Categories
Tax

13 Tips to Finding the Right Tax Preparer Miami Team

13 Tips to Finding the Right Tax Preparer Miami Team

How do you find an Income Tax Preparer Miami Team that is right for you? First, income Tax Preparer Miami are not all the same.

First, not all Tax Preparer Miami are the same.

I previously wrote an article about this last year titled: “Tax Preparer Miami – Are they really all created equal”, and you may be as surprised as other readers about just how much tax return preparation can vary.
In fact, I calculated the average savings I typically find from annual tax savings, reducing professional fees and audit assessments. In total, the average savings are:
– $23,750 Annual tax savings
– $5,000 Audit defense savings
– $10,000 Reduced audit assessment savings
– $50,000 Reduced legal fees
– $3,000 Reduced tax return preparation Miami (average) fees
This is a total average potential savings of $91,750! Your tax preparer does make a difference! How much more could you do with these savings?
Second, the right tax preparer for you depends on what is important to you. Take a minute to answer this question:

WHAT MAKES YOUR INCOME TAX PREPARER MIAMI SUCCESSFUL?

How you answer this question will impact what type of Tax Preparer Miami team you need. I’ve asked these questions to clients, prospects and colleagues. I have compiled the most popular answers and what it means to you as you find the Income tax preparer Miami for your team.

ANSWER #1: Paying the least amount of tax legally
Your Income Tax Preparer Miami team needs to:
– Know the tax law very well and know how to be creative legally.
– Ask you a lot of questions about your situation in order to understand your situation and goals.
– Have a review process where at least one other person reviews your return solely for the purpose of how to reduce your taxes legally.
HERE ARE SEVEN (7) QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR INCOME TAX PREPARER MIAMI TEAM TO DETERMINE IF IT’S A GOOD FIT:
Q1: Can you tell me about the other (your industry) you service?
A: Your Tax Preparer Miami needs to know how the tax law applies to your situation. Having other clients in your industry or with similar investments indicates that the tax preparer is likely to be familiar with the tax laws that impact you.
Q2: Who will be working on my income tax return?
A: It’s very common (and a good business practice) for income tax preparers in Miami to have staff prepare your tax return. You want to make sure the other people working on your return have the same level of expertise.
Q3: What is your tax return review process?
A: Tax Preparer Miami who are focused on reducing your taxes will have this built into their review process. Usually it involves having another experienced tax preparer review the return solely for the purpose of finding ways to reduce your taxes.
Q4: What would you have done differently on my past tax return?

A: Show the income tax preparer Miami you are interviewing your prior year tax return. Creative income Tax Preparer Miami will be able to give you at least one idea of what you can do to reduce your taxes by looking at your tax return for just a few minutes. If it’s creativity you are after, this is a great question to ask! But don’t expect the income tax preparer Miami to give you all the details right then and there – that’s why you pay them!
Q5: How much can you save me in taxes?
A: While it’s difficult for any income Tax Preparer Miami to answer this in just a few minutes of looking at your past tax return, it is possible for them to know if they can save you taxes after spending 30 minutes with you.

Q6: What deadlines do you impose on clients?
A: This may seem like an odd question for minimizing your taxes but it has a direct impact. If your income tax preparer in Miami allows you to provide your information a week before the tax return is due, it’s very unlikely that the income tax preparer Miami will have the time to focus on your return to truly minimize your taxes. Income Tax preparers in Miami that want to reduce your taxes want your tax return information early and will communicate that to you.
Q7: What recent tax law changes should I be aware of?  A: To minimize your taxes, your tax preparer needs to know the tax law inside and out, which includes the latest changes? Your tax preparer needs to be able to answer this question without hesitation.
ANSWER #2: Minimizing tax return preparation fees your tax preparer needs to:
– Focus on the tax work and recommend someone else for the non-tax work (such as bookkeeping).
– Request tax information in a certain format.
– Require you to input your information online.

HERE ARE TWO (2) QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR TAX PREPARER MIAMI REGARDING MINIMIZING RETURN PREPARATION FEES TO DETERMINE IF IT’S A GOOD FIT:

Q1: What can I do to reduce my tax return preparation fees?
A: To minimize your tax return preparation fees, your tax preparer always needs to have your fees in mind. Ask your tax preparer what you can do to reduce your fees. If you don’t get at least 2 suggestions, your tax preparer probably isn’t thinking about how to keep your fees low.
Common suggestions include:
– Have someone other than the tax preparer do your bookkeeping. I am always skeptical when a tax preparer does the bookkeeping. First, they either charge an arm and leg or if they reduce their rates to accommodate you, it means they don’t spend their time entirely on tax issues, which could indicate their tax skills aren’t up to par.
– Organize your information. Don’t bring your tax preparer a shoebox! A tax preparer that is really focused on keeping your fees down will have forms, spreadsheets and other tools available for you to use to organize your tax return information.
– Enter your information online. Many tax preparers now require clients to input their information online. Accurately entered information can help reduce fees. Caution: Information that is entered inaccurately can increase your fees!
Q2: What is your fee structure?
A: Your tax preparer needs to be able to answer this question with confidence. Any wavering could indicate that the tax preparer knows the fees are too high for you but just doesn’t want to tell you. Unfortunately in these situations, you find out too late!
ANSWER #3: Reducing audit risk your tax preparer needs to:
– Know the tax law very well and how to properly report your activity.
– Understand the IRS’s current “hot buttons” or “red flags.”
– Offer an audit defense plan.

HERE ARE FOUR (4) QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR TAX PREPARER MIAMI IN REGARDS TO REDUCING AUDIT RISK TO DETERMINE IF IT’S A GOOD FIT:

Q1: How many audits have you been through and what triggered the audit?
A: The most important part of this question is what triggered the audit. If it was triggered by how something was reported, then that may be something the tax preparer had control over (and may be a bad sign for you).
Q2: What was the outcome of the audits you have been through?
A: A return can be randomly selected for audit or selected because of a certain activity (even though it was reported correctly). So it’s important to understand the outcome of the audits. Was additional tax assessed or were there no changes? Additional tax may indicate that something was not reported properly.
Q3: Do you offer an audit defense plan?
A: Tax preparers that are confident in their work will offer an “insurance” program that covers their professional fees to handle your audit if your return is selected for audit.
Q4: What is your tax return review process?
A: Although tax returns can be selected randomly for audit, many are selected due to how items are reported on the tax return. Tax preparers who are focused on reducing audit risk will have a review process that includes another tax preparer reviewing your return solely for accuracy of reporting.
Be selective with the tax preparer you put on your team. The average savings I find for my clients is over $90,000! Your tax preparer makes a difference!

 

Categories
Tax

Sweep Nets Hundreds of Tax Services Miami Violating Laws

Sweep Nets Hundreds of Tax Services Miami Violating Laws

Miami Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a two-week-long enforcement sweep of Tax services Miami, specifically corporate tax preparation, across the city and issued violations to one out of every three Tax Services Miami it inspected, mainly for violating laws governing refund anticipation loans and disclosure of their true qualifications and fees.

The department conducted close to 850 inspections citywide and issued over 1,000 violations to Tax services Miami, specifically corporate tax preparation, who misrepresented their qualifications, violated consumer rights, or illegally advertised refund anticipation loans as “instant” or “rapid” refunds. Total fines from the enforcement sweep could reach close to $1 million. The agency is encouraging taxpayers to instead take advantage of Tax Services Miami professional CPA Firms for preparing their taxes and claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Tax Services Miami

“There are substantial tax refund dollars waiting, who have, since 2002, claimed almost $10 billion in Earned Income Tax Credits alone,” said Tax Services Miami Gustavo Viera CPA. “That’s why we’re making it as easy as possible for people to file their taxes and claim those refunds.  And since the IRS issues these refunds in such a short amount of time, there’s no reason for such expensive, often deceptively sold loans getting in between you and every dollar of your refund.” Similar issues also apply to corporate tax preparation.

Tax Services Miami have been charged with previous violations in 2011 and 2010, along with other Tax services Miami who are located in neighborhoods with large populations of immigrants and high usage of refund anticipation loans.

Tax Services Miami Firms found that 65 percent of businesses that received a violation last year and were inspected this year, were complying with the law. In Miami, Tax services Miami must post their qualifications, fees and charges, and whether or not they will represent consumers at a government audit. Tax Services Miami must sign every tax return, and provide their customers with a copy of their tax return and a receipt for their services.

Taxpayers with children who earn less than $50,000 or $18,000 for those who do not have children can visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in the Tri-County where a certified volunteer will prepare their taxes for free, the agency noted. Those earning less than $57,000 can also file their taxes online for free at irs.gov/taxprep. The city is also partnering with Intuit and One Economy Corporation to offer access to free online tax preparation software. Miami tax payers can also have their tax returns prepared at a participating H&R Block office for free for very simple tax returns. To qualify for the H&R Block discount, residents must earn less than $41,000 with children or $31,000 if they have no children.

 

 

 

Categories
Medicare

ZPIC Audits- Do I need a CPA?

ZPIC Audits- Do I need a CPA?

It depends? If your CPA a Medicare Cost Report expert? If the answer is yes, he or she probably prepared your annual Medicare Cost Report or Medicaid Cost Report and getting them involved as as soon as possible is a good idea during ZPIC Audits.Wow what a feeling!!

I have talked to potential clients as they are actually having chest pains and snacking on nitro tabs or spray as they describe this over the phone to me, they have been to the hospital already and continue to have the pains weeks later. ZPIC Audits are is indeed very stressful.

You have just been selected  for a ZPIC Audits amongst an elite group of many who during the last 36 months have submitted via your billing, OASIS, Service Utilization, et al.. to the folks at CMS, created a data profile and pattern, which has been confirmed by the computers as 90% or greater chance it contains errors allowing them to recover several million dollars from you. (More of that another time)

The data is so compelling that it leaves CMS no other option than to validate what your doing. Via a post payment review.

So you have a letter.
CMS is fishing for money.
No denial of payment has been made as of yet.
A lawyer will do what at this point?
A consultant will do what at this point?
What can I the agency owner do for FREE, The answer is an amazing amount, and most owners properly coached need very little intervention until the midpoint of the process.
It is actually more important to build a financial rainy day fund at this point than spend like a sailor.

Everything that needs to be done at this point can be done by you, auditing of the census and the charts to look for the data patterns that triggered this fiasco, and the documentation patterns that will be denied, and perform a sample extrapolation from your global universe of claims to validate and assess your liabilities.

ZPIC Audits rather simple low-level activities.

So we now know that if you’re the recipient of this type of probe there will be financial losses at some point in time. Certainly not until charts are reviewed, as the law does not allow for the debit of money, until charts are approved and or denied.

So calm down take a deep breath this is not the end of the world, but ZPIC Audits it will not go away either. Some of you will need to go to the gym and work it out, others will resort to a few drinks whilst others will bury their head in the sand.

I have actually been in agencies that did not “get it” even though the pattern or trend was imminently clear to me. Too often owners and administrators really do not know the home health Conditions of Participation and documentation requirements for billing. What generally occurs is that the owner or administrator delegates “auditing” to a nurse or group of nurses who may understand basic documentation requirements but who also are very familiar with the clinical staff and often equally familiar with patients. They frequently “read between the lines” when auditing – and if in addition they do not know the requirements for skilled care they are likely to miss the point. Some documentation issues can be at least partially mitigated if identified and addressed appropriately. A ZPIC auditor will not read between the lines. The major areas of concern will of course be the agency’s understanding of what is required for adequate documentation of therapy provided, REASONABLE goal setting and skilled nursing “observation and assessment”. (Hello, now we even have separate billing codes to distinguish the types of care provided – how’s that for an audit edit set up?). Also there are many agencies who use “managment and observation” as a reason to recertify 85% of their patients often for multiple episodes without documentation of significant clinical issues requiring skilled nursing. Many agencies believe that one or two aberrant blood pressures with no change in medications or other treatment constitute the need for ongoing “observation and assessment”.

Maybe it is too soon to call an attorney when the letter arrives but if there is any chance of lessening the impact an ZPIC Audits may have – they must make sure they understand the rules if they are going to adequately respond to the audit requests yourself.

 

Categories
Tax

The IRS is very aggressive on delinquent payroll tax liability

The IRS is Very Aggressive on Delinquent Payroll Tax Liability

The IRS is very aggressive in their collection attempts for past due payroll tax liability. The penalties assessed on delinquent payroll tax liability or filings can dramatically increase the total amount owed in a matter of months. We believe that it is critical to have a CPA, Attorney, or Enrolled Agent represent taxpayers in how to reduce your payroll tax liability in these types of situations. How you answer the first five questions asked by the IRS may determine whether you stay in business or are liquidated by the IRS. You should avoid meeting with any IRS representatives regarding past due payroll tax liability or any tax until you have met with an accountant to discuss your options.

IRS Payroll Tax Liability Liens

The IRS can make your life miserable by filing federal tax liens so you need a CPA who knows how to reduce your payroll tax liability. Past due payroll taxes often trigger Federal Tax Liens which are public record that indicate you have a payroll tax liability. They are filed with the County Clerk in the county from which you or your business operates. Because they are public records they will show up on your credit report. This often makes it difficult for a taxpayer to obtain any financing on an automobile or a home. Federal Tax Liens also can tie up your personal property and real estate. Once a Federal Tax Lien is filed against your property you cannot sell or transfer the property without a clear title. Often taxpayers find themselves in a Catch-22 where they have property that they would like to borrow against, but because of the Federal Tax Lien, they cannot get a loan. Consult a CPA on how to reduce tax liability and remove the tax liens.

IRS Payroll Tax Liability Levy

An IRS levy is the actual action taken by the IRS to past due payroll taxes. For example, the IRS can issue a bank levy to obtain your cash in savings and checking accounts. Or the IRS can levy your wages or accounts receivable to satisfy the payroll tax liability. The person, company, or institution that is served the levy must comply or face their own IRS problems. The additional paperwork this person, company or institution is faced with to comply with the levy, usually causes the taxpayer’s relationship to suffer with the person being levied. Levies should be avoided at all costs and are usually the result of poor or no communication with the IRS or a CPA on how to reduce payroll tax liability.

When the IRS levies a bank account, the levy is only for the particular day the levy is received by the bank. The bank is required to remove whatever amount is available in your account that day (up to the amount of the past due payroll taxes) and send it to the IRS in 21 days unless notified otherwise by the IRS. This type of levy does not affect any future deposits made into your bank account unless the IRS issues another Bank Account Levy for the payroll tax liability.

An IRS Wage Levy is different. Wage levies are filed with your employer and remain in effect until the IRS notifies the employer that the wage levy has been released. Most wage levies take so much money from the taxpayer’s paycheck that the taxpayer doesn’t have enough money to live on.

IRS  Payroll Tax Liability Audit

The IRS can audit you by mail, in their offices, or in your office or home. The location of your audit is a good indication of the severity of the audit. Typically, correspondence audits are for missing documents in your tax return that IRS computers have attempted to find. These usually include W-2’s and 1099 income items or interest expense items. This type of audit can be handled through the mail with the correct documentation. The IRS office audit is usually with a Tax Examiner who will request numerous documents and explanations of various deductions. This type of audit may also require you to produce all bank records for a period of time so that the IRS can check for unreported income. The IRS audit schedule for your home or office should be taken more seriously due to the fact that the IRS Auditor is a Revenue Agent. Revenue Agents receive more training and auditing techniques than a typical Tax Examiner. All IRS audits should be taken seriously because they often lead to other tax years and other tax deductions not originally stated in the audit letter. Consult an Accountant immediately on how to reduce tax liability in case of an audit.

IRS Payroll Tax Liability Seizures

The IRS has extension powers when it comes to Seizure of Assets to pay past due payroll taxes. These powers allow them to seize personal and business assets to pay off outstanding payroll tax liability. This occurs when taxpayers have been avoiding the IRS. The IRS attempts to collect amounts owed with a seizure as the ultimate act of their collection efforts. Consult an Accountant immediately on how to reduce tax liability and avoid any asset seizures.

Unfiled Payroll Tax Returns

Many taxpayers fail to file required returns and find themselves with past due payroll taxes for many reasons. The taxpayer must be aware that failure to file tax returns may be construed as a criminal act by the IRS. This type of criminal act is punishable by one year in jail for each year not filed. Needless to say, it’s one thing to have a payroll tax liability but another thing to potentially lose your freedom for failure to file past due payroll taxes. The IRS may file “SFR” (Substitute For Return) Tax Returns for you. This is the IRS’s version of an unfiled tax return. Because SFR returns are filed in the best interest of the government, the only deductions you’ll see are standard deductions and one personal exemption. You will not get credit for deductions which you may be entitled to such as exemptions for spouses, children, interest and taxes on your home, cost of any stock or real estate sales, and business expenses, etc. Regardless of what you have heard, you have the right to file your original tax return, no matter how late it’s filed.

IRS Penalties

The IRS penalizes millions of taxpayers each year. They have so many penalties that it’s hard to understand which penalty they are hitting you with.

The most common penalties are: Failure to File and Failure to Pay. Both of these penalties can substantially increase the amount you owe the IRS in a very short period of time. To make matters worse the IRS charges you interest on penalties.

Many taxpayers often find out about IRS problems many years after they have occurred. This causes the amount owed to the IRS to be substantially greater due to penalties and interest.

Some IRS penalties can be as high as 75%-100% of the original taxes owed. Often taxpayers can afford to pay the taxes owed, however the extra penalties make it impossible to pay off the entire balance.

Consult a CPA immediately on how to reduce tax liability and avoid all these serious issues.

Categories
Medicare

How to Start a Home Health Business in Florida

How to Start a Home Health Business in Florida

Home health businesses (HHA) provide health care to home-bound seniors and the disabled. Home health aides, nursing assistants, registered nurses and directors play a vital role in assisting the home-bound population. Since the elderly and disabled are vulnerable, states such as Florida have rigorous licensing requirements for home health business. But if you are motivated, caring and have strong financial backing, you may succeed in the home health care business.

Instructions on How to Start a Home Health Business

    • How to Start a Home Health Business, Find a location first. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), a home health care business can’t be located in a private residence and the building must be zoned for a business.
    • Write a business plan. AHCA requires one for licensure, which must detail employee and consumer recruitment, services provided and a financial plan approved by a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA). The AHCA also requires enough money or credit to fund the agency for its first three months.
    • Buy malpractice and liability insurance. For each service provided, the AHCA requires $250,000 of coverage.
    • Hire an administrator, alternate administrator, director of nursing and financial officer. Before you can submit an application, these positions must be filled by persons who meet AHCA’s standards. For more information on these requirements, see the Resources section.
    • Submit a completed application to the AHCA. The application must include background checks for both owners and employees, an affidavit of good moral character and evidence that vital personnel met the state’s standards. For an application and in-depth explanation of the requirements, see the Resources section.
    • Hire nurses and home health aides who meet federal Medicare and Medicaid training requirements. Both Medicare and Medicaid are federally-funded health programs for the poor, disabled and elderly. Most people who use home health services are insured under these programs. For more information on training requirements and becoming a Medicare or Medicaid provider, see the Resources section.

 

Categories
Tax

Small Business CPA Warns of IRS SWAT Teams for Tax Dodgers

Small Business CPA Warns of IRS SWAT Teams for Tax Dodgers

Small Business CPA Gustavo A Viera warns Tax Dodgers that the Internal Revenue Service is staffing up with high-powered talent to crack down on companies shifting profits from country to country to lower their tax bills, a hot strategy the agency has targeted before with only limited success.

Small Business CPA Viera points out the IRS showed its elevated concern on the issue, known as “transfer pricing,” last May by hiring Samuel Maruca to fill the newly created post of transfer pricing director.

He has since brought aboard specialists from Big Four audit firms KPMG and Ernst & Young, as well as law firm Mayer Brown and boutique consultancy Horst Frisch, Small Business CPA Viera adds.

Maruca, who came from law firm Covington & Burling, is still recruiting. He told Reuters the agency previously had “had a difficult time attracting and retaining economists.”

Now, he said, the IRS’s international group “has significant external hiring authority.”

Small Business CPA VieraCPA points out that transfer pricing is a booming field of global tax law. It involves multinational corporations that are constantly moving goods, services and assets from one subsidiary to another in different countries, and how they account for these “transfers.”

Small Business CPA Viera points out that by carefully manipulating the pricing of such moves, companies can effectively shift profits to low-tax countries from high-tax ones, lowering their overall tax costs.

Many governments in the developing and developed world, faced with crushing deficits, are working to curb transfer pricing because it reduces their corporate tax revenues.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman made changes at the agency in mid-2010 that set the stage for bringing in Maruca, who has filled 40 positions so far and plans to bring on up to 60 more staffers.

The IRS, which employs 90,000 people, saw its budget cut by 2.5 percent by Congress for fiscal 2012 to $11.8 billion.

Small Business CPA Underpaid and Out-gunned

Federal agencies often struggle to keep up with higher-paid private-sector professional Small Business CPA. The IRS is no exception, and there is some skepticism about Maruca’s chances.

“The economic crisis allowed the IRS to attract talented, experienced industry professionals who might not have been available previously,” said ex-deputy IRS commissioner Michael Dolan, now director of KPMG’s Washington national tax practice.

“The $64,000 question is, what will Maruca be able to do … and will he really have enough resources to change the game?” Dolan said.

Small Business CPA VieraCPA notes that in order to curtail tax avoidance through transfer pricing, governments seek to limit corporations’ ability to manipulate the transfer prices. National laws, though variable from country to country, generally call for “arms-length” pricing.

Small Business CPA Viera says in theory, that means corporations must set transfer prices that are at or near market level, not artificially raised or lowered. But enforcement is complex, especially for intangible assets, such as search-engine algorithms or trademarks.

“There are billion-dollar disputes on just the arms-length transfer pricing of intangibles” said Small Business CPA Viera.

IRS Lags

By one measure of transfer pricing enforcement, the IRS lags behind tax treaty partners. In fiscal 2011, 85 percent of transfer pricing audit adjustments were initiated by a foreign country, rather than by the IRS, according to IRS statistics. That was up from 77 percent in fiscal 2010.

Two major transfer pricing court decisions went against the IRS in 2009 and 2010.

“Clearly, the IRS is trying to figure out what to do next on its litigation strategy in these important transfer pricing cases,” said Viera, a managing partner of a Small Business CPA in Miami who called Maruca’s group a “SWAT team.”

As the IRS raises its game, the pharmaceutical and high-tech sectors can expect close scrutiny, Small Business CPA professionals said.

Businesses are sure to fight back. The IRS has ruffled feathers on transfer pricing before with limited results.

“Anybody who thinks the IRS can ultimately enforce transfer pricing is either an eternal optimist or delusional,” said Richard Harvey, a tax professor at Villanova University and former senior adviser to the IRS’s Shulman.

The staff changes and hiring at IRS “will help them on the margins,” Harvey said. “But they’re still fighting a very difficult battle where the deck is stacked against them.”

Categories
Accounting

What is a CPA?

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CPA

What is a CPA?

A Certified Public Accountant Miami or CPA Miami is a special type of accountant. Officially it’s the title of someone in the United States, who has passed the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination and has met some additional state education and experience requirements to get this certification. This test is grueling and requires upwards of 150 hours of special education and Accountant Miami complies and reports it’s CPE to the Florida Board of Accountancy.

But what does this mean to you as a small business owner in Miami. Do you need a Miami CPA or will a regular Miami Accountant or even a Miami Bookkeeper be sufficient for your business?

Most people use the term CPA and accountant interchangeably but there is a very big difference. The CPA designation carries a lot of weight within the financial community and certainly within the accounting profession.

Services Provided By Accountant Miami:

In public accounting, those accounting services provided to a business on a contract basis, a CPA attests (to a financial audit) and gives assurances that financial statements are reasonable and accurate and adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They also attest to the reasonableness of disclosures and that statements are free from “material misstatement”.

As a Miami Auditor, a CPA is required by professional standards and Federal and State laws to maintain independence from the entity for which they are conducting a financial audit and review, often called a Financial Audit.

Our Miami Consulting Service, advises companies on acceptable business practices and making recommendations on financial management. Typically these consultants do not work as auditors for a company at the same time they are acting as consultants.

As part of the certification, our Miami Accountants must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every year to keep up with the new rules and regulations in the financial, accounting, and business world. This is proof of the high level of expectations of the accounting profession for a Certified Public Accountant in Miami.

Our Certified Public Accountant in Miami belongs to the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) with the goal of keeping up to date with the accounting community and taking continuing education classes. Of course tax laws change frequently and our Miami Accountants will spend time staying abreast of changes in financial areas. As a member of a local association they have access to the latest thinking and rules in the accounting area.

Why You Need A CPA

If for no other reason than Tax Planning it’s good to have the advice of a Tax Accountant. And as far as business management and financial advice access to a good Accountant in Miami is very desirable.

But does that mean you need a CPA?

In general you can assume that anyone who has taken the time to get certified as a CPA, and maintain that certification, is at the upper levels of the skill set, our Miami Accountants certainly are. It’s a clear credibility booster to be a CPA. If your business can afford the best than our CPA in Miami are worth the money.

But does that mean they are better than a typical accountant. Of course not. But it does indicate a level of commitment that is worth considering. Certainly if legal proceedings are required, the assurance of a CPA will hold more weight than a typical accountant. Again much depends on the reputation of the CPA in the community as well. Certainly an audit by a CPA has an implied level of credibility. Not to mention a non CPA cannot perform financial audits by law.

Our Miami CPA Firm does much more than financial audits these days. We provide consulting and overall financial planning not only for small and large businesses but also for estate planning, investments, and strategic planning.

So if you want to run your business at the highest level you certainly want to consider hiring a Certified Public Accountant like the ones at Accountant Miami.

 

Categories
Tax

Miami CPA’S Point Out Small Employers Can Benefit from Health Care Tax Credit

Miami CPA’S Point Out Small Employers Can Benefit from Health Care Tax Credit

With tax-filing deadlines fast approaching for many small businesses, the Miami CPA’S VieraCPA today encouraged small employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees to check out the small business health care tax credit and then claim it if they qualify. (You can also check out our Miami CPA’S website for an overview of the tax credit at.

The new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit page on the Miami CPA’S VieraCPA website has information and resources to help small employers see if they qualify for the credit and then calculate it correctly (recommended consulting a Miami CPA’S. The website includes a step-by-step guide for determining eligibility, examples of typical tax savings under various scenarios, answers to frequently-asked questions.

The small business health care tax credit was included in the Affordable Care Act enacted two years ago. Miami CPA’S VieraCPA advise Small employers that pay at least half of the premiums for employee health insurance coverage under a qualifying arrangement may be eligible for this credit. The credit is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations provide health insurance for their employees, stated Miami CPA’S VieraCPA.

Depending upon how they are structured, eligible small employers are likely subject to one of the following three tax-filing deadlines, which fall in coming weeks according to Miami CPA’S VieraCPA :

  • March 15: Corporations that file on a calendar year basis can have their Miami CPAS figure the credit on Form 8941 and claim it as part of the general business credit on Form 3800, both of which are attached to their corporate income tax return.
  • April 17: Individuals have until April 17 to complete and file their returns on Form 1040. This includes Sole proprietors, as well as people who have business income reported to them on Schedules K-1—partners in partnerships, S corporation shareholders and beneficiaries of estates and trusts  according to Miami CPA’S VieraCPA  . They also attach Forms 8941 and 3800 to their return. The resulting credit is entered on Form 1040 Line 53.
  • May 15: Tax-exempt organizations that file on a calendar year basis can use Form 8941 and then claim the credit on Form 990-T, Line 44f.

Taxpayers and CPA Firms needing more time to determine eligibility should consider obtaining an automatic tax-filing extension, usually for six months. See Form 4868 for individuals, Form 7004 and its instructions for businesses and Form 8868 for tax-exempt organizations.

Miami CPA’S that have already filed and later find that they qualified in 2010 or 2011 can still claim the credit by filing an amended return for one or both years. Corporations use Form 1120X, individual’s use Form 1040X and tax-exempt organizations use Form 990-T.

Some businesses and tax-exempt organizations that already locked into health insurance plan structures and contributions may not have had the opportunity to make any needed adjustments to qualify for the credit for 2010 or 2011. These employers can still make the necessary changes to their health insurance plans so they qualify to claim the credit on 2012 returns or in years beyond. Eligible small employers can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for two additional years beginning in 2014.

Additional information about eligibility requirements and figuring the credit can be found at Miami CPA’S.

Categories
Medicare

How to File a Medicare Cost Report

How to File a Medicare Cost Report

CMS and AHCA require Home Health Agencies (HHA), Hospice, Hospitals, and Renal Facilities to file an annual Medicare Cost Report and or Medicaid Cost Report.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Federal/State program administered through the State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Each provider participating in the Medicaid or Medicare program shall submit a uniform Medicaid Cost Report and or Medicare Cost Report and related documents required by the Florida Title XIX Long-Term Care Reimbursement Plan (Plan). For Medicaid Cost Report and or Medicare Cost Report periods ending on or after December 31, 2003, cost reports must be filed using “SEXTANT”, the October 2003 Electronic Cost Report (ECR); the October 2003 Chart of Accounts; and instructions provided by AHCA. Further, this Medicaid Cost Report and or Medicare Cost Report must be filed within the timeframe specified in the Plan. All required schedules MUST be completed or marked N/A. Note that Schedules I, J and J-2 are only required for providers on cost or payback reimbursement.

Limited amounts of supplemental supporting documentation can be added to the Notes Schedule provided within the ECR. Additional supporting documentation or attachments may be mailed to the address provided below. All additional information and documentation, whether on the Notes Schedule or mailed separately, must be referenced to the applicable cost report schedule.

The provider of the Medicaid Cost Report and or the Medicare Cost Report home office cost report must each stand-alone. Do not indicate, “see home office cost report” on any schedule in lieu of completing the schedule.

All schedules must be completed with all applicable information each year. Do not reference a prior year report as containing the information requested in lieu of completing the schedule in the current year cost report.

In addition to submitting the ECR as per the instructions in Appendix B, one hard copy of the cost report, the certification page, supplemental schedules and attachments, and accountant’s compilation reports must to be sent to:

Agency for Health Care Administration

Audit Services 2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop 21

Tallahassee, Florida 32308

The recognized Medicaid Cost Report Medicare Cost Report will be determined by utilizing the accrual method of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the methods of reimbursement in accordance with Medicare (Title XVIII) Principles of Cost Reimbursement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Provider Reimbursement Manual (CMS Pub. 15-1) except as modified by the Florida Title XIX Long-Term Care Reimbursement Plan, and State of Florida Administrative Code.

INPUTTING COST REPORT DATA

The input worksheet is where the bulk of the cost report data will be entered. Enter text using proper case; please do not use all capital letters. Enter whole numbers only unless the input number is a percentage. Enter a percentage in decimal form (i.e. input .047635 for 4.7635%). Debits are entered as positive numbers and credits are entered as negative numbers unless otherwise specified.

Patient days input fields cannot be left blank; these include In-House Patient Days; Reserved Bed Days; Holding Bed Days; and Skilled, Intermediate I, and Intermediate II Medicaid Days. When appropriate it is required that zero be entered.

Other input worksheets that require the input of data are designated with a “(W)” on the worksheet tab (such as, Cover (W), B (W), K (W) or L (W), etc). “See attached” is not considered valid for Electronic Cost Reporting purposes.

Input areas have cells with a light yellow background. When a choice is required, a brown background is used with a dropdown box. Clicking on the arrow to the right of the dropdown box allows for an appropriate selection to be made. (Appropriate selections must be made from the dropdown box to avoid a validation error).

When data is entered on the input worksheet, the appropriate schedule changes can be reviewed by clicking on the schedule tab. Many schedules have validity checks built into the system. In some instances, an error message may appear on the applicable schedule to the right side of the row being checked. In other circumstances, validation checks are a part of the applicable schedule.

When data input is completed for the entire Cost Report, the “VALIDATE” tab should be referenced to locate any remaining exceptions noted. Sextant currently checks for more than 190 different potential exceptions to the Medicaid Cost Report or Medicare Cost Report.

Certification Page:

The Provider may use the “optional Medicaid Cost Report or Medicare Cost Report identifier” for internal tracking purposes. If the cost report is prepared in house choose “yes” in the dropdown box; otherwise, choose “no” in the dropdown box.

Enter the name of CPA (or CPA firm) responsible for preparation of the cost report.

Enter the CPA (or CPA firm) license number. If not a Florida CPA identify the state of licensure.

Please contact us for a complete how to guide on how to prepare a Medicaid Cost Report or Medicaid Cost Report

 

Categories
Business Trends

Business CPA & Limited Liability Company (LLC) Advice

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Advice

Clients often ask about limited liability company (LLC) which is a hybrid-type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.

As a Business CPA, I don’t recommend them for the average small business. The “owners” of an LLC are referred to as “members.” Depending on the state, the members can consist of a single individual (one owner), two or more individuals, corporations, other LLC, and even other entities. As a CPA I have seen clients devastated with their tax bill as a result of having picked an LLC structure

Unlike shareholders in a corporation, LLC are not taxed as a separate business entity. Instead, all profits and losses are “passed through” the business to each member of the LLC, according to VieraCPA a CPA Firm. LLC members report profits and losses on their personal federal tax returns, just like the owners of a partnership would.

CPA Firm & Forming an LLC

CPA’s note that while each state has slight variations to forming an LLC, they all adhere to some general principles:

Choose a Business Name. There are 3 rules that your LLC name needs to follow: (1) it must be different from an existing LLC in your state, (2) it must indicate that it’s an LLC (such as “LLC” or Limited Company”) and (3) it must not include words restricted by your state (such as “bank” and insurance”). Your Small Business CPA can register your name with your state when you register your business, so you do not have to go through a separate process. Read more here about choosing a business name.

A small CPA Firm or Attorney usually files the Articles of Organization. The “articles of organization” is a simple document that legitimizes your LLC and includes information like your business name, address, and the names of its members. The form is provided by and filed with your state’s LLC office. For most states, you file with the Secretary of State. However, other states may require that file with a different office such as the State Corporation Commission, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, or the Division of Corporations & Commercial Code.

Create an Operating Agreement. Business CPA will most often defer to an attorney for the creation of operating agreements which are required by most states and are not filed at your state office. However, an operating agreement is highly recommended for multi-member LLCs because it structures your LLC’s finances and organization, and provides rules and regulations for smooth operation. Percentage of interests, allocation of profits and losses, member’s rights and responsibilities, and other provisions are usually included here and required by your small Business CPA for tax preparation.

Obtain Licenses and Permits. Once your business is registered, you must obtain business licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state and locality. Use the Licensing & Permits tool to find a listing of federal, state and local permits, licenses, and registrations you’ll need to run a business.

In the eyes of the federal government, an LLC is not a separate tax entity, and therefore the business itself is not taxed. Instead, all federal income taxes are passed on to the members of the LLC and are paid through their personal income tax. While the federal government does not tax income on an LLC, some states do, so check with your Business CPA.

Small Business CPA note that since the federal government does not recognize LLC as a business entity for taxation purposes, all LLCs must file as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Certain LLCs are automatically classified and taxed as a corporation by federal tax law.

Small CPA Firm note that LLCs that are not automatically classified as a corporation can choose their business entity classification. To elect a classification, an LLC must file Form 8832. This form is also used if an LLC wishes to change their classification status. Read more about filing as a corporation or partnership and filing as a single member LLC at IRS.gov.

The following tax forms should be filed depending on your classification:

  • Single Member LLC. A single-member LLC files Form 1040 Schedule C like a sole proprietor.
  • Partners in an LLC. Partners in an LLC file a Form 1065 partnership tax return like owners in a traditional partnership.
  • LLC filing as a Corporation. An LLC designated as a corporation files Form 1120, the corporation income tax return

Business CPA can guide you through Limited Liability Companies relevant tax forms and additional information regarding their purpose and use.

Small Business CPA & Combining the Benefits of an LLC with an S-Corp

There is always the possibility of requesting S-Corp status for your LLC. A small business attorney can advise you on the pros and cons. You’ll have to make a special election with the IRS to have the LLC taxed as an S-Corp using Form 2553. This must be filed prior to the first two months and fifteen days of the beginning of the tax year in which the election is to take effect. For more information about S-Corp status, visit IRS.gov or read Should My Company be an LLC, an S-Corp or Both?.

The LLC remains a limited liability company from a legal standpoint but for tax purposes can be treated as an S-Corp. Be sure to contact the state’s income tax agency where the election form will be filed. Ask them whether or not they recognize elections of other entities such as the S-Corp and what the tax requirements are.

 Advantages of an LLC

Limited Liability. Members are protected from personally liability for business decisions or actions of the LLC. This means that if the LLC incurs debt or is sued, members are not required to satisfy the claims with their personal assets. This is similar to the liability protections afforded to shareholders of a corporation. Keep in mind that limited liability means “limited” liability – members are not necessarily shielded from their or their employees’ tort actions, such as accidents.

Less Recordkeeping. An LLC’s operational ease is one of its greatest advantages. Compared to an S-Corporation, there is less registration paperwork and there are smaller start-up costs.

Sharing of Profits. There are also fewer restrictions on profit-sharing within an LLC, as members distribute profits as they see fit. Members might contribute different proportions of capital and sweat-equity. Consequently, it’s up to the members themselves to decide who has earned what percentage of the profits or losses.

Disadvantages of an LLC

Limited Life. In many states, when a member leaves an LLC, the business is dissolved and the members must fulfill all remaining legal and business obligations to close the business out. The remaining members can decide if they want to start a new LLC, or part ways. However, you can include provisions in your operating agreement to prolong the life of the LLC, should a member decide to leave the business.

Self-Employment Taxes. Members of an LLC are considered self-employed and must pay the self-employment tax contributions towards Medicare and social security. The entire net income of the LLC is subject to this tax.