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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Olympians Pay Tax on Medals

Olympic Medalists Pay Tax on Medals 

Olympic medal winners must report the value of the medals as income on their US tax returns.  Gold medals are worth an estimated $600, silver medals an estimated $300 and bronze medals a mere $4. In addition to the medals, Olympic athletes also receive a cash prize.  Gold medal winners receive $25,000, silver medal winners receive $15,000 and bronze medal winners receive $10,000.  Uncle Sam wants his share of the winnings.  
good tax accountant can possibly reduce the winner's tax burden.  If the athletes consider their Olympic career a business, they can deduct certain business expenses.  Possible deductions may include the cost of training, athletic equipment and travel, to name a few.  If the athlete considers his or her sport a hobby, he or she may be entitled to deduct expenses as Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions on Schedule A.

Sandra G. Johnson, CPA
August 18, 2016

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

7 Tips to Better Bookkeeping for Your Business

7 Tips to Better Bookkeeping for Your Business

Good bookkeeping habits can help you and your business grow.

1. Get a professional to prepare your tax returns.  A good accountant will do more than file your returns.   They can spot holes in your bookkeeping and advise you on ways to improve your business.

2. Don’t step back and become uninvolved just because you have a bookkeeper and accountant.  Make sure you review their work.  Do the reports that they are issuing make sense to you and your business?

3. Make sure you have the right bookkeeping software.  Look for a system that matches your business needs and has an ease of use to you and your staff.

4. Document your bookkeeping processes.  Write down the procedures your bookkeeper should follow.  Make sure the job is done your way – a way that works best for you and your business.

5. Be sure to keep all of your receipts for your cash expenses.  Your credit card purchases can always be accounted for but if you lose a receipt for something you paid cash for the expense can be overlooked.  You should have a procedure for saving these receipts- notebooks to record them, folders to save them in or even a new app that helps you take pictures of them and stores them for future reference!  Try www.igeeksblog.com which list a few apps.

6. Keep track of your receivables.  Make sure you are getting paid for your invoices.  Keep either a detailed log or use a bookkeeping software that helps you keep track of invoices, payments and overdue amounts.

7. Work as a team with your accountant.  They can be a key to guiding your business on the right path and spotting potential problems before they arise.  A good accountant can help you bring your business to the next level.

Good practices bring good results!

By Chris Murphy, Senior Accounting Manager

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Steps to Take if You Suspect Identity Theft

Steps to Take if You Suspect Identity Theft

In May of this year, the IRS became the latest target of hackers, who accessed more than 100,000 taxpayer accounts.  How can you protect yourself if you suspect your identity is threatened?

The IRS recommends taking these steps:

1. File a police report.

2. Go to https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

3. Contact one of the following credit bureaus to place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit report:
Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289

4. Contact your banks and credit card issuer and close any accounts that have been opened without your authorization.

5. Contact Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov to create an account and check your earnings statement annually.

6. If you suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, respond immediately to any IRS notice, calling the number provided.  (Note that the IRS will contact you via US mail, NOT phone or email!)

7. Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Access form and mailing instructions here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf

8. Continue filing and paying your taxes, even if you must file by paper.

By: Honorine M. Campisi, Senior Tax Manager