Why do I need a Certified Public Accountant?
Because as an individual, an investor, or business owner, you want to have access to the best expertise to help you save the most on your taxes and make your business grow. To be a CPA means our first duty is to you, the Public – that’s why it’s in our name. CPAs are committed to the highest integrity and ethical standards, and we maintain educational levels that exceed most other professions in order to keep current in tax policy and business practices. When you need an advisor you can trust, you can count on your CPA.
Can I make deposits and write checks, then just file my taxes?
Well, sure, but there can be much more to it than that for a complete and accurate tax return. You need documentation of gross income (not just deposits) from the work you do, whether it’s self-employment or working for someone else. You also need to know what deductions are available to you based on the checks you wrote, and what their limits are. You also may be eligible for tax deductions, credits, or refunds for which you didn’t directly write a check. Your CPA can help you determine the appropriate amounts for these.
What do I need Financial Statements for anyway?
Financial Statements help you understand not only where your business has been, but where you can take it in the future. You can compare statements from prior months or years and make projections, or you can use them to help you get financing for an expansion. Financial Statements help you to make sound decisions about the management of your business. You want to know if you collected on all of your customer’s accounts, or if you spent too much on inventory, and revise your policies accordingly.
You can do something similar with personal financial statements. You can gauge your level of debt compared to your net worth, and you can see how much of your disposable income is saved for later and spent on things you need now.
Do I have to change my W-4 every year?
If you were exempt the prior year, you need to complete a new one by February 15th to change your exempt status or to retain it. All others should review it. The whole idea behind withholding taxes from your gross pay is to have enough to cover what you would owe when you file your return. If you have too much withheld, you have essentially given the government an interest free loan for a year instead of having control over the funds yourself – to save and earn interest (which the government won’t pay if they hold it) or to use for living expenses during the year. If you have too little withheld, you can change your number of exemptions or have an additional dollar amount withheld – and this can be done for state withholding as well.