Here are the answers to some of the most Frequently
Asked Questions our firm receives.
Questions about Us:
information found on this website is general in
nature and may not apply to the reader's
situation. Therefore, the reader should not rely on
the information on this website alone. For specific
advise, please call us at
Goldsmith & Associates
Q. What services do you
A. We prepare all tax returns including
individual, corporation, LLC and LLP,
non-profit, estate and trust, partnership,
payroll, sales tax, property tax, and other
taxes. We offer bookkeeping, financial
statements, accounts payable, and accounts
receivable processing—in fact, any
office function, including setting up an
office, as part of our services.
Q. What are your hours and are you a seasonal
A. We are open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through
Friday January through May. with Saturday appointment available. June through October we are open 8 am to 5 pm Monday through
Thursday. Fridays we are open until 1 p.m. We have extended hours by
appointment and during tax season, which reflects
our commitment to offer our services at a time most
convenient for our clients.
Q. What size clients do you
A. We provide services to home based
businesses, professionals, and small
convenience stores, as well as small
businesses to larger businesses. They are
from start up to $10 million in sales with
0 to 150 employees. Typical clients are
professionals, small machine shops,
construction, and retail stores.
Q. What size clients do you
A. We accept any clients within our service
range. If the engagement is very large, we
will accept it if we feel we have the staff
to handle it. If we don't have the
appropriate staff, we may form an alliance
with another CPA firm and perform a joint
engagement. There is no account too small
to not be considered important at our
Q. Do we service clients outside of the
A. Yes. Due to available technology, our practice
services clients in many other areas. We also
serve clients all over the United States and have
tax software to prepare returns in all
Q. How do you charge for your services and how does
your cost compare to other tax preparation
A. We charge by the hour and complexity of issues.
We can give you a quote of our expected costs. When
providing our services, if we can help you reduce
our time, we will tell you how. Our overhead is kept
low to allow us to pass our cost savings onto our
clients. Our charges are normally less than
Electronic Filing Questions:
Q. What do
I gain by using IRS e-file?
Accuracy! Security! Electronic Signatures! Proof of
Acceptance! Fast refunds with direct deposit!
Electronic Payment Options! Federal/State e-file!
Only IRS e-file offers these advantages.
Q. Do I
really get my refund faster?
A. With IRS
e-file you get it back in half the usual time.
It's even faster and safer if you have your
refund deposited directly into your bank account, generally in
as few as 10 days. Ask your Authorized IRS e-file
Provider for the estimated date of deposit. For
more information about Direct Deposit, go to the
Financial Management Service (FMS) web site,
Q. Do I
have a greater chance of getting audited by the IRS
if I use IRS e-file?
A. No. The
chance of an audit of an e-filed return is no
greater than with a paper return.
Q. How do I
know that the IRS really has my
A. The IRS
notifies your Authorized IRS e-file Provider within
48 hours of transmission that your return
information was received. If the IRS detects any
errors, it sends a message back to our firm
indicating the error. Our firm will correct the
error and notify you to let you know what the error
was. We will then re transmit your returns to the
Q. Can my
state tax return be e-filed with my Federal return
at the same time?
are 37 states and the District of Columbia
currently participating in the IRS e-file program.
Some of these states have returns that can't
be filed electronically unless it is with the
Federal return. Other states will be filed as
independent states - meaning that they can be filed
without the Federal return attached to it. The
Michigan return needs to be filed with the Federal
Q. Should I
wait until April 15 to file electronically if I owe
A. No. You
can e-file your return as soon as it is completed.
Then send your payment in on or before April
15. Goldsmith & Associates will give
you a payment voucher and addressed envelope to
make sure it goes to the correct IRS center.
Q. If I
owe, how do I pay my taxes
A. You can
e-pay by credit card. If you e-pay by credit card,
you delay out-of-pocket expenses and may earn
miles, points, rewards or money back from you
credit card issuer. There is a fee charged by the
service provider. Fees are based on the amount of
the payment and may vary by service provider. Visit
IRS.gov for more information. Payment by check or
money order is acceptable. If you do owe money, we
will provide you with a voucher and addressed
enveloped to mail your check into the IRS. Your
return can be e-filed at any time before April 15,
and then you can mail your payment in later - as
long as it is postmarked on or by April 15.
happens if my return is filed electronically, I am
receiving a refund, and I owe taxes from previous
amount owed on back taxes is automatically deducted
from your refund just as if you filed a paper
Q. What do
I need to do to start a new
Typically, most people will go to their lawyer
first, get the business set up and then contact an
accountant. We would rather that you contact us at
the beginning. There are many different kinds of
companies and we can help you select the best one
for the kind of company that you will be setting
up. We will continue to help you with payroll,
tax returns, monthly accounting, and financial
statements to whatever degree you need.
Q. Should I
use a lawyer or an accountant to incorporate my
lawyers can get the paperwork together to make your
incorporation happen, they might not know all the
different tax laws that can apply to the different
kinds of incorporation's. Therefore, we suggest you
see an accountant first to find out exactly which
kind of incorporation you should pursue. You may then have
your lawyer finish the paperwork.
Q. How are
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
single-owner LLC defaults to being taxed as Sole
Proprietorship. Income/loss from the LLC is
reported on the owner's personal income tax
return. A multi-member LLC defaults to being taxed
as a Partnership. A Partnership tax return must be
filed. The profit or loss is then reported on the
owner's personal tax return. Any LLC can
elect to be taxes as a corporation. To do so, one
must file an election within 75 days of creating
Quick Books or Peach tree good
Quick Books and Peach tree can help you with your
small business accounting, but they cannot think
for you. The software needs to be set up properly
from the beginning or you will have problems. We
find that by setting it up yourself, it can cost
you more in accounting fees because it takes longer
for us to resolve those errors. We advise that if
you are going to use one of these products you have
your accountant help you set it up. We can help you
with this process.
Q. By using
QuickBooks Pro, can I reduce my
experience shows us that if you know something
about accounting AND your computer software is set
up properly from the beginning, it is possible that
we don't need to spend as much time on your
accounting. But in some cases, the initial set up
was not done properly and we end up spending more
time 'cleaning up' the errors than if
we had just entered the detail from the
Q. Do I
need a Certified Public Accountant or is an
Generally yes, although some people do not need the
expertise of a Certified Public Accountant. The
best way to find out is to call our firm and ask
that question, as each situation is
Questions about Paying
Q. How can
I pay my taxes by credit card and which credit
cards are accepted?
card payments can be made by phone (1-8002PAY-TAX
or 1-888-ALLTAXX, toll free) or Internet (www.officialpayments.com
using Discover, American Express, or MasterCard.
You will be provided a confirmation number at the
end of the payment transaction and your credit card
statement will provide confirmation of your
electronic payment. The payment and return are
reconciled based on the social security number
entered and type of tax selected during the
Q. Is the
IRS storing credit card
A. No. The
IRS does not have access to credit card numbers or
directly participate in the credit card
transactions. The IRS relies on private credit card
processors to verify the validity of the card and
line of credit. The processors forward the
appropriate tax payment information to the
Q. Is there
a fee charged for using my credit card to pay my
company that processes your credit card payment
charges a convenience fee. You are informed of the
convenience fee amount before you authorize the
payment. The fee is in addition to any charges,
such as interest, that may be assessed by your
credit card issuer. This company has no affiliation
or ties to the processing company.
Q. Can I
pay my balance due by phone or Internet with a
credit card if I'm a 'married filing
Just be sure to enter the Social Security number of
the first taxpayer listed on the return's
pre-printed mailing label or postcard. This is
usually the taxpayer listed on the return.
Q. What if
I owe and cannot pay the full balance due on my
A. The tax
preparation software used by our firm can allow you
to make partial payments. In this case, you can
make a payment for less than the balance due amount
on your return. If you cannot pay in full by April
15, you can file Form 9465, Installment Agreement
Request. You should still file your return by the
deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid
penalties and interest.
Q. What is
a Form 9465, Installment Agreement
A. An approved
Installment Agreement allows you to make a
predetermined series of partial payments after
April 15. Regardless of how you pay, you are
responsible for paying the amount of tax due by
April 15 of each year or you will be subject to
late payment penalties and interest. To be eligible
for an installment agreement, you must first file
all returns that are required and be current with
estimated tax payments. If an agreement is
approved, a one-time user fee will be charged. The
user fee is $120.00 or $52.00 for agreements where
payments are deducted directly from your bank
account. For eligible individuals with incomes at
or below certain levers, a reduced fee pf $43.00
will be charged and is automatically figured based
on your income. If you can pay the full
amount you owe within 120 days, call 1-800-829-1040
to establish your request to pay in full.
For more information visit the IRS website at
Q. Can I deduct child support
A. No. Child support payments are not deductible,
because they represent a pre-existing legal
obligation to support your children.
Q. In a divorce who is entitled to the child
A. The parent who had custody of the child for the
greater part of the year is generally treated as
the parent who provided over one-half of the
child's support and will claim the exemption
if other tests are met. Custody is usually
determined by the divorce, separate maintenance or
custody decree or agreement. If no decree or
agreement establishes custody, then the parent who
had physical custody for the greater part of the
year is entitled to the exemption.
Q. Can I save taxes by filing a separate
A. It depends. For example, if both parties'
income is approximately the same, but one has
extraordinarily large itemized deductions subject
to income limitations (medical expenses, casualty
losses, miscellaneous deductions, etc.) it is
possible to save taxes by filing separately. We at
Goldsmith & Associates always compute the tax
result both ways, as jointly and married filing
separately, to ascertain which filing status is
more beneficial to our client.
Q. What is the most tax efficient way to save for
my children's education?
A. The educational savings area is very
complicated. We at Goldsmith & Associates recommend
that taxpayers seek professional assistance.
Although a Section 529 plan, under the 2001 Tax
Act, is an extremely flexible and tax effective
plan, there are other plans to be considered. Also,
when considering any educational savings plan,
consideration should be given to the impact on
financial aid qualification requirements.
Q. How do colleges calculate student financial
A. Colleges calculate student financial aid awards
by calculating the college's cost of
attendance (COA) and then subtracting the expected
family contribution (EFC). Any remaining amount may
be funded with financial aid. Other considerations
are, how early the financial aid application is
filed and the particular school's available
financial aid resources.
Q. What is the best way to borrow for consumer
A. We at Goldsmith & Associates generally
discourage borrowing for consumer purchases unless
absolutely necessary. However, we recognize that
often there is no alternative. When it is necessary
to borrow for large consumer purchases, we
recommend a home equity loan. Interest on home
equity loans are tax deductible, while interest on
consumer loans, such as car loans and credit cards,
are not tax deductible.
Q. What is the Social Security wage base
A. The new wage base for 2017 is $127,200.
The Social Security portion is 7.0% of wages up to the wage base. The
Medicare portion is 1.45% (2.9% for
self-employed) of wages with no
Q. What is the standard mileage
A. The standard rate is .53.5 cents/mile for
business travel,.17 for medical and
moving and .14 for charitable work.
Q. What is the annual gift tax
A. The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2016.
An annual maximum of $28,000 per donee
applicable to spouses who utilize gift splitting in 2016. Additionally, there is an unlimited exclusion for payments of tuition and medical expenses. 2016 exclusion is $14,000.
Q. What is the maximum Earned Income Credit Amount?
A. The maximum credit amount is $6,269 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children. $5,572.00 with two qualifying children. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.