Our firm offers a wide range of services to our individual and business clients. Our clients benefit by getting personalized, quality service that is beyond comparison. Below we have listed the services that we offer to our clients along with a brief description.
As the list below is by no means all-inclusive, please feel free to inquire about a service if you do not see it listed.
Tax Planning & Preparation
Tax planning and preparation form a winning combination for our successful individual and business clients. Whether you are an individual or a multi-tiered partnership, our experienced staff can develop tax strategies that take advantage of new tax laws and legislation.
Tax Preparation Timing: We have always stated that there is a March 15th deadline for us to receive your information in order of us to prepare a complete and accurate return before the April 15th deadline. Many of you are able to get much of your information to us by March 15th, but there are often final K-1’s or other items that arrive in April (at no fault of yours or ours). Specifically with the increased frequency of late K-1s and corrected 1099 statements, it is impossible for us to get through the volume of all this late work by April 15th.
- Therefore, we must enforce the March 15th information deadline in order for us to commit to completing the return by April 15th. Clients unable to meet the March 15th deadline for receipt of all of their tax information will need to file an extension, and the returns will be finalized after April 15th.
- If you wish us to prepare your extension calculations, we need a signed engagement letter and as much of your information or estimates by April 1st.
- If we do not have any information from you before April 1st, you will need to calculate any tax payments that are due and file the extension forms on your own as required. We will provide the appropriate links for you to use.
- When your return is on extension, if you are overpaid (i.e., are in a refund position), there are no penalties or adverse consequences to being on extension. As long as your tax liability for the prior year is fully paid by April 15th, the government is content to allow additional time for the preparation of the tax forms and filing.
- However, if your taxes are underpaid as of April 15th, the penalties are:
- IRS: 1% per month on unpaid balance plus interest charges
- CA: 5% penalty on unpaid balance, then 1% per month on unpaid balance plus interest
- If you do not file a return nor an extension by the initial due date (April 15th), additional late filing penalties kick-in on top of the above interest charges, and those penalties are more significant.
Communications and submission of tax documents: As we now have a multitude of options for you to get your documents to us, we wanted to provide guidance on what helps us to be most efficient, which translates to fee savings to you:
- If possible, stick with one method of getting documentation to us: either via Tax Caddy, the Client Axcess Portal, or traditional Paper Organizer with printed forms. Email continues to be great for communications, but tax documents are best sent via one of our secure options.
- While online options can make things easier for all of us, we all know that technology does not always cooperate. If you have issues with TaxCaddy or Portal, we encourage you to use the online or telephone support options for those software programs.
- PDF documents are MUCH better and easier for us to work with versus JPG or other picture documents.
If you have any questions, please reach out to any of us. Our intention is to set the framework for a smooth and successful tax season. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Personal Financial Planning
We help our individual clients make the best use of their resources to improve their financial well-being and quality of life:
> Budgeting, cash flow & debt reduction advising – Do you know where all your money goes? Are you spending money on what’s important to you? Are you saving enough to meet your life goals? Do you have a plan to eliminate unwanted debt? We can help you develop a plan to achieve your goals.
> Retirement planning – When do you plan to retire? How much money will you need? What can you expect from Social Security? How much money will you have? We can help you answer these questions and develop a strategy to retire comfortably.
> Stock option planning – If you are one of the lucky ones to have valuable stock options from your company, you may also know that the taxes and planning regarding those options can be tricky. We can help you develop and implement a plan to maximize the value in those options and minimize the inevitable tax bite.
> Estate planning – Do you need a will, a living will, a living trust, or a by-pass trust? What are the differences between them? What are gift and estate taxes? Make sure you have the peace of mind in knowing that these important issues and more have been considered.
> Planning during major life events – There is usually plenty of stress and uncertainty around major life events such as a job change, a death in the family, etc. We can help you address the financial issues so you can focus on other important items.
Providing financial information to our clients in a timely and accurate manner is a commitment that we feel cannot be compromised. Meaningful, well-organized financial records ensure that your business operations will run more efficiently on a daily basis. Our firm provides a full range of cost effective accounting services including the following:
> General ledger & financial statement preparation
> Bookkeeping and "Write-Up" (Monthly/Quarterly/Annual)
> Accounting system setup for new businesses
> Personal financial statements
Business Consulting Services
Important decisions are made everyday, and our clients are better equipped to handle some than many others. We help educate our clients on the tax and financial issues so that they can make informed decisions:
> Business formation - Starting a new business? Do you understand the advantages and disadvantages of organizing your business as a Limited Liability Company, Partnership, or S-corporation? We can help you think through the various types of business entities so that you can start your new venture off on the right foot. In addition, we can work with your business attorney to make sure all the appropriate forms are filed with the federal and state governments.
> Tax strategies for the closely-held business – Are you aware of all the tax planning issues when you are part of a closely-held business? What is the difference between paying yourself a salary versus getting a return of your investment? How can you minimize or even eliminate double taxation? What is your exit strategy to get money out of your business? We will discuss these issues with you to make sure you understand the pros and cons in order to make good decisions.
> Pension plans – A company retirement plan is a great tax saving vehicle for the business owner and their loyal employees, but the alphabet soup of SEP's, SIMPLE's, and KEOGH's can make your head spin. We can help you understand the differences between the retirement plans available to small companies to find the one best suited to your needs.
> Computer accounting software assistance with Peachtree Accounting™ and QuickBooks™ – We are experienced with both products and assist clients in maintaining or getting set up with their own in-house accounting system.
Financial Statement Reporting
We view our role in the financial reporting process as an opportunity to provide constructive solutions for maximizing your company's profitability and efficiency. We provide financial reporting on two levels of assurance:
> Review - some analytical procedures conducted with limited assurance.
> Compilation - based upon client information provided and used primarily for internal use.
Financial Education Workshops
Let us educate the employees or members of your organization. These workshops vary in length from 1½ to 4 hours and can be customized to fit your needs to include any of the following topics:
> Retirement planning / 401(k) / investments education – Find out how to plan and prepare for your retirement. Learn what your retirement investment choices are. Determine if your retirement funds are invested appropriately.
> Stock option education and planning – Understand how employee stock options work and the tax impact of exercising your options. Learn how to develop a personal strategy for your options.
> Spending & debt – Learn new ways to improve your saving and spending habits and how to save extra money in taxes.
> Estate and retirement choices – Understand what you can expect from Social Security, your pension, and your 401(k) plans. Learn how to get money out of your retirement plans and how to minimize taxes. Find out about basic estate planning including wills, trusts, and estate taxes.