Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
How Home-Based Businesses Can Avoid Giving Uncle Sam More than His Share
How Home-Based Businesses Can Avoid Giving Uncle Sam More than His Share
By Darren Oliver
With the rush to file your taxes by April 15th, you probably did not consider the possibility that you overpaid. According to the General Accounting Office, in 1998 alone, there was $311 million paid unnecessarily to the IRS. Do not count on the IRS to tell you if you have overpaid because they are not required to but you can file an amended return for up to three years.
Chances are, you either prepare your business taxes yourself or have your tax preparer or CPA does them. There a number of issues surrounding either tax preparation method, which can result in your tax liability being calculated as higher than it actually is including missed deductions, numerous changes in tax laws or being given incorrect advice.
As a home-based business professional, there are a number of deductions you are entitled to which many tax preparers often miss. For example, if you run a home office you are entitled to deduct expenses for the percentage of square footage the home office is occupying. Expenses include the combined total of mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, repairs, etc. For example, if 250 square feet of a 1,000 square foot house is being used for a home office, you are entitled to deduct a quarter of your total expenses.
Although some deductions may seem minor, over an entire year, they can add up to thousands of dollars that you are unnecessarily paying the IRS. That is money that you could be using to grow your business.
Karen McClafflin, owner of home-based Secret Canyon Realty in Colorado Springs, CO, was able to recover $11,000 when her tax preparer failed to include home office and automobile deductions in her past returns.
Another area, which causes many business owners to overpay, is being given incorrect advice by their CPA, tax preparer or even the IRS directly. In a poll performed by Money Magazine, the average tax preparer, prepares an average of 480 returns between February 1st and April 15th, that is a lot of returns in a relatively short amount of time which makes it difficult for your return to get the time and attention it deserves. This same poll also found there was an average discrepancy of 300% between what the tax preparers said was due and what was actually due. Moreover, in a poll of 50 professional tax preparers, consisting of 10 basic tax questions, none answered all 10 questions correctly and only 34 got at least half correct.
This problem does not extend to just tax preparers or CPA's. In the IRS's 2001 assessment of their own 544 call centers, they found that 50% of the time, their representatives gave incorrect or insufficient advice. Whether you do your taxes yourself and had to call the IRS for clarification on an issue or your CPA did, odds are the answer was not accurate.
The United States tax law is one of the most complex in the world. Not to mention, tax laws change every year and have changed tremendously in the last couple of years. Even the best tax preparer, CPA or even IRS representative can easily make a mistake or, forget to use an exemption which could reduce your tax liability.
If you have not yet filed your taxes, it is a good idea to get a second opinion from an independent source. The extra money and time spent in doing this could save you thousands. Look for someone or a company who:
· Has sufficient years preparing home-based business tax returns
· Prepares less than the average number of returns between January and April so that your return gets sufficient time and attention.
· Have had clients get a second opinion. In addition, talk to those clients to get there first hand insight.
· Is willing to pay for a second review of your tax returns to ensure accuracy.
· Is willing to take MSN's online Tax IQ Test at http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/calcs/n_taxq/main.asp. Although designed for consumers, this test contains basic tax information that even junior level tax preparers should know.
Just as you trust a surgeon with your life, you trust this individual or company with your money and confidential information. Be highly selective and do not be afraid to put them through a rigorous qualification. If they are not willing to participate in your qualification then either they do not know their stuff or, your business is not that important to them.
If you already filed your taxes or think you might have missed out on deductions, have been given bad advice or failed to take advantage of a tax law change which could reduce your liability for previous tax years, what can you do? The good news is that by law, the IRS is required, for up to three years, to review your returns and records as many times as needed to find errors. You have the same three years to get a second opinion and file an amended return. In fact, in 2002, 3.3 million taxpayers filed an amended return.
Samuel Rowley, owner of Muffler Masters in Colorado Springs, was able to recover $14,500 through the filing of an amended return when it was found that he overpaid FICA and payroll taxes.
You may worry that an amended return will trigger an audit however; the IRS itself admits this is not the case. In 2002 alone, 3.3 million taxpayers filed an amended return. The IRS is not the big, bad agency we used to know. In fact, statistics show that audits are down and continue to decline.
Businesses throughout the U.S. overpay their taxes to the tune of billions each year and your money could be part of the billions that is overpaid. When it comes to your taxes, always get a second opinion to ensure you are not paying more than you should and, you can even hit pay dirt by looking back.
Darren Oliver is the Chairman and COO of Tax Recovery Systems (TRS) which he founded in 1995. Through their network of sales partners and franchisees, TRS is dedicated to recovering overpaid taxes for home-based and small to medium sized businesses all over the U.S. This commitment has resulted in an average $8,000 recovery for over 60% of qualified reviews. For more information, visit www.trs-esp.com or call (800) 714-3504.
Taxes - Google News
Tax Trap #5 -- Ignoring The IRS (and the 5 best ways to contact them!)
We all love to criticize the IRS, don't we? And I'mjust as guilty as anyone. It's easy to ridicule a hugeorganization of government bureaucrats who often seemto be Public Enemy #1.
Tax Trap #2 -- Double Taxation: Isnt Once Enough?
Have you been thinking about incorporating your smallbusiness or self-employment activity? The advantagesare many!For starters, you'll be protecting yourself and your familyfrom the possible of a business ending lawsuit. Forming acorporation is Step One on the path known as "AssetProtection" -- you are moving from the world of unlimitedliability to the world of limited liability.
Employment Taxes - Depositing With The IRS
If your business has employees, you must pay employment taxes. The payment system can be a bit confusing, so this article discusses how to go about depositing employment taxes with the IRS.
How to Reduce the Estate Tax Using the A-B Revocable Living Trust
In a past article I relayed the plight of the widow who stated:"I didn't realize what an A-B Revocable Living Trust meant and that it had to be divided between the survivor and the deceased spouse and that I am limited as to what I can use from his share."She told me that she only learned of this after her husband passed away.
Donating Cars To Charity - New Tax Rules
On June 3, 2005, the IRS released guidance on charitable deductions for donated vehicles. The American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA) radically changed the amount of the deduction taxpayers can claim for their donated car.
Corporations Failing To Claim AMT Exemption Overpay Taxes By $11,000
Does your incorporated business pay alternative minimum tax ["AMT]? If so, there is a 93% chance you have been overpaying your taxes by an average of $11,000 a year according to the Treasury Inspector General.The Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was created in 1999 to oversee the IRS.
Tax Deductions - Mr. C.P.A. Can I Deduct a Pizza? You Too Can Deduct Your Fun By Using Tax Tips
Recently, I stumbled across a concept that could change your financial life. You can call it a paradigm shift or a new perspective or just a different way to look at things.
Tax Tips to Save Money on Taxes - Get the Corporate Kick and Save Loads of Money
Why a Corporation Helps Save You TaxesThe Tax Rates (Notice anything unusual?):The following tables provide a list of the tax rates for individuals and corporations:Personal: $0-$24,650 15% $24,651-$59,750 28% $59, 750-$124,650 31% $124,651-$271,050 36% $271,050+ 39.6%Tax SecretsCorporate: 0-$50,000 15% $50,001-$75,000 25% $75,001-100,000 34% $100,001-$335,000 39% $335-000-$10M 34%If you examine them closely, you will see at least one glaring contrast.
Small Business Tax Deductions for Year End 2004
As a small business owner, it's wise to familiarize yourself with some key deductions that may reduce your tax bill for 2004.Employee Benefit Plans - You may deduct contributions to employee benefit plans (such as health insurance plans and retirement plans).
The Implications of Income Tax Charge on Estate Planning
OverviewIn the Pre-Budget Report of December 2003 the Chancellor Gordon Brown announced proposals to levy an Income Tax charge from 6th April 2005 in those circumstances where the transferor of an asset retains and interest or continues to benefit from that asset. In the instance of real property, the 'benefit' envisaged is the transferor continuing to reside in the property he/she has allegedly given away.
How To Set Up A Tax-Saving Bookkeeping System
One of the most important, but least understood or appreciated aspects of any business is its bookkeeping or accounting system. And, because very few people know much about the reasons for a bookkeeping system, most people are frightened by the thought of the work involved in setting up such a system, and the drudgery of daily maintenance.
Small Businesses: Company Car Vs. Personal Mileage Reimbursement In Hurricane Katrinas Wake
With gas prices at an all time high before Hurricane Katrina left her mark on our nation, most Americans were hoping that gas prices would settle down once summer passed. But gas prices have jumped as much as 80 cents a gallon across the country once Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast and impacted all of our lives.
1031 Exchange Rules and Requirements
Following is a reproduction of the IRS's rules and requirements for 1031 tax deferred exchanges with regards to real property. If you have any questions regarding the sale of your real property or questions about what qualifies for a 1031 exchange or not, please consult your tax professional.
Tax Trap #4 -- The Quagmire of Depreciation
If you are a Small Business Owner or Self-Employed Person,there's one especially lucrative tax break that not onlyputs money in your pocket, it also makes the filing ofyour business tax return much simpler.What am I talking about? It's called the Section 179deduction, and if there's one tax break you need to understand, this is it.
10 Thoughts on Tax Offer in Compromise
Beware of advertisements that claim to settle tax debts for "pennies on the dollar". Check the Offer In Compromise requirements to see if it is right for you.
State Tax Information
All states also have their own tax system. Typically there is a tax on real estate, and there may be additional income taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes.
Employment Taxes - What Are They?
If you have employees, you are responsible for paying a variety of taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. You must also withhold certain taxes from the paychecks of your employees.
IRS Obtains More Than 100 Injunctions Against Tax Scheme Promoters
The IRS has obtained civil injunctions against more than 100 promoters of illegal tax avoidance schemes and fraudulent return preparers in an ongoing crackdown that began in 2001. Many of the injunctions, obtained in cooperation with the Department of Justice, also order the promoters to turn over client lists and to cease preparing federal income tax returns for others.
Amending Procedural Laws for Collection of E-taxation
The electronic transaction ordinance defines the certificated copies in which are to be presented for adjudication. Where any law requires or permits the production of certified copies of any records, such requirement or permission shall extend to print outs or other forms of display of electronic documents where, in addition to fulfillment of the requirements as may be specified in such law relating to certification, it is verified in the manner laid down by the appropriate authority.
How Likely Are You To Be Audited?
Statistics for IndividualsUnfortunately, the IRS increased its rate of auditing individuals in 2003 when compared to 2002. The increase was approximately 14%, but still constituted only 6.
PrimeNews Domain Is For Sale - $5,000 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.PrimeNews.biz - 2012