Skip to main content Skip to search

Posts by admin

tax accountant

Top Tips for Hiring the Right Tax Accountant

In the digital age, a majority of individuals simply file their taxes through an online service that provides tax software. Others make use of tax preparers that can be found at kiosks located in malls and chain stores. The people that work in retail franchises such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt are competent for individuals that are filing a very straight forward tax return.

Individuals often find certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents (EAs) working at those kiosks. EAs are the elite by IRS standards and are allowed to represent clients before the IRS. For those that choose to utilize the experience and knowledge of a tax accountant, there’s some basic information individuals should ascertain before hiring them.

Qualifications

One of the best ways to find a reliable tax accountant is to seek recommendations and referrals from family, friends and business owners. Don’t be reticent about contacting the firm and asking questions. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints may have been filed.

The tax accountant should be willing to provide their qualifications and any areas of specialization. Ask if they’ve ever been involved in an audit, how they handled the situation, and the outcome. Tax accountants can’t accept payment without a preparer tax ID number (PTIN). Make sure the tax accountant has one.

Due Diligence

After the initial interview with a tax accountant, individuals can contact the state’s board of accountancy to discover if they’re licensed, in good standing, and if they’ve had any disciplinary actions taken. It can also be helpful to search their name online.

Red Flags

There are some red flags of which every individual should be aware. If a tax accountant promises a large refund before they’ve even looked at a person’s financial situation, look elsewhere. The same is true if they tell a client they can claim an excessive number of deductions.

Shop Around

Every taxpayer and tax accountant won’t be a good fit for each other. Individuals have the right to shop around, change their mind, or even take their return elsewhere if they desire. If necessary, individuals can always ask for an extension on filing their taxes. No one should trust their finances and tax returns to someone without the proper certifications and experience.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more
small business tax

Common Bookkeeping Mistakes of Small Business Owners

Tax time can be especially stressful for small business owners. They invest a lot of time, money and effort to create a successful enterprise and they want to save as much money in taxes as possible. When it comes to bookkeeping, there are a number of common mistakes that business owners make that can cost them money or land them in trouble with the IRS.

Business owners must maintain communication with their accountants for effective services. If they outsource work or pay a bonus, for example, they need to inform their accountant and provide a receipt. Even the use of petty cash must be handled appropriately, along with categorization of accounts. Paper trails are critical.

Receipts

Business owners know the importance of saving receipts for high ticket expenses, but they often overlook receipts of $75 or less that can provide documentation in the event of an audit. It pays to embrace modern technology for this. Apps are available that enable people to snap a photo with their phone for filing purposes. There are also scanners that will scan receipts and automatically categorize them for retrieval when needed.

Reimbursable Expenses

These are expenses that a business owner may incur on behalf of their clients. That can include phone calls, travel, office expenses, delivery fees, conversion fees, or even lunch with a potential client. The expenses need to be tracked and documented. There are convenient apps for that.

Employees

Classifying employees can be confusing. There are regular employees, independent contractors and consultants, and freelancers in the gig economy. Misclassifying employees and contractors will result in expensive tax penalties and lawsuits.

Reconciliation

The books a business maintains must be reconciled with bank statements. It provides individuals with information about their business health and enables them to plan for things like equipment purchases or expansions. Reconciliation will identify bank errors, if more employees can be added, and how much money is available at any given time. It can be time-consuming and complicated without the assistance of an experienced bookkeeper.

Sales Tax

Failure to collect sales tax, or deduct sales tax, can turn into a nightmare due to the many ways in which business is conducted today – especially e-commerce. A tax professional should be experienced in the rules governing multiple types of commerce.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more
reduce taxable incom

Best Ways to Reduce Taxable Income

There are a number of ways that even the average taxpayer can utilize to reduce their taxable income, thereby mitigating their tax burden. Those methods are also available to lower income earners of less than $100,000 per year. The following are just a few of the ways that people can use to lower their taxable income.

Charitable Donations

Taxpayers will need to itemize deductions to take advantage of the credit if they contribute more than $300 in cash or goods. Those with cash donations of $300 or less can also claim the deduction.

Earned Income Credit

Even individuals that aren’t required to pay taxes may qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC) worth a maximum of $6,660, providing they meet income limits and other criteria. It’s available for single people with no children and married couples with 3 or more children.

Education

Higher education costs can net individuals a $2,500 per person tax credit. Adults that return to school or training can receive a $2,000 credit per year.

Health Care

A flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) sets aside a portion of earnings for out-of-pocket health care expenses and the money is untaxable. FSA contributions are limited to $2,750 per year and HSA contributions are capped at $3,600 per individual.

Home Business

Anyone operating a business from their home can claim a deduction for a portion of their home used as their office, equipment and supplies. The deduction can also be beneficial for individuals that have a side-hustle or are working in the gig economy.’

Military

Active military and military reserve personnel can deduct moving costs associated with a change of duty station.

Mortgage Insurance

Premiums to private mortgage insurance companies can be deducted if deductions are itemized.

Retirement Savings

Employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) can contribute up to $19,500 and people over 50 can make catch-up contributions. The contributions are made before taxes and don’t count toward taxable income. An IRA serves the same purpose for those that are self-employed, though the contribution amounts are different.

Self-Employment

People that are self-employed can deduct 50 percent of the amount paid from income taxes to compensate them for paying the full amount for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Itemizing deductions isn’t required.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more
medical expenses

Deducting Medical Expenses

Everyone wants to lower their tax burden by getting every possible deduction to which they’re entitled and medical expenses is one way to accomplish that. However, individuals must itemize to claim the deduction and much will depend on an individual’s income. Claiming medical expense deductions is beneficial if the amount of the deductions exceeds the standard deduction on income taxes.

What can be Deducted?

The IRS enables taxpayers to deduct unreimbursed medical, dental, vision, and mental health expenses for themselves, a spouse and dependents, up to 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Those expenses can include diagnostics, mitigation, treatment and cures, along with preventative measures. Individuals can also deduct travel expenses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many individuals with astronomical medical bills. Some private insurance companies have pledged to cover all COVID-19 expenses, while others have not. Taxpayers that rely on Medicaid and Medicare for medical care may have co-pays and spend-downs that they can claim.

There are a great many expenses that taxpayers can deduct if they’re itemizing deductions, up to 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. They include fees to a wide range of medical and mental health professionals, including surgeons, dentists, chiropractors, psychiatrists and psychologists, and non-traditional medical practitioners.

Wide Range of Deductions

Other expenses include oral and injectable prescription medications, weight loss programs prescribed by a doctor, and in-patient costs for drug, alcohol and nicotine addiction. Nursing home costs, insurance premiums, and medical aids such as crutches, wheelchairs, dentures and even service dogs are all allowable expenses.

The range of medical-related expenses that can be deducted is extensive, but there are also restrictions on what can be claimed. For taxpayers with substantial costs, it can be beneficial to claim those deductions. The best solution for those intending to claim medical expense deductions is engaging the services of a tax professional or certified public accountant (CPA) that has the experience, knowledge and resources to help them get every deduction to which they’re qualified.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more

Stimulus Relief and Taxes

Various stimulus payments during the COVID-19 pandemic have been designed to provide relief for those struggling during job loss and lock downs. The coronavirus has affected every aspect of life, and that includes income taxes.

Payment Delays

The federal government has made three rounds of stimulus payments to individuals, even to those that typically don’t file or aren’t required to file. The distribution of those payments has encountered a number of problems. Individuals may have received one, but not the other payment, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t receive the second and third.

Others received less than the full amount and in many cases, the payments were confiscated for child support and similar court-ordered payments or the full amount wasn’t disbursed. For those individuals, they may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit, but to do so they need to file a tax return.

Tax Liability

The good news is that stimulus checks aren’t taxable. Individuals must pay taxes on income, but stimulus checks aren’t really income for tax purposes. It’s classified as an advance payment on a tax credit and a tax credit isn’t taxable either. Pay careful attention to the new tax forms, as they can save taxpayers money if they:

  • Had a baby
  • Were married and one spouse doesn’t have a Social Security number
  • Income dropped in 2020
  • Are a recent college graduate
  • Didn’t receive a full round of stimulus checks
  • Didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return

Delivery Difficulties

The stimulus payments were first made to people that filed tax returns by e-file. Paper checks were then dispersed to those that filed paper copies of their return. It led to delays, shorted amounts, and no check at all, since distribution was based on 2019 and 2020 tax returns. That means individuals will be able to claim the amount they missed as a tax credit on their taxes.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more
tax professional

5 Reasons a Tax Professional is Better than Online Filing Services

Millions of people across the nation file their taxes each year using popular online software. It’s easy, convenient, and fairly inexpensive. The IRS recommends that individuals use e-file options for their taxes. However, the best solution can be a tax professional. The more complex the tax filing, the more a tax professional makes sense and they can also e-file for clients.

  1. Year-Round Help

Online tax software is only available for a limited time each year and it can’t provide advice on potential tax issues that may arise during the coming year. A tax professional is available to answer questions and concerns at anytime during the year, not just at tax time.

  1. Best Software

Tax professionals have access to better and more sophisticated software than that offered online. An individual’s information can be scanned, entered, and organized quickly and efficiently. The process eliminates manual data entry, significantly reducing the potential for human error.

  1. On Time

Online software depends on individuals buckling down, collecting their information and beginning the task of filing taxes. Fear of a mistake is common among self-filers and it’s exacerbated when the individual happens to be a procrastinator. Provided that individuals get the information to their tax professional in a timely manner, taxes will always be filed on time, thereby eliminating late fees and running afoul of the IRS. Filing via a tax professional may also reduce the potential of an audit.

  1. Business Needs

Complying with new tax laws for operating a business and investments becomes more complicated every year. A tax professional is one of the first to have access to upcoming changes that affect clients’ taxes and livelihood. They have a thorough understanding of tax laws in multiple areas and can guide individuals. Even those with straightforward tax returns will fare better.

  1. Stress

Tax time generates a considerable amount of stress each year and it’s compounded when people try to do their own taxes – even with online software. The changes in tax laws and the COVID-19 pandemic are further confusing requirements. An ordinary tax return can take up to two hours to complete online. A tax professional saves clients time, effort and stress.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more

Best Tax Savings for Single People

There’s a wealth of deductions that couples and parents of children can take to lessen their tax burden. Single people aren’t typically so fortunate, but there are ways that singles can utilize to reduce their monetary burden at tax time.

Adjust Withholding

A large tax refund is a good indication that an individual is having too much withheld from their paycheck. The solution is to file a new W-4 form with their employer. By reducing withholdings individuals will receive more money in each of their paychecks.

Health Care

A health care flex plan diverts money from a paycheck into an account that an individual can use to pay medical bills. Neither income taxes or Social Security taxes need to be paid on the money. The maximum contribution each year to a health care health plan is $2,500.

Job Hunting

For singles that are looking for a new position in the same line of work, job hunting expenses can be deducted. That includes transportation, food, lodging and other associated costs, not to exceed 2 percent of adjusted gross income. Moving costs can be claimed if a new job is more than 50 miles farther from the individual’s home. If the individual is using their own vehicle, they can claim 56 cents per mile, along with tolls and parking fees.

Restricted Stock

Taxes on stock received as a fringe benefit can be paid at the time of the stock’s value rather than until the restrictions disappear. The benefit is that the tax rate could be far more after the stock vests.

Side Hustles

Individuals that are making extra money at home through a side hustle can deduct a percentage of the space as a home office. However, individuals that make more than $400 may be taxed at the increased level reserved for the self-employed.

Pandemic

For singles that have been sharing their home with a family member of friend during the pandemic, if they’ve been providing more than 50 percent of that person’s living expenses, they can claim them as a dependent. Many people didn’t receive one or more of the three stimulus payments that were distributed by the federal government. For others, the full amount wasn’t received. Anyone that experienced one of those situations can claim the amount as a tax credit.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more
estimated taxes

Estimated Taxes for the Self-Employed

People that are self-employed typically pay a self-employment tax, income tax, and are required to file quarterly. Estimated taxes are similar to the Medicare and Social Security taxes that are withheld from a person’s paycheck. The goal for the self-employed is to subtract business expenses from business income to determine estimated taxes.

If expenses are less than income, the difference becomes net profit and part of the income. The reverse is also true. If expenses are more than income, the difference is the net loss. Net earnings of more than $400 requires the filing of self-employment taxes and the individual may also have to file an income tax return.

Since there’s no employer taking Medicare and Social Security taxes from a paycheck, those that are self-employed have to estimate their tax liability. Specialized forms and worksheets will be required and it’s at this point that most individuals hire a tax professional. They will know when the client needs to file and they have the advanced software needed for the complex computations. They can also e-file.

Business Structure

When an individual launches a business, they must decide what type of business structure the enterprise will follow to ensure they’re estimating the correct level of taxation. People most commonly establish a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership or S corporation. They may also choose to operate as a limited liability company (LLC), which is a relatively new type of entity that most states deemed allowable in the 1990s.

Joint Venture

When spouses form a business venture, it’s considered a joint venture for tax purposes and the rules are slightly different. They have the option, if they’re the only employees, to elect to file taxes individually rather than as a partnership.

Penalties

Business owners will find that they’re charged a penalty if they don’t pay enough taxes through estimated tax payments if they receive other income. Those sources can include alimony, dividends and capital gains, and prizes and awards. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s easier and more efficient to hire 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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more

Tax Advantages of an HSA

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an often-overlooked strategy that has tax advantages. An HSA allows individuals to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualifying medical expenses. The savings account can be used to pay for insurance copayments and other expenses that can save money on overall healthcare costs.

It’s important to remember that employer contributions will also figure toward those amounts. Individuals that contribute more than the allowable amount will incur a 6 percent tax. However, not everyone can take advantage of an HSA.

The HSA funds can be utilized at any time, but funds can only be contributed if individuals have a high deductible health plan – such as those available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In 2022, individuals can contribute up to $3,650 and up to $7,300 for families. The funds also roll over from year to year if they’re not spent. HSAs have the potential to earn interest or other benefits that aren’t taxable.

Contributions

Contributions are tax free. They can be made through a pre-tax payroll deduction and isn’t counted as income so it can’t be taxed. Self-employed people can make pre-tax contributions and it won’t count as taxable income.

Interest

An HSA is a savings account and it will earn interest like any other savings account. The good news is that interest earned won’t be deemed as taxable income.

Withdrawals

Withdrawing funds to pay for allowable medical expenses can be done without penalty. An added bonus is that the HSA will perform like a traditional IRA once an individual turns 65 years old. Funds can then be withdrawn for any reason, not just for medical care and costs. However, individuals will be taxed on the money if they do. Anyone that’s enrolled in Medicare won’t be able to contribute to the HSA any longer. The good news is that any unused money that rolled over for all those years will still be there to pay for medical expenses tax free.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more

Does my Teen Need to File Taxes?

Filing income taxes can be difficult enough with the constant changes to IRS rules. The situation becomes significantly more difficult when a teen and their income are involved. You’ll need to have a variety of information at your fingertips. The IRS sets dollar amount limits and whether or not your teen will have to file a tax return will depend on their total income was from all sources.

Income Levels

Unlike adults, there’s more flexibility when a child is filing, but that can also make it more complicated. If your child has income above the level set by the IRS, he/she won’t need to file. However, when a child has both earned and unearned income, the two will have to be added together to determine their filing status.

Financial Support

You can claim your child if you provide more than 50 percent of their financial support, they live with you more than half the year, and they’re under the age of 19 during the entire year. You can claim them up to the age of 24 if they’re a full-time student, even if they live outside your home due to their education.

Wages and Salary

The type of income your child has will also affect their filing status. Dependent children that have earned income of more than $12,400 (as of 2020) through wages and salaries must file. They may also owe income taxes. A child’s standard deduction can’t exceed the larger of $1,100 or their earned income plus $350. The maximum is $12,400.

Investment Income

A child’s investment income is treated differently. It’s considered unearned income when acquired through dividend or interest payments, for example. If all the child’s money was unearned income, you can include it on your return and combine it with your income. However, doing so has the potential of elevating you to a higher tax bracket.

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!

 

Contact Us Today

Read more