GORDON H. ZiNK CPA BLOG
WHAT TO DO?
Every so often, one of our clients will call to tell us about a suspicious phone call they received from someone claiming to be the IRS. Unfortunately, data theft and scams are becoming a common occurrence and may be something that you have already experienced.
So, what should you do in the event a suspicious phone call or email comes your way? Listed below are some steps to follow depending on the type of contact which you encounter.
- Bogus website claiming to be the IRS: In this case, the IRS would like you to notify them about the bogus website by sending the IRS an email to email@example.com with the link to the website. Be sure to include in the subject line of the email “Suspicious Website”.
- Email claiming to be the IRS: Do not reply, nor open any attachments or click on any links. Forward the email to the IRS (firstname.lastname@example.org) and then delete original email.
- A suspicious phone call claiming to be the IRS: Request from the caller their employee badge number along with a call back phone number. Then call the IRS at 800-366-4484 to determine if the caller was a legitimate IRS employee.
- A suspicious letter claiming to be from the IRS: Call the IRS at 800-366-4484 to confirm the letter is from them. Also, you may want to search the IRS website at www.irs.gov to determine whether the letter is a legitimate IRS letter.
We hope these suggestions are helpful to you in the event you encounter one of these scams. Remember, if you are looking for a Certified Public Accountant or need tax advice for you or your business, call Gordon H. ZiNK, CPA, P.A. We take pride in providing outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to our underlying values and principles. We are here to help
Charitable Contributions of IRA Distributions
If you are 70 ½ or older, you are allowed to donate all or a portion of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA account directly to an eligible charitable organization.
Limitations to consider would be the maximum amount to donate is $100,000 and the deduction is allowed only to the extent the distribution would otherwise be included in taxable income.
How would this affect your tax return? If you elect to have your RMD donated directly to a charity, the amount donated would not be included in your income for tax purposes. Since the amount is not reported in income, it would then not be available to report on your “Schedule A” charitable contributions supposing you itemize. Therefore, by making a charitable contribution of your IRA distribution, your adjusted gross income will be less which may help reduce your taxable Social Security benefits.
In order to take advantage of this type of distribution, the charitable contribution must be transferred directly from your IRA account by the IRA administrator to the eligible charity of your choice. However, if you first receive the distribution and then donate the amount of the distribution to charity, the distribution will be recognized in your income and the donation will be recorded on your “Schedule A” supposing you itemize.
If you have further questions concerning the Qualified Charitable Distribution or other tax related questions, please call Gordon H. Zink CPA, P.A. We are here to help you. ZiNK CPA – providing outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to our underlying values and principles.
MORE TIME TO PAY?
In case you are living under a rock, taxes are due on Tuesday. Even if you owe and cannot pay the full amount, your tax return is still due. If you do not intend to file by tomorrow’s deadline, be sure you file an extension. This will push your deadline back to October 15th. However, if you will owe taxes, that amount is still due by Tuesday. Therefore, if you do intend to file for extension and owe taxes, be sure to send in a check with an estimated amount of tax you owe along with your request for extension.
So what should you do if you cannot afford to pay your entire tax bill? Here are some pointers which may help you if you find yourself in this predicament.
- File timely and pay as much as you can afford.Once the IRS processes your partial payment, you will receive a letter from them with the balance along with payment options for the remainder.
- Pay with a credit card.This will give you a little more time to pay and the interest involved with the credit card may be lower than interest and penalties from the IRS.
- Access the Online Payment Agreement tool through the IRS.Through this tool you can set up a payment plan along with direct debit, thereby eliminating the need to mail in checks.
- Always respond to an IRS letter.Do not ignore notices from the IRS.The IRS will work with taxpayers suffering financial hardship.
If you are looking for a Certified Public Accountant or need tax advice for your business or personal taxes, call GORDON H. ZiNK, CPA. We take pride in providing outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to our underlying values and principles.
Required Minimum Distributions
Retirement funds cannot be kept in your account indefinitely. When a person reaches the age of 70 ½, they are required to make withdrawals from their IRA, SEP and Simple IRA retirement accounts. Failure to do so results in a hefty penalty of up to 50% on the amount which was required to be distributed. If you own a Roth IRA, these rules do not apply since withdrawals are not mandatory until the owner’s death.
The required amount which must be withdrawn each year is often referred to as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). The date for a person’s first RMD must be made by April 1st of the following year in which (s)he reaches 70 ½. Each subsequent RMD is then due by December 31st each year. If your first RMD is made April 1st, your next RMD will need to be taken 8 months later. Therefore, some tax planning may be in order to consider the effects of more income if two RMD’s are made in a single year. It may be a better tax advantage to take the first RMD immediately after turning 70 ½ and before the New Year so that the RMD’s fall in two different years.
RMD’s apply to the following types of retirement plans:
If you would like to speak to a tax professional further about any RMD questions or issues, you can call GORDON H. ZiNK CPA for experienced direction. ZiNK CPA – providing outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to our underlying values and principles.
Pointers for a Worry Free Tax Season
While in the midst of tax season, anxiety may be running higher than usual. Perhaps the following pointers will help alleviate some of that pressure.
Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today. This famous line from mothers everywhere and allegedly Ben Franklin also holds true during tax season.Getting an early start will not only keep the process calm but also mean you will receive your tax return sooner by avoiding the last-minute rush.
Collect and store all your tax records in one file/folder. As you receive your documents in the mail or other means, place them for safe keeping in a file with your other tax documents as they come in.This will help ensure no documents go missing.
Use your organizer provided by your CPA. The organizer is a useful tool in the gathering of your tax information, but only if you use it.Not only will it bring to your attention items that were present in the previous year which may be missing, but it will help notify your CPA to any major changes or issues to address for the current year.Thus, leading to a most accurate tax return.
In the case of a refund: E-FILE. Having your refund directly deposited into your account is safer and faster than receiving a check through the mail.In most cases, a direct deposit refund takes about 10 days to receive compared to approximately 6 weeks to receive a refund check when paper filing
What if I can’t pay my taxes? If you owe taxes, you have till April 17th to mail in your check before it would be considered late; regardless of how much earlier you may have filed the return.If you cannot pay the entire amount, pay in as much as you can.The IRS will then respond with a letter notifying you concerning the balance due.In this letter, options will be provided in setting up a payment plan for the remainder due.
File for an extension. By doing this, you are given till October 15th 2018 to file your tax return.However, if you are going to owe taxes, the money is still due by April 17th 2018.An estimated tax payment should then be sent in with your request of extension.
We hope these pointers are useful to you as you prepare for this tax season. If you have further questions or need assistance, call GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, PA at (239)936-1120. We are here to help.
Let's Get This Party Started!
Whether you are ready or not, tax season is here. The IRS is now accepting tax returns and expects more than 155 million tax returns to be filed. Here are a few items to consider as you prepare to file your taxes.
- When receiving a refund, choosing to e-file and direct deposit is the safest and quickest way to file a tax return and to receive a refund.
- Taxpayers have until April 17th to file their 2017 tax returns and pay any taxes due.If filing an extension due October 15th, any taxes due need to be paid by April 17th.
- If you are receiving a refund and would like an update, you can go to IRS.gov and click on “Where’s My Refund? “ for the most current status.
- If your refund is in part due from the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, these refunds will be available starting February 27th.
If you are preparing to file your taxes, we hope this little bit of information is helpful to you. Also, know that you can depend on GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. for all your tax needs.
Call us today at (239)936-1120 to schedule your free initial 30 minute consultation. We look forward to working with you.
Casualty Loss Deduction Restrictions
New limits have now been placed on individuals’ itemized deductions for casualty and theft losses due to the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Prior to this new law, an individual could claim as itemized deductions certain personal casualty losses, not compensated by insurance or otherwise, including losses arising from fire, storm, shipwreck, or other casualty, or from theft. In order to qualify for this deduction, two restrictions were in place. The first: the loss must exceed $100. The other qualifier: the loss could only be deducted to the extent that it exceeded a floor of 10% of one’s adjusted gross income.
With the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, effective at the beginning of 2018, a deduction for a casualty loss can now only be deducted if it occurred in an area which the President has declared as a federal disaster area. Therefore, only a taxpayer who suffers a personal casualty loss located in a disaster area declared by the President will be able to make a casualty loss claim as an itemized deduction. If the taxpayer still qualifies, the two restrictions mentioned above will still apply; exceed $100 and exceed 10% of the taxpayer’s AGI.
Since the casualty loss deduction is essentially gone except for those in a federally declared disaster area; you may want to review your homeowner, flood, and car insurance policies to determine if you may need additional coverage.
If you would like to discuss this issue further, do not hesitate to call or email GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, PA. We look forward to helping you.
Hobby or a Business???
Has your hobby become a business? People follow their pursuits in the forms of hobbies simply because they find enjoyment and fulfillment in the activity. Sometimes, these hobbies can create income and therefore must be reported on a taxpayer’s tax return. There are rules on how to report income and expenses depending on the type of activity…whether it is a hobby or a business. In order to determine the manner in reporting the income, one must distinguish if indeed the activity is a hobby.
Is there a profit motive? This is the fundamental question to help determine if one is operating a business or a hobby. If the person is undertaking an activity for recreation and enjoyment without necessarily looking to make a profit, most likely they are engaged in a hobby. To contrast someone in business is motivated to make a profit from the onset.
This determination between a hobby and a business is important due to the manner how income is reported on a tax return. With a business, expenses can exceed ones income which then creates a loss. This loss can be deducted from other income. However, with a hobby, losses resulting from the hobby can only be deducted up to the amount of the hobby income. The remainder losses, above and beyond the hobby income cannot be deducted from other income.
How do you determine if you are operating a business or a hobby? Here are some questions to help clarify the differences:
- Do you depend on the income from this activity for your livelihood?
- Do you carry on the activity like a business by maintaining books and records?
- Has the activity made a profit in 3 of the last 5 tax years?
- Have you changed your methods of operation in an attempt to improve profitability?
If you are running into this issue and would like to speak to a tax professional for help, please do not hesitate to call GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. The team at ZiNK CPA has the professional experience and knowledge concerning how to handle hobby/business issues. Call GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. today at (239)936-1120 to schedule your free initial 30 minute consultation.
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Tax Changes for 2018
Important Tax Changes for 2018
In 2018, a number of tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including Health Savings Accounts, retirement contribution limits, and the foreign earned income exclusion. Many others have been revised or eliminated due to the TCJA.
While the tax rate structure, which now ranges from 10 to 37 percent, remains similar to 2017 in that there are seven tax brackets, the tax-bracket thresholds increase significantly for each filing status. Standard deductions also rise significantly; however, personal exemptions have been eliminated through tax year 2025.
In 2018, the standard deduction increases to $12,000 for individuals (up from $6,350 in 2017) and to $24,000 for married couples (up from $12,700 in 2017).
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
In 2018, AMT exemption amounts increase to $$70,300 for individuals (up from $54,300 in 2017) and $109,400 for married couples filing jointly (up from $84,500 in 2017). Also, the phaseout threshold increases to $500,000 ($1 million for married filing jointly). Both the exemption and threshold amounts are indexed for inflation.
For taxable years beginning in 2018, the amount that can be used to reduce the net unearned income reported on the child's return that is subject to the "kiddie tax," is $1,050 (same as 2017). The same $1,050 amount is used to determine whether a parent may elect to include a child's gross income in the parent's gross income and to calculate the "kiddie tax." For example, one of the requirements for the parental election is that a child's gross income for 2018 must be more than $1,050 but less than $10,500.
For 2018, the net unearned income for a child under the age of 19 (or a full-time student under the age of 24) that is not subject to "kiddie tax" is $2,100.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay current or future medical expenses of the account owner, his or her spouse, and any qualified dependent. Medical expenses must not be reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return.
A qualified individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care.
For calendar year 2018, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage and must limit annual out-of-pocket expenses of the beneficiary to $6,650 for self-only coverage and $13,300 for family coverage.
Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)
There are two types of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs): the Archer MSA created to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small employers, and the Medicare Advantage MSA, which is also an Archer MSA, and is designated by Medicare to be used solely to pay the qualified medical expenses of the account holder. To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage MSA, you must be enrolled in Medicare. Both MSAs require that you are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
Self-only coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2018, the term "high deductible health plan" means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,300 (up $50 from 2017) and not more than $3,450 (up $100 from 2017), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $4,600 (up $100 from 2017).
Family coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2018, the term "high deductible health plan" means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $4,600 and not more than $6,850 (up $100 from 2017), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $8,400 (up $150 from 2017).
Penalty for not Maintaining Minimum Essential Health Coverage
Under the TCJA, the penalty for not maintaining minimum essential health coverage has been eliminated but only for months beginning after December 31, 2018.
AGI Limit for Deductible Medical Expenses
In 2018, the deduction threshold for deductible medical expenses is temporarily reduced (tax years 2018 through 2025) to 7.5% percent (down from 10% in 2017) of adjusted gross income (AGI).
Eligible Long-Term Care Premiums
Premiums for long-term care are treated the same as health care premiums and are deductible on your taxes subject to certain limitations. For individuals age 40 or younger at the end of 2018, the limitation is $420. Persons more than 40 but not more than 50 can deduct $780. Those more than 50 but not more than 60 can deduct $1,530 while individuals more than 60 but not more than 70 can deduct $4,160. The maximum deduction is $5,200 and applies to anyone more than 70 years of age.
The additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 for individuals ($250,000 married filing jointly), which went into effect in 2013, remains in effect for 2018, as does the Medicare tax of 3.8 percent on investment (unearned) income for single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (AGI) more than $200,000 ($250,000 joint filers). Investment income includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gains from the disposition of property, and certain passive activity income. Estates, trusts, and self-employed individuals are all liable for the new tax.
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
For 2018, the foreign earned income exclusion amount is $104,100, up from $102,100 in 2017.
Long-Term Capital Gains and Dividends
In 2018 tax rates on capital gains and dividends remain the same as 2017 rates (10%, 15%, and a top rate of 20%); however threshold amounts are different in that they don’t correspond to new tax bracket structure as they did in the past. For taxpayers in the lower tax brackets (10 and 12 percent), the rate remains 0 percent; however, the threshold amounts are $38,600 for individuals and $77,200 for married filing jointly. For taxpayers in the four middle tax brackets, 22, 24, 32, and 35 percent, the rate is 15 percent. For an individual taxpayer in the highest tax bracket, 37 percent, whose income is at or above $425,800 ($479,000 married filing jointly), the rate for both capital gains and dividends is capped at 20 percent.
Pease and PEP (Personal Exemption Phaseout)
Both Pease (limitations on itemized deductions) and PEP (personal exemption phase-out) have been eliminated under TCJA.
Estate and Gift Taxes
For an estate of any decedent during calendar year 2018, the basic exclusion amount is $11,200,000, indexed for inflation (up from $5,490,000 in 2017). The maximum tax rate remains at 40 percent. The annual exclusion for gifts increases to $15,000.
Individuals - Tax Credits
In 2018, a non-refundable (only those individuals with tax liability will benefit) credit of up to $13,840 is available for qualified adoption expenses for each eligible child.
Earned Income Tax Credit
For tax year 2018, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low and moderate income workers and working families rises to $6,444, up from $6,318 in 2017. The credit varies by family size, filing status, and other factors, with the maximum credit going to joint filers with three or more qualifying children.
Child Tax Credits
For tax years 2018 through 2025, the child tax credit increases to $2,000 per child, up from $1,000 in 2017, thanks to the passage of the TCJA.
The enhanced child tax credit, which was made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2017 (PATH), remains under TCJA. The refundable portion of the credit increases from $1,000 to $1,400 so that even if taxpayers do not owe any tax, they can still claim the credit. Under TCJA, a $500 nonrefundable credit is also available for dependents who do not qualify for the child tax credit (e.g., dependents age 17 and older).
Child and Dependent Care Credit
The Child and Dependent Care Credit also remains under tax reform. If you pay someone to take care of your dependent (defined as being under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year or incapable of self-care) in order to work or look for work, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses in 2018.For two or more qualifying dependents, you can claim up to 35 percent of $6,000 (or $2,100) of eligible expenses. For higher income earners the credit percentage is reduced, but not below 20 percent, regardless of the amount of adjusted gross income.
Individuals - Education
American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credits
The American Opportunity Tax Credit (formerly Hope Scholarship Credit) was extended to the end of 2018 by ATRA but was made permanent by PATH in 2017. There was no change under TCJA. The maximum credit is $2,500 per student. The Lifetime Learning Credit remains at $2,000 per return; however, the adjusted gross income amount used by joint filers to determine the reduction in the Lifetime Learning Credit is $114,000, up from $112,000 for tax year 2017.
Interest on Educational Loans
In 2018 (as in 2017), the $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on student loans is no longer limited to interest paid during the first 60 months of repayment. The deduction is phased out for higher-income taxpayers with modified AGI of more than $65,000 ($135,000 joint filers).
Individuals - Retirement
The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan increases to $18,500. Contribution limits for SIMPLE plans remain at $12,500. The maximum compensation used to determine contributions increases to $275,000 (up from $270,000 in 2018).
Income Phase-out Ranges
The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and have modified AGI between $63,000 and $73,000, up from $62,000 to $72,000.
For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the phase-out range increases to $101,000 to $121,000, up from $99,000 to $119,000. For an IRA contributor who is not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple's modified AGI is between $189,000 and $199,000, up from $186,000 and $196,000.
The modified AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $120,000 to $135,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $118,000 to $133,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $189,000 to $199,000, up from $186,000 to $196,000. The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.
In 2018, the AGI limit for the saver's credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low and moderate income workers is $63,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $62,000 in 2017; $47,250 for heads of household, up from $46,500; and $31,500 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $31,000 in 2017.
Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer
Happy New Year! As we all know, tax season is quickly approaching. During this time many taxpayers are searching for a professional tax preparer. If this is you, you may want to consider the following tips.
- Is the tax preparer qualified? By using the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Preparers, you can search listings of tax preparers to see their qualifications. Another option is to check their history and license status. For CPA’s, check with the State Board of Accountancy.
- Inquire about fees and e-filing. Avoid tax preparers who boast about bigger refunds than other tax preparers or base their fees on a percentage of a refund. Electronic filing of your tax return is the fastest way to submit your taxes and results in the quickest turnaround time when receiving a refund.
- Be sure your tax preparer is available. Search for a reputable tax preparer who is established in order to avoid fly-by-night preparers.
- Before signing…review it. Many choose to sign and submit their returns without first reading it. This is not recommended. Take time to review your return completely. If something is unclear, ask your tax preparer for further explaination. Be sure you receive your own copy of the return and that your bank routing and account information is correct in case of a refund.
- Confirm that your tax preparer signs and includes their PTIN on the tax return. All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Paid preparers, by law, must sign returns and include their PTIN.
If you are searching for a professional tax preparer, consider GORDON H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. The tax team at ZiNK CPA has been serving Southwest Florida since 1986, dedicating quality accounting services and year-round tax advice to corporations and individuals. Call us today for your FREE initial 30 minute consultation at (239)936-1120. We look forward to helping you.
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Protect Your Data
Here are some steps to keep your online data safe:
- Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi
- Shop only at familiar online retailers
- Use strong and unique passwords
- Encrypt data with a password
- Sign up for account alerts
Steps to take if you are victim of a data breach:
- Reset all passwords and online accounts
- Try to determine what information has been compromised
- Place a freeze on the account
- Consider using a credit monitoring service
Please consider these steps throughout the New Year, and especially during the holidays.
The team at ZiNK CPA has been in Southwest Florida for over 35 years dedicating quality accounting services and year-round tax advice to corporations and individuals. Contact us at 239.936.1120 for an appointment.
Estimated Taxes and Withholdings
The uncertainty of tax time can be stressful. Part of that uncertainty can result from not having enough federal tax withholding at the end of the year. Not paying enough tax throughout the year can lead to a larger tax bill and more penalties from the IRS.
Here are some tips which can help you avoid underpayment of tax throughout the year.
- Determine the amount to withhold. A withholding calculator can be found at IRS.gov. This calculator provides direction in determining an amount to withhold on Form W-4.
- Withhold more. If income with no withholding is present, increasing withholding on Form W-4 can offset additional taxes from this other income.
- Make estimated tax payments. For those who do not have any earned wages but have pass through income, investment income, and/or retirement income; estimated payments can be made to cover the related taxes, thereby avoiding any late penalties and interest.
- Use Form W-4P. With this form, retirees are able to withhold taxes directly from their pensions and annuity plans. Also, those collecting Social Security can also have taxes withheld from their monthly Social Security checks.
If you would like assistance on determining whether you have withheld enough taxes on your income, contact Gordon H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. at (239)936-1120 to set up your free initial 30 minute consultation. The team at ZiNK CPA can help you be ready and reduce the stress of tax time.
Gordon H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. is a proud member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accounts
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IRS Letter in the Mail...What Do You Do?
Does the thought cause you to break out into a cold sweat? Following are some tips to keep in mind if you do receive an IRS letter.
- Carefully read the entire letter. In the letter, most times there are specific instructions concerning what the IRS needs from you.
- Only reply if necessary. Often, an IRS letter is relaying information to you and a response is not required.
- Compare your IRS letter to your tax return. Any IRS changes should be compared to your filed tax return regarding the year which the letter represents.
- Hold onto the Letter. Be sure to keep the original. If mailing a response, include a copy of the IRS letter you received.
- Respond timely. Mail any correspondence to the address listed at the bottom of the letter. Include copies of documents or information to help clear up the matter.
If you do receive an IRS letter and you need guidance on how to handle the matter, do not hesitate to call Gordon H. ZiNK CPA, P.A. The team at ZiNK CPA has the professional experience and knowledge concerning how to conduct your dealings with the IRS. Call ZiNK CPA today at (239)936-1120 to schedule your free initial 30 minute consultation.
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Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving! This is a day to remember everything in our lives small and large, and give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving from Gordon H. ZiNK CPA, P.A.
What You Should Bring When You Meet with Your CPA
When you meet for your initial consultation with a CPA, it is best to be prepared. Whether you are meeting with us or another accountant, the below list will help you be more organized and help result in a most accurate tax return.
Bring these documents to the consultation:
- Copies of previous 2 year tax returns for the company and individual that had been filed with the IRS and state taxing authorities
- Current copy of financial statements printout and accounting software data files
- Copy of previous tax preparers “organizer” if available.
- Copies of current year tax related documents – receipts, expenses, 1099s, 1098s, and W-2 forms
- Retirement plan documents
Be ready to discuss the following items:
- Your income and expense profile
- Business and individual tax filing status and dependent information
- Any industry tax compliance issues
- Health care coverage
Other tips to consider:
- Use an organizing binder
- Be ready to schedule future tax planning sessions to allow the CPA to provide recommendations and advise
- Consider using a software program to keep organized such as QuickBooks or Quicken
If you are in need of a CPA or considering a CPA to prepare your taxes you should think of Gordon H. ZiNK CPA. The team at ZiNK CPA has been in Southwest Florida for over 35 years dedicating quality accounting services and year-round tax advice to corporations and individuals. Call us today for your free initial 30 minute consultation at 239-936-1120. We look forward to hearing from you.
Starting a Successful Start-Up
Starting a business is an adventurous pursuit. Decisions must be made which can shape the level of success throughout the course of the business. Before you open your doors for business, consider the following issues and determine which decisions are best for you.
- Choose a bookkeeping process. A strong commitment to record keeping will help you achieve more success by staying organized and allowing you to monitor progress.
- Decide what kind of business structure is best for you. Many factors need to be under consideration when choosing the best business structure for you. A helpful aid in this determination can be found at the following link : https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch/choose-business-structure-types-chart
- Determine your tax year accounting period. Most common is a calendar year; however you may find it more advantageous to choose a fiscal year end other than December 31st if your business is seasonal.
- Find out your tax responsibilities. Assuming you have employees, you will need to consider employment taxes and withholding responsibilities; self –employment tax if self-employed. Also, be aware of any excise or estimated taxes which may be due.
If you would like to discuss any of the aforementioned topics or have other questions regarding your start-up, know that Gordon H. ZiNK CPA can help. The team at ZiNK CPA has been in Southwest Florida for over 35 years dedicating quality accounting services and year-round tax advice to start-ups and new businesses. Call us today for your appointment at 239-936-1120. We look forward to helping you.
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Thank You to Our Veterans
Often, we do not dwell on the dangers that face our servicemen and women as they work to protect our freedom. But, it is there. We honor and celebrate those who are willing to put their lives on the line for millions of Americans through their service in our armed forces. We are grateful to each and every one of you.
Direction for Your Small Business
It can be overwhelming to keep your “to do list” under control when running a small business. One resource to consider when in need of some direction is the IRS. Here are some resources made available to you through the IRS:
- An IRS video portal – containing information regarding an array of business topics.
- Small business workshops and seminars
- A Form and Publications page with tax forms and instructions
- A tax calendar to help your business stay up to date.
Allow us to be another resource when in need of direction. With over 35 years of dedicated service to Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Southwest Florida; you can rely on the knowledge and personalized attention you will receive from ZiNK CPA to provide direction to your business success.
For all of your Tax and Accounting needs, call Gordon H. Zink CPA, P.A. and let us help you accomplish your business goals. Call us today for your appointment at 239-936-1120 or email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Knock knock; who's there? The IRS...maybe
Have you received that phone call of someone claiming to be from the IRS, yet you suspect they may be a scammer? If you haven’t, it may only be a matter of time. Below are some points to keep in mind regarding the legitimate ways which the IRS may reach out to you.
- Most IRS contact is through regular mail using the United States Postal Service.
- You will not be asked to make a payment to anyone besides the U.S. Department of Treasury.
- IRS officers carry two forms of identification with serial numbers. You can ask to see both IDs.
- The IRS can and do use private debt collectors. However, this is only done after a written notice and the private debt collector will not visit your home or business.
- There are some instances in which the IRS will come to a home or business:
- The taxpayer has an overdue tax bill
- To tour the business regarding an audit or criminal investigation
- When the IRS needs to secure a delinquent tax return or employment tax payment
- IRS employees conducting audits may call taxpayers to set up appointments, but not without having first notified them by mail. Therefore, by the time the IRS visits a taxpayer at home, the taxpayer would be well aware of the audit.
If you believe someone is impersonating the IRS, you can report it to the IRS (visitIRS.gov). Know also, that Gordon H. Zink CPA, P.A. is here to help. Not sure if the IRS or a scammer is reaching out to you? Contact us and we can help you determine the legitimacy of the caller.
This along with more information is from:
How to save 1 million dollars?
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How can I save a million dollars?
How much do I need to fund my retirement?
If you need a starting point for these questions plus more, you may want to visit our calculator page.
We have calculators for you covering the following topics:
While these calculators are not a substitute for advice and information provided by a qualified professional, our calculators are a good starting point to begin your decision-making process.
Please note that these tools provide preliminary calculations, therefore any decision-making factors should be discussed with us based on your individual circumstances and situations.
We are here to help, do not hesitate to contact Gordon H. Zink CPA, P.A. We look forward to hearing from you.