It's that time of the year again! All of the elves at Abacus CPAs are working diligently to prepare for your upcoming Tax Season! The tips below will help jumpstart your 2016 tax return.
Tax Organizer - 2016
by Karen Doman
Whether you are a new or long-term client,
an organizer must be filled out for us to begin preparing your taxes
. You can locate this on our website
or call our office to request one to be sent to you. This short questionnaire gives us essential information in order for Abacus CPAs, LLC staff to prepare your tax return and guides you to know which tax forms to be sent in with the organizer.
Gather receipts for all items purchased that were "ordinary and necessary" for your business. If you have not already done so, fill out a Cash Expense Record (available on our website
) from those receipts and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include cell phone expenses, lumpers, tolls, scales, & your days away from home.
Watch your Mail
All businesses responsible for issuing tax documents (wages, interest, etc.) are required to mail them out before January 31st with the exception of some healthcare forms which have been extended until March 2nd. Once you complete our Organizer, you can be confident you have all the proper documentation you need to file you taxes.
Abacus CPAs is here to give you the best guidance so that you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family. Never hesitate to contact us with questions. Happy Holidays and we look forward to assisting you this upcoming tax year.
DID YOU KNOW?
by Shawn Koder
A Few Common Truck Driver Tax Deductions
Subscriptions to Trucking-Related Publications
: Because these publications often discuss new regulations and information relevant to the field, the IRS allows drivers to deduct their full cost. In general, a driver should be able to demonstrate that the main or only reason they subscribe to the publication is because of its pertinence to their business.
: Drivers required to undergo medical examinations for employment can deduct any out-of-pocket costs they incur. These deductions are taken as a business expense and not a medical expense, and, as such, do not need to meet the minimum threshold required to deduct a medical expense.
: The costs associated with obtaining and maintaining a commercial driver's license (CDL) is entirely deductible.
Truck Maintenance Costs
: Expenses associated with truck maintenance and cleaning are deductible regardless of whether the driver leases or owns the truck or works for an employer. This deduction includes: batteries, tires, sponges, cleaning supplies, CB repairs, truck parts and repairs. If it is over $500, give the receipt to your accountant. As with some IRS rules, the expense, while still deductible, may need to be treated as an asset for business purposed (De Minimus Safe Harbor Election).
On The Road Recipes!
by Cindy Abner
Texas Steak and Potato Soup
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced (or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic)
½ Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1 can (14 ½ oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 2 cups hot water
½ lb small (1-in round) potatoes, quartered
3 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or small can, drained
Shredded cheese (optional)
Coat crockpot with non-stick spray or a crockpot liner.
In an electric skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, and garlic and sautee for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with chili powder and salt. Sautee for 1 more minute. Spoon mixture into crockpot. Stir in tomatoes, bouillon water, potatoes, and green beans.
Cover and cook on high 4 hours.
Top with cheese, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions by Jan Henderson
What is Self-Employment Tax?
Self-Employment Tax is a combination of Social Security (FICA Tax) and Medicare amounts due based on the amount of your net income, multiplied by 92.35%. Individuals who are self-employed and have a net income (excluding Church Employee income) of more than $400 must pay this tax. Self-Employment tax is comprised of two parts; Social Security 12.4% and Medicare 2.9%.
The amount of Social Security taxed is capped on a combination of wages, tips and net earnings. The caps are listed below:
2010 - $101,800
2011 - $106,800
2012 - $110,100
2013 - $113,700
2014 - $117,000
2015 - $118,500
2016 - $118,500
2017 - $127,200
All combined wages, tips, and net earnings are subject to 2.9% Medicare part of the Self-Employment tax.