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Showing posts from August, 2013

Small Business Taxes & Accounting: Part I (Estimated Tax Payments)

Someone suggested as a blog post topic "small business taxes and accounting".  So, you mean, like, my entire job?  Let's break that down into smaller chunks, shall we?  I'll start with estimated tax payments.

Everyone is required to pay their taxes during the year (once per quarter) and will pay a penalty if they don't (with some exceptions).  However, people with regular jobs (those who receive a W-2), will generally have their taxes withheld (and paid to the IRS) by their employer throughout the year and so don't have to worry about making estimated tax payments.  Those who are self-employed (or receive investment or other income) will need to make estimated tax payments in order to avoid penalties.

Some exceptions to the requirement to pay estimated taxes include owing less than $1,000 on your tax return and not being required to make estimated payments in the prior year.  Basically, you get a free pass for the first year you're required to make estima…

How Long Do I Have to Keep These Stupid Tax Records?

Things are still slow here in the office!  I thought I'd expand a little on one of the topics I discussed yesterday.

Q: Here's one for you: how long do I need to hang on to old tax returns and old receipts?

A: You should save tax returns themselves indefinitely (yeah, I just said keep em forever :-P) but you can trash back-up documentation (receipts, etc.) after the statute of limitations for audit, which is 3 years after the later of the date you filed the return or the date it was due. So, if you filed your 2010 tax return on time, you can now throw away the documentation for it, although I'd save the return itself.

Correction: if you filed your 2009 tax return (due in 2010), you can now throw away the documentation for it.
That was the short answer.  The long answer is this:
You should keep your documentation until the statute of limitations runs out for the tax return it applies to.

The statute of limitations for assessment of tax (i.e. audit) generally runs three years fro…

Facebook Q&A

Earlier today, I asked my Facebook followers if they wanted any free tax advice. Here's what they asked, and my responses:


Q: How late can you get your tax stuff to your accountant and still make a deadline?

A: Technically, depending on how busy 'your accountant' is, October 15. But I would recommend sooner rather than later.


Q: Here's one for you: how long do I need to hang on to old tax returns and old receipts?

A: You should save tax returns themselves indefinitely (yeah, I just said keep em forever :P) but you can trash back-up documentation (receipts, etc.) after the statute of limitations for audit, which is 3 years after the later of the date you filed the return or the date it was due. So, if you filed your 2010 tax return on time, you can now throw away the documentation for it, although I'd save the return itself.

Correction: if you filed your 2009 (due in 2010), you can now throw away the documentation for it.

Q: Is it true that certain things will "…

Welcome to my blog!

During the slow time in my office, I decided to start a blog.  I've always enjoyed writing and want to incorporate some of my tax expertise into my professional 'marketing' strategy for myself.

A little about me, professionally:

I've been a tax preparer with CSD & Co. since January 2009.  I earned my CPA certification, after a grueling exam, plus education and experience requirements, in June of 2010.  I am uniquely suited to this type of work, with an analytical mind and a penchant for solving problems.  Working in a small city, most of my clients are small businesses or individuals whose complexity of investments have exceeded their ability or willingness to prepare their own taxes.

I am most certainly your typical accountant-type.  I have moments of social awkwardness and tend towards the introverted.  However, I did, at some point in my adult life, learn how to talk to other adults and I strive to be approachable, friendly, and comprehensible.  I can explain tax c…