CFO Financial Services LLC | 1405 N. Dobson Rd., Suite #5 | Chandler, AZ 85224 | 480-641-8100 ext. 201

       



 


 

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CFO FINANCIAL

 



 

Other Articles

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This Month's Feature Articles

 

- Selling your Business
 

- Tax Compliance Issues for Non-Profits
 

- Paying off Debt the Smart Way
 

- The Best Financial Tool for Business Owners


- Five Tips for Safeguarding Your Records


 

Tax Tips

 

- Start Planning Now for Next Year's Taxes
 

- Six Facts About Charitable Donations
 

- Who Can Represent You Before the IRS?
 

- Education Tax Credits Help You Pay for College
 

- Tax Tips for Members of the Military



 

 

 

 

 

 

Safeguarding Your Records + Best Financial Tool For Business Owners + Plan Now For Next Year's Taxes



     5 Tips For Safeguarding Your Records
 

Some natural disasters are more common in the summer, but major events such as hurricanes, tornadoes and fires can strike at any time.

 

It's always a good idea to plan for what to do in case of a disaster. Here are some basic steps you can take right now to prepare:

1. Backup Records Electronically. Many people receive bank statements by email. This is a good way to secure your records. You can also scan tax records and insurance policies onto an electronic format. You can use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store important records. Be sure you back up your files and keep them in a safe place. If a disaster strikes your home, it may also affect a wide area. If that happens you may not be able to retrieve your records.

2. Document Valuables. Take photos or videos of the contents of your home or business. These visual records can help you prove the value of your lost items. They may help with insurance claims or casualty loss deductions on your tax return. You should store them with a friend or relative who lives out of the area. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook, Publication 584, which can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.

3. Update Emergency Plans. Review your emergency plans every year. Personal and business situations change over time as do preparedness needs, so update them when your situation changes. Make sure you have a way to get severe weather information and have a plan for what to do if threatening weather approaches. In addition, when employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.

4. Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts. Use Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to replace lost or destroyed tax returns or need information from your return. You can also file Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. If you need assistance filling this form out, please call.

5. Check on Fiduciary Bonds. Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.

If you fall victim to a disaster, Help is just a phone call away. Don't hesitate to call the office regarding any disaster-related tax questions or issues you might have.
 



The Best Financial Tool For Business Owners

What if there were a tool that helped you create crystal-clear plans, provided you with continual feedback about how well your plan was working, and that told you exactly what's working and what isn't?

Well, there is such a tool. It's called the Budget vs. Actual Report and it's exactly what you need to be able to consistently make smart business decisions to keep your business on track for success.

Clarifying Your Plan

The clearer you are about your business goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. Creating a budget forces you to examine the details of your goals, as well as how even a single business decision affects all other aspects of your company's operations.

Example: Let's say that you want to grow your sales by 15 percent this year.

Does that mean you need to hire another salesperson? When will the business start to see new sales from this person? Do you need to set up an office for them? New phone line? Buy them a computer? Do you need to do more advertising? How much more will you spend? When will you see the return on your advertising expenditure?

Navigating the Ship

Once you clarify your goals, then you start making business decisions to help you reach your desired outcome. Some of those decisions will be great and give you better than expected results, but others might not.

This is when the Budget vs. Actual Report becomes an effective management tool. When you compare your budgeted sales and expenses to your actual results, you see exactly how far off you might be with regard to your budget, goals, and plans.

Sometimes you need to adjust your plan (budget) and sometimes you need to focus more attention to areas of your business that are not performing as well as you planned. Either way, you are gleaning valuable insights into your business.

It's like sailing a boat. You may be off-course most of the time, but having a clear goal and making many adjustments helps you reach your destination.

Just Do It

We often know what we need to do but don't take the necessary action. It may seem like a huge hassle to create a budget and then create a Budget vs. Actual Report every month, but as with any new skill, it does get easier.

Turn your dreams into reality. Give the office a call and let a tax and accounting professional guide you through the budgeting process.

 



Start Planning Now For Next Year's Taxes

You may be tempted to forget about your taxes once you've filed your tax return, but did you know that if you start your tax planning now, you may be able to avoid a tax surprise when you file next year?

That's right. Now is a good time to set up a system so you can keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here are five tips to give you a leg up on next year's taxes:

1. Take action when life changes occur. Some life events such as a change in marital status or the birth of a child can change the amount of tax you pay. When they happen, you may need to change the amount of tax withheld from your pay. To do that, file a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. Call if you need help filling out the form.

2. Report changes in circumstances to the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you enroll in insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2016, you should report changes in circumstances to the Marketplace when they happen. Reporting events such as changes in your income or family size helps you avoid getting too much or too little financial assistance in advance.

3. Keep records safe. Print and keep a copy of your 2015 tax return and supporting records together in a safe place. This includes W-2 Forms, Forms 1099, bank records and records of your family's health care insurance coverage. If you ever need your tax return or records, it will be easier for you to get them. For example, you may need a copy of your tax return if you apply for a home loan or financial aid for college. You should use your tax return as a guide when you do your taxes next year.

4. Stay organized. Make tax time easier on everyone by having your family place tax records in the same place during the year. That way you won't have to search for misplaced records when you file your return next year.

5. Consider itemizing. You may be able to lower your taxes if you itemize deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. Owning a home, paying medical expenses and qualified donations to charity could mean more tax savings. A list of deductions is found in the instructions for Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. As always, if you have any questions please call.

Ready to save money on your taxes?

Planning now can pay off with savings at tax time next year. Call today and get a jump start on next year's taxes.



 

 


QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the tax treatment of mutual funds, don't hesitate to call the office if you would like more information about tax planning strategies this year.  Help is just a phone call away at (480) 641-8100.
 


 

Remember you can call our offices if you have any questions about these or any other accounting, tax, financial planning or insurance related issues, at (480) 641-8100. 

 

Regards, Nathan DeBacker, CPA

CFO Financial Services LLC

 


 
 

 
 

 

 

Nathan DeBacker, CPA | CFO Financial Services LLC
1405 N. Dobson Rd., Suite #5 | Chandler, AZ 85224
480-641-8100 ext. 201 | Fax: 480-855-0021 | nathan@cfofin.com | www.cfofin.net