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Join the IRS for Free Tax Reform Webcasts

As a small business owner, responsible for both your individual and business tax return, are you wondering how the new tax reform legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, might affect both you and your employees next year? No worries; the IRS will try to ease your concerns.

In support of National Small Business Week, April 30 – May 4, the IRS is offering free webcasts geared toward educating small business owners on the effects of the new law.

An additional webcast, “the Paycheck Checkup” offers guidelines regarding your employees’ current withholding status and individual income tax return. Considering the 2018 tax changes may cause some big impacts to refund checks, reminding employees to take the correct tax amount out of their paychecks is imperative to help them avoid owing Uncle Sam next filing season.

The 30-minute webcast sessions will be available twice each day, and you can register by clicking the appropriate link to be redirected to the registration page:

  • Session 1– 11 a.m. (ET), 10 a.m. (CT), 9 a.m. (MT), 8 a.m. (PT), 5 a.m. Hawaii
  • Session 2– 1 p.m. (ET), 12 p.m. (CT), 11 p.m. (MT), 10 a.m. (PT), 7 a.m. Hawaii
Webcast Date Topic Registration Link
Monday, April 30 Can I Deduct This? (OIH, Meals, Transportation, Cell Phone) Register for Session 1

Register for Session 2

Tuesday, May 1 Employee v. Independent Contractor Register for Session 1

Register for Session 2

Wednesday, May 2 Pay Now? Pay Later? Can’t Pay? (payment options) Register for Session 1

Register for Session 2

Thursday, May 3 Small Biz Resources @ Your Fingertips (irs.gov, safeguarding data, etc.) Register for Session 1

Register for Session 2

Friday, May 4 Paycheck Check-Up Register for Session 1

Register for Session 2

You can even join the webcasts from your smartphone or tablet. The WebEx app is available from both the Android and Apple stores. For more information on mobile apps, visit the WebEx Products page.

Since the new tax law is the largest tax reform legislation in 30 years, you should definitely take advantage of these free informative webcasts. Should you have any questions, refer to the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/webinars-for-small-businesses.

Of course, we can help you navigate the new tax landscape. For more than three decades, Patrick & Raines CPAs has been privileged to provide complex individual and business tax return services and small business advice to help our clients gain the results they desire.

For your tax planning and preparation, assurance needs, accounting services and more, contact us at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

Scammers Targeting Tax Preparers—and We’re Ready

As the filing deadline for your individual income tax return approaches, the unscrupulous identity thieves shift into high gear, knowing taxpayers and their preparers are under more pressure and could make careless mistakes.

While we’re certainly not perfect, we’re doing all we can to protect your identity, your financial planning records and, of course, your tax refund.

You may have seen a recent USA Today story about the scammers specifically targeting tax professionals. The statistics are sobering. According to the story, “About 75 firms acknowledged taxpayer data thefts in January and February—a nearly 60% increase from the same time last year.”

Rest assured we’re on the lookout for the crooks’ latest tactics, such as:

  • Introducing themselves as prospective—or desperate—new clients and sending us attachments, supposedly their W2’s and other tax documents. They’re actually viruses—some providing remote access to the infected computer—they hope we’ll download on our computer system.
  • Filing in your name, with all your data stolen elsewhere, and we find out when you call us to say you’ve already received your refund, and we haven’t finished your return yet!

The fraudster’s next step is to call and tell you he or she  works for one of the IRS’ out-sourced collection agencies and  the money was deposited in error, which the IRS calls an “erroneous refund,” and you must forward that money to them immediately.

Don’t do it! Hang up and call us immediately. We’ll connect you to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

In addition to being on the lookout for the tricks and scams, we use the latest anti-virus, anti-malware protection and protocols to protect you and your records.

We do ask you to do your part: use our secure portal, or ask us to send you a link in an email. We know we’re asking you to take extra steps, but our request protects both of us. So, please, never send us your sensitive documents in an unsecure Email!

We remain committed to your financial success—and security. Our tax accounting professionals pride themselves on serving, and protecting, you.

Income tax day is less than two weeks away so contact us if we can help: Office@CPAsite.com or (904) 396-5400.

Update Your Withholding Now to Avoid Surprises Next April

As you know, the government recently enacted the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which made some sweeping changes to the federal income tax—and will certainly affect your individual income tax return next year.

So now’s the time to do some homework and possibly provide your employer with a new W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to change the amount withheld from your paycheck for federal income taxes.

Withholding the correct amount of tax can greatly assist in your annual budget planning, prevent an unpleasantly large tax bill, and possibly provide you with more take-home pay each pay period.

Wondering whether your 2018 paycheck will result in the right amount of taxes? Check it out yourself: the IRS recently released an updated Withholding Calculator, reflecting new tax law changes. Note that this simply serves as a calculator so you won’t need to enter any personally-identifiable information, and no information will be saved.

Before you begin to calculate possible changes, be prepared. Gather your most recent pay stubs and tax return. To determine the right balance for your federal withholding, be familiar with the employee allowance guidelines:

  • You’re entitled to one allowance for yourself and one for your spouse.
  • If you’re filing as “head of household,” you’re allowed one allowance.
  • You can claim an additional allowance if:
    • You’re single or married filing separately and have only one job;
    • If you’re married filing jointly, have only one job, and your spouse doesn’t work;
    • If your wages from a second job or your spouse’s wages (or total of both) are $1,500 or less.
  • If you claim additional dependents, you may be entitled to more allowances.

If the calculator indicates you need to make changes to your withholding, complete and submit form W-4 to your employer as soon as possible. Don’t send form W-4 to the IRS. Remember, the new withholding rates will not affect your 2017 return (filed in 2018).

If you have a more complicated tax situation, such as self-employment tax, long-term capital gains, or other complexities, this calculator probably isn’t for you. Instead, look for the IRS’ Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, to be updated in early spring.

For more than three decades, Patrick & Raines CPAs has been privileged to provide complex individual and business tax return services and small business advice to help build your future.

For your tax planning and preparation, assurance needs, accounting services and more, contact us at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

The New Patrick & Raines CPAs App . . . This One’s On Us!

Ready . . .Set . . . Launch! Introducing our accounting services taken to the next level. Download our free Patrick and Raines CPA app.

Since we’re constantly moving forward to improve our client accessibility, we’re proud to announce the launch of our Patrick & Raines CPAs app, now available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices and – best of all – it’s completely free!

So the next time you need to access a third party site such as Xero, Quickbooks or the IRS, try our new app first. You’ll find up to date, important accountancy data and valuable tools at your fingertips, including:

  • Photo Receipt Management, Email and Store

Never lose a receipt again! Using our latest app, you can track receipts and expenses literally at the touch of a button. With minimal effort you can take a picture of any receipt and save it to your app. Any additional information can be added later, and receipts are stored by amount, category, and date. You can track all your expenses with ease and enable us to interact digitally with you.

  • GPS Mileage Tracking and Management Tool

When it comes to tracking mileage, half the battle is keeping an accurate tab of your driving history. The built-in GPS on your device automatically tracks your mileage, recording every single trip at the touch of a button. It also manages trips as well, storing them and allowing you to view, edit and email them with complete ease.

  • Invaluable Business Tools and Features
    • Calculators
    • Tax tables
    • Logbooks
    • Expense tracking
    • Income management

As your certified public accounting firm, we’re committed to finding effective ways to communicate and interact with you in the most efficient possible way. To access information at your fingertips, the new P&R app also provides push notifications, so we can instantly share important news, deadline reminders and financial updates.

By investing in this state-of-the-art app, our goal is to prepare you with the financial information you need today so you can achieve the results you envision for the future.

Go on . . . explore and enjoy our complimentary Patrick & Raines CPAs app. You’ll find it at your favorite app store.

At Patrick & Raines CPAs, our accounting team holds decades of experience serving the business community and individuals with complex financial planning needs. Let us know how we can help: Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

Stop Paying all that Self-Employment Tax!

Don’t you just hate seeing a percentage of your paycheck disappear, only to pad good ol’ Uncle Sam’s bank account? After withholding it from your gross earnings, the IRS deposits its portion of your hard-earned money according to FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act), which in turn supplements the Social Security and Medicare programs. Equal to your tax contribution, each payday your employer must also remit matching business tax funds to the IRS.

Self-employed? The IRS requires anyone making $400 or more in self-employment earnings to pay self-employment taxes, which equal twice the amount an employee pays to FICA. Another example of the government picking on small business? Not really; when you own a business, you’re considered an employer and an employee, so your tax contribution represents both payments to Social Security and Medicare.

According to the IRS, any earned income for which you receive a Form 1099, or don’t receive any tax forms at all, is considered self-employment income. This can include:

  • Income from a home-based business;
  • Income from a business you own, unless payroll taxes have already been deducted;
  • Income from freelance work;
  • Income earned as an independent contractor;
  • Any other untaxed earned income.

A percentage of your net income from self-employment activities stands subject to self-employment tax. After subtracting allowable business deductions, your net self-employment income remains subject to self-employment tax, however to reduce your exposure:

  • Establish your company as an S Corporation.

If you register your business as a corporation or LLC, you may apply to the IRS to request S Corporation status. With an S Corporation, you may pay your own wages and claim additional income as a distribution. Provided that the IRS deems your total income as fair, the distribution portion of your salary will be exempt from self-employment tax, however you must still pay income tax. 

  • Take every available business deduction on your Schedule C form.

On a tax return, use schedule C to report income or loss from a business you operate or a profession you practice as a sole proprietor. By taking all allowable deductions, your net profit will decrease accordingly. After expenses are subtracted, schedule SE calculates the amount of self-employment tax you owe. A lower net profit number will result in a lower self-employment tax obligation.

Since IRS income tax rules and regulations often appear daunting when preparing your business tax return, learn more about self-employment calculations and deductions at: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/self-employment-tax-social-security-and-medicare-taxes.

If you need a proven tax accounting firm to assist with your individual or business tax preparation, or financial planning, our team is available to assist you. Contact us at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.

Is it worth the cost of a CPA to get your tax return prepared?

A.

While many options exist for preparing your tax returns, the complexity of the tax law continually increases—and in recent years the pace seems to have increased. If you experienced anything...

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6000-A Sawgrass Village Circle, Suite 1, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

 

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