November 29, 2012
As 2012 comes to a close, we wish you all SEASONS GREETINGS from Schutte & Hilgendorf, and thank you for your loyalty to our firm and for your referrals. We wish you all the best for your business and family in 2013.
We encourage you to have our firm calculate the expected taxable income or loss of your business and determine if there is anything that can be done to reduce any tax liability for 2012. This is important if your business net income is significantly different from 2011.
We also take this opportunity to pass on some tax information that will affect (or could affect) your business in 2012 and 2013.
Section 179 Deduction- In 2012, your business can deduct up to $139,000 of Section 179 property placed in service during the year, subject to certain limitations. Section 179 property is tangible personal property for use in your business, but does not include land or buildings. TIP – it is advantageous to time equipment purchases in the last half of the year – your cash flow is increased and you get the same benefit in depreciation for the year whether you purchase in January or December.
As current laws are written, for 2013, Section 179 deduction will be limited to $25,000. If you are anticipating any large equipment purchases in the near future, it may be wise to make those purchases in 2012. Vehicles have their own special limits – depending on the type of vehicle.
Bonus depreciation – A 50% additional first-year depreciation deduction is available for qualified property placed in service in 2012. As of right now, this is set to go away in 2013.
HEALTH INSURANCE CREDIT
If your small business qualifies, you may be eligible for a tax credit for providing health insurance coverage for your employees. The rules are a complex, so if you may be considering this, please contact us.
WORK OPPORTUNITY CREDIT
For 2012, this credit is available only in the case of qualified veterans that your business hires by 12/31/12. This is set to expire in 2013.
BUSINESS MILEAGE RATES
Mileage rate for business for 2012 is 55.5 cents per mile. The IRS has announced this rate is going up to 56.5 cents for 2013.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FOR ARIZONA
As of January 1, 2013, the minimum wage increases to $7.80 per hour. This must be met for all hourly employees, except for certain tipped employees.
If you accept credit card payments for services, the credit card issuers will be issuing 1099-K’s to you in January for payments received in 2012. While the IRS has relaxed some rules they originally imposed, they will be watching that total revenues reported for tax purposes are equal to or above the amount reported on the 1099-K’s. We will require you bring those forms to us that you receive so we can verify revenue reported. This will avert future notices from the IRS of unreported income.
We also recently sent those of you that it might apply to, a letter requesting you get a W-9 completed from all your vendors. This also is to avert IRS notices. The IRS is increasing its enforcement of having these completed forms on file.
HIRE YOUR SPOUSE AND SET UP A HSA
Health Savings Accounts can be a big benefit not only for the health insurance benefits, but also as a deduction for your business. If your spouse is not employed outside the home or does not have an employer health plan to take advantage of there are options for you.
Studies have shown in this electronic age, very few people consult the Yellow Pages for business referrals. Spend that money on a website and use more social media to advertise to get more “bang for your buck”.
As each business is unique, this is only a brief review of some tax savings ideas. If you think any of these tips can be beneficial or required for your business, give us a call or email to discuss in more detail. Visit our website often www.prescottaccountants.com for more articles and tips posted regularly.
Schutte & Hilgendorf, PLLC
2011 YEAR END TAX CONSIDERATIONS AND PLANNING
FOR YOUR BUSINESS
The Holidays are here and that brings us thoughts of sugarplums and year-end close for your business. Below are some items for you to consider.
PURCHASE OF BUSINESS EQUIPMENT:
Qualifying new property placed in service before December 31 can be written off under 100% bonus depreciation. The bonus rate is scheduled to fall to 50% in 2012.
Section 179 depreciation applies to new or used equipment that can also be written off 100% up to a $500,000 purchase cost. This phases out after $2,000,000 of total qualifying purchases. Section 179 expensing will still be available in 2012, but the limits will be much lower.
As in previous years there are special rules and limits for vehicle purchases, so contact us if you have questions regarding those.
The qualifying equipment can be purchased on credit and expensed in 2011 as long as it is placed in service before year end.
IMPROVEMENTS ON YOUR BUSINESS REAL PROPERTY:
There are a variety of energy–related incentives that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. If you have, or are still considering some energy efficient improvements to your commercial building such as lighting, heating, cooling, and hot water systems this could be beneficial. There are certain standards that must be met to qualify.
VEHICLE USE EXPENSE IN YOUR BUSINESS:
A mileage log is required to prove your business-mile percentage if you use the vehicle for personal use or for commuting to work. This is required whether you use the standard mileage rate or actual vehicle expense, (i.e. gas, repair, etc). A value for personal mileage on a business vehicle needs to be calculated and added to your W-2 as an “auto fringe”. Call us for details or to calculate the personal value.
OFFICER WAGES AND HEALTH INSURANCE:
S-Corporation owners MUST pay themselves a reasonable wage and issue a W-2 to themselves. A “reasonable wage” is often described as what you would have to pay someone else to do your job. If you have taken “draws” out of the company this year and no wages, call us to reclassify an amount to wages and calculate payroll taxes on the amount. These payroll taxes must be paid by January 15, 2012 to avoid interest and penalties.
As a business owner, your personal health insurance premiums paid through the business should be added to your W-2 and thus deducted in full on your personal return– if they are not added to your W-2, the deduction is not a business deduction and will be taken on Schedule A- Itemized Deductions subject to the 7.5% medical adjustment. Call us for more information on how to handle this for maximum tax benefit.
HEALTH CARE TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYEES
If you pay any portion of health insurance premiums for employees you may be eligible for a credit on your tax return. There are eligibility requirements and the credit is limited to those who have 25 or fewer employees with average income of $50,000 or less. If you think you may qualify for this credit, contact us for more information.
The HIRE ACT, passed in 2010, provided credit for employers for each new person hired between February 4, 2010 and December 31, 2010 who had been unemployed for 60 consecutive days prior to hiring. The payroll tax credit was given on payroll taxes paid in 2010, but an additional credit is allowed if this employee was employed by you for the following consecutive 52 weeks. The additional credit is allowed to be taken on the 2011income tax return if this requirement is met. If this applies to your company, be sure to let us know.
As of January 1, 2012, Arizona minimum wage will increase to $7.65. This amount is higher than the Federal minimum; however, Arizona employers must follow the Arizona statute.
THINGS TO DO:
Start gathering your business receipts, update your mileage logs, and tally up your income and expenses for the year. Remember to note the business reason for any travel, meals, and entertainment expenses on your receipts. If this is an over-whelming task for you, call us for help. We do provide this service at an hourly fee.
If you have employees, make sure you have up-to-date information on them – W-4 and A-4’s for deductions, addresses, name change if married/divorced during the year, and verify you have the correct Social Security number before you issue the W-2’s. If you pay year-end bonuses, be sure to add the amount to the W-2 and calculate and pay the additional payroll tax.
If you paid service providers/subcontractors over $600 during the year, make sure you have current addresses and a business EIN # or Social Security number for them. You must issue a 1099-MISC form to them by January 31. This also includes anyone you paid rent to if the amount is $600 or above. If you need assistance in this area give us a call.
We hope that this year was a prosperous one for your business. Call us before year-end at 928-778-0079 if you need an updated estimate of tax liability and to discuss any tax planning considerations.
Remember the filing deadline for Corporations and S-Corporations is March 15 – personal and Partnership returns is April 15.
This tip brought to you by Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPA’s, a Prescott firm serving the greater Yavapai County, providing audit, accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, Quickbooks accounting and setup to individuals and small businesses.
Contact us for a free initial consultation 928-778-0079
For December 2011
Customer Refunds: Are You Doing Them Right?
Refunds. You probably wince at the word. Some – like customer refunds for returns – are fairly uncomplicated, thanks to QuickBooks’ tools. Others, not so much. You may find yourself unable to balance your accounts receivable.
There are numerous scenarios that necessitate the use of credit memos, including overpayment, order cancellations and bad debt write-off. It’s critical that these are entered correctly. If they aren’t, you may lose a lot of the time that QuickBooks helped you save as you try to chase down a few dollars.
Click here for the Dec 2011 QuickBooks Tip
This tip brought to you by Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs, a Prescott CPA firm serving the greater Yavapai County, provides auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, and QuickBooks consulting and setup to individuals and small busienesses. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 928-778-0079
QuickBooks Tips And Tricks: Make it Yours
No matter which version of QuickBooks you’re using, there are always ways to make your workday easier. As with any software, we tend to learn the features we need and not much more. But small changes in the way you operate can add up to significant time savings and more accurate files. If you jumped into QuickBooks without a thorough introduction, consider these tips.
Click here for the November 2011 QuickBooks Tip
This tip brought to you by Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs, a Prescott firm serving the greater Yavapai County, provides auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, and QuickBooks consulting and setup to individuals and small busienesses. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 928-778-0079 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 928-778-0079
September 2011 QuickBooks Tip:
Classes or Types? When To Use Them
QuickBooks’ standard reports are critical to understanding your company’s past, present, and future. But the program also offers innovative tools that can make them significantly more insightful and comprehensive.
QuickBooks offers two simple conventions that let you identify related data: classes and types. Classes are used in transactions. Types are assigned to individual customers, vendors, and jobs.
click on the link below for more detailed information on this topic:
This tip brought to you by Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs, a Prescott firm serving the greater Yavapai County, provides auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, and QuickBooks consulting and setup to individuals and small busienesses. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 928-778-0079
Attached is your July 2011 issue of the QBC in WORD.
For July 2011
Add/Edit Multiple List Entries Simplifies Record Changes
Data entry and modifications in QuickBooks can be tedious. Beginning with QuickBooks 2010 Pro Edition and above, that job got a lot easier. The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries tool does just what its name implies: It lets you add entries to your lists of customers, vendors, services, inventory parts, and non-inventory parts. It also makes changing one or several of them quick and easy.
Click on the link below for more detailed instructions:
July 2011 QuickBooks Tip
This tip brought to you by Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs, serving the greater Yavapai County, provides accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, and QuickBooks consulting and setup to individuals and small busienesses. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 928-778-0079
For June 2011
Job-Tracking Adds Precision to Your QuickBooks Company
Does your business have clients whose work sometimes requires multiple steps drawn out over weeks or months, like remodeling projects or court cases? If so, and you’re not using QuickBooks’ Jobs features, you’re missing out on the opportunity to track and evaluate the financial impact of these complex tasks.
You can, of course, just send an invoice out to these customers. But if you do, you’re not taking advantage of what QuickBooks’ job tools can do. If you create and track these projects faithfully, you’ll have valuable insight that you wouldn’t otherwise.
Click on the link below for more detailed instructions:
June 2011 QuickBooks Tip
This tip provided to you courtesy of Schutte & Hilgendorf, a Prescott and Yavapai County CPA firm providing accounting, QuickBooks training, tax planning and preparation, audits and other financial services to individuals, businesses, non-profits, and homeowners associations.
Every month, we provide information on how to better use QuickBooks. By implementing
the best methods for managing your accounting data, you can actually improve your financial bottom line.
But all of your careful work is for naught if a malicious hacker gets into your computers, or if you.
experience identity theft by an employee. Social security and credit card numbers, home phone numbers
and addresses, an excruciatingly detailed profile of your company – all can be lost in the time it takes to
realize that it’s gone.
Click on the link below for this months QuickBooks Tip:
May QuickBooks Tip: Are Your QuickBooks Company Files Tamper-Proof?
Click on the link below for this months QuickBooks Tip:
April 2011 QuickBooks Tip: Using Sales Orders
Sales Orders in QuickBooks: Why? When? How?
There aren’t that many different types of forms to keep straight in QuickBooks, but you likely don’t use all of them. You probably use invoices and purchase orders frequently, and may fill out the occasional sales receipt or credit memo or estimate.
But what about sales orders? You may find that they could make your bookkeeping more accurate and easier. There are only a few situations where they’re needed, but they’re the appropriate form to use at those times.
Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs, serving the greater Yavapai County, provides accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, and QuickBooks consulting and setup to individuals and small busienesses. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 928-778-0079.
Published by the AICPA:
2011 Tax Saving Tips for Small Businesses
If you have questions related to any of these tax saving tips, please call us at Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs. serving the greater Yavapai County. We have over 40 years combined experience with small business accounting, bookkeeping. and tax planning and preparation. We are certified QuickBooks Proadvisors and may also be able to help you setup or clean-up your QuickBooks files for the filing season.
Schutte & Hilgendorf is located in the Crossings at 3140 Stillwater Drive, Ste. A, Prescott, AZ 86305. Or call to setup a free inital consultation at 928-778-0079. Ask for Gidget Schutte or Lois Hilgendorf.