Tips to help with your taxes in 2021

Tips to help with your taxes in 2021

Prepare to file your taxes in 2021 with these in mind!

Many businesses and families went through unexpected changes in 2020. The effects of the pandemic upended financial plans, forecasts, family plans, business goals and much more. This undoubtedly will have an impact when filing your 2020 taxes due to changes in the tax code for 2021. With COVID-19 came stimulus checks, programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and more depending on your business or personal need. We’ve been assisting businesses and families with their accounting and tax needs through the pandemic and will provide you with some tips to prepare you for filing your taxes this year. 

Organize Records and Documents 

For many, the main hurdle is getting documentation together. It’s important to have all your documentation in order to have a seamless filing experience. Keep all the tax documents that start coming in the mail early January in a folder and do not throw out any tax document that may look irrelevant. Many tax documents can also be downloaded online depending on the provider of the documents in case you can’t locate them. For example, many financial institutions provide tax documentation that can be viewed and downloaded when you access your account. 

Review and Itemize Transactions for your Business

Whether you are self-employed, have a side business or own a home, you’ll need to ensure your transactions are correctly documented to claim certain deductions. The pandemic led to many working from home and you may be entitled to write-offs as a result. If you use a software like QuickBooks or use a spreadsheet for your records, take the time to review the transactions and put them in their respective categories. This will help your tax preparation process greatly. The benefits of having an accountant who assists with monthly bookkeeping is advantageous, as the monthly management of your books throughout the year keeps your transactions correctly labeled. This prepares you better for tax season and makes things easier for you and whoever is assisting with filing your taxes.

Note Life-Changing Events

Many life-changing events happen year over year, but have been commonly happening since the beginning of the pandemic. Changes like getting married, getting a divorce, a death in the family or retirement may qualify you for tax breaks. Your accountant or tax preparer should be aware of any life-changing event so they can help determine which tax breaks you qualify for based on how your circumstances changed in 2020. 

Here are a few things to consider to help prepare for filing your 2020 taxes. Having an experienced tax preparation service can be helpful due to the changes in the tax code. Finding the right tax forms or knowing what to fill out due to the changes caused by the pandemic can be confusing. It’s advisable in these uncertain times to consult with an experienced accountant or CPA to ensure you are getting the most out of your taxes, while being compliant under the current laws. 
Motl Accounting can handle the most complex returns providing you the peace of mind you would want through the experience. If you are looking to prepare your taxes, you can talk to a tax professional at our West Dundee location to get your questions answered and your taxes filed properly.
Contact us at 847-426-2100 or send us message via our Facebook Page to get started today.

Why You Should Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

Why You Should Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

When it comes to running a business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separated. This reduces accounting and tax problems and makes it much easier to manage your accounting books. Running a business already takes a great deal of effort, so it helps much to not have additional stress by managing your finances with bookkeeping tools and experts. We understand how important it is to properly manage your finances and the peace of mind that comes with it. We have helped over a hundred businesses with accounting and bookkeeping in the Chicagoland area and have gathered some reasons as to why you should separate personal and business finances to have a better understanding.
  • Establish your business
First off, you will want to ensure that your business is incorporated. Whether you choose to present it as an LLC, C Corp, or S Corp, you will want to ensure that it’s established with the right structure. By establishing a separate legal entity for your business, you will be able to protect your personal assets from your business debts, losses and lawsuits.
  • Acquire business credit
By opening business debit or credit cards, you won’t have to use your personal accounts for business transactions, and it’s the easiest way to keep your personal and business finances separate. In addition, a business credit card can help you build stronger business credit scores and could even boost your borrowing power which could help you qualify for business loans with lower interest rates.
  • Open a business checking account
In addition to credit cards, you also want to open a business checking account and only make purchases for your business through it. Doing so let’s you have a clear and complete picture of your expenditures, which is ideal for when tax time rolls around as all you will have to do is review your statements. 
  • Create a salary for yourself
Seeing as you are the boss of your business, you will want to make it official. So, pay yourself. By creating a salary for yourself, you can write checks from your business checking account which can then be deposited into your personal account. This way, you can easily keep track of your payroll finances and ensure that your salary is being professionally handled as it should be.
  • Keep your receipts
One of the most efficient ways to keep your personal and business expenses separate is by keeping your physical receipts. So pull out those old-fashioned folders and place your receipts within them or upload them digitally. This will help with audits if the IRS ever comes knocking on your door, you can feel confident that you will be prepared.
  • Track your shared expenses
As a business owner, it’s important to keep in mind that many of your business expenses are tax deductible and you will most likely have some expenses to write off! As a result, when you make purchases you will want to ensure that they are separate from your personal ones, which can be done by using your business debit or credit cards. Not only will separating your expenses make things easier for your accountant come tax time, but you will also be protecting yourself by keeping a financial record and continuing to keep receipts.
  • Using personal items for business purposes
When it comes to your business, any expenditure that you can legally write off should be written off to save you money when tax time comes around. By working with a tax advisor, you can determine what’s deductible as well as how to keep the right records. Properly managing your business finances is certainly of importance! These are just a few helpful ways to manage them throughout the year. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the complexities that are involved with running a business and managing your books. Working with an accountant can help with your bookkeeping, payroll and taxes and therefore make life and work much easier for you. Looking for an accounting solution that’ll provide you with peace of mind when it comes to your books?  Get in touch with us here at Motl Accounting as we would be ready to assist. Our staff at our West Dundee, IL office assist many small to medium sized businesses and we look forward to assisting you.
Accounting Adjustment Tips during Covid-19

Accounting Adjustment Tips during Covid-19

The spread of the coronavirus clearly had an impact on the general business environment. For many businesses the crisis led to some decline in revenue resulting in making necessary adjustments to navigate the times and not put themselves at risk. While there are revenue opportunities for certain goods and services based on the impact of COVID 19 (i.e. masks), there are also opportunities in business operations. One of the advantages to decreased business activity is companies having time to make operational adjustments like back office accounting. If you are looking to make some changes to your accounting operations, here are some to consider that may help your business emerge from this crisis and any other stronger and better than before.

Get accounting online

Moving your accounting operation online is beneficial to your business, and any small to midsize company or organization should be running their accounting software on desktop or server-based software. Applications such as QuickBooks Online, Intacct, Xero, and others provide full accounting software functionality in a secure environment. We have a client portal for our clients at Motl Accounting which provides access for faster and more convenient communication and document exchange. No software installation on your computer is needed and any user from anywhere in the world can access, which makes it easier for your books to be managed anywhere.

Automate accounting process 

Automating your accounting process eliminates the need for data with sensitive information to travel between systems via paper mail. Most online applications have electronic interfaces to banking systems. This eliminates the need to reconcile paper- based banking statements, as the information from your bank is always seamlessly provided to your online accounting system. These applications also connect to other specialized applications for billing and expensing in many instances, therefore reducing the time and effort required to reconcile through paper documents and manual entries.

Outsource accounting

Outsourcing some or all of your accounting operations is a great way to eliminate costs, decrease risk and free up time for you to focus on your business. Accounting firms are accustomed to cloud accounting and are in many instances more savvy in automating your accounting process. With remote access to software, data and a bookkeeper you will have access to a virtual accounting team that is available to you wherever you are.  Beyond current circumstances, there is a sizable benefit to using an accounting firm like ours. Imagine the freedom to focus on actually running your business, confident that the books are right, having access to all your financials and a team of experts in your corner to help make sound logical financial decisions. This we’ve realized provides business owners and managers with peace of mind. Having the experts handle your bookkeeping, payroll and accounting lets you weather storms better. 

If you are looking to automate and transfer your accounting practices online with a reputable accounting firm, we’d be happy to assist. Our team of accountants, bookkeepers and payroll professionals are ready to help you with your financials during uncertain times like these. Stay safe and connect with us via our website, social pages or call us at 847-426-2100. 

 

Why Bookkeeping is Important – Motl Accounting

Why Bookkeeping is Important – Motl Accounting

Why Bookkeeping is Important

Many consider tax saving strategies as the main reason to do bookkeeping but there are actually more benefits to consider. Great bookkeeping can help with decision making, prepare you for audits, help with taxes and more. A business owner who intends to succeed and grow over time can therefore gain much by having a great bookkeeping system in place. Our bookkeeping process at Motl Accounting provides our clients with financial statements, performance graphs, comparatives and payroll reports at the click of a button for their convenience. We also prepare their income taxes on a timely basis to eliminate most tax season worries, so they are always up to date with all the various taxing agencies. They benefit greatly from this and here are a few reasons why:

Audit Protection 

Having a great bookkeeping system or bookkeeper in place can help you when you get flagged for audits by agencies like the IRS. We have helped several clients with audits who in turn have had great outcomes from the process due to our involvement. They end up accepting how rigid of a process it would have been for them to handle alone without our expertise. As your business grows, it’s beneficial to keep good bookkeeping records you can hand over to a bookkeeper or accountant when you realize how big of a task it is becoming. 

Less Stress

We pride ourselves in providing “peace of mind accounting practices”. We understand how stressful it can be when your books are disorganized, there’s a constant nudge to get to it as you know the importance of it being done. The lack of time to get it done on your part typically reflects how busy you are as a business owner and with that might come the inclination to get a professional bookkeeper. Knowing your bookkeeping is handled professionally and constantly lets you have the peace of mind and more time  to run your business. 

Decision Making

Expense tracking, budgeting and good record keeping is helpful for sound decision making. Having a process that keeps you informed on your most important financial information like profits and loss by service or product, sales by client/customer and more can be very helpful in knowing the next logical steps to make for your business. Technology now provides access to reports instantly through web portals and apps so you can make decisions on the fly. There are many insights a business owner can get by understanding their books and even more by having a great bookkeeper that can help keep their books organized while they focus on their passion of running their business. 

Need Help With Accounting?

Keeping all this in mind, would you and your business benefit from bookkeeping or accounting services? Assess your expertise and passion for it and if you determine it’s too much to handle on your own, have an accounting firm like Motl Accounting assist you. We have helped many business owners in the Chicagoland area and we would be happy to assist you. Call our West Dundee Illinois location at 847-426-2100 or contact us through our website.