Personal

Where’s my refund?
Go to irs.gov/refunds to check on the status of your federal tax refund for the current year. You can type 'where’s my state tax refund' into your search bar to check the status of your state tax refund.

What are the individual and capital gains tax rates?
Please click here to see the 2018 and 2019 individual income tax rates. There are seven tax brackets for each filing status: short-term capital gains, investments held one year or less, are taxed at your regular tax rate. Investments held for longer than one year are taxed at a rate that is typically lower than the regular tax rates. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income.

What are the standard deductions of the new tax law?
The standard deductions for 2018 are $12,000 if you are single or married filing separate, $24,000 for married filing joint, and $18,000 if your status is head of household. For 2019, the standard deduction increases to $12,200 for single filers, $24,400 for married filing a joint return, and $18,350 for taxpayers using the head of household status. Married taxpayers receive an additional $1,300 for each spouse who 65 or older. If you file single or head of household, the additional deduction is $1,600.

What filing status should I use on my tax return?
Your filing status if you are not married and have no dependents is single. You can file head of household if you are considered unmarried for the tax year and pay more than half of the household expenses. You must also have a qualifying child or dependent. Generally, your marital status on the last day of the tax year will determine your marital status for the entire year. In most cases, married filing a joint return will provide the best result for married couples. You have an option to file married separate, if this is the better option, or if each person wants to be responsible for their own taxes.

How do I know if my income is taxable?
Taxable income is described as gross income or adjusted gross income (which is minus any deductions or exemptions allowed in that tax year). Taxable income includes wages, bonuses and tips, investment income, social security and other government payments. Also included in taxable income is any profit from a business, rentals, and stock sale.

What documents do I need for my initial visit?
Prior to your first visit, please have all applicable paperwork together. This should include the previous year’s tax return for personal and any businesses. If this for tax preparation, please have all W-2s, 1099s (interest, dividends, & bonds), mortgage and real estate taxes, retirement income, and social security statements. Also, bring any closing statement for sales of personal residence or business real estate. We will also need your form 1099B that show gains and/or losses from the sale of stocks and mutual funds. If you should have any questions prior to your first visit with us, please do not hesitate to call for clarification.

What do I do with the IRS/State notice I received in the mail?
Please let us know when you receive a notice and your concerns. Additionally, send us a copy via email or mail.

Does the IRS ever contact people on the phone?
No. The IRS doesn’t email or phone people. Beware of phishing scams and phone scams.

Business

Am I eligible for the qualified business income deduction?
Under the new tax law, which was in effect beginning January 1, 2018, Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code provides many taxpayers a deduction for Qualified Business Income from a qualified trade or business operated directly by the Taxpayer or through what is known as a pass-through entity (for example, an S-Corporation or Partnership). This deduction is also known as the Section 199A Deduction. Eligible taxpayers may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20 percent of the qualified business income.

How do I know what business structure to pick?
When starting a business, it is important for the owner(s) to decide how it will be taxed. An individual is not required to incorporate. He or she can be taxed as a sole proprietor and file a Schedule C with their personal tax return. Sole proprietors and partners can form an LLC for liability protection purposes. If a business owner decides to incorporate, they have a choice to let the corporation pay its own tax or elect to file as a Subchapter S and pass the profits from the business to their personal tax returns for taxation.

How can we improve our cash flow?

Business owner(s) can increase your cash reserves by:

  1. Implement a more aggressive collection plan
  2. As credit terms tighten, more people will pay cash
  3. Make sure your pricing is correct and current
  4. Line of credit and loans
  5. Increasing sales

What is the process of succession planning for our business?
Business owner(s) need to think about how they want their business to continue once they are no longer around to run the daily operations. This includes putting together a written plan that sets up a mechanism of succession if the owner becomes disabled or passes away. A succession plan also needs to be funded. This may include life insurance that provides cash flow to the business and/or funds to purchase shares of the business from beneficiaries of a deceased owner.

Ocean Shore