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28 07, 2023

The Benefits of Working with an Enrolled Agent

2023-07-24T15:18:44-05:00July 28, 2023|0 Comments

By definition, the word “tax” is straightforward. Simply put, taxes are amounts of money collected by the government to pay for public services. However, in reality, taxes can be anything but simple, which is why the benefits of working with an enrolled agent are good to know.

They are tax experts.

While the benefits of working with an enrolled agent are varied, this is a big one! You are working with a tax expert when working with an enrolled agent.

First of all, specific, strict qualifications must be met to become an enrolled agent, including passing a comprehensive IRS exam. Candidates must demonstrate expertise in individual and business tax return preparation, representation and federal tax planning.

Secondly, to maintain their status, enrolled agents are required to finish 72 hours of continuing education courses focused on tax preparation every three years.

It’s a select group of individuals.

In fact, there are only two ways someone can become an enrolled agent. As mentioned, there is a three-part comprehensive exam.

Or, an individual can become an enrolled agent based on experience gained as a former IRS employee for a minimum of five years.

They can represent clients before the IRS.

In other words, enrolled agents earn the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS. More specifically, enrolled agents have unlimited practice rights, like attorneys and CPAs. CPAs can also represent clients before the IRS.

To clarify, it means an enrolled agent is free to represent any taxpayer. They are qualified to handle any and all types of tax matters. And, finally, there are no restrictions in terms of which IRS office they can represent clients before.

You won’t have to see or deal with the IRS at all.

Another one of the benefits of working with an enrolled agent is your agent can speak directly to the IRS on your behalf. Whether you receive a letter from the IRS or you are being audited, enrolled agents can represent you on any tax matter, no matter who prepared the tax return, for instance. Again, CPAs are also qualified to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Summary

To summarize, an enrolled agent has earned the highest credentials granted by the IRS. If you are looking for a true tax professional to help handle your taxes, properly prepare your tax returns and more, look no further than an enrolled agent.

At Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, we currently have two accountants in the process of earning enrolled agent status. We also have two CPAs on staff! Learn more about us, our team and our tax services—and find free tax advice—when you continue to read our blogs.

28 06, 2023

Understanding What It Means to Be a CPA

2023-06-28T09:49:26-05:00June 28, 2023|0 Comments

No matter what size your business is, it’s likely you’ll need a financial professional to help keep it on track. That’s where a CPA can help! But what exactly do they do? Let’s take an in-depth look to get a better understanding of what it means to be a CPA.

What is a CPA?

CPA stands for certified public accountant. Certified public accountant licenses are provided by the Board of Accountancy in each state.

It is important to note that not all accountants are CPAs. Becoming a CPA is a distinguished credential that shows dedication, knowledge and skill. Duties include accounting tasks such as producing reports as well as tax reporting and filing for both individuals and businesses.

Working with a CPA can help people and companies better create financial plans in order to minimize taxes and maximize their profits.

Becoming a CPA

To become a certified public accountant, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance or accounting. From there, you must pass the Uniform CPA Exam in order to obtain the certified public accountant designation. In addition, there is a requirement of 150 hours of education and no less than two years of public accounting experience.

The official CPA exam has 276 multiple-choice questions, 28 task-based simulations and three writing portions. It is divided into four main sections: auditing and attestation, financial accounting and reporting, regulation and business environment and concepts.

Candidates must score at least 75% to pass each section.

But the work doesn’t end there—the CPA designation requires completing a number of continuing education hours annually.

CPA career paths

There are a wide range of career paths available for certified public accountants. This includes public accounting, corporate accounting or working in a government service. An individual with a certified public accountant designation can also move into executive positions such as chief financial officers.

Many CPAs generally work as accountants of some sort. That means they put together, maintain and review financial statements and other transactions. CPAs can also perform and sign off on audits.

Known for their role in tax planning and preparation, CPAs also file tax forms and returns. Moreover, they specialize in other areas such as auditing, bookkeeping, forensic accounting, managerial accounting and more.

Accountant vs. CPA

When understanding what it means to be a CPA, we must look at how they differ from an accountant.

An accountant is a professional with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A CPA is a professional who has earned their license through education, experience and examination.

Additionally, CPAs are granted certain roles that only they can perform. This includes performing audits and preparing audited financial statements.

Summary

With a clear understanding of what it means to be a CPA, are you ready to find a CPA? Then contact Todd Greene and our team today! And finally, continue reading our blogs for more financial advice and industry news.

30 05, 2023

What to Do If You Missed the Tax Deadline

2023-05-22T14:15:31-05:00May 30, 2023|0 Comments

If you missed the April 18th tax deadline, don’t panic! Instead, keep reading to find out what to do if you missed the tax deadline last month.

File as soon as possible.

First of all, when it comes to what to do if you missed the tax deadline without requesting an extension, you should still file as soon as possible to limit interest and penalties.

The good news is that if you are owed a tax refund, you won’t receive any penalties for filing late.

Find out if you automatically qualify for more time.

Certain circumstances mean some taxpayers automatically get extra time to file and pay taxes without penalties or interest.

For example, if you are a disaster victim, in the military, support personnel in combat zones or a U.S. citizen who is working outside the country, you could qualify for an automatic extension. Find out more here.

File and pay what you can now.

If you didn’t file by the April 18th deadline and you owe taxes, you could be hit with at least two penalties. First, there is a failure-to-file penalty. Next, there is a failure-to-pay penalty.

Even if you do have penalties, don’t put filing and paying what you can off any longer. In fact, when you file and pay what you can, you can then request a payment plan from the IRS to help.

Use e-file with direct deposit.

If you know you owe taxes to the IRS, you can pay promptly and securely through several options, including Direct Pay, for instance.

Even if you don’t meet the IRS income threshold for filing taxes, file anyway.

Did you know you could be missing out on potential refundable tax credits by not filing? It’s true. Even if your taxable income is less than the IRS income threshold for filing, you should still file a tax return.

You may be eligible for tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Work with tax professionals.

Finally, work with tax professionals like the ones you will find at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, to help you take the next steps, like properly preparing your tax return.

Summary

Now that you know what to do if you missed the tax deadline recently, contact us to get started. For more helpful tax tips and other financial news, continue to read our blogs.

28 04, 2023

The Benefits of Year-Round Tax Planning for Business Owners

2023-04-21T11:40:06-05:00April 28, 2023|0 Comments

We know you just filed your 2022 taxes, but that doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about them! Taxes should be a part of your business’ strategy year-round in order to maximize your gains and minimize your losses. Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of year-round tax planning for business owners.

Helps mitigate your liabilities.

Creating a tax plan is essential for business owners in order to mitigate their liabilities, largely for those transactions that are taxed. By doing this and giving yourself time to prepare for taxes, you will see many benefits, including:

  • Avoiding common mistakes
  • Maximizing tax relief
  • Reducing your payable taxes by deducting your expenses from earned income
  • Having greater control over when you pay your taxes

An example of poor tax planning is taking in a large amount of revenue before the end of the year that could potentially move your business into the next tax bracket. Instead of paying more taxes because of the increased revenue, good tax planning would have your business receive that money at the start of the new year.

Keeps you up to date on tax laws.

Having a tax plan also helps you stay updated on tax laws and any changes. Since the pandemic, tax requirements and deadlines are constantly changing for businesses. A tax plan allows you to understand what’s changed and lets you reassess your strategy.

When you have a good understanding of current tax laws, you won’t risk infringement with new or updated regulations. You will also be able to minimize the number of errors on your return. By doing this, you won’t have as much worry about an audited return or owing more money.

Enables growth.

The benefits of year-round tax planning for business owners don’t just stop there. Strategic tax planning also allows you to understand your business and its financial health. That means you can make sound financial projections and investments.

With the help of proper tax planning, you can maximize the deductions your business is eligible for. In turn, your business can save money and fund future business ventures.

Summary

Now that you know these major benefits of year-round tax planning for business owners, are you ready to get started with your business tax plan? Then contact the Todd Greene team to learn how to build wealth and grow your business with confidence.

Finally, continue reading our blogs for more financial tips and industry news.

28 03, 2023

6 Strategies to Survive a Cash Flow Crisis

2023-03-22T16:27:53-05:00March 28, 2023|0 Comments

Sometimes there are ups and downs in business, just like in life. However, knowing what to do in a cash crunch can make or break you. These six strategies to survive a cash flow crisis will help you better manage the highs and lows.

What is cash flow?

Before we look at strategies to survive a cash flow crisis, let’s review what cash flow actually is. In a nutshell, cash flow shows how much money is coming in and how much money is going out.

You have a positive cash flow when you have more money coming in than going out. If you are struggling to cover your business expenses, your cash flow is negative.

That’s why planning for the expected and unexpected is good business practice. But even the best planning can go awry at times, which is why these strategies to survive a cash flow crisis may be useful.

Six strategies to survive a cash flow crisis

There are several tactics small business owners can apply before and during a cash flow shortage to help.

Assess your cash flow.

For starters, take a close look at your cash inflow and cash outflow to get a clear picture of your current financials.

Save your cash.

Review your fixed expenses closely. See where you can cut costs and conserve money, including rent, utilities, insurance and wages.

Negotiate lower prices or extended payment terms with suppliers and vendors, if applicable.

Create a cash flow budget.

Creating a budget is a must for managing your cash flow. Not only will it help you track your income, but it will also help you spot potential issues before they arise.

Manage your inventory.

Be mindful of your inventory. What is selling well? What isn’t? Consider offering specials and discounts to help move products that sit around longer.

Find new sources for cash flow.

Government grants, low-interest loans and financial investors are all possible sources of new cash flow.

Adjust your payment terms.

If you depend on customers’ payments for your cash flow, don’t wait around to send out invoices. It may help to offer incentives for early payments or let customers pay in installments if needed.

Summary

Finally, proper bookkeeping is a good way to avoid cash flow problems up front. Accurate cash flow reports and projections can give you enough time to make needed corrections before cash runs low. Looking for someone to help create your initial budgets and more? Contact us for a free consultation. For more industry news, keep reading our blogs.

17 02, 2023

Update: How to File the Employee Retention Credit with 2022 Returns

2023-02-17T20:11:50-06:00February 17, 2023|0 Comments

Did you know you can still claim the Employee Retention Credit if certain qualifications are met? But there is a limited window to save. If you are a small business owner, this overview of how to file the Employee Retention Credit with 2022 returns is a must-read.

What is the Employee Retention Credit?

Before we talk about how to file the Employee Retention Credit with 2022 returns, let’s first review what that is. The credit applies to wages and benefits distributed between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2021.

To summarize, eligible businesses must meet specific qualifications. For instance, did your business have to partially or fully shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Did your business experience a major decline in gross receipts in 2020 or the first three quarters of 2021?

Other qualifications could include that your supply and vendor chains were affected by the pandemic, the number of services you could provide were limited, business travel and on-site client visits were limited, or your business hours were altered.

What can your business claim?

Looking back, your business can retroactively claim up to 50 percent of the wages paid to full-time employees in 2020 and 70 percent in 2021.

As a tax credit, it is deducted from taxes owed and is refundable.

How to claim the Employee Retention Credit

Qualified business owners should file an amended payroll tax return to claim the credit. The filing must be completed within three years of the initial filing date. To clarify, you can claim 2020 expenses until April 15, 2024. The deadline to claim 2021 expenses is April 15, 2025.

The tax credit needs to be filed using Form 941-X. It can be submitted the month after each fiscal quarter. Or, it can be added as an amendment for under or over reporting estimates on your federal returns.

Summary

Another good way to find out how to file the Employee Retention Credit with 2022 returns is by working with a trusted tax professional like Todd Greene. Eliminate the guesswork and confusion by working closely with professionals who can help guide you through the process. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. In the meantime, continue reading our blogs for more industry news and tax prep tips!

27 01, 2023

5 Tax Season Preparation Tips

2023-01-23T22:15:02-06:00January 27, 2023|0 Comments

It’s that time of year again—tax time. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a tax planning professional, like Todd Greene, tax prep can help make the process smoother. Here are five tax season preparation tips to help you get through this season with ease.

2023 tax season filing dates

First, it is important to know all the key filing season dates. Here are the 2023 dates to keep in mind this tax season.

  • January 13: IRS Free File opens.
  • January 17: Due date for tax year 2022 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
  • January 23: IRS begins the 2023 tax season and starts accepting and processing 2022 tax returns.
  • January 27: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people-including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
  • April 18: National due date to file a 2022 tax return, request an extension and pay tax owed.
  • October 16: Due date to file for those who requested an extension on their 2022 tax returns.

Organize your tax paperwork

Currently, we are at the beginning of tax season. Businesses quickly began receiving and distributing essential tax documents during this time.

Making sure you have all your paperwork gathered and organized before filing will help you avoid surprises or delays later. A tax planning professional can help you categorize your documents and make sure everything is in place.

Understand the deductions and credits you qualify for

Tax deductions and credits are a vital part of the filing process. Deductions can reduce the amount of your income before you calculate the tax you owe, while credits can reduce the amount of tax you owe or increase your tax refund.

Get a better understanding of tax deductions versus tax credits by reading our blog about it.

For businesses, there are several business tax credits and deductions available. Be sure to check or ask your tax preparer before filing, and check out our blog, 4 Often-Missed Business Deductions at Tax Time.

Itemize business expenses

Another one of our tax season preparation tips includes itemizing your business expenses. Having your expenses itemized and categorized before tax day can save you time.

When working with an accounting team, they can help you claim the maximum benefit from your expenses. Check out the business expenses explainer from the IRS to learn more about what expenses can be claimed.

Know your state’s tax issues

Knowing your state’s tax issues is a key part of filing taxes for your business. Some states take out loans from the federal government to meet their unemployment benefit liabilities. If your state has taken out loans but not repaid them, there will be a reduction in the credit against the Federal Unemployment Tax Act rate.

This means that employers in those states have to pay more. There are a number of states affected by this, including North Carolina.

Having a tax planning professional helps during this time. They will prepare your state return as well as your federal return.

Summary 

Searching for a professional to help with your business tax prep? Contact Todd Greene! Please take note of our tax season preparation tips. These helpful reminders are sure to help make filing day a breeze.

Finally, continue reading our blogs to stay informed and up-to-date on more financial news.

28 12, 2022

7 End of Year Tax Planning Tips for Small Businesses

2022-12-28T15:17:20-06:00December 28, 2022|0 Comments

Put down the gifts. Let’s get ready to wrap up another year in business. These seven end-of-year tax planning tips for small businesses will help you finish strong and set you up for future success!

Get organized now.

Don’t wait until the last minute to organize your records. One way or another, planning ahead and getting prepared before filing time will pay off.

Make time in your schedule throughout the next few days this December to ensure your year-end tax planning is handled.

Review your statements.

Part of your year-end review should include looking over your financial statements.

Not sure what statements we’re referring to? Don’t panic! Read our blog, 3 Financial Reports Every Business Owner Should Know and Understand, to get started.

Make necessary purchases.

The end of the year is a good time to make certain tax-deductible purchases. Consider stocking up on necessary office supplies, equipment, or a company vehicle, for instance.

Know your tax deductions and tax credits.

Do you understand the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit? Find out here and determine how they apply to your business.

Be sure to check out our blog, 4 Often-Missed Business Deductions at Tax Time, for more helpful tax deduction tips.

Re-evaluate your retirement plan.

This is one of the end-of-year tax planning tips for small businesses that may come as a surprise. However, it’s a good time to consider your options for establishing a retirement plan if your company currently does offer one.

Or, look over your retirement plan and make sure you are headed in the right direction.

Evaluate your accounting processes.

Again, the end of the year is the perfect time to review. This time, we’re referring to your accounting practices.

How you are managing your records? Do you manually enter information on a spreadsheet? Are you using accounting software, working with an accountant, or both?

No matter what your recordkeeping methods are, closely examining them to see if they are working in your best interest is a good idea. Then you can make any needed adjustments for next year.

Work with a tax professional.

There are several benefits to working with a tax professional. Higher tax refunds, lower liabilities, more profitability, more time, and peace of mind are just a few examples.

Not sure where to begin? Talking to an expert (like us!) is a good place to start your tax planning journey!

Summary

Last but not least, when it comes to end-of-year tax planning tips for small businesses, stay proactive. Keep your records organized. Book your free consultation with us. Those are just a few ways to start 2023 off with a bang! For more tax tips, keep reading our blogs. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

28 11, 2022

Shifting Our Focus to Small Business Tax Planning at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC

2022-11-22T21:15:29-06:00November 28, 2022|0 Comments

Big things are happening around our office! One of those things involves a shift in focus specifically to small business tax and tax planning at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, to better serve our growing client base. With that comes the hiring of two new team members!

A new direction

Our company is focusing on a new direction, which is small business taxes, tax planning, and shorter turnaround times.

With the 2022 tax filing season right around the corner, we are getting ahead of the game now! To ensure a smoother tax season, we have hired two new team members.

Please join us in welcoming Angie Heidel, operations manager, and Jackie Salazar, bookkeeper.

Meet Angie Heidel

Originally from Michigan, this mom of two shifted gears with a recent career change of her own. She has lived in the Carolinas for 15 years and primarily worked as a listing manager in real estate, handling the operations side of things.

Now, at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, Angie will help us organize and track our client files while managing our day-to-day operations.

In her spare time, Angie enjoys traveling, watching her kids play sports, being active, cooking and watching football.

Meet Jackie Salazar

Jackie is a multi-tasking wizard. Not only is she working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting, she is also working toward a master’s in business administration. Currently, she helps provide excellent customer service and assists our team in gathering all the information and documents needed to prepare clients’ files.

Soon, she also will be teaching our clients how to use QuickBooks and analyzing data to help provide potential solutions for an improved workflow for us and our clients.

Jackie said joining Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC has taught her a wealth of valuable information. “I am so happy to be part of the team,” she said recently.

More about tax planning

With our new focus and team members, small business tax planning at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, is our top priority!

We will continue to take the same proactive approach to tax planning, which means going beyond “tax season.” We work with our clients all year to create a custom plan that will effectively manage tax obligations. What’s more—we’re always committed to pinpointing opportunities to save our clients money on their taxes, which we believe is especially important for the small business owner.

Summary

When it comes to small business tax planning at Todd Greene, CPA, PLLC, it all starts with a free consultation. From there, strategic tax planning—and a better understanding of your taxes—begins. To find out more about us, our team and our services, continue to read our blogs!

28 10, 2022

8 Funding Options for Small Businesses

2022-10-27T21:36:29-05:00October 28, 2022|0 Comments

Starting and maintaining your own business is no easy task. Money—or lack thereof—can be a major issue. When it comes to funding options for small businesses, here are eight viable options to consider.

Banks

Banks are good funding options for small businesses that usually offer competitive terms and low interest rates. However, bank loans can be hard to qualify for.

Qualified applicants could receive typical business loans, equipment loans or commercial real estate loans, for example.

SBA loans

SBA loans are federally backed, which makes them less risky for lenders to lend you the capital. What’s more, the interest rates tend to be low, and there are multiple types of SBA loans.

On the other hand, SBA loans may require a down payment or collateral up front. They can also take a long time to process.

Credit cards

Applying for a business credit card can be a good option if you are looking for short-term funding needs. Business credit cards typically have higher credit limits than personal credit cards.

The catch is paying off the debt before the interest begins to accrue.

Grants

Next among funding options for small businesses is free financing in the form of grants! Grants can be issued from government agencies, corporations, nonprofits and economic development groups.

Funding varies along with the qualifications and application process. The application process can also be competitive.

Equity investors

Equity investors, or individuals, could support small businesses by purchasing shares of the company. Investors generally enjoy some sort of financial gain or return for a specific amount of time.

Crowdfunding

Is your product a crowd-pleaser? If so, crowdfunding is an option worth considering. GoFundMe is an example of a crowdfunding platform. Often, it’s a way of receiving capital without racking up debt.

It gives businesses a chance to test their product while also increasing brand awareness.

Online lenders

Before moving forward with online lenders, do your research. Take your time to find the right fit. Compare lenders, look at reviews and read the fine print.

Make sure you understand the actual cost to your business in terms of fees, interest rates and other possible penalties.

Credit union financing

Credit union financing is similar to funding for banks, but it’s usually just for members. Credit unions offer favorable rates and loans backed by the SBA.

Besides a typical loan, they can offer lines of credit as well as business credit cards.

Summary

Are you ready to launch your own business? Hopefully, these funding options for small businesses will help you get started. For additional help when it comes to business planning, schedule a free consultation with us. For more financial news, keep reading our blogs.

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