Did you file an extension on your taxes?

Published on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 by in Blog

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tax extension

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If you filed an extension on your taxes, then you have until October 15th to get the return prepared and sent to the IRS.  However, there are several reasons to get the return completed as soon as you are able:

The sooner you get the return done, the sooner you can get it off your mind and in the past.

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get the information to your tax preparer.  There are a limited number of returns that anyone can complete during any one day, and tax preparers usually prioritize their work on a first come first served basis.  So don’t expect to be able to bring your return in to them on the 14th and have it prepared on time.

The IRS will shut down e-filing after October 15th to get ready for the following tax year, so any return after that date will have to be sent as a conventional paper return. This leads to the possibility of lost paperwork, and if you have a refund due, will delay your receipt of the money due even longer than if the return is sent via Efile.

If you have outstanding taxes that still need to be paid, the longer you wait the larger the penalty and interest imposed.

If you can’t pay all the tax due it is still better to go ahead and file the return.  Only after you have filed the return can you work with the IRS to set up a payment plan schedule with them.

For questions or help in filing a tax extension, feel free to call us at 334-246-1164 or send us a message at steph@newstartbookkeeping.com

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How Important is Bookkeeping?

Published on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 by in Blog

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In a nutshell, bookkeeping is the process of keeping records of the financial aspects of a business. It deals with anything financial such as purchases, sales and cash transactions. Think of it this way, it’s everything a person who hates math hates.

If you have a business, whether it’s big or small, it’s very important that your books are in order. Aside from knowing how much money you are earning and how much money you are spending, it’s important for a number of other reasons.

If you are planning to seek outside capital, or feel that you would need it in the future, it’s important that your books are in order.  Lenders and investors require complete and accurate financial data before granting your request for financing.

Taxes – this is one of the most important reasons for keeping balanced books. In order for you to know how much to pay the IRS, you must have an accurate account of your income as well as your expenses. Bad documentation of these could result in fines or penalties.  But more frequently, it results in the overpayment of taxes due to the incomplete documentation of legally allowable expense deductions.

Bookkeeping shows the business owner where the business stands, which is necessary in order for a business venture to grow. Once the bookkeeper prepares necessary information, he/she would then submit this to an accountant who would analyze the record and come up with a financial statement.  There are financial firms that provide both bookkeeping and accounting services.  This alleviates the need to have two professionals in order to obtain complete accounting services available.

These are only some of the reasons why EVERY business should maintain proper bookkeeping techniques. There are some business owners who are only interested in making profits and handling the business.  This is not a reason to ignore bookkeeping. If you are such an owner, you can always opt to hire a bookkeeper instead, thus freeing your time so that you have the hours available to work on your business’s revenue producing areas.  Many times a business owner is able to generate more revenue in the time he saves by hiring a bookkeeper than he actually spends on paying for those services.

There should be more than a handful of bookkeeping firms in your area, but you should make sure to look for the best.  Your bookkeeper should also be a person who you are able to communicate with easily and who you are comfortable working with on a regular basis. The people that you hire should be experienced in the field, and be willing to provide references so you know what you’re getting.

Call us today at 334-246-1164 or email us at steph@newstartbookkeeping.com and let’s talk about how we can help you do your best.

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Call Newstart Bookkeeping and Payroll today at 334-246-1164 for more information concerning your payroll and bookkeeping needs.

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Why You Should Hire Someone to Do the Bookkeeping

Published on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 by in Blog

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The article Debt Recovery Of Outstanding Business Debt Becoming Increasingly Critical For SME Survival – Profess comes from a debt collections company in Australia.  SME is a European business term which stands for Small and Medium Enterprise.  However, the concept of debt recovery is very pertinent to every business in the United States who issues credit to its customers.  All business owners know that the problem of debt collection is never more challenging than in tough economic times.

The amount of bad debt that any business writes off without collecting affects the success and profits of that company.  The more effective your debt collection system, the quicker you collect your outstanding debts, and the less bad debts you have to write off.  Debts are proven to be less likely to be collectible the older than become and the longer they are outstanding.  This not only affects your company’s bottom line profit, but can also cause tremendous differences in your cash flows as well.  Increased cash flows are something that every business would like to have access to on a regular basis.

Many business owners don’t like to deal with the past dues accounts and tend to procrastinate contacting the clients who are overdue with their payments.  This makes the problem get even bigger as the amount of outstanding debt rises, and the cash flows drop.  There are then the added problems that come with lack of funding.  Incurring increased debt for your own business becomes necessary, and difficulty paying your own payroll and other payments due can be a burden. It is imperative that you collect for work performed, or you won’t be able to be as successful as you should be, and may even be forced out of business if the problem becomes too big.

“By neglecting debt recovery, enormous pressure builds on the cash resources of a business” says Jos Basson, Managing Director of Debt Recovery Queensland. “Too often we see poor debt collection practices leading to total business failure, due to cash flow problems” he says.

There are simple systems that can be put in place to help keep your bad debts to a minimum, such as having valid signed contracts and customer information on file.  Education of employees, particularly any employee having direct customer contact, is also invaluable to your success in collections.  Having a regular collections schedule and contacting clients BEFORE the debt has gotten old is a must.  There should be a staff member in charge of your collections process just as there is someone in charge of answering the telephones.  This function can be outsourced to a company who provides this service, or in house employees can be trained to perform this vital function.

NewStart Bookkeeping & Payroll can help you with any questions or training you may need in this area.  We also have training and can provide you with debt collections services.

Let’s talk about how we can help you. Call us today at 334-246-1164 or email us at steph@newstartbookkeeping.com

 

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Non-Business Energy Property Credit

Published on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 by in Blog

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In reading the article Seven Facts About the Non-Business Energy Property Credit I was reminded of a potential credit for home owners.

There is a 30% tax credit available for all qualifying home improvements which are “energy efficient”.  The credit is limited to a maximum of $1,500.  This is a CREDIT instead of a deduction, which means it saves you up to $1,500 in taxes instead of deducting up to $1,500 off of your taxable income.

The credit applies to window replacement, insulation, etc., as long as the manufacturer meets government standards and provides a written statement to the homeowner certifying that the standards are being met.

This credit is only on improvements which go into service before January 1, 2011, therefore; time is of the essence.  If a homeowner is planning to make any upgrades in the near future to their principal residence, it would benefit you to complete the improvements before December 31, 2010.

I personally used this tax credit in 2009 for an elderly client.  She was able to receive the entire maximum $1,500 credit which effectively paid for 1/3 of the cost to replace windows which were in definite need of replacement.

The IRS does require that a form be filled out and sent in with your tax return for the year to apply for the credit.

NewStart Bookkeeping & Payroll can help you with any questions you may have about this tax credit and provide you with all your accounting needs.

Let’s talk about how we can help you. Call us today at 334-246-1164 or email us at steph@newstartbookkeeping.com

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