Monday, October 24, 2016

Offshore Voluntary Compliance Efforts Top $10 Billion

As international compliance efforts pass several new milestones, the Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts that they should use existing paths to come into full compliance with their federal tax obligations.
Updated data shows 55,800 taxpayers have come into the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to resolve their tax obligations, paying more than $9.9 billion in taxes, interest and penalties since 2009. In addition, another 48,000 taxpayers have made use of separate streamlined procedures to correct prior non-willful omissions and meet their federal tax obligations, paying approximately $450 million in taxes, interest and penalties.
“The IRS has passed several major milestones in our offshore efforts, collecting a combined $10 billion with 100,000 taxpayers coming back into compliance,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As we continue to receive more information on foreign accounts, people’s ability to avoid detection becomes harder and harder. The IRS continues to urge those people with international tax issues to come forward to meet their tax obligations.”
Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the network of inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) between the U.S. and partner jurisdictions, automatic third-party account reporting has entered its second year. More information also continues to come to the IRS as a result of the Department of Justice’s Swiss Bank Program. As part of a series on non-prosecution agreements, the participating banks continue to provide information on potential non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers.
OVDP offers taxpayers with undisclosed income from foreign financial accounts and assets an opportunity to get current with their tax returns and information reporting obligations. The program encourages taxpayers to voluntarily disclose foreign financial accounts and assets now rather than risk detection by the IRS at a later date and face more severe penalties and possible criminal prosecution.

Courtesy of IRS

For information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Friday, October 21, 2016

Become a Tax Volunteer

The IRS is looking for people to provide free tax help in 2017. Become a tax volunteer and make a difference in your community.

The IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These two programs offer free tax help across the country for people with low-to-moderate incomes. This year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.7 million federal tax returns at no cost to families across the country.

As a volunteer, you’ll join a program that’s helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years. Your help will make a difference. It’s people helping people. It's that simple.

Courtesy of IRS

For information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Thursday, October 20, 2016

When should I hire an Accountant?

There are good reasons for hiring an accountant at different stages of your company's growth. From a business plan to company formation, loan application to government audit, an accountant can make life easier for you at each step.

That doesn't mean you always need to employ an accountant full-time or hire one on a retainer basis. Sometimes just a couple of hours of their time will be enough.

Like all small business owners who are looking to save money, you may think you can’t afford an accountant. But look at how long it would take you to do certain tasks (such as taxes), and ask yourself, is that a good use of your time?

If you involve an accountant while you're writing your business plan, they will be able to use accounting software to add financial projections and other reports to it. This will help you create a business plan that's realistic, professional and more likely to succeed.

Not all businesses have the same legal structure – there are different types that are determined by a number of factors. Some might be called limited companies, limited liability partnerships or corporations, others could be sole traders or proprietors. These vary from one country to another.
You should carefully consider each type before deciding which one best suits you.

Small business accounting can quickly become complex if you do it on your own. If you feel you're losing control of who owes you money and how much, an accountant can help you get back on track.

You may also want to measure key business metrics, such as the ratio of salaries and other employee payments to total revenue. An accountant can help here by managing your payroll and producing graphs so you can see how the ratio changes over time.

As a small business owner, no doubt one of the things you like best is that you have control. You can set your own working hours, craft your business strategy, regulate your workload (at least to some extent) and determine your own finances. And being the master of all of these things is a wonderful and liberating feeling.

But sometimes it can stop you from delegating. Business owners can feel overworked, partly due to a reluctance to allow other people to help out. You might feel that no one can possibly know your business as well as you do, therefore nobody can handle any part of your business as well as you can.

Inability to delegate can mean you’re left feeling overworked and stressed. At some point you will have to let go, and learn to trust other people to handle some parts of your business so that you can look after the rest.

Courtesy of Xero

For more information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Accounting Tips for Small Business

There’s no shortage of details to consider when you’re a small business owner. Getting the back-office basics of accounting in order early on – tracking revenues, expenses and costs – will keep you out of the weeds of paperwork and cash flow snafus, and onto the important work of growing your business.

To keep moving toward your long-term goals and improve profits, get your small business accounting in order with these essential tips:
Separate Business and Personal Expenses
Track Every Expense
Accurately Record Deposits
Understand When It Pays to Pay
Dedicate Time to Update Your Books
Keep Tabs on Labor Costs
Expect Major Expenses
Maintain Inventory Records
Follow Up on Invoices and Receivables

Bookkeeping is a necessary chore of all businesses, helping you manage your operations and prevent an audit by giving the IRS what they need.

Courtesy of FundEra

For more information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Extension Filers Have Until March 15 to File

The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for either individual assistance or public assistance. Moreover, taxpayers in counties added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

The IRS is taking this step due to the unusual factors involving Hurricane Matthew and the interaction with the Oct. 17 extension deadline.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 4, 2016. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until March 15, 2017, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Jan. 17 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until today, Oct. 17, 2016. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2015 returns were originally due on April 18, 2016, those are not eligible for this relief.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Oct. 31 and Jan. 31 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. It also includes the special March 1 deadline that applies to farmers and fishermen who choose to forgo making quarterly estimated tax payments.

Courtesy of IRS

For more information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Monday, October 17, 2016

IRS Announces Position on Unilateral APA Applications Involving Maquiladoras

The Internal Revenue Service today announced that U.S. taxpayers with maquiladora operations in Mexico will not be exposed to double taxation if they enter into a unilateral advance pricing agreement (APA) with the Large Taxpayer Division of Mexico’s Servicio de Administraci√≥n Tributaria (SAT) under terms discussed in advance between the U.S. and Mexican competent authorities.
Maquiladoras typically operate in Mexico as contract manufacturers of foreign multinationals.
This announcement represents the culmination of two years of collaboration between the competent authorities to address SAT’s current inventory of approximately 700 pending unilateral APA requests in the maquiladoras industry.  It is an important step forward in strengthening ties between the two governments and providing certainty in the taxation of multinationals.

Courtesy of IRS

For more information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999

Friday, October 14, 2016

Many Victims of Hurricane Matthew Qualify for Late-Filing Penalty Relief

The Internal Revenue Service today advised taxpayers affected by Hurricane Matthew but not yet covered by a federal disaster declaration with individual assistance that they may qualify for relief from penalties if they are unable to meet Monday’s extended deadline for filing 2015 tax returns.

The IRS noted that additional individual assistance areas could be added to the federal disaster area in coming days based on continuing damage assessments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These additional disaster declarations will pave the way for additional extensions and other relief from the IRS. This means that the IRS will automatically provide retroactive extensions and other relief to any locality added to the federal disaster area at a later date. In areas with disaster declarations for individual assistance, taxpayers will have until  March 15, 2017 to file returns otherwise due on Monday, October  17.

“The hurricane and flooding have hit many different states hard, and the timing of this is especially tough for taxpayers and tax professionals planning to file by the Oct. 17 extension deadline,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We have been watching this situation unfold and remain in close touch with FEMA. We will do everything we can to work with taxpayers who are in affected areas.”

Courtesy of IRS

For more information contact Neikirk, Mahoney and Smith at 502-896-2999