Categories
Tax

Six Important Facts about Dependents and Exemptions

Six Important Facts about Dependents and Exemptions

Even though each individual CPA is different, some tax rules affect every Tax Accountant in Miami who may have to file a federal income tax return or is in the business of Tax Preparation. These rules include dependents and exemptions. The IRS has six important facts about dependents and exemptions that will help you file your 2011 Income tax preparation in Miami.

Dependents and Exemptions

1. Exemptions reduce your taxable income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. For each exemption you can deduct $3,700 on your 2011 tax return.

2. Your spouse is never considered your dependent. On a joint return, you may claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. If you’re filing a separate return, you may claim the exemption for your spouse only if they had no gross income, are not filing a joint return, and were not the dependent of another taxpayer. (Consult with a Tax Preparation Miami CPA)

3. Dependents and Exemptions. You generally can take an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. You must list the Social Security number of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption when getting ready to do your income tax preparation.

4. If someone else claims you as a dependent, you may still be required to file your own tax return. Whether you must file a return depends on several factors including the amount of your unearned, earned or gross income, your marital status and any special taxes you owe. Consult a Tax Accountant.

5. If you are a dependent, you may not claim an exemption. If someone else – such as your parent – claims you as a dependent, you may not claim your personal exemption on your own tax return.

6. Some people cannot be claimed as your dependent. Generally, you may not claim a married person as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. This is a very common issue with Tax Preparation Miami CPA Firms. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.

For more information on exemptions, dependents and whether you or your dependent needs to file a tax return, see IRS Publication 501. The publication is available at www.irs.gov or can be ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). You can also call a Tax Accountant in Miami or visit our Interactive Tax Assistant site at www.accountantsinmiami.com to determine who you can claim as a dependent and how much you can deduct for each Dependents and Exemptions you claim. The tool is also a tax law resource on the IRS website that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.

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Tax

Tax Preparation Miami 10 Year End Tax Tips

Tax Preparation Miami 10 Year End Tax Tips

Get Organized – When preparing for your Tax Preparation Miami remember to gather your tax data as soon as possible. You should round up all receipts and canceled checks, such as those from charities; check their latest brokerage statements for year-to-date gains or losses; make a checklist of accounts to keep track of the 1099s, if any, when they arrive; and get medical receipts and insurance reimbursement forms in order. If you start organizing your files now, it will be easier to avoid a last-minute rush when it’s time to do your income tax preparation in Miami. It is much easier to have the originals or to request replacements when your have time, instead of discovering at the last minute that you are missing some item that prevents you from finishing their tax return.

Be Aware of the Alternative Minimum Tax – Tax Preparation Miami Accountants I develop a year-end planning strategy for clients, to be sure to assess their AMT exposure. Tax Preparation Miami Accountants should know who are or might be affected by the AMT have additional factors to consider when attempting to reduce their overall tax bill. The AMT eliminates or reduces the federal tax savings of many common tax planning techniques. A decision to accelerate an expense or defer an item of income to reduce income for regular tax purposes may not always save federal taxes (although it could affect state taxes) because it may subject the taxpayer to the AMT. For example, the deduction for property taxes on a residence, state income taxes (or state sales tax if you elect this deduction option), miscellaneous itemized deductions, and personal exemption deductions are not allowed when calculating the AMT. Certain items of income can also trigger an AMT liability such as the exercise of incentive stock options, interest from certain municipal bonds and large, long-term capital gains and/or qualified dividends.

Prepare a Tax Projection – Before your income tax preparation and the end of the year, Tax Preparation Miami Accountants should prepare a tax projection (prior to seeing a Tax Preparation Miami Accountants) for their clients based on all of their known income and deductions for the year. By laying everything out in one spot, you can often identify planning opportunities, many of which must be done before the tax year ends. One example is that it may make sense to prepay any state income tax due during the year in order to get a current year federal tax deduction. If a client is in the AMT category, the opposite may be true: it may be more beneficial to make such a payment in the following calendar year.

Review Income and Deductions – The most fundamental year-end tax saver is to adjust the timing of income and deductions. If you anticipate income tax rates to increase in 2013, it may be beneficial for you to take income earlier, if possible, in 2012 and defer deductions into 2013 in order to save the taxes on income and have the deferred deductions save on taxes in 2013 when the rates are expected to be higher. In using this strategy, it should be noted that different itemized deductions are subject to different phase-out limits for regular tax purposes as it relates to the AMT.

Postpone Income – If you are in line for a bonus, you may want to see if your employer will hold off writing the check until January. If they own a cash-basis business, they can time the receipt of income (by deferring receipt until January) by waiting until the end of the year to send their December billings to their own clients and customers. Taxpayers cannot simply defer taxes by not depositing checks received in the bank. (As a caveat, if you expect to be subject to the AMT when preparing Income tax preparation, you should consider accelerating income to the current year in an effort to mitigate the negative aspects of this tax.)

Fund Your Retirement – Tax Preparation Miami Accountants should encourage clients should consider converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Beginning with the 2010 tax year, the income limitations on converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA were removed, opening up this tax preparation Miami planning opportunity to many more taxpayers. Balances in a Roth IRA grow tax free and distributions from Roth accounts are generally not taxable after a five-year holding period. Unlike traditional IRAs, there is no minimum distribution requirement for Roth IRAs. That means that for those who do not need the entire IRA to live on during their retirement years, they can pass on a much larger balance to their heirs and the money continues to grow tax free. Two words of caution: conversion comes with a current-year tax bill and must be paid from money outside of the IRA account for the transaction to make sense. Roth conversions can be a very powerful planning tool, but they are not for everyone. A good Tax Preparation Miami Accountants can help you understand all of the relevant factors before choosing a Roth conversion.

Are You Eligible to Claim Casualty Losses? – Before income tax preparation time, determine if you’re in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get you an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving depending on other income factors.

Pay Deductible Expenses Before December 31 – Tax Preparation Miami Accountants includes the possible acceleration of a deduction before December 31. You can also pay property taxes early, make an extra mortgage payment (the interest portion is deductible), pay you for their year-end tax-planning meetings or opt to have dental work or elective (deductible) surgery before the end of the year. Using a credit card is the same as using cash—the deduction is taken in the year the charge is incurred, not the year the credit card balance is paid off.

Plan the Timing of Charitable Giving – During your income tax preparation in you should plan the timing of charitable contributions, and the type of property contributed, to maximize the tax savings. Charitable contributions, along with other deductions, should be timed so as to occur in a year in which you will be in a higher marginal tax bracket. Only contributions actually made prior to year end are deductible. You should consider using a credit card to make year-end gifts and hold onto all receipts. To the extent possible, they should make contributions of appreciated publicly traded stock and other securities held for more than one year rather than cash. In most cases, the contribution of long-term, capital-gain property allows for a deduction equal to the fair-market value of the property contributed and avoids taxation of the appreciation. The exclusion of up to $100,000 from gross income for IRA distributions made directly to qualified charitable organizations is set to expire Dec. 31, 2011. The exclusion is available to taxpayers age 70 ½ or over and counts toward satisfying the donor’s annual Required Minimum Distribution. Qualified charitable distributions are not subject to the charitable deduction percentage limits, and because the distributions are not included in gross income, they do not increase AGI (Adjusted Gross Income, one’s total federal income less certain specified items allowed to be subtracted on the face of IRS Form 1040) for purposes of phaseouts and limitations of deductions, exclusions and tax credits. Donors whose state itemized deductions are limited, as well as those who do not itemize, may find this method of charitable giving especially valuable.

Consider Gifts to Children and Grandchildren – If you intend to make gifts to children (or other relatives), you should do it well before December 31 so that the checks clear. Gifts up to $13,000 per person need not be reported. However, if you have not made any gifts in 2011, you should consider making a gift of $13,000 at the end of 2011, and follow it up with another gift in January 2012. Such planning will permit the donor to benefit by investing both amounts at the beginning of 2012 and earn income on the principal for the entire year. Keep in mind that the lifetime exception for 2011 is a generous $5,000,000 and should be considered in your overall tax planning. In 2011, the exemption for Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) tax is $5 million. Therefore, gifts to “skip” persons (such as grandchildren) that exceed the $13,000 annual exclusion amount per person, will be excluded from GST tax if the total is under $5 million dollars. This is an effective way to transfer wealth and exclude such amounts from estate tax. Review prior Forms 709 (U.S. Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return) first to determine if any GST exemption has been used in prior years. Even if GST gifts were excluded in 2011, these gifts may still be subject to gift tax. A Tax Accountant in Miami should be consulted before GST gifts are made.

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Tax

Miami Accounting CPA List of 9 Top Tax Scams

Miami Accounting CPA issues a list of 9 Top Tax Scams on how to reduce tax liability 

Miami Accounting firms and taxpayers are to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to fraud.

The list of 9 Top Tax Scams, compiled by Miami Accounting Tax Services each year, lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter on how to reduce tax liability and other matters. But many of these schemes peak during Miami Accounting filing season as people are in the process of Income Tax Preparation in Miami.

“Miami Accounting Taxpayers should be careful and avoid falling into a trap with the Miami Accounting CPA today issued a list of 9 Top Tax Scam,” said Miami Accounting VieraCPA. “Scam artists (including some Miami Accounting Tax Preparers) will tempt people in-person, on-line and by e-mail with misleading promises about how to reduce tax liability and false refunds. Don’t be fooled by these scams.”

Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division works closely with the Department of Justice to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.
Hiding Income Offshore

Miami Accounting CPA’s are very cautious of individuals who have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities, using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access the funds. Others have employed foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities or insurance plans for the same purpose.

The IRS uses information gained from its investigations to pursue taxpayers with undeclared accounts, as well as the banks and Income Tax Preparation in Miami Accounting Firms suspected of helping clients hide their assets overseas. The IRS works closely with the Department of Justice to prosecute tax evasion cases.

While there are legitimate reasons for maintaining financial accounts abroad, there are reporting requirements that need to be fulfilled. U.S. taxpayers who maintain such accounts and who do not comply with reporting and disclosure requirements are breaking the law and risk significant penalties and fines, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution, according to Miami Accounting CPA Gustavo A Viera.

Since 2009, 30,000 individuals have come forward voluntarily to disclose their foreign financial accounts, taking advantage of special opportunities to bring their money back into the U.S. tax system and resolve their tax obligations. And, with new foreign account reporting requirements being phased in over the next few years, hiding income offshore will become increasingly more difficult.

At the beginning of this year, the Miami Accounting Firms warned clients IRS reopened the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) following continued strong interest from taxpayers and tax practitioners after the closure of the 2011 and 2009 programs. The IRS continues working on a wide range of international tax issues and follows ongoing efforts with the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecution of international tax evasion.  This program will be open for an indefinite period until otherwise announced.

The IRS has collected $3.4 billion so far from people who participated in the 2009 offshore program, reflecting closures of about 95 percent of the cases from the 2009 program. On top of that, the IRS has collected an additional $1 billion from upfront payments required under the 2011 program.  That number will grow as the IRS processes the 2011 cases.

“Free Money” from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security

Flyers and advertisements for free money from the IRS, suggesting that the taxpayer can do their Income Tax Preparation in Miami with little or no documentation, have been appearing in community churches around the country. These schemes are also often spread by word of mouth as unsuspecting and well-intentioned people tell their friends and relatives.

Miami Accounting Tax Service Scammers prey on low income individuals and the elderly. They build false hopes and charge people good money for bad advice. In the end, the victims discover their claims are rejected. Meanwhile, the promoters are long gone. The IRS warns all taxpayers to remain vigilant.

There are a number of tax scams involving Social Security. For example, Miami Accounting Tax Service scammers have been known to lure the unsuspecting with promises of non-existent Social Security refunds or rebates. In another situation, a taxpayer may really be due a credit or refund but uses inflated information to complete the return.

Beware. Intentional mistakes of this kind can result in a $5,000 penalty.

False/Inflated Income and Expenses

Including income that was never earned, either as wages or as self-employment income in order to maximize refundable credits, is another popular scam. Claiming income you did not earn or expenses you did not pay in order to secure larger refundable credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit could have serious repercussions when doing your Income Tax Preparation in Miami.  This could result in repaying the erroneous refunds, including interest and penalties, and in some cases, even prosecution.

Additionally, some taxpayers are filing excessive claims for the fuel tax credit. Farmers and other taxpayers who use fuel for off-highway business purposes may be eligible for the fuel tax credit. But other individuals have claimed the tax credit when their occupations or income levels make the claims unreasonable. Fraud involving the fuel tax credit is considered a frivolous tax claim and can result in a penalty of $5,000.

False Form 1099 Refund Claims

In this ongoing scam, the perpetrator files a fake information return, such as a Form 1099 Original Issue Discount (OID), to justify a false refund claim on a corresponding tax return. In some cases, individuals have made refund claims based on the bogus theory that the federal government maintains secret accounts for U.S. citizens and that taxpayers can gain access to the accounts by issuing 1099-OID forms to the IRS.

Don’t fall prey to Miami Accounting Services who encourage you to claim deductions or credits to which you are not entitled or willingly allow others to use your information to file false returns. If you are a party to such schemes, you could be liable for financial penalties or even face criminal prosecution.

Frivolous Arguments

Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe. Miami Accounting CPA’s have a list of frivolous tax arguments that taxpayers should avoid. These arguments are false and have been thrown out of court. While taxpayers have the right to contest their tax liabilities in court, no one has the right to disobey the law.

Falsely Claiming Zero Wages

Filing a phony information return is an illegal way to lower the amount of taxes an individual owes. Typically, a Form 4852 (Substitute Form W-2) or a “corrected” Form 1099 is used as a way to improperly reduce taxable income to zero. The taxpayer may also submit a statement rebutting wages and taxes reported by a payer to the IRS.

Sometimes, fraudsters even include an explanation on their Form 4852 that cites statutory language on the definition of wages or may include some reference to a paying company that refuses to issue a corrected Form W-2 for fear of IRS retaliation. Taxpayers should resist any temptation to participate in any variations of this scheme. Filing this type of return may result in a $5,000 penalty.

Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions

IRS examiners continue to uncover the intentional abuse of 501(c)(3) organizations, including arrangements that improperly shield income or assets from taxation and attempts by donors to maintain control over donated assets or the income from donated property. The IRS is investigating schemes that involve the donation of non-cash assets –– including situations in which several organizations claim the full value of the same non-cash contribution. Often these donations are highly overvalued or the organization receiving the donation promises that the donor can repurchase the items later at a price set by the donor. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 imposed increased penalties for inaccurate appraisals and set new standards for qualified appraisals.

Disguised Corporate Ownership

Third parties are improperly used to request employer identification numbers and form corporations that obscure the true ownership of the business.

These entities can be used to underreport income, claim fictitious deductions, avoid filing tax returns, participate in listed transactions and facilitate money laundering, and financial crimes. The IRS is working with state authorities to identify these entities and bring the owners into compliance with the law.

Misuse of Trusts

For years, unscrupulous promoters have urged taxpayers to transfer assets into trusts. While there are legitimate uses of trusts in tax and estate planning, some highly questionable transactions promise reduction of income subject to tax, deductions for personal expenses and reduced estate or gift taxes. Such trusts rarely deliver the tax benefits promised and are used primarily as a means of avoiding income tax liability and hiding assets from creditors, including the IRS.

IRS personnel have seen an increase in the improper use of private annuity trusts and foreign trusts to shift income and deduct personal expenses. As with other arrangements, taxpayers should seek the advice of a trusted professional before entering a trust arrangement.

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

Miami Income Tax Preparers Warn of Further Tax Refund Delay Problems

Miami Income Tax Preparers Warn of Further Tax Refund Delay Problems

Income Tax Preparers are having more problems with delayed 1040 tax preparation tax refunds.

Early in tax-filing season, Income Tax Preparers warned that taxpayers who had filed prior to January 26 might see delays of a week beyond the projected date shown in the online “Where’s My Refund” tool (see Miami Income Tax CPA Warns of Tax Refund Delays).

However, since February 15, the “Where’s My Refund” tool has displayed a message indicating further 1040 tax preparation delays. Income Tax Preparers Gustavo A Viera CPA is aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit ‘Where’s My Refund’ and are told that we have no information regarding their return,” said Income Tax Preparers CPA Gustavo Viera. “This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit ‘Where’s My Refund.’”

Part of the problem appears to be with the new 1040 tax preparation filters that the IRS installed this tax season to combat identity theft fraud, and which were blamed for causing the delays last month (see IRS Steps up Efforts to Combat Identity Theft Fraud).

Income Tax Preparers not to repeatedly call the agency to inquire about their refunds, but apparently many taxpayers are concerned about the delays, especially when they are getting mixed signals from the 1040 tax preparation “Where’s My Refund” tool.

“If a taxpayer received an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has the tax return even though ‘Where’s My Refund’ does not reflect that,” said the Tax Services Miami. “Miami Income Tax payers should not call the IRS unless specifically directed by ‘Where’s My Refund,’ as there is no new information to give them.”

The IRS apologized to 1040 tax preparation taxpayers for the situation and said most of the refunds would be issued within 21 days. “We expect the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued within the historical range of 10 to 21 days,” said the Income Tax Preparers. “The IRS is taking steps to update information so that Where’s My Refund has current information. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible.”

Income Tax Preparers Firms said that most of the delayed refunds were filed between February 2 and February 7, according to a local ABC News affiliate in Charleston, S.C. Other taxpayers were reporting delays of nearly a month, according to eCreditDaily.com.

When the IRS blocked tax refunds last year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service found that 75 percent of the taxpayers who complained to the service ultimately were found to be eligible for the blocked refunds, but taxpayers had to wait an average of nearly six months to receive them (see IRS Fraud Detection System Leads to Refund Delays). The average amount of the blocked refunds was upwards of $5,600.

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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
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
Accounting

What Accountant Miami Resume’s Should Look Like

What Accountant Miami Resume’s Should Look Like

If you’re an Accountant Miami in the market for an accounting job in Miami, you’ll have greater success if your resume contains accounting key words and specific accounting skills. Accountant Miami these days will have greater success if they are “Subject Matter Experts” (SME). As an Accountant Miami for over 25 years, I found my niche in the medical field. Our CPA Firm is one of a handful of Accountant Miami Firms that specialize in Medicare Cost Reports, AHCA Proof of Financial Ability reports, Medicaid Cost Reports and Home Healthcare Accounting.

An Accountant Miami should be able to:

  • First and foremost, ensure compliance with accounting and tax preparation deadlines
  • Make sure your accounting records can pass a financial audit
  • Create accounting budgets & forecast and perform gap analysis between the two
  • Manage payroll functions
  • Perform month-end accounting close
  • Reconcile sub-ledgers to the general ledger (A/P, A/R etc)
  • Prepare bank reconciliations
  • Prepare month end accounting journal entries
  • Maintain fixed assets depreciation schedule
  • Prepare financial statements

 The following skills (in no specific order) will give you the edge landing that accounting job:

  •  Excellent oral and written communications skills with the ability to articulate complex issues
  • Great boardroom presence (excellent presentation skills are invaluable)
  • Listen first, paraphrase to make sure you understand, then speak
  • Detail oriented, efficient and organized with the ability to execute on project
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills. Don’t point out problems unless you have the solutions
  • Highly trustworthy, ethical and discreet
  • Team player

Accountant Miami Background:

  • BA in Finance or Accounting
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or MBA will give you an edge over the competition
  • 3 to 5 years accounting experience in the industry
  • Big 3 Public Accounting experience is looks great, but not always required
  • Fluent in English and Spanish in Miami is a definite plus

It goes without saying that computer skills and knowledge of accounting software is a given these days.

Good luck!

 

Categories
Tax

Miami Tax Seven Tips to Avoid Phony Refund Schemes

Miami Tax Seven Tips to Avoid Phony Refund Schemes

Miami Tax offers the following seven tips to help taxpayers avoid during their 1040 tax preparation Miami and an emerging scheme tempting senior citizens and other taxpayers to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.

Miami Tax firm Gustavo A Viera CPA state these schemes promise refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a requirement to do a 1040 tax preparation Miami.

Miami Tax firm Gustavo A Viera CPA warns that promoters claim they can obtain for their victims, often senior citizens, a tax refund on their 1040 tax preparation Miami or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college.

Miami Tax CPA warns con artists falsely claim that refunds are available even if the victim went to school decades ago. In many cases, scammers are targeting seniors, people with very low incomes and members of church congregations with bogus promises of free money.

A variation of this scheme also falsely claims the college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries when preparing their 1040 tax preparation Miami.

These schemes can be quite costly for victims. Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns promoters may charge exorbitant upfront fees to file their 1040 tax preparation Miami and claims and are often long gone when victims discover they’ve been scammed.

Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns taxpayers should be careful of these scams because, regardless of who did the 1040 tax preparation Miami, the taxpayer is legally responsible for the accuracy of their tax return and must repay any refunds received in error, plus any penalties and interest. They may even face criminal prosecution.

Miami Tax

Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns to avoid becoming ensnared in these schemes, the IRS says taxpayers should beware of any of the following:

Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits.

  • Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches.
  • Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit social security numbers.
  • Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
  • Offers of free money with no documentation required.
  • Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
  • Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic stimulus payments.
  • Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund.
  • Unfamiliar return preparation firms soliciting business from cities outside of the normal business or commuting area.

In recent weeks, the IRS has identified and stopped an upsurge of these bogus refund claims coming in from across the United States. The IRS is actively investigating the sources of this scheme, and its promoters can be subject to criminal prosecution.

To get the facts on tax benefits related to education, go the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center on the IRS website.

Categories
Accounting

The Power of Virtual Accounting Services

The Power of Virtual Accounting Services

As an Accounting Services Miami provider we’ve seen the coming to age of cloud computing has brought about a large number of commercial opportunities and efficiencies available to the business community, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). One of the opportunities and efficiencies is virtual accounting services in Miami or, as some protagonists like to put it – cloud accounting is one of the strong emerging service offerings. What started as a theoretical computing possibility is indeed a reality today.

Accounting services have progressed from the days when it was considered a specialized and an awkwardly difficult task, fraught with illogical principles that undermine business freedom. Accounting software packages such as QuickBooks and Peachtree have made very useful contributions in reducing the difficulty of day-to-day accounting, but these accounting software programs appeared to add to the learning curve and accessibility is limited to the computer system that they are installed on.

Some rather slick and simpler solutions accounting services are emerging in the market based on cloud computing principles. The ability to access your books of accounts and useful performance reports at anytime and from anyplace with internet connectivity and the simplicity of use that virtual or cloud accounting solutions bring has accelerated the uptake. Users are instantly amazed at how easily they have been able to manage their books with the part time assistant of an Accounting Services working remotely. This brings additional opportunities of efficiency and reduced errors.

Mr. Viera, managing partner of Accounting Services Miami provider states “clearly, the economic benefits of virtual accounting services

Significantly outstrip its costs by several multiples. Like most shared services, the installation, support and maintenance costs are spread across the number of users bringing the unit costs down over time”. The commoditization of accounting services as an anytime and anyplace service has been helped in no small measure by advances in telecommunications. Significant improvement in wired and wireless communication bandwidth, the ubiquitous WIFI access and the smart phone revolution, have made virtual Accounting Services the best solution for SMEs.

Whilst technology and the growth of personal wealth have delivered a range of possibilities, it is not an excuse for carelessness. Accounting Services is no less a serious matter than it was 50 years ago. Diligence is still required to ensure that accounts reflect a true and fair view. The level of regulatory scrutiny and the keenness of tax authorities to grow national revenue in the challenging economic circumstances of today cannot be over emphasized. Users of virtual accounting services in Miami must ensure that their records are accurate and complete. At Accounting Services Miami we maintain an eye on your books monthly to ensure accurate and timely reporting.

Simple steps to harnessing such strengths include:

1. Using reminders to plan their accounting and administrative tasks including invoicing, bank reconciliation and updating the books account.

2. Using the invoicing and chaser facilities (e.g. email reminders) on virtual accounting solutions to manage their business operations and working capital.

3. Accessing their account reports regularly either directly or through part time accountants to ensure that the books reflect what they expect.

4. Regularly using the various reports and aids e.g. working capital ratios, sales and profit graphs, that virtual accounting solutions instantly generate to make business decisions

5. Utilizing the account closure and financial statement generating facilities and tax filing plug-ins to generate their accounts for regulatory and tax filing purposes.

6. Keep your password strong, safe and secure

7. Don’t go it alone. Hire our Miami CPA Firm to assist you. Unless you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you’re going to run into trouble. Fixing the mess cost more than maintaining it on a regular basis.

The simple steps help ensure that business are well controlled and that regulatory and your CPA will ensure tax preparation obligations are met in a timely manner.

Overall, the virtual Accounting Services promise appears to have been delivered.

Have you been having trouble finding a cost effective solution to address your accounting, payroll and tax needs? Would you like to improve company’s control over your regulatory obligations and financial performance monitoring? Are your accounts in order and are you compliant with the array of regulatory requirements? How would you like to have 100% access to your up-to-date accounts and statutory information anytime, anywhere at the click of your mouse? Visit http://quickbooksonline.intuit.com/finance-accounting-solutions  for a FREE 30-day trial of QuickBooks Pro accounting software.