You've just received the dreaded letter from the IRS, which says that either your personal income taxes or your business taxes are about to be audited. The IRS will perform one of three types of audits: a correspondence audit, an IRS office audit or a field audit.
- A correspondence audit is conducted through the mail. The IRS is probably asking for specific documentation of a certain item on your tax return.
- An IRS office audit usually checks up on people who are either self-employed or own a small business. You may be asked to bring a list of items to a local IRS office, or you may be asked to stop by the IRS and explain your entire return.
- A field audit is the most comprehensive type of audit. In these cases, an IRS agent will come to your home or place of business to physically examine items deducted on your tax return.
In many cases, you should seek the assistance of someone who has completed either a traditional or online graduate tax program. Also, while you go through the process, keep these four keys to surviving an audit in mind.
The National Small Business Association suggests you prepare for your audit by reading IRS Publication 1, entitled "Your Rights as a Taxpayer." Additionally, obtain a copy of Publication 556, "Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights and Claims for Refund." Read any additional IRS publications that explain the specific tax issue that the agent wants to discuss.
You may know that the IRS wants to audit you because you've failed to pay the taxes that you owe. Navigate to the IRS website and click on the "Payments" tab at the top of the page. You'll see information about how to pay and what to do if you if you can't pay. Use the information to come up with a payment proposal, and bring your payment proposal to your audit.
Bring Only Necessary Documents
Avoid providing information that the agent hasn't specifically requested. For example, don't bring documents related to prior years' returns. If documents or receipts related to your audit are missing, then you have the right to reconstruct that information by talking to others. For example, if you made a donation to charity but lost the receipt, you can ask the charity for a copy.
When you correspond with the IRS, keep every document that you receive from the agency. Take notes during all of your meetings, and use those notes to formulate a letter to the IRS. Explain what was said during the meeting and any agreements that were made in the letter, and mail it to the IRS so that the letter is in your file.
Milk the Schedule
As a taxpayer, you have the right to schedule your audit at the time and place of your convenience. If you need additional time to prepare documents, request a delay. You can request a recess at any time during the meeting if you need to consult a tax professional.
Although you can stretch certain aspects of the schedule, do not fail to meet IRS deadlines. If the IRS requests a response from you within 30 days, then you need to respond. The smartest thing you can do is either to respond immediately or give the correspondence to your tax professional. Avoid setting the correspondence in a drawer and forgetting about it.
Say Only What Is Required
Giving away too much information during an audit is not in your self-interest, but withholding information from the IRS will make matters worse. If you've made a mistake on your tax return for a certain year, then admit the mistake, but don't volunteer information if you've made the same mistake during other years.
You have the right to limit the discussion and the scope of your audit to the issue brought forth by the IRS. However, remember to treat the agent with respect. Avoid speaking disrespectfully, and control your emotions. If the auditor mentions fraud at any time, then talk to a tax professional.
An IRS audit can seem both scary and highly inconvenient. Since noncompliance is unwise, you should cooperate with the agency. Remember your rights, and be honest without volunteering non-essential information. If you have any questions at all, consult a tax professional.
About the Author: Steven Harris is a tax professional who has published a number of articles and blogs related to income tax. He's also an audit survivor.
Probably summer is such a season we all have been waiting for. And many of us plan vacations, entertainments and just want to have a good time. But there’s still a need to pay bills and manage expenses. How to get all the things done this summer and stay on a budget? Here are some easy tips which will help you to save money during the summer season.
When it’s hot outside many people turn on their air conditioners and try to stay away from the heat. But to save money and energy it’s worth to limit usage of your air conditioner. Use it only when it’s necessary, for example when it’s the hottest time of the day. When you’re relaxing and watching TV you can use a fan instead of AC because if you’re not active probably you don’t feel the heat so much. Turn it off when you don’t need it or when you’re leaving the house.
Cut Back Unnecessary Spending
In summer we like spending time outside and often buy cold water and ice coffee. Also many people like eating outside in a company of their friends. Count how much money you spend on such small things. Before going out take a bottle of water from home and avoid unnecessary spending. Don’t eat outside too often, better cook at home and invite your friends for a summer party in the yard.
Don’t Put All the Expenses on Plastic
Try to pay with cash to avoid a credit card debt. Some people put their expenses on plastic and then complain that they can’t get out of debt. Probably you think that nothing bad will happen in case you will buy a new swimsuit and will pay with the card. But think twice if it’s a necessary purchase and you can afford it. Use other financial options like payday loans online or money advances only if you’re in emergency. In summer season we all have some additional expenses but try to be frugal and make up a spending plan to stay on a budget.
Save Money for Vacation
It’s better to start planning your vacation already in winter or in spring because then you will have more time for saving money. In case you will spontaneously decide to go somewhere for rest then there’s a risk that you will get in debt to finance your trip. That’s why it’s important to practice financial planning and try to foresee your expenses. Also be realistic about an amount of money you can spend on a vacation. It’s not worth to choose an expensive resort and take out a loan to afford it. Time will pass really quickly, you will get back home with the debt and then it will be necessary to think how to find a space in your budget to pay it off.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer, it’s still necessary to control your finances and use money saving tips to be happy with your financial life during all year.
People run business mainly to make profits and till the money which has been invested in the capital is got back whatever money that is earned till that point of time cannot be called as a profit. To calculate the point at which the investment is got back is known as the break-even point and any product sold from this point contributes towards to profit and not selling contributes to loss.
There are many online tools available to calculate break even point but before that the parameters involved should be known and then people can easily understand how to calculate break even point. Fixed costs and variable costs are the two main parameters involved in investment, where fixed cost is the initial investment towards business setup and variable cost is the working capital or operational expenses involved towards making each product and this happens only when a product is made.
For break even, when the money towards fixed cost is obtained through business earnings the break even point is attained, as for income obtained for each product manufactured and sold therefore shall contribute to profit alone.
Raising money for a good cause is a great thing, but people won’t know about it unless they are told. If they don’t know what you’re doing, they won’t be as excited about donating money. This is why it’s important that you have a way to deliver information to your target audience for your fundraiser. A marketing committee communicates what an organization does to help the community. Ensuring that there is a good communication between the organization and marketing committee is important for the following reasons.
Fundraising communications between an organization and marketing committee will ensure that the public understands the cause. When people understand the good that an organization is doing, they will be more likely to want to find out more, and tell other people.
Helps Create Effective Fundraising Programs
When the organization’s mission is clear, the fundraising team can come up with programs that help achieve goals. The marketing committee communicates how the fundraiser will achieve the goals to the public. This clear message is what makes many people trust and feel good about donating.
Establishes a Brand Identity
Organizations often receive donations from past donors. The ones that have a better chance of receiving repeat donations are those that have established a brand identity. They have a clear message about their cause, and that comes from the good communication across the organization. Repeat donors aren’t hearing one thing and then another. They are confident in donating because they know exactly what their money will be used for by the organization.
Includes a Call to Action
People must be told what to do after they hear about what your organization is doing for the community. It’s important this call to action is communicated, or many people won’t have the urge to donate.
By having good communication between an organization and public, fundraisers are much more likely to be successful. Start practicing effective communication by discussing the points here with your fundraising and marketing teams today.
5 Reasons Donating Your Car Will Improve Your FinancesIf you’re looking to stretch your monthly budget and are living paycheck-to-paycheck, cutting back on gourmet coffees and eating out less often isn’t the type of financial advice you need to hear — you need a bigger change. You should be asking yourself, “Should I donate my car?” The answer is yes. Donating your vehicle may seem like taking a loss, but getting rid of your car will actually improve your finances in five tangible ways.
1. Qualifies You for a Tax BreakYou donate your car instead of selling it. So how is that going to improve your finances, exactly After all, donation means you won’t get any money for your car. Not true.Donating your vehicle could lead to a big tax break at the end of the year, meaning a bigger refund. If, however, you owe taxes, your donation will at least alleviate some of the burden by decreasing the amount of money you owe. That translates to real, spendable cash in your bank account. When it comes to donating a car, the Kelley Blue Book value isn’t that important. You could wind up pocketing more in tax deduction dollars than you would get by selling your vehicle. Regardless, the car will be off your property and your financial situation will improve.
2. No More Gas and MaintenanceIt’s hard to go without a car, especially in more rural areas. However, there are options, and if you’re looking to stretch a budget, not having to pay for the gas and maintenance costs of a vehicle can make a huge difference. According to Time, the average American household spends $4,155 on gas each year, and one visit to the mechanic can cost almost as much. Opt for public transportation if at all possible. If you don’t live close enough to a bus, train or subway stop, consider bicycling, at least to the nearest stop. Alternatively, talk to your neighbors or co-workers and bring up the idea of carpooling. Chip in toward the cost of gas in exchange for not having to worry about car ownership.
3. No More Car WashingIn addition to not having to pay for gas, you won’t have to pay for car washes, either. The cost of car washes doesn’t add up to the cost of gas, but $10 here and $10 there does add up over time. While it is better to keep your car clear of grime that could cause rust, excessive car washing is not necessary and often becomes more about appearance than necessity. It’s true that you can save money washing your car yourself, but you waste a lot of water doing this, and there’s a good chance you could spend that time doing something more productive.
4. No More Car Insurance PaymentsWhether you pay annually or every month, car insurance payments are a necessity, but often a waste of money. While it’s true that it’s better to pay for insurance and not need it, think of all the money you spend protecting yourself from something that may never happen. Car insurance costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year; this is money you could be saving or spending on something tangible. Insurance costs are especially high if you’re young or you’ve had an accident in the past. Turn the payment into zero dollars by forgoing your car altogether.
5. No More Car Loan PaymentsThink of all of the bills you have to pay each month: rent or mortgage, school loans, phone bill, utilities and credit card debt. Maybe you have cable or Internet, health insurance and other bills, too. A car payment is another bill, but one that can easily be eliminated. You’ll still be paying for the car even as it depreciates in value, meaning that by the time you’ve paid off the car, it will be worth only a fraction of the amount you’ve spent. If you’re able to sell your car and pocket a bit more cash, that’s an option, too. But if your car is more than just a couple of years old, chances are you’re not going to get much. For example, Forbes reports a depreciation of 56 percent after only five years on high-end vehicles. You’d probably get more via a tax break than you would by selling. Regardless of what you do with your car, unburden yourself from relying on your vehicle, and you’ll feel more financially secure. About the Author:Minnie Young is a financial advisor and frequent blogger. She often speaks on financial topics such as frugal living and stretching tight budgets.
You may be a student working part time or not at all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start developing your personal finance skills. Learn to create and stick to a realistic but reasonable budget, learn how to make financial goals and how to attain them, and learn how to manage your debt. It’s never too early to start saving, either.
Even though retirement may seem far off, there’s still the possibility that an expensive emergency could break your bank account. Your parents may still claim you as a dependent on their taxes, but you’ll soon need to file your own taxes learn how to do it now.
Make and Keep a Budget
Budgeting is one of the hardest — and most essential — personal finance skills. The object of a budget is to make sure you don’t spend more than what you earn. Ideally, you want to spend less than what you earn, leaving some extra to go toward your emergency fund, long-term financial goals and retirement savings.
The first step toward making a budget is to form a picture of your expenses. Be realistic — budget for your entertainment, grooming and clothing costs in addition to your rent, utilities, school, food and transportation costs. You should also leave yourself a little spending money.
Track your spending for a month before creating your budget. This will give you an idea of how much you need to cover your basic expenses. It could also shed light on areas where you may need to cut back.
Set and Achieve Financial Goals
Financial goals are an important part of personal finance. They’re what help you save the money to take that semester abroad or buy a car.
When you set a financial goal, make sure it’s specific and attainable. If your goal is to buy a car, decide how much money you’ll be able to spend. Choose an amount you can realistically earn in a relatively brief period of time by setting aside a little extra money from each paycheck. Factor this savings plan into your budget.
Manage Your Debt
Chances are good you’ll graduate from college with some student loan debt. You’ll also need to take out loans throughout your life for major purchases, like cars and houses.
Manage your debt while you’re still in college by minimizing the amount you borrow — don’t borrow more than you absolutely need for school and living expenses. Take it easy on the credit cards — while using credit cards responsibly can help you build a good credit score, always pay off your balance in full each month to avoid high interest charges and always pay on time to avoid substantial late fees.
Don’t rely on your credit cards as an emergency fund. You should have emergency savings in your budget anyway.
When you finish college, concentrate on paying your debt off as fast as you can. Borrow as little money as you need to cover necessities like a car or house.
Always Try to Save
As a college student or new graduate, retirement may seem far off. However, it’s never too early to start saving for your twilight years. You’ll also want to set aside a little money each month for emergencies and for any future financial goals.
It’s OK to prioritize important goals like buying a house over saving for retirement, but begin saving for retirement by your mid-30s at the latest. Keep your saved funds accessible enough that you can get to them if you need them, but not so accessible that you’ll spend them on a whim.
Learn to File Your Taxes
While you’re a student, your parents will either claim you as a dependent or file your taxes for you. Prepare yourself for the day when you’ll need to file your taxes.
You can file your taxes for free online through IRS.gov. If you make less than $57,000 per year, you can use free filing software that will walk you through every step of the process. If you make less than $51,000 per year, you’ll also qualify for free tax help through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
Work on your personal finance skills while you’re still in college so you’ll have the habits and skills you need to succeed financially when you’re on your own. Even if you’re only working part time or depending financially on your parents, you can still use what money you have to practice your budgeting, saving, debt reduction and other skills.
About the Author: Contributing blogger Michael Der lives in California with his wife and daughters. He works for website. You can meet the team online as well as find out what your old textbooks are worth!
As a renowned degree program, business administration is considered a valuable investment by many business professionals and employers. Thousands of candidates apply to MBA programs each year. MBA programs provide graduate students with theoretical and hands-on experience to become successful business professionals in society. Since the 1950s, business administration has been a highly sought-after degree by aspiring students from around the world.
Over time, business schools began to broaden their specializations to the meet the ever-changing business environments. Additionally, online programs now provide ways for individuals with flexible schedules to complete courses and graduate while balancing their work and personal commitments.
Many accredited business schools such as Ohio University offer online master’s programs and accept applicants for MBA with no GMAT requirements. Similar to the traditional programs, students of online programs have options to choose their desired concentrations and attend classes using distance learning platforms.
In addition to providing convenient methods to complete courses online, many business schools have designed shorter MBA programs that incorporate all of the required courses for each major. Some of the U.S. schools also offer international business programs where students can focus their courses on specific regions in the world.
They can also study abroad and take foreign language courses. As business environments continue to evolve, business schools in many of the top colleges and universities will redesign programs and create new specializations to provide more options for students to acquire the right skills for successful careers.
Finance and the Environment
Increasingly these days people are thinking of the environment and their pocket. Where possible some people have opted to think about whether they can make do with a smaller car with better fuel consumption. It is not possible for a growing family but the performance of a range of small cars in terms of speed and acceleration will satisfy those who do not need a large car; and the reward will be better fuel consumption and a small contribution to the green lobby.
The UK is emerging from a difficult economic environment. Although confidence is rising the days of uncontrolled credit have been left behind. However some financial constraints that were imposed when the financial crash came have been relaxed. There are competitive financial packages available that reflect the low bank rate that has existed for a while now.
You can think about your budget and actually find out your monthly commitment and term of loan before selecting a car. You will need to provide some details of your employment and income supported by bank statements in order for any loan to be approved. If you get pre approval you can then take your time over selecting a car.
Buying a car is second only to buying your house in terms of financial commitment; it needs careful thought and the assistance of a company like website find-a-car/used-cars/sheffield that has built up a reputation over years. Such companies are likely to be based in the larger towns and cities where they will have a potentially bigger market and of course a large local source of vehicles to take in and examine. Used cars in Sheffield will be drawn from a large hinterland and hence you will have plenty of choice in that city and others.
People expect quality service and this certainly applies in the used car market where it is possible to buy a vehicle that looks better than it actually is. For that reason before any other you want to buy a car from a dealer that has done every possible check on behalf of themselves and their potential clients. You can certainly benefit from this. The financial opportunities available today certainly mean this is the time to act, especially as employment prospects look secure in the future.