Tax Tips

Everyone needs a few tips, so to help you, we answered a few of the most common questions we hear below.


Refunds

“Where’s my refund?” We get this question all the time, so we know you’re thinking about it. And why wouldn’t you – the IRS owes you money, so where is it?? The IRS says you should expect your refund between six to eight weeks from the date they receive your return. With the development of electronic filing, however, many of our clients have received their refunds in about half this time. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days when e-filed. Folks who electronically file their return and provide direct deposit information are seeing their refunds even sooner. While you may be concerned about providing your banking information, it is actually a more secure way to receive your refund. This is because there is zero chance of a lost check and the refund can be issued more quickly. Just be sure you have provided correct banking information because inaccurate numbers can result in a delay.


The Top Ten Most Forgotten Items

While gathering the information for your tax return preparation, be sure to review this list. Oftentimes, something will apply to your situation that you might not have thought of before. Also, gathering all of the necessary items for your tax return ahead of time can make the preparation process go a lot more smoothly and quickly!


Amended Returns

Does any of this sound familiar? “I just received another document with important information for my tax return but I’ve already filed it for that year.” OR “Whoops! I think I made a mistake on the information I provided on my tax return.” If so, you may need to file an amended return.

Oftentimes, the IRS will correct errors or report missing information by way of a notice that they will send to you, and then there are specific items which automatically require an amended return. Regardless of whether you have received a notice or not, give us a call at 404-892-7967 with the specifics of your situation, and we can help you determine the best action (or non-action!) to take.


Charitable Contributions

When preparing to file your federal tax return, don’t forget your contributions to charitable organizations. If you made qualified donations last year – and you itemize on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A – these donations can have a nice impact on the outcome of your tax return.


Gift Giving

The IRS defines a gift as “any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.” Therefore, you have made a gift when you give property, or the use of property, including money, without expecting to receive something of equal value in return. If you sell something at significantly less than its value or make an interest-free (or reduced-interest) loan to someone, you may also be making a gift.


Sale of Your Home

If you sold your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain ($500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly) from your federal tax return. This exclusion is allowed each time you sell your main home, but due to the exclusion tests, this generally cannot occur more frequently than once every two years.


Ten Ways to Protect Your Business

There are no certainties when it comes to business cycles, and advanced planning cannot protect the small business owner from the ups and downs of a changing economy. There are, however, fundamental steps you can take to minimize disruptions from increasing prices, changing consumer habits, growing operating risks, competition and fraud.


Setting Your Financial Records Straight

If looking for an important document sends you searching through shoeboxes and overstuffed drawers, your financial records are in need of a makeover. Time spent gaining control of your financial records will pay off in the long run. Good record-keeping can:

  • Make tax preparation easier and remind you of deductions you might otherwise overlook. Back-up documentation may save you taxes, interest charges and penalties if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ever questions your return.
  • Give you a better handle on your overall financial position and help your CPA (Certified Public Accountant) identify financial and tax-planning opportunities.
  • Provide loved ones with a roadmap to your financial affairs if you die or become incapacitated.