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5 Ways A Tax Accountant Can Make Your Job Easier

Tax Filing for Your Small Business

If you’re a business owner, have a complex financial portfolio or just get the jitters at the thought of Tax Day, you could greatly benefit from the services of a tax accountant.

People who engage a tax accountant find life easier for many reasons. Let’s discuss five of the biggest benefits.

1. A Tax Accountant Can Give You Peace of Mind

Business owners and individual taxpayers alike tend to stress over taxes, wondering whether they’ve dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s. The combination of paperwork, math and a looming deadline can be overwhelming. And there’s always that fear. Will this be the year you get dinged?

With stress comes procrastination. Some 20 to 25 percent of Americans put off tax preparation until the last 14 days before deadline. This last-minute cramming causes even more worry. It’s a vicious cycle, one that can be broken by bringing some fresh perspective into the picture.

A tax accountant approaches your taxes with expertise instead of dread. While you take taxes personally, they know that processing your return is just business as usual for the IRS.

They also have some reassuring information. Most of us owe no taxes and, in fact, eight out of ten refunds filed in 2013 yielded a refund, according to IRS data. Auditing fears are also largely unfounded. Only 1.1 percent of individuals who filed tax returns in 2010 were audited, and these were typically millionaires or very high-earning business owners.

A good tax accountant won’t put off preparing your taxes, because they know the outcome is likely to be in your favor. They’ll certainly never miss deadline, given their work life revolves around April 15!

2. A Tax Accountant Can Bring You Savings

A good tax accountant, like those at the Cedar City-based AA Tax & Accounting Services, LLC, knows exactly what you can use as a tax deduction or business write-off. In fact, if you’re a business owner, you can even write off the money you pay for tax strategy or tax preparation services.

Provide your tax accountant with thorough financial records and they’re likely to find expenses you never knew you could write off. Did you know, for instance, that you can write off any dry-cleaning fees you rack up during a business trip?

3. A Tax Accountant Can Create Clarity

Your tax accountant can help you navigate complex financial dealings. If you own a business or rental properties, or have a “side hustle” like driving for Uber,” you’ve likely moved beyond Turbotax territory. A tax knows how to depreciate business or real estate assets so as to decrease your tax burden.

4. A Tax Accountant Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Are you planning to sell some real estate? Your accountant can help you minimize the taxes you pay on the proceeds from property through mechanisms such as like-kind exchange.

If you want to put aside money for your children, either through a 529 plan to fund their education or through a trust, your accountant can help you decide the best methods for tax-deferred or tax-free saving. As an example, your tax accountant can help you categorize expenses charged to the trust fund in a way that nets the greatest tax benefit.

5. A Tax Accountant Can Help You Navigate Life Changes

Filing your tax return may have become relatively easy for you over the years. Divorce, however, can change a lot. A tax accountant can help you move from joint filing to individual, and incorporate any payments or expenses like alimony and child support. If you receive an inheritance after a loved-one’s death, your tax accountant can also help you work with the intricacies of settling their estate.

Whatever your portfolio and whatever your situation, there are countless ways a tax account can help you navigate your dealings with the IRS. Consider consulting an expert whose know-how can replace stress with success.

Tax Code Updates: Pass-Through Entities

The majority of business in America are structured as pass-through entities as pass-through business entities can be anything from a sole proprietorship to an S corporation. As such, these businesses need to understand how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts will affect their tax preparation.

Pass-Through Business Entities And Qualified Business Income

The most important change for pass-through entities is the 20% qualified business income (QBI) deduction that business can use while filing their upcoming taxes. However, that 20% QBI deduction is not guaranteed.

Pass-through business can receive 20% QBI deduction if it is lower than the taxpayer’s business or trade. They potentially receive a different deduction, such as:

  • 50% of the total W-2 wages which the pass-through entity paid to employees.
  • 25% of the total W-2 wages and add 2.5% of the original purchase cost of the business’ actual property.

This deduction method can be difficult to visualize. To help you visualize how these deductions may affect your business, below our accountant has provided an example.


The bolded amounts are the appropriate deduction for each of the example companies.

Limitations For The New Tax Code QBI Deduction

There are some limitations when it comes to what qualifies as QBI. The types of income which don’t qualify as QBI are:

  • Annuity payments
  • Capital losses or gains
  • Payments to partners for services
  • Interest and dividends
  • Foreign currency losses or gains
  • Business owner compensation

For those pass-through entities which operate their businesses in the service industry, there are income limitations to receiving the 20% QBI deduction.

  • Consulting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Health
  • Law
  • Financial Services
  • Performing Arts
  • Athletics
  • Brokerage Service
  • Accounting

These service-oriented businesses begin to receive less of a QBI deduction when the income hits $157,500 for an individual filer and $315,000 for joint filers. There is no QBI deduction for individual filers who earn $207,000 or for joint filers who earn $415,000.

Another key limitation for pass-through entities to remember is that the deductions discussed above will only last until the end of the 2025 tax year.

It can be complicated for a small business to grasp all the tax changes and appropriately apply them to their pass-through business. To receive high-quality accounting assistance for your business, contact us to work with our accountant.

Bookkeeping For Nonprofit Organizations

Bookkeeping for a nonprofit has different requirements than for a for-profit business. An experienced accountant can easily provide bookkeeping services to a nonprofit as well as a for-profit.

Bookkeeping Needed For Nonprofit Financial Transparency

As nonprofits enjoy IRS tax-exempt status, they are required to have a very high level of financial transparency. Accurate bookkeeping is necessary to achieve this transparency, which can be difficult for a nonprofit to provide as they may not have the skilled professionals on staff.

It is not uncommon for nonprofits to outsource their bookkeeping to efficient accounting services which provide nonprofits their bookkeeping and tax return assistance.

Tracking Expenses And Renevue For Nonprofits

Part of the bookkeeping necessary for nonprofits is the tracking of expenses and revenue. Expenses made by a nonprofit may be reported by several different departments, such as:

  • Program
  • Fundraising
  • Management
  • Operations

As the information is coming from various sections of the nonprofit, it can be difficult for an inexperienced bookkeeper to stay on top of all the financial information. This becomes especially difficult as a nonprofit bookkeeper attempts to track the revenue. Some sources or revenue that nonprofits receive are:

  • Membership dues
  • Investment income
  • Fundraising events
  • Donor contributions
  • Grants
  • Program fees

Required Nonprofit Financial Statements

Nonprofit bookkeepers need to not only perform the day-to-day tasks but they also will need to provide tax preparation support and financial statements.

Due to the transparency requirements nonprofits have, they need to have yearly financial statements available for all to view. The key required financial statements are:

  • Statement of Functional Expenses
  • Statement of Financial Position
  • Statement of Cash Flow
  • Statement of Activities
  • Notes to Financial Statements

Outsource Your Nonprofit Bookkeeping

Above are just the basics of nonprofit organization bookkeeping. Nonprofits still labor under many of the bookkeeping needs of a for-profit business, such as:

  • Payroll
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Bill pay
  • Deposits
  • Invoicing

Nonprofits organizations have a mission to accomplish and dedicating time and resources to track their bookkeeping is not always the most effective use of their valuable resources. Yet, by outsourcing their bookkeeping, nonprofits can fulfill their legal obligations for financial transparency, enjoy the professional handling of their bookkeeping, and allow the nonprofits to focus on their mission instead of financial matters.

AA Tax & Accounting Services LLC is able to provide top-quality bookkeeping services to nonprofit organizations. Depending on your nonprofit’s needs, our accountant can tailor what services are offered. Contact us for a consultation with our accounting firm and see what we can do for your nonprofit.

6 Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses can be made or ruined by their accounting. To help you master some of your business’ accounting needs, Adrian Anderson, MAcc has six accounting tips every business should be utilizing.

Allot Time To Work On Business Accounts

Many small business owners don’t enjoy working on their business accounts and tend to push off the task whenever possible. This can leave the business owner unaware of issues that only their accounts can reveal as well as other issues.

You should allot time at least once a week to work on your business accounts. Even if you aren’t sure you have anything to look at, stick to your allotted time so you stay in the habit of taking care of your business accounts.

Be Accurate And Diligent In Your Recordkeeping

As you go through your business records, you can do several things to ensure that they remain accurate.

  • Log expenses and profits regularly
  • Track and file invoices
  • Double-check payroll disbursements
  • Keep clear records of inventory

Depending on the industry your business is in, you may have different things you need to track for your records. Also, the more accurate your records are, the easier it will be to file your taxes.

Keep And File All Business-Related Receipts

Aside from keeping your regular expense receipts, be sure to keep and file any receipts which are attached to your business. Some business-related purchases you may make outside of your normal operating costs are:

  • Training seminars
  • Item replacements
  • Office upgrades
  • Business lunches

Perform Regular Profit And Loss Assessments

Beyond just tracking your profits and losses, you should make periodic assessments of your business by creating profit and loss statements. These statements will allow you to gain a broader perspective on your business and see more clearly how it is performing.

Depending on your business size and the volume of business you perform, there are different intervals where you will want to perform these assessments. Most small business owners would benefit from monthly profit and loss assessments as well as a 6-month overview.

Keep Personal And Business Expenses Separate

Some small business owners are not as strict with keeping their personal expenses and business expenses separate. This can especially create issues when you need to have your taxes done, as the tax breaks small business owners can receive do not apply to your personal needs.

Outsource Your Accounting Needs

By choosing our accounting services, you can tailor your accounting needs to suit your business without you needing to micromanage your accounts. That way, you can focus on your business operations while our accountant manages your accounting needs.

To consult with our accountant on what your business may need from an accountant, contact us today.

Cedar City Non-Profit Organizations: Donating To Chrysalis

To help our clients find the best local nonprofits to build up our community in Cedar City, UT, AA Tax & Accounting Services has chosen to highlight several nonprofit organizations. For this month, we have chosen Chrysalis as a potential nonprofit for you to support for your next tax benefit.

Tax Benefits For Choosing To Support A Nonprofit

As our accounting firm works to provide you with the best information on financial matters, a common question we receive is how supporting a nonprofit can be a tax benefit. With the recent changes to the tax laws, how this can benefit your tax preparation has changed.

Cash deductible donations to a 501(c)(3) were previously restricted to only allow 50% of your donation to be in cash. Now, you can make 60% of your donation to a nonprofit be in cash.

Another change, the raising of the standard deduction, may make it difficult to itemize your charitable donation. Be sure to consult with our accountant to ensure that your charitable donation can become tax-deductible.

Support Organizations Encouraging Self-Sufficiency

When choosing a people-focused nonprofit to support, many people prefer to support organizations which help improve the self-sufficiency of the recipients of the charity’s aid. If you are of this mindset, then Chrysalis is a nonprofit you may want to consider as a recipient for your next charitable donation.

Chrysalis’ mission is to support and provide opportunities to individuals in Cedar City, UT, who are living with disabilities, that way these individuals can become more fully integrated parts of their community. The services this nonprofit offers are:

  • 24-hour supervised home care
  • Behavioral services
  • Therapy
  • Financial management assistance
  • Personalized individual planning
  • Medical care

For more of their services, be sure to refer to Chrysalis’ services information page. Many of the services we have mentioned are on their 24-hour Residential Care page, so be sure to check through all their offered services to be sure this is an organization you want to support.

Have Your Donating To Chrysalis Incorporated Into Your Taxes

It can be tricky to prepare your taxes correctly to ensure your charitable donation is properly included into your taxes, especially with the tax law changes. If you want to feel more confident in your tax filing, you will want to work with AA Tax & Accounting Services, LLC, to prepare your taxes. Contact us for an appointment so our accountant can help make sure your tax deduction is properly applied to your set of filed taxes.

Bookkeeping For Your New Business Adventure

At AA Tax & Accounting Services, LLC, we can help make your new business adventure smoother. Whether or not you have chosen to take advantage of our startup company planning service, we highly recommend you outsource the bookkeeping for your new business.

Focus Your Energy On Your Business, Not Bookkeeping

When you are in the process of building up a new business, there are so many things which require your attention. From the marketing of your services to the management of business growth, business owners have a lot on their hands.

Bookkeeping can cut into not only your valuable time but also your energy. Many business owners find it draining to sit down and struggle with their business accounts, especially when there are so many other things which need their attention.

So, instead of dividing yourself between the task you are passionate about (your business growth) and the one you feel you have to do (the bookkeeping), outsource your bookkeeping to our accounting firm and save yourself the energy you used to give to bookkeeping.

What Our Bookkeeping Services Include

Our accountant offers extensive bookkeeping services to business in Cedar City, St George, and the surrounding areas. Some of these services are:

  • Specialized finance reports – There are many specialized financial reports which can help you determine how your business is performing. We provide income statements, cash flow projections, balance sheets, and more.
  • Account reconciliations – Our accountant can monitor your various business accounts to make sure that they accurately reflect your current balance and transactions and correct any errors which may occur.
  • General ledger management – Daily monitoring and maintenance of your business’ financial state is available when you work with our accounting firm. This will ensure that your business accounts always reflect the correct financial state of your business.
  • Tax preparation and filing – Preparing and filing your business’ taxes can not only be incredibly time-consuming but also has the potential to cause difficulties for your business if they are filed improperly. Our bookkeeping includes our tax preparation service, which can alleviate you from needing to do this stressful task.
  • Accounts receivable and payable – Ensuring that not only your business is paid for its services but that your bills and vendors are paid, can be a difficult task. Instead of struggling with the invoices on your own, our bookkeeping services can take care of it for you.

If you feel like your new business venture can benefit from these bookkeeping services, then contact us. Our accountant will work with you to determine what services can best help you build up your business and you can leave the bookkeeping to the experts as you focus your energy on other aspects of your work.

Cedar City Non-Profit Organizations: Donating To Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center

Providing a helping hand to those in need is an act that pays on both ends. Helping others helps you value your own life more, but can be tricky if you feel you are not in a financial position to contribute. With the assistance of accountants at AATAS, you can find a way to reach out to others without risking your own financial welfare.

Give A Gift To Your Community and Receive Tax Benefits In Return

Donating to a non-profit can be a stretch if you can’t find space in your budget or time to give. Qualified accountants at AATAS in your local Cedar City community can find a way to help you serve others by filing your tax-deduction for donating. Not only will you be helping those in need right here in your community, you will also be rewarded financially for your wise investment.

The Canyon Creak Women’s Shelter Is A Great Local Charity

A worthy recipient of your donation is the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center. Not only are they a strong force for good in the community, they are also a place that offers safety and security to those fleeing life-threatening situations. Their facility:

  • Is equipped to help and protect survivors of domestic abuse
  • Provides toiletries, clothing, and other essential amenities for those breaking free from dangerous and abusive situations.
  • Accepts donations put towards necessary supplies, transportation, housing, relocation and education of victims.

They provides safety, help, and education on breaking the cycle of abuse in the community. Their mission to protect those affected by domestic abuse can only be continued through your generous donation.

Donating To A Non-Profit Makes Taxes More Worthwhile

With tax season approaching it is difficult not to get anxious at the thought of carefully combing through your finances while trying to stay organized. Not only will your donation to a non-profit benefit your community, it will also serve you as you prepare your taxes. Seeking an accountant will allow you to finally feel confident about your tax return. Not only will you be able to smile about the service you have done, you will also get to breathe easier knowing your taxes will be deducted.

What AA Tax and Accounting Services in Cedar City Can Do For You

AATAS offers high-quality accounting services to help you get the most out of your finances. Not only will they help you file your tax-deductions for donating, they will also ensure the accuracy of your return. These accountants have served the Cedar City community as well as surrounding towns for many years. They have your best interest in mind. Donating to a non-profit, the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center, will help you and those struggling in your community. Let AATAS help you find a way to donate today.

Tax Code Updates: Will St George Business’ See Tax Cuts In The Near Future?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, sometimes called the Trump Tax Reform, passed several tax reforms that will impact businesses in St. George. To see how the tax reform will affect our local businesses, our accountant has brought together a basic overview so you can clearly see the changes.

Tax Changes For Pass-Through Businesses In St George

The majority of American businesses qualify as pass-through businesses. Because of this, the tax changes which affect pass-through businesses have been some of the most heavily scrutinized. On the surface, the changes seem fairly straightforward. A 20% tax deduction is now applied to all pass-through business entities. But there are several different business aspects which may affect that 20% tax deduction.

  • Service-based business – If your business relies on you providing a service such as medical, accounting, consulting, or other services (except architect and engineering services) your business will only receive the 20% deduction if you make less than $157,500 a year as a single taxpayer. Married couples who own service-based businesses will receive the 20% deduction if they make less than $315,000.
  • Qualified business income – The base of a qualified business income is the net income your business generates. Under the new tax reform, say your income is $60,000 and qualified business income is $50,000. With the 20% tax deduction, you can deduct $10,000 from your taxable income. As all this is below the deduction threshold, you will not need to make any more adjustments to your qualified business income.

This formula is also affected by qualified properties, W-2 employee wages, business equipment purchases and more. Our accountant is well versed in business accounting and can help you understand how these changes will affect your particular business.

Be Aware Of These Corporate Tax Changes

One of the more dramatic changes in the tax laws was the change of corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Lawmakers said this was to attract corporations bring work to the United States. Another large change was the elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax.

As more financial analysts dig into the new tax laws, more changes become apparent. Some things such as business entertainment expenses and employee benefits, which have been previously 100% deductible have changed. These changes apply to both pass-through business and corporations. There are many other such changes which may or may not apply to your specific business venture.

To receive advice on the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, set up an appointment with our accountant. He can help you determine your eligible tax deductions and help you decide how to best utilize your business so you will receive the biggest benefits from the new tax laws.

Do You Need Help From An Accountant Navigating The New Tax Reform?

Do You Need Help From An Accountant Navigating The New Tax Reform?

While the new tax reform will not affect your 2017 tax filing, it may affect some of the choices you make throughout the year. Depending on if you are filing as an individual filer or a business may change what help you need from our accountant.

Complicated Aspects Of The Tax Reform For Individual Filers

Many of the changes that came about during the tax reform were aimed at individual filers. While these changes are not permanent and are slated to end in 2025, they will affect your filing for the next handful of years. Below are some of the major changes which may affect you enough that you need to talk to our accountant to understand the full effects on your personal taxes.

Personal exemptions are gone. Your personal exemptions were deductions which allowed you to exempt some of your income. After they were applied, the IRS only taxed the remaining income. However, with the tax code change, you can no longer make these personal deductions.

The standard deduction has nearly doubled. Perhaps to balance the lack of the personal exemptions, the standard deduction for single filers, married joint filing, and head of household has nearly doubled. This move has made it less appealing to file an itemized tax return, though it will depend on your personal circumstances.

For more individual filer changes, be sure to check out our breakdown on the Trump tax reform.

Navigating Business And Corporate Tax Changes

There were not many changes to business and corporate taxes but the changes which occurred were impactful. A couple may require you to consult with our accountant to fully understand the ramifications of the change.

Pass-through business owners have a new tax break. If you own a pass-through business which you draw a salary, you will be allowed to take 20% out as a deduction. There are some stringent rules tied to this break, so you should definitely consult with our accountant to understand the full impact on your income and taxes.

U.S. companies earning overseas have new taxes. Previously, U.S. companies which earned money in foreign countries were not taxed on those earning until they were brought back to the U.S. The tax reform has changed it so that they are all required to pay 15.5% on their cash assets and 8% on all non-cash assets.

If you feel concerned about the new tax reform and are wondering how they will affect you in the next tax year, be sure to contact us. Our accountant is more than willing to walk you through the changes and help you understand what you need to know.

Tax News: Trump’s New Tax Reform

Tax Changes Via The Trump Admin

Many people are concerned how the new tax reform will affect their taxes. Yet, for the uninitiated, reading through legal documents to understand the new tax laws can be difficult. To help you better understand, AA Tax and Accounting Services has sorted through the tax reform and compiled it in a way to make it more understandable.

Tax Changes For Individual Filers

The majority of the tax changes were directed at individual filers, though they will only last until 2025. The first major change was the individual filers rates as shown below.

Income Bracket

Single Filers

Married, Filing Jointly

10% (remained the same)

$0 – $9,525

$0 – $19,050

12% (down from 15%)

$9,526 – $38,700

$19,051 – $77,400

22% (down from 25%)

$38,701 – $82,500

$77,401 – $165,000

24% (down from 28%)

$82,501 – $157,500

$165,001 – $315,000

32% (down from 33%)

$157,501 – $200,000

$315,001 – $400,000

35% (remained the same)

$200,001 – $500,000

$400,001 – $600,000

37% (down from 39.6%)

$500,001 or more

$600,001 or more

You should also be aware of many other important tax law changes:

  • Personal exemption – There is no more personal exemption for single filers or married joint filers.
  • Standard deduction – The standard deduction has almost doubled, going from $6,350 to the now $12,000 for single filers. Married couples who file jointly have had their standard deduction go from $12,700 to the present $24,000.
  • Child tax credit – Credit now gives filers $2,000 per child under 17 years old.
  • Non-child dependent credit – Parent can temporarily take a $500 credit for each and every non-child dependent they are financially supporting.
  • Cap on local and state tax deduction – The new deduction cap is now $10,000. The deduction will remain the same if you want to itemize.
  • Estate tax – Almost all estates are now exempted from the estate tax. Those who will still have to pay are those who inherit $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for couples.
  • Alternative minimum tax – The income exemption rates for the alternative minimum tax has been raised and now single filers can exempt $70,300 and married filers can exempt $109,400.
  • Health insurance penalty – There is now no penalty for not having health insurance.
  • Mortgage interest deduction – With a new mortgage on your first or second home, you can only deduct the interest up to $750,000.
  • Inflation adjustments – Inflation will be measured more slowly, which will make your deductions worth somewhat less.

Tax Changes For Businesses And Corporations

The new tax reform has also changed things when it comes to business and corporate taxes. Below is a short overview of what has been changed.

  • Corporate tax rate – The corporate rate has gone from multiple income brackets to just one. All corporations will be taxed 21% of their taxable corporate income.
  • Pass-through business tax lowered – Will now require owners, partners, shareholders of LLCs, S-corporations, and partnerships to pay taxes on 20% of their income.
  • Pass-through business tax break – If the partner or owner of a business also draws a salary from their business, that income will be subject to task.
  • U.S. multinational taxes – U.S. companies who earn overseas will now be required to pay taxes on their taxable corporate income whether they bring the profits home or not. The tax reform requires corporate businesses pay 15.5% on their cash assets and 8% on their non-cash assets.

These changes can be complicated. If you want to be sure you have everything in order when it comes to your taxes, feel free to contact us today and set an appointment. Our accountant can walk you through the tax changes which apply to you so that you can feel comfortable when filing your taxes.

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