Selling Your Company

Posted on 15/07/201106/07/2020Categories Business TrendsTags , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Selling Your Company

CPA firms, Accountants in Miami | Accounting Services in Miami | Accountants Miami | Certified Public Accountant in Miami | CPA in Miami | CPA Miami | Miami Accountant | Miami Accounting Firms | Miami CPA Firm | Miami CPA | Miami Accounting | Accountant 33157 | Accountant 33176 | Accountant 33186 | Accountant 33183 | Accountant MiamiAs a Miami Accountant, I’m oftemn approached with conversation about selling a company. I will kick off the conversation by laying out the key issues in a company sale. I think the key issues for you, your investors, and your Board to consider when you are selling your company are:

  1.    Price
       Consideration
       Reps, Warranties, and Escrow
       Integration plan
       Stay packages
       Governmental approvals
       Breakup fees
       Timing

Price is the amount the buyer will pay for the business. It is the most important issue and also the simplest.

Consideration is the mechanism the buyer will use to deliver the purchase price. The simplest form of consideration is cash in your local currency. That is also the most common form of consideration. Another common form of consideration is the acquirer’s stock. That could be publicly traded liquid stock or it could be illiquid private company stock. Buyers can also pay with debt obligations, earn out plans, and a host of other esoteric and less common forms of consideration.

Reps and Warranties are the legal promises and obligations you will take on as a seller. A portion of the purchase price is usually held back and escrowed for some period of time to backstop the reps and warranties. The escrow is usually a percentage of the purchase price. Ten percent is common but I’ve seen as little as 5% and as high as 25%.

The integration plan is the way the buyer plans to operate your business post acquisition. Many sellers don’t think this matters too much but I think it is critical. If you think about the interests of all the stakeholders in the business, not just the shareholders, then the integration plan becomes a very important part of the overall deal.

Stay packages are compensation plans put together by the buyer for your team. There may even be a stay package for you if the buyer wants you to stick around and most of the time they should. These packages are a combination of cash and stock that vests over a stay period. It is common that some of the consideration may be applied to stay packages, particularly unvested employee stock in your company.

The government, and not just your country’s government, may be required to approve the sale. This is not common for small deals. Anything sub $100mm would be very unlikely to require governmental approvals. Really big deals, like billion dollar plus transactions, often run into these issues. Big powerful companies that the government worries may have monopolistic properties will usually face governmental approvals for their acquisitions.

If your business will face negative consequences if the sale is announced and then does not close, you will want to ask the buyer to pay a breakup fee if the transaction does not close. Most buyers will resist agreeing to breakup fees but they do exist in many deals, particularly very large deals.

Timing is another important issue that many sellers don’t focus on. Sale transactions are very distracting for the senior team and often for the entire team. A long protracted sale transaction can be very harmful to the business and its stakeholders. You can put time commitments into the letter of intent to sell the company and you can expect the buyer to live up to them.

These are the most important issues in my experience when selling a business. For the next few Mondays we will focus on some real world case studies that will highlight many of these issues.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Selecting a Small Business Accountant

Posted on 26/05/201106/07/2020Categories Business TrendsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Selecting a Small Business Accountant

Selecting a Small Business Accountant

Many small business owners do their finances and taxes on their own, so you may ask: why should I find an accountant? The reason: no matter what stage your small business is in, you can benefit from having an accountant on your side.

Why Hire an Accountant?

  • Accountants often do more than prepare tax forms for their small business clients. They can act as a trusted consultant and advisor to your small business. A good accountant would be able to advise you on growth opportunities, risk management, bookkeeping, and general financial planning.
  • If your small business is closely tied to your personal finances, a good accountant can help you make sound judgments that are beneficial to both your personal finances and your small business.  This guidance can be especially helpful when you’re just starting up and using your own funds to finance business expenses.
  • Accountants can serve as a great resource that you can tap into for recommendations on which loans to apply for, banks that satisfy your small business needs, and whatever you need on the finance end.

Good Practices for Choosing an Accountant

Here are some tips for avoiding common pitfalls and needless headaches in your search for a small business accountant:

  • Determine your needs
    There is no one-size-fits-all method for managing small business finances. Make sure that your accountant specializes in small businesses, and ideally has knowledge of your industry.  Beyond that, you will need to decide what level of support is appropriate and affordable for your business. Enrolled agents, certified public accountants, and tax attorneys bring different skills and charge different rates.
  • Just ask!
    Word of mouth is a good way to find good accountants. Talk to your family, friends, peers, even your attorney for recommendations. You can also inquire with institutions and organizations like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants*, your state Board of Accountants, or a local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Interview your candidates
    Remember that you are hiring someone that will fulfill your business needs and requirements. Treat it like a job interview that you would give to any potential employee. Ask about:
  • Professional qualifications like their licenses and experience
  • Personnel who will actually do the work, and their response times
  • Fees and charges to make sure they are in line with your budget
  • Specialized services that you may want in the future – for example, audit support
  • Clientele (past and current) so you can gauge their expertise

 

What if My Current Accountant Isn’t a Good Fit?

 
If you had a bad experience with an accountant, take what you’ve learned to find a better fit for your business. You should also consider your timing – if you’re just about to file significant tax changes or take on a large financial project, you’ll want to leave yourself enough time to find someone new. After all, a rush to judgment could leave you in the same position you’re in.

Remember…

You are the person who is ultimately responsible for your taxes and finances. Be wary of accountants who promise things that seem too good to be true. If you have concerns about an accountant’s claims you should contact your state’s Board of Accountancy and/or the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility to check their licenses and ensure they are in good standing.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Finding a CPA in Miami

Posted on 05/02/201106/07/2020Categories Business TrendsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Finding a CPA in Miami

Finding a CPA in Miami

A new Web site called Teaspiller launched on Tuesday with the aim of helping taxpayers find a Miami Accountant or Miami CPA especially during tax season. (Also works in other US cities)

Taking a page from the burgeoning Tea Party movement, Teaspiller also found inspiration from the Boston Tea Party. According to the company’s Web site, CEO Amit Vemuri, an Internet entrepreneur and former vice president at travel site Travelocity, was in a library reading up on tax and accounting history and came across an editorial reference to the Boston Tea Party protestors as “teaspillers.” He decided to use the name for the Web site he wanted to launch.

The company, which was founded in 2009, claims to already have a network of 20,000+ accountants across the country in place for the site launch. However, it’s going to be challenging some established sites like AccountantsWorld.com and CPAFinder.com, as well as services run by accounting organizations like the AICPA.

The New York-based startup claims to have several technology advantages, including complex algorithms to match various kinds of accounting and tax preparation needs with accountants who possess the appropriate skill sets and industry expertise.

Along with the search and matching technology, Teaspiller offers an individualized accountant reviews system. Maintained by the community, the reviews system aims to match accountants and customers based on factors such as tax preparation needs, specific industry characteristics and their associated tax issues, location, size, and more.

According to the announcement of the site’s launch, Vemuri wants to make his accountant-matching service into what Travelocity is for travel and Netflix is for movie rentals. Of course, if he follows in Netflix’s footsteps, he’ll have to figure out how to ship accountants in little postage-paid red envelopes or stream them over the Internet.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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For itemizers IRS has set a tax-filing date of Feb. 14

Posted on 04/02/201106/07/2020Categories TaxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on For itemizers IRS has set a tax-filing date of Feb. 14

For itemizers IRS has set a tax-filing date of Feb. 14

Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions will be able to file their federal tax returns starting Feb. 14, the IRS said Thursday.While the tax-filing season began on Jan. 4, the IRS announced last year that taxpayers who itemize — which includes just about everyone who has a mortgage — would have to wait until at least mid-February to file.

The IRS said the delay was necessary because it needed more time to program its systems to accommodate tax breaks included in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.

The legislation, which was signed into law Dec. 17, extended the Bush tax cuts through 2012. It also extended a number of expiring tax breaks, including the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction, and educator expenses deduction.

Those who will have to wait until Feb. 14 to file their federal returns include:

•Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions on Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses, and state and local taxes.

•Taxpayers who claim the educator expense deduction. This deduction allows teachers to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket costs for classroom materials. It’s an “above-the-line” deduction, which means taxpayers don’t have to itemize to claim it.

•Taxpayers who claim a deduction for their tuition and fees. This is also an above-the-line deduction.

Parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, will not have to wait to file, assuming they don’t itemize.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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What Investors Want from a Business Plan

Posted on 04/02/2011Categories Business TrendsTags , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on What Investors Want from a Business Plan

What Investors Want from a Business Plan

Here are some things that an investor wants to see in a business plan submitted for consideration for investment.  And this is more-or less in order of importance, but that order is not as rigorous as a numbered list might imply.

1. Experienced team

I want people who have done startups before. They tend to know what they’re doing and where they’re going much better once they’ve been through that process. I don’t mind that much if they weren’t the leader before, and not even that the previous startups failed. I’d like them to know the territory because it reduces risk. 

I like a team more than the single entrepreneur.  Building a business takes different skills, so ideally a team has people with diverse experience around different functions of the business: Sales, marketing, administration, and so forth.

2. Believable exits

There’s some irony here, because we built our business without caring a bit about exits, but when I think like an investor, I want to know that the money I invest is going to generate money coming out of the company, going back into my bank account, later. 

So it’s not just a matter of having a good business.  It’s a good business that will grow well and become a business that gets acquired by a larger business in 3-5 years.  A lot of good businesses will never be interesting to an acquirer.  Is it scalable?  Is it defensible?  These things make huge differences.  It’s surprising to me how many people think they can get investors interested in a people-based service business, for which the assets walk out the door every night.  Products are much better for exit than services.

3. Real growth prospects

The key to investment success is making the business worth a lot more later than what it’s worth today. That takes growth. And growth is a matter of scalability and defensibility, which I included above under exits, plus the size of market, the nature of the need, and so forth.

4. Real planning

Like many investors, I can rule out some companies just from reading a summary memo or watching a pitch presentation.  But if I’m still interested after hearing the pitch and reading the summary, then I want to see a plan.  Pitches without plans are obvious, because they don’t have the potential to drill down into the granularity when questions come up.  And of course I like a plan that is easy to decipher and well written, but what I really look for is the pieces coming together.  I want to see the conceptual links between product, marketing, sales, and financial plans.  Are they aligned with each other?  Do they indicate understanding the keys to success?  Does this look like a plan that will be managed, that can be reviewed and revised, and will remain flexible?  Or is this a plan that was done once and then forgotten.  I want to see planning and management, not just a plan. 

A final thought

None of this is completely predictable. Good investments will sometimes appear that don’t have all of the characteristics I’ve listed here. Still, all things being equal, this is a good filter to start with.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Tax Changes for Small Businesses

Posted on 04/02/201106/07/2020Categories TaxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Tax Changes for Small Businesses

Tax Changes for Small Businesses

During 2010, new laws, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, created or expanded deductions and credits that small businesses and self-employed individuals should consider when completing their tax returns and making business decisions in 2011.

Health Insurance Deduction Reduces Self Employment Tax

With the enactment of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, self-employed taxpayers who pay their own health insurance costs can now reduce their net earnings from self-employment by these costs. Previously, the self-employed health insurance deduction was allowed only for income tax purposes. For tax year 2010, self-employed taxpayers can also reduce their net earnings from self employment subject to SE taxes on Schedule SE by the amount of self-employed health insurance deduction claimed on line 29 on Form 1040.

Taxpayers can claim the self-employed health insurance deduction if the insurance plan is established under their business and if any of the following are true:

• They were self-employed and had a net profit for the year,

• They used one of the optional methods to figure net earnings from self-employment on Schedule SE, or

• They received wages from an S corporation in which the taxpayer was a more-than-2-percent shareholder.

During tax year 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, the self-employed health insurance deduction was claimed on 3.6 million tax returns, reducing taxpayers’ adjusted gross incomes by $21 billion.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

In general, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is available to small employers that pay at least half of the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees. It is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ moderate- and lower-income workers.

Small businesses can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that. For tax years 2010 to 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 25 percent of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations. Beginning in 2014, the maximum tax credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid by eligible small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations.

The maximum credit goes to smaller employers –– those with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees –– paying annual average wages of $25,000 or less. The credit is completely phased out for employers that have 25 or more FTEs or that pay average wages of $50,000 or more per year. Because the eligibility rules are based in part on the number of FTEs, not the number of employees, employers that use part-time workers may qualify even if they employ more than 25 individuals.

Eligible small businesses will first use Form 8941 to figure the credit and then include the amount of the credit as part of the general business credit on its income tax return.

General Business Credit for Employers

The general business credits of eligible small businesses in 2010 are not subject to alternative minimum tax The new law allows general business credits to offset both regular income tax and alternative minimum tax of eligible small businesses as described in Section 2012 of the Small Business Jobs Act. The provision is effective for any general business credits determined in the first taxable year beginning after December 31, 2009, and to any carryback of such credits. For a list of the general business credits, see Form 3800.
Small Businesses Can Benefit from Higher Expensing / Depreciation Limits

For tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011, small businesses can expense up to $500,000 of the first $2 million of certain business property placed in service during the year.

In general, businesses can choose to treat the cost of certain property as an expense and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service instead of depreciating it over several years. This property is frequently referred to as section 179 property, after the relevant section in the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 179 property is property that you acquire by purchase for use in the active conduct of your trade or business, including:

• Tangible personal property.

• Other tangible property (except buildings and their structural components) used as:

1. An integral part of manufacturing, production, or extraction or of furnishing transportation, communications, electricity, gas, water, or sewage disposal services;

2. A research facility used in connection with any of the activities in (1) above; or

3. A facility used in connection with any of the activities in (1) above for the bulk storage of fungible commodities.

• Single purpose agricultural (livestock) or horticultural structures.

• Storage facilities (except buildings and their structural components) used in connection with distributing petroleum or any primary product of petroleum.

• Off-the-shelf computer software.
Section 179 property generally does not include land, investment property (section 212 property), property used mainly outside the United States, property used mainly to furnish lodging and air conditioning or heating units.

The Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA) of  2010 increases the section 179 limitations on expensing of depreciable business assets for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011 and expands temporarily the definition of section 179 property, for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011, to include certain qualified real property a taxpayer elects to treat as section 179 property. Qualified real property means qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property.  

The $500,000 amount provided under the new law is reduced, but not below zero, if the cost of all section 179 property placed in service by the taxpayer during the tax year exceeds $2 million.

For tax years beginning in 2012, the maximum amount is $125,000; before enactment of the 2010 tax relief legislation, it was set at $25,000.
Depreciation limits on business vehicles

The total depreciation deduction (including the section 179 expense deduction and the 50 or 100 percent bonus depreciation) you can take for a passenger automobile (that is not a truck or a van) you use in your business and first placed in service in 2010 is increased to $11,060. The maximum deduction you can take for a truck or van you use in your business and first placed in service in 2010 is increased to $11,160.  If you do not take any bonus depreciation for the passenger automobile, truck, or van you use in your business and first placed in service in 2010, the maximum deduction you can take for a passenger automobile is $3,060 and for a truck or van is $3,160.

50 or 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation

Generally, businesses can take a special depreciation allowance to recover part of the cost of qualified property placed in service during the tax year. The allowance applies only for the first year you place the property in service.

Businesses that acquire and place qualified property into service after Sept. 8, 2010 can now claim a depreciation allowance of 100 percent of the cost of the property. The property must be placed in service before Jan. 1, 2012 (Jan. 14, 2013 in the case of certain longer-lived and transportation property).   Businesses that acquire qualified property during 2010 on or before Sept. 8, 2010 can claim a depreciation allowance of 50 percent of the cost of the property.  The property must be placed in service before Jan. 1, 2013 (Jan. 1, 2014 in the case of certain longer production period property and for certain aircraft.)

The allowance is an additional deduction you can take after any section 179 deduction and before you figure regular depreciation under MACRS for the year you place the property in service. The types of property that can be depreciated are described in the instructions to Form 4562.  

Small Businesses To Use EFTPS for Deposits Beginning in 2011

The paper coupon system for Federal Tax Deposits will no longer be maintained by the Treasury Department after Dec. 31, 2010. Most businesses must now make deposits and pay federal taxes through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

Using EFTPS to make federal tax deposits provides substantial benefits to both taxpayers and the government. EFTPS users can make tax payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home or the office.

Deposits can be made online with a computer or by telephone. EFTPS also significantly reduces payment-related errors that could result in a penalty. The system helps taxpayers schedule dates to make payments even when they are out of town or on vacation when a payment is due. EFTPS business users can schedule payments up to 120 days in advance of the desired payment date.

Information on EFTPS, including how to enroll, can be found on line or by calling EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Senate Passes 1099 Repeal Amendment

Posted on 04/02/201106/07/2020Categories TaxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Senate Passes 1099 Repeal Amendment

Senate Passes 1099 Repeal Amendment

Miami CPA Gustavo Viera reports that the Senate approved an amendment Wednesday to repeal the expanded 1099 information reporting requirements in the health care reform law.

Two similar, but competing amendments were introduced this week by Democratic and Republican lawmakers to be attached to a larger re-authorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (see 1099 Repeal Amendments Proposed for Aviation Administration). One came from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and the other from Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who had both introduced earlier attempts to repeal the 1099 reporting requirements.

The two amendments mainly differed in a few words regarding the handling of administrative expenses at the Social Security Administration. To avoid adding to the budget deficit, Stabenow’s amendment authorizes the director of the Office of Management and Budget to cut unnecessary unobligated spending, but exempts the Social Security Administration’s administrative expenses from being cut. There are also differences in the cost estimates of the two amendments and in how they would be offset.

The repeal of the 1099 reporting requirements enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The requirements, which were included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, would have required businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any purchases of goods and services over $600 a year from another business or individual.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who has tried several times to get the 1099 reporting requirements repealed, hailed the approval of the amendment containing language exempting the Social Security Administration’s expenses. The Senate voted 81-17 to reject a point of order that had been raised against the Stabenow amendment.

“We heard small businesses loud and clear, and today both parties came together in a bipartisan manner to respond to their concerns,” Baucus said in a statement.  “Eliminating these paperwork requirements lets small businesses focus on the critical work of growing their businesses and creating jobs. This amendment is paid for by cutting spending in other areas, but we took the extra steps to ensure that not a thin dime of Social Security money is used. The common-sense solution we passed today delivers the paperwork relief small businesses need while protecting and preserving the crucial Social Security and veterans benefits millions of people in Montana and across the country rely on.”

The larger, $34.5 billion FAA legislation enjoys wide bipartisan support and includes $8 billion for airport construction and infrastructure improvement. It also would establish a whistleblower office at the FAA, upgrade air control technologies, and create a national review board that would travel to FAA offices to perform safety audits.

There was no vote on the Johanns amendment on Wednesday. However, he hailed the passage of the repeal, pointing out that the Stabenow amendment was nearly identical to the language of the Small Business Paperwork Elimination Act that he had introduced, which had attracted 61 co-sponsors, including 16 Democrats.

“I’m thrilled that after multiple attempts to repeal this burdensome mandate, the Senate has finally done the right thing in voting to repeal it,” Johanns said in a statement. “The small business owners and organizations who stepped forward in opposition to this 1099 overreach were instrumental in sustaining the momentum that has resulted in wide bipartisan support. I look forward to continuing the effort to repeal the health care law and finding true solutions to our health care challenges. This is a big victory for our job creators.”

Stabenow also praised passage of the amendment. “Today we provided a common-sense solution for business owners so they can focus on creating jobs, not filling out paperwork for the IRS,” she said. “Since last year, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address this problem. If left unchecked, 40 million small businesses would see their IRS 1099 paperwork increase 2000 percent.”

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

Posted on 03/02/2011Categories TaxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

Did you know that your children may help you qualify for some tax benefits? Here are 10 tax benefits the IRS wants parents to consider when filing their tax returns this year.

  1. Dependents In most cases, a child can be claimed as a dependent in the year they were born. For more information see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
  2. Child Tax Credit You may be able to take this credit on your tax return for each of your children under age 17. If you do not benefit from the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more information see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
  3. Child and Dependent Care Credit You may be able to claim the credit if you pay someone to care for your child under age 13 so that you can work or look for work. For more information see IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
  4. Earned Income Tax Credit The EITC is a benefit for certain people who work and have earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. For more information see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.
  5. Adoption Credit You may be able to take a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child.  Taxpayers claiming the adoption credit must file a paper tax return because adoption-related documentation must be included.  For more information see the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.
  6. Children with Earned Income If your child has income earned from working they may be required to file a tax return. For more information see IRS Publication 501.
  7. Children with Investment Income Under certain circumstances a child’s investment income may be taxed at the parent’s tax rate. For more information see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.
  8. Higher Education Credits Education tax credits can help offset the costs of education. The American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credit are education credits that reduce your federal income tax dollar-for-dollar, unlike a deduction, which reduces your taxable income.  For more information see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
  9. Student loan Interest You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions. For more information see IRS Publication 970.
  10. Self-employed health insurance deduction If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct any premiums you paid for coverage after March 29, 2010, for any child of yours who was under age 27 at the end of 2010, even if the child was not your dependent. For more information see the IRS website.

More information can me found on our Miami CPA website www.vieracpa.com or by calling one of our CPA in Miami at 786-250-4450

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Free Tax Filing

Posted on 03/02/2011Categories TaxTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Free Tax Filing

Free Tax Filing

 Everyone can prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free through the IRS Free File Program. Free File is offered through a public-private partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and brand-name tax software companies. Free File can help you do your taxes fast; it’s safe and it doesn’t cost anything.

Free File offers two options: easy-to-use software or online fillable forms.

Free File software is for taxpayers who earn $58,000 or less

Nearly 100 million Americans – that’s 70 percent of the nation’s taxpayers – can use the free brand-name software and secure e-filing offered by private-sector companies. Several software products also are in Spanish. Each company sets its eligibility requirements, generally based on income, age or state residency. However, if your adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less in 2010, you will find at least one tax software product to use.

Here’s how it works: You must access Free File through the IRS website. At http://www.irs.gov/freefile, you can use an online tool which allows you to give a little information about yourself and the tool will guide you to the software for which you are eligible. Or, you can review the complete list of companies and their offerings and make a selection.

Once you select a software product, you will be directed away from the IRS website to that company’s website. There, the software generally will offer a step-by-step guide through the tax preparation process.

Free File does all the hard work. You don’t need to be a tax expert; the software will help find tax breaks, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, that you may be due. The software asks the questions; you supply the answers. It will find the right tax forms and do the math. Free File has a high satisfaction rate among its users, 98% recommend it to others. Combine e-file and direct deposit and you get your refund in as few as 10 days.

A word about security: all Free File companies use the latest is secure technology. The safety of taxpayer information is everyone’s priority. Thirty million taxpayers have used Free File since 2003, safely and securely.

Some companies provide state tax return software – sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. Some states also have a relationship with the Free File Alliance and those states are listed on the companies’ websites.

Free File Fillable Forms Is Another Free Option

For people who make more than $58,000 or who are comfortable preparing their own tax return, there is Free File Fillable Forms. It also must be accessed through http://www.irs.gov/freefile. There is no software assistance with Free File Fillable Forms. It does basic math calculations. It does not support state income tax returns. It is perfect for the true do-it-yourself taxpayer who has preferred paper tax returns in the past. It also has free e-filing.

 And if you need help, please call one of our Miami CPA‘s.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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Miami Bookkeeping Services

Posted on 02/02/2011Categories AccountingTags , , , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Miami Bookkeeping Services

Miami Bookkeeping Services

Our Miami Bookkeeping Services handle all your daily accounting needs: invoices and statements, accounts payable, cash receipts and disbursements, payroll, bank reconciliations and recurring reports. Your bookkeeper will be in contact with you daily by Instant Messenger, email or phone with any questions or concerns. All under the supervision of our accountants in our Miami CPA Firm.

Accounts Receivable

Get your invoices out promptly and send monthly statements on the date of your choice.

We offer two options:

  • We prepare your sales invoice from information you email to our bookkeeper. We email you the final invoice for approval.
  • You generate invoices and statements through time and billing software. Your bookkeeper posts or imports the invoices into your accounting software.

Whether we prepare your invoices for you or you generate them yourself, we can print and mail or email customer invoices and statements on your behalf.

Accounts Receivable reports for collection and cash flow management are prepared and delivered to you on a schedule of your choice. Finance changes are assessed on overdue invoices based on your company’s payment terms and conditions, and statements can be initiated and transmitted on a schedule of your choice.

Accounts Payable

Invoices you receive from vendors will need to be scanned and emailed to us. We provide a scanner with PaperPort scanning software at no cost.

This process is as simple as 1-2-3:

1. Insert the invoice into the scanner then press the Scan button.

2. Name the file that appears on your screen (give it a unique name)

3. Click the email icon to create an email, attach the file and send.

That’s it! You’re done! Your vendor invoices for the day are on the way to us for recording into your accounting file.

Alternately, you can have vendor invoices mailed or emailed directly to us for processing.

On a schedule determined by you, we will email you a report of all open vendor invoices. Just indicate which invoices you want paid, then email the report back. We will set up the requested bill payment checks in your accounting file.

Once the checks are ready to print, we offer two options for printing:

  • You or a designated staff member can log into your accounting software and print checks directly to your local printer.
  • We can print the checks and mail or deliver them to you.

The printed checks are signed and mailed from your office. You maintain full control over your funds.

Cash Receipts

Prior to taking deposits to the bank, you will scan the deposit slip and each of the items to be deposited. Then create an email and upload the file at your convenience. We will post the customer payments against the appropriate customer invoices and record the bank deposit.

Payroll Services

We either processes payroll or makes the necessary entries to record payroll processed by a third-party provider. In either case, payroll entries will include complete recording of gross wages, employer taxes and other payroll expenses, and payroll liabilities, and quarterly and annual reconciliation of general ledger balances to payroll returns. If needed, we can also initiate transfers from your operating bank account to your payroll bank account to cover payroll if these accounts are held by the same bank.

We do recommend direct deposit of employee paychecks whenever possible.

Banking Activities

We will have access to view and download transaction history and bank statements, and, if desired, to transfer funds between business accounts at your bank. We will not have the authority to sign checks or to initiate electronic payments that have not been pre-approved by you or a designated staff member.

Bank account activity is updated daily in your accounting file, so that you always know your available cash balance. Transactions that appear in your bank account that we have no knowledge of will be posted, but we will inform you of these transactions and request supporting information by email. Bank account balance notifications and cash receipts and disbursement reports can be emailed to you daily, weekly, or monthly as desired.

Banking, credit card, and loan accounts are reconciled to the corresponding statements each month, and the reconciliation reports are emailed to you promptly. When emailing the reconciliation report, we will call your attention to old outstanding items that require resolution and will also provide a list of any missing check numbers for security and control purposes.

Bank Reconciliation

Reconciling your business checking account each month allows us to keep your bank account, accounting, and taxes up-to-date.

Having us reconcile your account each month allows you to…

  • Identify lost checks, lost deposits and unauthorized wire transactions.
  • Detect and prevent excess/unjustified bank charges and ensures transactions are posted correctly by your bank.
  • Detect and prevent embezzlement of funds from within your company.
  • Know how your business is doing. You can’t really know unless all accounts are reconciled and properly accounted for on your financial statement.
  • Manage your cash more effectively. Proper management of funds not only saves money, it makes money for you.
  • Protect yourself. By timely reconciling and promptly objecting to your bank about any unauthorized, fraudulent or forged checks presented to your bank and paid by that bank, you can relieve your agency of responsibility for the shortfall and transfer the risk to the bank. This reason to reconcile alone should be enough. Crime exists.
  • Sleep Better. You will sleep more peacefully at night knowing your bank accounts are reconciled, in balance and that all escrow funds, accounts, checks and disbursed funds are properly accounted for.

Compiled Financial Statements

You’ll get a complete set Compiled Financial Statements of on either a monthly or quarterly basis (you’re preference). The financials will consist of a Balance Sheet and Income Statement also known as a Profit & Loss. We will set up a Web Conference to review your financial results each quarter. This gives you and us a forum for Q&A and advisory type services.

Gustavo A Viera CPA

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