Archive for the ‘Accountants’ Category


Five Scams to Watch Out for During Tax Season

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016


Getting your tax information sorted and filed conjures up enough stress in itself, and when you add the potential of being scammed by opportunistic thieves, tax season becomes even more daunting. Awareness is key; take a look at the most common scams thieves use during the tax season and protect yourself and your family from the efforts of opportunistic con artists.

1. Identity Theft
Let’s start with the largest threat—identity theft. You might hate filing your taxes, but a scammer would love to get ahold of your information and file them for you, then reap the rewards of your tax return. By filing early, you can better avoid this issue. Within this scam, con artists will steal your personal information, like your social security number, then file a tax return under your name. Most people affected by this scam don’t realize what has happened until after they actually file and the IRS lets them know one has already been filed. In 2013 alone, the IRS claims to have thwarted 14.6 million attempts at fraudulent returns, resulting in an excess of $15 billion in refunds. Protect your social security number, and don’t give out any sensitive information unless you’re using a professional tax preparer or registered tax filing system.

2. A Shady Email
The IRS won’t email you, let’s just get that out there right away. Very few cases see IRS agents sending important information to your personal email account, so any message received claiming to be from the government agency should be regarded with suspicion. Recent scams that capitalize on email captures have asked taxpayers to update sensitive information on their tax portal—a fake but convincing feature on a website of the scammer’s making. Always make sure any website regarding IRS dealings begins with Scammers may use variations in order to make their site seem more legitimate, so tread carefully.

3. A Call from the IRS
An unexpected call from the IRS can have you shaking in your boots, but the government agency warns that these calls can’t always be taken at their word. In recent years, the IRS has noted an increasing trend of scam phone calls looking to swindle taxpayers out of their sensitive information. These scammers can convincingly pose as IRS agents; some skilled scammers have been able to hack the phone number so that it looks as if the call is coming from a registered IRS number. These so-called agents will ask for multitudes of sensitive information—if an individual isn’t easy to sway, they may be slapped with threats of audits, tax levies, and even jail time. These scams are usually highly sophisticated, and it can be tough to determine whether the caller is a scam artist or actual government agent. Should this situation happen to you, call the IRS and get confirmation of the agent who has been calling you.

4. Miracle Return Offers
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—especially when it comes to lofty promises of inflated tax returns. If someone offers to help you file in order to gain you a higher return, and they don’t ask to see your records, run away as quickly as possible. Never sign a blank tax form—this is a clear indication the individual in question is attempting to scam you. Use a certified and trusted tax filing service or the help of a professional from a company like CTax to ensure your information stays safe and you do everything by the book with the IRS—no one wants to land in hot water with the government.

5. A Charity Scam
It’s a sad fact, but those looking for donations to nonprofit organizations and charities don’t always have well-meaning intentions. If you’re approached by a nonprofit or similar charitable organization, especially during tax season, make sure you do your research. These scammers are cunning; the websites may look completely legitimate. For an easy safeguard against these types of scams, always be sure the charity is listed as a 501(c)(3) before donating. There are many scammers prepared to target hardworking taxpayers, and if you want to keep your personal information and assets protected, it’s essential to remain aware of the potential for scams.

If you need help filing your taxes before the April 15th deadline, let TalkLocal help you find a local tax professional.

4 Ways to Make Your Tax Return Work for You

Sunday, April 26th, 2015


Depending on what state you live in, the average IRS tax refund is between $2300 and $3300. With this kind of cash infusion, it’s tempting to thank Uncle Sam and then blow a bunch of money on entertainment. However, savvier citizens know that saving or investing your refund can turn it into a gift that keeps on giving. Below are four uses for your tax return that you won’t regret later on.

Home Improvement

Unless you pass down housing through your family, your home is an investment. When you move or pass away, you want to be able to sell it for a profit, and some relatively cheap improvements could significantly increase its market value. Spending tax return money on your handyman could financially benefit you or your family in the long run.

Insurance and Warranties

Everyone’s clumsy sometimes, and you can make smarter decisions as a consumer if you identify the valuables that you are most likely to break or lose. Extended warranties are available for everything from bikes to laptops, and spending some of your return insuring your at-risk possessions could save you big money down the road.

Bulk Purchases

Almost everything is less expensive if you buy a lot of it at once. This principle can turn your tax return into huge savings on consumer goods. Spending a few hundred on well-planned bulk purchasing of household commodities like paper towels and detergent could cut your grocery bills by around 50%.

Next Year’s Taxes

It’s the biggest bummer of any of these options, but it might be the most logical. Your tax return could easily become $2300-$3300 that you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket next time April 15 comes around. Alternately, you could put some of the money toward hiring a CPA to make next year’s taxes easier.

All four of these strategies have something in common – they turn your extra money into even bigger savings. TalkLocal can also help you with that by connecting you to an accountant to make some of those options not only savvy, but simple.

Visit TalkLocal, download our app on iPhone or Android, and email us about how you can earn a $20 Amazon Gift Card with your first booking while supplies last.

3 Fantastic Financial Resolutions

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Fantastic Financial Resolutions - Accountants

People across the world start the New Year by setting goals they hope to achieve. A great way to improve is by planning your budget and finances for the upcoming year.

In planning and tracking your money, you can protect yourself from extraneous spending. By scaling back on purchases that may not prove to be beneficial, money can be saved for other important things. Here are a three powerful steps that you can take on as financial resolutions this year.

Separate Savings Accounts

When creating a budget, identify which assets will be saved for different situations. By allocating funds to a set number of accounts, you will be less likely to use that money for extraneous spending. Some great examples to begin saving for are retirement, college, and emergency funds. Continue to add and monitor each account so that you will be well-equipped for the future.

Track Your Spending

One of the best ways to cut extraneous spending is to keep track of what you do on a daily basis. Mark down your food, gas, clothes, and other expenditures. By writing and analyzing spending patterns, you can better determine what is beneficial and what is wasteful.

Examine Future Expenses

Sit down and look ahead at where your money will have to go this year. Categorize your fixed expenses, such as the mortgage, vehicle payments, and other bills. By assessing what you will have to spend money on in the future, you can plan better on how to use it today.

Assess Your Financial Goals

If you’re having trouble in planning and meeting your goals, contact a financial adviser. To find the one that is right for you, use TalkLocal. We will connect you with the most reputable financial advisers in your area who can help you get the most out of your money. TalkLocal will help you find the right professional who can provide the guidance you desire.

Tips for Buying a New Home: Affording Your Dream Home

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Tips for Buying a New Home - Accountants

Tips for Buying a New Home

Buying a new home isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be that difficult if you know how to go about it. Here, we present tips on how to find your perfect home. We take into account things such as down payment and mortgage equity.

1) Compare

Check the actual selling prices of comparable homes that you can find in your dream area. What is your ideal size? How big do you want your property to be? How many rooms do you expect your house to have? Also, consider that down payments are usually 20% of the market value of the actual price.

2) See What You can Afford

Banks have mortgage calculators with which you can check how much mortgage you actually have to pay. Then, you can check your budget to see if it will actually fit. This is crucial, because you can’t go rushing into buying a house that you can’t actually afford.

3) Find Out your Total Housing Cost

This includes homeowner’s dues, taxes, and insurance. You have to factor these in along with your down payment and your mortgage. These costs do add up, so make sure to consult a financial consultant before buying or renting property.

4) Closing Costs

These include title and settlement fees, taxes, and prepaid items such as homeowner’s dues. Again, you have to factor these into your final calculations of the total cost of your new home.

5) Talk to Experts

There is nothing like talking to reputable real estate agents in your area regarding your probable purchase. They know more than you do, so it is best to leave it in their hands rather than yours. Consult them for your every need. Do not hesitate to ask questions, because it helps.

Ready for More Help?

Contact TalkLocal today. We will connect you with up to three real estate accountants near you.

What Is An Enrolled Agent?

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

What Is An Enrolled Agent - Accountants

Do you know a reliable enrolled agent? Or, are you still asking yourself: What is an enrolled agent?

This is an important question to consider, especially when it comes to tax time. These professionals can be an enormous resource in unwinding any tax issues you may have. Here is a little bit of information on what enrolled agents are and what they do.

What Is An Enrolled Agent?

Similar to a Certified Public Account or attorney, enrolled agents are licensed by the United State Department of Treasury to help represent tax payers when they are up against the Internal Revenue Service. However, CPAs and attorneys are licensed by their respective state, while enrolled agents are directly licensed from the federal government. Enrolled agents also must specialize in taxation, while some attorneys might not be experts in that area.

This, in a nutshell, puts them at the top tier of tax professionals.

When an enrolled agent represents a taxpayer in a tax case, they are granted by the federal government a confidentiality privilege. That means whatever information is exchanged between the enrolled agent and the tax payer can remain private.

How Does Someone Become An Enrolled Agent?

Again, much like CPAs, enrolled agents must past an extensive test to prove that they have a wide knowledge of every aspect of taxation. Enrolled agents do not have a specialized area of taxation in which they are experts. They have to have a very broad knowledge in order to appropriately represent any tax payer.

However, professionals who have worked in certain positions with the IRS for five years or more are automatically eligible to become enrolled agents.

Why Might I Need An Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agents can represent you for an audit or collection. They can also do something so simple as prepare tax returns for you as an individual or for your business. They generally are a rock-solid resource about anything that has to do with taxes.

Where Can I Find One?

There are a number of resources you could use to find an enrolled agent, but TalkLocal can help you cut through that lengthy search. Use our service, specify that you are looking for an enrolled agent, and we will connect you with one in your area immediately.

Fixed Asset Reporting And Depreciation

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Fixed Asset Reporting And Depreciation - Accountants

When it comes to keeping thorough tax records, you have to consider a long list of things. One of those are fixed asset reporting and depreciation. Because not all of us are tax professionals, this might seem like intimidating jargon to you. So, we will break down what fixed assets and depreciation are and how they should be reported.

What Is A Fixed Asset?

Anyone doing business holds what are called fixed assets. These are assets that you acquired in order to complete day-to-day operations and generate income. These assets are not purchased with resale in mind. These are not investments in the sense that you are not looking to sell them for more than you purchased them.

In a business setting, fixed assets include things like computers, machinery, buildings, or real estate. Because these are so different than short-term assets, fixed assets are treated with more leniency during tax time.

What Is Depreciation?

This is just a fancy word for wear and tear sustained by fixed assets. The more worn any asset gets, the less it is worth. We see this in our everyday lives. Would you expect to pay the same amount of money for a used TV as you would a brand new one? Absolutely not. The used TV has been worn and lost some of its value.

This happens with fixed assets, but because they were not purchased with the idea of reselling them, it’s totally acceptable.

Fixed asset reporting and depreciation is important during tax time. Depreciation causes the value of fixed assets to drop — sometimes significantly. It is imperative that this depreciation is recorded and the correct valuation of fixed assets are noted so that your tax sheets display an accurate picture of the company’s overall worth.

Find Tax Help

We don’t expect you to grasp this complex tax issue in one simple article, which is why it is important to consult a tax expert when filing your taxes. TalkLocal makes them readily available through our innovative, service professional, concierge service. We bring the professionals to you, saving you time, energy, and maybe even some money. Try it out.

Tax Effects Of Buying Or Selling A Business

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Tax Effects Of Buying Or Selling A Business - Accountants

The tax effects of buying or selling a business might be dramatic enough to sway your decision one way or the other. This is certainly something to consider, whether you are buying or selling a small business that operates out of a home or a large business that involves big money.

Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine the tax effects of buying or selling a business.

Business entity

For those that run an LLC or sole proprietorship, the process is relatively simple — at least, in terms of selling the business. The amount of money you make on your business will be taxed at your personal rate. If this is an LLC with multiple partners, the percentage of each partner’s profit will be taxed at their personal level. This picture can get a little murky when it comes to, say, an S-Corp or C-Corp.

Tax-Free Maneuver

Normally, buying and selling a business is a taxable transaction because money exchanges hands. However, if the two sides are merely trading stock, both sides could avoid the traditional tax effects of buying or selling a business. This is an arrangement you might see when a big corporation buys out a small business. The smaller business could exchange their stock for a stake in the corporation.

You can also structure a taxable asset or stock transaction deal, which is fairly common.

Taxes Involved With Buying A Business

If you purchase a business, you actually do not owe the federal government anything in taxes on the exchange. However, you will have some tax concerns.

When you purchase the company, you will also inherit all of that company’s tax liabilities. This includes any outstanding bills or pending tax audits. So, this does not allow you to skirt tax issues all together.

Get Accounting Advice

Discussing all of the tax effects of buying or selling a business would take a very, very long time. The truth is, taxes are a complicated process, which is why it is essential to seek the right help. Local accountants can help you muddle through the complex process of taxes. Use TalkLocal to help you find the proper help. We offer a free service that shows results — and fast.

Tax Considerations In Running A Non-Profit

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Tax Considerations In Running A Non-Profit - Accountants

Starting a non-profit organization is a fantastic way to give back to your local or global community. Non-profit organizations help thousands of people, animals, and places each year. Since they are different from other businesses, there are certain tax considerations in running a non-profit.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to start one, these considerations might help you make a decision. This is a very condensed list of just some of the tax considerations in running a non-profit. If you find yourself with even more questions about a non-profit, a for-profit organization, property taxes, and so forth, you may want to seek professional help.

Some tax considerations in running a non-profit include:

Tax Exemptions

As a non-profit, your business will be exempt from paying taxes because you’re giving your money to help others. Our government rewards people for doing that. This means your business can retain more funding than others because you are not paying into the tax system each year.

This does not mean you are making more money than other businesses; since you’re a non-profit organization, you will be making just enough money to do what you need to do.


You have to apply to be a tax-exempt non-profit. Once you have applied and been approved, the process doesn’t end there. Your approval can be revoked if you are not meeting the specific standards the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has set for non-profits. If your approval or license is revoked, you can get it reinstated with some extra work.

Not All Non-Profits Or Not-For-Profits Are Tax Exempt

Without having the proper paperwork filled out each year and approved, your business or organization will have to pay into taxes. Keep this in mind when budgeting for your organization because you never know what might happen.

Accountants Are Important Come Tax Time

At TalkLocal, we making finding a local accountant easy. Plus, you can specify what type of accountant you are looking for, so you don’t have to waste your time with unqualified results.

Forensic Accounting In Divorce Engagements

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Forensic Accounting In Divorce Engagements - Accountants

Divorces are rarely easy. There are often messy disputes over assets and income that need to be resolved. In many marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have control over finances, which could leave the other spouse at a disadvantage in divorce proceedings. In such cases, lawyers frequently seek the help of forensic accounting in divorce engagements to support their clients.

What Is Forensic Accounting?

A forensic accountant is able to discover things that one spouse may prefer to keep hidden. He or she can uncover hidden assets, money, and even if assets had been sold in anticipation of a divorce. Some of these activities can border on fraud, and it is the job of the forensic accountant to determine what is hidden in order to determine the severity of the offense.

How They Help

In many cases, one spouse is dependent on the other. In divorce proceedings, lawyers often fight for their dependent client to be compensated fairly. This amount can vary greatly depending on the other spouse’s income and assets. If income or assets are being hidden, the amount the dependent spouse receives will be much less than it should be.

If you are among the many people going through a divorce and are concerned your spouse may have hidden something from you, you should consider forensic accounting in divorce engagements. Remember to judge whether hiring a professional is worth it.

If the amount you will benefit does not equal the amount you must pay to the accountant, it clearly is not worth it.

Use Seva Call To Help

A qualified professional lawyer and accountant can usually consult with you to determine if the service is required. TalkLocal offers a free service to put you in touch with one of these individuals at no cost to you. Our service is very quick and incredibly easy.

What Is Currency Risk Management?

Monday, May 6th, 2013

What Is Currency Risk Management - Accountants

Any high-powered investor likely already knows every subtle nuance involved with it, but for inexperienced investors, they might be asking: What is currency risk management?

Read on, and take note, because currency risk is something that must be accounted for when making investments overseas.

What Is Currency Risk Management? How Does Currency Risk Impact My Investment?

When money is converted from one currency to another, it can result in a gain or loss. This is because not all currencies are valued the same. You have to look into the conversion rate between one currency to another in order to foresee these losses or gains.

This phenomenon holds true in the world of investing. If you made an investment overseas, and that investment was placed in euros, but then the exchange rate between the euro and the United States dollar dropped, you would take a hit on your dividends. If the exchange rate drops enough, an investor could see a huge chunk of their dividends disappear.

How Can I Manage Currency Risk?

There are a variety of ways that you can downplay currency risk when investing in other countries. While we will not go into all the nitty-gritty details here, the heart of the philosophy states that investors must hedge their investments as to avoid a major, unexpected loss. In some cases, short-selling the currency is a way of hedging an investment and protects you when the exchange rate falls.

Exchange-traded funds are arguably the most simplistic way of hedging yourself from currency risk. These are offered by a number of big financial institutions and include multiple currencies from around the globe.

Accountants Are Available To Help

These are just the basics of currency risk. There is a reason why entire books have been written about investing — it is a complex process. Your best bet is to consult a qualified accounting professional that has knowledge in this area. You can locate one using TalkLocal’s convenient website.