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Tax Season: Tips for Business Owners

By Craig Wynne 

Spring is just around the corner, which also means that tax season is on its way, and business owners are hoping that they’ll receive money back from the government instead of having to shell more of it out.  We interviewed a group of accountants throughout Rockland County about what business owners can do to prepare for tax season most effectively.  Here is what they had to say:

  Alan Levy, owner of Levy & Associates, New City, NY            

“Keep good records.  And I don’t just mean keeping records of major expenses, like a new copy machine.  Keep receipts of even the little things you purchase, like a pot of coffee you might put out in the lobby to make customers feel welcome.  A dollar and fifty cents may not seem like all that much, but those little things can add up after a while, and with the receipts, you can deduct those expenses.”

 “Meet with your accountant at least on a quarterly basis.  Your accountant may be able to help you devise a new plan of action to help improve your business throughout the year.  Tax planning changes on a quarterly basis, and your accountant will help to keep you current on these changes so as to help you maximize your income.” 

Shari E. Berk, CPA and owner of SE Berk, CPA PC, New City, NY

 “Keep your records updated consistently instead of updating them at the end of the year.  I actually offer an in-house service where business owners can send me expenses, and I can enter it into Quickbooks.  I can also show them how to do this themselves if they want to save the money.  But they have to be organized in order to get anything out of it.” 

Steven D’Alesio, CPA, Kahn, Hoffman, & Hochman LLP, New City, NY 

“An important thing is to understand the time requirements.  Accountants are under a great deal of time pressure, particularly during tax season.  When you meet with your accountant, bring all your paperwork with you.  It eliminates guesswork and will minimize the time it takes to give you the deductions that will save you money.  Plus, the more detailed the information you bring, the more deductions we might be able to find.” 

“Moving forward, it will also be a good idea to meet with your accountant frequently.  A lot of changes in tax law will take place in 2010, and meeting with your accountant will allow you to take advantage of these changes as they occur, as opposed to missing out if you put off your meeting until the end of the year.” 

            The common themes that came up in these interviews were consistency, organization, and meeting with your accountants frequently.  Although it can be a stressful occupation, practicing the habits mentioned above seems to be able to minimize the stress of owning a business, particularly during tax season.

Posted in Business, Economy, Finance, Legal, RBD4 Comments

E. RAMAPO BOARD POSTPONES DECISION ON ATTORNEY HIRING

E. RAMAPO BOARD POSTPONES DECISION ON ATTORNEY HIRING

The East Ramapo school board met last night and effectively tabled the dispute over hiring a new attorney. The board voted to postpone any decision on hiring controversial Long Island lawyer Albert D’Agostino until at least January sixth, when the board meets next. In the meantime, an interim firm brought in to consult on the legality of the D’Agostino hiring will remain on the job. The board touched off the controversy last month by hiring D’Agostino to replace long-time attorney Stephen Fromson at twice-or-more the cost – and despite the fact that D’Agostino is under investigation for alleged pension-payment improprieties.

Posted in Business, Economy, Legal3 Comments