New Simplified Option for Home Office Deduction

Tax Strategies For Business Owners – Beginning in tax year 2013 (returns filed in 2014), taxpayers may use a simplified option when figuring the deduction for business use of their home.
Note: This simplified option does not change the criteria for who may claim a home office deduction. It merely simplifies the calculation and recordkeeping requirements of the allowable deduction.

Highlights of the simplified option:
 Standard deduction of $5 per square foot of home used for business (maximum 300 square feet).
 Allowable home-related itemized deductions claimed in full on Schedule A. (For example: Mortgage interest, real estate taxes).
 No home depreciation deduction or later recapture of depreciation for the years the simplified option is used.
For no obligation free consultation contact us today!
ABA Tax Accounting
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Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TAX PLANNING FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Tax planning is the process of looking at various tax options in order to determine when, whether, and how to conduct business and personal transactions to reduce or eliminate tax liability. 

Many small business owners ignore tax planning. They don’t even think about their taxes until it’s time to meet with their accountants, but tax planning is an ongoing process and good tax advice is a valuable commodity. It is to your benefit to review your income and expenses monthly and meet with your CPA or tax advisor quarterly to analyze how you can take full advantage of the provisions, credits and deductions that are legally available to you. 

Although tax avoidance planning is legal, tax evasion – the reduction of tax through deceit, subterfuge, or concealment – is not. Frequently what sets tax evasion apart from tax avoidance is the IRS’s finding that there was fraudulent intent on the part of the business owner. The following are four of the areas most commonly focused on by IRS examiners as pointing to possible fraud:

  1. Failure to report substantial amounts of income such as a shareholder’s failure to report dividends or a store owner’s failure to report a portion of the daily business receipts.
  2. Claims for fictitious or improper deductions on a return such as a sales representative’s substantial overstatement of travel expenses or a taxpayer’s claim of a large deduction for charitable contributions when no verification exists.
  3. Accounting irregularities such as a business’s failure to keep adequate records or a discrepancy between amounts reported on a corporation’s return and amounts reported on its financial statements.
  4. Improper allocation of income to a related taxpayer who is in a lower tax bracket such as where a corporation makes distributions to the controlling shareholder’s children. .

For no obligation free consultation contact us today!

ABA Tax Accounting

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Published in: on May 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Tax Credits that Can Reduce Your Taxes

Tax Credits that Can Reduce Your Taxes

Federal, State, Local and International Taxes – A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you must pay. A refundable tax credit not only reduces the federal tax you owe, but also could result in a refund.

Here are five credits the IRS wants you to consider before filing your 2012 federal income tax return:
1. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit for people who work and don’t earn a lot of money. The maximum credit for 2012 returns is $5,891 for workers with three or more children. Eligibility is determined based on earnings, filing status and eligible children. Workers without children may be eligible for a smaller credit.
2. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is for expenses you paid for the care of your qualifying children under age 13, or for a disabled spouse or dependent. The care must enable you to work or look for work.
3. The Child Tax Credit may apply to you if you have a qualifying child under age 17. The credit may help reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim on your return.
4. The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver’s Credit) helps low-to-moderate income workers save for retirement. You may qualify if your income is below a certain limit and you contribute to an IRA or a retirement plan at work. The credit is in addition to any other tax savings that apply to retirement plans.
5. The American Opportunity Tax Credit helps offset some of the costs that you pay for higher education. The AOTC applies to the first four years of post-secondary education. The maximum credit is $2,500 per eligible student. Forty percent of the credit, up to $1,000, is refundable. You must file Form 8863, Education Credits, to claim it if you qualify.

Make sure you qualify before claiming any tax credit. For no obligation free consultations if your cancelled debt is taxable contact us today!
Aba Tax Accounting
Amare Berhie, Enrolled Agent
Amare@Abataxaccounting.Com
612-282-3200 Toll Free866-936-0430
http://www.abataxaccounting.com
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Published in: on March 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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1099S: 5 KEY REPORTING CHANGES FOR BUSINESSES

Small Business Accounting — According to the IRS, under-reporting of income is the biggest contributing factor to the IRS tax gap–the amount owed by individuals and businesses versus the amount that was actually paid in taxes. In 2006, the most recent year for which data are available, under-reporting across taxpayer categories accounted for an estimated $376 billion of the gross tax gap. 

Overall, the IRS found that compliance is highest where there is third-party information reporting (1099 forms used to report taxable income earned that is not considered salary and wages) and/or withholding (W-2 forms). In the case of W-2 forms, the IRS found that a net of only 1% of wage and salary income was misreported; however, amounts subject to little or no information reporting had a 56 percent net misreporting rate in 2006. 

In an effort to close that tax gap, the IRS has changed some reporting requirements for 1099s for tax year 2012. Here are some of those key changes:

1. 1099-MISC. Starting in 2012, compensation of $600 or more paid in a calendar year to an H-2A visa agricultural worker who did not give you a valid taxpayer identification number must be reported on 1099-MISC. You must also withhold federal income tax under the backup withholding rules. However, if the worker does furnish a valid taxpayer identification number, then report the payments on Form W-2.

2. 1099-B. New boxes have been added to Form 1099-B for reporting the stock or other symbol (box 1d), quantity sold (box 1e), whether basis is being reported to the IRS (box 6b), and state income tax withheld (boxes 13-15). Other boxes on the form have been moved or renumbered. In addition, brokers must report on Form 1099-B sales of covered securities by an S corporation if the S corporation acquired the covered securities after 2011.

3. 1099-C. The titles for boxes 1, 2, and 6 on Form 1099-C have changed. Box 1 is now Date of Identifiable Event; box 2 is now Amount of Debt Discharged; and box 6 is now Identifiable Event Code, and requires the entry of a code for the identifiable event. See Box 6–Identifiable Event Code. For 2012, all codes are optional except for Code A–Bankruptcy.

4. 1099-DIV. Exempt-interest dividends from a mutual fund or other regulated investment company (RIC) are now reported on Form 1099-DIV and are no longer reported on Form 1099-INT, Interest Income. Also, boxes 12 through 14 have been added to Form 1099-DIV to report state income tax withheld.

5. 1099-INT. Exempt-interest dividends from a mutual fund or other regulated investment company (RIC) are no longer reported on Form 1099-INT. Instead, those amounts are reported on Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions. In addition, boxes 11 through 13 have been added to Form 1099-INT to report state income tax withheld. 

If you need help with 1099s this year, don’t hesitate to give us a ring. We’re happy to help you out. For no obligation free consultation contact us today!

ABA Tax Accounting

info@abataxaccounting.com

866-936-0430 Toll Free

http://www.abataxaccounting.com

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Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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Good Reasons to E-file Your Tax Return – http://www.abataxaccounting.com/taxservice.php

Federal, State, Local and International Taxes – If you haven’t tried IRS e-file before, now is the time. Most taxpayers – more than 80 percent – file electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990. Fewer people file a paper tax return every year. Here are five good reasons to e-file your tax return:

  • Accurate and complete. E-file is the best way to file an accurate and complete tax return. Tax returns that are incomplete or include errors take longer to process.
  • Safe and secure. Tax preparers and software companies who e-file must meet strict guidelines and provide the best in encryption technology. You receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours that the IRS received your tax return. If the IRS does not accept your tax return, you will receive notification and can quickly correct your return and resubmit it.
  • Faster refunds. An e-filed tax return usually means a faster refund compared to a paper return. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days. If you choose direct deposit, your refund goes directly into your bank account. Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. About three out of four taxpayers who file receive a tax refund. Last year the average refund was about $2,700.
  • Payment options. If you owe tax, you can e-file early and set an automatic payment date anytime on or before the April 15 due date. You can pay by check or money order, by debit or credit card, or by transferring funds electronically from your bank account.
  • It’s easy. You can e-file on your own through IRS Free File, the free tax preparation and e-filing service available exclusively at IRS.gov. You can also use commercial tax preparation software or ask your tax preparer to e-file your return. And, if you qualify, IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly partners will e-file your return for free.

For no obligation free consultation contact us today!

ABA Tax Accounting

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612-282-3200

866-936-0430 Toll Free

http://www.abataxaccounting.com

www.abataxaccounting.wordpress.com

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Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tax Strategies – Who Should File a 2012 Tax Return?

Tax Strategies – Who Should File a 2012 Tax Return?

Federal, State, Local and International Taxes – If you received income during 2012, you may need to file a tax return in 2013. The amount of your income, your filing status, your age and the type of income you received will determine whether you’re required to file. Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you may still want to file. You may get a refund if you’ve had too much federal income tax withheld from your pay or qualify for certain tax credits. 

Even if you’ve determined that you don’t need to file a tax return this year, you may still want to file. Here are five reasons why: 

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld.  If your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, if you made estimated tax payments, or if you had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax, you could be due a refund. File a return to claim any excess tax you paid during the year. 

2. Earned Income Tax Credit.  If you worked but earned less than $50,270 last year, you may qualify for EITC. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means if you qualify you could receive EITC as a tax refund. Families with qualifying children may qualify to get up to $5,891 dollars. You can’t get the credit unless you file a return and claim it. Use the EITC Assistant to find out if you qualify. 

3. Additional Child Tax Credit.  If you have at least one qualifying child and you don’t get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may qualify for this additional refundable credit. You must file and use new Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, to claim the credit. 

4. American Opportunity Credit.  If you or someone you support is a student, you might be eligible for this credit. Students in their first four years of post secondary education may qualify for as much as $2,500 through this partially refundable credit. Even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back for each eligible student. You must file Form 8863, Education Credits, and submit it with your tax return to claim the credit. 

5. Health Coverage Tax Credit.  If you’re receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, you may be eligible for a 2012 Health Coverage Tax Credit. Spouses and dependents may also be eligible. If you’re eligible, you can receive a 72.5 percent tax credit on payments you made for qualified health insurance premiums. 

Want more information about filing requirements and tax credits?  For no obligation free consultation contact us today!

ABA Tax Accounting

info@abataxaccounting.com

612-282-3200

866-936-0430 Toll Free

www.abataxaccounting.wordpress.com

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http://www.abataxaccounting.com

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Standard Mileage Rates for 2013 – www.abataxaccounting.com

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Small Business Tax Planning – The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2013 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
 
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 
 
  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations 

The rate for business miles driven during 2013 increases 1 cent from the 2012 rate.  The medical and moving rate is also up 1 cent per mile from the 2012 rate. 

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
 
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
 
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle.  In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
 
These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical, or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51.  Notice 2012-72 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan. Considering a Tax Professional? For no obligation free consultation contact us today!
ABA Tax Accounting
info@abataxaccounting.com
866-936-0430 Toll Free
http://www.abataxaccounting.com
www.abataxaccounting.wordpress.com
Published in: on November 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Year-End Tax Planning For Individuals – Strategize Tuition Payments

Year-End Tax Planning For Individuals – Strategize Tuition Payments

Federal, State, Local and International Taxes – The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which offsets higher education expenses, is set to expire after 2012. It may be beneficial to pay 2013 tuition in 2012 to take full advantage of this tax credit, up to $2,500, before it expires. 

CALL US FIRST – This is just one of the year-end planning tax moves that could make a substantial difference in your tax bill for 2012. But the best advice we can give you is to give us a call. We’ll sit down with you, discuss your specific tax and financial needs, and develop a plan that works for your business.

ABA Tax Accounting

info@abataxaccounting.com

866-936-0430 Toll Free

http://www.abataxaccounting.com

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Published in: on November 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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YEAR-END TAX PLANNING FOR BUSINESSES – Year-End Moves to Take Advantage Of

YEAR-END TAX PLANNING FOR BUSINESSES – Year-End Moves to Take Advantage Of-

Small Business Tax Planning Partnership or S Corporation Basis – Partners or S corporation shareholders in entities that have a loss for 2012 can deduct that loss only up to their basis in the entity. However, they can take steps to increase their basis to allow a larger deduction. Basis in the entity can be increased by lending the entity money or making a capital contribution by the end of the entity’s tax year. 

Caution: Remember that by increasing basis, you’re putting more of your funds at risk. Consider whether the loss signals further troubles ahead. 

Retirement Plans. Self-employed individuals who have not yet done so should set up self-employed retirement plans before the end of 2012. Call us today if you need help setting up a retirement plan. 

Dividend Planning. Reduce accumulated corporate profits and earnings by issuing corporate dividends to shareholders, which continue to be taxed at the 15 percent rate through 2012. 

Budgets. Every business, whether small or large should have a budget. The need for a business budget may seem obvious, but many companies overlook this critical business planning tool.

 

A budget is extremely effective in making sure your business has adequate cash flow and in ensuring financial success. Once the budget has been created, then monthly actual revenue amounts can be compared to monthly budgeted amounts. If actual revenues fall short of budgeted revenues, expenses must generally be cut. 

Tip: Year-end is the best time for business owners to meet with their accountants to budget revenues and expenses for the following year. 

If you need help developing a budget for your business don’t hesitate to call us today!

ABA Tax Accounting

Amare Berhie, Senior Tax Accountant

amare@abataxaccounting.com

612-282-3200

866-936-0430 Toll Free

http://www.abataxaccounting.com

www.abataxaccounting.wordpress.com

Published in: on November 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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