Tax Planning & Preparation for Individual Tax Returns
Pro Tax & Accounting provides full service Tax Planning & Preparation for Individual Tax Returns.
We all know the dreaded date of April 15th.
It’s the tax deadline, and it comes every year!
No matter if you are getting a refund or having to pay more, there are many ways an accountant can help you save money. If you’re not prepared and stressed out, you might have a hard time trying to calculate all your income and expenses. Filing individual tax returns can be time-intensive and complex. That’s why Pro Tax & Accounting helps individuals, like you, accurately prepare and file your individual tax returns! Andrea MacDonald is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and she keeps up with the ever-changing tax laws.
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What is a Tax Return?
A tax return is a report of your income and expenses that you need to file each year. The IRS uses information you provide on your tax return to assess your tax liability. Are you under 65 and single? Do you make more than $12,000 per year? If so, you’ll need to file a federal tax return with the IRS. Your state may also require you to file a separate state tax return. This is because state and local income taxes are different from those at the federal level.
What should you expect during your first meeting with Pro Tax?
When you first sit down with Pro Tax & Accounting, we’ll have a few important things to discuss. First, we will assess your tax needs. Are you an investor? Do you have many stocks? Do you own property? Are you self-employed?
For Pro Tax & Accounting to prepare individual tax returns, we will ask you for income and expense documents. We also need your health insurance information. You can also expect us to request identification and other basic information.
Here are some things we need:
If you are self employed and file your business taxes as part of your individual taxes, we will need additional information. This includes your business income, self-employment taxes, business expenses, investments, loans, etc. You need to consider all of these, and more, when filing your tax returns.
Using this information, we can help you prepare your tax returns and determine how much money you owe the government. We can also help you estimate how much of a tax refund to expect!
Why do you need a CPA for Tax Planning?
Tax planning is extremely important for a few reasons. If done efficiently, tax planning can save you valuable money and time. Staying organized can also help you maximize your deductions and minimize your tax liabilities.
That’s where a CPA comes in. If you just have one W-2 and no other income, you probably don’t need a CPA to help you out with tax planning. But what if you have a mortgage on a home or income from investments? Or a family to support? In these cases, hiring a CPA can be helpful.
Income Tax FAQ
Every year, taxpayers have common questions about filing their tax returns. We’ve broken down a few key topics below to help you out.
How do you calculate tax refunds?
Throughout the year you make money called Gross Income. During the year, either your employer withholds taxes from your paychecks or you might pay estimated taxes. You will be due a refund if you paid more taxes throughout the year than you ultimately owed. The federal and state government base your total tax amount on your taxable income. What is your taxable income? First we need to look at your Adjusted gross income (AGI).
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI):
AGI is the total income you’ve made in a year after allowable adjustments. The government determines the amount of adjustments and it can change year-to-year. Some of the typical adjustments can include:
- Alimony payments
- Half of the self-employment taxes you may pay
- Contributions you may make to certain retirement accounts
After you subtract these adjustments from your income, you have your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Then you can take either a standard or itemized deduction from your AGI to determine your Taxable Income.
What is a standard deduction vs. an itemized deduction?
First, we determined which deduction is better for you. With the standard deduction, the government determines the amount of the deduction. It is a fixed amount subtracted from your adjusted gross income. With the standard deduction, you are only taxed on the remaining money. That is your taxable income.
Itemized deductions work a little differently. Based on several factors, you can claim certain expenses as deductions. There are hundreds of possible deductions. These can range from medical expenses and property taxes to mortgage interest and charitable donations. Some taxpayers may find that the itemized deductions add up to even more than the standard deduction. Once you know the amount of your itemized deductions, you subtract it from your adjusted gross income. That is your Taxable Income.
Itemized and standard deductions change with the ever-changing tax laws. This is why it is important to work with Pro Tax & Accounting. We keep up with all of the tax laws!
To recap the tax process for your income:
- Throughout the year, the income you earn is your Gross Income, and you deduct taxes from your Gross Income throughout the year.
- Next, you adjust your Gross Income based on allowable adjustments, and that becomes your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
- Lastly, you adjust your AGI down by applying either a standard or itemized deduction.
After you apply all these adjustments and deductions, you have your Taxable Income!
At Pro Tax & Accounting, we constantly monitor the changing tax laws. As a result, we can help you get the most money back each year. If you think you could benefit from our services, call Pro Tax & Accounting today. We’ll help take away the stress that tax season typically brings!
Pro Tax & Accounting also has business tax planning and preparation services. Learn more.
At Pro Tax & Accounting, we keep you from breaking the bank!
Pro Tax & Accounting is your go-to resource for businesses bookkeeping, accounting services, payroll, QuickBooks Consulting, and tax services. President and owner, Andrea MacDonald, CPA, is a Certified Public Accountant. Andrea and her team have the education, knowledge, and experience and work with businesses throughout the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton, north into Williamsburg, and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. And thanks to technology, Pro Tax & Accounting can work with clients anywhere in the world!
Call today and free up the time you need to run your business, and leave the bookkeeping and accounting up to the experts!