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Determining Your Tax Status

There are five classifications from which you choose to file: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widower with dependent child. If for some reason, more than one status applies to you, you should choose the status that gives you the greatest tax benefit.

 

Determining your status as a single filer seems simple enough, but there are different situations that exist that can qualify the taxpayer as single. For example, if you are legally separated even in the last month of the year, you are considered single for the entire year. With no dependents and you are unmarried, you are considered single. Divorce and annulment within the year also qualifies you to file as single.

 

However, even if you are single, but you have a dependent, or were widowed during the tax year, and you have dependents, your filing status would change to head of household or widowed with qualifying dependent child, not single.

 

When it comes to determining your status as a married taxpayer, there are simple qualification assessments that establish your legal filing status and if you’re considered married. Obviously, if you are legally married and living together as husband and wife, even for a small part of the tax year, then you would be considered married. If you are living together as common law spouses, and it is legally recognized in the state in which you live, or you lived part of the tax year in the state where the common law marriage began, then your filing status is married. Your filing status is still married even if you are married but not living together, but are not legally separated or divorced.

 

If you have unique circumstances, it might not be so easy to determine your filing status. If, for example, you were widowed during the tax year and did not remarry, you can file as married with your deceased spouse, and then file as widowed with qualified dependents for the next two years, so long as you do not remarry. If you remarry within the tax year that your spouse passed away, you would file as married with your current spouse, and file with your deceased spouse as married filing separately.

 

If you are married and want to file a joint return, your tax status is married filing jointly. All income to the household must be included on the one return, and both spouses must sign and date prior to submitting the tax return. All exemptions, deductions, and credits are reported on the joint return, and you share equal responsibility and liability for the information reported on the tax return, as well as any tax money owed. There are ways to ask for release from joint responsibility, either through innocent spouse relief, separation of liability for spouses who have not lived together for the past year, or equitable relief.

 

There are sometimes reasons that a spouse cannot sign a joint tax return, such as a spouse stationed abroad for the military. In this type of situation, you may sign for your spouse as a proxy, and attach a written explanation.

 

Choosing your filing status, while lengthy and sometimes complicated, is an important in the process of completing your Federal Income Tax return.

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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Bookkeeping Basics

Most people probably think of bookkeeping and accounting as the same thing, but bookkeeping is really one function of accounting, while accounting encompasses many functions involved in managing the financial affairs of a business. Accountants prepare reports based, in part, on the work of bookkeepers.

Bookkeepers perform all manner of record-keeping tasks. Some of them include the following:

They prepare what are referred to as source documents for all the operations of a business – the buying, selling, transferring, paying and collecting. The documents include papers such as purchase orders, invoices, credit card slips, time cards, time sheets and expense reports. Bookkeepers also determine and enter in the source documents what are called the financial effects of the transactions and other business events. Those include paying the employees, making sales, borrowing money or buying products or raw materials for production.

Bookkeepers also make entries of the financial effects into journals and accounts. These are two different things. A journal is the record of transactions in chronological order. An accounts is a separate record, or page for each asset and each liability. One transaction can affect several accounts.

Bookkeepers prepare reports at the end of specific period of time, such as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. To do this, all the accounts need to be up to date. Inventory records must be updated and the reports checked and double-checked to ensure that they’re as error-free as possible.

The bookkeepers also compile complete listings of all accounts. This is called the adjusted trial balance. While a small business may have a hundred or so accounts, very large businesses can have more than 10,000 accounts.

The final step is for the bookkeeper to close the books, which means bringing all the bookkeeping for a fiscal year to a close and summarized.

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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The Advantages Of Outsourcing Your Accounting

There are many reasons that accounting is being outsourced more and more by various companies. Some may think that utilizing outsourced accounting services is a bad concept because of less control and more expenses, however that is a myth that has actually been proven wrong countless times again and again. In reality, there are way greater benefits from outsourcing your accounting services, then by arranging your own accounting department or doing your accounting yourself. We will discuss the advantages of outsourced accounting and permit you to see why it is a popular action that lots of businesses and organizations are taking.

Using outsourced accounting services can, in fact, save you a lot of money in the end. By outsourcing your accounting needs you there’s no need to hire staff members to establish an in house accounting department. This conserves not only cash but also time. It costs money and time to find certified employees to run your accounting department. With outsourced accounting services,  there’s no need to stress over incomes, employee compensation, insurance coverage, or a number of the other expenses that having staff members entails. Another major benefit is that you do not have to fret about losing an employee and having to discover another in house accountant to change the one you lost. There are also lots of accounting firms that can incorporate their services with your own accounting software so that it provides a simple accounting integration.

By removing the need to focus on your accounting you preserve better relationships with your clients…

Another benefit that comes from outsourcing your accounting, is that you can focus more on the accounting information. This removes needing to focus on entering your accounting details and allows you to look at your present circumstance and make preparations for future enhancements and developments with the information provided. By outsourcing, you can focus entirely on payments, billings, and profit and losses. It free’s up your time so you will be able to spend it more productively by building and preserving much better relationships with your providers and clients.

By using outsourced accounting services, you have a lower threat of error and problems with your accounting. It is much better to trust your accounting requirements with a certified professional rather than attempting to do your accounting yourself. Unless you are a certified accounting professional, you have an there will always be the threat of making an error with your accounting. This possibility of error is nearly null and void when you utilize an outsourced accounting company that their sole focus is on the field of accounting. Any errors can have a very negative impact not just on your records of what is owed and needs to be paid but also on your present costs and forecasts associated with your profits and losses. By not correctly and properly preserving accounting records, you run a high risk of failure as far as your personal or business accounting is concerned.

Clearly outsourcing your accounting has shown to offer many benefits. These advantages will not only save you money and time but will equally provide the solutions to help you grow and expand your organization. Accounting can be an extremely exhausting job that requires a lot of attention to information along with understanding to have it done properly. Because accounting can be contracted out quickly and can be done at a lower rate contracted than in house, outsourced accounting has actually shown over time again and again to be the best solutions for businesses and personal accounting solutions alike.

 

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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