Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Work-From-Home Deductions You Might Have Missed

You must pay your Federal and State Income Taxes every year, or every quarter. Avoiding paying your taxes, could get you in big trouble with the IRS. It's against the law to evade taxes whether you work from home or not. You need a general excise tax license if you work from home as well, you can pay monthly, quarterly, annually and you can do so online. Your tax rate will depend on what you earned, where you live and is based as well on whatever the federal tax rate is. Ranging from 10-35%. You will need a Schedule C for if you are self-employed which has all the places to deduct work from home expenses.

Some of the best deductions to claim if you work from home include:
1) Medical Insurance - One hundred percent of health insurance costs can be deducted for self and family. This will decrease income tax, but not the SE tax (Schedule SE is social security and medicare). The only way to reduce SE is to hire your spouse and get medical coverage under him or her.

2) Home Office - If you use a regular part of your home as office space and/or to meet with clients, this space can be a deduction on your taxes. The expenses of the home office that can be deducted include: a portion of your real estate taxes, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, insurance, home repairs and painting, and depreciation. These deductions are based on a percentage of the home being used for the business, and it does reduce SE income.

3) Open a Retirement Plan - Two of the best plans to open, where you can contribute up to 20 percent of your income is the Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) and Keogh Plan.

4) Hire Your Children - You can hire your children to do routine work, such as answering the phone, running copies, doing business errands, setting up appointments, and cleaning of office space. Their wages can be deducted from the Schedule C Form, as it is most likely to be non-taxable income to your child. This will also decrease your tax bill in the movement of taxable income from you, as the parent, to your child's non-taxable income.

5) Mileage - Any time you have to use your personal vehicle for business-related travel, such as meeting a client or running errands, it is a deductible expense. The current rates for the first half of 2011 were 51 cents per mile, and the second half of the year's rate is 55.5 cents per mile. Any parking fees or toll fees are also tax deductible.

6) Office Supplies/Equipment - Any items purchased to run your home business is tax deductible. Pens, paper, envelopes, etc. are deductible, including equipment such as computers, copiers, and fax machines. Also, your telephone or cell phone is also a deduction. A percentage is deductible if it is also used for personal business. It is 100 percent deductible if the phone is designated for business calls only.

7) Traveling - All business travel is 100 percent deductible. You can even add a few days of vacation on to a business trip, and it will still be 100 percent deductible as long as the business days are longer than the vacation days. All travel costs, including lodging, hotel tips, and 50 percent of meals, are deductible.

There are many benefits to being your own boss and running your business from home. With this luxury of working from home, comes the responsibility to pay your taxes and know what items can be a lawful deduction to help you prosper in your business.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

QuickBooks Training Is Best When It Is One-On-One

Once QuickBooks is set-up and working properly, we can train you or your employees to properly operate QuickBooks specifically for your business.

Why choose one-on-one attention instead of taking a class?

We come to your location.

We focus on the individual issues facing your business.

We will be there to answer your specific questions and concerns.

No need to spend time on features that don?t impact your business!

Call today to set-up an appointment.

We will come to your location!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 Reasons Why You Should Use QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the ideal business accounting software for small to mid-sized business owners. Here's 10 reasons why you should be using QuickBooks.

1. You save time on bookkeeping and paperwork because many of simple bookkeeping tasks are handled automatically making it easier to run your business.

2. You can easily generate the reports with the information you need, so you always know where your business stands. You instantly know whether you're making money and whether your business is healthy.

3. You save money because QuickBooks is so affordable. You can use it to run a $5 million or a $25 million business for a few hundred bucks. PC accounting software is truly one of the great bargains in business.

4. Your business can grow with QuickBooks. QuickBooks will help you design a business plan to use when trying to secure a small business loan or line of credit or to plan for the future. QuickBooks will create a projected balance sheet, profit and loss statement and statement of cash flows in the format recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

5. You can customize QuickBooks to work the way you want. QuickBooks is specifically designed to be flexible and adaptable to a wide range of small businesses. To broaden its appeal, QuickBooks has recently added customized accounting packages for Contractors, Retailers, Health Care Professionals, and Non-Profit organizations.

6. You can rest assured knowing that QuickBooks is a stable, reliable and proven product. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout the world have chosen QuickBooks as their accounting software. You can't go wrong with a software program with such an extensive installed user base.

7. You save typing time and errors by sharing data between QuickBooks and over 100 business applications. You can even share data with popular programs, such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and ACT.

8. You will get paid faster with QuickBooks online payments. E-mail an invoice or statement and with QuickBooks Online Billing, your customer can easily pay you with a credit card or bank account transfer. No more waiting for the check in the mail!

9. You can easily accept Credit Cards. With QuickBooks Merchant Account Service, you can accept credit cards with ease. QuickBooks Merchant Account Service is the only credit card acceptance service integrated with QuickBooks software, which means you don't have to enter the same data twice. No additional software or hardware is required. Your customers can use Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

10. You can pay your bills and bank online. Setup your current bank account in QuickBooks, and you're ready to pay your bills without licking envelopes, sticking stamps, or printing paper checks. Just write checks in QuickBooks as you normally would, then click a button and your participating bank does the rest! Pay anyone in the U.S. from your credit card companies to your pizza service. Online Banking also lets you download your monthly statement from your participating bank directly into QuickBooks for easier reconciliation.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Welcome to 2012, and Another Tax Season

Another year has gone by. And yes, again there have been changes to the tax laws for 2011. Remember we are available year-round to help you find tax and financial solutions to your everyday questions. We are more than number crunchers. We are people who care about you and your desires to improve your tax and financial picture. Our goal is to grow and have a mutually satisfying and long-lasting relationship with you. We thank you for your continued business. We appreciate and invite new clients through your referrals to friends, family and business associates, and we will continue to reward you for your efforts.

Call us at 707-745-1040 to make an appointment to discuss your tax needs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little History About ATS Tax & Financial Solutions

ATS was first conceived on the 4th of July 1985 in the historic Benicia City Park. On this day, numerous towns people came together to picnic in the park, enjoy the entertainment in the gazebo and wait for the waterfront fireworks that night. Among the many picnickers were a few members of a local church discussing some community needs. Out of this small group of friends arose the subject of needing a local full-time tax office. At that time both Frank and Sylvia Barata were employed as tax specialists with the IRS and intrigued by the idea of fulfilling this need. Within a few weeks Sylvia chose to leave her ten year IRS career and take on the challenge while Frank kept a foothold at the IRS. With the financial support of Gene and Nancy Duplin, active ATS partners for the first two years, an office was secured in August and the Benicia phone number 745-1040 was captured.

Unlike many established tax practices, ATS had no clients. By way of advertising via mailers, articles, commercials, live radio call-in talk programs and many personal presentation, ATS began to grow. Many of the first-comers are still with us today and we continue to strengthen our relationships. The confidence, trust and loyalty portrayed by ATS clients, old and new, is an affirmation that the idea conceived on July 4th 1985 was a true inspiration and reminder of our original purpose.

ATS has become a growing family serving clients coast to coast. Over the years, the clients have dubbed the title of "Tax Angel" upon the ATS preparers and staff. The angels continue to live up to this status. Although thousands of tax law changes have been enacted and boggled the minds of many, ATS continues to remain true and loyal to its clients by providing quality tax services.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our First Blog Post

We all have to start somewhere, so here is our first blog post on our brand new blog!

We hope to bring you some timely tips and interesting information very soon. Thanks for stopping by.