The key to success in any business venture, no matter the size, is a clear and complete picture of your financial condition. Running a business without knowing how much money you really have, how much you owe, and how much you are due, is like driving a car with your eyes closed. You may bump along for a while and still be moving more or less forward, but eventually you will crash, leave the highway, or simply run out of gas.
In many ways, well-kept books are like a GPS on your dashboard, not only providing a map of the road ahead, but speaking to you in a clear voice about where you must turn and what obstacles you must avoid to arrive at your destination.
And yet, for too many business owners, bookkeeping consists mostly of a fistful of crumpled receipts in a desk drawer, and a check register that hasn't been balanced since the account was opened. Their eyes may not quite be closed, but they are certainly peering through a very dirty windshield.
At Bottom Line Bookkeeping & Tax, our goal for our clients is to do more than provide accurate accounting; we want to be your personal profit and growth experts. By discussing your monthly financial statements with you, as well as creating annual business assessments that compare your company to similar businesses nationwide in your industry, we help you see where you are and what it will take to get where you want to be.
Those extra steps make us your partners in success. That's the true meaning of our motto: "Improving your bottom line is our bottom line."
One thing we all have in common is the obligation to file our tax returns every year. Whether you are an individual taxpayer, the head of a family, or a business owner, the IRS expects to hear from you.
If you have given up on the assembly-line tax preparation chains, and you're sick and tired of investing three Saturdays on do-it-yourself software in order to get an affordable price, we can help! Here are some of our great bargains and specialties:
This has been our most popular deal since 2006, when Bill left H&R Block, determined to build his own business by cutting their prices in half.
The $99 Return is for taxpayers with a simple 1040 (no additional forms for things like education expenses or the Earned Income Credit), sufficient expenses to itemize, and a single state return. If we have to process additional forms, either because your financial situation requires it or because we think you qualify for an extra deduction or tax credit, the $99 price does not apply and we will charge by the form.
However, our average non-business return is about $125, so even if you don’t qualify, you will still get great service at a great price.
The no-itemizing return is basically the same thing as our $99 return, except without a Schedule A. It grew out of our commitment to charge fairly by the form, and our recognition that some clients don’t need to itemize, and therefore shouldn’t have to pay for it in order to qualify for our lowest rate. We love the unexpected delight when people who are already excited about our $99 price learn that they will actually be paying even less!
There are plenty of young people every year who work part-time jobs while going to school, and haven’t earned enough to even qualify to file a tax return. Often, they just don’t, and miss out on getting all of their withheld taxes back. That’s why we have our $35 Student Return.
*Eligibility for this special rate is not based on merely being a student. Lots of students have spouses, dependents, good paying jobs, dependents, and mortgages or other itemized deductions. The complexity of their returns exceeds the intent of this special discount, which is for those with such minimal income that they ordinarily don't even file a tax return and don't realize that they are entitled to a refund of their withheld taxes.
As a former missionary, and the father of a returned missionary, Bill recognizes that it costs a lot to clothe and equip a missionary, and to keep him or her in the field each month. Filing a tax return in the midst of all that is one expense that they can do without! Moreover, it often happens that a W-2 comes to the missionary’s home months after the missionary has already departed, and a tax return needs to somehow be prepared in his or her absence. We are comfortable working in these unusual circumstances -- corresponding with the missionary only once a week, or through a parent, sending completed signature forms for the missionary to sign and waiting patiently till they are returned before e-filing, etc. Doing it 100% at our cost is our way of giving back. It’s that simple.
*Note: This offer is for youth-age missionaries only. Most of them are barely out of high school and their returns are very simple. Adult missionaries generally have mortgages and other complicated issues that make their tax returns trickier. We do lots of them, too, and gladly offer a 10% discount. But adult returns do not fit the economic model that our free missionary return program was designed to accommodate.
Many of our clients are entrepreneurs and own their own businesses. For those who need to file Form 1065 (LLCs and partnerships), Form 1120S (S corporations) or Form 1120 (C corporations), we offer knowledgeable tax preparation at rates one-third to one-half less than you would expect to pay a CPA or a big tax firm. One of our favorite experiences as a tax preparer was submitting an invoice to the manager of an LLC upon completion of their return. He let out a surprised whistle when he saw the bill for around $400, to which we nervously asked, “What, too high?” The reply was a sad and regretful, “No… I paid over $700 last year and didn’t have to!”
This tax provision arises out of the fact that forgiven debt is generally treated like income under IRS rules. Following the collapse of the real estate market in the 2007-2009 recession, a relatively high number of home owners was foreclosed upon until Congress instituted rules encouraging banks to work with their customers to restructure their loans, or arrange a short-sale and forgive the excess debt.
Unfortunately, when a taxpayer has possibly hundreds of thousands in forgiven debt treated like income on his tax return, it results in a tax bill out of all proportion to what the taxpayer can afford to pay, given that they were already struggling to meet their mortgage obligation. Congress responded to this crisis by passing the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2008, which allows the former homeowners to exclude up to $2 million in debt canceled for a primary residence.
This provision, known as the Qualified Principal Residential Mortgage Exclusion, was scheduled to expire after 2012, but has twice been extended, one year at a time, through 2014. If you think you can benefit from this provision, contact us without delay!
In addition to these deals and services, Bottom Line specializes in education deductions for families, and returns that include retirement and investment income. We also provide free pick up and delivery of your tax information for your convenience (in most cases), free electronic filing, and generous discounts in exchange for referring your friends and family.
Plus, we can complete resident and non-resident state returns for anywhere in the country (the list of states where we have filed client returns includes California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, Montana, and grows longer every year).
Call us at 801-635-9609, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us get started saving you both time and money, and relieving your annual tax headache!
It has been said that the difference between tax planning and tax preparation is December 31st. When the year comes to an end, it is too late to make changes to your financial position. The amount and sources of your income are fixed; the opportunity to do what will permit you to claim most deductions and credits has passed. The only choice left is to prepare your return and let the chips fall where they may.
For instance, many taxpayers make charitable contributions throughout the year, but neglect to keep receipts that would enable them to verify those expenditures for tax purposes. Some drive considerable distances for medical reasons, on behalf of church or scout groups, to school or for business, and yet make no record of their mileage. They leave hundreds of dollars on the table that could have reduced their tax obligation, or even resulted in a refund.
Business owners are often the worst of the bunch. Many of them are confused about tax rules pertaining to things like business expenses and depreciation. They pay out of their own pocket for business expenditures, or out of company funds for personal purchases, often negating tax deductions that could have benefited them.
That is why we feel that the most important aspect of our job is working with our clients to educate and train them on how to make the small changes that can produce real financial benefits every year.
Best of all, in most cases there is no charge for our consulting. You pay for our service in other ways. Our advice is free!