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Tax Extension

What to Know About Filing an Extension

One of the biggest misconceptions about filing an extension on federal tax returns is that it means individuals don’t have to pay any amount owed on time. An extension gives people more time to file, but not more time to pay.

Individuals can file an extension on their federal taxes, but it has to be done before the last day for filing the taxes. An extension provides taxpayers with additional months to prepare and file their return for any reason. The IRS automatically grants a request for an extension, but the proper forms must be filed and the extension is valid until Oct. 15. The extension can be filed electronically.

Taxpayers are expected to pay the full amount they owe by the tax deadline, even if they file an extension. The IRS assesses a penalty for late payments, usually 0.5 percent per month of the balance that’s due, but failing to pay can increase that penalty to a maximum of 25 percent.

There are 3 primary reasons that individuals file an extension. The first is missing or inaccurate information. Many people find that they haven’t received a form they need in time to file.

The second most common reason for an extension is that a taxpayer will be out of town during tax season. Many people from northern states winter in the south, while others choose to vacation during spring break. If they anticipate a refund, they often file an extension.

Lastly, people run out of time. Filing federal taxes can be stressful, leading to procrastination. Despite taxes being due on or near the same date every year, some individuals lose track of time, simply get busy, or find themselves dealing with a major life event.

For those that don’t have the money to pay their tax bill in full, the IRS offers some payment plans. Individuals will still have to pay their tax bill, along with any applicable penalties and interest, but at a lower rate. Installment agreements are also available, in which individuals pay a set amount each month. The IRS advises individuals pay their tax burden with a credit card or take out a loan to save money.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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What is Farm Accounting?

Farm businesses need the services of an agricultural accountant. In many instances, farm businesses are large corporations. Farm accountants provide an essential service for farmers, helping them anticipate expenses, track expenditures, and ascertain ventures that will be most profitable – such as planting more corn, wheat or soybeans and letting field lie fallow.

Reporting and tracking farm expenses pose some interesting challenges. Cash basis accounting is one type of method to report income and costs and can be used to report taxable farm income. Farm accounting is utilized to record all goods, money and services used in the farming industry.

A farm accountant will deal with a variety of aspects relating to their client, from cash flow, day-to-day expenses, government subsidies when applicable, and even estate planning. Farm accountants provide a wide range of information to their clients to help them make informed and strategic decisions about their business and potential risks.

Agriculture plays a major role in the nation’s overall economy, just as much as oil and other resources. The accounting specialists will need an extensive variety of knowledge. They’ll need to be cognizant of fluctuating costs and prices, have an understanding of how unpredictable weather affects the business, and changing commodity prices locally and around the globe.

Farming is a unique type of business with special challenges. Farmers always have the last decision, but they rely on an agricultural accountant to help them plan for purchases of land, equipment and the operation of their business. Agricultural accounts are responsible for filing taxes on time, accounting for assets, liabilities and depreciation, along with meeting specific government regulations and definitions.

Farm accounting is an ideal profession for anyone that loves numbers and farming. They’ll be called upon to keep track of arable land to native plants, pasture to crop production, changes in land use, and even green/sustainable farming practices.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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accounting

Top Career Opportunities in Accounting 2022

A significant number of college students are reassessing their career path. They’re discovering they won’t make as much as they anticipated. A study conducted by Real Estate Witch found that undergrads across all majors overestimated their starting salaries by 88 percent. There are numerous well-paying opportunities in accounting for 2022 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a significant growth rate in all areas.

Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper maintains a company’s day-to-day financial transactions. They record, prepare and present financial statements to supervisors and managers about some or all of an organization’s accounts. They’re responsible for keeping a running total of costs and income and it represents an excellent opportunity for those entering the field. Bookkeepers enter data, verify billing statements, and work with multiple types of financial software.

Personal Accountant

There’s an almost endless need for personal accounts. They keep track of and help individuals and business owners manage credit card and bank statements, keep tax records, review expenditures, and ensure staff are paid.

Tax Preparer

Individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses utilize the services of a tax preparer throughout the year to ensure their finances stay on track. Tax preparers prepare taxes, ensure clients are only paying what they should, and help them organize records. They may work for a larger company, but often operate their own business out of their home.

Forensic Accountant

Law enforcement agencies, lawyers, private investigators, insurance companies, government agencies and financial institutions employ forensic accountants. They’re often called as expert witnesses in court cases to prove embezzlement, fraud and other financial wrongdoing. They analyze financial statements, bank records and other documents.

Environmental Accountant

The job includes recording income, expenditures and other transactions related to cost savings. Many companies and corporations employ environmental accountants to create social responsibility statements in terms of energy costs and similar changes relating to green practices.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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Adjusting Your W-4

There are some very good reasons to adjust your withholdings on your W-4. The form tells your employer how much money to keep out of your check for federal income tax. It will have an effect on your tax liability and prevent you from receiving an unexpected tax bill when filing your federal return.

Your W-4 is also critical for preventing a penalty for underpayment. Some people choose to claim every possible withholding, essentially living on less throughout the year to obtain a large refund at tax time. The IRS wants you to reduce your tax bill and have a refund that’s as close to zero as possible.

Life Events

Any time that your life circumstances change, you should complete a new W-4 with your employer. That includes a marriage, divorce or the birth or adoption of a child. Major life events also include buying a house, getting a raise, and contributing to educational funds. Some of those changes will make you eligible for credits on your federal tax return.

Part-Time Employment

If you normally work all year, but get laid off or experience downtime, you’ll need to adjust your withholding to account for those changing circumstances.

Second Job

It doesn’t matter whether you get a part-time job, work the gig economy, run a side hustle, or have a home business, you’ll need to adjust your withholding. There are a great many types of income producing ventures that are viewed as self-employment by the IRS, which makes you liable for income tax on the amount, along with the self-employment tax, Social Security and Medicare.

Spousal Employment

If your spouse gets a new job or changes jobs, they’ll also have to complete a W-4. Any change in income – an increase or a decrease – will have an impact on your income and amount of taxes you owe. Couples need to use both incomes and approximate as closely as possible what they need to claim on their W-4.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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tax preparation

When do You Need Payroll Services?

If you’re a small business owner, you may attempt to maintain your payroll with software that can be obtained anywhere software is sold. You may think you’re saving money, but you may find yourself spending more time attending to accounting and payroll tasks than operating your enterprise. Even if you only have a single employee, you can benefit from the services of a payroll processing service.

It’s important that you understand the IRS ultimately holds you responsible for all payroll requirements, even if you hire a payroll service. Do your research and choose a payroll company that meets your individual needs and has experience. Ask friends, family and other business owners which service they use and if they’re satisfied with the company.

Accuracy

A payroll service will know exactly how much in taxes to keep out for each employee and ensure their pay check arrives on time, whether pay periods are weekly or bi-monthly. The service will calculate federal, state and FICA for employees, along with creating W-2s and 1099s. It will enable you to stay compliant with all applicable state and federal laws.

Filing Requirements

Businesses are held to different filing times and requirements than private individuals. A payroll service will help ensure you meet filing deadlines and pay the appropriate tax amounts to avoid penalties and fines.

Paying Yourself

Depending upon the type of business you have, you may be required to pay yourself. A payroll service can do this and it’s especially important if you’re considered self-employed. The service will calculate your own taxes, along with personal state unemployment taxes and federal unemployment taxes.

Saves Time

Payroll is a complicated process and the average business owner spends more than 6 hours per month handling payroll. A payroll service will streamline the process, take care of all the details, and give you more time to spend on operating your business.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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Are You Eligible to Claim Child Tax Credits?

If you have children, you’re probably familiar with the Child Tax Credit. It can put some much-needed cash in your pocket, but there are criteria for qualifying for the credit.

Age and Qualifying Child

A qualifying child is one that didn’t turn 18 before Jan. 1, 2022. A qualifying child is defined as the taxpayer’s son or daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister, or half-brother or half-sister. Descendants of those qualifying children may also qualify, such as a grandchild, niece or nephew. The child must have a Social Security number that’s valid for employment.

Financial Support

The child can’t have provided more than one-half of their own support during 2021.

Living Arrangements

The child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than one-half of the tax year. The home must have been in one of the 50 U.S. states or District of Columbia for more than half the year. A permanent home can be a house, apartment, mobile home, or temporary lodging and doesn’t have to be in the same location throughout the taxable year.

You may still be eligible for a lesser amount of money if your home wasn’t in the U.S. for more than half the year. Bonafide residents of Puerto Rico may also be eligible to claim a Child Tax Credit even if they received no income and paid no U.S. Social Security taxes.

Taxpayer Dependent

You can’t claim a child as a dependent if you or your spouse are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return or are residents of Canada or Mexico. The dependent must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, or a U.S. national. Joint custody situations only allow one parent to claim a child on their income taxes. You can also claim that child if they died before Jan. 31, 2022.

Earned Income

You must have some type of earned income during the tax year as an employee or through self-employment. It includes wages, salaries, tips, bonuses and commissions.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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How to Track Down Your Missing Stimulus Check

There are still millions of people that haven’t received one or more stimulus checks issued by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re one of the people that are waiting, you can still receive the first, second or third stimulus checks you’re missing. The stimulus was delivered via direct deposit, by check in the mail, and by prepaid debit card that were also delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

According to the IRS, first and second stimulus payments can only be clamed on a 2020 tax return. If you’re missing the third payment, it can only be claimed on a 2021 tax return. Individuals will need to know the amount of the missing stimulus payment they’re claiming. You can find that amount by logging into your secure IRS account online. It will provide you with the amounts of all three Economic Impact Payments made to you.

You can’t claim missing first or second stimulus payments on your 2021 tax return. If you haven’t filed an income tax return for 2020, you’ll need to file one now. If you did file a return and didn’t claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, you’ll need to file an amended return.

If you filed a 2020 tax return and it hasn’t been processed yet, don’t file a second return. The IRS is still behind on processing millions of tax returns from 2020 due to errors and lack of personnel. The IRS is also expecting significant delays in processing 2021 tax returns.

People that didn’t receive their third round of Economic Impact Payments can claim it on their 2021 tax return. You must file a federal tax return to claim the funds, even if you don’t normally file or aren’t required to file. Any funds to which you were entitled will be used to reduce the amount of taxes you owe or issued as a refund.

Using online tax preparation software and filing online will help reduce errors that can delay the return and the software will also help you determine your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Depending on your individual circumstances, the stimulus payment will be used to reduce the amount of taxes owed or will be issued as a refund. You can have refunds deposited to a bank account, prepaid debit card or alternative financial product. You’ll need to provide your account and routing numbers.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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small business tax

Can You Get Tax Help for Free?

There are dozens of reasons why you need assistance with your taxes, especially if you’re doing them yourself. If you’re one of the millions that prepare their own taxes online, the services offer help in the form of popup windows, but those can be even more confusing and you may want to speak with a real person that’s knowledgeable about your particular circumstances.

You should bear in mind that the IRS was overwhelmed with calls in 2020 and again in 2021. People waited for hours on the phone to have their questions answered. That situation is likely to continue in 2022 and beyond.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

VITA can be found online. You enter your zip code and the distance within which you want to find a volunteer. If you don’t find someone within your search criteria, keep expanding the distance. The online search will provide you with the name of the agency, it’s location and directions for contacting it. VITA help is available at a variety of locations ranging from colleges to community centers.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

To qualify for TCE, you must meet certain criteria. You’ll need to be a senior citizen, disabled, earn moderate or less income, or not be able to speak English very well.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center

These are IRS offices where you can search for a location where you can make an appointment to speak with an IRS representative. However, these sites can be 50 miles or more away from your location.

Taxpayer Advocate Center

The service is an independent organization within the IRS. It can be a good resource for those with a financial hardship due to a tax situation, levy or lien.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

Operated by the AARP for over 50 years, its focus is on those age 50 and older with a low to moderate income, though technically they offer help to any taxpayer.

MilTax Program

This is for current military personnel, a spouse or dependent child of someone in the military, or those who have served in the past. The organization offers help over the phone 24/7 and appointments can also be scheduled for MilTAX at a VITA office.

Local Services

Each year libraries and community centers in almost every town offers services provided by volunteers to help individuals with their tax-related questions. Some offer tax preparation seminars and workshops.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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tax brackets

Biggest Tax Credits You May Qualify For

Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their tax liability. There are dozens of ways business owners can reduce their taxes, but not necessarily for the average person. The following are 5 big tax credits that you may qualify for without even knowing it.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The EITC is one of the best-known credits. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand, depending on the number of children you have and your filing status. The credit will factor in your adjusted gross income, investment income and earned income. You won’t qualify if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes, lived outside the U.S. for 6 months or more, or earned more than $10,000 in investment income. You may be able to claim children up to 24 years of age if certain criteria are met.

American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)

Formerly known as the Hope Credit, the AOTC helps if you’re paying for college expenses that includes tuition and course materials. The allowable amount is determined according to your modified adjusted gross income. Students must be enrolled at least half time and the credit is available on a per-student basis.

Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC)

You can claim this to help offset the costs of post-secondary education, even if you’re not pursuing a degree. It’s available to those within specific income brackets.

Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC)

The credit is available to help mitigate the costs of child care services for children under age 13 so parents can work. The credit also encompasses caring for a spouse, parents, or other individual that’s mentally or physically incapable of caring for themselves.

Savers Tax Credit (STC)

Previously known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, it provides a credit if you contribute to retirement plans encompassing a 401(k), investment retirement accounts, and some other types of retirement plans. Age, along with dependent and student status will be factored in.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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accountant conway south carolina

What is the Penalty for Not Paying Taxes?

Individuals that don’t pay their taxes in full by the deadline of April 15 each year are subject to a monetary penalty. The IRS can charge up to 6 percent interest on the unpaid balance and may choose to add a late payment penalty of 0.5 to 25 percent. Individuals that don’t pay their taxes are digging themselves a financial hole that can be almost impossible to escape.

Notices about the unpaid balance will begin to arrive and the letters will take on a more severe tone the longer a taxpayer ignores them. The IRS may place a tax lien against any property and financial assets that the person owns. The IRS will then be entitled to some or all of the money if an asset is sold.

Even if the actions aren’t reported on the taxpayer’s credit report, liens are part of public records. It can affect the person’s ability to maintain security clearance, obtain employment, a credit card or loan. Filing bankruptcy is no guarantee that the lien or tax bill will be dismissed.

The account may be sent to a collection agency for recovery. For those that owe tens of thousands of dollars or more, an individual could receive a visit from a revenue officer. During this time, the IRS may begin seizing assets.

The law says the IRS can take the taxpayer’s vehicle to sell at auction, 401(k) accounts, IRAs and homes. The State Department may get involved and can refuse to renew or issue a passport or revoke an existing passport.

However, what many don’t know is that the IRS generally won’t pursue individuals for unpaid taxes after 10 years, but they might, due to the 10 Year Statute of Limitations. The IRS doesn’t consider it in their best interests or cost effective to continue trying to collect and will wipe it clean from their books. It’s a complicated process that can be temporarily suspended under circumstances and the only one qualified to advise an individual on this is a tax professional.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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