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Archive for Taxes

Five Last Minute Tax Tips for 2014

Businessman holding a sand timerThis is a post written by Dawson & Associates.

Are you one of the millions of Americans who haven’t filed (or even started) your taxes yet? With the April 15 tax filing deadline less than a week away, here’s some last minute tax advice for you.

1. Stop Procrastinating. Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. You need time to prepare your return, and may need certain documents that might take more time to pull together.

2. Include All Income. If you had a side job in addition to a regular job, you might have received a Form 1099-MISC. Make sure you include that income when you file your tax return because you may owe additional taxes on it. If you forget to include it you may be liable for penalties and interest on the unreported income.

3. File on Time or Request an Extension. This year’s tax deadline is April 15. If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension, bringing the filing date to October 15, 2014. You should keep in mind however, that filing the extension itself does not give you more time to pay any taxes due. You will still owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late-payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date. Continue reading “Five Last Minute Tax Tips for 2014” »

8 Top Secret Tax Tips the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know About

finger on lips.JPGWhen it comes to filing your small business taxes, it can seem overly complex. After all, what qualifies as a deduction? Are you filing as the proper status?

Don’t let tax season overwhelm you. Believe it or not, the IRS isn’t out to get you, but they do want you to play by the rules. These tips will help you alleviate the stress you feel this time of year and help you maximize your refund.

1. You Can File an Extension

Now, I’m not encouraging you to procrastinate each year, but you can ask for an extension if it’s taking longer than anticipated. And now you can file for that extension online rather than fill out a pile of paperwork. An extension will give you until October 15 to file and pay your taxes.

2. Sometimes It’s Better to Ask for Help

If you’re one of the millions of business owners struggling with your own taxes, consider whether it’s the best use of your time. You may think it costs more, but in reality, working with a tax professional or accountant may only run you a few hundred dollars. And when you factor in the savings they can help you recoup, it’s well worth it. Continue reading “8 Top Secret Tax Tips the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know About” »

How to Get Your Maximum Tax Refund: Nellie Akalp on FOX Business

Looking for the maximum tax refund back this year? Nellie Akalp provides tips on FOX Business.

foxtax

She says it’s worth it to pay an accountant to help you, as he’ll know the deductions that apply as well as the best filing status for your business. This can maximize your refund by $1,000 or more. She also says it’s important to know your expenses and which can be deducted on your taxes, like a home office or business office expenses. She stresses the importance of knowing your filing status, whether you’re filing as a business or an individual. Most people don’t think twice about what status to use, and sometimes overpay in taxes. Nellie also says to take advantage of your IRA contribution limit, which you can contribute for 2013 until April 15. She also says that many people overlook charitable contributions being tax deductible.

Nellie Akalp Discusses Common Tax Mistakes on Fox Business Feature

nellie fox

CorpNet’s CEO, Nellie Akalp, recently visited the set of FOX Business in New York to discuss some of the most common tax mistakes made by entrepreneurs and small businesses.

 “Filing business taxes can be a real learning curve for new business owners. Too often, some common mistakes are committed, and at best these lead to money left on the table; and at worst, costly penalties or other legal repercussions,” Nellie said.

In the segment, she discussed the need to pay quarterly estimated taxes; keeping track of your expenses; not being scared away from taking the home office deduction if you’re legally entitled to one; and sending 1099 forms to any contractors, attorneys, or individuals who performed work totaling more than $600 for the year. Nellie also advised that the most important tax move was selecting the right business structure, as the choice between a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation can have a major impact on the amount of taxes paid.

She also let new business owners they could get off on the right foot by contacting CorpNet.com for a free business consultation.

Through CorpNet, Nellie and her husband Philip Akalp have empowered thousands of entrepreneurs to start their own business. As an online legal document filing service, CorpNet helps small business owners form an LLC or incorporate a business in order to start and protect their new business ventures the right way.

You can watch the FOX video here.

Nellie Akalp Talks 8 Common Tax Mistakes on FOX Small Business

Once again, our CEO, Nellie Akalp, has hit the media streets to educate business owners. This time she joined FOX Small Business to discuss common tax mistakes, a relevant topic as Tax Day approaches.

1. Not paying quarterly taxes. Nellie suggests setting some money aside so you don’t have a large sum to pay at tax time.

2. Not keeping track of business expenses. You need these to deduct on your taxes, but you must be able to document them.

3. Not understanding home business writeoffs. Nellie says you can deduct your home office if you work from home.

4. Not keeping track of 1099s. Any contractors you pay more than $600 in a year must receive a 1099, and you must claim it as an expense.

Get more tips from Nellie in the video below.

 

 

Tax Changes for 2014: A Checklist

Welcome 2014! As the new year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to the current tax law and 2014 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

Filing Season Delayed by 10 Days

Taxpayers should note that the 2014 tax season opens on Jan. 31, 2014.

In most years, the filing season opens on Jan. 21; however, due to the 16-day government shutdown that took place in October 2013, the filing season is delayed by 10 days this year. No returns, paper or electronic, will be processed by the IRS before this date.

The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place, although taxpayers can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. If you think you need an extension, please let us know.

Individuals

For 2014, more than 40 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion, as well as most retirement contribution limits.

For 2014, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2013, but tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, “Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2014,” below. Continue reading “Tax Changes for 2014: A Checklist” »

Can Startups and Small Businesses Turn Summer Vacation into a Tax Deduction?

As the summer heats up, vacation season kicks into full swing. Employees with office jobs enjoy all those traditional perks like paid vacation days, while time-pressed, cost-conscious startups, small business owners, and contractors are left wondering how to get that much needed time off without jeopardizing their business and clients.

However, small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs have one advantage, and that’s the ability to mix business and pleasure…at least when it comes to expensing parts of your summer travel. Here are some of the basics of what you need to know (but as with any general tax advice, it’s a good idea to discuss your specifics with a tax advisor):

1. The primary purpose needs to be business.

The IRS will let you deduct travel expenses if the primary purpose of the trip is for business. You can include a few days of fun in a business trip, but the majority of days must be for business activities. If not, you won’t be able to make any transportation deductions. So, if you have 3 days of client meetings (or a seminar) and 2 travel days, that counts as 5 business days – meaning you’d most likely be able to tack on 4 days of vacation and still have it count as a business trip.

2. What can you deduct?

In general, you’re able to deduct any transportation costs (plane tickets, taxis, airport parking, etc.) needed to get you to your destination. And as a general rule of thumb for U.S. based companies and startups, you can deduct 100% of lodging, tips, car rentals, and 50% of your food for any of the business days. Refer to IRS Pub 463 for all the details on which expenses can be deducted. Continue reading “Can Startups and Small Businesses Turn Summer Vacation into a Tax Deduction?” »

Can a Side Business Help Reduce Your Taxes?

In the digital era, it’s never been easier to start a business on the side, whether as a freelance social media consultant, mobile game developer or Etsy shop owner.

But let’s say you started a business and it didn’t make any money. That might be bad news for your wallet, but could potentially help you come tax time.

The IRS lets you write off the loss from a business on your personal tax return. For example, if you have a regular “day” job, you can use the loss from a side business to offset your W2 or other income (and thus, lower your overall tax bill for the year).

Does this mean you should go through the effort of creating a business just so you can take $10,000 (or whatever figure) from your personal earnings? Probably not. And does that mean you can get away with creating a shell of a company just to get a deduction? No. But if you have an entrepreneurial inkling, then starting a side business is not just exciting; it could also be advantageous tax-wise. And who knows, maybe your side business will turn into a full-time gig some day. Continue reading “Can a Side Business Help Reduce Your Taxes?” »

10 Tax Tips for Work-at-Homers

By: Eric

If you just started your home-based business in the last year, you may be apprehensive about your first time filing and paying small business taxes. Never fear: these tips will make tax season easier for you.

1. Know Your Deductions. 

You might be surprised at all the expenses you can write off with your home-based business. Your office, for example, is a legitimate business deduction. A few others include:

  • Office supplies
  • Computers or printers
  • Business trip expenses
  • Advertising or marketing

So don’t be afraid to spend money on your business. It will help reduce your taxable income come April. Continue reading “10 Tax Tips for Work-at-Homers” »

Filing Taxes as a Sole Proprietor? What You Need to Know

More Americans are working for themselves than ever before. Call them freelancers, contractors, micro business owners, entrepreneurs…a recent report says that there are now 17 million full-time independents in the U.S.

Even if this is your first year as self-employed, you probably already know that your income taxes are more involved than your colleagues who only have a W-2. However, the complexity also brings opportunity, as freelancers can deduct a lot of their expenses, such as the cost of a computer, office supplies, and work-related travel. Continue reading “Filing Taxes as a Sole Proprietor? What You Need to Know” »