Tag Archives: small business tax preparation

Five QuickBooks Small Business Hacks You Need to Know

Small business accounting and bookkeeping is a necessary part of the business. The software has made small business accounting and bookkeeping easier and more convenient. Affordably-priced software ranging from Wave Accounting to Xeno help business owners easily run billing, payroll, invoicing, and inventory.

There is a wide range of small business accounting software. As a small business owner who doesn’t even have time to spare for accounting and bookkeeping, how do you decide which software is best for your company? One potential software is Quickbooks Online. It’s a cloud-based accounting solution where records are kept online, protected by security, easily accessible, and regularly updated. *** 

If you are considering Quickbooks Online for your business or are using it now, here are some highlights of features that you should know:

  1. Connect your bank account(s) to it: Quickbooks Online allows you to connect your bank account once and it will then download all your bank transactions from the last 90 days. Additionally, it lets you connect multiple checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. It will also auto-suggest categories and functions. The algorithms are quite amazing. 
  2. Don’t have to back up your data: As QuickBooks Online is all web-based, you keep all the data in the cloud. All information you store on QuickBooks Online is stored in the cloud. Data can be accessed at any time from your laptops and devices. 
  3. Invoice clients in CBO: Quickbooks Online can do all client invoicing. Gone are paper billing and sealing envelopes. It lets you design invoices with your business brand on it. Invoices can be automated and it will mark invoices that have been paid. Recurring invoices can be sent out, too, thorough the automated invoicing function. 
  4. User Interface Is Intuitive: QuickBooks was created for the non-savvy, non-accountant business owner or employee. So, it is much easier to use based on the easy interface. It has a brief and easily-understood tutorial. This five-minute guide shows users how to import and categorize transactions. A menu shows how to navigate between the Banking, Reports, Sales and Expenses functions. Reviewers consistently complement the design as it is not all pushed into a small space.
  5. Many users can use it at the same time: Quickbooks Online has several packages which allows multiple users to have full access and use of the data. Additionally, if you want to save money, the username and password can be shared with other employees. However, if there is restricted data, such as payroll, it can be protected and accessed only approved individuals. 

These are just a few of the features available with Quickbooks Online. As with any small business accounting software you choose, the software might be designed to be simple and easy to navigate but somehow a wrench gets thrown into the books!

If this happens, the staff at A.K. Burton, PC is here to help. We specialize in small business tax preparation and provide a wide range of services to our clients including getting that wrench out of your books. If you need help straightening out your QuickBooks online, please call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open! We serve Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.

*** For more information about Quickbooks Online, visit their website.

Business Tax Preparation Tips: Why You Should Do Estimated Tax Payments Now!

By the time you read this, Tax Day 2021 is over. Millions of Americans have filed their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service and to the state or to the District where they live. 

For many people, Tax Day meant they wrote large checks or filed extensions so they could pay off the 2020 tax bill. It was a very difficult and stressful day for millions of filers. 

You can save yourself a lot of pain, stress and fees by doing one thing differently: Make estimated tax payments as soon as possible! 

Estimated Tax Payments *** are for those whose federal and/or state withholding is under withheld during the year. Estimated tax payments are used to fill in the gap in withholding and proactively pay your predicted tax liability for the current year as you earn the money. Paying quarterly estimated payments is a strategy to avoid having to pay a huge bill on tax day along with penalty and interest that may be charged by the IRS or the state. Payments are made incrementally, on the following quarterly tax dates:

Payment Period                         Due Date 

January 1 to March 31 April 15
 April 1 to May 31  June 15
 June 1 to Aug. 31  Sept. 15
September 1 to December 31  Jan. 15 of the following year
2021 Estimated Tax Payments Schedule

Traditionally estimated payments are made quarterly. Had a big tax bill this year and want to avoid it next year with similar earnings predicted for this year? Have your accountant or bookkeeper calculate estimated payments. At A.K. Burton PC, we calculate estimated payments for our clients regularly. Has your income changed significantly this year? Contact your accountant and have them recalculate your estimates.

How do you pay your estimated payments? Methods of payment include scheduling an online payment or by check. If you’re interested in paying your estimated payments online: find the correct links by going to your state’s department of taxation’s website or to the IRS website and have them withdraw the funds.  Don’t have the full amount to send in that your accountant recommended? Send in the amount you can. 

A.K. Burton, PC, can do all your income tax preparation. We have experienced staff who can prepare and file your tax return and represent you before the IRS. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open. At this time we are not providing in-person services because of the pandemic. We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County, MD area.

*** You can find out more about Estimated Tax Payments at the IRS website.   

Small Business Tax Preparation: The Five Biggest Mistakes People Make

We have finally reached the fourth quarter of 2020.

2020 has been a year like no other, especially for small businesses. Tax deadline changes, COVID restrictions, added tax laws…it’s hard to keep up with it all.

AK Burton, PC specializes in helping our small business clients keep up with their taxes. Is October the time to think about taxes? Yes. Now is the time to get in touch with your CPA if you have had an abnormal business year and plan how to close out 2020.

As you and your accountant begin the tax taking a look at your small business taxes, keep in mind these five biggest mistakes people make in small business tax preparation:

  1. Misclassifying employees and independent contractors: Misidentifying a person as a contractor and not as an employee will lead to penalties and interest for non-payment of the employer share of employment taxes. The business must give every employee a W-2, and every contractor that was paid more than $600 gets a Form 1099-Misc.  
  1. Failure to pay “reasonable wages” to shareholders of an S-Corporation: The IRS states that for the 1120S income tax return that “Distributions and other payments by an S corporation to a corporate officer must be treated as wages to the extent the amounts are reasonable compensation for services rendered to the corporation.” The shareholder plays an active, day-to-day role in the business, so, they are an employee and have to be paid a market-based salary for that position.
  1. Missing valid deductions or overstating business expenses: If your business expenses exceed its income, you may get the unwanted attention of the IRS. All of your business expenses need to be considered. IRS rules are quite strict on home office expenses as whatever is used for business should not be used for any other purposes than business. The IRS is “generous” when it comes to some Schedule C expenses. Be sure to use the depreciation schedule that the IRS has for deducting business equipment, business vehicles, and buildings. ***
  1. Improperly mixing business and personal expenses: This is one of the most common business tax filing mistakes of all. Many business clients co-mingle their personal and business banking accounts. “Co-mingling” your personal and business checking accounts makes it hard to distinguish which expenses are tax-deductible. Please keep personal income and expenses out of business bank accounts.
  1. Failure to plan: Tax laws can be complex. Most business owners are too busy running their company to understand all of the tax law nuances. A CPA or tax attorney is experienced in these matters and can help the business properly manage their accounting and business processes. Tax advice can help businesses take advantage of their resources and avoid unwanted consequences that may unknowingly occur due to the complexity of the tax laws. If you are about to incur an unusual financial transaction such as a large asset purchase or sale that is not an ordinary part of your business activity, contact your CPA to discuss the tax implications of the transaction. There may be unforeseen and unexpected tax consequences.  

At A.K. Burton, PC, our specialty is assisting small business clients with their taxes. We are familiar with the tax laws and can advise our clients on being proactive in their tax planning for now and the future. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. Our office is open! We serve Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County. MD area.

*** You can find the IRS Depreciation Form 4562 here.

Ten Tax Preparation Things Your Small Business Can Do Now

This year is almost over.

In fact, by the time you read this blog, 2018 may have already arrived. Christmas has passed, the New Year’s parties have ended, school has reopened and regular life has returned.

Ho hum…

Well, I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday.

But, now that the New Year has arrived, I am going to bring up a topic you need to consider and now: Taxes. Yes, taxes. Tax season has just begun for small businesses and you can do something you may have never done before as a small business owner or an employee who works the accounting department: you can get ahead of the game.

Helping you and your small business be smart and successful in your bookkeeping and accounting is one of my own accounting firm goals. So, here are Ten Tax Preparation Things Your Small Business Can Do Now:

  1. Create a checklist of what you need: This checklist can be shared, such as on Google Documents, among you and your employees. It is a good way to keep updated on each item. (An excellent tax preparation checklist can be found at H. R. Block.)
  2. Find last year’s tax return: This will help you with deductions and other facts. Some businesses have the same deductions each year. It is also a legal document that may help you stay accurate for this year’s return.
  3. Balance Sheet: Your IRS tax return is based on income and expenses. It is that simple. So, you will need a balance sheet showing gross receipts, expenses and assets. It is an excellent one-glance document summarizing your past year.
  4. Asset purchases: Your business equipment can be included in your return. Some assets may written off using depreciation deductions for a number of years. For instance, if your company purchased new laptops, printers and cell phones for employees, they can be added on your tax return. Use receipts for each purchase and have them available for your accountant.
  5. Payroll Records: Payroll is, for most businesses, the largest tax deduction of all. All full-time, part-time employees, temporary employees and subcontractors’ pay should be included.
  6. Asset Dispositions: If your small business sold any depreciable assets, you will need to calculate gainsor losses on the sales. You will need a description of the asset, sale date, asset price, sale expenses and accumulated depreciation.
  7. Business vehicle(s): This may be a crucial deduction as most small businesses have fleet and/or service vehicles. You will need to get the total miles driven for business and commuting miles. (Personal mileage is not allowed to be deducted.)
  8. Credit card statements: Many small business owners use a company credit card to purchase gas, lodging, office supplies, business meals and other pertinent business purchases. The entire statement of the year’s credit card purchases need to be submitted. (Make sure that if any personal purchases were made with that card that they are marked as “personal” and not included in the business tax return.

This is a great start! In fact, if you get these all compiled and sent to your accountant, you may be able to file your federal tax return early and know how much you owe. (You may have to pay in installments, but at least you will know how much you owe and can budget it.)

It seems too early, to many small business owners, to be tackling their tax records and preparation in January. Yet, most owners will tell you that getting their tax preparation done now is a relief. Then, they can get on with running their business.

A.K. Burton, PC, which serves the Washington,D.C. and Bethesda, Md area, has experienced and licensed small business tax advisers on staff. If you need more advice on business and individual tax planning, contact us at (301) 365-1974 for more information or email us at info@cpa-maryland.com.