Game Plan for Small Businesses.

We ran upon this ‘Game Plan for Success for 2011‘ that was put out by the IRS and thought we would share.  Great resource for small businesses self-employed to keep you on track.  There are some great tips, a calendar to tell you when to file taxes, and explains what all the different tax forms are for and what to do with them.  If you need any help plugging through any of this, just give us a shout!

Tax Advice for Newlyweds.

We are in the midst of the wedding season here in the beautiful Charlottesville area, consisting of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive, University of Virginia, Monticello, and countless wineries and vineyards. It can be understandably easy to become immersed in the finite details of wedding planning: choosing the perfect location, which photographer to hire, which event planner, catering company, florist, who will be the bridesmaids and groomsmen, where will we honeymoon, how will we satisfy both sets of inlaws drama-free, etc.? Would you know that you need to prepare for the tax implications as well? Here is a quick video (we know, it’s a bit cheesy, but that is what makes it easier to remember): {Newlywed Tax Video}

As always, Current Accounting is more than happy to assist you with your pre-and-post wedding tax preparations.

Starting Your Own Business.

Have you ever thought about starting and owning your own business?  There are a lot of great resources out there to help you think through all of the ‘nitty gritty’ details.  We have referenced the Small Business Administration as they are a great resource and outline all of the important steps of starting, running and growing your own business…below are some steps they recommend for starting your own business.  For the accounting component, remember Current Accounting can help you with anything from budgeting, to taxes to maintaining your books and anything else in between.

Step 1: Templates for Writing a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)
Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number
Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Tax Pros Is The Route To Go.

What a glorious week in Charlottesville it is setting out to be!  Warmer weather, sunshine; yes, Spring is on its way!  You have to admit that this puts a little ‘Spring’ into your step, right?  It surely does for us.  We want to put more of a ‘Spring’ into your step as well with taking the burden off your shoulders with taxes.  Believe it or not, we are just a few days shy of being exactly two months away from taxes being due to the IRS.  Have you started looking at all of your paperwork, deductions and everything else that goes along with it?  It can be overwhelming we know, but a tax professional can take the sting out and soothe your worries.   In the long run you will be better off to have another set of eyes look at them.  A trained tax professional will see and know things you don’t, and can make sure your taxes are done right from the beginning.

I thought I would share this article from the Wall Street Journal…it reaffirms why it is beneficial to hire an accountant to help with your taxes.  Call one you can trust, one that is down to earth, one who is knowledgeable, get a referral from someone, or just call us.

How To File An Error Free Tax Return.

We love to give tips to you, and got an email from the Virginia Department of Taxation about How to File an Error Free Tax Return.  It is such great information that we wanted to share with you.  This is what they said…if this too much, just call us, and we will take care of your taxes for you.

The following information is being provided to ensure your personal income tax return can be processed timely and efficiently.  The issues noted below reflect some of the more common problems we see.

If your name and/or your spouse’s name have changed from the previous year when you filed your personal income tax return, please fill in the oval that states, “Name has changed since last filing.”  This may be due to a marital status change.
If your address is different from the previous year when you filed your last return, please fill in the oval on the address line.
Please be sure to verify that the nine-digit Social Security Number or ITIN was entered correctly on the return for you and/or your spouse.
Please do not leave the Social Security Number field blank.  A valid Social Security Number or ITIN should be entered on the return for you and/or your spouse.
If you are claiming a subtraction, deduction or a credit, please be sure to attach the supporting documentation.  This documentation could include an out-of-state return, Schedule ADJ, Schedule OSC, or Schedule CR.
If you are claiming withholding on the return, please attach all applicable W-2, 1099, or VK-1 forms to show withholding paid to the state of Virginia.
Please ensure the first four letters of your last name were entered on the return.
If you are claiming an age deduction on your return, please be sure to enter your birthday and your spouse’s birthday (if applicable) on Line 4 of the return.
If estimated payments or extension payments are being claimed on the return, please verify the amount of estimated or extension payments made during the year before filing the return.  You can view online how much was paid during the year by setting up an account on the Virginia Department of Taxation web site or you can call Customer Services at 804-367-8031 to verify the amount.
If you are claiming a subtraction, deduction, or contribution, please enter the valid codes on the Schedule ADJ.
If you are claiming a subtraction using Code 99, please attach the supporting documentation explaining why the subtraction was taken.
If you file a return electronically (e-file), please do not also submit a paper return.
If you file more than one return with different computations on each return, please indicate which return is the amended return by filling in the “Amended Return” oval at the top of the return.
When completing a handprint form, please use black ink instead of a pencil.
When submitting a tax return to the Virginia Department of Taxation, please ensure the front page and the back page are both sent.
When filing a tax return for a prior year, please use the correct form for the year the return is being filed.  The forms can be located on the Department’s Web site.
If a refund is requested to be direct deposited, please verify that the bank or savings account information is entered correctly on the return.  This can cause a delay in getting your refund.
If a refund is being requested for direct deposit, please ensure the bank or savings account is not closed.

If you are using e-File here are several filing errors that can be avoided:

·         The error that results in the largest number of problems is the use of outdated software.  If you use online e-file software this does not apply, but if you purchased a software package you must take upgrades provided by the vendor each year to ensure you are using the correct version and avoid submitting returns with errors.
·         Withholding amounts should be equal to the Virginia income tax withheld on W2s, 1099s or Schedule INC.
·         On Form 760PY the itemized deductions in Columns A and B do not equal the total Virginia itemized deductions.
·         Always use the most current taxpayer information.  One place to pay special attention is to the address on your e-file return and the bank information.  Always verify the address and bank information and update as necessary to avoid delays in receiving your refund.