Know what your tax filing obligation are. Some of the most common include:
Corporation tax – if you have an incorporated business
S Corporation tax – If you have properly filed a timely S election.
Partnership tax – which also applies to multi-member Limited Liability Companies (LLC’s) unless an election is made to be taxed as another entity type.
Sole proprietorship – without having formally established a corporation of LLC state registered entity. Also applicable for single member LLC’s
State corporate or partnership tax returns – not just in your home state but possible other foreign states in which you have nexus.
Personal taxes – which of course affect nearly everyone but carry double significance for business owners of pass-through entities and sole proprietorships.
But then depending on your business activities there can be many other tax form filing compliances you have in the capacities of payroll taxes, sales taxes, fuel tax and business privilege tax, just to name a few.
An integral part of the tax preparation process begins with the correct structure and accuracy of your accounting records. For this reason, I work with a lot of QuickBooks Online businesses to first do the cleanup and restructure if necessary in the accounting file – followed by the integration of those files into the preparation of the tax returns. All of which is coordinated through portal access. Let’s face it, paying taxes might not be painless, but the ease and coordination of preparing you taxes should be, and that’s among the benefits I provide.
So, what do you need to know about choosing a tax preparer?
But, if you don’t wish to read through the whole page, here are the most salient points in that article:
You are ultimately responsible for what is on your tax return. So, it’s important to choose your tax preparer wisely because you are trusting their judgement and professionalism.
Check the person’s qualifications. All tax preparers are required to have Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN’s). IRS suggests that you choose a preparer who is affiliated with a professional organizations and attends continuing education classes.
Check the preparer’s history. Check to be sure there are no questionable issues with the Better Business Bureau; no disciplinary or licensures problems which you can check with the state board of accountancy.
Avoid preparers if they base their fees on a particular tax return outcome. For example if they base it on a percentage of the refund or if they claim they can obtain larger refunds for you than other preparers. Also, make sure that any refund is being sent to your bank account – never to a bank account of the preparer.
Make sure they offer electronic filing. Any tax preparer who files more than 10 returns for clients is required to use electronic filing.
Make sure your tax preparer is accessible all year long, not just up to April 15th.
Make sure your tax preparer is requesting complete documentation to support the amounts that will be filed on your tax return.
Never sign a blank return. That should be obvious.
Review the return before you sign it. Remember, as the taxpayer you have ultimate responsibility for any return you sign. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything on the tax return you do not understand.
Make sure you have received, signed and returned the electronic filing form. That is required before transmission of your electronically filed tax return.
In summary then…
As a CPA with many years of experience I can help you determine the best tax strategy, what tax forms you need to file, how best to structure your accounting system to provide the financial data in the most efficient, accurate way to complete the forms, handle all your tax filing requirements – and try to make the process as painless for you as possible.
Tax laws are always changing and growing in complexity. Business owners and individuals simply can’t keep up to date with all the methods, rules and regulations associated with federal, state and local taxes.
Yet, what you don’t know about taxes can definitely hurt you. That’s why as a CPA it’s my job to keep you out of trouble with the tax authorities. This process encompasses tax planning strategies to minimize current and future tax liabilities. It means you can trust the accuracy and thoroughness of your tax returns prepared in compliance with tax regulations. It also means you will have an advocate to support you in the event your tax return is selected for audit.
In just the past couple of years alone we’ve seen major complexity added to tax filing obligations that resulted from the phase-in of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. There has also been significant new regulations related to capitalizations, repairs and maintenance of equipment, handling of supplies etc. which affects you if you are operating any kind of business or real estate properties as it sets the rules for how you must record fixed assets for depreciation versus what gets expensed.