206 Pettit Avenue Bellmore, NY 11710
516-409-1120

Monday, August 18, 2014

Can I Deduct My Home Office?

If you've ever worked from home, you've probably asked your CPA this question.   Most clients think that they can take a deduction if they have ever worked from home.  The truth is, the IRS has very specific guidelines to determine who may qualify for a home office deduction.

The two basic requirements are:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use – Part of your home must be used solely for business on a regular basis.  If you use the space for both personal and business purpose then you cannot claim that space as your office.  For example, if you work from your kitchen table, that space will probably not qualify for exclusive use for business!

2. Principal Place of Business – Your home office will meet the principal place of business requirement if you regularly use it exclusively for administration or management of your business and you use no other fixed location for similar purposes.  Administrative activities can include billing, keeping books and records, ordering supplies, setting up appointments, placing orders.

Monday, August 11, 2014

NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION NEWS!

Governor Cuomo has passed the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act which takes effect as of July 1, 2014.  There are 10 key changes that all Nonprofits should know about!

  1. All nonprofit organizations with 20 or more employees and annual revenue of $1 million must adopt a whistleblower policy.
  2. All Nonprofits must have a conflict of interest policy.
  3. There are specific steps that must be taken before entering into a related party transaction.
  4.  Board of Directors cannot be influenced when making compensation decisions by those being compensated.
  5.  If your organization is required to file an independent audit report you must have an audit committee to oversee this process.
  6. The guidelines for when an audit report is required have changed.  Organizations with Gross Revenue greater than $500,000 now require an audit.  This is an increase from revenues of $250,000.   In 2017 it will increase again to $750,000 and in 2021 it will increase to $1 million.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Weddings and Taxes

Summer is a popular season for weddings, and a wedding means changes in your tax situation.  So after the honeymoon, you should take some time to think about what your recent wedding means for your taxes.

Filing Status
Even if you are planning to wed on New Year’s Eve, if you are married on December 31, the IRS considers you married for the whole year!  That limits your filing choices to either married filing jointly or married filing separately.  Married couples who file separately lose out on many tax breaks.  Most of our clients have a lower tax bill if they file jointly.

Changing your Name?
If you plan to change your name after marriage, make sure Social Security knows about it!  Avoid problems when you file your tax return with your new name.  Complete and file Form SS-5 – Application for a Social Security Card with your new name.  Get the form from your local Social Security Office or go to www.SSA.gov to download it online.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why is My Tax Refund Less Than My Friend’s?

This is a question that clients ask their CPA’s every year.  While it does seem unfair that your co-worker who says he earns the same as you and claims the same withholding status and exemptions as you, gets a bigger refund every year –there are many reasons why this happens.  When you look at all the pieces of information that go into a tax return, it is easier to see that no two situations are ever really the same.

Your salary and withholding tax are only two pieces of a much bigger puzzle.  Income, deductions, number of exemptions, tax credits, phase-out of exemptions, deductions and credits, as well as withholding and estimated tax payments, are all factors in determining the amount of your refund or (gasp!) the amount you owe the government at year end. 

First, your annual income tax calculation starts with ALL sources of taxable income for the year.  In addition to your weekly paycheck, this can include your spouse’s salary, interest, dividends, capital gains or losses, unemployment, retirement distributions, social security, rental income, small business income, cancelled debts, alimony, gambling winnings, and even bribes!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sandra G. Johnson, CPA accepted to 10,000 Small Businesses

For Immediate Release

Bellmore, NY – July 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Sandy Johnson has been selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses leadership program.  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services.* Sandy and her contemporaries will attend classes at LaGuardia Community College in this extensive four month program. 

To date only 2,519 entrepreneurs in the US have been chosen to participate.  This nationwide program currently operates in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.  In June 2014, it was announced that former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will join Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett and Dr. Michael Porter as co-chair of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council.*

Sandy is looking forward to the education and opportunities that will be afforded her as a result of participating in 10,000 Small Businesses.

*Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/US/