Tag Archives: tax preparation

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.

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.

 

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.