US Business Releases ‘Deficit Manifesto’

In what is being called their ‘Deficit Manifesto’, more than 80 CEOs of the United States’ largest companies have written an open letter calling on Congress to fix the country’s fiscal deficit, by way of both government spending cuts and tax increases.

In support of the bipartisan Citizen’s Petition to Fix the Debt, the letter is signed by CEOs from financial and industrial companies such as Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Honeywell and Boeing. Some of them also helped to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on October 25 on behalf of the campaign.

The letter, which was published in the Wall Street Journal, points to the urgent need for a plan to resolve the US fiscal deficit and “stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path”.

The plan, it is said, should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery, should be bipartisan to have a chance of success, and should include reforms to all areas of the budget.

For example, the CEOs insist that the plan needs to “include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers (income tax) rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit”, and to “strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries”.

With regard to taxes, and to provide an effective framework for such a plan, the letter invokes the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission report in December 2010, which was not endorsed by Congress but which would have saved USD4 trillion and addressed all parts of the budget.

Read the full article here

2013 Tax Planning: 5 Reasons to Start Now

Planning for tax season is always an important financial priority. Whether it be to simply stay ahead financially or to catch a few tax breaks, here we see some good examples. 

By BlumShapiro

It may feel like you’ve just closed the book on the 2012 tax season and planning for 2013 is far off, but the time for you and your clients to start tax planning for 2013 is now. Tax and accounting firm BlumShapiro offers five good reasons to get an early start.

1. The 2013 Tax Season Is Closer than You Think

 

Industry experts generally agree that proper tax planning takes an average of six months – the time it often takes experts to educate themselves on all available opportunities, determine the best approach, and implement the plan. When you consider that six months from today puts us in March 2013, suddenly next year’s tax season doesn’t seem so far away. If you really want to get the best tax outcomes in 2013: the time to start planning is now.

2. Uncertainty Looms Over Next Year’s Tax Climate

 

Next year’s tax climate can be best characterized by its extreme uncertainty, which will be brought on by changes resulting from the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, as well as by a number of provisions in the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire. This level of uncertainty will make early 2013 a chaotic time for tax planning, and it makes now an even more important time to get the planning process started.

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Benefits of Forming an LLC with 1800Accountant.com Incorporation and LLC Services

When starting a new business, 1800Accountant.com helps entrepreneurs make the right choices early to protect their assets.

1800 Accountant

For those starting a new business or looking at options for their sole proprietorship, 1800Accountant.com provides Incorporation and LLC services to help business owners protect their personal assets.  Deciding to form a limited liability company (LLC) is an important decision and seeking the guidance of a small business service provider can help any small business owner weigh the pros and cons.

An LLC is an entity separate from its owner; therefore, the owner is not personally responsible for business liabilities.  Personal assets, such as a home, car, and savings, cannot be sought out by creditors of the business.  By forming an LLC, the business owner increases credibility with customers and business partners yet is subject to fewer requirements than an S Corporation or C Corporation.  Owners of an LLC have no board of directors to comply to; meaning, they have the options to implement any organizational structure that they desire.  Additionally, LLCs do not pay taxes, but rather taxes are passed through to the business owner and paid on a personal level.

Incorporating an LLC brings with it only a few cons, such as difficulties while transferring ownership, lack of legal precedence, and ongoing fees.  1800Accountant.com assists small business owners around the nation with business incorporation services as well as ongoing accounting and tax preparation.  Because bookkeeping is time consuming, the accountants at 1800Accountant.com allow business owners to focus on their core business operations.

About 1800Accountant.com

A national accounting firm, 1800Accountant’s leading team of highly qualified CPAs, accountants, and tax professionals, specialize in making professional tax preparation and accounting services affordable for the small business owner. With unlimited 1-on-1 tax consulting and support for their clients, 1800Accountant is a powerful tool for any business owner. Through an innovative online virtual tax organizer and a “Clients Only” website, it is ensured that every business owners’ accounting information is secure and available from any computer or smart phone, along with a wealth of resources for the small business owner. To learn more, please visit: http://www.1800accountant.com

What Is Crowdfunding?

By Greg Lindberg

If you have a business plan or product idea in mind but don’t have the money to get it off the ground, don’t fret. You can always try your hand at crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding refers to the collective effort of many individuals who come together to offer financial support for a business plan, product idea, or a cause or relief effort. It can also mean the funding of a business by selling small amounts of equity to multiple investors. The keyword to keep in mind is “crowd” because it is a group-like approach to funding an idea. In fact, thousands of individuals could put their money behind something no matter where they are located.

As it is a relatively new concept, the crowdfunding process typically occurs on the Internet. It is much easier to reach a larger pool of potential investors online than using any other method due to the worldwide reach of the web. There are numerous websites that offer crowdfunding services. These include Indiegogo, RocketHub, WeFunder, and Kickstarter. On most sites, users simply register for an account and then establish what they want to get funded. Other users can then browse through these ideas and choose whether to donate money to them via PayPal or other funding methods. Although each site is different, many offer investors the ability to spend as little as $100 to as much as $250,000 to help fund a specific business plan. There are some restrictions on how often individuals can pay these amounts and how long it takes for them to be processed.

Political leaders in the U.S. have shown increasing support for crowdfunding in recent years. In April 2012, President Obama and Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, lifting restrictions that had previously prohibited the public solicitation of money for private businesses. This legislation demonstrates the growing use and need for crowdfunding to help stimulate economic growth among small business owners.
To learn more about crowdfunding, contact 1-800-Accountant or visit www.1800accountant.com

8 things to do before mailing your return

Don’t send off your forms before double-checking to make sure you’ve completed all the necessary steps, from signing in the right place to sending your check to the correct address.

By MSN Money partner

Before mailing your finished tax returns to the state and federal government, it’s very important to review them carefully — regardless of who actually prepared the returns.

If you, or your tax preparer, are submitting your returns electronically, review hard copies before sending them along the information highway.

Even if your return was completed by a paid preparer, you are legally responsible for all the information on the return.

If you discover something on a return that you do not understand, contact your preparer immediately. But remember, just because you do not understand something does not mean there is an error.

Here is what to do before putting your tax return in the mail (or sending it online):

Double-check all Social Security numbers entered on all pages of your return. An incorrect number will hold up your refund. If you changed your name during the year because of marriage or divorce, you should notify the Social Security Administration and receive a new Social Security card before filing a return with the new last name.
Sign your return in the proper place. If you are filing a joint tax return with a spouse, both of you must sign. If your spouse passed away during the year, sign on the first line and write “Surviving Spouse” on the line for the spouse’s signature. Special rules apply if you are signing the return for a non-spouse deceased taxpayer or for someone else under a power of attorney.