More Than Accounting

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Did You Know?

Posted by Rhonda Spaulding on September 22, 2008



There are deduction limitations on some autos used for business?  However, full size trucks and vans are fully deductible!

The IRS now requires a receipt, cancelled check or bank statement for every charitable donation?  Make sure you hang on to them!

You can pay estimated taxes online. Visit www.eftps.com for more details.

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Estimated Payments

Posted by Rhonda Spaulding on September 22, 2008

Have you paid or withheld enough tax this year? If your income has been changing in the last year or two, it is time to review and ensure you have paid or withheld enough tax before the end of 2008.

I have found that typically people do withhold or pay enough federal tax, but it is the state taxes that seem to “getcha” at the end of the year.  If you need me to review your current tax situation, you will just need to provide the following information:

Most recent paystubs
Other income (interest, investments, business)
Estimated deductions

I can help you determine if you need to pay any additional before the end of the year and avoid those nasty underpayment penalties!

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It’s time to Save…

Posted by Rhonda Spaulding on September 22, 2008

It has been a rough year in many segments of the economy.  During slow economic times, it makes us want to cut our costs and save as much as possible.  As with all challenges in life, we can use it as an opportunity to improve and grow.  Look at it this way, if you are looking to buy a gas gussling vehicle, now is the time to get a great deal!

Kiplinger.com gives ideas on how to Save Money on Practically Everything from food to investing.  They also point out that you should change your withholdings if you are continually getting a big refund from Uncle Sam.  You can use the IRS withholding calculator to determine what you need to withhold for the rest of the year.

Does all of the talk and spin regarding the economy and election leave your head swimming?  One of my favorite economists, Walter E. Williams makes some reading recommendations for those of us who need to understand the issues of the day.

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2007 Individual Tax Tips

Posted by Rhonda Spaulding on February 9, 2008

The W-2s and 1099s are done so it is time to gather your information and actually prepare your tax return. Here are some items to remember as you get everything together.

  • Charitable contributions require a receipt this year. No longer can you deduct your small cash contributions without a receipt, bank statement or canceled check. You should also beware of the more strict limits on non-cash contributions.
  • For mortgages closed or refinanced in 2007, you can deduct any Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premiums paid during the year.
  • The residential energy credits are still available. If you made some improvements this year, get those receipts and take advantage of these credits that expired at the end of 2007.
  • You can still contribute to your IRA and take advantage of the Saver’s credit. This can significantly reduce your tax due and let you keep your money.
  • This year you are also eligible to deduct either your state income tax or sales tax paid. There are standard amounts for sales tax deductions if you did not save all of your receipts. Generally, for Indiana and Kentucky the income tax will be the higher of the two, but if you built a house or made other significant purchases, your sales tax deduction may be the larger of the two. It is definitely worth checking out.
  • Teachers can still take advantage of the credit for supplies purchased for the classroom. Store those receipts and take advantage of this credit.
  • There are still several of the energy conservation credits available.  If you added new windows, doors or other energy saving home improvements you should determine if it qualifies for the credit.

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Record Keeping Tips: Automobiles

Posted by Rhonda Spaulding on January 24, 2008

The last post gave you some information on how to deduct business mileage. Along with those deductions come record keeping requirements. The IRS requires that you log all business miles in a timely manner. There are many court cases that the IRS has won simply because the taxpayer did not keep adequate records. This is an area that requires discipline. Unfortunately, business owners are usually busy running the business and do not always have time to “jot down” the odometer reading every time they run to the post office. How can you maintain adequate records without pulling your hair out?

Like me, I am sure that many of you were not “born organized”. We have to work at it. So, I have done some searching and tried to come up with some tips to keep your mileage logs simple, yet sufficient.

  1. Write down the beginning odometer reading. This is the beginning of the year (so do it now!)
  2. Keep a calendar or some kind of notebook where you can write down the business trips you make. This does not have to be a separate formal log. You can write things on your regular calendar or store it on your PDA. Just keep it somewhere convenient so that it is easily accessed.
  3. When you make a trip for your business, jot down the place you went. You do not necessarily have to set your trip meter and mileage every single trip at the time. Just note the “to” and “from” locations on your calendar.
  4. Periodically, tally up the miles you have driven from your notebook. These can be logged right there in your notebook. You can get mileage to your locations easily using the internet these days, it is just a click or two away. I would suggest you set a time to do this once per week. Put it on your schedule and set aside a few minutes to get everything up to date, otherwise it will probably become overwhelming if you do any significant traveling. If you are not into details, maybe you ask your spouse or another person who does the details to perform this step.
  5. Make a copy or back it up! If you store this information on paper, make copies periodically as well. Maybe you can do this weekly or once a month depending on the volume. If it is stored on your PDA or computer, do I even need to say back it up?!
  6. Periodically write down your odometer reading or keep your maintenance records which will probably provide that information. Maybe you do this when you get an oil change. Just make sure you get a reading for the end of the year.
  7. Finally, keep your receipts for your actual expenses. One idea might be to put a coupon organizer in your glove compartment and toss in receipts as you get them. Keep your insurance bills and other information in a special file in your office.

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