Tips for Getting Your Taxes Done Now

You’ve waited until the last minute to file your taxes. You know it is time to roll up your sleeves and get it done. Without being rushed to meet the April 15th filing deadline, you’ll need to set aside a couple of hours of time to file your 1040. Whether you do it on your own or allow our team of tax professionals to do it for you, the following tips will help you to get through those seemingly difficult hours and just get this done.

Updating Software and Documents

The IRS didn’t release all of the tax filing documents until late this year. To make matters worse, various tax filing programs were not set up in time to meet the changes. The IRS even detailed some types of filing while it worked out the process. The bottom line is that, before you file, you need to ensure you have the right documents or the most up to date software programs. You can get what you need at the IRS website if you plan to do this on your own. Submitting the wrong return or lacking key tax information while completing it could cost you big time. You do not want to make these mistakes.

Take Advantage of Big Deductions

One of the easiest but most often overlooked ways to get a tax break is to open an IRA. Even if you have other types of savings accounts, maximizing the amount of money in these accounts to meet the limits set by the IRS could mean more money in your pocket and less money in the pocket of the government. Let’s say you owe this year. By opening up an IRA and depositing some funds into it, those funds become a tax deduction for you. That means you save those funds for retirement (and they start helping you to earn money through compounding interest) and you don’t have to repay them to the government.

E-File

Once you sort through all of the tax documents, you’ll want to e-file rather than mailing your documents. First off, even if you owe money, e-filing is effective because it allows you to receive a confirmation that the IRS received your return. If you are expecting a refund this year, be sure to sign up for direct deposit. This will help you to get your money faster. It is also completely safe to do.
The bottom line: Don’t wait to file your taxes any longer. You also don’t have to try and do the work yourself. Contact us for tips and help getting your return in fast.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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Things to Consider With a Tax Extension

When it comes to filing yearly income tax returns, you find all types. There are those who are itching to file right after the New Year’s champagne toast, and those who trudge toward April 15 as if it were Armegeddon. And of course there are plenty of people who fall somewhere in between.

Because income can come from many different sources, and at all sorts of different levels, filing taxes is much more of a strain for some than others. Some may wind up with a quick and easy return, while others struggle to find the time, and sometimes the money to meet the deadline.

For those who see April 15 approaching a little too quickly, there is the option of filing the IRS form 4868 to get an extension. By filing an extension, taxpayers have an additional six months to file their taxes. But although there may be extra time, there may also be an extra expense. An extension allows a tax payer extra time to file, but not extra time to pay. If you are one of those who has to pay into the IRS or your state’s revenue department, holding off could mean that you’ll have to pay more. With an extension there is more time to file, but not more time to pay.

In order to limit fees, penalties, and interest taxpayers are best off paying their taxes at the time that they file for the extension. This can be tricky for some who don’t necessarily know what they owe. In order to make the process a bit easier, your tax accountant can estimate what you might owe. While not guaranteed to be accurate, these estimates will give you a place to start when it comes to knowing your tax bill.

If paying the whole amount is not feasible, pay what you can. Any penalties and interest will be calculated based on what you owe after April 15. If you’re due a refund, you won’t be charged penalties or interest. The following situations can make your tax obligation creep upwards: failing to file on time (your 4868 should take care of this), failing to pay, and Interest.

Failing to file can bring you a penalty of as much as 25% of your tax bill. For each month your return is late, 5% is added to your tax bill. This maxes out at 25%. The failure to pay penalty is less per month — only .5%, however this does not max out so delaying that payment too long could really add up. Interest charges can vary somewhat, but is currently around 4% of the amount that was underpaid.

If you’re feeling rushed or overwhelmed, knowing that there is an option to file an extension can bring some peace of mind, but still even with that extension it is always in the taxpayers best interest to get their taxes in order as soon as they can.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal..

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Global Opportunities: Small Businesses Make the Leap

Crowley Halloran Conference RoomIn today’s business environment, the more ways a company can share their product, the better for the company. Markets all over the world hold potential for small business, but what does it take to get into the foreign markets? Can small business take advantage of the global opportunities? The answer is yes. The global economy has never had more opportunities for small business, and with a strong global financial strategy, small businesses are competing in foreign markets.

To succeed globally, small businesses need to create a global financial strategy. Small businesses will face common issues and a few roadblocks in the global market, but having a well-defined plan can make the difference between being successful and failing in the new market

Some questions to consider when creating your plan are:

  • What performance indicators need measured for both financial and operation purposes?
  • How will accounts receivable and payable be set up and managed?
  • Is there enough support for multiple locations and countries?
  • How will the company keep control over the global financial process?
  • How are local tax regulations and requirements managed for each foreign location?
  • How are different currencies handled in foreign locations?

Being able to answer these questions and any other unique question regarding your company is the best way to start.

Some strategies that help in making a successful transition are setting up multi-entity accounting, understanding foreign tax laws and codes, managing multiple foreign currencies, and having local human resources. Businesses with multi-entity accounting have consolidated their business processes. By consolidating business processes, the company will eliminate duplicate work, create a standard workflow, and be able to support the demands of a more complex business model. Hiring a local accounting firm to help with all the local tax codes and regulations would be extremely useful when breaking into the global market. They will be able to navigate your business through the different regulations, and be able to keep up with the different currency fluctuations. They can also be part of your management team that will take care of the day-to-day running of the business.

Ventures into a new market are exciting new opportunities for small businesses. With a proper plan and a good management team, anyone, even a small business, can take advantage of the global business opportunities.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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IRS Payment Plan

If you were unable to file your taxes by April 15, you are not alone. Around 5.5 million business tax extensions are filed every year. This extra six months is a nice cushion if you just couldn’t get everything done on time, but the next deadline, October 15, is coming. And since the IRS only allows one 6-month extension to file form 1040, it is time to scurry.

It is vital that you file on time or you may be subject to fees and penalties. If you are concerned that you will be financially unable to pay everything you owe immediately, consider the IRS’ installment agreement. Let’s look at this "payment plan" so you are prepared.

It is perfectly acceptable to make monthly payments with the IRS installment agreement if you are financially unable to pay your tax debt.

To proceed with this IRS installment agreement process, you must:

  • File all required tax returns
  • Consider other sources, like a loan or credit card, to pay your tax debt completely to save money
  • Figure out the largest monthly payment you can afford to make, with a $25 minimum payment, and
  • Understand that any future tax refunds will be applied to your tax debt until it is paid off

Next, you can avoid the fee for setting up an installment agreement if you pay the full debt amount within 120 days. If that is your plan, you will need to specify this option when you sign up. But you will still need to call if you owe more than $50,000.

The fees for setting up an installment agreement are:

  • Direct Debit – $52
  • Standard or Payroll Deduction – $105
  • Lower Income Level – $43

There are a few ways to apply for an installment agreement:

  • If you owe $50,000 or less (including individual income tax, interest and penalties), apply online
  • You may call the phone number on your bill or notice
  • You may mail the completed Form 9465-FS.

After all this work to file an installment agreement, be sure to keep your account in good standing. This is easily accomplished by:

  • Paying, at the very least, your minimum monthly payment when it is due
  • Including your name, address, SSN, daytime phone number, tax year and return type on each payment
  • Filing all tax returns on time
  • Paying all taxes you owe completely and promptly
  • Continuing to make all payments even if a refund is applied to the account balance

If you would like to know more, you may contact Crowley Halloran CPA’s at www.crowleyhalloran.com.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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Tips for picking a CPA

Mike Crowley | Crowley Halloran CPA

Michael W. Crowley, CPA - Principal

One of the most critical decisions anyone can make is picking a good-quality, reliable accountant. There are several things to keep in mind when a business owner chooses an accounting firm. Many accountants are excellent, but are they going to meet your business needs?

There are a few basic tips to keep in mind, as a business owner, when choosing a CPA firm:

Certification: The CPA should meet all the states requirements and passed the required exam. It is important that an accountant has met all the requirements and even continues their education to stay certified. It is the best way to know that they are current in all the new procedures and tax laws.

Experience: Make sure the accountant or CPA firm is experienced in the business field that your business specializes in. It is important that they know what the unique business needs are and how to handle any problems that may arise. They should have worked with that business industry before or something very similar.

Size: While the larger, more popular CPA firms may be ok, do not over look the smaller firms. The larger firms can probably take care of all the business needs and more, but the smaller firms will offer a more personalized approach. Many of the larger firms will contract out the smaller firms to work on small accounts anyway, so why not start with the local, smaller firm and go from there. Just make sure they meet the requirements that your business needs.

Get a Referral: One of the most important factors to finding a good, reliable CPA is to get a referral. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and other business owners to see who they would recommend. The best reference usually comes from word of mouth.

Once all the references have been compiled, do some research on the CPA firm and then ask to meet them and conduct an interview. Ask questions and find the right fit for you. Remember your CPA is to be one of your most trusted advisors, so make sure they are the right fit for you and your business.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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