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Welcome to the ZiNKCPA.com BLOG. Check this section for interesting information regarding, our company, taxes, the IRS or general accounting.  If you have further questions regarding any of our blog topics and would like to discuss further please send us an email to accounting@zinkcpa.com.

Starting a Successful Start-Up

11/14/2017

 

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. 
  •  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.

 

 

 

 

The information on this page is taken from:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/four-things-to-know-about-taxes-and-starting-a-business

 

Thank You to Our Veterans

11/10/2017

 

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

11/7/2017

 

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:

  1. An IRS video portal – containing information regarding an array of business topics.
  2. Small business workshops and seminars
  3. A Form and Publications page with tax forms and instructions
  4. 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 accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Information on this page taken from:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-has-options-to-help-small-business-owners

Knock knock; who's there? The IRS...maybe

11/1/2017

 

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:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-know-if-the-knock-on-your-door-is-actually-someone-from-the-irs

 

 

How to save 1 million dollars?

10/27/2017

 

How much home can I afford?

How soon can I eliminate my debts?

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:

  • Home
  • Personal
  • Investment
  • Retirement
  • Leases

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.  

 

http://www.zinkcpa.com/Calculators

Looking to 2018??

10/24/2017

 

It’s natural to be thinking ahead to the New Year as we are rapidly approaching the end of the boardwalk for 2017.  Before moving on too quickly though, you may want to consider what you can still do before year end to affect your 2017 tax return.  Listed below are three actions you may want to consider.

  1.  Make charitable contributions.  Only those contributions made in 2017 can be deducted in 2017. 
  2. IRA distributions.  Those who are 70 ½ in 2017 can wait till April 1st of 2018 to receive their distribution.  It may be beneficial to take the distribution before the year end of 2017 rather than taking two distributions in 2018.
  3. IRA contributions.  Workplace retirement account contributions are typically made throughout the year or by year end.  Keep in mind, a 2017 IRA contribution can still be made by April 17th of 2018.

If you have further questions about these suggestions or need other tax advice, do not hesitate to contact Gordon H. Zink CPA, P.A.  Our staff is ready to help you with your 2017 tax questions. 

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 appointment at 239-936-1120 or email accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

The information on this page is taken from:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/with-2017-extension-deadline-passed-all-eyes-on-2018

2017 Tax Filing Changes and Due Dates You Need to Know

2/23/2017

2017 Tax Filing Changes and Due Dates You Need to Know

 
 
The Internal Revenue service has already started accepting and processing 2016 individual income tax returns. As we move through the tax filing season, the dedicated staff at Gordon Zink CPA, PA would like you to know there are a number of important law changes that have taken place. We encourage taxpayers to rely on a trusted tax professional who can provide helpful information about the new tax laws and how they may impact you.
 
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
 
S Corporations & Partnership Filing Deadlines
Deadline for filing a 2016 corporation or S corporation return or extension is March 15, 2017 and pay any tax due. Important New Deadline for filing 2016 Partnerships has been changed from prior due date of April 15 to new date of March 15, starting this 2017 tax season : File a 2016 tax return (Form 1065) by March 15, 2017. Provide each partner with a copy of Schedule K-1 (Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.) of Form 1065, or a substitute Schedule K-1.
 
Standard Mileage Rates Have Been Revised
  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven in 2016, down from 57.5 cents in 2015. For those planning ahead, the 2017 rate, for use on a 2017 return filed next year, is 53.5 cents per mile.
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes in 2016, down from 23 cents in 2015. The 2017 rate is 17 cents.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. This rate is set by law and is unchanged.
 
Three Extra Days to File and Pay
Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 18, 2017 to file their 2016 returns and pay any taxes due. That’s because of the combined impact of the weekend and a holiday in the District of Columbia. The customary April 15 deadline falls on Saturday this year, which would normally give taxpayers until at least the following Monday. But Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday, is observed on Monday, April 17 giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day. By law, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do.
 
Hiring a trusted tax professional can be beneficial and provide helpful information and advice about the ever-changing tax code. Get ready today to file your 2016 tax return. Call Zink CPA to learn about requirements and resources to make your tax season less stressful.
 
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 appointment at 239-936-1120 or email accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
 

Checklist for the End of Your Small Business’ Fiscal Year

12/13/2016

Checklist for the End of Your Small Business’ Fiscal Year

 
 
Keeping your financial records in order is hugely important to the success of your business. Not only does it keep you up-to-date on your profits and losses, but legally speaking, it’s necessary to have your records straight. It makes the close of your fiscal year easy to execute by ensuring that all of your required statements are in the right place. This is especially important for dealing with the IRS. Understanding just what exactly goes into a fiscal year close can be confusing, however, especially for new business owners. Even if you have an accountant on staff or retainer, it’s still important to keep track of your finances yourself. It just makes good business sense for you, as the owner, to understand what exactly is happening with your money. Let’s examine the steps you should take when closing out your small business’ books for the end of the fiscal year.
 

Steps to Take Before the Last Day of the Fiscal Year

 
1. Review your profit and loss statements
Your business’ profit and loss statements will help you get a snapshot of its financial performance. What does your revenue look like now that the year is almost through? Do you anticipate any other large expenses to hit your books? If not, evaluate how much money you have available, and see if it might be wise to make a larger purchase before the end of the year so that the item can depreciate.
 
2. Verify Your Vendor and Lender Files
It’s important to review the paperwork—including 1099s—associated with any of your vendors, as well as information relating to any current outstanding loans. Make sure all of your vendor 1099 forms are up-to-date and accurate. You also want to make sure the 1099 information has been inputted correctly into your accounting system so that it’ll populate the forms when printed.
 
3. Take Inventory
If you sell products, conduct an inventory assessment and compare the results to your last inventory report. Make any necessary adjustments so that you have an accurate account of how much capital you have wrapped up in your current inventory. Even if you don’t sell products, it’s not a bad idea to take an inventory of elements in your office, such as equipment, computers, office supplies, etc. Make a list of any broken equipment or equipment in need of repair. If you lease any electronics, such as copiers, pull out the contract associated with it and make sure the terms are still appropriate for your situation.
 
4. Look for Benefits to Report on Your Outgoing W-2
As a business that issues W-2s, these benefits relate to the organization as a whole and can reflect things such as health and life insurance, transportation subsidies, educational reimbursement programs and more.
 
5. Create a Budget for the Following Year
It’s never too early to plan. By reviewing your statements from the current year, you’ll start to see a pattern in the things you need to budget and plan for in the next year. By taking stock of your expenditures from the current year, you’ll have a better understanding of where to focus your efforts moving forward.
 
For greater knowledge and assistance with any tax payer changes to your withholding status, be sure to contact the tax professionals at Gordon Zink CPA, PA. Our staff is fully trained and ready to help you with your 2016 tax reporting. Visit our website at ZinkCPA.com for a list of our services and helpful resources.
 
Tax professionals make preparing and filing your tax deadlines less stressful. Consult your CPA in making decisions. Be organized. Build a relationship and share all your financial information so your CPA can determine the best way to expense or report your earnings. 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 appointment at 239-936-1120 or email accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
 
Gordon Zink CPA is a Quickbooks certified accounting firm. The information on this page is taken from
http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/accounting-taxes/checklist-for-the-end-of-your-small-business-fiscal-year

IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Their Withholding

10/26/2016

IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Their Withholding; New Factors Increase Importance of Mid-Year Check Up

 
 
On August 31st this year, the Internal Revenue Service encouraged taxpayers to consider a mid-year tax withholding checkup following several new factors that could affect their refunds in 2017.  Taking a closer look at the taxes being withheld can help ensure the right amount is withheld, either for tax refund purposes or to avoid an unexpected tax bill next year.
 
The withholding review takes on even more importance this year given a new tax law change that requires the IRS to hold refunds a few weeks for some early filers in 2017 claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. In addition, the IRS and state tax administrators continue to strengthen identity theft and refund fraud protections, which means some tax returns could again face additional review time next year to protect against fraud.
 
"With these changes, it makes good sense on many different levels to check on your withholding and plan ahead for next tax season," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "It's a personal choice if you want to have extra money withheld to get a bigger tax refund, but you have options available if you prefer to have a smaller refund next year and more take-home money now."
 
So far in 2016, the IRS has issued more than 102 million tax refunds out of 140 million total individual returns processed, with the average refund well over $2,700. Historically, the refund figure has increased over time in size.
 
By adjusting the Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, taxpayers can ensure that the right amount is taken out of their pay throughout the year so that they don’t pay too much tax and have to wait until they file their tax return to get any refund. Employers use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to be withheld from pay.
 
For greater knowledge and assistance with any tax payer changes to your withholding status, be sure to contact the tax professionals at Gordon Zink CPA, PA. Our staff is fully trained and ready to help you with your 2016 tax reporting. Visit our website at ZinkCPA.com for a list of our services and helpful resources.
 
Tax professionals make preparing and filing your tax deadlines less stressful. Consult your CPA in making decisions. Be organized. Build a relationship and share all your financial information so your CPA can determine the best way to expense or report your earnings. 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 appointment at 239-936-1120 or email accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
 

You Filed A 2015 Tax Extension Now What

7/19/2016

You Filed A 2015 Tax Extension. Now What?

 
 
If you are like millions of Americans who who filed for a 2015 tax extension, (electronically or by mail) summer will be over before you know it and deadlines are looming. Now is the time to seek professional advice. The extension of time to file your return was not an extension of time to pay your taxes. It was a shrewd decision to allow yourself extra time to become better prepared and get your paperwork in order.
  • Schedule your appointment with a professional tax consultant as soon as possible.
  • Make a checklist of the items your CPA will need.
  • Gather everything together and check it off the list as you go.
  • Hiring a CPA translates into time and money saved for you.
  • Expert advice allows you more time to focus on your business and what matters most to you. Your time is valuable.
  • Expert help from accredited professionals keep you apprised of the many changing tax laws where the end results could mean solutions for you or your business.
  • Enjoy the rest of your summer with the full knowledge you will meet the September 15th corporate extension deadline or the October 15th personal tax deadline.
Tax professionals make preparing and filing your tax deadlines less stressful. Consult your CPA in making decisions. Be organized. Build a relationship and share all your financial information so your CPA can determine the best way to expense or report your earnings. 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 appointment at 239-936-1120 or email accounting@zinkcpa.com
 
 

Strategies To Help Reduce Next Years Tax Bill

5/4/2016

Strategies To Help Reduce Next Years Tax Bill

 
 
Now that the April 18 income tax filing deadline has passed, it may be tempting to set aside any thought of taxes until the year end is near. But don't make that mistake, sit down with your tax consultant now to evaluate your financial life, especially while all your tax data is freshest in your mind. Don't miss opportunities for maximum tax savings.
 
A tremendous number of variables affect your overall tax liability for the year. Starting to look at these variables early in the year can give you more opportunities to reduce your 2016 tax bill.
 
For example, the timing of income and deductible expenses can affect both the rate you pay and when you pay. By regularly reviewing your year-to-date income, expenses and potential tax, you may be able to time income and expenses in a way that reduces, or at least defers, your tax liability.
 
To achieve your business success, tax planning shouldn't be just a year-end activity.
In recent years, planning early had been a challenge because there were a lot of expired tax breaks where it was uncertain whether they would be extended for the year. But the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) extended a wide variety of tax breaks through 2016, or, in some cases, later. It also made many breaks permanent.
 
For example, the PATH Act made permanent the deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes and tax-free IRA distributions to charities for account holders age 70½ or older. So you don't have to wait and see whether these breaks will be available for the year like you did in 2014 and 2015.
 
To get started on your 2016 tax planning, contact us at 239.936.1120. Our tax advisors can discuss what strategies you should be implementing now and throughout the year to minimize your tax liability.
 
For tips and valuable information, peruse our website ZinkCPA.com and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/zinkcpa. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
Gordon Zink CPA, PA is a proud member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accounts
 
 
 

How will extended tax provisions affect you and your family

1/16/2016

How will extended tax provisions affect you and your family?

 
 
The scramble is over. Congress finally passed last-minute legislation dealing with more than 50 tax provisions that expired December 31, 2014. With tax season at our front door, tax payers, tax preparers, and the IRS are all breathing a sigh of relief now that we know what law applies to 2015 tax returns.
 
Some tax provisions were made permanent while others were extended from two to five years. In a statement released by House Speaker Paul Ryan, he stated we are "ending Washington's days of extending tax policies one year at a time…permanent extenders will shield families from a tax hike and provide businesses with greater economic certainty to grow and prosper."
 
January 2016 marks the perfect time to make an appointment with your professional tax advisor and get your tax planning started. To help you prepare, Zink CPA has compiled a partial list of some key legislation items that were extended or made permanent.
  • 24(d) Enhanced American Opportunity tax credit is made permanent. Beginning in 2016, the provision requires the taxpayer claiming the American Opportunity credit to report the EIN of the educational institution to which the individual made tuition payments. Provision made permanent
  • 25A Enhanced child tax credit is made permanent.
  • 32(b) Enhanced earned income tax credit is made permanent.
  • 62 $250 teacher supply deduction is made permanent. Beginning in 2016, the provision also indexes the $250 cap to inflation and includes professional development expenses.
  • 163 Mortgage insurance premium deduction as mortgage interest is extended to Dec. 31, 2016.
  • 170 Contributions of real property for qualified conservation purposes is made permanent.
  • 222 Tuition deduction is extended to Dec. 31, 2016.
  • 408 IRA transfers to charity in lieu of RMDs made permanent.
While this list is just a short sampling, we hope it has encouraged you to find out how these and many other items may affect your tax return. Contact us via phone at 239.936.1120 or email for an appointment at accounting@zinkcpa.com. Also, visit our website at calculators for personal and business financial calculators for many of your day-to-day money questions. We look forward to hearing from you. Happy New Year!
 
Gordon Zink CPA, PA is a proud member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accounts
 
 
 

Independent Contractor or Employee

9/25/2015

Independent Contractor or Employee?
Differences you need to know!

 

 

Your business is growing, you're happy you have the capital to hire more help. Stop. How do you correctly determine whether the individuals you'll be interviewing will be providing services as employees or independent contractors? It's critical as a business owner that you correctly identify a workers status prior to a verbal or written agreement between both parties. Understanding the factors in order to comply with IRS rules can be a complicated undertaking. To avoid confusion, fines or problems you need to familiarize yourself with the following information before you hire a worker. There is no single test but the following guidelines should be clearly understood.

 

To begin, employers aren't required to pay payroll taxes, Medicare, Social Security, or unemployment insurance when they use independent contractors instead of employees. Independent contractors also aren't entitled to the protections outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act; such as minimum wage laws, overtime, vacation pay, and other benefits. But if you claim certain workers as independent contractors and the work they perform for you falls under the guidelines of employees, there can be expensive consequences.

How to Make a Determination

The IRS has three aspects to consider whether you or the worker has the right to control each one.

Behavioral control: If you direct and control how your workers accomplish their jobs, they are probably employees. Independent contractors, on the other hand, take on jobs and get them done using their own methods.

 

Financial control: An employee earns a regular wage, while an independent contractor is paid a flat fee per job, for time and materials, or, in some cases, by the hour. In addition, independent contractors are free to advertise their services to other businesses, while employees typically only work for one company.

 

Type of relationship. You should only provide insurance, pension plans, and vacation and sick pay to employees. And if you expect that the relationship will last indefinitely, rather than for just a project or set period, you likely have an employee. If workers provide services that are a key part of the life of your business, you probably direct and control those activities, which would make them employees.

When an employee classification is a concern for your company, don't take chances, contact The ZinkCPA tax team. We're here to help you determine your workers' status and assist with other related tax solutions.

 

We look forward to helping you. For more information call us today at (239) 936-1120 or email us at accounting@zinkcpa.com

 

Gordon Zink CPA, PA is a proud member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accounts

 

 
 

Review Your Taxes This Summer

7/25/2015
Review Your Taxes This Summer To Prevent a Surprise Next Spring!

 

Each year, many people get a larger refund than they expected. Others find they owe a lot more tax than they thought they would. If this has happened to you, make an appointment this summer to visit your tax advisor and review your situation to prevent another tax surprise.
  • Did you marry?
  • Have a child?
  • Have a change in income?
  • Change jobs?
  • Become self employed?
  • Buy a new home?
Some life events can have a major effect on your taxes. You can bring the tax you pay closer to the amount you owe. Here are some key tax tip subjects to discuss with your tax planner.
  1. New Job
  2. Divorce
  3. Retirement
  4. Education Credits
  5. Rules for Children and Dependents
  6. Education Credits
  7. Reporting Tip Income
  8. Medical Savings Accounts
  9. Taxable and Nontaxable Income
  10. Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses
  11. Business Use of Your Home
  12. First-time Home Owner
  13. Moving Expenses
  14. Bankruptcy

Currently and in the past few years there have been several laws passed that have tax implications. The tax team at ZinkCPA stays on top of IRS changes and advancements through continuous educational training. If you want to get a jump start on this year's taxes consider scheduling an appointment for your "Summertime Tax Review". We’ll even address Consumer Alerts and Phishing Scams and how to protect yourself and your identity from sophisticated thievery.

 

For more information call us today at (239) 936-1120 or email us at accounting@zinkcpa.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Gordon Zink CPA, PA is a proud member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accounts

 

 
 

6 Tips To Safeguard Valuables

6/9/2015

Hurricane Season: 6 Tips To Safeguard Valuables

checklist

June 1st marked the beginning of hurricane season for all of us in Southwest Florida. Even though the forecasters have predicted the season will be a mild one, that doesn't exclude us from dangerous storms or from taking any and all precautions to be prepared!

 

Not only is it necessary to protect your home and family from harm, it is also important to protect your business & personal documents, paperwork and electronic records from being destroyed. Safeguarding your financial records should be a part of your overall emergency plan. This is one way to help maintain peace of mind in the aftermath of a tropical storm or hurricane.

 

Along with the IRS, here are a few tips we have prepared to help you protect documents that you never want to lose.

  1. Consider Renting a Safe Deposit Box From Your Bank
    According to the FDIC, vaults that house safe deposit boxes are made to resist explosions, fire, floods and heat. Keep a list of what you have inside.
  2. Create an Electronic Additional Set of Records
    A duplicate set of important documents and records should be stored in a safe place away from the original set. We suggest that you scan documents to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, burn to CD, or save to the cloud.
  3. Document Valuables
    The IRS recommends photographing or videotaping all home contents. Through these records, fair values can more easily be established for insurance and casualty loss claims. It is important that the photographs and video be stored at a different and safe location.
  4. Update Emergency Plans
    Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Business and personal situations change, when they do, so should the emergency plan. Make your plans in advance and practice them.
  5. Check on Fiduciary Bonds
    For those who use payroll services, you should inquire if they have a fiduciary bond in place. This bond would protect employers if the payroll service provider defaults.
  6. Check with your tax consulting team
    Your team of tax consultants at Gordon Zink CPA are here to assist with your check list of personal documents or other tax-related business.

Are You ReadyWith the help of these recommendations, we hope that we have made a difference in how you prepare for hurricane season.