Employers can start preparing for year-end. Before you know it, the year will be over.  If you are a business owner with employees, your to-do list is quickly growing.   If you issue any of your employees a holiday or year-end bonus, be sure that you are still withholding the appropriate income and FICA (social […]

Cybersecurity and You

We hear of a new threat, scam or hack every day. As overwhelming as this subject is, there are things that you can do that will reduce the risk of your personal and financial information from being compromised.

Mileage Substantiation

How do you keep track of your business mileage and could you lose that deduction in an audit?

If you are a business owner, keeping track of your business travel and mileage can provide a great benefit on your tax return, but properly recording your mileage is vital. Mileage expenses for taxpayers are vulnerable to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examinations and audits due to the higher substantiation requirements that are needed to prove mileage expenses. The substantiation requirement applies to all business, whether they are operated as sole proprietors, partnerships, or corporations.

The Home Office Deduction

If you regularly use your home to conduct business, you may be eligible for the home office deduction. Contrary to what some people may think, the home office deduction does not set off red flags with the IRS or make an individual more prone to being audited. This deduction allows a taxpayer to deduct home related expenses based on the amount of area in the home that is dedicated to operating a business. These expenses include mortgage interest or rent, real estate taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, home owners or renters insurance, and maintenance expenses. Other types of expenses including alarm systems and casualty losses can be deducted as well. Depreciation of your home is allowed based on the business use.

New Business Return Filing Due Dates and Penalty Changes on the Horizon

The Fourth of July has come and gone and for many business owners the mid-summer season is an excellent time to start to look ahead and begin making decisions in preparation of the end of the tax year. Part of this process should include a review of how any recent legislation may impact the business. Many such tax code changes are passed and signed into law during this time and can be overlooked when included in seemingly unrelated legislation.

One of these such changes, The Surface Transportation and Veteran’s Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, passed last summer and contained many changes to the filing due dates of many business tax return filings. The estate and fiduciary returns, Employee benefit plan returns, and report of foreign account returns are also impacted by the changes. These changes go into effect for 2016 tax returns and will impact the due dates for the upcoming 2017 filing season.

Understanding Charitable Contributions

The IRS allows a deduction for charitable contributions made during the tax year to qualified charitable organizations. However, understanding how and when a charitable contribution is deductible can be confusing. Commonly asked questions include such topics as what is deductible as a contribution, how are the deductions claimed, and what documentation is required.