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CPA Consultant Conway South Carolina

Tax Laws for Real Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Estate taxes can be very burdensome and can result in undue stress on a family. A family faced with the prospect of having to pay estate taxes will have a greater risk of losing assets than they would have had they been aware of the laws in the state in which they lived. This situation is even more common where the deceased was a member of a large family. Estate taxes can often result in a family being forced to split assets amongst themselves, resulting in further financial hardships for the family.

Taxes are levied on many types of assets throughout the world, but estate taxes are unique because they are levied directly upon the beneficiaries of that asset. An estate tax is basically a tax paid on an inherited property or cash by an individual who receives money or other assets from someone who has passed away, whilst an estate tax merely is an annual tax on the entire value of an inherited asset, regardless of whether it is paid or not during the lifetime of the person claiming it. There are exceptions to these two types of taxes, but the majority of people will at least have to face them throughout their lifetimes.

The bulk of what can be termed as estate taxes are levied on people who inherit wealth or inherit property within their estate. Many times, there is no way to ensure that the assets have been properly titled (cashed in) so that the tax that is due cannot be levied on them, although in cases where this is the case, the heirs can claim exemptions against the amount of the tax owed on their inheritances.

Estate taxes are collected from the proceeds of the distribution of the estate, which can consist of any part of the assets of the deceased person that were not immediately consumed during the course of the decedent’s life. Commonly, the proceeds of the estate are levied as a gift tax, and this gift tax generally applies to the executor or administrator of the estate, even if they are not the claimant of the inheritance. While there is no way that one can avoid the gift tax, it is possible to reduce the size of the proceeds that are subject to this particular tax. These methods include making sure that there is an adequate Trustee, if there is more than one executor; paying the gift tax over a period of time rather than all at once; and setting up the trust to make payments directly to the IRS rather than a trustee.

Estate taxes are a necessary evil and are levied in order to pay the expenses that are incurred during the administration of an estate. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they are responsible for these taxes, and often feel that the estate is simply an investment opportunity that has been passed down to them without any obligation whatsoever. The reality is that if the proper steps aren’t taken to ensure that taxes are paid in a timely fashion then the estate can become subject to heavy penalty fines and legal action by the government. One of the most common strategies estate planners to use when working with clients that owe inheritance taxes is to seek out someone who is experienced in financial law and tax law in general. This individual will be able to advise and assist the client in the entire process of settling their tax obligations, from the collection of the assets to the disposition and distribution of those assets.

It is very important that individuals that are liable for inheritance taxes properly learn about the laws regarding these types of taxes, and that they take every step necessary to minimize their impact on their heirs as much as possible. It is also very important for everyone to remember that if the IRS goes after you for inheritance taxes, they have the right to take your money immediately – even if you have already gone through the process of legally establishing the estate and transferring assets. This can be extremely frightening for many families and individuals who are responsible for huge sums of money that could be rightfully heading to your heirs. If you’re afraid of the IRS going after your assets, you need to learn everything you can about estate taxes so that you can properly protect yourself.

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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Why Hire a CPA For Your Taxes?

What is the reason to hire a CPA to handle your business taxes? CPA’s are highly experienced accountants who have gained valuable experience in the business world.  It is a very valuable tool for business owners to hire a CPA because a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf to get you better tax benefits.

Hiring a CPA can save you money and hassle. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is trained and experienced in all aspects of small business accounting and tax laws. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the person most qualified to interpret the complicated IRS instructions and other federal and state tax laws. They will be able to properly prepare your tax returns and advise you on the best option for taking advantage of every tax deduction available to you.

Small business owners can hire a CPA to handle their taxes due in April, July and October. Most accountants are already familiar with the complex procedures required to file an income tax return with the IRS. The IRS also requires small businesses to retain an accountant to manage their accounting and bookkeeping. Even if you do not currently use the CPA for your accounting needs it is still a wise decision to hire one to file your taxes for you.

One of the many benefits to business owners who fail to hire a CPA is the potential financial backlash from paying incorrect taxes. In 2021 the Internal Revenue Service audited more than 500 business owners for tax liability. The majority of these tax liability audits resulted in the taxpayer owing a penalty or interest amount. The majority of business owners were not even aware they had incurred 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!

 

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Top 7 Small Business Tax Tips

Here are seven ways for owners of small businesses to save money on their taxes.

 

  1. Incorporate Yourself: If you`re still a proprietor or partner of a business, it`s time to incorporate yourself. Not only will you limit your liability, but you may enjoy lower tax rates on small business income and other tax advantages as well. 

 

  1. Be Home Based: If possible, continue (or switch to) being a home based business. Not only will you keep your overhead down, but you will be able to write-off (or deduct) the business use of your home.

 

  1. Income Split: Pay reasonable wages to your spouse and children. In this way, you can legally divert income taxed at your higher rate to your family members that are in a lower tax bracket.

 

  1. Rearrange Your Affairs For Maximum Tax Savings: Can you make some changes to turn your hobby into a moneymaking business? Can you use that extra room in your house as a home office for your business? Can you arrange to use your car more for business purposes? Can you arrange for more of your entertainment expenses to be business-related? 

 

  1. Document Your Expenses Well: Do you document your expenses well so that they would survive a tax audit? Have you kept a mileage log so that you can prove the percentage of business use you claim for your vehicle? Have you kept receipts for all your entertainment expenses and listed the business purpose on the back of each receipt?

 

  1. Be Punctual: File all returns and pay all taxes due (income, payroll, sales, et cetera) on time. This way, you avoid expensive late filing (and payment) penalties and interest. 

 

  1. Develop a Tax Planning Mindset: Some people only worry about their taxes during tax season. However, you will save a fortune in taxes, legally, if you make tax planning your year-round concern. Do you make business and personal purchases, investments, and other expenditures with tax savings in mind?

 

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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Advantages of Completing your Taxes Early

Tax time is stressful, even if you’re going to receive a refund. The anxiety that accompanies filing yearly income taxes leads many to wait until the last minute to even begin gathering the records they need. There are actually a number of benefits to conquering the fear and filing your taxes early.

Quicker Refunds

Filing as soon as possible means you’re going to receive any refund faster. That’s especially true if you file electronically. There’s a significant difference in the time it takes to process a paper return than one that’s e-filed. Filing early also increases the accuracy of your return.

Extra Time to Pay

If you do owe money to the IRS, finding out early gives you extra time to pay them. You can submit your tax return early, but you don’t have to have the money to the IRS until the filing deadline in mid-April.

Information for Planning

If you have kids that will be attending college and they rely on your income to apply for financial aid, filing early gives you that crucial data. Tax return information is also utilized for other purposes such as financial pre-approval for purchasing a home.

Avoid Extensions and Interest

You may very well need the services of a tax professional to file your taxes if you wait until the deadline is near. The closer it is to the filing deadline, the more difficult it will be to schedule an appointment with a tax preparer.

You may also need to file an extension if you wait. Doing so will give you additional time to plan on how to pay the IRS what you owe. However, if the amount isn’t paid in full, the IRS can charge you interest and penalties until the balance is fully paid off.

Identity Theft

Scammers file billions in fraudulent tax returns every year, robbing people of the refunds to which they’re entitled. Filing early helps prevent someone from submitting a tax return in your name and getting your refund.

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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Ways to Cut your Tax Bill

Everyone wants to cut their tax bill and reduce their taxes. There are ways to accomplish those goals of which you may not be aware. The following are just some of the ways that you can cut your tax bill.

401k

The IRS doesn’t tax contributions to an IRA, making them an ideal way to reduce taxable income. Up to $19, 500 can be placed in an IRA and people 50 and over can add an extra $6,500 to that amount.

Education

You can establish an educational savings fund and deduct your contributions on your federal tax return. Contributing to the state’s 529 prepaid tuition or educational savings plan may also be deductible on state taxes. Be aware that the gift tax may apply if it exceeds $15,000 to a single beneficiary.

FSA

A flexible spending account for medical and dental expenses can aid in lowering your tax bill. There’s a limit of $2,750 in contributions. If you have a dependent care FSA account for child care expenses, the IRS will exclude contributions of up to $5,000. It may also cover eldercare expenses. Check with a tax professional to be sure.

HSA

Contributing to a health savings account can be beneficial if you have a high-deductible insurance plan. The plan parameters change each year and not everyone may qualify for the deduction, but they also have investment potential. It’s not a good option for everyone, so check with a tax professional first.

IRAs

There are standard/traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. You might be limited on how much you can contribute or unable to deduct contributions under certain circumstances, depending upon which type you have. It’s best to discuss the situation with a tax professional or accountant.

Tax Calculators

There are numerous types of tax calculators that can help you save. There are calculators to estimate your taxes and refund to more complex calculators for determining capital gain taxes. Knowing where you stand financially is an effective tool for managing your finances and reducing tax liability.

W4s

Your W4s tells your employer how much to deduct from your check each week. If you had to pay in a sizable amount last year, increase your withholdings. The opposite is true if you got a large refund the previous year. You can change the withholdings on your W4 any time you want.

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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Keeping your Business up to Date with Tax Laws

Tax laws change quickly and often with very little warning. It can seem like an impossibility to keep track of all the changes and utilize them to your business advantage. You have three choices when preparing your taxes – do them yourself, use tax preparation software, or have a professional do them.

No matter which option you choose, changes in tax laws will ultimately affect your business in some way. It’s much better to engage the services of a professional accountant than be surprised at tax time. It’s an accountant’s business to know about changes, inform clients, and help them develop a strategy to minimize tax liability.

Your business will need to remain legally compliant with all state laws – which will depend on where you live – along with federal tax laws. There will be different requirements, depending upon your business structure and you’ll need to ensure all certificates, licenses, and permits are current.

As a small business owner, you’ll be subject to a variety of different taxes unless you’re in a partnership – in which case you’ll be required to file an information return. You’ll be required to pay self-employment taxes and employment taxes on employees. Sole proprietors, S corporation shareholders, and partners will pay estimated taxes and you’ll need to have withheld a sufficient amount to meet tax liabilities.

There are also excise taxes, which can often seem very vague but cut across multiple industries. You’ll be liable for these if you operate certain types of businesses, sell specific products, offer certain types of services, or use specific types of equipment, facilities or products. Some classic examples are alcohol, fuel and tobacco, but the list is extensive.

Of special interest for business owners are changes for net operating losses, first-year depreciation, pass-throughs that include sole proprietorships, S corporations, and LLCs, and those that have significant operations overseas. Many individuals outsource their marketing and other functions when applicable through the gig economy and accounting for that can be a headache for you and the person that provided the services.

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 Penalties you Need to Avoid

It doesn’t matter whether it’s time to pay your personal taxes or your business taxes, it’s easy to run afoul of the IRS. There are some common types of tax penalties that you may incur if you don’t stay focused. The following are the most common tax penalties you need to avoid.

Bad Checks

If you write a check to pay your taxes and the funds aren’t available when the IRS tries to withdraw the money, you can be penalized a set amount or the full amount of the check you wrote.

Charitable Contributions

Anyone caught operating for-profit activities while claiming the endeavor as a charitable organization will face considerable penalties. Non-profits that are caught operating for-profit activities can lose their tax exempt status.

Failure to File

There are some taxpayers that aren’t required to file a return, but if you do have to file, you need to do so by a specific date or file for an extension. An extension gives you six more months to file, but won’t absolve you from the need to pay any taxes owed by the usual deadline.

Failure to Pay

When you owe taxes to the IRS, you have 21 days to pay the entire amount. If you don’t, the IRS will charge you ½ of 1 percent per month on the amount you owe.

Fraud

Fraud occurs when you don’t report all your income or inflate the number of deductions you have to lower your taxes. The IRS can penalize you by 75 percent of what you actually owe and/or have you jailed. The IRS receives a copy of your earnings every year, just as you do.

Late Payments

If you fail to pay a balance owed the IRS by the filing deadline, there will be financial penalties that will be added to what you already owe. Those penalties accrue compound interest each month that they go unpaid.

Social Security Number

You have to provide a Social Security number for yourself, spouse, and anyone you claim as a dependent. You must disclose those numbers or face penalties for each instance of non-compliance.

Underpayment

For individuals that estimate their tax burden, you’ll incur a fine if you fail to pay the entire amount. There is also a fine for underestimating what you owe. The fine will be added to the amount you owe the next time you’re required to file.

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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Common Practices to Reduce Your Tax Liability

At tax time, everyone is looking for ways to reduce their tax liability and keep more of their hard-earned income. It’s possible to reduce your liability without having your return red-flagged by the IRS. The following are just some of the common ways to do so.

Business Expenses

If you own a small business, always hire a professional to do your taxes. There are a variety of deductions you may be eligible to take, but may not take advantage of for fear of triggering an audit. A professional tax preparer will be cognizant of the types of expenses that you can claim and the documentation you’ll need.

Charity

Charitable donations can be written off if they exceed your standard deduction and you itemize your taxes. You’ll need receipts to prove the contribution and they should be realistic.

College

You can contribute to a 529 account for yourself or grandchildren, nieces and nephews. You can’t deduct a 529 on federal taxes, but it can provide savings on state tax returns, depending upon the state in which you live. You can also deduct $2,000 in educational expenses through the Lifetime Learning Credit, even if you aren’t working toward a degree and your income isn’t too high.

Health Insurance

The federal government will no longer penalize you financially for not having insurance, but many states have initiated their own fines in the form of a tax for not having a qualifying healthcare plan. The rules vary on what a qualifying health plan means, so it’s best to consult with a professional and get covered.

Retirement Funds

Contribute as much as you can to an IRA or 401k account. You can contribute $6,000 to an IRA or $19,000 to a 401k. Additional amounts can be contributed if you’re over 50.

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

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Are You Ready For Tax Day?

Because deadlines are strict, and penalties will be given to late tax payments, you should make sure that you do not put off your “tax day.”  You should definitely start preparing your income tax return well before April 15. Whether you are doing your own income tax return or you are getting the help of a certified public accountant or firm to prepare your income tax return, you should get a few things together before you begin or meet with the CPA.

The main thing you will need for your income tax return is proof of the income you made and the taxes you paid in the previous year.  That includes income made through employers, interest from accounts, dividends from investments, income made through self-employment, income made as a subcontractor, and any other income.  Student loans and other types of loans may also be considered income for the purposes of income tax, as can winnings from a lottery, casino, or other contest. If you are unsure about what can be considered as income for tax purposes, you should contact a certified public accountant.

The other thing that is important is social security numbers for everyone you will claim on your income tax return.  That includes social security numbers for your spouse and any children you will claim. Without social security numbers, proof of residence, and birth dates, you cannot claim deductions on your income tax return for these individuals.

The next thing that you should gather is what you will need for deductions.  If you have a mortgage, your interest paid to the mortgage company may be tax-deductible.  If you use a vehicle for business purposes, you can claim a tax deduction for mileage. If you have children in daycare so that you can work, you can claim a tax deduction for that expense.  You can also claim tax deductions for excessive medical expenses and charitable contributions.  

If you are self-employed, you will need to also gather your receipts for tax-deductible expenses.  A tax-deductible business expense is any expense that is used solely or primarily for the business you are involved in.  The tax-deductible expense must be documented in order to claim it, so any receipts you have, usage logs for computers and vehicles, etc. should be gathered so that you can take the highest deduction possible.  If you have any doubts about what is tax-deductible for your business, you should contact a certified public accountant to assist you in your income tax preparation.

Once you have gathered all of the necessary tax documents, you must determine which tax forms you need to file.  If you are an individual with a few tax-deductible items, you can file a simple tax return. However, if you are self-employed you must also file a tax form called Schedule C.  If you have a lot of tax-deductible items, you will want to file a more complex tax return to itemize your tax deductions. If you are unsure what tax forms you need to file, you should contact a certified public accountant to assist you in your income tax return preparation.

Tax Day can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be.  Gather all of your required tax documents as early as possible, and don’t put off the inevitable.  Contact a certified public accountant as soon as you can if you are unsure what tax forms you need to file, or what tax deductions you can take.  And, most importantly, don’t panic on tax day!

 

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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All About Tax Planning

Tax planning is very important if you want to make sure that your income tax return is filed quickly, effectively, accurately, and painlessly.  Through careful tax planning, you can have everything you need to file your income tax return at your fingertips whenever you are ready to file.  Tax planning is also helpful in the case that your income tax return is brought up for audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax planning is essentially tracking your income tax-deductible items as they come up, and keeping records organized and handy in case they are needed.  The most important tool for tax planning is a small filing cabinet. You can use this filing cabinet to file your tax planning documents and receipts, as well as keep track of previous tax returns filed and other important documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.  The file cabinet you get to use for your tax planning should be fireproof and have a lock. That way your tax planning documents are safe in almost any disaster and other people cannot easily gain access to your tax planning and other important documents.

Part of tax planning is making sure that you are aware of what expenses are tax-deductible.  You cannot engage in tax planning and track tax-deductible expenses if you don’t know what you should be tracking!  The Internal Revenue Service offers many publications on this subject. However, if you have any questions about income tax-deductible items you should contact a qualified, certified, and licensed tax professional.

Once you know what tax-deductible expenses you will need to track for the coming tax year, you need to set up a tax planning record-keeping system.  This can be a simple receipt book, expanding file, index cards, envelopes, or any other method that makes sense to you. Keep in mind, however, as you engage in tax planning, that your tax planning record keeping system should not only make sense to you but also make sense to your income tax preparer and the Internal Revenue Service if necessary.

At the end of each month, you can add up the totals for the different types of income tax-deductible expenses you recorded in your tax planning records for that month.  This way, all you have to do to discover your tax-deductible amount is add up the totals for each month. The other records you collect and track through your tax planning are simply for proof that you can claim these income tax deductions, and are not really needed for preparing your income tax return if you have all of your totals in order.

On the surface, income tax planning may seem complicated and difficult.  But with proper organization, tax planning is really quite easy. Not only that, but when you engage in income tax planning, you better your chances for that larger income tax refund that you need and deserve.  If you have any questions about tax planning, you should contact a tax planning professional tax accountant today!

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

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