Guidance on Preparing Your Taxes

Usually, tax planning is not included on most people’s lists of new year’s resolutions. However, maybe 2014 ought to be the year when you make the effort to understand more about your taxes. This will allow you to correctly plan and organize your responsibilities.

This resolution will help you once tax season arrives, and it might result in you saving more cash over the long run.

Here’s some advice to help you get started on achieving this goal:

Organize your tax file for 2014. This might be an online file, where you can scan transactions and documents over the course of the year. This will impact on your total tax amount. Alternatively, you could use a bin or folder to store the details.

The advantage of electronic files, like Turbo Tax 2014, is that when your tax is due, you can just email the data to your accountant. Then, he or she can keep the file for use during an audit. Ensure that you have sufficiently backed your data up, just in case an unforeseen problem arises. Including notes on your tax documents will help your accountant understand the transactions, which facilitates the filing procedure.

Examples of important tax documents are: 1099s, W2s, escrow documents for purchase, K1s, receipts for car registration charges and real estate tax, receipts for additional tax deductible purchases, and letters confirming charitable donations made to recognized nonprofits.

All the best to everyone for a healthy, happy, successful and tax conscious 2014.

Think Of Tax Filling? Think Turbo Tax.

Think Of Tax Filling? Think Turbo Tax.

March is coming and many businesses out there know what this means. This period officially marks the time to file in business taxes back to the government. Due to this hectic activity, pressures go high thanks to the labor intensive, time consuming nature of this act. Fortunately, there is Turbo Tax to aid you in your task.

TaxACT Logo
TaxACT Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, there are numerous software programs out there which claim are capable of easing your way around tax filing, but the thing is, most are mere half baked truths offering dead ends. According to the tax act, there are severe punishments for those found tax evading; hence it is always a good idea to give Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

During this tax season, instead of rushing to that guy you know why you don’t try out the turbo tax as seeing this software is quick, reliable, and cheap and is compliant with the law.  In this short article, you will have a quick glimpse into the reasons why TurboTax 2013 is by far better compared to other software programs such as H&R Block or Taxact.

Cost effective
In business, the key point is to always maximize on profits while minimizing the overall cost of doing business. With that in mind, turbo tax will help you save money on taxes thanks to up to five e-filings per purchase capability. 1040EZ fillings are absolutely free.

Ease Of Use
The program is designed to easily integrate itself with each and every specific states tax filing system, thus offering you great ease while filing for your taxes. Moreover, there is a professional customer care support staff always on stand-by ready to help you in any way possible.

Ease Of Access
With turbotax, you have the ability to access your tax files from any computer. So, whether you are at a friend’s house, at home or just outside the office and you need a copy of your tax file, you can easily print it out.

Tax Tips To Ensure Your Security

Tax Tips To Ensure Your Security

Experts warn that that many scam artists are out there, and frequently disguise scams as services that are related to your taxes.

Here are some tax tips for fighting possible scammers this year.

Over 2 million people are filing Australian taxes the electronic way, giving criminals a rather large potential market.

Criminals will often make attempts to get your personal information through scams. Michael McKinnon, a security expert with AVG, gives these tax tips.

Be wary of any e-mail supposed claiming to be from the government. This will often be designed to look urgent, and may offer you refunds that seem too good to be true, or claim your return is invalid, and information needs to be sent again.

One of the simple yet devastating scams will have you clink on a link in an e-mail. This will take you to an unsafe website, where you could easily get your identify stolen by hackers.

At the end of the year, people should be getting ready with these tax filing tips.

Tax Tips To Ensure Your Security
Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

-Make sure your security is up to date on any devices you might be using to file taxes. This includes PCs, phones, laptops, and possibly other technology.
-Make sure you check in with the ATO every so often about new scams that might be out there. Be sure to report anything suspicious to them as well.
-Always use a secure password, consisting of both numbers and letters that will be hard for hackers to crack.

Tax season is rough enough without having to worry about someone stealing your hard earned money. Use the above tax tips to make sure your information is always safe.

10 Tax Tips For Small Businesses

Come tax time, owning a small business can be even more overwhelming than it normally is. Taxes can be confusing for any business owner, but may be more manageable if you keep these ten tips in mind.

  1. Keep a log of all of your business’ expenses. This can be a daily or weekly log, but it needs to be thorough. Detail the date of the expense, whom or what the money was paid to and the exact amount of money that was spent. Should you receive any confirmation numbers or other pertinent information in regards to an expense paid, be sure to attach it to your expense log so that it is easy to find come tax time.
  2. Know what you can and cannot deduct on your tax returns. Most small business owners end up losing money because they are not taking all of the deductions that they are legally allowed. A business owner can deduct for expected things such as home offices, travel time and insurance, but most don’t know that they can also claim deductions for things such as entertainment and meals. Be sure to keep receipts for your deductions as you will need to know the exact amounts that you have spent.
  3. Although deductions are great, be sure not to trap yourself. Try not to claim more in deductions that you actually earned as income in a tax year. This raises a red flag to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and may cause you to be audited. In the event that you are audited by the IRS, those receipts from the above will come in very handy.
  4. Save for retirement. Nobody wants to work his life away. You must earn income every year in order to qualify for a tax-deductive small business retirement plan.
  5. Don’t forget to save information about the equipment you buy for your business. A small business that spends less than 2 million on equipment may be eligible for up to $500,000 in deductions on that equipment. Repairs can also be tax-deductible on your return.
  6. Pay your payroll taxes. This may sound obvious, but many small business owners spend the taxes they withhold on payroll for other items for the business. This could leave you with a big bill come April 15. It is best to pay taxes quarterly.
  7. Look into health insurance credits. If you provide health insurance to your employees, you may be eligible for a tax credit. Check with a CPA for eligibility requirements.
  8. Hire a veteran. Veterans are in dire need of jobs and can benefit your business in many ways, including on your taxes. Certain veterans will allow you to be eligible for an expanded tax credit if you hire them during the tax season.
  9. Donate to charity. Not only is it a great community builder, it will benefit your tax return. Keep records of any non-cash items that you donate to charity. It will earn you extra tax credits with the IRS.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are at all confused, it is best to call a professional CPA. It is better to pay for a CPA now than to mess up on your tax return and pay the IRS much more than the CPA would have cost.

Taxes don’t have to be confusing. Do some research and decide if it is more beneficial for you to prepare your return yourself or hire a professional. Either way, do not hide them in a corner and hope they go away as they will not!

[photo credit]

Michele Golden is a driven blogger and artiat from Vermont. Shes loves helping people save money, and make better decisions for their future. When she isn’t blogging shes studing to be a registered financial advisor or stock broker, whatever pays the bills.

End of Year Accounting Tips for Beginners

In 1752 the English New Year was moved from the end of March to the beginning of January.  Thankfully, the Georgian authorities saw fit to leave the Financial New Year where it was.  I love the 18th century Georgian authorities.  If it wasn’t for them I’d have to deal with the New Year Hangover and the Financial New Year Hangover at the same time.  Like many self-employed people, the end of the financial year, and tax return deadlines finds me in a bad mood, usually late at night with a large pot of coffee and tons of paperwork to spill it on.  When you’re self-employed the focus is on the day job – working to earn money and delight clients.  Paperwork can wait – but it can’t wait for ever.  There has to be an easier way and if, like me, you’re a persistent ‘deadline surfer’ the following might help.

Timing, Tools and Advice

  • Whether you like it or not, you have to make book-keeping a significant priority in your life.  The taxman demands up to date and accurate records and the fines for getting it wrong can be fatal.  So take note; get into a routine with your book keeping and accounting and stick to it.  Diary it into your schedule on a regular basis and stick to the diary.  Treat it as if it was work for a client.
  • There are several important dates in the financial year, make a note of them and keep an eye out for them as they come up.  If you don’t already fill in your tax returns online, register to do so now.  It’s going to become a requirement soon and the deadline for filling them in is currently a whole, delightful three months later than the paper deadline.
  • Accounting software or book keeping software is an investment that you won’t regret.  Double check with your accountant on systems they recommend and check that the cost falls under ‘allowable expenses’.  The accounting software available is usually simple to use and it takes nearly all of the hard work out of record keeping, allows you to keep centralized records, produce professional invoices and it will also cut the time your accountant needs to prepare accounts – saving you even more money.
  • Get help.  There are a vast number of free resources available to small businesses and the self-employed.  HMRC, for a start, are there to help and are more than willing to offer advice and support to new business.  Their role is to collect taxes not crush promising new enterprises who can generate those taxes.  In addition Business Link has specialist advisers and can offer access to courses or seminars to help in many different areas.

Accountancy tasks can be time consuming and for small businesses it’s a task that can take you or your staff away from the real business of making money.  Planning tasks carefully, knowing the key dates in the tax year, employing an accountant and making the most of accounting software will help to keep you feeling bright and fresh in the coming financial year.  You might even want to raise a glass to the memory of those enlightened authorities of the 18th century.

Neil blogs about small business and entrepreneurism, on everything from bookkeeping software to digital marketing.  When he’s not online he enjoys good food, cycling and painting.