My CPA Tips


‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING

charityHow many people have had a less fortunate year than you have? With storms, floods and fires this year, many have suffered and need your help. Others are struggling to put food on their tables or finding housing. As you are purchasing gifts for those you know, you might want to also help others in need. Now might be a good time to make charitable contributions and get deductions on your taxes this year. These donations must be made by the end of the year, so this is an appropriate time to remember to make those contributions. You can reap tax benefits while doing good for a charity, school or other qualifying organization. Included in this list are the funds set up for victims of hurricanes and other disasters, as long as they are registered as charities. Your donation must be made to a qualifying organization, often a 501(c) (3). You can determine whether the organization you want to contribute to is qualified by going to the website, IRS.gov and clicking  on “Tools” and then on “Exempt Organizations Select Check” 561 Schedule A (Form 1040) 8283 IRS.gov/eoselectcheck. Maintain a record of your contributions in the form of either  bank records (such as a cancelled check) or a written communications from the charity (such as a receipt or a letter) showing the name of the charity, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. With a competent accountant like Les Merritt, CPA, you can be assured that your credit for your generosity is included in your tax return for 2017. Les has helped businesses and individuals with their tax preparation throughout Wake County and beyond and can handle your returns as well. Give Les a call today at (919) 269-8553 and see what you can do before the end of the year. He and his qualified staff can help save you money while you assist others in this season for giving.

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IS A TAX REFORM PLAN COMING?

Tax ReformAs the seasons turn and autumn moves into winter, we approach that period when we will be filling in our tax returns. Debate about the Tax Reform Plan rages on in Congress. What the final outcome will be cannot be determined yet since the House and the Senate bills must be combined if they pass in those bodies. The question we all want to ask is, “Will the taxes I pay increase or decrease and by how much?” Only time will tell. Until we understand the results, we will have to wait. Whether the bill is passed and in what form, filing your taxes will continue to be a challenge. Each year new provisions are added or subtracted and few of us have time to keep up with all the changes. This is a good reason to use a CPA with that knowledge to help you with your return. You don’t want to miss any deductions that have been added since last year or take deductions that are no longer valid. If you were disappointed or depressed by this year’s tax bill or small refund, now is the time to make a change for next year. Les can begin working with your financial situation and get you set for taxes next year. Les Merritt, CPA, has been helping individuals and companies with their tax returns for over 30 years. You can trust that Les will stay up to date with the changes to the tax code and will prepare your tax forms, so you get the best financial benefits.  Call Les today at (919) 269-8553 to see how he can help you.

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HELLO NOVEMBER

hello November word abstrtact in wood typeHello November. You arrived so soon and where did the time fly? This is the time to reduce tax liabilities. Did you make too much in 2017 in your business? There are ways to reduce tax liability before the end of the year. One of the easiest ways is to send invoices out late in December so you will not receive payments until next year. Another way to reduce taxes is to take deductions for equipment this year. Did you buy new computer hardware or software? What about other equipment you financed? These are legitimate deductions so don’t forget to tell your accountant or CPA about these. For the individuals, it’s time to look at your FSA (Medical Flexible Spending Account) and see if money carries over into next year. If it doesn’t you might want to make appointments for any treatment you need to take advantage in 2017. If you did not have health insurance this year, expect to pay a tax penalty. Since the Affordable Care Act is still in effect as far as the IRS is concerned, you need to think about your options for 2018. No one knows exactly what might happen if it is repealed. Another thing to remember is that December 31 is a Sunday so the last day to take care of reducing your liability may be the Friday before, December 29. Consult with a tax expert before you get wrapped up in the holidays and it is too late. Call CPA Les Merritt today at (919) 269-8553 and see what you can do before the holidays are upon us.    

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It's Not too Early

It’s not too early to think about year end. As we approach the holiday season, it is a good time to get organized for your taxes and be sure you have been reconciling your checkbooks the end of the year. Business folks know that at the end of their fiscal year they have to close out their books. Individuals can learn from this practice and begin gathering their financial information and thinking about year end. End of Year 2017.Before you know it Thanksgiving and the other holidays will be upon us and we will turn our focus to sumptuous meals, gift-giving and gatherings of family and friends. Now is a good time to make sure you have organized your papers so that when the new year arrives, and you get your W-2 those forms that reports your annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld, you can file them with the rest of your paperwork and be ready to visit your Certified Public Accountant or tax preparer. Les Merritt has been helping individuals and companies prepare their returns for many years and keeps up with the latest tax changes, so he can help you to plan and prepare your return.  Work with him now and you can get the highest refund or paying the least allowed by taking actions including making donations, investing in your education and contributing to retirement accounts. By planning now, before the holidays begin, you can have the security of knowing you are prepared for the new year and not have to scramble at the close of the year. Call Les today at (919) 269-8553 and take care of business with one less task to worry about during the holiday season.

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