Latest News on Denver Accounting & Taxes

Denver Tax Specialist Explains Itemized and Standard Deductions


October 11, 2017

When filing your income taxes one of the most common questions for individuals involves itemizing or taking the Internal Revenue Service allowable standard deduction. Depending on your specific tax situation a wrong choice could have definite implications either costing you, especially in the pocketbook, or benefiting your return. Before deciding, knowing what the results of each possible scenario could be and making the correct decision will be extremely important. Also, just because you choose to take a standard deduction most of the time doesn’t mean itemizing couldn’t help, it all just depends on each individual situation and what has taken place in the prior year that could have a tax implication.

Prior to making a decision, let’s look first at what each choice entails and when, most commonly, each is applied.

Standard Deduction

The IRS defines the standard deduction as, “a dollar amount that reduces the amount of income on which you are taxed and varies according to your filing status; there is also an additional standard deduction for individuals who are blind or age 65 or over.” Anyone who takes the standard deduction automatically becomes ineligible for itemizing and vice versa.

For the 2017 tax year, applicable during the upcoming 2018 filing season, the standard deduction is as follows depending on your filing status:

Single - $6,350
Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouse - $12,700
Married Filing Separately - $6,350
Head of Household - $9,350

Each of these amounts is increased over the 2016 tax year for all filing qualifications.

Itemized Deduction

Itemized deductions are monies spent which may equal more than the allowable standard deduction and can be utilized by individuals or couples if the tax implications are beneficial. For example, if a person filing single can show more than the standard deduction in various expenses then choosing to itemize could prove beneficial.

Some of the expenditures which are allowable in an itemized return are: mortgage interest, real estate and personal property taxes, gifts to charities, theft losses and unreimbursed medical expenses.

Only about one-third of filed tax returns are itemized because typically the standard deduction is enough to cover the tax implications in most cases. However, for those individuals or couples who fall into the one-third of needed itemization the capability to itemize a return can prove beneficial.

Come see the experts at Bloch, Rothman, and Associates who can help you decide which deduction method is best for you and answer any other questions regarding individual or business income taxes while assisting with a variety of bookkeeping options. A full detailed review of your tax situation can be completed in addition to resolution issues and estate compilations. All services, including free of charge E-filing options will be completed in a timely manner, depending on your restrictions and possible tax deadlines. Whether you need a simple explanation on a random tax form or are in need of a variety of other services our tax experts are ready and willing to assist. Call 303-321-7160 or contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.
Read More...

Denver Tax Preparation and the Benefits of Electronic Filing


October 4, 2017

Tax preparation and filing can often seem like a daunting task whether you’re filing for one, a family, or an entire company. Often a slow process involving increasing paperwork yearly, ensuring you have everything properly completed, together, and ready for submission to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be a painstaking process.

History of E-File

Fortunately, the IRS helped to rectify this situation not too long ago and now almost every tax return can be electronically filed. Instead of rushing to the post office on April 15 in an effort to have your return postmarked and mailed before closing time, you can now opt to have returns filed electronically by licensed professionals.

Electronic filing (E-file) dates back to the mid 1980’s, when the increasing amount of paperwork required to be kept on hand for both preparers and the IRS grew too large. Upkeep and cost to secure all of the required documentation was growing increasingly expensive and something needed to be done.

For these reasons much of the information began to transition from hard copies to electronically stored information. At the time, servers and computers used to hold information were still considerably larger than they are today but much smaller than cumbersome boxes and file cabinets needed to house paperwork for every person and company in America.

As a result, the ability to e-file returns was birthed and by 1990 the IRS rolled out the procedure nation wide. To date, over 1 billion returns have been electronically filed in addition to the IRS allowing refunds to be directly deposited into bank accounts, as opposed to waiting for a check in the mail.

Eliminating the wait on both the filing and refund process to take place over the weeks and sometimes months time period associated with paper filing became an immediate draw to the program from both consumers and professionals. This aspect along with other benefits are why both the taxpayer and IRS benefit from electronic filing.

Further, associates can provide evidence of a submission within minutes or hours instead of being left without proof of filing a return. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of all documentation filed electronically noting the date and time of file.

If any errors are detected, a failed receipt will be displayed along with a notification for the error. Often the mistake can be immediately corrected and a successful submission entered within minutes. In the past, three or four days would pass before the error was noticed on paper, then the return would be sent back, corrections made and resent. A past process that took weeks can now be completed in mere minutes if needed.

Come see the experts at Bloch, Rothman, and Associates who can E-file your return and answer any questions regarding individual or business income taxes while assisting with a variety of bookkeeping options. A full detailed review of your tax situation can be completed in addition to resolution issues and estate compilations. All services, including free of charge E-filing options will be completed in a timely manner, depending on your restrictions and possible tax deadlines. Whether you need a simple explanation on a random tax form or are in need of a variety of other services our tax experts are ready and willing to assist. Call 303-321-7160 or contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.
Read More...

Denver Tax Preparation Titles and Qualifications


September 27, 2017

A variety of different people can assist you with accounting and tax questions. Considering the advantages of professional tax preparation, you should look into your available tax assistance options. Friends and family often offer their advice, whether warranted or not. Even when seeking professional help the choices can be confusing to the average individual.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an accountant is someone who is skilled in the practice of accounting or who is in charge of public or private accounts. By this definition many individuals are skilled in the practice of accounting, but does it mean they are all accountants?

Are you in charge of your own private bank account? Are you an accountant?

Probably not, but when seeking professional assistance it is important to understand the titles associated with those you trust to either handle your finances or keep your business in good standing with both the federal and state governments. Especially when it comes time for tax filing and if or when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) becomes involved in any situation. Expert help is key for tax preparation, filing, and any audits that may be ordered or taking place.

Following are a few different labels often attached to accountants names and a brief description of each.

Paid Preparer

An individual who is a paid preparer is exactly that. Someone who is receiving payment in exchange for preparing and filing individual or business tax returns. These people have obtained a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) from the IRS and are authorized to prepare tax returns.

Certified Public Accountant

A CPA has been trained and tested, earning a state issued license to publicly practice accounting. While the requirements differ for each state, at minimum a CPA has passed the uniform Certified Public Accountants exam, 150 semester units of education, and one year of accounting related experience.

While most CPA’s will also acquire their PTIN since they are often preparing tax returns for compensation, it is not required. Depending on their employment situation, some CPAs may be hired by businesses or other organizations specifically for handling the finances of the company. Those practicing in these circumstances solely return taxes and monies to the IRS and/or state governments for their employer and not compensation from the public.

Enrolled Agent

Those who have earned the title of Enrolled Agent have been federally authorized to practice taxes and accounting. These individuals have successfully passed the three-part Special Enrollment Examination focusing on individuals, businesses, and practices/procedures. These individuals can also represent clients in tax court upon completion of an additional exam.

Come see the experts at Bloch, Rothman, and Associates who can answer any questions regarding individual or business income taxes and assist with a variety of bookkeeping options. A full detailed review of your tax situation can be completed in addition to resolution issues and estate compilations. All services will be completed in a timely manner, depending on your restrictions and possible tax deadlines. Whether you need a simple explanation on a random tax form or are in need of a variety of other services our tax experts are ready and willing to assist. Call 303-321-7160 or contact us for your initial free no obligation consultation.
Read More...

Benefits of Professional Bookkeeping from a Denver Accountant


September 13, 2017

Starting and owning a business often comes with multiple headaches and unprecedented stress from a number of variable factors. Ensuring you hire the correct people, surrounding yourself with a knowledgeable staff and good working environment is key.

Following the staffing of a business an owner/operator must also then ensure the company remains profitable while providing quality services or work, depending on the company type. Then comes paperwork and deadlines for payroll taxes, property taxes, licensing fees, and a number of other requirements in addition to focusing on production.

Often the task can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning and can lead to failure or a loss of funding due to mistakes and a need to spend when original record keeping and set deadlines could have avoided these mistakes.

Hiring a professional bookkeeping service can help alleviate these issues. In addition, having someone in your financial corner from the beginning can benefit both a company and the owner(s) in a variety of ways.

Seamless Tax Preparation

A lot of financial records need to be readily available for tax purposes. Instead of having to take precious time away from the business in order to gather all of the required information for complete tax preparation, the professional bookkeeping service provides a more streamlined transition.

By keeping accurate records throughout the duration of the year, especially if it transpires with inception of the company, all required information for tax purposes can be quickly acquired, and then figures can be appropriately applied where needed.

Fluid Record Keeping

Using one individual or group to keep the records ensures all entries made are similar and recalling where monies were spent or used when needed becomes easier. Instead of having to decipher the work of another person, or your own transcriptions and paperwork when not accurately kept, a professional bookkeeping service can always immediately decipher what entries were keyed in, when and why for any occasion.

Financial Advice

Further, having someone who can assist when needing information on the tax implications of a business adjustment while keeping track of all business related expenses and fixed assets is extremely important.

Immediate access to financial advice as opposed to searching for the answer or someone who can provide specific tax advice or financial determination is priceless.

Focus

Allowing someone else the responsibility gives the business owner time to focus on the other things important to maintaining a successful business. By not having to worry with constant tax payments, paperwork, bank statements, and the like productivity, procedures, and in turn, more profits become the focus. Read more about how having your focus can help and other benefits of professional accounting services.

Cost Effective

When needing tax advice, payroll, or an audit the price can increase significantly over time. Ensuring all of the company's records are kept in one place, by one organization can drastically reduce the amount of time spent either preparing a tax return, ledger list, or anything else needed from the business owner.

In turn, while paying for professional services may initially seem to be an unnecessary expense, it quickly pays for itself in no time for the above reasons in addition to the reduced stress level when someone else is taking care of the finances for you.

The experts at Bloch, Rothman, and Associates can answer any questions regarding individual or business income taxes and assist with a variety of bookkeeping options. A full detailed review of your tax situation can be completed in addition to resolution issues and estate compilations. All services will be completed in a timely manner, depending on your restrictions and possible tax deadlines. Whether you need a simple explanation on a random tax form or are in need of a variety of other services our tax experts are ready and willing to assist. Call 303-321-7160 or contact us for your initial free no obligation consultation.
Read More...

How Student Loans Impact Taxes Explained by Your Tax Specialist in Denver


September 6, 2017

For a majority of American college students must take out student loans in order to pay for their education. In fact, the average amount of student loan debt a student graduates with is close to $40,000. For those who fear college because of debt, there are options. From browsing tuition rates to getting scholarships, there are ways to limit the amount of student loans to take out. Learn more about student loans, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), types of student loans, and about paying them back from your local tax specialist in Denver.

Intro to Student Loans and FAFSA

Student loans are options for those who would like to go to college but do not have the financial capabilities to do so. To get started with the student loan process, students will fill out a FAFSA. This will determine the amount of money a student can receive for the upcoming school year. Prior to each school year, a new FAFSA will have to be filled out. To fill it out, students and applicable parents just need to have previous tax returns ready. The FAFSA will also let the student know if they qualified for any state or federal aid—this is the best way to go as free money that does not have to be paid back! To get started with the FAFSA, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s page about applying for aid.

Types of Student Loans

When it comes to top types of student loans, there are two: federal and private. Federal loans are provided by the U.S. government, while private loans are by a lender—similar to if you were to get a loan at a bank. Ideally, many students opt for premier federal loans as they have more benefits such as fixed interest rates. Within federal loans, they can either be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are available to students to are able to provide financial need through filling out the FAFSA. With this type of loan, the government will pay the interest too as long as the student meets certain requirements. Anyone can get an unsubsidized loan and the school the student plans to attend will note how much is needed based off their tuition rates. Students are responsible for paying back the interest on these loans.

Paying Back

Students do not have to begin paying back their student loans until after they graduate. On average, there is a six-month grace period between graduating from college and having to pay back loans. This gives the student time to find a job. It is best to talk to the company the student loans are through to see what the grace period time is. Once you are paying loans back, it is crucial to pay them on time as late student loan payments can severely damage the quality of one’s credit. For students who experience a major life event and are unable to pay your loans, you can put in a request for deferment. If approved, you will temporarily stop making your payments.

Whether you have questions about your student loans, or need to know what to do when tax season arrives, Bloch, Rothman and Associates if your premier accountant. As your go-to, we will help make sure you are set with your student loans when tax season comes around. Be sure to read more about filing your Denver tax return as a student and call us at 303-321-7160 to get started.
Read More...