Enjoy Your Summer Break but Remember: Tax Planning is a Year-Round Adventure!

Now that the April filing deadline has passed, most people are happily shifting their focus from taxes to summer vacations. However, summer is actually a great time to review your withholding and see how your warm-weather plans might affect your tax return next year.

If this feels overwhelming, don’t worry. We’re here to help! At Neely’s Accounting Services, we want you to enjoy your summer AND set yourself up for financial success.  We’ve compiled some common summertime tax situations and tips to help you stay prepared stress-free.

Summer Wedding = Tax Implications

Getting married? Congratulations! Enjoy your wedded bliss while you add a few important items to your to-do list. If you have name or address changes, it’s important to report it to the appropriate entities. Alert Social Security Administration of name changes and update your address with the United States Postal Service, your employers, and the IRS. To change your address for federal tax purposes, simply complete Form 8822, Change of Address, and send it over to the IRS. This way, you’ll make sure to receive all the necessary documents for filing your taxes smoothly.

Day Camp for Kids = Possible Tax Credit

If you’re sending your kids to summer day camp, it’s good to know that unlike overnight camps, the cost of summer day camp may count towards the child and dependent care credit. That means you could potentially get a nice tax credit to help with those expenses.

Part time Work = Filing a Return

Are you working part-time during the summer? Even if you don’t earn enough to owe federal income tax, don’t forget to file a return. Filing early next year will actually allow you to get a refund for any taxes withheld from your paychecks this year. It’s like a little bonus!

Seasonal Work = W2s

Ah, the gig economy! If you’re earning some extra cash this summer by providing on-demand work, services, or goods through digital platforms like apps or websites, we’ve got some great news. You can head over to the Gig Economy Tax Center at IRS.gov to learn more about how participating in the gig economy can affect your taxes.

Employees usually receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from their employers to keep track of their summer work. You’ll need this form when preparing your tax return, and you should expect to receive it by January 31 next year. And remember, if you’re an independent contractor, you won’t have taxes withheld from your earnings, so you’ll be responsible for paying your own income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes. Even if you’re no longer working for your summer employer, they should still send you the W-2 so you (or your local CPA) can prepare your taxes properly.  

Tax Extension = More Time to File

For those of you who requested an extension or missed the April deadline, you still have a chance to file your return. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to us! Our individual services are tailormade to help you fight disorganization and overwhelm and get your taxes filed correctly and on time. And we’re local, which means we’re always available to help answer questions and guide you through the process. Which leaves you more time to enjoy your summer.

Adjust Withholding = Avoid Surprises

Avoid a tax surprise next filing season by reviewing your withholding now. Life events like marriage, divorce, having a child, or changes in income can all affect your taxes, and you’ll want to be prepared before tax time next year. If you need help determining how much withholding is best for you, give us a call. Our friendly, Roanoke CPAs are standing by to help.

Let Neely’s take the stress out of preparing for tax season! Our clients have trusted us with their personal income tax needs since 2007 because we deliver big-city service with hometown values. Contact us today and let us set yourself up for tax time success.

Posted in Individual Finances, Taxes
PREVIOUS Is Outsourced Accounting a Good Idea (and How to Decide If it's Right for You)
NEXT Harnessing Excellence in Financial Management: A CPA's Guide to Developing and Improving Your Accounting Systems

What’s The Smartest Thing to Do with Your Tax Refund?

Now that tax season is over, you’re probably looking forward to receiving your tax refund. In 2022, over 96 million people were refunded with an average payment of $3,039.

That’s no small chunk of change, and the last thing you want to do is absorb it by making small purchases over time. A windfall like a refund is a great opportunity to set yourself up for a better financial future. While there’s nothing wrong with spending some on a little fun, consider using the money wisely and get ahead financially. Need some ideas? We’ve put together a list of 8 smart things you can do with your tax refund.

1. Build an Emergency Fund

As the adage says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Build a little cushion against Murphy’s Law with an emergency fund. The money in this savings account is tucked away for the day when the unexpected happens. Having the funds to address the unexpected can make a stressful situation much easier.

How much should you save? Most financial experts recommend saving between 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. However, it’s always much better to have something rather than nothing so even socking away $500 is a great start. High-yield savings accounts are a great place to keep your money until you need it.

2. Pay Off Debt

Paying off debt can feel decidedly un-fun in the moment, but it can free you up to have more fun in the future. When you pay down debt, (especially the high interest kind) you’re freeing up more of your future income and creating greater flexibility for yourself down the road. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these two popular strategies for tackling debt:

  • Avalanche Method: This involves paying off your debt with the highest interest rate first, so you minimize the amount of interest you pay over time and save money in the long run.
  • Debt Snowball Method: This involves paying off your debts in order from smallest to largest balance, using the money you save to apply to bigger and bigger balances. This method gives you some momentum to keep paying down debt.

3. Fund Your Retirement

Opening a retirement account, or maxing out your yearly contributions, is a fantastic way to invest your refund. Depending on the type of account you have, your contributions can grow tax deferred and when it comes time to enjoy your golden years, you’ll have a healthy nest egg to rely on.

4. Invest In the Stock Market

Use your money to make more money! When you invest in the stock market, whether it’s through mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or ETFs, investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest. A disciplined approach to investing, where you tuck away funds year after year, is a great way to achieve financial freedom.

5. Invest in Yourself

You are your greatest asset. Your education, talent, expertise, experience, and work ethic all influence your rate of return through improving your earning potential on the job market.

With more skills, you can expect bigger paychecks and greater job stability. Consider using your tax return to pay for training, tuition, or professional memberships that will yield dividends as you chart your career course.

6. Make an Extra Mortgage Payment

If you own a home, you can make an extra mortgage payment or two and get one step closer to actually owning your home. Paying an extra principal payment on your house builds equity. The more equity you have in your home, the more purchasing (or saving) power you have if you choose to sell down the road. Plus, paying down the principal on a home works like paying down debt. The sooner you pay off the loan amount, the less money you’ll spend on interest.

7. Make a Major Purchase

Maybe it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, buy more energy efficient kitchen appliances, or do some home improvements. Consider using your refund to start a savings account toward these major purchases. We recommend high-yield savings accounts to keep the savings separate from your everyday spending cash.

8. Donate To a Cause You’re Passionate About

Charitable giving makes a big impact in more ways than one. Your donation benefits those in need, improves your community, and gives you the satisfaction that you’re helping make the world a better place. Charitable giving also sets you up for a potential donation deduction on next year’s taxes. When you combine your giving with volunteer work (and maybe invite a loved one to tag along!) you’ve got a solid win-win strategy.

Contact Neely’s Accounting Services

Tax season may be over for 2023, but there’s always another one right around the corner. It’s never too early to begin preparing for tax season (including smart spending). Our Roanoke CPAs are ready to help you craft the perfect tax strategy for your personal or business taxes so you can get every deduction you deserve and make the most out of your refund every year. Contact us today to get started.

Posted in Individual Finances, Taxes
PREVIOUS What Documents Should I Bring to a Tax Appointment?
NEXT Is Outsourced Accounting a Good Idea (and How to Decide If it's Right for You)

What Documents Should I Bring to a Tax Appointment?

When it’s time to file your taxes, it can be overwhelming to figure out what documents and information you need to bring to your tax appointment. Neely’s Accounting Services has been providing businesses and individuals in the Roanoke area with trusted accounting services since 2007. We’re here to take the overwhelm out of tax season. 

To help you get organized, we’ve compiled a list of the essential items to bring with you when you meet with your Roanoke CPA to file taxes.

Personal Information

Before you get into the specific tax-related documents, make sure to bring some basic personal information to your appointment. This includes your social security number, your spouse’s social security number (if filing jointly), and the social security numbers of any dependents you’re claiming. Additionally, you should bring a valid photo ID and your previous year’s tax return.

Income Documents

The most critical documents you’ll need when you file your taxes are those that show how much money you made during the most recent tax year. The type of documents you’ll need depends on what and how many income streams you have and the list can look different for everyone. Take a look at the different types of income documents and see which ones apply to you:

  • W-2s: This form shows your annual earnings from an employer.
  • 1099s: These forms show income from sources other than an employer, such as freelance work or investment income. These are common for self-employed people or freelancers.
  • Schedule K-1: If you own a business or partnership, you’ll need to bring this document.
  • Rental income: If you own rental property, bring a summary of your rental income and expenses.
  • Social Security benefits: If you received Social Security benefits, you’ll need to bring Form SSA-1099.

Deduction Documents

If you plan on itemizing your deductions, it’s important to bring documentation to support your claims. The list below outlines some of the most common deduction documents you’ll need to gather before your tax appointment:

  • Mortgage interest statement: This document shows how much interest you paid on your mortgage.
  • Property tax statements: If you own property, you’ll need to bring statements that show how much you paid in property taxes.
  • Charitable donations: Bring receipts or other proof of donations you made to charities throughout the year.
  • Medical expenses: Bring documentation of medical expenses that you paid out of pocket, including receipts and bills.
  • Student loan interest: If you paid interest on a student loan, be sure to bring Form 1098-E.

Additional Information

In addition to personal, income, and deduction documents, there are a few additional items you may need to bring to your tax appointment:

  • Bank account information: If you’re expecting a refund, bring your bank account information so it can be deposited directly into your account.
  • Estimated tax payments: If you made estimated tax payments throughout the year, bring documentation that shows how much you paid.
  • Business expenses: If you own a business, bring documentation of your business expenses.
  • Capital gains and losses: If you sold stocks or other investments, bring documentation of your capital gains and losses.
  • Alimony payments: If you paid or received alimony, bring documentation that shows how much you paid or received.

Contact Neely’s Accounting to Schedule Your Tax Appointment

Everyone has a unique financial story. At Neely’s Accounting, our friendly Roanoke CPAs get to know you and your finances to make sure you don’t overpay. We’ll help you get the credits you’re entitled to through the individual attention you deserve. Give us a call or visit us today.

Posted in Individual Finances, Taxes
PREVIOUS Three Reasons to Love Tax Season with Neely's
NEXT What's The Smartest Thing to Do with Your Tax Refund?

Three Reasons to Love Tax Season with Neely’s

February is the month of love, but most people don’t immediately associate taxes with fuzzy feelings. In fact, the mention of tax season fills them with dread. If this sounds like you, then we have great news! When you work with Neely’s Accounting, your taxes don’t have to be daunting. We’ve been Roanoke’s go-to tax expert since 2007 because our team makes filing taxes so easy. 

Let’s take the stress out of tax season. Below are three reasons to love tax season with Neely’s Accounting Services on your side.

1. Big City Tax Service with Hometown Values

Don’t struggle through tax preparation software or outsource your taxes to an impersonal big box company. Instead, work with a local tax expert who understands your needs. At Neely’s we combine modern, streamlined services with deep community knowledge to offer affordable tax solutions that work. You’ll love working with a tax expert you can trust, and you may even recognize our CPAs from the local grocery, workout class, or event!

2. Customized Tax Support 

If you’ve ever had your taxes prepared by a stranger, you may have wondered if they truly understood the details of your financial situation. We understand that your tax needs are as unique as you are. Our local CPAs meet with you one-on-one to get to know you and your finances, so no detail is left behind. Plus, they’re available to answer any questions all year long so you can banish tax anxiety once and for all. 

3. Maximum Tax Returns

Customized tax services do more than just give you peace of mind. They also give you the maximum return possible. We pride ourselves on getting to know you, which means we can find every deduction you’re eligible for. When you work with us, you’ll love feeling sure that you received the maximum possible tax refund (and your bank account will love it too!). 

Contact Us to Get Started on Your Taxes

We’re proud to offer a full range of professional products at a fair price without sacrificing the individual attention you deserve. Our friendly, dedicated advisors are always ready to help you with personalized solutions that meet your needs.

Let us take the stress out of running your business and filing income taxes. Contact us or visit today.

Posted in Taxes
PREVIOUS Don’t Sweat Tax Season: Here’s Every Tax Deadline You Need to Know
NEXT What Documents Should I Bring to a Tax Appointment?

Don’t Sweat Tax Season: Here’s Every Tax Deadline You Need to Know

What comes to mind when you think about tax season? Maybe you’re one of those people who gets excited about doing taxes. On the other hand, you might feel a sense of dread or confusion when you think about filing your taxes. If you’re the latter, you’re not alone. A recent study showed that one-third of taxpayers wait until the filing deadline to do their taxes and 56% don’t even know when the deadline is!

Whether you relish taxes or feel a bit nervous, having a trustworthy expert on your side can makes all the difference between complicated and stress-free. As Roanoke’s trusted tax experts, Neely’s wants you to have all the info you need. To help, we’ve compiled all the season’s tax deadlines so you can face the 2023 tax season with confidence. 

Personal Income Tax & Self-Employed Deadlines

  • January 31, 2023 – Due date for employers to send W-2 forms. To ensure you’re able to complete your tax return on time, the IRS requires all employers to send you a W-2 no later than January 31 following the close of the tax year. Generally, this means W-2s get sent by January 31, but you won’t necessarily receive your form by this date.
  • January 31, 2023 – Certain 1099 forms are sent. Various 1099 forms, and forms 1099-NEC,1099-MISC, and 1099-K are used to report payments that typically don’t come from an employer, such as if you work as an independent contractor, gig worker, or self-employed person or if you receive income such as interest, dividends, prize winnings, rents, royalties, or brokerage account transactions. If January 31 falls on a weekend or holiday, these forms are due to be sent the following business day.
  • April 18, 2023 – Tax day (unless extended due to local state holiday). The tax deadline typically falls on April 15 each year, but can be delayed if it falls on a weekend or holiday. Missing the tax deadline can have consequences like penalties and interest.
  • April 18, 2023 – Deadline to File Form 4868 and request an extension. The tax day deadline is also the last day to file Form 4868 requesting an extension to file your individual income tax return. If you won’t be ready to file your tax return by tax day, make sure you instead complete an extension request, granting you the ability to delay filing a completed return until October 16, 2023. But remember, even if you choose to file an extension, you are still required to pay any taxes you may owe by the April deadline.
  • April 18, 2023 – Deadline to make IRA and HSA contributions for 2022 tax year. For individual income tax return filers, this also marks the final day to make contributions to your IRA or HSA for the 2022 tax year. After this date, you generally can’t make contributions for the previous tax year.
  • April 18, 2023 – First quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due. Making estimated tax payments means that you need to estimate how much income you’re likely to make for the year and determine how much you will owe to the IRS for income taxes. You can use IRS Form 1040-ES to calculate how much tax liability you’ll have for the year. IRS Publication 505 contains all the rules and details you might need to know about how to calculate this amount. If you overestimated how much tax liability you’d owe for a year and are due a refund, you can choose to receive that money now or apply the overage to the following year’s quarterly tax payments.
  • June 15, 2023 – Second quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due. Despite the IRS referring to these payments as quarterly estimated taxes, the due dates don’t necessarily fall within “quarters” nor do they each represent three months of tax payments. They represent an equal quarterly share of your estimated income tax liability paid at uneven intervals. The first payment occurs 3 and a half months into the year. The second payment is five and a half months; the third payment is eight and a half months, and the fourth payment is due 12 and a half months after the year starts.
  • September 15, 2023 – Third quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due.
  • October 16, 2023 – Deadline to file your extended 2022 tax return. If you chose to file an extension request on your tax return, this is the due date for filing your tax return.
  • January 15, 2024 – Fourth quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due. This represents the final quarterly estimated tax payment due for 2023. If you choose the option to pay 100% of your previous year’s tax liability, any unpaid taxes will be due when you file your 2023 individual tax return by the April 2024 deadline.

Businesses – Partnerships (including LLCs), C Corps (Form 1120), and S Corps (Form 1120S)

  • January 31, 2023 – Employers send W-2s forms to employees
  • January 31, 2023 – Send certain 1099 forms
  • March 15, 2023 – Taxes are due for some business types (partnerships, multi-member LLCs, and S-Corporations). Businesses organized as partnerships, including multi-member LLCs, and S-Corporations need to file Form 1065, or 1120S by March 15, 2023, if they are a calendar year business. If your business uses a fiscal year, you need to file your tax return by the 15th day of the third month following the close of your tax year. For example, if your business uses an April 1 – March 31 tax year, your business tax return would be due June 15 instead of March 15.
  • April 18, 2023 – Taxes for C-Corporations are due. Businesses organized as C-Corporations need to file form 1120 by April 18, 2023, if they are a calendar year business. If your business uses a fiscal year, you need to file your tax return by the 15th day of the third month following the close of your tax year. For example, if your business uses an April 1 – March 31 tax year, your business tax return would be due June 15 instead of in April.
  • September 15, 2023 – Deadline for extended partnership and S-corporation returns
  • October 16, 2023 – Deadline for extended C-corporation returns
  • January 15, 2024 – Fourth quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due

Contact Neely’s Accounting Services for Expert Tax Support in Roanoke. 

Since 2007, Neely’s Accounting Services has provided expert tax preparation and accounting in Roanoke, VA. We help small and service-based businesses, restaurants, nonprofits & churches, and families and individuals. We pride ourselves on delivering big-city service with hometown values. Our friendly, dedicated advisors are always ready to help you with personalized solutions that meet your needs.

Let us take the stress out of running your business and filing income taxes. Contact us or visit today.

Posted in Taxes
PREVIOUS How to Identify and Protect Your Company from Occupational Fraud
NEXT Three Reasons to Love Tax Season with Neely's

Everything You Need to Know for A Successful Tax Day

During the autumn season, taxes may be the furthest thing from your mind. October is a great time to enjoy the changing leaves, cozy sweaters, and all things pumpkin. But it’s also a great time to begin taking stock of your financial health to prepare for tax season.

Einstein once famously said, “the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” While that might not be exactly true (theory of relativity, anyone?) taxes can be complicated. Here are some things you can do in advance that will make tax season feel as easy as learning your ABCs. 

  • Make tax-deductible donations before your financial year ends

If you’re planning to do any charitable giving and haven’t yet, then make your donations before the year ends. Not only will it boost the finances of an organization or cause that you care about, but it will also count toward your total deductions for the year.  Win-win!

  • Max out your tax-advantage accounts

If you have the extra cash, make the maximum amount of contributions to your retirement accounts or health savings accounts. For traditional IRAs, you can contribute up to $6,000. If you have an HSA, you can save $3,600 for single coverage or $7,200 for family. These contributions reduce your taxable income and sets aside income for the future.

  • Schedule regular tax planning all-year round

You don’t have to wait until April 15th to deal with taxes. It’s possible to set up quarterly payments so you can review your cash flow more regularly and avoid big, unpleasant surprises. This strategy is especially effective for freelancers and small businesses who often face large fluctuations in income and expenses.

  • Maintain sufficient records

Keep a file of important financial information, records, receipts, and payments to the IRS. That way, you have everything you need in one place. Having easy access to your records will allow you prove your expenses, income, and most importantly that you’ve paid everything you owe.

  • Get your paperwork organized

If you’ve paid taxes before, then you know it involves extensive paperwork. When it comes to tax preparation, it’s important to have all your critical documents ready before you file so you can avoid mistakes and find all eligible deductions.

  • Make a tax payment plan

If you think you might owe money to the IRS, prepping for tax season early gives you time to plan and save. Putting away money to pay your tax bill is the best option, but if your bill drains your savings, you can also set up a payment plan with the IRS, use a credit card, or take out a loan.

  • Consider how you’ll use your refund

If you’re looking forward to a tax refund, be smart about your extra windfall. Consider using your refund to further your financial goals like boosting emergency savings, paying down debt, or growing your nest egg.

  • Hire a good financial professional

If you feel confused about your taxes, you’re in good company. Almost 90% of Americans hire a professional or use software to help them file. The American tax system is notoriously complex, so if you want to feel confident about your tax preparation, then work with a trusted professional for expert tax services.

Neely’s can help with your tax preparation

Neely’s is Roanoke’s trusted source for tax services and tax preparation. For over 30 years, we’ve helped individuals, freelancers, and small businesses in Roanoke face tax season with confidence. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make this tax season your smoothest yet.

Posted in Taxes
PREVIOUS Why Hire an Accountant for Your Small Business?
NEXT How to Identify and Protect Your Company from Occupational Fraud

Avoid these 5 business tax mistakes

If you’ve made the leap and started your own business, you deserve a pat on the back! Starting your own business is an exciting adventure—you’re free follow your creative vision and figure out how to overcome obstacles along the way. Business taxes can be an area where new business owners stumble. We want to make sure you’re set up for success, so we’ve outlined some common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to business taxes.

Selecting the wrong entity

When starting your business, you can choose to designate yourself as a C-corp or an LLC. The decision can seem easy enough but there are tax implications to each one. Choosing the wrong designation for your business can impact your tax responsibilities and personal liability so it’s essential to get it right.

Overestimating startup cost deductions

You probably know the saying, “you have to spend money to make money.” It takes funding to start a business, but luckily, business owners can defray some of the cost through tax deductions. However, many new business owners make the mistake of overestimating their deductions. The IRS only allows $10,000 in deductions for total costs $50,000 or lower.

Missing tax payment deadlines

Running business is a complex undertaking and keeping track of your tasks and finances is no small feat. It’s understandable that you might miss tax filing deadlines because you’re busy keeping all the plates spinning, but the IRS is strict. If you miss a deadline, you could incur fines and fees that you didn’t budget for.

Mistaking contractors for employees

Many small businesses hire contractors, especially when they’re first starting out. They can be a great choice for your business. Contractors tend to be less expensive and are professional and efficient. However, be careful that you’re not asking contractors to fulfill employee-like expectations otherwise you could be responsible to payroll taxes. Failure to do so could result in crippling fines.

Disorganized record keeping

Its critical to keep sterling tax and financial records. You don’t want to be caught unawares by an IRS tax audit and not have access to invoices, receipts, and other financial information. If record keeping isn’t your strong suit, then consider outsourcing the job to a dedicated professional.

Hire a Trusted Professional

Avoid these mistakes by working with an expert. Neely’s Accounting Service has been guiding Roanoke business owners through startups and tax season for over a decade. We’re your local advocate in dealing with the IRS. Feel confident about your business tax process. Contact or visit us in Roanoke.

Posted in Business Finances, Taxes
PREVIOUS The Ultimate Age-Based Guide to Retirement Savings
NEXT 6 Tips to Streamline Your Business Expense Management