Category Archives: Organized Records

The IRS is NOT Always Right

Think twice about automatically paying the amount due on a notice

Quotes from actual IRS correspondence received by clients:

“Thank you for your correspondence. We currently do not have a copy of the correspondence we sent to you regarding your child’s tax return.”

“Our records show we received a 1040X…for the tax year listed above. We’re sorry but we cannot find it.”

“Our records show you owe a balance due of $0.00. If we do not receive it within 30 days, appropriate collection steps will be taken”.

“Payment is due on your account. Please submit payments on or before June 31 to avoid late payment penalties and interest.”

It’s pretty tough to pay a balance due of $0 on June 31st when June only has 30 days.

The message should be clear. If you receive a notice from the IRS do not automatically assume it is correct and submit payment to make it go away. The same is true for any state notices. They are often in error. So what should you do?

  1.      Stay calm. Try not to over-react to the correspondence. This is easier said than done, but remember the IRS sends out millions of notices each year. The vast majority of them correct simple oversights or common filing errors.
  2.     Open the envelope. You would be surprised at how often clients are so stressed by receiving a letter from the IRS that they cannot bear to open the envelope. If you fall into this category try to remember that the first step in making the problem go away is to open the correspondence.
  3.     Careful review. Review the letter. Make sure you understand exactly what the IRS thinks needs to be changed and determine whether or not you agree with their findings. Unfortunately, the IRS rarely sends correspondence to correct an oversight in your favor, but it sometimes happens.
  4.     Respond timely. The correspondence received should be very clear about what action the IRS believes you should take and within what timeframe. Ignore this information at your own risk. Delays in responses could generate penalties and additional interest payments.
  5.     Get Help. You are not alone. Getting assistance from someone who deals with this all the time makes the process go much smoother.
  6.     Correct the IRS error. Once the problem is understood, a clearly written response with copies of documentation will cure most of these IRS correspondence errors. Often the error is due to the inability of the IRS computers to conduct a simple reporting match. Pointing the information out on your tax return might be all it takes to solve the problem.
  7.     Certified mail is your friend. Any responses to the IRS should be sent via certified mail. This will provide proof of your timely correspondence. Lost mail can lead to delays, penalties, and additional interest on your tax bill.
  8.     Don’t assume it will go away. Until a definitive confirmation that the problem has been resolved is received, you need to assume the IRS still thinks you owe the money. If no correspondence confirming the correction is received, a written follow-up will be required.

Tax Prep Deerfield Beach

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Filed under Audit, Organized Records, Tax Planning

Tax breaks to those who do volunteer work for charity

Charitable deduction

Charitable deduction

Thanks to the people in this world that do volunteer worker for a charity. We believe that you should be aware that your generosity permits deductions/tax breaks.

To many taxpayer’s surprise no tax deduction is allowed for the value of services you perform for a charitable organization. However some deductions are permitted for out-of-pocket costs you incur while performing the services (subject to the deduction limit that generally applies to charitable contributions).  This includes items such as:

Away-from-home travel expenses while performing services for a charity (out-of-pocket round-trip travel cost, taxi fares and other costs of transportation between the airport or station and hotel, plus lodging and meals). However, these expenses aren’t deductible if there’s a significant element of personal pleasure associated with the travel, or if your services for a charity involve lobbying activities.

The cost of entertaining others on behalf of a charity, such as wining and dining a potential large contributor (but the cost of your own entertainment or meal is not deductible).

If you use your car while performing services for a charitable organization you may deduct your actual unreimbursed expenses directly attributable to the services, such as gas and oil costs. Alternatively, you may deduct a flat 14¢ per mile for charitable use of your car. In either event, you may also deduct parking fees and tolls.

You can deduct the cost of a uniform you wear when you do volunteer work for the charity, as long as the uniform has no general utility (e.g., a volunteer ambulance worker’s jumpsuit). You can also deduct the cost of cleaning the uniform.

No charitable deduction is allowed for a contribution of $250 or more unless you substantiate the contribution by a written acknowledgment from the charitable organization. The acknowledgment generally must include the amount of cash, a description of any property contributed, and whether you got anything in return for your contribution. This presents a problem where you as a volunteer make a contribution on behalf of rather than directly to a charity. One way around this is for the charity to pay for the expenses, itself, and then be reimbursed by you (or you can make the donation before the expense is incurred). If this isn’t possible, you can safeguard your deductions as follows:

Get written documentation from the charity about the nature of your volunteering activity and the need for related expenses to be paid. For example, if you travel out of town as a volunteer, get a letter from the charity explaining why you’re needed at the out-of-town location.

If you are out-of-pocket for substantial amounts, you should submit a statement of expenses and, preferably, a copy of the receipts, to the charity, and arrange for the charity to acknowledge in writing the amount of the contribution.

You should maintain detailed records of your out-of-pocket expenses—receipts plus a written record of the time, place, amount, and charitable purpose of the expense.

We would be happy to assist you with any other questions you may have about deductions related to your charitable contributions.

CPA Deerfield Beach

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Filed under Charity, Deerfield Beach CPA, Organized Records, Tax Planning

7 Quickbooks Tips

Quickbooks Consultant

Quickbooks Consultant

1.)    Memorize Transactions: QuickBooks will memorize your common transactions to recreate in the future.  Memorize transactions you do repeatedly and monthly bills.

2.)    Data Base Ctrl-F =Find: This feature in QuickBooks is the best. This allows search on every field transaction amounts, check numbers, accounts, items, etc.  The combinations are endless and will get you where you want to be much faster than scrolling through an account register.

3.)    Add/Edit Multiple List Entries: The is feature permits entering multiple customers, vendors and items.  A nice cut and paste form excel.

4.)    Batch Invoicing: Manage invoicing the same amounts for fees to various customers every month?  This works great for company’s that charge subscriptions, service fees etc. This can time.

5.)    Customized The Icon Bar: When the icon bar is customized there is one click access to your most frequently used reports, transaction types and reminders.

6.)    Online Banking: This is an opportunity. Reduce data entry and some things automatically default to the correct accounts, you just review and post.  Online banking automatically matches up these transactions to ensure you aren’t double posting anything.

7.)    Emailing Invoices: Still printing, addressing, and stamping all those invoices? Many customers these days prefer to have paperless billing and it can save you hours! Simply click the to be emailed box on your invoices as you enter them, enter all your invoices, then send the whole batch in just a couple of clicks.  The invoices are automatically attached to each individual email as a PDF document, and you can customize the template email however you like.  In the customer center, setup the preferred send method to specify which customers prefer paper or emailed invoices for quick processing.

Quickbooks Consultant

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Filed under Bookkeeping, Organized Records, Tax Planning

Setting up Vacation Policies in Quickbooks

Quick Books Vacation Setup

Vacation time is an opportunity for workers to rest and return to work rejuvenated.

Time off can increase productivity, boost morale and instill
an appreciation for the benefits of working for a company.

Surprisingly, not accounting for this diligently can cost the company money. Many employers often complain about this.

To set up an employee to track sick/vacation in QuickBooks Pro and Premier:

1) Click on Employees on the top menu bar, then choose Employee Center.

2) Double-click the employee’s name.

3) From the Change tabs drop-down menu, select Payroll and Compensation Info.
Click Sick/Vacation.

4) In the Vacation part of the Sick & Vacation window, enter the amount of hours of vacation currently available for the employee in the Hours Available as of box. Note: This is the hours available as of today regardless of the date field. The date field defaults to the employee’s hire date in QuickBooks and does not impact the accruals. This field should indicate the amount of time available as of today.
In the Accrual period drop-down box, select how often the employee will accrue vacation.

There are 3 different ways to accrue Sick and vacation in QuickBooks:

Beginning of Year–Grant a certain amount of hours in the beginning of year.

Every Paycheck–Accrue certain number of hours per paycheck

Every Hour on Paycheck–Accrue every hour on paycheck.

In the Hours Accrued window, enter the amount of hours that will be accrued based on how often the employee accrues hours which you selected in the Accrual period drop-down box.

Enter the total amount of vacation hours the employee can have in the Maximum number of hours window.
Click the Reset hours each new year box if you want the number of vacation hours for the employee to start over at zero each new calendar year.

Click OK twice

Call us or contact us your Deerfield Beach Quickbooks Consultant

CPA Deerfield Beach

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Filed under Bookkeeping, Organized Records, Tax Planning

Quickbooks Setup

Quickbooks Consultant

Quickbooks Consultant

The chart of accounts is the first part of the setup. This is the foundation to getting your QuickBooks in order.

Making a good chart of accounts is can save cost, time later, money and frustration. We can have your QuickBooks setup correctly to suit your particular needs.

When is set-up and working properly, we can train the staff to operate QuickBooks specifically for your business. If you are a small business you understand the importance of keeping current and accurate financial records. And, with accurate information you can make educated decisions regarding your business!

Keep in mind – we are training you or your staff in how to use QuickBooks. We are NOT training you how to be an accountant. We’ll make it easy to understand and move at a pace that you’re comfortable with.

Why choose one-on-one attention instead of taking a class?

We’ll come to your location

  • We’ll focus on the individual issues facing your business
  • We’ll be there to answer your specific questions and concerns
  • No need to spend time on features that don’t impact your business
  • It’s probably cheaper than you think
  • You learn at your own pace

How Do We Get Started?

Call or fill out the contact form so we can learn a little more about your specific needs.

Next we’ll send you a detailed list of topics we’ll cover.

And lastly, we’ll schedule your training either at your office or ours.

(Click here to see the full QuickBooks training outline)

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Filed under Organized Records, Tax Planning