My CPA Tips


SPRING IS HERE

Yellow PollenSpring is here for sure when the yellow pollen covers automobiles, mailboxes and other exposed surfaces and sneezing and stuffiness affects much of the population here in the South. As most of us have learned, it is not the visible pollen but the other pollen that cause the allergy problems. As the days go on without rain, the coating gets thicker and thicker, but there is precipitation due this weekend that will wash much of the dingy color away. This yellow dusting is another reminder that taxes are due. This year we get a few days of reprieve and the last day to file personal taxes without an extension is April 17. For those of you who have procrastinated, the time is here. There are less than two weeks before the deadline. Last minute self-prepared returns are dangerous because in the rush, money can be left on the table or non-legitimate deductions can create errors in your return. These can either make you pay more than you should or get your paperwork returned with a penalty for unpaid (those questionable deductions) amounts. If you have put off your taxes this long, contact a CPA to help you file that extension and begin preparing your tax return. Using a professional to do your preparation makes good sense. Les Merritt, CPA, has been helping families and businesses prepare their returns for decades in the Triangle and can help you file that extension and get your return ready so that you can minimize interest on the late filing. Contact Les Merritt at (919) 269-8553 to make an appointment and stop procrastinating. Once you have made plans, you can rest easily and wait for the rain to remove some of the pollen from our lives.

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TAX FILING DEADLINE NEARS

Magnolia flowersThe snow-white blossoms on the Bradford Pear trees have come and gone and other trees are beginning to show their buds and blossoms. Even though we were surprised by a dusting of snow this week, warmer days are on the way. With the first official day of Spring on Wednesday, the tax filing deadline nears. Many of you have had your return prepared, but some of you are still procrastinating. It may be too late to find a CPA or tax preparer to complete your forms, but you will have to file an extension of you don’t get it completed and mailed by April 17. So, should you do a quick return using software or your brother-in-law who took a few accounting classes? NO! You could lose money by not taking deductions you should or be penalized for taking deductions you are not allowed. It will be better for you to have a CPA file that extension and do a thorough job on your return. Les Merritt can take care of your tax preparation needs. He keeps up with the latest changes in tax law and can find all allowable deductions for you. Contact Les Merritt at (919) 269-8553 to make an appointment to take care of your tax return. He has been helping out families in the area for decades. Start out your Spring with sunshine and smiles by completing your tax tasks (filing or extending) before the deadline. Enjoy the warming days and blooming flowers and trees with no more tax worries.

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SURVIVED THE IDES OF MARCH

caesarUnlike Julius Caesar, you survived the Ides of March yesterday. In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar was warned, “Beware the Ides of March,” but ignored the caution and was stabbed 23 times by a mob in the Roman senate. Don’t ignore that we are halfway through March already. Tax Day for 2018, usually falling on April 15 (the Ides of April), will be two days later since the 15th falls on a Sunday. It’s just over a month from now. Will you be ready? Many people procrastinate and wait until the last minute to do taxes, but that can be risky and expensive. It may be too late to get your taxes done by that date, and if so, you may need an extension. An extension is better than sending in a hurriedly-prepared, incorrect form or missing vital deductions that could save you money. And some of the tax preparers-in-the-box only do taxes for a few months a year instead of professionals like CPAs who are dedicated to tax planning and year-round study. Les Merritt, CPA, has been helping businesses and individuals with tax preparation for decades and knows the latest tax laws. He studies which deductions you can take and which you cannot and can find all those that are allowable for your most beneficial tax return. Now is the time to act. Call Les Merritt at (919) 269-8553 to make an appointment to take care of your tax return. You will be glad you have taken action and removed this task from your incomplete projects. Set up to have Les do your taxes yearly and never dread the Ides of March or April.

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COUNTDOWN TO TAX DAY

Countdown clockThis is your reminder countdown to tax day!  Your personal tax return is due in less than six weeks. Your company return, depending on what type of company may be due next week. It may not be too late to have a CPA file your personal taxes. In cases where one or both can’t be filed in time, you can get an extension and file later. As you are considering what to do, if you have not filed already, don’t rush through doing your own taxes. You will likely save money by having a professional like a Certified Public Accountant prepare your paperwork and filing electronically or sending it by mail BUT DO NOT DELAY! There is a difference between having all your receipts collected in a shoe box and filing the most advantageous tax return. Your maximized return will include all allowable deductions. That way you can get the heftiest refund or pay the lowest taxes. Using a professional for taxes is a wise decision. You can use your time more productively because even with software, you may miss significant deductions you can take or mistakenly record those you are not entitled to take. In either case, it can lead to pricey errors which may cost you time and money later.  

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