Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. If desired, we would be pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be the subject of a separate engagement letter that would define the scope and limits of the desired consultation services.
It’s never too late to start saving for retirement, but the sooner you begin, the more time your money has to grow. That’s because gains each year build on the prior year’s gains thanks to the power of compound interest – and it’s the best way to accumulate wealth. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when saving for retirement:
Project your retirement expenses based on your needs, not rules of thumb. Be honest about how you want to live in retirement and how much it will cost. Then calculate how much you must save to supplement Social Security and other sources of retirement income. Generally, the greater the risk, the greater the reward will be, but not everyone is comfortable taking a lot of risk. If you’re losing sleep over your investments (e.g., if your asset allocation is 100 percent invested in stocks during a volatile stock market), you should probably reduce your level of risk and opt for other types of investments such as index funds.
Contributing money to a 401(k) Is one of the easiest and best ways to save for retirement. Not only does it give you an immediate tax deduction and tax-deferred growth on your savings, but for many people, it also means a matching contribution from your employer.
As with a 401(k), IRA contributions offer substantial tax breaks and can give your savings a tax-advantaged boost. As a reminder, there are two types of IRAs: traditional and Roth. A traditional IRA offers tax-deferred growth, meaning you pay taxes on your investment gains only when you make withdrawals. If you qualify, your contributions may be deductible. By contrast, a Roth IRA doesn’t allow for tax-deductible contributions, but it does offer tax-free growth; i.e., you owe no tax when you make withdrawals.
Asset allocation is dividing your investment dollars among the three main types of investment categories: stocks, bonds, and cash or cash equivalents. The right mix of assets is the single most important factor in determining the overall performance of your portfolio and will significantly impact your long-term returns.
Stocks have the best chance of achieving high returns over long periods. A healthy dose will help ensure that your savings grow faster than inflation, increasing the purchasing power of your nest egg. Keep in mind that investing in stocks doesn’t necessarily mean individual stock picks. You can also invest in index funds, which are a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) consisting of a basket of stocks that track one of the market indices such as the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq 100.
Many retirees stash a significant portion of their portfolio in bonds for the income. Unfortunately, over 10 to 15 years, inflation can easily erode the purchasing power of bonds’ interest payments. Remember, it is important to diversify your portfolio to contain different types of investments within each major asset class.
Once you’re retired, your assets can last several more years if you draw on money from taxable accounts first and let tax-advantaged accounts compound for as long as possible. You can also withdraw from any investments that have lost value, then focus on selling investments held for more than a year to take advantage of lower long-term capital gains tax rates.
Working part-time after you’ve retired benefits most people in more ways than one. It keeps you socially engaged and reduces the amount of your nest egg you must withdraw each year once you retire. In 2022, you can earn up to $19,560 without affecting your monthly social security benefit, for example.
Other ways to get more mileage out of your retirement assets include relocating to an area with a lower cost of living or transforming the equity in your home into income by taking out a reverse mortgage. While reverse mortgages are not for everyone, they can be useful for retirees who might have trouble meeting basic expenses but live in a $500,000 dollar home with no mortgage.
A tax and accounting professional will evaluate your financial situation (i.e., income and expenses), evaluate your tax situation, and help you figure out how much you can put towards your retirement savings.
When creating a budget, it’s essential to estimate your spending as realistically as possible. Here are five budget-related errors commonly made by small businesses and some tips for avoiding them.
It’s almost impossible to set spending priorities without clear goals for the coming year. It’s important to identify, in detail, your business and financial goals and what you want or need to achieve in your business.
Every business has ancillary or incidental costs that don’t always make it into the budget – for whatever reason. A good example is buying a new piece of equipment or software. While you probably accounted for the cost of the equipment in your budget, you might not have remembered to budget the time and money needed to train staff or for equipment maintenance.
While your financial statements may seem adequate, don’t forget to set aside enough money for tax (e.g., sales and use tax, payroll tax) owed to state, local, and federal entities. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is “money in the bank” and use it to pay for expenses you can’t afford or worse, including it in next year’s budget and later finding out that you don’t have the cash to pay for your tax obligations.
Revenue on the books doesn’t always equate to cash in hand. Just because you’ve closed the deal, it may be a long time before you are paid for your services, and the money is in your bank account. Easier said than done, perhaps, but don’t spend money that you don’t have.
Don’t be afraid to update your forecasted expenditures whenever new circumstances affect your business. Several times a year, you should set aside time to compare budget estimates against the amount you spent and then adjust your budget accordingly.
Please contact the office if you have any questions or need assistance setting up a budget to meet your business financial goals.
An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles a taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that not everyone can use this option to settle tax debt; the IRS rejected nearly 60 percent of taxpayer-requested offers in compromise. If you owe money to the IRS and wonder if an IRS offer in compromise is the answer, here’s what you need to know.
If you can’t pay your full tax liability or doing so creates a financial hardship, an offer in compromise may be a legitimate option. However, it is not for everyone, and taxpayers should explore all other payment options before submitting an offer in compromise to the IRS. Taxpayers who can fully pay the liabilities through an installment agreement or other means generally won’t qualify for an OIC.
To qualify for an OIC, the taxpayer must have:
Whether your offer in compromise is accepted depends on several factors; however, an offer in compromise is typically accepted when the amount offered represents the most the IRS can expect to collect within a reasonable time frame – referred to as the reasonable collection potential (RCP). In most cases, the IRS won’t accept an OIC unless the amount offered by a taxpayer is equal to or greater than the reasonable collection potential (RCP), which is how the IRS measures the taxpayer’s ability to pay.
The RCP is the value that can be realized from the taxpayer’s assets, such as real property, automobiles, bank accounts, and other property. In addition to property, the RCP includes anticipated future income minus certain amounts allowed for basic living expenses.
The IRS may accept an OIC based on one of the following criteria:
Doubt as to liability.
An OIC meets this criterion only when there’s a genuine dispute about the existence or amount of the correct tax debt under the law.
Doubt as to collectability.
This refers to whether there is doubt that the amount owed is fully collectible such as when the taxpayer’s assets and income are less than the full amount of the tax liability.
Effective tax administration.
This applies to cases where there is no doubt that the tax is legally owed and that the full amount owed can be collected – but requiring payment in full would either create an economic hardship or would be unfair and inequitable because of exceptional circumstances.
When requesting an OIC from the IRS, use Form 656, Offer in Compromise, and also submit Form 433-A (OIC), Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals. If you are applying as a business, use Form 433-B (OIC), Collection Information Statement for Businesses. A taxpayer submitting an OIC based on doubt as to liability must also file additional forms.
A nonrefundable application fee, as well as initial payment (also nonrefundable), is due when submitting an OIC. However, if the OIC is based on doubt as to liability, no application fee is required.
If the taxpayer is an individual (not a corporation, partnership, or other entity) who meets Low-Income Certification guidelines, they do not have to submit an application fee or initial payment. They will not need to make monthly installments while the IRS evaluates an offer in compromise.
The initial payment is based on which payment option you choose for your offer in compromise:
Lump Sum Cash.
Submit an initial payment of 20 percent of the total offer amount with your application. If your offer is accepted, you will receive written confirmation. Any remaining balance due on the offer is paid in five or fewer payments.
Submit your initial payment with your application. Continue to pay the remaining balance as monthly installments while the IRS considers your offer. If accepted, continue to pay monthly until it is paid in full.
The IRS will notify you by mail if it rejects your OIC. The letter will explain why the IRS rejected the offer and provide detailed instructions on appealing the decision. If you decide to appeal, you must do so within 30 days from the date of the letter.
If you have any questions about the IRS Offer in Compromise program, don’t hesitate to contact the office for more information.
With teen employment expected to be plentiful this summer, with better pay and more opportunities, chances are good that your high school or college student will have a job this summer. Here’s what they should know about summer jobs and taxes:
When anyone gets a new job, they need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use this form to calculate how much federal income tax to withhold from the new employee’s pay. The Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov helps taxpayers fill out this form.
While students may earn too little from their summer job to owe income tax, employers usually must still withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from their pay. Generally, they will receive that money back as a refund if they file a federal and state tax return next spring.
If your child is working in the service industry, tips are often a vital part of their income; they may receive tips as part of their summer income. Tip income is taxable and is therefore subject to federal income tax, and students should understand the tax obligations that come with tip income. Here’s what to keep in mind, so students don’t receive a surprise tax bill:
Many students take on odd jobs such as babysitting or mowing lawns over the summer to make extra cash. If this is your child’s situation, you should keep in mind that earnings are considered income from self-employment. If a student is self-employed, Social Security and Medicare taxes may still be due and are generally paid by the student.
If your child has net earnings of $400 or more from self-employment, they also have to pay self-employment tax. Anyone with church employee income of $108.28 or more must also pay self-employment tax. This tax pays for benefits under the Social Security system. Social Security and Medicare benefits are available to self-employed individuals just as they are to wage earners who have Social Security tax and Medicare tax withheld from their wages.
If your child participates in advanced training as an ROTC student and receives a subsistence allowance for food and lodging, it is generally not taxable. For example, active duty pay, pay received during a summer advanced camp, is taxable, however.
If you have any questions about a student’s summer job income, don’t hesitate to call.
Many businesses hire part-time or full-time workers, especially in the summer. The IRS classifies these employees as seasonal workers, defined as an employee who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis (i.e., six months or less). Examples of this seasonal work include retail workers employed exclusively during the holidays, sports events, or during the harvest or commercial fishing season. Part-time and seasonal employees are subject to the same tax withholding rules that apply to other employees.
All taxpayers fill out a W-4 when starting a new job. Employers use this form to determine the amount of tax to be withheld from your paycheck. Taxpayers (including students) with multiple summer jobs will want to ensure all their employers withhold an adequate amount of taxes to cover their total income tax liability.
As a reminder, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the tax law starting in 2018, including increasing the standard deduction, eliminating personal exemptions, increasing the child tax credit, limiting or discontinuing certain deductions, and changing the tax rates and brackets. Some taxpayers, such as those who are returning to the workforce, work part-time, or have seasonal jobs, may not be aware of the changes in tax law that could affect their paycheck.
Any changes a part-year employee makes to their withholding amount have a more significant impact on their paycheck than for employees who work year-round. As such, now is an excellent time to perform a “paycheck check-up” using the Withholding Calculator, a special tool on the IRS website that can help taxpayers with part-year employment estimate their income, credits, adjustments, and deductions more accurately. It also checks to see whether a taxpayer is having the correct amount of tax withheld for their financial situation.
Taxpayers should have a completed prior-year tax return available and will also need their most recent pay stub before using the Withholding Calculator.
Calculator results depend on the accuracy of information entered. If a taxpayer’s circumstances change during the year, they should return to the calculator to check whether they should adjust their withholding. For taxpayers who work for only part of the year, it’s best to do a “paycheck check-up” early in their employment period so their tax withholding is most accurate from the start.
The Withholding Calculator does not request personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, address, or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information entered on the calculator. As always, taxpayers should watch out for tax scams, especially via email or phone, and be especially alert to cybercriminals impersonating the IRS. Remember, the IRS does not send emails related to the calculator or the information entered.
If the calculator results indicate a change in withholding amount, the employee should complete a new Form W-4 and submit it to their employer as soon as possible. Employees with a change in personal circumstances that reduces the number of withholding allowances should submit a new Form W-4 with corrected withholding allowances to their employer within ten days of the change.
As a seasonal or part-time worker, you may not be required to file a federal or state return if the wages you earn at a part-time or seasonal job are less than the standard deduction; however, if you work more than one job, you may end up owing tax.
As you can see, seasonal and part-time workers have unique tax situations. If you have any questions about your tax situation, don’t hesitate to call the office today.
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay the account owner’s current or future medical expenses, their spouse, and any qualified dependent and are adjusted annually for inflation. For 2023, the annual inflation-adjusted contribution limit for a Health Savings Account (HSA) increases to $$3,850 for individuals with self-only coverage (up $200 from 2022) and $7,750 for family coverage (up $450 from 2022).
To take advantage of an HSA, individuals must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care. Medical expenses such as deductibles, copayments, and other amounts (but excluding premiums) must not be reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return.
For the calendar year 2023, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,500 for self-only coverage or $3,000 for family coverage (up $100 and $200, respectively, from 2022) and must limit annual out-of-pocket expenses of the beneficiary to $7,500 for self-only coverage and $15,000 for family coverage, an increase of $450 and $900, respectively, from 2022. As with contribution limits, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are adjusted for inflation annually.
Please call if you have questions about Health Savings Accounts.
When choosing a payroll service provider to handle payroll and payroll tax, employers need to make sure they choose a trusted payroll service that can help them avoid missed deposits for employment taxes and other unpaid bills. Typically, these clients remain legally responsible for paying the taxes due, even if the employer sent funds to the payroll service provider for required deposits or payments.
Employers are encouraged to enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) and make sure the payroll service provider uses EFTPS to make tax deposits. EFTPS is free and gives employers safe and easy online access to their payment history, provided they make deposits under their Employer Identification Number (EIN). Using the EFTPS enables them to monitor whether their payroll service provider meets its tax deposit responsibilities.
Employers have a couple of options when finding a trusted payroll service provider:
A certified professional employer organization (CPEO).
Typically, CPEOs are solely liable for paying the customer’s employment taxes, filing returns, and making deposits and payments for the related wages and other compensation-related taxes. An employer enters a service contract with a CPEO, and then Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement, is submitted to the IRS. Employers can find a CPEO on the Public Listings page of IRS.gov.
A reporting agent is a payroll service provider that informs the IRS of its relationship with a client using Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, that the client signs. Reporting agents must deposit a client’s taxes using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) and can exchange information with the IRS on behalf of a client in case issues arise. They are also required to provide clients a written statement reminding the employer that it, not the reporting agent, is ultimately responsible for the timely filing of returns and payment of taxes.
Employers should contact a tax professional about any bills or notices received, especially payments managed by a third party. They can also call the phone number on the bill, write to the IRS office that sent the bill, or contact the IRS business tax hotline at 800-829-4933.
Most payroll service providers provide quality service, but some don’t consider their clients’ best interests. A few payroll service providers don’t submit their client’s payroll taxes each year, close down abruptly, and leave employers on the hook.
Don’t get caught short. Choose a payroll service provider you can count on – and don’t hesitate to call the office with any questions about payroll and other business-related taxes.
If you received a CP2100 or CP2100A notice from the IRS this year, don’t ignore it. Here’s what you need to know:
In mid-April 2022, the Internal Revenue Service began sending CP2100 and CP2100A notices to financial institutions, businesses, or payers who filed certain types of information returns that don’t match IRS records. These information returns include:
CP2100 and CP2100A notices are sent twice a year; an initial mailing in September and October and a second mailing in April of the following year. The notices inform payers that the information return is missing a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), has an incorrect name or a combination of both.
Each notice has a list of payees, or the persons receiving certain types of income payments, with identified TIN issues. Payers need to compare the accounts listed on the notice with their account records and correct or update their records, if necessary. This can also include correcting backup withholding on payments made to payees.
The notices also inform payers that they are responsible for backup withholding. Payments reported on the information returns listed above are subject to backup withholding if:
Payers remain liable for the amount they failed to backup withhold, and penalties may apply. If you received an IRS notice and aren’t sure what to do, please call the office for assistance.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, and now is a good time for individuals, organizations, and businesses to make or update their emergency plans. Here are five steps taxpayers can take to safeguard their tax records before disaster strikes:
1. Secure key documents and make copies. Taxpayers should place original documents such as tax returns, birth certificates, deeds, titles, and insurance policies inside waterproof containers in a secure space. Keep duplicates of these documents with a trusted person outside the area of the taxpayer. Scanning them for backup storage on electronic media such as a flash drive is another option that provides security and portability.
2. Document valuables and equipment. Current photos or videos of a home or business’s contents can help support claims for insurance or tax benefits after a disaster. All property, especially expensive and high-value items, should be recorded. The IRS disaster-loss workbooks in Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook can help individuals and businesses compile lists of belongings or business equipment.
3. Employers should check fiduciary bonds. Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider. As such, employers should carefully choose a payroll service provider.
4. Rebuilding documents. Reconstructing records after a disaster may be required for tax purposes, federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement. If you have lost some or all your records during a disaster, please call the office immediately for assistance.
After FEMA issues a disaster declaration, the IRS may postpone certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief.
5. Get assistance from a tax professional. Taxpayers who do not reside in a covered disaster area but suffered impact from a disaster may qualify for disaster tax relief and other available options. Please call if you have any questions or need more information about safeguarding your tax records.
In most cases, gains from sales are taxable. But did you know that if you sell your home, you may not have to pay taxes? Here are ten facts to remember if you sell your home this year.
1. Exclusion of Gain. You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your ownership and use of the home. You must have owned and used it as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.
2. Exceptions May Apply. There are exceptions to the ownership, use, and other rules. One exception applies to persons with a disability. Another applies to certain members of the military. That rule includes certain government and Peace Corps workers. For more information about these exceptions, please call the office.
3. Exclusion Limit. The most gain you can exclude from tax is $250,000. This limit is $500,000 for joint returns. The Net Investment Income Tax will not apply to the excluded gain.
4. May Not Need to Report Sale. If the gain is not taxable, you may not need to report the sale to the IRS on your tax return.
5. When You Must Report the Sale. You must report the sale on your tax return if you can’t exclude all or part of the gain. You must report the sale if you choose not to claim the exclusion. That’s also true if you get Form 1099-S, Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions. You may need to pay the Net Investment Income Tax if you report the sale. Please call the office for assistance on this topic.
6. Exclusion Frequency Limit. Generally, you may exclude the gain from selling your main home only once every two years. Some exceptions may apply to this rule.
7. Only a Main Home Qualifies. If you own more than one home, you may only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. Your main home usually is the home that you live in most of the time.
8. First-time Homebuyer Credit. Special rules apply to the sale if you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit when you bought the home. For more on those rules, please call.
9. Home Sold at a Loss. If you sell your main home at a loss, you can’t deduct the loss on your tax return.
10. Report Your Address Change. After you sell your home and move, update your address with the IRS. To do this, file Form 8822, Change of Address. You can find the address to send it to in the form’s instructions on page two. If you purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan.
Questions? Help is just a phone call away.
Sometimes, deciding that you need to upgrade a piece of software is easy. Either a newer version has features you need that your current product lacks, or you’ve outgrown the application’s capacity. You may be hesitant to move up, though, because you don’t want to start over learning a new user interface and command structure.
Fortunately. QuickBooks hasn’t significantly changed its user experience for a long time. Even if you jump two or three versions, what you’ll see should be fairly familiar, except for any added features.
QuickBooks 2022 looks much like QuickBooks 2021, but Intuit has introduced significant changes to its flagship software. When you upgrade to the 2022 version, you’ll find that the company has altered its pricing structure. You may also be unable to install and run it if your PC is a few years old. And getting bills into your company file is easier.
As you already know, QuickBooks Online is a subscription product. You can keep using it for as long as you pay your subscription fees once a month. The desktop versions of QuickBooks have always required one upfront payment that allows you to keep using the software for as long as you want (though Intuit discontinues support for older products eventually).
Starting with the 2022 versions of desktop QuickBooks, you’ll pay an annual subscription fee that you’ll need to renew every 12 months. If you don’t, you won’t be able to continue to use the software.
Note: If you have an older version of QuickBooks, you may not know that all desktop products now are “Plus” versions. These include unlimited support, data backups, and annual upgrades.
Figure 1: Up until now, you had to enter bills manually. QuickBooks 2022 allows you to upload them from its mobile app, among other new options.
QuickBooks Pro Plus 2022 costs $349.99 annually for one user. You’ll need to pay another $200 for each additional user (up to three). QuickBooks Premier Plus 2022 is $549.99 per year. Additional users are $300 each for up to five users. If you’re outgrowing Premier and want to stay in the QuickBooks family, please call to discuss upgrading to QuickBooks Enterprise. QuickBooks Enterprise 22.0 costs $804 per year ($1,340 after the first year) and supports up to 40 users.
You probably already know how to manage bills in QuickBooks. You open the Vendors menu, select Enter Bills, provide the basic details, and save it. You go to Vendors | Pay Bills when you’re ready. That bill template will be available for paying subsequent bills (using a different date and – usually – amount).
If you upgrade to QuickBooks 2022, you’ll be able to complete this step in numerous ways. You’ll have several options for automating your bill entry. You can:
Figure 2: Using the QuickBooks Desktop mobile app, you can snap photos of bills and upload them to QuickBooks (QuickBooks Premier Plus 2022 and Enterprise).
Keep in mind that this technology is not perfect. You may have to practice with it some, and all of the expected data may not transfer every time.
If you have a large QuickBooks company file or an older computer, you may notice that the software runs slowly. QuickBooks 2022 has enhanced the product’s performance by taking advantage of the 64-bit processor – in some cases, by 38 percent, according to Intuit.
Note: If you’re not sure whether your PC has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor, click on the Windows Start menu and select Control Panel, then System and Security | System.
Although there are 2022 versions of QuickBooks, your current version may be working fine for you, and there is no need to upgrade unless you want to. That being said, the QuickBooks 2022 version is a preview of what is ahead. When you are ready to move up to the current version of QuickBooks Desktop, please call the office and speak to a QuickBooks professional who can help you make that decision and deal with any installation issues.
Employees – who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during May, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
Individuals – If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file. Then file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR by October 17.
However, if you are a participant in a combat zone you may be able to further extend the filing deadline.
Individuals – Make a payment of your 2022 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the second installment date for estimated tax in 2022.
Corporations – Deposit the second installment of estimated income tax for 2022. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.
Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in May.
Effective payroll management is an essential aspect of any successful company. It is crucial to retain respected and satisfied employees, protect your company’s image, and maintain tax compliance.
Nonetheless, payroll is a complex task, and even the most minor payroll management error can jeopardize your organization’s efficiency and legal liability. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take steps to simplify your company’s payroll processes, identify inefficiencies, and avoid payroll errors.
Here are some of the most common payroll mistakes you’ll want to avoid:
One of the most prevalent payroll blunders is misclassifying employees. Depending on their needs, firms may hire new workers as full-time employees, part-time employees, independent contractors, or freelancers.
When it comes to independent contractors and full-time workers, it can be easy to mix up these two categories of employees. This can result in your accidentally paying contractors overtime payments or other unnecessary benefits. Additionally, if you mistakenly identify full-time workers as contractors, your employees may lose out on salaries and benefits they are entitled to. As a result, you could end up owing back pay to your team. Misclassifying employees may also result in you paying the government extra interest and fines.
Missing payroll tax deadlines can lead to serious legal issues and tarnish your company’s reputation. You may be subject to significant IRS late fees and penalties, putting you under undue financial strain. If your taxes remain unpaid, the IRS may even place a lien on your business assets. As a result, if you want to avoid potentially severe penalties, you should make every effort to meet your tax deadlines.
Failure to keep clear payroll records is one of the most potentially costly payroll mistakes. Accurate payroll management requires you to establish and keep complete employee records, but this can be a challenge, particularly for small business owners handling human resources on their own.
Incomplete or inaccurate payroll records can cause confusion in the workplace and complicate seemingly simple payroll tasks. The following are some of the most typical record-keeping mistakes made by business leaders:
The tax rules are constantly changing, and if you conduct business in multiple countries, it can be even more challenging to keep your obligations straight. However, failing to accurately calculate your payroll taxes can attract serious fines and legal penalties. As such, it’s worth your investment to take the time—or hire a professional—to properly plan for your payroll taxes.
You hired your team members at a given pay rate, and you intend to pay them that rate. However, a simple data entry error can easily lead to employees being underpaid or overpaid. If you underpay your employees, you may pay hefty fines on top of needing to compensate your employees. On the other hand, if you overpay your employee, you’re losing funds that could benefit other areas of your business. It’s advisable to double-check your work and develop clear, effective payroll processes to prevent these mistakes.
Your team is the backbone of your business, and you want to ensure they’re paid properly and on time. In addition, payroll mistakes can leave your company vulnerable to fines, lawsuits, and punitive actions that threaten your financial stability and long-term success. If you’re struggling to manage your business’ payroll, don’t wait until it becomes a huge problem. Consider reaching out to an accounting professional for help setting up and maintaining a payroll management system that works for your business.
You’ve got plenty of tax time to file next year’s taxes, but will you be ready when tax season rolls around? When it comes to tax planning, it’s never too early to get started.
Taxes can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. There are several steps you can take throughout the year to organize your finances so that when tax season rolls around, you won’t be caught off guard. A solid understanding of your tax position, as well as the variables that can change it, is one of the best tools you have to optimize your tax preparation. If you’re ready to set yourself up for a less stressful tax season, consider the following tips to simplify next year’s taxes.
Different life events can have a significant impact on your taxes, including your tax liability, filing status, and your eligibility for deductions and credits. Some life events that affect your taxes are getting married, getting divorced, starting college, welcoming a new child to your family, and buying a house, among numerous other examples. Also, if you recently lost your job or started a new one, it will affect how you file your next year’s taxes. So, it is important to consider the upcoming milestones in your life and research how they will affect your tax obligations. The IRS website is an excellent starting point for understanding the kinds of life changes that impact your taxes. However, an experienced tax professional will be in the best position to assess your overall tax position and help you plan for your financial future.
Keeping accurate records of your income and expenses throughout the year will simplify the filing taxes process, particularly if you are self-employed or own your own business. Diligent record-keeping allows you to quickly and accurately verify your total income, separate your professional and personal expenses, and identify opportunities for credits and deductions. If you don’t use accounting or tax software, it can be helpful to create a spreadsheet to store this information. You can organize your transactions by month and category to make your data more easily digestible.
Taking time to research the tax-saving opportunities available to you can go a long way in reducing your tax liability. If you plan to itemize your taxes rather than taking the standard deduction, it’s important to understand the deductions that you qualify for. This information will help you stay organized and categorize your transactions throughout the year, enabling you to identify which purchases are taxable and which qualify for deductions.
A vast array of expenses are often tax-deductible, including charitable contributions, student loan interest, certain medical expenses, and retirement account contributions. Similarly, there are numerous tax credits that can directly reduce your tax bill, including credits for child and dependent care, alternative energy use, and continuing education. While the IRS lists every available credit and deduction online, you might consider using tax software to identify the tax breaks available to you. In addition, a qualified tax professional will have up-to-date knowledge of the current tax landscape and can help you evaluate viable ways to minimize your tax liability.
Filing your taxes doesn’t have to be complicated and tedious. By taking time to prepare for tax season well in advance, you can minimize your stress and maximize your tax savings. If you’re feeling confused about any aspect of your tax planning and preparation, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced tax professional for guidance and support.
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