable and can be used by everyone in your company.
  5. Assistance with registering your company with all the appropriate tax authorities: What is an LLC and should your company be one? Which tax authorities do I register with in Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia? Or, should I register with all three? Do I need any licenses and permits to run my business? All good questions and they need to be answered. Your accountant can help you register, apply for the correct permits and licenses.

Did you know that these are just some of the services that your local accountant can provide for you and your company, no matter what its size or if it hasn’t even opened its doors, yet?! Like most business owners, you probably didn’t know it.

Running a business is hard work. Don’t make it even harder. Contact your accountant and have them be a partner in your success.      

A.K. Burton, PC, which serves the Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, MD area, provides all these services and more. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 for more information or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com.

 

Satire Alert: The IRS is On Its Way or How to Really Mess Up Your 2018 Income Tax Preparation

You have read many blogs and articles, here and elsewhere, that give you steps 1, 2, 3, etc., on how to save money, pay your tax bill, incorporate your business. They all have tried and true advice which you may have used in your business and personal finances.

Blah, blah, blah…

We know that they can all be boring after awhile. So, to break up the boredom of your typical “How-to” finance article, we are going to offer you a satirical,  tongue-in-cheek Guide to Messing Up Your 2018 Income Tax Preparation:

  1. Don’t organize any of your documents: Be sure to pile them in a shoebox, willy nilly, with absolutely no organization whatsoever. Make sure they are ripped, have nothing noted on the receipts and are the wrong year.
  2. Forget to include statements: Credit cards, payroll, expenses. They are so much trouble to print.
  3. Travel expenses mileage: Don’t use mileage records during the taxable year, just make up a mileage number! It’s just fuel after all.
  4. Write all your contractors expenses on a piece of paper: Instead of submitting contractor expense receipts, just use a notepad with amounts on it. No dates or receipts needed. Too much trouble!
  5. Don’t ask for any receipts for donations to non-profit/charitable organizations: Donations are just a nice thing we all do. Sure, you may owe less to the IRS if you accepted them or kept them, but you did it for a good cause. Who needs to brag about it, after all!?
  6. Turn in all your tax documents to your accountant on April 14: Everyone is so persistent in getting the tax filing postmarked by April 15, Tax Day. That is so arbitrary! Besides, your accountant is working 24 hours a day anyway, from January 1 to April 15. They won’t mind one more client bringing their files in at the last minute. They should be happy to be doing your taxes, anyway. It’s job security, right? Be sure your shoe boxes have your last name and phone number on them.
  7. Argue with Your Accountant over their fee: Your accountant is charging that much per hour to add up numbers? Good grief that is highway robbery. All they need is a calculator and number two pencil and they got it made. Make sure they know you can do it better and be late in paying the bill.
  8. Forget to pay the IRS bill: They had the temerity to charge you even more after you have paid them all year from your paychecks!! You’ll show them. Yeah, pay late. That will scare them. Mean old government agency.

Now, do you feel better? Actually, no. This was after all, satirical,  tongue-in-cheek blog not meant to be taken seriously. You should do EVERYTHING OPPOSITE to what you read above.

After all, there are serious legal complications if you fail to comply with the tax laws. The IRS has an ITA (Interactive Tax Assistant) online which can help you with some legal questions you may have.

In fact, the best tax advice, besides doing exactly opposite of 1-8 above, is to contact our A.K. Burton, PC offices in Bethesda, Maryland. Our experienced and licensed tax lawyers and accountants can answer all your questions and also assist you with your income tax filing preparation. We serve clients in the Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland and Northern Virginia region.

How Smart Tax Preparation Can Help You Get A Better Refund in 2018

Everyone is wondering: Now that the new tax laws have passed, will I be paying the IRS more or less in 2018?

My answer to that question is this: I have no Idea. It’s impossible to know or to even contemplate. Even with the new tax laws, everyone’s tax return situation is different. You may get more money back this year or you may pay even more money this year.

Yes, it’s complicated.

This year is done. But you can prepare for next year.

Of course, it all starts with your documentation and preparation. Here are Smart Ways Your Tax Preparation Can Improve Your Refund in 2018:

  1. Reconsider how you file: Do you always file jointly if you’re married? That is always the best way, right? Actually, no it isn’t. Don’t do the “auto-reply” on your filing. Married-filing-jointly is not always the best way. If you do married-filing-separately instead, you may get a larger return. AGI or Adjusted Gross Income determines if some deductions can be used for medical and certain other expenses. Filing separately may gives each spouse a lower AGI. So, don’t automatically file jointly. Do both jointly and separately if there are a fair number of medical expenses and COBRA payments.
  2. IRA Contributions: You can still take out an IRA contribution up until April 15thfor the previous You can then claim it on your return by filing early and then claiming the credit on your return. You can file early and use your tax refund to open the traditional IRA account. Just remember that it will reduce your income and you must be at least 50 years old. (Check the IRS guidelines on IRAs for detailed rules.)
  3. It’s all in the timing: There is an old saying from the famous golfer, Arnold Palmer that “Timing is everything, in life and golf.” It’s everything in tax filing with the IRS, too. If you pay your mortgage payment by December 31, you improve your chances of getting a larger refund. Also, schedule medical appointments by the end of the year and pay those bills before January 1, too. Keep in mind that your mortgage payments and medical expenses are still deductible expenses. They will certainly increase your refund.

These are just three basic but crucial ways to increase your refund in 2018 and beyond. However, it all starts now. Our best thought on this topic: See your licensed accountant or tax adviser. They can give you the best advice based on experience and knowledge of tax laws.

A.K. Burton, PC, which serves the Washington,D.C. and Bethesda, Md area, has experienced and licensed individual tax advisers who can help you with any questions you have on the new tax laws and how you should file. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 for more information or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com.