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Atlanta Tax Law Blog

4 tax mistakes small business owners make too often

With tax season right around the corner, it is time for companies all around Georgia to start getting their financial affairs in order.

Many businesses, including small ones, have attorneys to look over everything and ensure accuracy. However, it is still worth it to double check tax forms to make sure your business does not make one of these common errors. 

Understanding taxes and Social Security disability

For many individuals, the uncertainty of filing taxes can be quite nerve wrecking. For this reason, many seek assistance in filing their tax returns

Even so, it can be helpful for filers to know what to expect through the process. There are a few key things to understand about taxes and how they affect Social Security disability.

What to do when you can’t pay the taxes you owe

You finish filing your income tax return, when you’re met with a harsh surprise: you owe more than you’d expected. A lot more. In fact, you’re not sure how you’re going to pay it. What do you do?

Fortunately, the IRS has created some options for tax payers in your situation. You can set up a plan to pay off your taxes in installments. We’ve laid out two common, long-term payment plans below:

New tax law spells big tax break for independent contractors

The gig economy is booming. Freelancers and independent contractors are rapidly gaining ground in the workforce. In 2015 there were 3.2 million Americans worked in the gig economy. Some research projects that this category of workers will make up 43 percent of the country’s workforce by 2020.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—which was passed into law at the end of last year—offers attractive tax breaks for this group of workers.

How to protect your workers from tax identity theft

Tax season is here, and many people in Atlanta and across the country cannot wait to receive their W-2s to file their taxes. W-2s and other tax-related documents used for filing tax returns contain personal and sensitive information. Many small business owners end up struggling to get their documents in order for tax season. Some employers send them electronically online while others do send them through the mail. It is no secret that hackers resort to extraordinary measures to hack and steal sensitive information to use for personal gain. 

If you are a small business owner who has tax documents for your employees, you might still be in the process of preparing their information. Be sure to share with your workers the following tips on how to protect their personal information to prevent tax identity theft and fraud. 

Would the IRS send a letter saying you may deserve a tax credit?

You’ve received a letter—seemingly from the IRS—stating that you may qualify for an additional tax credit. In this age of heightened concerns surrounding identity theft, you’re suspicious about the letter’s legitimacy. Would the IRS really go out of their way to help you save a few bucks?

It may surprise you to learn that the answer is yes. If, after submitting your tax return, the IRS reviews your records and determines that you may have qualified for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which you didn’t claim, they may send you a letter, giving you the opportunity to get the tax break you deserve.

Wintering abroad? Make sure you’re current on your taxes.

You’ve had enough of Atlanta’s unpredictable winter weather. The rain, the ice, the blizzards the shut the city down for days… you’ve decided it’s time for a change of pace. You’ve booked yourself a condo in the Bahamas, and you’re not planning to return until spring. However, when you get to the airport, the customs officer pulls you aside.

If you’re behind on your taxes, you may encounter some unforeseen obstacles if you travel abroad. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act—which was first passed in December, 2015—is designed to help enforce accountability on people owing back taxes. Beginning this year, the Internal Revenue Service will be putting this law into effect. Here’s how it works:

Clearing up the myth that filing your tax return is voluntary

Despite strong evidence to the contrary, many people in the United States have a belief that they are not actually required by law to file their income tax returns. In recent American history, many pacifists have refused to pay their taxes as a form of conscientious objection to the country’s war. Even in the last year, people have refused to pay taxes in protest to the actions of the current administration.

In addition to ideological differences, many people hold a misguided believe that they are not legally obligated to pay their taxes—and that doing so is voluntary. In their arguments, they cite the Constitution and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code:

5 business expenses employers cannot write off

With tax season right around the corner, it is time for small business owners across the state to begin getting their paperwork in order. While many people start a small business with the goal of being their own boss, it also means there are an array of tax laws to follow. Even one slip-up can result in significant penalties. 

To save on taxes, many businesses write off various expenses. Small businesses can save a significant amount, but it is vital for entrepreneurs to know what cannot go on these forms. When in doubt, small business owners should have a professional accountant look over tax expenses to ensure everything is correct. 

How do you know you have an honest tax preparer?

You may think all tax preparers are created equal. That would be a dangerous assumption to make. There are dishonest tax preparers out there, and if your highly sensitive information gets into their hands, it could spell real trouble for you. Dishonest tax preparers could commit tax fraud in their clients’ names as well as steal their clients’ tax refunds.

Nonetheless, an honest tax preparer can be a great asset in removing your headache and simplifying your tax return process. To maximize your chances of having a positive tax preparation experience, it’s important to understand what to look for when choosing whom to entrust with your tax information.

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Located in Atlanta, The Peck Group, LC, represents clients nationwide. Regionally, we are committed to serving clients in Fulton County and throughout the state of Georgia.