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Why Tax Filing Status Matters

Federal tax returns are never fun to complete. Their complex and convoluted nature causes serious stress and even fear in those trying to do their own taxes – even with online tax services. Getting as much of a refund as possible while reducing tax liability is the goal and it begins with the question of filing status.

Filing status is extremely important as it affects the filer’s tax bracket and the amount they’ll owe. Filing status also determines how much – if any – refund that will be received and the deductions and credits for which individuals are eligible. The more deductions and credits for which an individual or family qualifies, the less their tax liability will be. Individuals can file as:

  • Single
  • Head of Household
  • Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child
  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Married Filing Separately

Single

Unmarried people on Dec. 31, those whose divorce was finalized before that date, and people that have never been married can claim this status. It can reduce tax liability for individuals with children, providing certain conditions are met.

Head of Household

Filing in this category lowers the tax rate and provides a higher standard deduction for single filers. As a head of household, individuals will need to have a higher income than a single filer before they owe income taxes.

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

Men or women filing this way receive a higher standard deduction and lower tax rate. It can be taken for two years following the death of a spouse, provided they remain single. The filer must have a dependent child, stepchild, or adopted child and meet income, age, and support requirements. This category and married filing jointly offer the highest standard deduction. These filers may also qualify for tax breaks on investments.

Married Filing Jointly

Filers in this category can help couples qualify for a lower tax bracket, less tax liability, and may even net a refund. There are a number of credits and deductions that can be taken, especially with dependent children that aren’t available to single filers or married couples filing separate returns.

Married Filing Separately

This can be beneficial if one spouse earns significantly less money than the other. The individual making less may then be eligible to benefit from certain deductions of which the other spouse may not qualify.

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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Smart Things to do with your Tax Refund

It can be extremely tempting to use your tax refund to reward yourself with a mini-vacation or buy something you’ve been wanting. Unfortunately, when the money is spent it’s gone for good and you’ll still be looking at the same debts as before while trying to make ends meet. The following is a list of the smartest things that anyone can do with their tax refund.

Debt

Pay off any credit card debt if possible or a significant portion of it. Depending upon your individual circumstances, you may choose instead to pay down student loan debt.

Education

Consider an educational fund for your children. Costs continue to increase and an education fund will lessen the student loan burden when they seek a degree. You may want to take advantage of continuing education for yourself and the fund may even be tax deductible.

Emergencies

A major car repair, medical expense, or job loss can happen at any time. An emergency fund will help meet those challenges without breaking into the rent money.

Home Improvements

There are dozens of home improvement projects that are necessary, but it may be difficult to handle the cost all at once. A new roof, more efficient air conditioning, or a bathroom or kitchen update is a good investment, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home.

Life Insurance

A life insurance policy is one of the most overlooked precautions for families. A term policy can provide for final expenses and pay off debt upon your death.

Mortgages

Make extra payments on your mortgage. More of your monthly payments will begin going toward the principal instead of interest.

Retirement

The time for retirement will arrive sooner than you think and you need to be prepared. Consider putting your tax refund into a traditional or Roth IRA where it will stay safely tucked away when you’re no longer working.

Savings

Establishing a separate savings account from your primary savings and checking will keep the money out of sight and out of mind. You won’t be tempted to spend it on impulse buys.

Start a Business

If you’ve ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur with your own business, a tax refund can help you realize that goal. The best part is that you don’t have to quit your regular job while you’re building your brand.

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 Saving Tips for Millennials

Many Millennials are struggling when it comes to their taxes. They don’t have access to the wide variety of tax deductions that their parents have been claiming for years. They’re at a unique point in their life where they’ve just graduated, started a new job, or are just struggling with day-to-day expenses. The following are some tax tips specifically for Millennials.

Filing Fees

Anyone that makes less than $64,000 per year is eligible to file for free. The IRS website can lead filers to companies and organizations that provide the online software to complete their federal and/or state taxes and for e-filing.

Education

Students and graduates should write off every possible educational deduction, including a tuition and fees deduction. It could result in a deduction of up to $4,000. To do so, Millennials will need to save every receipt that may apply. Young taxpayers can also claim their student loan interest up to $2,500.

Another deduction is Lifetime Learning Credits. The deduction can be taken for continuing education even after graduation and has the benefit of making individuals more attractive to employers.

Healthcare

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a fund to which a taxpayer can contribute on behalf of their medical expenses. Up to $6,150 can be deposited each year and it’s all tax-free money that can be used toward any medical expense.

Retirement

Millennials should start saving for retirement as soon as possible. A Roth IRA, for example, allows individuals to take money from the original principal without penalties if needed while continuing to yield monetary results.

Working

Expenses associated with moving to start a new job may be deductible as a work-related expense if the relocation is at least 50 miles. For Millennials that may be working from home, a portion of their living space may qualify as a home office and be eligible for the home office deduction.

Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are all great ways to make extra cash and those avenues may qualify as a home business. Some individuals that are working in positions in which they can offer consulting services can change their filer status from employee to entrepreneur, which opens up new savings possibilities when filing.

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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Making a Profit 

Accountants are responsible for preparing three primary types of financial statements for a business. The income statement reports the profit-making activities of the business and the bottom-line profit or loss for a specified period. The balance sheets reports the financial position of the business at a specific point in time, ofteh the last day of the period. and the statement of cash flows reports how much cash was generated from profit what the business did with this money.

Everyone knows profit is a good thing. It’s what our economy is founded on. It doesn’t sound like such a big deal. Make more money than you spend to sell or manufacture products. But of course nothing’s ever really simple, is it? A profit report, or net income statement first identifies the business and the time period that is being summarized in the report.

You read an income statement from the top line to the bottom line. Every step of the income statement reports the deduction of an expense. The income statement also reports changes in assets and liabilities as well, so that if there’s a revenue increase, it’s either because there’s been an increase in assets or a decrease in a company’s liabilities. If there’s been an increase in the expense line, it’s because there’s been either a decrease in assets or an increase in liabilities.

Net worth is also referred to as owners’ equity in the business. They’re not exactly interchangeable. Net worth expresses the total of assets less the liabilities. Owners’ equity refers to who owns the assets after the liabilities are satisfied.

These shifts in assets and liabilities are important to owners and executives of a business because it’s their responsibility to manage and control such changes.  Making a profit in a business involves several variables, not just increasing the amount of cash that flows through a company, but management of other assets as well.

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 Dictionary For Students, Businesses, and Personal Use

Are you taking up an accounting course or are you already a graduate of accountancy? It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a student or a full-pledged accountant; you need to have an accounting dictionary with you. You can even treat it like a bible. 

You see, one can’t possibly memorize all the accounting terms. Students and fresh graduates have better memories. The accounting lessons are still fresh in their minds. But what about those who graduated many years ago? To guide them in their work, they have to get an accounting dictionary so that they will not be lost in their lessons if ever they come across an unfamiliar accounting term.  

Students and accounting professionals should have their own accounting dictionary. That way, they can easily look up for the definition of a certain term especially when they’re unsure of the true meaning. You can’t afford to make mistakes in accounting because the success of the business rests on you and your knowledge. One tiny mistake can lead to a wrong analysis and decision.

In choosing an accounting staff, the company should get only the best. You see, accounting professionals will be the ones to analyze the financial situation of the company. They have the power to influence business decisions. Therefore, you must hire only the best and the most competitive employees. That way, you can be sure that even when your back is turned, they are still doing their job. 

Where can you find accounting dictionaries? You can easily purchase them in bookstores worldwide. These dictionaries are not hard to find and for accounting students, it is a must to have it. It can help you a lot in mastering your lessons. If you can understand accounting terms with ease, all the lessons will be a piece of cake. 

Professional accountants often opt for online accounting dictionaries. Most companies have internet connection in their offices. With the use of online accounting dictionaries, accountants will just type the term that they would like to find and the results are on the screen in seconds. They no longer have to carry dictionary books because it can be found online. 

Whether you’re using a dictionary book or an online dictionary, what matters is how you understand the various terms and definitions. By now, students and professionals should have already mastered the different terms, but you can’t blame them if their memory fails once in a while. Nobody’s perfect and that’s a fact that you need to accept. It also helps to have a handy accounting dictionary especially if you need one.

If you prefer the online dictionary, you would have to choose among the many websites online. Make sure that you choose a good site which can provide you with a complete dictionary of accounting terms. Take note of the website so that you won’t have to search for it all over again. 

If you opt for the dictionary book, you should also choose the one which has the complete definition of accounting terms. Get the latest edition of the dictionary so that the new terms can be found on it. The dictionaries don’t cost much; besides, you can still use it even after you graduate. Books are great investments, so don’t think that you’re wasting money. 

Always have a handy accounting dictionary with you to avoid mistakes in doing your accounting works.

At Peavy and Associates, PC we can 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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