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Accounting Agency Conway

Preparing for tax audit

Reduce Your Chance for a Tax Audit

Everyone fears the dreaded tax audit – and with good reason. It means that the algorithm scoring formula used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has found what it deems to be an irregularity on your tax return. Few audits turn out well for the individual or small business being questioned and the following are just a few of the ways that people can help mitigate the chance of being audited.

Hire a Professional

Nothing can compare to the personalized service and expertise available with a tax professional. It’s tempting to use online tax software. It’s easy and convenient, but the software may not be able to account for special circumstances and you may be leaving money on the table that could go in your pocket. Hire a professional if your tax return is complicated or complex in any way.

File on Time

Seeking an extension or filing an amended return can activate you for review by IRS systems, particularly for high-end earners. The same is true for those that file paper returns. It’s always best to e-file and makes sure they’re filed before the deadline.

Documentation

When dealing with the IRS, documentation is everything. If there’s a chance that the IRS may not understand expenses you’ve claimed or deductions, the onus will be on you to provide documentation to prove your right to make the claims. A professional tax preparer will know what documentation you’ll need.

Deductions

Another instance that will red-flag your tax return is the deduction-to-income-ratio. Deduction amounts that are unusually high compared to stated income may be a symptom of claiming the same deductions twice in the eyes of the IRS. Stay away from dubious deductions.

Exemptions

A high number of exemptions and dependents will bring unwarranted attention from the IRS. There are specific rules about what dependents are eligible for you to claim. For example, in some instances, a dependent may be required to file their own return, which means you can’t claim them.

Compliance

Remaining in compliance with your responsibilities in regard to withholding taxes, filing status, deductions, and exemptions will significantly reduce the potential for a tax audit. If you do get audited, having a professional file your tax return will ensure you have knowledgeable backup should you need it.

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 an Accounting Firm can Help Your Small Business

Small business owners have more than their share of tax-related items to consider and an accounting firm can help in a number of ways. It can provide bookkeeping services, tax consulting and return preparation, payroll processing, cash flow estimations, and even litigation support if needed.

As a business owner, you may need to make difficult decisions based on your own unique circumstances and the industry you’re in, along with current and future economic trends. You never know when an emergency will occur or what type – as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. An accounting firm that’s adaptable and can act quickly in your best interests is worth its weight in gold.

Accounting firms can help you achieve greater success and business health through insights and experience gained over many years, combined with an in-depth knowledge of financial matters. An accounting firm has the ability to provide precise and highly-detailed reports about all areas of your financial health. It can also identify opportunities for growth of which you may not be aware.

Hiring an accounting firm provides the means to maintain financial stability. You’ll know at every juncture what your cash flow is for consistent and reliable growth. You’ll know the number of staff to hire, when not to take on new challenges, and be able to serve your clients in the best way possible.

An accounting firm also provides you with the means to market your business more efficiently and effectively for the acquisition of new clients. Knowing the financial health of the business will enable you to launch marketing campaigns at the most opportune time.

Greater efficiency is another way that an accounting firm can help your small business prosper. They provide you with highly accurate financial information so you’ll know the best time to expand or make other investments that can make the enterprise more efficient and profitable. An accounting firm helps you get all aspects of your business finances under control and in order.

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 Analyze a Financial Statement

Its obvious financial statements have a lot of numbers in them and at first glance, it can seem unwieldy to read and understand. One way to interpret a financial report is to compute ratios, which means, divide a particular number in the financial report by another. Financial statement ratios are also useful because they enable the reader to compare a business’s current performance with its past performance or with another business’s performance, regardless of whether sales revenue or net income was bigger or smaller for the other years or the other business. In order words, using ratios can cancel out differences in company sizes.

 

There aren’t many ratios in financial reports. Publicly owned businesses are required to report just one ratio (earnings per share, or EPS) and privately-owned businesses generally don’t report any ratios. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) don’t require that any ratios be reported, except EPS for publicly owned companies.

 

Ratios don’t provide definitive answers, however. They’re useful indicators but aren’t the only factor in gauging the profitability and effectiveness of a company.

 

One ratio that’s a useful indicator of a company’s profitability is the gross margin ratio. This is the gross margin divided by the sales revenue. Businesses don’t disclose margin information in their external financial reports. This information is considered to be proprietary in nature and is kept confidential to shield it from competitors.

 

The profit ratio is very important in analyzing the bottom-line of a company. It indicates how much net income was earned on each $100 of sales revenue. A profit ratio of 5 to 10 percent is common in most industries, although some highly price-competitive industries, such as retailers or grocery stores will show profit ratios of only 1 to 2 percent.

 

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 firm Conway South Carolina

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is the practice of utilizing accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to assist in legal matters.  It encompasses 2 main areas – litigation support, investigation, and dispute resolution.

Litigation support represents the factual presentation of economic issues related to existing or pending litigation.  In this capacity, the forensic accounting professional quantifies damages sustained by parties involved in legal disputes and can assist in resolving disputes, even before they reach the courtroom.  If a dispute reaches the courtroom, the forensic accountant may testify as an expert witness.

Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as employee theft, securities fraud (including falsification of financial statements), identity theft, and insurance fraud have occurred.  As part of the forensic accountant’s work, he or she may recommend actions that can be taken to minimize future risk of loss.  Investigation may also occur in civil matters.  For example, the forensic accountant may search for hidden assets in divorce cases.

Forensic accounting involves looking beyond the numbers and grasping the substance of situations.  It’s more than accounting…more than detective work…it’s a combination that will be in demand for as long as human nature exists.  Who wouldn’t want a career that offers such stability, excitement, and financial rewards?

In short, forensic accounting requires the most important quality a person can possess: the ability to think.  Far from being an ability that is specific to success in any particular field, developing the ability to think enhances a person’s chances of success in life, thus increasing a person’s worth in today’s society.   Why not consider becoming a forensic accountant?

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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7 Ways to Minimize Your Income Taxes

Are you paying too much in income taxes?  Are you getting all the credits and deductions you are entitled to?  Here are 7 tips to help you minimize taxes and keep more in your pocket:

 

  1. Participate in company retirement plans. Every dollar you contribute will reduce your taxable income and thus your income taxes.  Similarly, enroll in your company’s flexible spending account.  You can set aside money for medical expenses and day care expenses.  This money is “use it or lose it” so make sure you estimate well!

 

  1. Make sure you pay in enough taxes to avoid penalties. Uncle Sam charges interest and penalties if you don’t pay in at least 90% of your current year taxes or 100% of last year’s tax liability.

 

  1. Buy a house. The mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible, and may allow you to itemize other deductions such as property taxes and charitable donations.

 

  1. Keep your house for at least two years. One of the best tax breaks available today is the home sale exclusion, which allows you to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of profit on the sale of your home from your income.  However, you must have owned and lived in your home for at least two years to qualify for the exclusion.

 

  1. Time your investment sales. If your income is higher than expected, sell some of your losers to reduce taxable income.  If you will be selling a mutual fund, sell before the year-end distributions to avoid taxes on the upcoming dividend or capital gain.   Also, you should allocate tax efficient investments to your taxable accounts and non-efficient investments to your retirement accounts, to reduce the tax you pay on interest, dividends and capital gains.

 

  1. If you’re retired, plan your retirement plan distributions carefully. If a retirement plan distribution will push you into a higher tax bracket, consider taking money out of taxable investments to keep you in the lower tax bracket.  Also, pay attention to the 59-½ age limit.  Withdrawals taken before this age can result in penalties in addition to income taxes.

 

  1. Bunch your expenses. Certain expenses must exceed a minimum before you can deduct them (medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income and miscellaneous expenses such as tax preparation fees must exceed 2% of your AGI).  In order to deduct these expenses, you may need to bunch these types of expenses into a single year to get above the minimum.  To achieve this, you might prepay medical and miscellaneous expenses on December 31 to get above the minimum amount.

 

The most important thing is to be aware of the tax deductions and credits that apply to you and to plan for taxable events.  And don’t be afraid to ask for help.  The benefits from consulting an experienced tax professional far outweigh the cost to hire that 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

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