Five Basic Tax Tips for New Businesses

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If you start a business, one key to success is to know about your federal tax obligations. You may need to know not only about income taxes but also about payroll taxes. Here are five basic tax tips that can help get your business off to a good start.

 

  1. Business Structure. As you start out, you’ll need to choose the structure of your business. Some common types include sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. You may also choose to be an S corporation or Limited Liability Company. You’ll report your business activity using the IRS forms which are right for your business type.
  2. Business Taxes. There are four general types of business taxes. They are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. The type of taxes your business pays usually depends on which type of business you choose to set up. You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments.
  3. Employer Identification Number. You may need to get an EIN for federal tax purposes. Search “do you need an EIN” on IRS.gov to find out if you need this number. If you do need one, you can apply for it online.
  4. Accounting Method. An accounting method is a set of rules that determine when to report income and expenses. Your business must use a consistent method. The two that are most common are the cash method and the accrual method. Under the cash method, you normally report income in the year that you receive it and deduct expenses in the year that you pay them. Under the accrual method, you generally report income in the year that you earn it and deduct expenses in the year that you incur them. This is true even if you receive the income or pay the expenses in a future year.
  5. Employee Health Care. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit helps small businesses and tax-exempt organizations pay for health care coverage they offer their employees. A small employer is eligible for the credit if it has fewer than 25 employees who work full-time, or a combination of full-time and part-time. Beginning in 2014, the maximum credit is 50 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers, such as charities.

 

For 2015 and after, employers employing at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees or a combination of full-time and part-time employees that is equivalent to 50 full-time employees) will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provision.

This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal or financial advice. We would be happy to discuss how the information in this article affects or may help you. For more details about this matter, please contact our offices at 847-466-7947 of 702-966-2770.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.
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Who Should File a 2012 Tax Return?

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If you received income during 2012, you may need to file a tax return in 2013. The amount of your income, your filing status, your age and the type of income you received will determine whether you’re required to file. Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you may still want to file. You may get a refund if you’ve had too much federal income tax withheld from your pay or qualify for certain tax credits.

Even if you’ve determined that you don’t need to file a tax return this year, you may still want to file. Here are five reasons why:

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld.  If your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, if you made estimated tax payments, or if you had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax, you could be due a refund. File a return to claim any excess tax you paid during the year.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit.  If you worked but earned less than $50,270 last year, you may qualify for EITC. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means if you qualify you could receive EITC as a tax refund. Families with qualifying children may qualify to get up to $5,891 dollars. You can’t get the credit unless you file a return and claim it. Use the EITC Assistant to find out if you qualify.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit.  If you have at least one qualifying child and you don’t get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may qualify for this additional refundable credit. You must file and use new Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, to claim the credit.

4. American Opportunity Credit.  If you or someone you support is a student, you might be eligible for this credit. Students in their first four years of post-secondary education may qualify for as much as $2,500 through this partially refundable credit. Even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back for each eligible student. You must file Form 8863, Education Credits, and submit it with your tax return to claim the credit.

5. Health Coverage Tax Credit.  If you’re receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, you may be eligible for a 2012 Health Coverage Tax Credit. Spouses and dependents may also be eligible. If you’re eligible, you can receive a 72.5 percent tax credit on payments you made for qualified health insurance premiums.

This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal or financial advice. We would be happy to discuss how the information in this article affects or may help you. For more details about this matter, please contact our offices at 847-466-7947 of 702-966-2770.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.

 

Document Management – Why Do I Need it!

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Why Use Document Management Software?

Is your office currently buried in paper? Having trouble quickly finding a specific document when you have to wade through hundreds of folders in dozens of file cabinets? Running out of space to keep all those files and file cabinets. Tired of spending money on the storage space when you can better use this space? What do you do if a document has been misfiled or lost? If a stiff breeze were came through your office, would papers go scattering everywhere?

Document management software can help you get out from under all that paper, increasing your and your staffs productivity. Document management software can help you easily and quickly scan documents, allowing you to file them electronically in a centralized location. Just for starters Document management software helps reduce waste and overhead costs, streamlines your workflows, reduces printing and shipping costs. Document management software also, often includes professional level PDF and OCR modules, you may already being paying for.

When determining which document management software is best for you, the most import thing is ease of use and portability of your files. The software’s interface should be familiar enough so users of any skill level can be up and running with little or no training and has the features you need to effectively manage your documents. The software should also allow you to easily convert back to your previous system or a new system, avoiding the proprietary structures that make converting cumbersome.

And then there is the cost – until recently these features have been cost prohibitive for the small office.

Recently our office has converted our document management to a software produced by Lucion Technologies – FileCenter. After extensive use, our firm has given this software our Seal of Approval.

With FileCenter you can:

Scan

Go from paper to searchable PDF in a single mouse click. Scanning important documents has never been easier … or faster.

Manage and Organize Your Files

Manage your files in a way that makes sense: electronic file cabinets. Organize your scans, computer files, and e-mail together. Organize & manage your files two ways: using a regular “Explorer” interface just like Windows, or using FileCenter’s electronic file cabinets.

Full Featured PDF Tools

PDF is the standard. FileCenter aims to make bot printing and scanning as efficient and automatic as possible. A basic scan will scan a new document straight to searchable PDF with no additional prompts. OCR runs automatically as part of the scanning process. Literally go from paper to a fully searchable PDF file in one mouse click. And you can stack, join and split PDF’s without even opening them. Or just print to PDF from your favorite software.

FileCenter includes its own PDF editor. Use FileCenter to open, view, mark up, comment and annotate your PDF files. Delete pages, rearrange pages, extract pages, and move pages between files. You can even fill out forms and sign your PDFs with digital signatures or simply type right on your PDF document. The tabbed interface keeps multiple open files at your fingertips.

FileCenter includesPDF Conversion Tools. With one click, convert many kinds of files into the popular PDF format. It’s an easy way to convert office files, faxes, and scans to PDF without opening them.

FileCenter can scan directly to Word. Sometimes all you want from a scan is the text. So why bother with a scanned file at all? With just one command, FileCenter will acquire a scan, run OCR to extract the text, and send the text straight to Word (or your favorite word processor) for editing.

OCR – Automatically

Make scans, faxes and other documents fully searchable. Or pull the text from a paper document into Word. FileCenter integrates OCR (text recognition) as a seamless part of the scanning process. As the scan comes in, FileCenter automatically runs OCR on each page and inserts the text invisibly in the resulting PDF. This makes the PDF searchable, indexable, and lets you copy real text out of the PDF.

Preview

When all you need is a quick glimpse, preview the file without opening it. As fast and easy as thumbing through documents.

Search

Find files effortlessly. Search the keywords and notes in your PDFs or the entire body of your documents.

Share

Share cabinets on the office network or float them onto the cloud. And enjoy the robust Windows file security you’re already used to.

E-Mail Securely

Send  those sensitive files on the fly with a password-protected and encrypted PDF, without the worry of hackers getting to your sensitive information.

Cloud Compatible

FileCenter is full compatible with most popular cloud providers, like DropBox, SugarSync, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive. This means that your FileCenter files can viewed on your local PC, or when you’re on the go through your cloud provider.

And much more…

What will this cost?

FileCenter currently costs just $49.95 for the Standard Version and $199.95 for the Pro Version. NOTE: Some of the above features are only included in the Pro version.

A Free Trial is also available!

This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal or financial advice. We would be happy to discuss how the information in this article affects or may help you. For more details about this matter, please contact our offices at 847-466-7947 of 702-966-2770.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.

NoteWikipedia: The note-naming convention specifies a letter, any accidentals, and an octave number.