GrapevineCPA

Tax Refund In Grapevine, TX: 6 Financial Mistakes To Avoid

tax refund grapevine txIf you own a small- or medium-sized business, you know the importance of maximizing your tax refund in Grapevine, TX.  You should also know that a maximized tax refund only happens when you make as few financial mistakes as possible in your business.  Mistakes in accounting and tax preparation may not only leave you with less money back from Uncle Sam in April, they may also leave you with an audit you’re not prepared for.  Here are some common mistakes you should avoid to get the biggest possible tax refund and sidestep a visit from the tax collector:

1 – Trying To Do Everything Yourself

Sure you may be the CEO, CFO and COO, but that doesn’t mean that you know how to do everything in your business.  Just as you would leave the creation of your business’s website to a professional web developer or leave your computer system setup to a professional IT consultant, you should leave your bookkeeping and tax preparation to an accounting professional.

2 – Not Using A Tax Organizer

If you don’t know what a tax organizer or tax diary is, you probably need one.  Keeping receipts is a good thing but a tax organizer is a detailed record of everything financial an IRS auditor might question you about, from travel to entertainment and more.

3 – Borrowing From Employee Withholding

The trust fund for employee withholding and Social Security isn’t your personal petty cash, even if you have been putting the money aside yourself.  Once the money is in the trust fund, it’s no longer yours to do with as you please and dipping into it could come with big penalties.

4 – Not Using A Professional Bookkeeper And Accountant

No matter what size your business is, you must ensure that the person who writes the checks isn’t the same person who does the accounting.  If you have a trusted family member who can do both, you may not need professional help; but most people don’t have the luxury of having a family member who is both good with numbers and incorruptible.

5 – Not Knowing What You Can Deduct

Get as much of your money back from the government as possible.  Did you have your suit dry-cleaned while you were away at a conference?  The dry-cleaning may be deductible if you stayed overnight.  Did you have dinner with friends at which you discussed your business.  Dinner may be deductible if the discussion of business happened within 24 hours of the meal.  Know what you can deduct to maximize your tax refund in Grapevine, TX.

6 – Making All Your Employees Independent Contractors

Full-time and part-time employees are more expensive to employ than independent contractors.  So why not make everyone who works for you an independent contractor?  Because you don’t have as much control over when and where independent contractors work as you do regular employees; and the IRS will find out if you improperly designate people acting as regular employees as independent contractors.  You may be subject to penalties for not collecting Social Security taxes, and for more than 40% of worker’s compensation for the time period during which you improperly designated employees as independent contractors.

When you need help with your bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation that will maximize your tax refund in Grapevine, TX, call me, Alfredo Robledo, Certified Public Accountant, PC, at (817) 421-0720 or visit me online at www.grapevinecpa.com.                  

Bookkeeper In Grapevine, TX: Why You Need Bookkeeping Help

bookkeeper grapevine txIf you own a small business, you know how hard it is to do every job that has to be done to make your business a success; from being your own janitor to being your own bookkeeper in Grapevine, TX, there are almost too many tasks that have to be done on a daily basis.  For many small business owners, the harsh reality of running a business is that sometimes help is required to ensure that every job is done well.  If you’ve come to the realization that it’s time to let someone else answer the phones, build your website and scrub your toilets, you should also know that it’s probably time you got professional help with your business’s bookkeeping.    

Accurate Bookkeeping Is Vital To Your Business’s Success

Missing a phone call from a client now and then or not getting the trash cans emptied every day won’t sink your business but bad bookkeeping will.   And when you try to keep track of your business’s finances yourself, bad bookkeeping is what you’ll get – because it won’t be your only job.  If you own or run the business, you’re wearing many different hats and even when you get help with some of the daily tasks of running the business, you’re always going to be involved, to some degree, in every aspect of it.  If you don’t keep accurate track of money coming in and going out, there is no point in trying to excel at anything else you do within the business.

The Financial Life Of Your Company Depends On Your Bookkeeping

Even though you think you’re an adequate bookkeeper in Grapevine, TX, that you might have a rough idea of what’s going on with your company’s finances and you’re limping along from month to month without bouncing any checks, that kind of bookkeeping won’t be adequate for the IRS or for any financial institutions you might be seeking a business loan from.  You must have a detailed set of books to be able to submit an accurate tax statement every year and to satisfy lenders who will need to know the exact status of your company’s finances.  Bookkeeping software isn’t the answer either if you don’t know the key elements in the bookkeeping process.  And figuring it out is a full-time job as the learning curve for knowing how to use any kind of bookkeeping software is steep.  

Think about the number of small- and medium-sized companies that go out of business every day.  That doesn’t always happen because they don’t do their jobs well; it often happens because they can’t do every job well.  And because bookkeeping is one of the most important jobs that has to be done in any business, it has to be done by someone who specializes in that one thing.  When you need a professional bookkeeper in Grapevine, TX, call me, Alfredo Robledo, at (817) 421-0720 or visit me online at www.grapevinecpa.com.  I specialize in taking care of your finances and my goal is to keep you focused on running your business without the worry of balancing the books or tracking credit card statements or invoices.  

Tax Services Grapevine, TX: Business Tax Deductions You Need

If you are a small business owner, your professional tax services in Grapevine, TX should include not just tax preparation but also helpful tax tips that will allow you to maximize your deductions so that you can keep as much of your hard-earned money as possible.  When you’re gathering your paperwork at the end of the year to calculate your business expenses, remember these important tax deductions you may be eligible to take:

Home Office

Claiming a home office isn’t as easy as it sounds.  In order for your deduction to be legitimate, you can only claim a space dedicated to your work and not just any shared space in your home.  That means that you can’t take a deduction for a room that serves as your home office and as your kids’ playroom.  

Office Supplies and Furniture

With or without a home office deduction, you can deduct the supplies you buy for your business, provided you keep your receipts.  You can also take a deduction for office furniture and you can choose between deducting 100% of the cost in the year of purchase or deducting a portion of the cost over a period of 7 years, which can allow you much-needed deductions down the line.

Other Equipment

Computers, copiers, scanners and fax machines are also deductible and, again, you have the option of claiming 100% of the cost at the time of purchase or spreading the deduction over a period of years – 5 in the case of equipment.

Software and Subscriptions

The cost of off-the-shelf software and magazine subscriptions related to your business or industry are fully deductible in the year the costs were incurred.

Mileage and Driving Expenses

If your business involves driving, you can take deductions for many of your driving- and vehicle-related expenses like gas, repairs and insurance but the minutiae can get complicated.  To get detailed information about what you can deduct and the kind of record-keeping the IRS requires, talk to the person who handles your tax services in Grapevine, TX.

Travel, Meals, Entertainment and Gifts

Airfare, hotels and more small business travel expenses are 100% deductible with the exception of food, which is 50% deductible.  Any client-related entertainment expenses are also 50% deductible.

Telephone Charges

You can deduct 100% of the business calls you make from your home phone by keeping track of them with your phone bills and tallying them up at the end of the year.  If you use a cell phone instead of a landline and you spend 50% of your time on the phone doing business, you can legitimately deduct 50% of your cell phone bill.
Taxes for small businesses can get complicated.  Get professional tax services in Grapevine, TX from Alfredo Robledo, Certified Public Accountant, PC.  Call (817) 421-0720 or visit www.grapevinecpa.com.

Tax Help In Grapevine, TX: 5 Tax Tips For 2016

It may be the middle of summer but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start thinking about your taxes and getting tax help in Grapevine, TX.  After all, being prepared for tax season means that you won’t have any unpleasant surprises when you actually fill out your 1040 in January or February.  In addition, advanced planning allows you to get organized, complete your taxes accurately and possibly lower the amount of money you may owe to the government.  Here are 5 tips to help you get ready:

1 – Gather And Organize Your Receipts And Other Paperwork

Now is the time to get organized and round up all your receipts and cancelled checks, including those you wrote to charity.  If you’ve invested, check your brokerage statement for year-to-date gains and losses and get medical receipts and insurance reimbursement forms together.  When you do this ahead of time, you’ll find that it’s much easier to write off business expenses, list charitable deductions and include expenses that you might overlook without organization.

2 – Think About Life Changes That Might Affect Your Taxes

Getting married, having or adopting a child or buying a house are some of the life changes that can affect your tax status and even your ability to claim certain tax credits and deductions.  If you think about how these life changes will affect your taxes, you won’t be surprised at tax time.

3 – Figure Out Which Tax Credits You May Be Eligible For

Tax deductions and tax credits are not the same thing.  Tax credits can directly reduce the amount of money you owe in taxes so it’s important that you figure out which tax credits you may be eligible to claim.  Some of the more common credits are:

  •    Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – If you are a low- or moderate-income worker, you may have your taxes reduced or receive a refund even if you are not required to file a tax return or you don’t owe anything in taxes because of your income level.
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit – This credit allows you to claim up to $2,500 for the first $4,000 spent on qualified education expenses in the first four years of college.  
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit – This credit lets you claim up to $2,000 for the first $10,000 spent on qualified education expenses like books, tuition and room and board.  
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit – This credit helps to defray the cost of daycare or babysitting.  

4 – Donate To Charity

If you’re planning on donating to charity, do it now to be able to deduct your donations from your taxes at the end of the year.  Make sure that you donate to qualifying charities – those that have 501(c)(3) status – and keep your receipts.  The total value of the non-cash items you donate to one or more charities must exceed $500.

5 – Increase Your Contribution To Your Retirement Plan

Consider temporarily increasing your contribution to your 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan before the end of the year.  By doing this, it can help to lower your taxable income.
Looking for tax tips and getting tax help in Grapevine, TX are good ways to ensure that you’re prepared for the next tax season.  When tax time rolls around again and you find yourself in need of professional help, call me, Alfredo Robledo, Certified Public Accountant, PC, at (817) 421-0720 or visit www.grapevinecpa.com to make an appointment for tax help in Grapevine, TX.     

Welcome to Grapevine CPA!

This is my first post on this Blog. Make sure you do your taxes on time.

The IRS auditor received instructions to hit taxpayer with mileage deduction or meal & entertainment hard and fast.  This area is an easy audit area because most people ignore the rules requiring that mileage logs be kept or keeping records of the five facts needed to claim a meal or entertainment.

This is an expensive lesson to learn in an audit.  Beside paying a thousand dollars for audit representation to fight the tax increase, the average tax increase is going to be in the $2 to $5K range depending on your circumstances.

Get educated on the logs you need to keep and avoid the pain. Google IRS mileage logs or call your tax representative.

Alfredo’s Blog

IRS Appeals case log is chocked with audit appeals from audit adjustment that are harsh.

A current client lost all his tax records in a move.  The initial tax adjustment was going to be $78,000.  Currently down to $18,000.  The audit has taken this family’s ability to claim the Earned Income Credit by hitting them with a penalty.

Well I guess that the Appeal Division of the IRS is getting another case.  This one may go to court.  Particularly when the IRS attorny will release the case on the court house steps.
This CPA hate this constant gamesmenship and negotiation that goes on.  But I hate having a working family getting run over by the system even more.

Information & Resources

Starting a Business?

Tips, Information and Resources for Starting a Business

Thinking of starting a business?

Recently started a business?

Click here