Sullivan & Company - Certified Public Accountants 4709 Montgomery Lane #201 - Bethesda, MD, 20814 Phone: 301-657-8080

       

 

 

 

Financial Services by Sullivan & Company

Kathy Grow EA/IAR

Financial services are now offered at Sullivan & Co., CPAs.  The story WHY:

 

You may wonder why your accounting firm wants you to invest with them. Years ago, CPAs were not allowed to venture into the investment world, but it always bothered us to see how poorly our clients were treated at their broker. It is not that the broker was not nice or attentive; it was the quality of the investments and, oftentimes, the lack of understanding for how the investments were going to affect the client in the future.

 

The amount of commissions and fees were oftentimes much larger than the client realized. Principles taught in universities were ignored by greedy advisors. Some forward thinking CPAs worked hard to get the accounting industry to see that we could, at the least, counsel our clients so that their investing experience was successful.

 

Our function is to work with you in all areas of your financial life. We prepare your tax returns and financial statements, of course, but there's a lot more decisions you make that we should be involved in. These include: succession planning for business owners such as HOW TO:

1) Sell your business

2) Retire comfortably

3) Handle your finances now that you are divorced or widowed

4) Provide for loved ones if you die

5) Pay for the education of your children

6) Determine if a trust is right for you

7) Minimize estate taxes

 

Worse than hearing that the IRS is going to audit is the call from a client who has plunged into an investment, whether stocks, bonds or another home without consulting us first.

 

Sometimes these decisions have unfortunate results and are difficult or impossible to undo. So, in response to this need, your CPA firm has well trained accountants and financial services professionals to help you navigate the financial world..

For a free review of your investments, give me a call at 301 657-8080 X 135.

 


 

 

Paul Sullivan, CPA

Sullivan & Company

 

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This Month's Feature Articles

- Six Tax Changes Benefiting Taxpayers in 2013
- Identity Theft and Tax Returns: Tips for Taxpayers
- Financial Troubles? 5 Ways to Improve Your Situation
 

Tax Tips

- 2014 Tax Season Opens Jan. 31 for 1040 Filers
- Missing Your Form W-2?
- Updated Withholding Tables Released for 2014
- IRS Guidance for Legally Married Same-Gender Couples



 

 

 

If your CPA isn't providing this type of information to you as a client each month (OR JUST CONTACTS YOU WHEN IT IS TAX TIME OR TO PAY YOUR BILL TO THEM) maybe it's time to talk with or switch to Paul Sullivan at Sullivan & Company CPAs. To set up an appointment to talk with Paul at 800-652-6521 or in Bethesda call 301-657-8080.

Identity Theft and Tax Returns: Tips for Taxpayers

 

Refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide (click here for an update we did in 2012 on Refund Fraud on this very topic & go to 6:30 mark on the video to listen to that topic.)

Stopping refund fraud related to identity theft is a top priority for the IRS. With more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft cases, the IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible and has trained more than 35,000 employees to work with taxpayers to recognize and provide assistance when identity theft occurs.

Taxpayers might encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One possible scenario is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person's identifying information, which has been stolen.

Here are some tips to protect you from becoming a victim, and steps to take if you think someone may have filed a tax return using your name:

Tips to protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft

 - Don't carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).


 - Don't give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.


 - Protect your financial information.


 - Check your credit report every 12 months.


 - Secure personal information in your home.


 - Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.
 

 - Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
 

If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. local time; Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).

Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS, if you believe you're a victim of identity theft, or if you learn from your tax professional that:

 - More than one tax return for you was filed;

 

 - You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return;
 

 - IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned or
 

 - Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change.
 

If you receive a notice from the IRS and suspect your identity has been used fraudulently, respond immediately by calling the number on the notice. Please call us if you're not sure what to do or would like assistance with this.

If you did not receive an IRS notice but believe you've been the victim of identity theft, contact us or contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit directly at 800-908-4490, extension 245.

Also, you will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039. Please write legibly and follow the directions on the back of the form that relate to your specific circumstances. If you need help filling out this form, don't hesitate to give us a call
.

 

   

 

We also recommend that you take additional steps with agencies outside the IRS such as:

 - Reporting incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov or the FTC Identity Theft hotline at 877-438-4338 or TTY 866-653-4261.


 - Filing a report with the local police.


 - Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.


 - Contacting the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:
     > Equifax - www.equifax.com, 800-525-6285
     > Experian - www.experian.com, 888-397-3742
     > TransUnion - www.transunion.com, 800-680-7289
 

If you have reported an identity theft case to the IRS and are waiting for your federal tax refund, be assured that the IRS is working to speed up and further streamline identity theft case resolution to help innocent taxpayers.

In many instances, these are extremely complex cases to resolve, frequently touching on multiple issues and multiple tax years and cases of resolving identity can be complicated by the thieves themselves contacting the IRS.

Due to the complexity of the situation, this is a time-consuming process. Taxpayers are likely to see their refunds delayed for an extended period of time while we take the necessary actions to resolve the matter. A typical case can take about 180 days to resolve, and the IRS is working to reduce that time period.


 

Also, please note that even if you have an open identity theft case that is being worked by the IRS, you need to continue to file your tax returns during this period.

For victims of identity theft who have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution to their case, you may contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free, at 800-908-4490. If you are unable to get your issue resolved and are experiencing financial difficulties, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service toll-free at 877-777-4778.

Identity theft is an issue that we, as tax professionals, take very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not think twice about calling us. We are here to help you.

 


 

    Financial Services at Sullivan & Company, CPAs

Kathy Grow leads our Financial Services Division and is here to help you navigate your financial future. As an Investment Advisor Representative, she is able to provide an independent opinion on the investments you already own or are considering buying.

 

We can structure a portfolio based on your risk tolerance or we can help you decide how to invest in your company 401(k) plan. We work with each client to identify their concerns and to provide solutions according to their situation.

Kathy is also experienced in company retirement plans. If you own a business that does not have a plan; we can discuss your options and set up a plan that fits your company.

 

If your business already has a plan; we offer a free evaluation of the plan to ensure that it is up to date and working well for you and your employees.

Our goal is to provide personal, unbiased and independent advice to help you make well-informed decisions about your financial life and investments.

Contact Kathy Grow or Jordana Para to set up a free initial consultation (301) 657-8080.

And as always if you have any questions about accounting or investments and how they effect you or your business, please give us a call at (240) 316-3564. We can help guide you in the right direction.

 


 

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 301-657-8080. 

 

Regards, Paul Sullivan, CPA

President, Sullivan & Company

 

 

 

 

Sullivan & Company, CPAs | 4709 Montgomery Lane | Bethesda, MD 20814 www.eSullivan.net | email: pSullivan@eSullivan.net | Like Us on Facebook

Direct: 240-316-3531 | Main no.: 301-657-8080 Ext 102 | Fax: 301-657-9055