Tips For Maximizing Your Tax Refund

After the holidays are over, many taxpayers find themselves busy preparing their taxes. However, before that time comes, it is best for taxpayers to consider how they can save their money. Here are some tips to help you maximize your tax refund:

Claim the home office deduction. This deduction is often skipped, typically due to the misconception that a business owner is more likely to be audited if they do claim this deduction. This, however, is not true as long as the deduction is done correctly. In order to claim this deduction correctly, you must determine the amount of space in your home is used for your home-based business.

Claim your business supplies. Whether this may be supplies that are essential to properly run your business, or the furniture you have purchased for your home office, these business expenses can help to increase your tax refund. These deductions also include furniture and supplies that you may have purchased during that year, such as computers, fax machines, and copiers.

Claim business-related travel expenses. From hotel accommodations, gas mileage, car rentals, parking expenses, and meals, any business-related travel expenses are tax deductible, but they must meet certain requirements in order to qualify.

Claim expenses related to your health insurance. When spending money on your personal health insurance premiums, you are able to deduct your medical premiums, however, there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to correctly deduct such expenses.

It is best to speak with your certified public accountant before claiming any business-related deductions in order to ensure that you are doing so correctly. Contact the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC today to get started on your business taxes.

Tax Deductions That You Likely Didn’t Know About

With the year-end rapidly approaching, many taxpayers are getting ready and preparing for the upcoming tax-filing season. However, there are many money-saving tax deductions that many of these taxpayers likely do not know existed.

Here are some of the most common ones you should consider before filing your taxes:

Continued education: If you are a lifetime learner, or are finishing up your college degree, there is good news for you. The Lifetime Learning tax credit will provide up to $2,000 a year for further education, after high school. Although this deduction will apply to learners of any age, it does phase out for taxpayers that are on a higher tax bracket.

Sales Taxes: If you live in a state that doesn’t have its own income taxes, then this can be a big money-saver for you. This tax break will also apply to residents of states that do have their own income tax, but it is best to determine which will be the better deal for you.

Health Insurance Premiums: If your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, then you qualify for this deduction. For those taxpayers who are self-employed, they may deduct 100% of their premiums, but only if they are responsible for their own health insurance coverage.

Business Expenses: While there is a specific list of what can and cannot be deducted, there may be some business expenses that you are not aware that may qualify as well.  In the event that you need to purchase something in order to properly operate your business, then this expense will most likely qualify. Be sure to speak with your business accountant in order to determine if your expense does qualify or not.

If you need help with your business taxes, or have questions about your deductions, contact the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC today.

Tips For Your Charitable Deductions

During the holiday season, many people are looking to make charitable donations. With these donations, come potential tax deductions for you. Here are some things to know and keep in mind when making your charitable contributions this year:

Keep documentation when making monetary donations. When giving the gift of money, it is critical to ensure that you have obtained documentation one of two ways: a bank record, or a written statement by the charity in which you are giving to. A bank record can include things such as canceled checks, credit card statements, as well as credit union or bank statements. If using a written statement, it must include the name of the charity, as well as the date and the amount of the donation.

Only donate to qualified charities. It is imperative that before you give to a charity that they are a qualified organization. These do include government agencies, churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques.

Obtain the required records. When making a money or property donation of more than $250, you are required to obtain a form of acknowledgement, or documentation, from the charity in which you are donating to.

You can deduct contributions in the year you made them. Even if you made your donation with your credit card in 2014, but pay for bill in 2015, you can claim that deduction for 2014. If mailing a check, you may count it in 2014’s deductions, but only as long as it was mailed in the same year.

Ensure your donated items are in good condition. When donating things such as furniture, electronics, and appliances, be sure that they are in good condition. Some items may not have to meet this condition if they exceed $500 and you have obtained an appraisal of the donated item.

If you need help with your charitable contributions and deductions or with your business tax preparation, contact the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC.

2014 Provisions You Should Know For Your Business Taxes

With another year coming to a close, it is quickly becoming the time to ensure that your business’s financials are in order. This is especially critical in order to help ensure that things are organized and run smoothly when it comes time to file your business’s taxes.

Another important thing to consider in order to be fully prepared for the upcoming tax season is if there are any changes in business taxes for 2014. Here are the provisions you should know for your business taxes this year:

SIMPLE IRA Plan Contributions- While the contribution limits will remain the same, the maximum compensation that an individual can use in order to determine their contributions will increase to $260,000.

Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses- If a small business employer pays for at least half of their employee’s healthcare premiums, they may be eligible for this credit. However, these employers must employ 25 or less full time employees, and their average annual wages cannot exceed $51,000. The employers that do qualify for this tax credit, in 2014, the tax credit is worth up to 50% of their contributions. For tax years 2010-2013, the tax credit was only for 35% of their contributions.

Section 179 Expensing- The maximum expense deduction for Section 179 expense deductions is changing to $25,000 of the first $200,000 of business property placed in service that year, for qualified equipment purchases.

Mileage Rates- The Standard Mileage Rates are now broken down as: 56 cents per business mile driven, 23.5 cents per business mile driven due to medical or moving purposes, and 14 cents per mile driven for service in qualified charitable organizations.

The accountants at the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC specialize in business financial solutions and tax preparation services. Contact us if you need help with your business’s taxes or if you have any questions in regards to 2014’s tax provisions.

Tax Tips To Prepare You For The Year-End

With 2014 rapidly coming to a close, it is critical to start considering ways to help save you money.  Here are some helpful tax tips to help prepare you and your business for the year-end:

1. Defer your income. While earning as much money as possible is what every business owner desires, it also comes with a hefty tax bill. By deferring your income by either delaying year-end billing or deferring year-end bonuses until after the year is over, you can help to decrease your tax burden. Keep in mind, however, that the income that is deferred will be on your 2015 taxes, requiring that you will need to pay taxes on it next year.

2. Bunch your itemized deductions. Since business owners are only able to deduct their expenses up to a certain percentage of their income each year, it is critical to consider bunching your itemized deductions. This will not only maximize your tax savings, but it will also ensure that you are getting the maximum tax deduction for the year.

3. Increase your retirement contributions. Since these contributions reduce your taxable income, perhaps one of the best tax savings out there is through your individual retirement account or your 401(k), especially since you won’t need to pay taxes on these contributions until you retire.

4. Donate to a charity. Not only is this rewarding for so many reasons, donating to any qualified charity of your choice is a way for you to reduce your tax bill.  In order for you to claim these deductions, it is critical to ensure that you are only giving to a qualified organization; otherwise your deduction will not be eligible.

Once it comes time for you file your taxes, it is too late to make corrections or save you money. Ensure that you are prepared by consulting with an experienced certified public accountant. Contact the accountants at Robert B. Fisher CPA PC today to get started on a business tax solution for your specific needs.

Ways To Save Your Business Money

When it comes to your business, saving money is critical in your success. However, many entrepreneurs do not fully understand where they can cut costs, often times losing money for their business. In order to help small businesses everywhere, here are a few ways you can save your business money:

Create a budget. Not only is it critical for a business to create a reliable and realistic budget, but it is as equally important to stick to this budget as well. By understanding how much money you have coming in and going, you will have a clearer picture on what costs can be reduced. Often times, it is important to hire a professional accountant in order to help ensure that your budget is not only realistic, but also correct.

Reduce your debt. Most debt comes in the form of credit cards. This often creates a huge problem for business owners and is not an effective option to reducing business expenses. By eliminating credit card debt, you will ensure your business is more financially sound, especially in the future.

Use technological resources. Not only is technology readily available, but it is also the preferred method for operating businesses these days. Whether it’s with software, online payment and invoice services, or online teleconference services, technology has so much to offer and at a low cost.

Use online marketing. While it is sometimes in the best interest of businesses to utilize a marketing company for this, it is not always necessary. By posting a weekly blog and taking an active part in the social media world, you can ensure your brand is being put out there online, all at little or no cost to you and your business.

If you are having trouble understanding where you can reduce your business’s expenses, contact a certified public accountant immediately. The accountants at the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC specialize in business accounting solutions, as well as business tax preparation.

How An Accountant can Benefit Your Business

Certified public accountants (CPA’s) are essential to successfully and properly running a business, especially when it comes to starting a business, handling the financial aspects of your company, and when designing an ideal business plan. However, these are not the only benefits of hiring an accountant for your business. Here are several other ways an accountant can help you:

  • Accountants will work with you to determine the best business structure for your business, as well as assist with the financial analysis for your business plan.
  • Accountants will ensure that your current accounting procedures are compliant with the government’s regulations.
  • Accountants can help to ensure that your business related expenses are being kept separate from your personal ones, often helping you to determine the best accounting and bookkeeping methods to keep track of your expenses.
  • Accountants can help you to understand your business’s financial situation, as well as explain your financial statements to you.
  • Accountants will aid in overseeing your business’s payroll, as well as ensure that the necessary payments are being made on time.
  • Accountants will provide you with necessary tax advice, including estimating the amount in tax payments that you should be making throughout the year.
  • Accountants will close your books at the end of the year, as well as create the necessary financial reports for your business.
  • Accountants will prepare and submit your business’s taxes at the end of the year.
  • Accountants will help to determine where your business has room to grow, often times further developing your business or expansion plans.
  • Accountants will help to create a budget fit to your business’s needs and with your specific goals in mind.
  • Accountants will be able to help assist you with potential audits.
  • Accountants will provide advice in the event that you wish to sell your business.

The office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC specializes in business accounting and tax services. To see what business accounting and tax solution we can offer you, visit us today!

Tips To Prevent Budgeting Errors

Improperly and ineffectively budgeting is one of the most common financial mistakes entrepreneurs will make. Since an effective budget is essential in running a successful business, it is critical to ensure that you are making yourself knowledgeable in how to prevent these budgeting errors form happening to you and your business.

Here are several tips to help you with your business’s budgeting needs:

Set realistic business and financial goals. Every year, it is essential to set financial, as well as business goals for your business. By identifying what those goals are, you can effectively control your budget, and prevent overspending.

Do not underestimate your business related costs. While most savvy business owners know to plan for incidental or accidental costs, especially when it comes to things such as equipment repairs or replacements. However, many people tend to underestimate these potential costs, leaving themselves with budgeting issues.

Make the necessary adjustments to your budget. Best if performed several times throughout the year, budget adjustments will help you gain a better understanding of your business’s financial situation, as well as allow you to make any necessary adjustments to make up for any gains or losses along the way.

Seek the help from a professional. Certified public accountants (CPA) are a wonderful tool for properly and effectively planning for your business’s future and success. Not only can they help you to develop an ideal budget, fit specifically to your business’s goals and needs, but they can also help with your bookkeeping needs, as well as with your tax planning and preparation needs.

The accountants of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC specialize in providing businesses with superior financial and tax services in order to help ensure that your business is as successful as possible. Contact us to see what accounting solution is best for you and your business.

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Using QuickBooks For Your Business

Having a reliable accounting solution is essential for operating a successful business. Perhaps the most popular accounting program that is utilized by many businesses is QuickBooks. Not only can QuickBooks help to ensure that your accounting is accurate, but it has so many other benefits to offer your business.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using QuickBooks for your business accounting:

1. It is easy to use. First and foremost, this is of the greatest importance, especially to those who are new to entrepreneurship or the use of technology. Not only will this program be able to generate reports to help you better understand your financials, but it will also work in accordance with the correct accounting methods and standards.

2. It is adaptable. With a QuickBooks program, not only can you customize your financial reports to fit your business’s specific needs, but you can also export these to other business applications such as Microsoft Excel.

3. It is reliable. With QuickBooks being one of the most widely used and tested accounting resources, it has become a stable and reliable accounting resource for businesses everywhere. Not only is there a program for small businesses, but they also have QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions for larger businesses as well.

4. It’s beneficial to your billing. With the Online Billing feature, QuickBooks will allow for your customers to receive their invoices and statements via email, as well as allow them to pay their invoices by using their credit or debit card, or by using their bank account information.

5. It can help you plan for the future. In addition to generating your financial reports, QuickBooks can also help to plan for the future and expansion of your business by helping you to design a business plan and gather the necessary documents for applying for a loan.

If you need any help with your QuickBooks program, or are in need of assistance with your business’s financials or bookkeeping, contact the office of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC today.

Claiming Miscellaneous Deductions

By deducting miscellaneous expenses, you have the opportunity to reduce your federal income taxes. For example, you can lower your federal taxes by deducting your expenses related to any tax advice that you may have received. There are a variety of other miscellaneous expenses, such as:

  • Travel and transportation expenses that are work-related
  • Employee expenses that were not reimbursed
  • Uniforms, or certain clothing required for your position
  • Any necessary tools required for your job
  • Expenses related to the search of a new job, but must be in the same position
  • Union dues

These deductions are subject to the two percent limit and must exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income.

  • Any money lost from investment schemes
  • Certain casualty and theft losses, but only applies if your damaged or stolen property was for investment purposes, including stocks and bonds.
  • Any gambling losses, only up to the amount of gambling winnings

These deductions are not subject to the two percent adjusted gross income limit.

Not all deductions are eligible. All expenses that are from personal living or family related are not deductible. It is best to consult with your certified public accountant to verify that your expenses are eligible.

The accountants of Robert B. Fisher, CPA PC specialize in financial planning, bookkeeping, and tax preparation for businesses of all sizes. Visit us to see how we can help you and your business with your financial and tax needs today.