Accounting Software Implementation
While there is certainly no shortage of accounting software choices, we generally choose Quickbooks as the solution for most clients’ business. Aside from being widely available, Intuit appears to have become the market for small business clients. Our bookkeeping staff understands Quickbooks and is very adept at setting up, using and training clients on utilizing the program.
Another outstanding program is XERO [see www.xero.com]. Our office is just now trying to become acquainted with this rich and robust program which – if people actually start to use it – will rival Quickbooks and certainly give Intuit a run for its money!!!
Business Consulting/Management Advisory Services
As a true business partner, we are available to help you deal with any business problem or opportunity. We focus our energies on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your business and its operations. We are most available to help you make the right decisions for the future of your business. Whether you face questions related to expanding, selling or restructuring your business, we have the necessary business acumen and analytical capabilities to help you make the right decisions.
Business Entity Selection
Your choice for how you organize your business entity – whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, S-corporation, C-corporation, LLC or LLP – has enormous financial and tax implications! It is very important to make the right decision for YOUR circumstances. We can explain each choice and its implications to YOUR situation. As your business grows and changes, the type of business entity you choose may need to change as well.
Moreover, many people are under the impression that by forming an entity in a state without any income tax (such as Nevada or Washington), that they will avoid the outstretched palms of the California Franchise Tax Board. Despite what you may have heard on the radio, this is a myth, for as long as you operate your business IN CALIFORNIA, you are obligated to pay the Franchise Tax Board, regardless of where your corporation was formed.
Estate & Trust Taxation
The income taxation of estates and trusts must be distinguished from the estate tax. The estate tax is imposed on the net assets transferred by a decedent to the heirs [a tax on the decedents’ “balance sheet” upon his or her death], whereas the income taxation of estates and trusts is tax imposed upon the income earned by either an Estate or a Trust. The rules of both regimens are vast and complex. We can work with your legal counsel to help you structure your estate and trusts to ensure the smoothest transition possible to your heirs, and we are available to assist with all estate and trust tax-related matters.
Income Tax Planning & Preparation
The United States Supreme Court, in its landmark case of Helvering v. Gregory [see 69 F. 2d 809, 810 (2nd Cir, 1934), aff’d 293 U.S. 465 (1935)], “blesses” the legitimacy of income tax planning, by unequivocally stating:
“… any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; here is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”
The distinction, then between the legal avoidance of taxes, from the illegal activities of tax evasion or fraud is not always easy and clear, and often turns on looking at the economics of a transaction to ensure that it is not devoid of substance – i.e., that it makes sense and “smells right.” Many planning opportunities fall into a gray area, and because of severe and harsh penalties that may be imposed, it often takes an analysis of the probability of prevailing in order to properly advise and counsel a client on strategies, transactions and/or positions to be undertaken and reported on the tax return.
By staying abreast of federal and state tax legislation and developments in the Courts, we can help you to understand the risks of strategic opportunities and to identify new ways to reduce federal and state tax liabilities.
Each tax return tells a story. Our job as the return preparer, is to cause the story to unfold with each turn of the page. Our philosophy, then, is to prepare each and every tax return AS IF it were going to be examined by the Internal Revenue Service, and by doing so, to lay out the tax return intelligently through footnotes (even narratives) which do not leave the reader feeling so unsatisfied as to feel the need to examine the return further.
Simultaneously, we preserve our file with what we believe will be the most effective documentation to “back up” the facts embodied in the tax return. Admittedly, this is more expensive in the short-run, but in the long-term, the benefits far outweigh the costs, as the savings are enormous… because even IF such a tax return is later audited, the cost of conducting that audit is far cheaper, faster and will generally go much more smoothly.
Any client whose tax return has been “intelligently prepared” by this firm can rest assured that the tax return can be explained with relative ease and with great confidence.
Please be advised, however, that the “effective documentation” which is contained in our files is not maintained and preserved forever. The law requires that we keep them “for as long as their contents are material in administering federal and state laws,” which generally means seven years. My Firm policy, though, is to keep them for TEN (10) years and then to destroy them. The responsibility to maintain the underlying records is YOURS as the client. Please do not rely upon me or the Firm as your “Custodian of Records” as it is not a responsibility that I accept.
Payroll Tax Accounting
The rules and regulations surrounding payroll taxes and payroll management are also complex and challenging for business owners. We can help you to streamline your payroll and payroll tax reporting. Our bookkeepers are very well-versed on these rules and are happy to help you to stay on top of them.
Sales Tax Services
Here in California, the State Board of Equalization is quite zealously looking to maximize sales tax collections. We can help you to understand and manage your obligations for sales tax and prepare your sales tax returns in an efficient and timely manner.
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