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Tag Archives: accounting

Small Business Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid: Incorporate / Payroll Taxes / Accounting

Working for oneself is one of the “American Dreams,” but if you don’t follow certain steps, this could become your nightmare. Regardless of why you are breaking out on your own, the most important this is that you have done it. Now, the key is to not make the mistake of not properly filing the proper tax returns, and to make the necessary tax payments.

Inc. / PA / PC / LLC

Going to the Secretary of State website and filing your documents is relatively easy, unless you are a licensed professional, in which case, there may be additional steps. What is typically overlooked is that once you file with the state, and establish your entity, you then have to request an EIN number so that you can file your taxes correctly, and there may be other forms/documents required as well. The steps most often overlooked are board meetings and minutes. If you don’t behave like a corporation, you don’t get the protection of a corporation.

Regularly Scheduled Payroll

If you are the only employee in your small business, how and when you pay yourself is really up to you; however, if you have employees, they will expect to be paid on a regularly scheduled basis. What goes along with paying employees is the handling of their appropriate deductions and withholding amounts, as well as the appropriate employer matches to Social Security and Medicare taxes. Failure to appropriately handle these funds has caused long lasting tax problems for small and large business owners.

Payroll Tax Payment and Reporting

Regardless of how often you pay yourself and/or your employees, the state and federal government demand that reports get filed, along with the appropriate tax payments on a strict schedule. Failure to file these reports and make timely payments can result in severe penalties, which unfortunately revert back to the owner of the business. Learn early on what these amounts are, and when these reports are due, and you will be thankful you did.

Small Business Accounting

Odds are that unless you are an accountant, you did not start your business to spend all of your time bookkeeping. While your primary focus is that of either developing your products and/or services, or marketing them, failure to spend the requisite amount of time taking care of the business accounting and bookkeeping can negate the potential tax savings that can come your way, simply because you own a small business.

Costs and Efficiency

It doesn’t matter if you are an Independent Contractor Physician, Attorney, IT Professional or a Salesman who has decided to break away from “Corporate America” and go it alone, every small business owner knows that you get to keep more money if you can figure out how to do more with less expense. Spend your time doing what makes you money, and let someone else focus on doing the things that don’t make you money, i.e., payroll, tax reporting etc.

Don’t let yourself get caught in the tax trap of missing filing deadlines, and not making payroll tax payments at the appropriate time. Take the steps necessary early when you are still building your business, rather than having to deal with tax liens and legal bills when your business is successful.

My Professional CFO, LLC, is a Business Management firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.

We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all bills are paid and necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts.

We are not simply a document filing service; we are here to help you with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do.

Alan Conner, MBA – President of My Professional CFO, LLC has nearly 2 decades of experience working with professionals and small business during both the start-up and ongoing management. He has written countless business plans and has managed assets for both institutions and high net worth clients.

Email us with any questions or call us at: 1-800-517-0CFO (1-800-517-0236)

For a Limited Time, get FREE Incorporation with our Accounting/Payroll Services! Submit your e-mail for more information, or schedule a quick phone call with me here.

5 Tips for Independent Contractors: Biz Start-up, Outsource Accounting, Reducing Self Employed Taxes

As an Independent Contractor, you literally have the best of both words. Not only do you get to determine how much money you want to make, and how hard you want to work, but also you can never be laid off. The downside to this, is that there are things that you have to do that can actually take as much or more of your time to complete than you actually spend generating income, and unfortunately, failure to perform these regular tasks can result in quite the headache, resulting in tax liens and perhaps even the loss of your business. If you are interested in maximizing the time you spend creating income, and reduce the time you spend on the other business related activities, while reducing self-employment taxes, read on.

Start Your Own Business

As the owner of a business, the IRS allows you a variety of tax advantages. The best way to take advantage of these is to step outside your role as an Independent contractor, and formalize the way you conduct business. This will enable you to shield yourself from potential personal liability, and allow you to take a salary and profits, rather than self-employed income. This alone will reduce your annual tax bill, and allow you to keep more of what you work hard to earn. You can even deduct that new laptop or iPad as a business expense. What typically stops people from going the next step is they do not know how to incorporate.

Incorporate

When you start a new business, there are many ways you can go about incorporating. You can simply go to one of the hundreds of websites that offer to help you incorporate online. They will give you the minimum that you ask for, and will leave you to pick up the rest of the pieces along the way. Honestly, the process is not that difficult, but like most things, it can become complicated quickly if you do not follow the proper steps. This is your business we are talking about. Don´t trust your business to the lowest bidder. You may get exactly what you pay for.

Outsource Accounting

As an Independent Contractor, you are an entrepreneur. This means you must be versatile and play a number of roles, from chief salesperson and bookkeeper to head marketer and bill collector. Doing your own small business taxes and accounting does not make you any money. Outsourcing your accounting will cost you less than hiring someone part time, and give you the expertise of having your own in-house accountant.

Hire a Corporation Service Company

As the owner of your small business, you have many important decisions to make. One of the most important ones you can make is to hire a corporation service company. Not only will they assist you in making sure certain things don´t fall through the cracks, but they can also provide you with someone to talk over other important decisions. You are in business to make money. Make the right choices early on, and you won´t regret them later.

Fund Your Retirement

Retirement plans can be extremely confusing to Independent contractors and small business owners. What you need to know is that there are options available to you that will allow you to put away more money for retirement than you may have known, and also that by doing this, you are not only reducing self employment taxes, but also your income taxes. The key is to start your own pension plan, and work with someone who has your best interests in mind.
You have either just set your inner entrepreneur free, or you are about to do so.

While this can be a scary time for some, you have the ability and the drive to make it a success. Be thoughtful and deliberate about each and every decision you make, and about every dollar you spend. Make sure that before you commit to something, it should either make you money, or free up your time to allow you to spend time making more money. Also, don´t be someone else´s guinea pig when it comes to your future. Work with professionals who are working with you, not just for your money. Remember, as the owner of the business, you are the one in control, so take the wheel, and enjoy the ride.

My Professional CFO, LLC, is a Business Management firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.

We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all bills are paid and necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts.

We are not simply a document filing service; we are here to help you with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do.

Alan Conner, MBA – President of My Professional CFO, LLC has nearly 2 decades of experience working with professionals and small business during both the start-up and ongoing management. He has written countless business plans and has managed assets for both institutions and high net worth clients.

Email us with any questions or call us at: 1-800-517-0CFO (1-800-517-0236)

For a Limited Time, get FREE Incorporation with our Accounting/Payroll Services! Click here to submit your e-mail for more information.

Avoid Mistakes Small Businesses Make: Corporation, LLC Accounting and Payroll

Congratulations! You have either just recently started your small business, or you are in the final stages of convincing yourself that it is time to take the plunge. Whether you have done this to take control of your future, or you were an independent contractor who decided that there were additional tax savings to be had, the most important this is that you have done it.

Now, the key is to not make the key mistake of not properly filing the proper tax returns, and to make the necessary tax payments. After all, this is the reason you hear advertisements on the TV and radio asking if you owe more than $100,000 to either the IRS or the state. Do NOT let this happen to you. Read on to learn more about managing your small business accounting and why you may want to hire a Business Manager.

Regularly Scheduled Payroll

If you are the only employee in your small business, how and when you pay yourself is really up to you; however, if you have employees, they will expect to be paid on a regularly scheduled basis. What goes along with paying employees is the handling of their appropriate deductions and withholding amounts, as well as the appropriate employer matches to Social Security and Medicare taxes. Failure to appropriately handle these funds has caused long lasting tax problems for small and large business owners.

Payroll Tax Payment and Reporting

Regardless of how often you pay yourself and/or your employees, the state and federal government demand that reports get filed, along with the appropriate tax payments on a strict schedule. Failure to file these reports and make timely payments can result in severe penalties, which unfortunately revert back to the owner of the business. Learn early on what these amounts are, and when these reports are due, and you will be thankful you did.

Small Business Accounting

Odds are that unless you are an accountant, you did not start your business to spend all of your time bookkeeping. While your primary focus is that of either developing your products and/or services, or marketing them, failure to spend the requisite amount of time taking care of the business accounting and bookkeeping can negate the potential tax savings that can come your way, simply because you own a small business.

Small Business Software

Today, small business software is everywhere. I have even seen companies giving it away on the internet. There are a number of “off the shelf” Accounting programs on the market today, but quite frankly, many small business owners are finding them too complex to fully utilize without a significant amount of accounting knowledge to start with. If you have the accounting knowledge, or are willing to put in the necessary amount of time to acquire it, the packages are fully capable of doing everything you need them to do. The question to ask yourself is “How much time do I really want to spend on this?” and “What is this amount of time costing me in lost sales?”

Costs and Efficiency

It doesn ́t matter if you are an Independent Contractor Physician, or a Salesman who has decided to break away from “Corporate America” and go it alone, every small business owner knows that you get to keep more money if you can figure out how to do more with less expense. Maximizing your efficiency is something a Business Manager would be able to help you with. You get to spend your time doing what makes you and your business manager is solely focused on doing the things that you don ́t make you money, i.e., payroll, tax reporting and accounts payable, among other things.

Don’t let yourself get caught in the tax trap of missing filing deadlines, and not making payroll tax payments at the appropriate time. Take the steps necessary early when you are still building your business, rather than having to deal with tax liens and legal bills when your business is successful.

My Professional CFO, LLC, is a Business Management firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.

We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all bills are paid and necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts.

We are not simply a document filing service; we are here to help you with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do.

Alan Conner, MBA – President of My Professional CFO, LLC has nearly 2 decades of experience working with professionals and small business during both the start-up and ongoing management. He has written countless business plans and has managed assets for both institutions and high net worth clients.

Email us with any questions or call us at: 1-800-517-0CFO (1-800-517-0236)

For a Limited Time, get FREE Incorporation with our Accounting/Payroll Services! Submit your e-mail for more information, or schedule a quick phone call with me here.

How to Reduce Self Employment Taxes & Increase Retirement Savings as an Independent Contractor Physician

As an independent contractor physician, you have spent countless hours in the classroom and clinical training, and have finally reached the point at which you are finally reaping the financial rewards for all of your hard work, only to find out that you have to give more than half of everything you make to the government via income and self employment taxes. Read on to learn how to reduce your tax bill, and pay yourself first.

Physician Corporation – Make sure you Incorporate properly, and file the correct forms in a timely manner. Mostdocument filing services will file and charge you for the forms you request. What you really want is someone who willtell you the correct forms for your circumstances, assist you in completing them, and file them in a timely, cost effective manner. This is definitely a case of getting what you pay for, but you also do not get what you do not pay for.Unfortunately, not filing a correct form in a timely manner could cost you tens of thousands of dollars annually.

• Physician Self Employment Taxes – Set up your payroll and pay business expenses on a regular schedule. By having your business expenses and monthly payroll done on a regular schedule, you will reduce the chance that something gets overlooked, which could result in late charges and unnecessary penalties. In addition, paying yourself a fixed monthly salary will put you in the habit of saving more, and make the actual running of your business more streamlined.

• Physician Retirement Accounts – Use all possible retirement plan vehicles to their maximum benefit. While the most common retirement accounts include IRA’s and Roth IRA’s, as a corporation, the options are expanded significantly, allowing you to not only save a significant amount toward your retirement, you can also shelter these funds from taxes and judgments as well.

• Physician Investment Advisor – Hire a professional to manage your assets based upon your personal goals and objectives. You are a professional, which has taken many years of education and training. Hire a professional to manage your assets, as this will decrease the likelihood of the pitfalls met by many a part time investor, but when hiring a professional, hire someone who gets paid over time, not paid by what you invest in. Only use a Registered Investment Advisor, and never pay a sales commission.

• Physician Corporation Compliance – Keep your corporation filings current to maintain these and many other advantages that are open to you. In order to have the advantages of being a corporate entity, you must behave like a corporate entity, which includes the filing of monthly reports and holding board meetings. Failure to complete these will open you up to personal judgment and potentially hefty IRS penalties. You have worked hard to get where you are. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself from paying tens of thousands of dollars in additional taxes. While technically, you can do it all yourself, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional and do it right the first time.


For a limited time, receive FREE Incorporation when you use our Accounting and Payroll services!


My Professional CFO, LLC, is a professional services firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians and Entrepreneurs. We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all bills are paid and necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts.

We are not simply a document filing service, we are here to help you the with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do.

Alan Conner, MBA – President of My Professional CFO, LLC has nearly 2 decades of experience working with professionals and small business during both the start-up and ongoing management. He has written countless business plans and has managed assets for both institutions and high net worth clients.

Email us with any questions, or call us at: 1 (800) 517-0CFO, 1 (800) 517-0236

How to Form a Physician Corporation: A Step by Step Guide

As a physician, you have either just signed with a contract group, or you have decided to do some shifts as a Locum Tenens. There is a chance that your contract group will require you to be an employee, but that is not often the case. Now you need to form a corporation. We are often asked why. The simple answer is that it draws a clear line between you the individual and you the professional. Another response is that as a corporation, you are afforded additional tax benefits that are not available to you via Schedule “C”. Your SEP IRA contribution for one. As a physician, your options are limited to either a PC (Professional Corporation), PA (Professional Association) or PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Company). There are subtle differences in each type of entity, but there are some specifics that you will need to keep in mind. First and foremost, your state will most likely dictate what type of entity you can form, also, some states do not allow PLLC’s. Don’t just blindly form an entity without knowing the correct type of entity for you. Also, as a physician, forming a corporation will not insulate you from civil liability. For advice related to asset protection, call us. From this point forward, we will discuss the formation of a PC/PA.

The creation of your entity:

The formation process begins with a stop at the Secretary of State office, or the division of corporations. This is where you will find the forms for your specific state, along with the filing requirements and related fees. Filing requirements for professionals differ from state to state. For example, NY requires Physicians to verify their license status with the Education department before and after filing Articles of Incorporation. This is a two-step process, and involves paying two separate fees. Find out if your state has this requirement or a similar process before you file any documents. Some online Incorporation sites do not take this step. Not only will you not get your incorporation filed, you may not get your money back. Just as a precaution, before you fill out any documents, make sure there isn’t another physician in your state with your name. This can most often be avoided by using a middle initial or middle name, but you will want to be certain. Once you have confirmed this, reserve your own name. Send two copies of these documents to the state, and request a stamped copy be returned to you in a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Tax Status and Employer ID Number (EIN):

Once you have completed the Incorporation process, you will need to become legal in the eyes of the IRS. First, you will need to request a Tax ID# or Employer Identification Number. This is essentially the social security number for your business. This can be obtained online, or via fax. Simply fill out the form and submit. Now you need to address the tax status of your entity. All new corporations are seen as “C” corporations until you request to be taxed as an “S” or “Subchapter S” corporation. The difference is simple and straightforward. Do you wish to be taxed on your income twice, or only once? Most of our clients are “S” corporations. The “S” election form can be found on the IRS website, and must be filed with the IRS as soon as possible. You will receive a letter of acceptance once the IRS has approved your status. This must be completed prior to filing your first tax return. Our suggestion is to file this the same day you receive your EIN number. Send this certified mail to make sure you have proof.

Acting Like a Corporation:

Now that you are a corporation, you will have to begin acting like one. What this means is that when you do something business related, you will need to document it. First you will need to establish Bylaws. This will be the blueprint for the way you run your corporation. Sample Bylaws can usually be found on the website for the state where you incorporated. It will define what title you will have, how many times a year your board will meet, and any means to alter the nature of your entity. You will also need to have regular meetings of your Board of Directors, yes, even if you are the only one. When you hold these meetings, you will also need to keep details of what you decided to do. Whether that is opening a bank account, or entering into a contract for employment. In these minutes, you will also document how you will be compensated by your entity, and any employee benefits you will receive. You will now have to keep all of these in one place. That is why you have a Corporate Book. A corporate book can be purchased online from a variety of vendors. Within this book, you will keep the certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation, the acceptance letter of your Subchapter “S” filing, the notification letter for your EIN number, a copy of your bylaws, and each and every set of minutes from all of your Board meetings. This is the first thing that will be requested if your corporation is ever sued.

Reducing Your Taxes:

This is the primary reason you are putting yourself through this. The first reason is that as a Corporation, rather than a Sole Proprietor, you are able to make a SEP IRA contribution up to 25% of your salary versus only 20%. If you pay yourself enough to make the maximum contribution, that would be a salary of $212,000 in order to make a SEP contribution of $53,000. As a Sole Proprietor, you would only be able to contribute $42,400 at the same salary. Not contributing the additional $10,600 just cost you an additional $3,710 if you are in the 35% tax bracket. If your state has an income tax as well, you saved even more. Also, as a corporation, you can establish a Defined Benefit Plan for yourself. This can allow you to put away $100k or more annually, thus accelerating the tax savings.

Tax returns and Annual Reports:

This is where your corporation will save you money, and make all of this worth it. Your corporation will have to file a tax return each year (Form 1120S), and you will receive a form K-1, which is the shareholder profit and loss, (think of it as your 1099 as an owner of your entity.) Regardless of whether or not your state has an income tax, you will still need to file tax returns for your corporation. No taxes will be due, as those will be paid on your personal return, but pay special attention to whether or not your state levy’s a “filing fee”.

The state will also require an annual report from you, although some are every other year, but you pay twice as much. This is simply informing the state that you are still in business along with your current address.

Summary:

You can do this. Just like most things that look complicated, it is more about following the process step by step. There are no shortcuts. If you decide you need some assistance, or simply feel that you would rather work with someone who does this all the time, we would be honored to add you to our list of satisfied clients.

My Professional CFO, LLC, is a Business Management firm providing the highest level of service in three key areas of importance to Independent Contractor Physicians, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. We specialize in Corporation filings and ongoing Compliance, Accounting and Payroll, and Investment Management. Our professionals will assist you in forming the appropriate type of company for your situation and work with you to make sure your company remains compliant. We provide ongoing Accounting and Payroll services to make certain all necessary tax forms and withholding payments are made in a timely manner, as well as the set up and management of your retirement accounts. We are not simply a document filing service; we are here to help you with the part of the business that you have to do, so you can focus on what you love to do. For more information visit our website www.myprofessionalcfo.com!

Email us with any questions, or Call us at: 1 (800) 517-0CFO           1 (800) 517-0236

Independent Contractor Physicians: 5 Taxes You Can Stop Paying Today!

A recurring theme when speaking with new Independent Contractor Physicians is Taxes, and how to pay less of them.  More often than not, the first thing they all do is to calculate how much they think they will make the first year, typically around $300,000, and then they do the math and figure that in the 35% tax bracket, they will pay $105,000 for income taxes, which unto itself is a large number.  What they often forget is that they must also pay taxes on self-employed income, also known as FICA/Medicare.  If you live in a state with an income tax, this amount gets even higher. There are ways to reduce this number, legally. Keep reading to see how.