0
Your Cart
No products in the cart.

FAQs

Personal Tax FAQs

Preparing your own income tax return can be a task that leaves you with more questions than answers. According to a study released by the US Government’s General Accounting Office last year, most taxpayers (77% of 71 million taxpayers) believe they benefited from using a professional tax preparer.

Whether we like it or not, today’s tax laws are so complicated that filing a relatively simple return can be confusing. It is just too easy to overlook deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Even if you use a computer software program there’s no substitute for the assistance of an experienced tax professional.

Here’s what you get…

  • Your personal tax return will be checked and rechecked by our computer software identifying potential problems the IRS may look at more closely and reviewing the math to limit IRS contacts.
  • Your tax return can be filed electronically so you will get a refund back quicker.
  • Our staff will show you how to adjust your payroll withholding to get more money back each week. Why give the IRS an interest free loan for up to 16 months.
  • We will show you potential deductions to limit your tax liability for next year. In addition, we will give you a sheet of commonly overlooked deductions to limit the following year’s tax liability.

Planning is the key to successfully and legally reducing your personal tax liability. We go beyond tax compliance and proactively recommend personal tax saving strategies to maximize your after-tax income.

We make it a priority to enhance our mastery of the current tax law, complex tax code, and new tax regulations by attending frequent tax seminars.

Individuals pay the lowest amount of taxes allowable by law because we continually look for ways to minimize your taxes throughout the year, not just at the end of the year.

We recommend Personal Tax Saving Strategies that help you…

  • grow and preserve assets by keeping Uncle Sam out of your pockets.
  • defer income so you can keep your money now and pay less taxes later.
  • reduce taxes on your income so you keep more of what you make.
  • reduce taxes on your estate so your family keeps more of what you’ve made.
  • reduce taxes on your gifts so you can give more.
  • reduce taxes on your investments so you can grow your wealth faster.
  • reduce taxes on your retirement distributions so you can retire in style.

The best way for us to make tax season as easy as pie is to make sure you have all the paperwork and information we need.

  • Wage statements/W-2s
  • Self-employment business income and expenses/1099-MISC
  • Commissions received/paid
  • Pension, retirement income/1099-R
  • Unemployment income/1099-G
  • Canceled Debt Amount/1099-C
  • Social Security income/SSA-1099
  • IRA contributions
  • Statements on the sales of stocks or bonds/1099-B
  • Interest and dividend income /1099-INT/1099-DIV
  • Lottery or gambling winnings/losses
  • State refund amount/1099-G
  • Income and expenses from rentals
  • Alimony paid or received
  • Record of purchase or sale of residence
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Real estate and personal property taxes

The rule of thumb is if you made money from it last year, you’ll need to bring in a record of the income.  This is a detailed list of information and documents needed for tax return preparation.

People listed on Tax Return

  • Correct birthdays and Social Security card copies of everyone who will be listed on the return
  • Childcare records (including the provider’s ID number) if applicable
  • Approximate income of other adults in your home (not spouse, if you’re filing jointly)
  • Form 8332, copies of your divorce decree, or other documents showing that your ex-spouse is releasing their right to claim a child to you
  • Amount of any alimony paid and ex-spouse’s social security number

Education Payments

  • Bills from the educational institution or anything else that itemizes what you paid or received loans for versus what was covered by scholarship or other financial aid
  • Forms 1098-T and 1098-E, if you received them
  • Scholarships and fellowships

Employee Information

  • Forms W-2

Self-Employment Information

  • Forms 1099-MISC, Schedules K-1, income records to verify amounts not reported on 1099s.
  • Records of all expenses, check registers or credit card statements, and receipts
  • Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation
  • In Home Office information, if applicable

Vehicle Information

  • Total miles driven for the year (or beginning/ending odometer readings)
  • Total business miles driven for the year (other than commuting)
  • Amount of parking and tolls paid
  • Receipts or totals for gas, oil, car washes, licenses, personal property tax, lease or interest expense, etc.

Rental Income

  • Records of income and expenses
  • Rental asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation

Retirement Income

  • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
  • Social security/RRB income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)

Savings and Investments

  • Interest, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)
  • Income from sales of stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)
  • Dates of acquisition and records of your cost or other basis in property you sold

Other Income

  • Unemployment, state tax refund (1099-G)
  • Gambling income (W-2G or records showing income, as well as expense records)
  • Amount of any alimony received and ex-spouse’s name
  • Health care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)
  • Jury duty records
  • Hobby income and expenses
  • Prizes and awards
  • Other 1099

Itemizing Deductions

  • Forms 1098 or other mortgage statements
  • Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding), or amount of state and local sales tax paid
  • Real estate and personal property tax records
  • Amount of vehicle sales tax paid
  • HUD statement showing closing date of home purchase
  • Cash amounts donated to houses of worship, schools, other charitable organizations
  • Amounts and records of non-cash charitable donations
  • Amounts paid for healthcare insurance, doctors, dentists, vision, hospitals, etc.
  • Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes
  • Expenses related to your investments
  • Amount paid for tax preparation
  • Employment-related expenses (dues, publications, tools, uniform cost and cleaning, travel)
  • Job-hunting expenses

IRA Information

  • Amount contributed to any IRA

If you were affected by a federally declared disaster

  • City/county you lived/worked/had property in
  • Records to support property losses (appraisal, cleanup costs, etc.)
  • Records of rebuilding/repair costs
  • Insurance reimbursements/claims to be paid
  • FEMA assistance information
  • Check FEMA site to see if county qualifies for individual assistance

Yes, we do!  We realize that many taxpayers miss out on numerous tax deductions in which they are often entitled too for many reasons. When filing your return with other tax offices or software such as Turbo Tax, you may be forfeiting deductions you are entitled to which can equate to hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars refunded to you. However, this doesn’t have to be you.

Through consulting with one of our experts, we offer a FREE tax consultation prior to when your tax preparation service is rendered. For a FREE consultation, contact us today by phone, text, or email. You’ll get an estimated quote within 24 hours. Maximum refund guaranteed! Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Experience the Empowered difference!

Tax relief refers to any government program or policy designed to help individuals and businesses reduce their tax burdens or resolve their tax-related debts.

Tax relief may be in the form of universal tax cuts, targeted programs that benefit specific groups of taxpayers, or initiatives that bolster particular goals of the government. For example, the child tax credit gives a tax break to parents of minor children, while the tax credit for green improvements (e.g., energy-efficient windows) furthers the goal of U.S. energy independence and cleaner air.

Key Takeaways

  • Various types of tax relief can help you lower your tax bill or settle tax-related debts.
  • Tax deductions let you deduct certain expenses (such as home mortgage interest) from your taxable income, thereby lowering the amount of tax you owe.
  • Tax credits directly reduce your tax bill and may provide a refund even if you don’t owe any tax.
  • The IRS Fresh Start program helps individuals and businesses settle back taxes and avoid tax liens.

To read more on tax relief and other tax related questions, visit our News page or simply contact us for a free income tax evaluation.

Empowered Finances., has been independently owned and operated, serving its clients and community since 2002. From its humble beginnings, our team started serving family and a handful of friends. Today, Empowered Finances is able to continue expanding our vision, of service to a broader group of clients and communities by providing complete tax assessment and financial services. Let us help you today.

List all accreditations and what they stand for/mean

Business Tax FAQs

Preparing your own business tax return can be a task that leaves you with more questions than answers. According to a study released by the US Government’s General Accounting Office last year, most taxpayers (77% of 71 million taxpayers) believe they benefited from using a professional tax preparer.

Whether we like it or not, today’s tax laws are so complicated that filing a relatively simple return can be confusing. It is just too easy to overlook deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Even if you use a computer software program there’s no substitute for the assistance of an experienced tax professional.

Here’s what you get…

  • Your business tax return will be checked and rechecked by our computer software identifying potential problems the IRS may look at more closely and reviewing the math to limit IRS contacts.
  • Your tax return can be filed electronically so you will get a refund back quicker.
  • Our staff will show you how to adjust your payroll withholding to get more money back each week. Why give the IRS an interest free loan for up to 16 months.
  • We will show you potential deductions to limit your tax liability for next year. In addition, we will give you a sheet of commonly overlooked deductions to limit the following year’s tax liability.

Planning is the key to successfully and legally reducing your business tax liability. We go beyond tax compliance and proactively recommend business tax saving strategies to maximize your after-tax income.

We make it a priority to enhance our mastery of the current tax law, complex tax code, and new tax regulations by attending frequent tax seminars.

Businesses pay the lowest amount of taxes allowable by law because we continually look for ways to minimize your taxes throughout the year, not just at the end of the year.

We recommend Business Tax Saving Strategies that help you…

  • grow and preserve assets by keeping Uncle Sam out of your pockets.
  • defer income so you can keep your money now and pay less taxes later.
  • reduce taxes on your income so you keep more of what you make.
  • reduce taxes on your estate so your family keeps more of what you’ve made.
  • reduce taxes on your gifts so you can give more.
  • reduce taxes on your investments so you can grow your wealth faster.
  • reduce taxes on your retirement distributions so you can retire in style.

Here is a detailed checklist of business receipts, records, invoices, statements, and other documents to bring with you.

Income

  • Gross receipts from sales or services
  • Sales records (for accrual-based taxpayers)
  • Beginning inventory (if applicable)
  • Ending Inventory (if applicable)
  • Items removed for personal purposes (if applicable)
  • Returns and allowances
  • Business checking and savings account interest (1099-INT or statement)

Transportation and Travel Expenses

Local Transportation

  • Business trip (mileage) log
  • Contemporaneous log, pass, or receipts for public transportation, parking and tolls.

Travel away from home

  • Airfare or mileage (actual expense if drove)
  • Hotels and transportation e.g. Uber, Shuttle, Taxi, etc.
  • Meals and tips
  • Taxes and tips
  • Internet and parking

Additional Expenses

  • Advertising

Commissions Paid to Sub Contactors

  • File Form 1099-MISC and 1096 as necessary

Depreciation

  • Cost and first date of business use of assets
  • Sales price and disposition date of any assets sold

Fringe Benefits

  • Employer-paid pension/profit sharing contributions
  • Employer-paid HSA contributions
  • Employer-paid health insurance premiums
  • Cost of other fringe benefits

Business insurance

  • Casualty loss insurance
  • Errors and omissions
  • Other

Interest expense

  • Mortgage interest on building owned by business
  • Business loan interest
  • Legal fees

Office supplies

  • Pens, paper, staples, etc.
  • Petty cash and other consumables

Rent expense

  • Office space rent
  • Business-use vehicle lease expense
  • Storage and Other

In-home Office

  • Square footage of office space (hours of use for daycare business)
  • Total square footage of home (not applicable for daycare business)
  • Repairs and utilities
  • Mortgage interest or rent paid

Wages paid to employees

  • Form W-2 and W-3 Federal and state payroll returns (Form 940, etc.)

Other expenses

Repairs and maintenance of office facility, etc.

Yes, we do!  We realize that many taxpayers miss out on numerous tax deductions in which they are often entitled too for many reasons. When filing your return with other tax offices or software such as Turbo Tax, you may be forfeiting deductions you are entitled to which can equate to hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars refunded to you. However, this doesn’t have to be you.

Through consulting with one of our experts, we offer a FREE tax consultation prior to when your tax preparation service is rendered. For a FREE consultation, contact us today by phone, text, or email. You’ll get an estimated quote within 24 hours. Maximum refund guaranteed! Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Experience the Empowered difference!

Tax relief refers to any government program or policy designed to help individuals and businesses reduce their tax burdens or resolve their tax-related debts.

Tax relief may be in the form of universal tax cuts, targeted programs that benefit specific groups of taxpayers, or initiatives that bolster particular goals of the government. For example, the child tax credit gives a tax break to parents of minor children, while the tax credit for green improvements (e.g., energy-efficient windows) furthers the goal of U.S. energy independence and cleaner air.

Key Takeaways

  • Various types of tax relief can help you lower your tax bill or settle tax-related debts.
  • Tax deductions let you deduct certain expenses (such as home mortgage interest) from your taxable income, thereby lowering the amount of tax you owe.
  • Tax credits directly reduce your tax bill and may provide a refund even if you don’t owe any tax.
  • The IRS Fresh Start program helps individuals and businesses settle back taxes and avoid tax liens.

To read more on tax relief and other tax related questions, visit our News page or simply contact us for a free income tax evaluation.

Empowered Finances., has been independently owned and operated, serving its clients and community since 2002. From its humble beginnings, our team started serving family and a handful of friends. Today, Empowered Finances is able to continue expanding our vision, of service to a broader group of clients and communities by providing complete tax assessment and financial services. Let us help you today.

Business Accounting FAQs

Business accounting is the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of financial information. Accounting may be done by one person in a small business, by different teams in large organizations, or by an outside team of accounting experts such as Empowered Finances.

Accounting is the way a business keeps track of its operations and meets compliance obligations. Empowered Finances analyzes your business finances so you and your management team can make better financial decisions. Accounting information is organized into reports that show the financial health of your business as well as opportunities for growth or savings.

Financial reporting aims to track, analyze, and report your business income to help you and any investors make informed decisions about how to manage the business.  Financial reports examine resource usage and cash flow to assess the financial health of the business.

Financial reporting typically has three goals:  providing information to investors, tracking cash flow, and analyzing assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity.

Empowered Finances provides accurate, complete financial reports for your business that adhere to taxation, accounting, and legal requirements.

If you ask an accountant whether or not you should work with someone to help you with your books professionally, the answer will be “yes.”  However, you can trust that they’re not saying yes for their own benefit.  Most successful business owners who work closely with an accountant will tell you an accountant is an absolute must.  An accountant can help you save time and money as well as help you avoid costly compliance or tax mistakes.

Empowered Finances accounting experts help business owners write business plans, advise business owners on company structure, help businesses obtain all the appropriate licenses and permits, help set up bookkeeping software, and address complex tax issues, payroll compliance and any other reporting requirements necessary for business credentialing.  Accountants can give you the “big picture” view of your business to help you see growth opportunities and avoid financial pitfalls.

We work for you, not the IRS.  Empowered Finances can do the heavy lifting for you so you’re free to run your business without the headaches of accounting.

Accountants have an array of areas in which they can specialize.  An accountant can spend time preparing accounts to meet regulations, but they can also focus on more commercial aspects of a business, sit in on meetings, test out new products, and help improve profit margins.  Business accountants typically track financial transactions, costs of products and services, and operational information, in addition to preparing tax documents and auditing financial records.

In general, accountants compile, analyze, verify, and prepare financial records for a department or an organization.  They work with financial documents to ensure lawful, efficient, and compliant business practices.  Accountant job duties can vary widely depending on the specialization, role, and client.

Empowered Finances will work with you to implement the most timely, appropriate accounting schedule and solutions to fit your unique business needs. 

As with any situation, if you’re an inexperienced individual trying to do the job of a trained professional, there will be risks.  Accounting is a precision skill that requires a high degree of accuracy, security, and time.  A single mistake in a balance sheet, payroll calculation, or tax document could be costly and possibly even illegal.

Accounting not only has to be accurate, but it also must be timely.  Vendor payments, payroll, and taxes all must be filed and paid on strict deadlines.  If you inadvertently miss a tax deadline, your business will be at risk for penalties, fines, and liens.  Missing a payroll deadline could result in the loss of important employees, or worse yet, a potential lawsuit.

Even if you can stay ahead of the deadlines and keep accurate records, you could be putting your business at risk for fraud.  Fraudsters tend to target small businesses because the security—especially for software and physical records—tends to be less hardened than that of larger companies.  A professional accountant will be able to spot potential fraud and will follow protocols and procedures to protect client data, both within and outside of any accounting software.

Most of all, though, accounting is time-consuming.  Most business owners already work well beyond a 40-hour work week.  Adding the task of business accounting only extends the amount of time they’re not able to do other things, like actually run their business and spend quality time with family and friends.

Empowered Finances has a team of accounting experts ready to help you with accurate, timely, compliant, and secure recordkeeping and reporting.  Let us free you up to own and run your business without the risk.

Empowered Finances., has been independently owned and operated, serving its clients and community since 2002. From its humble beginnings, our team started serving family and a handful of friends. Today, Empowered Finances is able to continue expanding our vision, of service to a broader group of clients and communities by providing complete tax assessment and financial services. Let us help you today.