No annoying tax professional lingo. Just straight, authoritative and friendly expert advice. Since 2006, we have been actively serving members of our community, easing their lives when it comes to financial and tax management.
Located centrally on Long Island, our team of experienced & knowledgeable professionals are dedicated to providing you with accurate services you can depend on. Over time we have steadily grown to offer the full range of financial services available today. Amongst other services, we now handle insurance, taxes, payroll as well as real estate needs for both home and business owners. At Proficient C
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Take a lighthearted look at tax history through the centuries...
Have you been keeping your thumb on the pulse of your business? Checking on your business's health needs to be a priority, and it needs to be done regularly. Here's a great checklist to get you started:
Financial Health Checklist for Small Business Owners | Kiplinger Keeping your company up and running is more than a full-time job, so it’s easy to overlook some key steps toward keeping your company – and yourself – financially healthy. Here’s a rundown of items to keep a close eye on.
Controlling costs (and cost-cutting) has definitely been in the top ten of hot topics in the business world after the toll the past year and a half has placed on the economy.
So, if you haven't made a list of cost control areas to examine in your own business, here are a few you can start with:
Purchasing - Is your supplier cutting you the best deal? Can you join purchase with another local business to get a volume discount?
Property - Can employees continue to work from home to minimize workspace expenses? Are you considering utility costs (turn off those lights)?
Cloud Computing - Can you make your business more virtual by housing data on the cloud versus physical servers?
A lot of parents are eagerly anticipating their state's tax-free weekend as visions of school supplies dance through their heads. And while not every state offers tax-free times (and tax-free dates for at least 4 states have come and gone), there are quite a few that kick off in early August. See here for a complete list:
Does Your State Have a Sales Tax Holiday? Although state budgets may be in unusual places this year, sales tax holidays remain the same as they always have been—ineffective and inefficient.
For a lot of people, summertime means vacations and celebrations, and even side hustles. But whether you're tying the knot, getting the kids out of your hair, or just looking to make a little extra cash, you'll want to prepare for how these summer activities will affect your taxes during filing time.
Things people do during the summer that might affect their tax return next year | Internal Revenue Service Tax Tip 2021-102, July 15, 2021
Calling all parents...
The DEADLINE for opting out of receiving the rest of the Advance Child Tax Credit payments this year is MONDAY, AUG 2.
If you're making more money than last year, you should definitely consider opting out so you don't have to pay back some of it back later.
Child Tax Credit Update Portal | Internal Revenue Service Unenroll if you don’t want to get advance Child Tax Credit payments or check if you’re enrolled.
No matter how far around the block customers are waiting, in business, only one line counts.
The bottom one.
That's why controlling costs is critical.
Getting a grip on the costs of doing business brings you both short- and long-term benefits.
“Cost controls” generally mean saving money (who doesn’t like that?) and laying the foundation for greater efficiency and profitability in the future.
Do the words "your credit" feel like a nebulous universe you're not quite sure how to understand?
It can definitely feel that way, but understanding how to keep your credit score in good shape is essential in today's world, for both you AND your kids to learn.
Help your kids learn to avoid these 6 big credit mistakes Help your kids develop financial literacy and good credit with a few simple rules.
Having a hard time developing those must-do savings habits? Here are some fundamental financial lessons to get you in the right frame of mind.
7 lessons from 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' that will help you save up quickly The book gives key advice on how to improve your personal finances, how to learn to invest and save, and how to make better financial choices.
For businesses who are dealing with disgruntled customers and working toward a happy resolution -- HEARing is essential:
HEAR the customer and don't interrupt
EMPATHY is everything
ASK (What can I do to make this right?)
RESOLVE - Unless the request is absolutely ridiculous, DO IT.
We feel passionate about helping parents teach their kids about money. This is a kind of power that can help kids stay out of the murky waters of debt and bad financial decisions, and be empowered to make the right choices as they grow up.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "If knowledge is power, we should look to its advancement at home, where no resource of power will be unwanting."
Here are some ideas for parents.
The Best Ideas for Teaching Kids to Save and Earn Money Teaching kids about money, including how to save and spend wisely, can set them up for long-term success.
If you're one of the millions of people with Federal student loan debt who have enjoyed the reprieve from making payments the last 16 months, it's time to start making a plan for repayment again.
Starting September 30th, come rain or shine, student loan repayment will resume, as will regular interest rates.
And... the plan you had before March of last year, might not apply now. With all of the many considerations regarding repayment, it might be time to get some advice from a trustworthy source and strategize how to tackle the remainder of that debt.
As many of you know, the first Advance Child Tax Credit (ACTC) payments went out yesterday, July 15th. The payments will continue every month on the 15th until December 15th of 2021.
There's a lot of confusion and questions about these payments, so we wanted to get you some ACCURATE information. The IRS "main page" regarding the ACTC is linked below.
On this page you can:
- Check your eligibility for ACTC payments.
- Update the bank account that the IRS will use to deposit your payments.
- Access the non-filer tool if you don't file tax returns but have kids. You can register yourself and your children so that you'll receive the payments (if you're eligible).
- Opt-out of payments (i.e. "save" the full credit amounts for your 2021 tax return).
**NOTE: If your income has increased in 2021, relative to past years, you may want to opt out of these advance payments to avoid any danger of needing to pay back the amounts received.
Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 | Internal Revenue Service Find details about the advance Child Tax Credit payments, including how to get them or stop getting them.
When we meet with a business owner, we often wear many hats -- CFO, Marketing Advisor, COO, etc. -- truly whatever fits the needs of our client most precisely.
Why? Because business owners can make rash decisions in times of perceived crisis (like during "tax season") -- and they often have unforeseen complications down the road...
Which is why it is critical that we take a look at how things are set up for you and your business for the rest of 2021.
Here in the middle of summer (and BEFORE the fall rush) is the perfect time to take a clear-eyed look at things and plan for the best outcome for your business come January.
The IRS is one of the most powerful organizations in each of our little worlds, so the thought of getting tangled up with them is legitimately intimidating and scary.
But one way to keep them off our backs when filing personal taxes is by keeping accurate, detailed records of the flow of all money into and out of our lives.
So, here's a guide for how long to keep your records...
1. Completed tax returns: Keep for seven years
2. IRA contribution records: Keep Permanently
3. Bank records: Keep for just one year
4. Brokerage statements: Keep until you sell
5. Household bills: Keep from one year to permanently
6. Paycheck stubs: Keep for one year
7. House/condominium records: Keep six years/permanently
If you received unemployment in 2020 and paid tax on that income before the ARP was passed, this applies to you.
Still waiting for your unemployment tax refund? Here's how to check its status Millions of Americans who collected unemployment benefits last year and paid taxes on that money are in line to receive a federal refund from the IRS this year.
Even though the July opt-out date for the first payment of the advanced CTC has come and gone, you can still put the kibosh on the August 13th payment. However, you've got to do it at least 3 days before the first Thursday in August (aka August 2nd).
And... if you somehow get lost in the busy in and out of daily life and forget to unenroll for August's payment, you can always unenroll before the next payment sneaks up on you.
For more info, drop in on the IRS's Topic J page:
2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic J: Unenrolling from Advance Payments | Internal Revenue Service Frequently asked questions about the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 — Topic J: Unenrolling from Advance Payments
Business owners, if you have any questions about how to classify your seasonal workers this summer, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask. It will save you and them a great amount of headache to give them the proper designation. Even if you don't have to withhold income tax on their paychecks, it's very likely you are still required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes. We're here to talk through the details with you.
If your business is hiring young people on summer break as seasonal employees, remember that you must report all wages you pay them.
Just because they are young, or it's just a short "side job," doesn't mean you aren't responsible to let the IRS know that you hired them. Not doing so can result in fees and trouble for you.
The IRS has begun putting together its 2021 Dirty Dozen tax scams list.
The list includes:
- pandemic-related scams
- personal info cons
- ruses focusing on unsuspecting victims
- schemes that persuade taxpayers into unscrupulous actions
More info to come, but let this remind us to keep an eye out for these schemes and scams.
IRS announces "Dirty Dozen" tax scams for 2021 | Internal Revenue Service IR-2021-135, June 28, 2021 — The Internal Revenue Service today began its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2021 with a warning for taxpayers, tax professionals and financial institutions to be on the lookout for these 12 nefarious schemes and scams.
The past year and a half has been stressful for everybody.
The thing is though, these things happen. Quite regularly. Maybe not global pandemics, but disasters in general.
So, as people in your corner who might be the only ones asking you these questions -- What happens to you or your business if the building next door catches on fire? Are you prepared for the next hurricane, tornado, or hail storm?
Every family and business needs to prepare for these eventualities. Do you have a plan?
It's something to think about...
The upcoming Child Tax Credit payments are NOT like the stimulus checks. They are advance payments of a credit you may be eligible for on your 2021 taxes. If your income has increased or you think you will owe on your taxes next year, you may want to opt out or you may need to pay it back.
It might make sense to opt out of the enhanced Child Tax Credit payments — here’s why June 28 is the first deadline to opt out of monthly child tax credit payments
A lot of families (especially those living paycheck to paycheck) have been looking forward to those monthly advanced payments of the increased Child Tax Credit (up to $300 per child) set to roll out in July.
However... if you got a new, higher-paying job this year or received a raise, you might want to consider opting out.
Why? Unlike the "free money" stimulus payments, receiving too high of a CTC payment could mean that parents end up having to pay back those payments on next year's taxes.
Tax Pros Caution Some Clients on Taking Monthly Child Tax Credit Some tax professionals are urging clients to consider opting out of receiving new monthly payments of the child tax credit because they could end up having to pay back that money next filing season.
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