At Niedober & Steinmetz, LLC, we pride ourselves on giving you personalized and thorough service to meet your needs whether you're a business or an individual.
We provide a full range of tax and accounting services for our clients and offer consulting services for special needs.
It is our job to see that you pay no more tax than the law requires.
We monitor the changes in the tax law that could affect you and recommend tax saving strategies. We will prepare all your tax returns and serve as your advocate in all tax matters.
If you are contacted by any government agency concerning your tax matters, your first call should be to us. We will take care of it so that you can get on with your business.
There is a certain mystique that has grown up around tax planning and tax-cutting techniques. We are here to put tax planning in plain English for you.
There are actually several basic tax-cutting strategies, and most plans involve one or a combination of them. In a nutshell, some of the strategies are:
- Splitting income among several family members or legal entities in order to get more of the income taxed in lower brackets.
- Shifting income from one year to another in order to have it fall where it will be taxed at the lower rate.
- Shifting deductions from one year to another to place them where the tax benefit will be greater.
- Deferring tax liability through certain investment choices and through pension plan contributions.
- Interfacing with your investment advisor so as to maximize income on invested funds.
Call us between June 1 and December 1 for a complimentary ½ hour initial conference. We will discuss your financial and tax situation and determine how we can help you.
Today's tax laws are so complicated that unless your financial affairs are extremely simple, chances are you will benefit from at least occasional help from a tax professional. It is too easy to overlook deductions and credits to which you are entitled even if you only prepare one return a year. Even the use of computer software is no substitute for the assistance of a seasoned tax professional.
We prepare hundreds of tax returns every year. We know what to look for when preparing your return. More importantly, you will have someone to answer your questions during the rest of the year.
Your Tax-Cutting Checklist
Whether you’re a wage earner, an investor, a business owner, or all three, you should use some of the tax-cutting benefits available in the tax law. There is little to be gained by paying more tax than the law requires.
While working with your data, we try to identify tax-savers for which you qualify. Here’s a partial tax-cutting checklist to get you started. Check the list to see if there are tax breaks that you may be overlooking.
- For Individuals:
Rollover to Roth IRA
Child tax credit
Child care credit
Earned income credit
Education savings accounts
American opportunity tax credit
Lifetime learning credit
Flexible spending accounts
Health savings account
Donating appreciated assets instead of cash
Qualifying property for personal residence gain exclusion
Best filing status
Shifting income or deductions from year to year
Adoption expense credit
- For Investors:
Tax-free municipal bonds
Long-term capital gains
Low-income housing credit
Small business stock rollover
- For Businesses:
Home office deduction
First year expensing of business equipment
Bad debt write-off
Disabled access credit
Other business tax credits
Contact our office if you have questions or want more information on these and other strategies that could reduce your taxes.
Looking for a little information right now? View the latest Tax and Financial News article in our Newsletter.
Visit our set of Financial Calculators for quick answers on topics such as your IRA, investments, your child's college tuition, and your mortgage or credit card calculations.
We provide compilation, review and audit accounting services. We offer these services on both an ongoing and a special needs basis. Please call us for details on how we can fulfill your accounting needs.
Business challenges and their solutions are as varied as the types of businesses in existence. There are some issues, however, that every business faces. Whatever your business concerns, we can provide the help you need.
Whether you are starting a business or operating a going concern, we can help you select the proper organizational structure and help you secure adequate financing. We will work with you and your banker, lawyer, insurance agent, and other advisors to solve your business issues.
We can assist you with loan applications, pricing, credit policies, cash flow concerns, cost controls, and other management issues. We will gladly assist you in reviewing your operations to see what you might do to be more profitable.
What makes a business successful?
Never stop investigating ways to improve all areas of your business. The astute businessperson will seek information to assist him or her in making the changes necessary to stay profitable in a competitive business world.
Here are some ideas that could improve your profits:
|Do your homework.
Before starting a business, be sure the community can support such a business. Some areas are not large enough to warrant certain specialty shops. A bicycle shop, for example, may take a population base of 50,000 people to make it profitable. A grocery store, on the other hand, can be profitable in a town of only a few thousand.
|Carefully review business proposals.
Business deals and franchises which sound too good to be true usually are. We will gladly assist you in reviewing any business purchase or business proposal.
|Enlist the services of professionals.
Accountants, bankers, insurance agents and lawyers can help you solve your business issues. These professionals handle a variety of business problems every day. They make excellent sounding boards for proposed transactions. We interface regularly with many professionals and can guide you to the right one for your specific needs.
|Check reasons for incorporating.
Don't incorporate your business without first checking the long-range tax and nontax considerations. There are many small corporations that would have been better off operating in some other legal form.
|Make payroll deposits on time.
Some businesses receive penalties for late payroll tax deposits. To avoid such problems, don't sign payroll checks unless you have already taken care of your required tax deposit. This may have you paying deposits earlier than required, but you will not be receiving penalties.
Listen to your customers.
|Strive to retain customers.
It is estimated to cost ten times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain a current customer through good customer service.
|Don't make yourself indispensable.
If your company runs well now in your absence, it will run well in the event of your disability or death. If you are currently indispensable, start training people now. One of the most rewarding forms of retirement is to own your own company and to be absent as much as you like.
Call us between June 1 and December 1 for a complimentary initial 1/2 hour conference. You should interview us, as you would any professional, to determine if we will be a good long-term match for you and your business. If we don't have the answer to your problems, we will assist you in locating someone who does. We always welcome your questions.
We can prepare or supervise the preparation of your financial statements.
More importantly, we can help you analyze financial statements, as well as other reports, to better manage your business and increase your profitability.
Good financial records are necessary for several reasons.
|=Daily operating decisions are based on financial reports.=|
|Bank loans require reports of past performance.|
|Tax return numbers need proper substantiation.|
You should strive to prepare financial reports monthly. For year-to-date comparisons and to make quick management decisions, financial reports should be done monthly. "As goes the month, so goes the year." You can compare the sales, gross profit, and net profit at, say, the end of May, with prior years and get a good idea of how the current year will finish. You can compare the total accounts receivable or payables with prior years to spot problems and then quickly take corrective action.
Here are some common business ratios you should monitor on a month-by-month and a year-by-year basis:
Current ratio - Current assets divided by current liabilities will measure your ability to pay your current debts.
|Debt to equity ratio - Total liabilities divided by net worth will provide you with a year-to-year comparison of your company's financial leverage. The ratio indicates how much debt is being used to finance its assets relative to the value represented in equity.|
|Receivables outstanding - Receivables divided by average day's sales will give you the number of days' sales that is currently due. The higher the number, the more you are functioning as a bank.|
|Profit margin - Gross profit divided by net sales will allow you to compare your business operations to other companies in your industry, as well as monitor your own operations over time.|
Understanding financial statements can increase business profits. If you would like to learn more about using financial statements to make sound business decisions, we would be happy to work with you. No one was born understanding financial information, but it is easier to learn than most people think.
Please ask as many questions as you like; we will help you until you are comfortable with business numbers and can use yours to increase your profitability.
Get services tailored to your needs.
Spend your time building your business - and your profits; let us handle your bookkeeping, recordkeeping, and report filing.
We can provide as many of the following services as you require:
|Paying bills and managing accounts payable.|
|Handling payroll functions, including quarterly and annual payroll tax reports.|
|Preparing your bank reconciliations and providing cash balance reports.|
|Maintaining sales journals and general ledgers.|
|Preparing all required business tax reports and filings.|
|Preparing any customized reports you find useful.|
Where do we begin?
We'll work with you to identify the services you need to run your business effectively. Then, we'll set up a schedule so data is collected, recorded, and handled efficiently and timely.
How much will it cost?
You're likely to save more than our services cost. Your in-house staff needs will be reduced, so you will reduce associated employee costs such as payroll taxes, employee benefits, training time and expense, equipment and software costs, and employee management costs.
Best of all, your bookkeeping and accounting functions will be taken care of, so you can concentrate on running your business. Contact us for a free estimate of the cost savings for your business.
As much as you would like, not everything fits neatly into your plans. So we provide a full range of consulting services to address those "out of the box" needs.
Start planning and stop worrying!
A Gallup poll showed that 60% of those surveyed worried about their financial future.
There are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your worries:
|Put aside a set amount regularly in savings or other investments. The compounding of earnings can be substantial. The longer your investment period, the greater the beneficial effect of compounding. Click here to calculate how fast your savings can grow.|
|Invest in what you know. The better informed you are, the better your investment decisions will be. If you don't want to learn about investments, consider hiring a money manager and paying him or her to do your investing for you.|
|Diversify your investments. Have some of your money in an investment that is easily converted to cash in case of emergencies. The old adage "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is excellent investment advice.|
|Prepare an annual balance sheet (a list of all your assets minus all your debts) to determine your net worth. A comparison of your annual balance sheets will show you whether you're meeting your financial goals.|
|Plan where you want to be financially by retirement age. Over 90% of Americans must rely on the government or others for assistance during retirement. With proper planning and diligence, you can be among those who can retire in comfort. Click here to calculate how much you need to save for retirement.|
|Update your plan regularly. Review your financial plan often and adjust investment choices when necessary to keep your plan on track with your financial goals. A semi-annual or annual review will help keep you on track.|
|Don't use credit to purchase consumption items. Wait until you can pay cash for things which decrease in value. Borrowing money to purchase a home is usually a sound idea. Using credit to purchase household furnishings is not.|
|Pay off your credit card balance every month. Your credit card should be used for convenience, not as a source of long-term financing. Credit card interest rates are much too high.|
|Monitor your investments to maximize your after-tax return. The difference that a 2% greater return can make in the growth of your investments is dramatic. Click here to calculate the monthly yield required to reach your savings goal.|
|Have your insurance agent do at least an annual review of your insurance needs to determine that you are neither under- nor over-insured. Be sure to contact your agent when you buy or sell any property.|
Maximize your after-tax return.
We can review your investment ideas with you and your investment advisor and make recommendations to maximize your after-tax return.
Don't ignore the impact of taxes on your investments. While taxes should not drive your investment strategy, understanding how taxes affect your investment returns will help you minimize taxes and maximize your return. Consider these items:
Long-term capital gains and qualified dividends currently carry a favored tax status. Consider putting more dollars in investments that give you qualified dividend income and long-term capital gains.
|You can deduct a limited amount of capital losses in excess of capital gains. Consider balancing your winners and losers to maximize this deduction each year.|
|Investments which produce high taxable annual income can be given to family members who are in lower tax brackets, thereby saving taxes for the overall family group.|
|Depending on your tax bracket, you may benefit from investing in municipal bonds.|
|Another area where taxes make a difference is in deciding which investments to keep in your tax-deferred accounts, such as a regular IRA or 401(k) plan, and which to keep in taxable accounts.|
Check out these links.
We do not endorse any products, services, or businesses you may find by following these links. Do not enter into any transaction until you and your advisors are satisfied that you are getting what you are paying for.
Each link will open a new browser window.
|U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission - investor assistance, fraud cases, SEC filings and small business information|
|USA Today - Top Money News|
|Federal Reserve Bank of New York - interest rates on treasury bills and much more!|
|Stock Quotes - Reuter's|
|The American Stock Exchange|
|NASDAQ Exchange - stock quotes|
|New York Stock Exchange|
|Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) - Edgar Database|
|American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)|
|Daily Stocks - get quotes, charts, and SEC filings|
|The Financial Center - bookstore for investors, chat rooms, news desk|
|Fund Alarm - changes in fund managers, buying and selling of fund information|
|InfoBeat - have e-mail notices sent to you about your stocks|
|Stockfind - financial news by industry and an IPO corner|
|Wall Street Directory - shopping mall for software, books, and magazines about investing|
For assistance with your investment concerns, please contact us.
Estate & Gift Planning
A little planning can save thousands of dollars!
You can't take it with you, but failing to plan for your estate can mean that the government, rather than your heirs, may get the major portion of your hard-earned money.
You may be surprised what your estate is worth. Add up the value of all your assets. Don't forget life insurance which may fall into your estate. If your total value exceeds the exemption amount, you should look into what a few simple planning techniques can save your family at estate time. In addition, there are some very effective estate planning ideas that can also cut your current income tax bill.
Click here to use an estate planning calculator to help you determine what your estate is worth.
Some planning possibilities:
Current tax law allows you to give away $14,000 per year per recipient. (This amount is adjusted annually for inflation.) Your spouse may join in the gift even if he or she is not an owner in the transferred asset. This means that you could transfer up to $28,000 per year to each of your heirs. To double the annual exclusion yet again, you may want to include spouses of your children. The person receiving the gift does not need to be related to you. These annual gifts do not reduce your estate tax exclusion.
You can make unlimited gifts to pay for another individual's medical expenses or school tuition as long as your payments are made directly to the institution.
If you have property which is not needed for your retirement, maybe it is a candidate for transferring during your lifetime. If it is a large income-producer, the future income will be taxed to the new owner and not to you, plus the property will be out of your estate.
You can make unlimited transfers to your spouse either during your lifetime or through your estate. There are no taxes on spousal transfers, regardless of size. But leaving everything to your spouse may not be a good idea, since doing so fails to utilize the lifetime exclusion amount in the estate of the first spouse to die. Planning will allow you to use the exclusion in both estates, and you'll be able to transfer twice as much to your heirs free of estate tax.
|Life insurance proceeds
With proper planning, certain life insurance proceeds can be kept out of your estate.
For assistance with your estate planning, please contact us.
Check out our Newsletter for the latest article on Financial Planning.