Posts Tagged "tips"

Beware of email hacks

Posted on Oct 31, 2017

One of several identity theft scams IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen spoke about at a recent IRS Nationwide Tax Forum is a client email hack scam. This happens when a thief uses a taxpayer’s email address to send an email to a tax preparer with instructions to redirect refunds into a different bank account. Protect your tax returns this tax season by ensuring your email accounts and important data is kept safe with strong passwords, malware protection and other security measures. 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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How to hit the standard deduction threshold

Posted on Oct 24, 2017

Have you hit your standard deduction threshold yet? If not, you still have a few options to help create a lower tax bill for the 2017 tax season. One way is to donate stock you’ve held for more than a year to a charity. You can also consider prepaying next year’s donation in the current year. Another option is to pay your taxes prior to year-end. We can help you find the best option for your situation. 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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AVOID THESE COMMON TAX MISTAKES

Posted on Sep 13, 2017

There are nearly 1,000 different tax forms used by the IRS to report tax obligations. It’s no wonder the IRS faces thousands of tax returns with errors each year. Here are some of the most common: Wrong names and Social Security numbers. Taxpayers regularly make mistakes by entering incorrect information for their spouses and dependents. If you recently married or divorced but haven’t yet changed your name with the Social Security Administration, you’ll need to file under your old name. Errors in age and birthdate. Much of the tax code is based on age. Without the correct birthdate, your eligibility for tax benefits could be cast in doubt. Incorrect bank account numbers. If you’re expecting a refund and want to have it direct deposited into your account, double-check your routing and account numbers. The IRS may catch most errors, but many are often missed. Once your refund is deposited in the wrong bank account, it’s very difficult to get it fixed. Overlooking online donations. Many people forget about emailed receipts at tax time. Catch missing deductions by searching your email inbox for keywords such as “gift” or “donation” before you file. Missing forms. Taxpayers can miss dividend, interest and brokerage forms (Form 1099s) they get from their banks and investment accounts. These potential missing forms now also include Form 1095, proof of health insurance. If a form is missing, it may cost you extra tax, penalties and interest. Not signing the return. Don’t forget to sign your return! The IRS won’t accept an unsigned return, and many people forget this last step. An unsigned tax return is the same thing as not filing in the eyes of the IRS. You not only face penalties and fines, but your tax return is open for audit indefinitely. 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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Tax deductions for pet costs

Posted on Sep 8, 2017

Pets are family – and sometimes business. If you own an animal that has a specific role in your business (like a guard dog or a cat that keeps pests away), you may be able to deduct the cost of your pet on your tax return. 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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BUSINESS PLANNING: THE HOURGLASS APPROACH

Posted on Sep 6, 2017

When it comes to annual planning, businesses often spend too much time on the planning process or too little because they are busy with day-to-day operations. There’s a simple method called the “Hourglass Approach” that can help you efficiently focus on your goals and create a plan to achieve them. Top of the glass                                    In the first stage, review the internal and external business environment. Force yourself to carefully consider the variables affecting your business: The internal environment. Look at all aspects of your business, from personnel to financing. Review your sales and marketing as well as operations. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as the critical success factors for each aspect of your company. The external review. Now conduct the same review of the business environment. Review your competition. Review your current marketplace. Look specifically for trends, both good and bad. Conduct a similar review of the legal and regulatory environment. The narrowing middle Now you should have a good handle on the current situation. Use this information to create the middle of the glass and distill it into actionable priorities. Short lists of actionable focus. Create a short list of three to five strengths and weaknesses. Create a similar short list of your biggest problems and opportunities. These lists will be your focus as you set your goals for the next year. Create goals. Your goals should be well defined and measurable. Financial goals: sales, gross margin or net income targets. Volumetric goals: number of customers, orders or other key measures. Learning goals: lessons from product launches, competitive intelligence. Operational goals: projects to address weaknesses or leverage strengths. The final results In the bottom stage, you need to create your plan with a specific road map to reach your goals, such as: Create your annual financial plan Identify resources you need to achieve your goals Prioritize projects and create to-do lists Create basic timelines Consider trying the Hourglass Approach to create your next business plan. It could help you and your team move your business in the right direction. 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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