Tag Archives: financial advisor Washington DC

Tax Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

It’s the middle of May 2020, when spring is ending and summer is just around the corner. We’re looking forward to Memorial Day and the warmer weather. Unlike last year, we are in the middle of the COVID-19/Coronavirus Crisis in the DMV/Beltway area. The pandemic has put a kink in our summer plans as well as our tax plans. 

Our new normal is where some businesses are closed. Quarantines are still in place. The streets and parks are quiet. Life, as we know it, has been put on hold until the government issues new guidelines. It is only speculation as to when life will resume with the same kind of normalcy before the pandemic gripped our country. How can we possibly plan ahead in an uncertain world, let alone a tax plan?

At A.K. Burton PC, we are still open for business. We are available by phone and execute our work virtually and remotely. We are working to help our clients during this unprecedented global pandemic. Our clients are our first priority. Even though the pandemic has turned our lives upside-down here’s a friendly reminder of some tax planning strategies:  

  1. Health Insurance: If you’ve had a major change in income for 2020, and you have your health insurance coverage through the marketplace; update your income information. It may lower your monthly premiums. If you have had a major life change such as losing your job, you may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” and be able to enroll in health insurance coverage through the marketplace at healthcare.gov. 
  2. Home office deduction: Since the COVID-19 epidemic, you may have needed to work from home. Depending on the method your income is earned you may or may not qualify for business use of home deduction on your 2020 tax return. If you do qualify for a deduction, your office must be the square footage in your home that is EXCLUSIVELY used for business. It can not be the sofa where you watch TV or your bed where you sleep at night. Keep track of expenses for your home including electricity, WiFi, water, and phone expenses. Keep track of any office supplies such as printer ink or computer paper. 
  3. Capital gains/ losses: Keep records of your trades and holdings in stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. Save all of your trade data so you can report all reportable transactions accurately. 
  4. Online software for business: In order to do business from home, you may have had to purchase or rent certain software. This may include subscriptions to Zoom or other pertinent software programs. Keep accurate records of these receipts. 

A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax advisors who can assist you in this unprecedented time. We are here for our clients working to file their tax returns. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a phone consultation. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.    

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.

Why Hire a Financial Advisor?

We all try to do things on our own and, sometimes, we accomplish what we want to do.

After all, the internet is a limitless vault of information. You can find out how to self-treat a medical condition, cook a complicated meal or teach a difficult concept to your children. The resources we have now were not even a dream barely a decade ago.

man with his head in his hand - purple effect

However, even the internet has its limits. You can’t do surgery or play outdoors or hug your spouse through the internet. Thankfully, we still need other humans for certain activity.

It is also that way with financial advice. You can look up any financial advice you want on the internet, join a financial Facebook group or subscribe to a newsletter. They may help you with current trends or personal experiences, yet, they cannot give you full, unbiased advice that you need for your financial situation.

In fact, they may even give you the wrong advice which could cost you dearly.

Furthermore, financial advisors are not that expensive. According to www.NerdWallet.com, the average financial advisor costs between $1,000 and $3,000. That is a paltry amount compared to the losses you could experience.

Sometimes, you need to meet with someone who can analyze your finances, hear your goals and give you a plan for the present and future. Here are three reasons you should consult an experienced financial advisor:

  1. Your financial future is too important: The market place has seen enormous highs and lows in the past ten years. The United States economy went through a long, damaging recession. People who had their investments in trendy products lost thousands even millions of dollars. Also, people who didn’t plan for a downturn at all suffered greatly and may still be recovering. We see clients who may have invested based on what they heard about on television or read on an internet forum or website. Unfortunately, their finances were damaged deeply. You and your family can be protected by realizing that investing, budgeting and accounting, whether personal or business, need the advice of a trained and experienced financial counselor. Smart financial decisions made now may positively affect you and your family or business for years to come.
  2. An impartial third party is needed: Sometimes when we are deep into something we don’t see potential issues or future problems. It’s like the old cliché: “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Finances are a common example of partiality. You have a spending routine which seems normal but when examined by a financial advisor, it could be costing you, dearly. An impartial, experienced financial advisor will spot the excesses, missteps, and dangers ahead for you and steer you in the best direction. If you’re lucky, you may get affirmation that you are also doing some things right. The bottom line is this: We all need direction and a financial advisor works with you to make a plan that’s best for you.
  3. Dealing with money is a pain: “I hate dealing with money and I need you to do it for me!” That is a popular refrain from clients. Payroll, budgets, taxes, accounting, bookkeeping, inventory…the list seems endless and to many, too time-taking and tedious to do on a regular basis. They become frustrated and angered from dealing with it. A financial advisor can either recommend an accountant or they may have a license to do it for you. If you have a busy life and have no desire to do it, hire a financial advisor to do it for you. They love this stuff and can take it off your hands.

Your investments today power your future tomorrow. How do you know what’s the best investment for you and your family? A licensed, experienced financial advisor can give you professional advice based on your unique finances. If you haven’t hired one, now is the time. Your family’s economic future is too important.

The financial advisors at A. K. Burton, PC of Bethesda, Maryland, can help your family and your business make smart financial decisions. We will listen and work with you. Call for an appointment at (301) 365-1974 or email us at info@cpamaryland.com.  

Your Financial Advisor: Seven Reasons to be Thankful

Thanksgiving is almost here. You’ve invited family, friends, and in-laws. The food is ready to go and it’s holiday time!

There are many reasons to be thankful: for good health, better employment, a new addition to the family, or just knowing you have made it through another year with challenges. You’re making it! Whether it’s been a great year or terrible year, we can always reflect on our lives and find something in which to be thankful.

financial advisor 3 AK Burton

During the holiday season, we are all so busy wrapped up in what we’ve got going on that we overlook many of the more subtle reasons to be thankful. Let’s take a moment and be thankful for the accountant or financial advisor for your business. Here are seven reasons be thankful:

  1. Help in setting up your business: Financial advisors are experts in small business start-ups. They have the knowledge and experience in applying for LLCs (or other legal designations), creating a business plan and giving budgeting advice.
  2. Small business regulation: No business owner wants to deal with federal, state and local regulations. They are time killers and extremely frustrating. Financial advisors can update you on current regulations, labor laws and OSHA requirements. Small business accountants can relieve you of the burdens of regulatory research. You will get the list and advice on any and all regulations affecting your small business.
  3. Auditing your business: Speaking of burdens, keeping track of your income and expenses can also be agonizing. You’d rather read “War and Peace” than personally audit your business books. It’s a common feeling and understandable. Accountants bring an unbiased eye to your books. They can audit them and give you a concise report. Plus they can help you head off any accounting dangers at the pass by correcting issues and getting you on the right track.
  4. Tax savings: The IRS is constantly changing tax laws. It can be confounding, even for accountants! However, it’s our job to be on top of all changes and to apply those changes to your tax returns. Financial advisors not only know the current tax laws, but they help you legally reduce your tax bill. They may be able to save you thousands of dollars. But even if it’s a few dollars, at least you aren’t paying it to the government! That is a win no matter how much you save.
  5. Correct tax payments: Taxes. They are a pain but they have to be paid. You want to make sure you pay the right amount on time. Whether you’re self-employed or unsure if you’ve withheld enough from your paycheck, we’ve got you covered. At A.K. Burton PC, our accountants review all your pertinent information and create estimated tax payments. These estimates tell you how much to pay and when.
  6. Offload the work: Any smart business owner who has employees or subcontractors, has to offload work in order to make money and accomplish business goals. You can’t do it all yourself. Hiring accountant who specializes on your business’ financial side, gives you time to focus on all the other tasks you can never seem to get to.
  7. Buying or selling your business: You may be investigating the purchase or merger of another business. It may take your business to the next level. There are many financial aspects to consider. Your financial advisor can take you through each step and work with your attorney in buying or merging the business.

Running a successful small business is both a joy and a pain. Our financial advisors at A.K. Burton, PC can eliminate some of that pain by meeting all of your small business needs. And for that, you can be thankful. This holiday season at A.K. Burton, PC, we are thankful for our clients and serving you. Happy Thanksgiving!

A.K. Burton, PC, which serves the Washington,D.C. and Bethesda, Md area, has experienced and licensed financial advisors who can help you make sense of your small business bookkeeping. Contact us at (301) 365-1974 for more information or email info@cpa-maryland.com.