Posts Tagged "2016"

Summer business tip

Posted on Jun 20, 2017

Summer is a good time to do business entertaining. Normally, deductions for business entertainment and meals are limited to 50 percent of the expenses. However, you can write off 100 percent of the cost of a company picnic or other get-together. Note that you can’t restrict the outing to only a select few employees. Keep records of the cost, the date, the attendees, and the business purpose. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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KEEP YOUR AUDIT FEARS IN CHECK

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Your chances of being audited are probably lower than you think. A look at the latest IRS statistics for 2016 reveals some interesting and reassuring facts about the risk of an IRS audit. Audits are becoming less common. The number of individual tax returns the IRS audited fell to a 12-year low last year, to just above 1 million. Audits have been declining steeply over the last five years, which the IRS commissioner said was due in part to declining budgets and a smaller workforce. Audits target the rich. It’s a fact: IRS audits happen most often to the super-rich. The statistical chance of being audited increases dramatically for people of higher income levels. Missing data gets you audited. High income isn’t the only thing that gets you audited. Any missing data on your return can also trigger an audit, since the IRS usually receives a copy of the same tax forms you get every year. Standing out gets you audited. The IRS takes a close look at business expenses, charitable donations, and high-value itemized deductions. They have statistical data on what amounts are typical for various professions and income levels. If your return stands out from what is “normal,” it may be flagged for review by the agency’s computer system. More audits are done by mail. If you face an audit, it’s most likely that it will be done by mail. Only about one in four IRS audits are field audits conducted in person by an IRS agent. The most common issues, such as math errors or missing data, are done through mail correspondence. Most audits end up costing you. You can fight the tax law, but the tax law usually wins. Most people audited by the IRS end up owing additional tax. Only 11 percent of correspondence audits and 8 percent of field audits concluded with a “no change” finding in favor of the taxpayer. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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What you should do when the IRS contacts you

Posted on Apr 28, 2017

After you file your tax return, the last thing you want to see is a notice from the IRS questioning your return. Some IRS notices involve very minor changes, like a correction to a Social Security number. Some are for serious changes that could involve a lot of money, such as a billing for more taxes, interest, or penalties due for an adjustment to your total tax liability. So, what should you do if you get a letter from the IRS? Here is a list of do’s and don’ts concerning contact from the IRS. Don’t ignore the notice; the problem will not go away. Act promptly. A quick response to the IRS may eliminate further, more complicated correspondence. If you agree with the IRS adjustment, you do not need to do anything unless a payment is due. If the IRS is requesting more money or a significant amount of new information, be sure to contact your tax preparer immediately. Always provide your tax preparer with a copy of any IRS notice, regardless of how minor it appears to be. Keep a copy of all the IRS correspondence with your tax return copy for the year in question. Often taxpayers experience anxiety when they receive correspondence from the IRS. Don’t worry. The most important thing to remember is not to ignore the IRS. Bring any notice you receive to our office and let us assist you in resolving the problem quickly. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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Could the Coverdell ESA be the right fund for you?

Posted on Apr 25, 2017

You’re probably familiar with 529 college savings plans. Named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, they’re also known as qualified tuition programs, and they offer tax benefits when you save for college expenses. But are you aware of a lesser-known cousin, established under Section 530 of the code? It’s called a Coverdell Education Savings Account and it’s been available since 1998. The general idea of Coverdell accounts is similar to 529 plans – to provide tax incentives to encourage you to set money aside for education. However, one big difference between the two is this: Amounts you contribute to a Coverdell can be used to pay for educational costs from kindergarten through college. Generally, you can establish a Coverdell for a child under the age of 18 – yours or someone else’s. Once the Coverdell is set up, you can make contributions of as much as $2,000 each year. That contribution limit begins to phase out when your income reaches $190,000 for joint filers and $95,000 for single filers. Anyone, including trusts and corporations, can contribute to the account until the child turns 18. There are no age restrictions when the Coverdell is established for someone with special needs. While your contribution is not tax-deductible, earnings within the account are tax-free as long as you use them for educational expenses or qualify for an exception. In addition, you can make a tax-free transfer of the account balance to another eligible beneficiary. Qualified distributions from a Coverdell are tax-free when you use the money to pay for costs such as tuition, room and board, books, and computers. Please call for information about other rules that apply to Coverdell accounts. We’ll be happy to help you decide whether establishing one makes sense for you. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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Who needs an “Employer Identification Number”?

Posted on Feb 23, 2017

There are a few qualifications that determine if you need Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS: If you operate your business as a corporation or partnership. If you file reports for employment taxes, excise tax, or alcohol, tobacco and firearms. If you have one or more employees. If you have a self-employed retirement plan. If you operate as any of several other organizations. Obtaining an EIN is very quick and simple. Go to www.irs.gov. Once there, use the search box and type in “EIN” online. You will be taken to the page that allows you to answer questions online and you will get your EIN upon validation of your answers. You will be able to download and print your confirmation notice. If you need assistance, please contact our office. We are here to help you. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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