Client Spotlight: Donald Jackson – Preventive Maintenance Services, LLC

Donald Jackson discovered a problem and decided to do something about it. He saw how the elderly were having issues with companies that do manual labor, so he developed a company that is honest, trustworthy, and delivers great-looking results.

In November of 2012, Jackson launched Preventive Maintenance Services, LLC. He resides in Satsuma, Florida south of Jacksonville, but he frequently commutes to other areas up to 80 miles away. He explained what the business offers.

“We provide manual labor for people who have projects they want to do but can’t physically do themselves.”

These “projects” range from basic painting to much larger remodeling jobs. He works on both residential and commercial properties.

“The one thing I have going for me is my reputation,” he said. “Whatever is in someone’s house when I get there will be there when I leave there.”

He started doing manual labor on the side nearly 30 years ago while working as a firefighter/paramedic. He did work for family and friends, specifically the friends of his elderly grandparents.

“I was tired of seeing big companies rip elderly people off, so I decided to do it on the side,” he said.

He recently started doing work for a well-known bank in Florida with several branches throughout the state.

“They’ve taken me in as their maintenance guy,” he said. “Whenever they have an issue, they call me.”

Jackson said he tends to take more time on the projects his customers want him to do than other companies. However, he feels his work turns out better this way.

“If you are on a tight time schedule, I’m not the person for you,” he admitted.

Although he won’t turn down most requests, he won’t do work that involves major electrical work. He always brings in a licensed electrician to handle that.

Jackson talked about what he enjoys most about his business.

“I enjoy being able to tell somebody that I can make something better and much nicer than it is,” he said. “I like encouraging them to get a free estimate and then save them a lot of money.”

As for challenges, Jackson currently uses a diesel truck for hauling all of his equipment. He said his fuel charges add up very quickly, and he hopes to get a trailer at some point. In addition to transportation, the whole concept of a business was initially a little overwhelming to him.

“The eye-opening thing for me is you can’t do it by yourself,” he said. “You need some administrative help. It’s hard to keep up with my receipts, my schedule, and everything else on top of my actual work.”

Jackson said the ball is always in the court of a business owner. You have to take it and run with it.

“You can determine the outcome of your success. No one is going to do it for you. It’s all up to you.”

Jackson is a client of 1-800-Accountant and said he would definitely recommend the service to others.

“I’ve been very satisfied with your services,” he said. “I’m very excited about the fact that I can call any time and someone can help me out.”

How does having children affect your taxes?

The birth of a child is one of the most special moments in the lives of new parents. If you didn’t think this life-changing experience could get any better, it can. That’s because there are tax benefits you can enjoy when you have a child.

When your child is born, it is imperative to get a Social Security card for the new baby. The Social Security number is the most important piece of information you’ll need to take advantage of tax savings. The most basic way to reduce your taxes with a child is to claim them as a dependent on your tax return. This will automatically save you some money, and it’s determined based on your income. If you have multiple children at once or already have a child, be sure to claim each child as a separate dependent.

As part of the tax legislation passed at the beginning of 2013, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit were extended. The Child Tax Credit is available for parents who have one or more children that meet the “qualifying child” requirements, one of which is that they must have been under age 17 at the end of the previous year. This credit can save you up to $1,000 depending on your income. The Earned Income Tax Credit applies to taxpayers who have a “qualifying child” whom they claim on their tax returns and make what is considered a low or moderate income.

Your tax-filing status could change as well when you have a child. If you are married and file jointly, it will remain the same. If you are single, though, you could take on the “head of household” filing status, which would increase your standard deduction and offer other tax benefits. To qualify for this status, you must pay at least half the cost of providing a home for your child. Another option is to use the Child and Dependent Care Credit. This credit gives you a tax break on money spent on childcare if your child was under 13 at the time of care and you are working to earn taxable income. Your credit is based on your annual income. For 2013, the credit cannot be used by married couples earning over $110,000 and single individuals making over $75,000.

Having children is a gift. The same can be said for enjoying tax breaks. To ensure you claim all of your available deductions, be sure to use 1800Accountant. Call 1-800-222-6868 or go to www.1800accountant.com.

 

Life as an Accountant

Helping others with their finances and taxes might not sound like the most exciting job to some. However, those who dedicate their careers to helping individuals with complex information are some of the most important figures in the working world.

Most accountants work long hours in an office, sometimes up to 80 hours a week. They use a fine toothcomb to analyze reams of paperwork, spreadsheets, and other relevant documents submitted by clients. These include tax forms and business-related forms. They must be distinctly focused on each task at-hand so they properly handle each client’s unique situation. Oftentimes, accountants must have their work reviewed by higher-ups.

Accountants tend to see their workload increase exponentially as tax filing deadlines approach. Many people assume that April is the most hectic time of year for an accountant. This is typical for accountants who primarily handle personal tax returns, but with business taxes, there are deadlines that must be met throughout the year.

Under most circumstances, accountants work individually, but they may have to collaborate on more sophisticated undertakings or defer to one another if they are uncertain on something. Working hours could range from 40 to 80 per week depending on the time of year. In addition to handling taxes, accountants are usually familiar with a long list of items like bookkeeping, payroll, auditing, banking, investments, and billing. Knowing these subjects like the back of their hand comes from research and reading up on the latest changes to the tax code.

A good number of accountants frequently deal with business owners who have certain tax filing requirements based on the types of business entities they own. Accountants will come across a wide array of businesspeople from different industries. Once an accountant works with a client in a particular field, working with someone else in the same field will probably be a bit easier. In addition, working with clients who own the same types of business entities provides a common thread for the accountant to work with.

Accountants are held to strict standards, which is why the judgment in their jobs is critically important. Accountants must also meet strict deadlines, especially for tax-filing tasks required by the IRS. Because of these high standards, accountants are very reliable when it comes to doing their jobs the right way. The decisions they make could significantly affect the financial standing of their clients.

You can find an accountant who matches your needs at 1800Accountant. Call 1-800-222-6868 or go to www.1800accountant.com.

Seven Bookkeeping Tips to Save Time and Money

At 1800Accountant, one of the financial solutions we provide for our clients are with bookkeeping services and tips.

To succeed in business, one of your most important tools is financial analysis, based on your business records. Accurate financial records will help you answer some very important questions. Are you making money, or losing it? How much? Is your business on sound financial ground, or are troubles lurking ahead? A sound bookkeeping system is the foundation on which all of this valuable financial information can be built.

For most small business owners and entrepreneurs this daily task of inputting and clarifying expenses gets overlooked and ends up costing a significant amount of money in losses to the IRS. Be sure you get a plan in place and keep more of the money you work hard to make.

 

In an article written by Mark J. Kohler, she provides seven bookkeeping tips to save time and money:

Some small-business owners view bookkeeping as a burdensome task that takes them away from running their business. It makes others nervous, and they may second-guess their knowledge and skills in fear of the Internal Revenue Service knocking on their door.

You don’t have to be intimidated or bored by accounting. Successful business owners don’t view bookkeeping negatively. They have adopted a few basic procedures to stay on top of the paperwork. By doing so, they save time, money and a lot of stress.

Follow these basic steps to gain control — and stay in control– of your business’s bookkeeping tasks:

1. Use accounting software such as QuickBooks. Become at least generally familiar with the software: Know how to input checks, reconcile bank accounts, create reports and other data. Then choose one of five ways to maintain it:

A. Do it yourself. Take a class on the software and dedicate time each week to input information and reconcile bank statements. If you fall behind on inputting transactions, it can be difficult to catch up. This is when most people throw bank statements and receipts into a box and procrastinate. If this happens, you’ll usually end up with option E below.

B. Train and hire a family member to maintain the books. From a supervisory role and internal control system standpoint, it’s still critical to have a basic working knowledge of the software and procedures.

C. Hire a local college student majoring in accounting. You will typically find student employees to be very affordable. Just remember not to give the student too much latitude with check signing or control of paying bills. Although the student is running the system, you still need to supervise their work to make sure your books are tight.

To read the full article click here: Seven Bookkeeping Tips to Save Time and Money

The Lowdown on Capital Gains Taxes

We all buy and sell items. Some of these purchases are high-priced assets, such as homes or vehicles. Others are non-tangible items, such as stocks and bonds. Either way, when it comes time to sell these items for any reason, you’ll either experience a capital gain or a capital loss. In many cases, taxes apply to these transactions.

A capital gain or loss occurs when something is sold. Either a net monetary gain or a net monetary loss results from this sale and is based on whether the item is sold for a higher or lower amount than its original price. In terms of these sales, this original price is known as the “basis.” These sales involve a wide range of items, also called “capital assets.” Capital gains and losses are also categorized as short-term or long-term. A short-term capital gain or loss occurs when an item that was owned for a year or less is sold. Long-term capital gains and losses occur when an item owned for more than a year is sold.

All capital gains must be reported when filing your taxes. In addition, taxes must be paid on capital gains, but capital losses are deductible on investment property. The tax rates on capital gains are typically lower than those on other forms of income. As part of the tax legislation signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, the long-term capital gains tax rate was set at 20%, an increase of 5% from 2012. Taxpayers in lower income brackets usually have a lower rate, while higher rates may apply to special kinds of capital gains. Taxpayers whose capital losses are greater than their capital gains can deduct the excess amount by subtracting the gains from the losses. Capital gains and losses can be calculated using Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets. This information should then be transferred to Form 1040, Schedule D.

Use 1-800-Accountant’s tax planning services to ensure you are maximizing your tax deductions by calling 1-800-222-6868 or by visiting www.1800accountant.com.