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Monday, September 19, 2016

BEST Tech company to work for



Fortune magazine and Great Places to Work Institute have rated a SE Florida company, Ultimate Software of Weston, the Top Tech Workplace in the USA. They have over 1100 employees. Their benefits include: 100% health care coverage; 40% match 401K; Paternity/adoption leave; 2 paid volunteer service days.

How do your employees feel about working for you?

 
Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Standard Mileage Rate Method for Business use of a Vehicle

 
Choosing the Standard Mileage Rate Method

For a vehicle you own, you must choose to use it in the FIRST YEAR the vehicle is available for use in your business.

For a leased auto, the standard mileage rate method must be use for the ENTIRE lease term.

You must make the choice to use the standard mileage rate method by the due date (including extensions) of your return.

You can elect to use the standard mileage rate method if you used a car for hire (unless the standard mileage rate method is otherwise not allowed).

If you use the standard mileage rate method, you cannot deduct your actual vehicle expenses for that year.

Standard Mileage Rate Method NOT Allowed

You cannot use the standard mileage rate method if you:

·Use 5 or more cars at the same time.

·Claimed a Section #179 deduction on the car.

·Claimed the Special Depreciation Allowance on the car.

Interest Expense on an Auto Loan

If you are an employee, you cannot deduct any interest paid on a car loan. This applies even if you use the car 100% for business as an employee.

If you are self-employed and use your car in your business, you can deduct that part of the interest expense that represents your business use of the car.

Personal Property Taxes

If you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), you can deduct state and local personal property taxes on automobiles. You can take this deduction even if you use the standard mileage rate method or if you do not use your car for business.

If you are self-employed and use your car in your business, you can deduct the business portion of state and local personal property taxes on Schedule C (Form 1040). If you itemize your deductions, you can include the remainder of your state and local personal property taxes on the car on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Parking Fees and Road Tolls

You can deduct any business-related parking fees and tolls in addition to using the standard mileage rate.

Standard Mileage Rate Method Calculation

To figure your auto deduction under the standard mileage rate method, you must keep an accurate and complete record of your business use of your vehicle.

You deduction is calculated by multiplying the total number of business miles for the year by the IRS allowed rate per mile (which the IRS usually adjusts each year).

 

This article was written by  Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC
Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Florida is No. 1


In case you missed it, according to a WalletHub survey Florida is No. 1 for Retirement! The survey looked around the country and weighted cost of living, taxes, population age, museums and theaters, golf courses, volunteer opportunities, crime, drinking water quality, life expectancy, Doctors/Dentists, Healthcare.

Is your business taking advantage of this?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Choose Your Tax Preparer Wisely


If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, the IRS asks you to choose your tax return preparer wisely-for good reason. You are responsible for the information on your income tax return. That's tru no matter who prepares your tax return.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a tax preparer.

Check the Preparer's Qualifications

Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.

This tool can help you find a tax return preparer with the qualifications you prefer.

Check the Preparer's History

Check for disciplinary actions and license status foe credentialed preparers. For CPA's check with the State Board of Accountancy. For Enrolled Agents, go to IRS.gov and search for “verify enrolled agent status. For Attorneys, check with the State Bar Association.

Ask about Fees

Ask about fees in advance.

Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund amount.

Avoid preparers who boast bigger refunds than their competition.

Make sure your refund goes directly to you-not into your preparers bank account.

Ask to E-File Your Return

Most tax preparers offer E-file-for free. Check to see if a fee applies.

Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 paid clients generally must file electronically-unless you specifically inform the preparer you do not want to e-file your tax return.

Review Your Tax Return Before Signing and Filing

Before you sign and file your tax return, review it for both accuracy and completeness. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for what is and is not reported on your tax return

Never Sign a Blank Tax Return

Never use a tax preparer who asks you to sign and date a blank tax form.

Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes Their PTIN

All paid tax preparers must have a proper Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN.

By law, paid preparers must sign returns and include their PTIN.

Copy of Tax Return and Records

Be sure your tax preparer provides you with a copy of your completed tax return that was filed and returns all tax records used to prepare your tax return to you.

Make Sure Your Preparer is Available

Avoid fly-by-night preparers.

Make sure your preparer is available whenever you have a question or need assistance throughout the year.

Choose the Right Preparer for Your Specific Tax Needs

All taxpayers are not alike.

Not all tax preparers are alike.

Be sure to choose a preparer who is knowledgeable and experienced for your specific tax needs.

Inquire about their education and ongoing training.

Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS

You can and should report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS using Form 14157.

If you suspect your preparer filed or changed your return without your consent, file Form 14157-A.

These forms are available on IRS.gov.

FINALLY, COMMON TAX FRAUD ITEMS TO LOOK FOR

·Creating or omitting income to generate a larger refund

·Creating false exemptions, dependents, and tax credits to generate a larger refund.

·Creating false and or inflated expenses to generate a larger refund.

·Using an incorrect filing status to generate a larger refund.

·Altering you tax return documents.

·Filing a return without your consent.

 

This article was written by  Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC 
Mike Lupo, SCORE Counsel