SBRN Lunch With the Experts: Change in Venue!

SBRN Lunch with the Experts:
Web Marketing Trends for 2017 and Optimizing for Mobile Device
The Florida SBDC Network assists thousands of new and growing businesses by providing services to help them successful in their decisions. They will be hosting a no-cost training session to help you better plan for the ever growing virtual trends this year.
Effective marketing for your business can make all the difference in its success. Learn from the experts how to expand your customer base with new trends and strategies!

When?
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What time?
11:30AM to 1:00 PM

Where? (CHANGE FROM ORIGINAL LOCATION)
1250 North Hancock Road Clermont FL, 34711
Building 2, Room 102 & 103

How do I sign up?
This event is free but registration is required and seats are filling up fast! Visit the registration page to secure our seat to this event.
For information on this, and future events of the SBRN, see the flyer we have included below.

Is Your Personal Information REALLY Protected?

Protecting your personal information such as social security number and finances is always important any time of year, but most importantly during tax time.
We found an article published on the IRS.gov website about protection specific to computers and we wanted to share some key facts.
The IRS says to treat your personal information like cash, don’t hand it out to just anyone. Much of your information can be taken and used to steal your identity and open new accounts. Be wary of websites or people asking for personal information claiming that it is necessary, many scammers will attempt just about anything to get this information from you.
What practical steps can you take to protect yourself better?
  1. Avoid Phishing Scams:
Scammers can pose as banks, credit card companies, IRS, or third party working for governing authorities. Different methods can be used to get your attention such as winning something, urgent personal information update requirements. Never open an attachment or link of a suspicious e-mail. These oftentimes contain malware and can harm or hack your computer and information.
  1. Protect Personal Data:
Do not carry your social security card with you or anything that may include this number. Do not include this number when filling out forms on paper or online. Scammers will ask you to include this number in documents even when it is not needed.
  1. Use Strong Passwords:
When creating or updating passwords to your online data, always use 10-12 characters. Try not to use common information such as important dates or names. Be as unpredictable as possible! Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and never send these through text or email. Always use a secure Wi-Fi network to prevent other networks from accessing your information.
  1. Use Security Software:
Always have security software installed on your computer. Most come with a pre-installed firewall, but it is important to have one that protects from viruses, Trojans, spyware and adware. Parents, use the parental control options and educate children about suspicious websites and emails.
  1. Back Up Files:
It is important to always save important documents such as tax returns, finances, etc into a removable USB as a back up. Have paper copies to help in the next year’s tax preparation and always keep track of where these are stored and who has access to them.
Business Resource Partners will help with your tax needs including preparation and e-filing. Time is almost out for tax filing! Give us a call or stop by our office to meet with one of our tax prep experts!

Tax Credit For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient!

If you made your home more energy efficient in 2016, you may qualify for a tax credit this year! We received this great article from the IRS and we wanted to share some main points that stood out. For this, and many more publications, visit the IRS.gov website.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit

  • This credit counts for 10% of the cost of qualified energy saving items. These items include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, and certain roofs. It does not include the cost to install these items.
  • The credit amount for each type of property has a different dollar limit rather than a percentage. For example, any installation costs of high efficiency heating and air-conditioning, water heaters, or stoves that burn biomass fuel.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500, only $200 of this limit may be used for windows.
  • The main home must be in the U.S and the non-business energy property credit is only available for existing homes.
  • Always have a written certification from the manufacturer that this product does qualify for the tax credit. This will usually be posted on the website. Always keep the original copy with your tax records and not attached to your tax return.
  • You may claim the credit on your 2016 tax return if you did not reach the lifetime limit in the past years.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit:

  • This credit is 30% of the cost alternative energy installed in or on a home, including cost of installation.
  • Qualified materials include: solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.
  • If the credit is more than the tax owed, carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return. There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property.
  • The home does not have to be your main home unless the alternative energy equipment is qualified fuel cell property. The residential energy efficient property credit is for both existing home and homes under construction. It is available through 2016.

For Residential Energy Credits, use Form 5695.

Business Resource Partners offers more than just bookkeeping services. We provide tax preparation and filing for both personal and business tax returns. We have a specialized team who is here to help!

We have extended our business hours this tax season and we are ready to work around your busy schedule!

Call us at (321) 236-2771 or visit 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.

 

What to be aware of when choosing a Tax Preparer:

With tax season already upon us, it is important to know who is preparing your taxes and what their qualifications are. They are responsible for your information and it is important to be conscious of the potential threats presented this time of year.

 

So, what are some things to consider?

 

  1. Qualifications: There are different qualifications depending on your needs. These include

Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Enrolled Agents, Annual Filing Season Program Participants, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Enrolled Actuaries.

For more information on this, visit this page which breaks down each qualification and can help you better determine your needs this year.

 

  1. Check the History: Check the preparer’s license status as well as any disciplinary actions. For CPAs, check the State Board of Accountancy. For Attorneys, check the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, you can go to IRS.gov or email epp@irs.gov with the first and last name of the agent, a complete address if it is available, and the Enrolled Agent Number is available. It is recommended to include as much information as possible. For more information on this, visit the verification page.

 

  1. Ask about Service Fees: Avoid preparers who base their price on the percentage of your return or claim they can get you a bigger refund than the competition. Do not give them any tax documents or anything that would include your social security number.

 

  1. Ask for E-filing: Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. The IRS has processed billions of e-files successfully and there is no reason why this should be impossible.

 

  1. Make Sure the Preparer is Available to You: You might need to contact your preparer after the April 18th due date. Don’t hire someone who is constantly on the move and will be difficult to get in touch with.

 

  1. Provide Records & Receipts: A good preparer will want to have all the necessary information in order to properly file your tax return such as total income, tax deductions, credits, etc. For example, do not rely on someone who only wants your last pay stub instead of a From W-2. This is again IRS e-filing rules.

 

  1. Never Sign a Blank Return: This may sound like a no brainer, but it is worth mentioning. Do not use a preparer who asks you to sign a blank return.

 

  1. Review Before Signing: If something is not making sense, ASK. You should feel completely informed and comfortable with any document you are signing. Always double check the bank Account and Routing number to make sure that it is yours. Always keep copies of everything.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Preparer signs and includes their PTIN: This is the preparer’s Preparer Tax Identification Number and they must include this in the document by law.

 

  1. Report any abusive behavior to IRS: Most preparers will be honest and provide excellent service, however, some are dishonest. To report any abusive or fraudulent actions, use Form 14157. If you suspect your return was changed without your consent, fill From 14157-A. These are available on gov any time.

 

As always, if you need any help with Tax Preparation and filing, Business Resource Partners is always here to help! We have our Accountant Michael, our Enrolled Agent Mythili, and our owner Lorrie who is a participant in the Annual Filing Season Program. Our front desk ladies Stephanie and Andrea would be happy to schedule appointments for your needs.Please contact us at (352) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont FL, 34711.

What Do You Know About Capital Gains & Losses?

A capital asset can include inherited property or property someone owns for personal use or as an investment. When you sell a capital asset, the sale will result in either a capital gain or loss. Here’s a great article sent to us by the IRS.

Helpful facts: Capital Gains & Losses According to the IRS:

~Capital Assets: These include, home, car, stocks and bonds.

~Gains & Losses: A basis is what you originally paid for your asset. The Capital gain or loss is the difference between the basis and the amount you get when you sell the asset. For more details about inherited property, see IRS Publications 544, 550, & 551.

~Net Investment Income Tax: Taxpayers must include all capital gains in their income. If your income was above a certain amount, it may be subject to Net Investment Income. For more details on this, visit IRS.gov.

~Deductible Losses: You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of a property you have for personal use.

~Limit on Losses: If your capital loss is more than your gains, you may deduct the difference on your tax return. Loss is limited to $3,000/yr, or $1,500 if married but filing separately.

~Carryover Losses: If your total net capital loss is more than the limit mentioned above, you may carry it over to next year’s tax return.

~Long & Short Term: If you hold the property for 1 year or less, it is short-term.

~Net Capital Gain: Ultimately, if your gains are more than your losses, you have a net capital gain. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference is a net long-term capital gain. If the net long-term capital gain is more than the short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain.

~Tax Rate: This depends on your income. The Max on a net capital gain is 20%. Most fall between a 0%-15%. However, a 25%-28% can apply to certain types of net capital gain.

~Forms to File: You will often need to file Form 8949, and Schedule D with your tax return. For more on this, visit the Schedule D Instructions.

It is important to keep a copy of your tax returns. If you are using a software product for the first time, you may be required to include your Adjusted Gross Income from the prior year’s return to confirm your identity. To learn more about this, or how to electronically sign a tax return, visit this Validation Info Page.

Business Resource Partners has tax professionals on staff who know the ins and outs of tax prep requirements, we would be happy to assist you in your 2016 and future tax needs!

Call (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.