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2013 Tax Guide

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A Special Supplement Solon Economist and North LibertyLeader
Preparation Guide
TAX
2013 TAX PREPARATION GUIDE
Need help with your taxes?
A+ Accounting Services
Tax season is upon us once again, although it is delayed this year due to last minute legislation in Washington. This is when the A+ Accounting staff hits the ground running. A+ Accounting has been in business since 2000 and has five full-time accountants and locations in both North Liberty and Cedar Rapids. A+ specializes in preparing personal, partnership and corporate tax returns. Kevin Schmidt is a CPA, who runs the North Liberty office, has 17 years of tax preparation experience. Larry Fenner joined A+ in 2006 to manage the Cedar Rapids office and has been preparing taxes for over eight years. He became a co-owner of A+ in 2009. Kevin and his wife Julie have lived in North Liberty for 13 years. They and their two children, Dylan, 11, and Alaina, eight, love the community and plan on staying here for a long time. Kevin grew up in Cedar Rapids, attended Washington High School, and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in accounting. Larry has an accounting and business administration degree from Mount Mercy College. Larry’s industry experience includes retail, manufacturing Larry Fenner and Kevin Schmidt. and wholesale distribution. He also has a strong background in strategic planning to assist in a ted to keeping up on the ever changing tax laws to ensure clients get all the tax benefits they are company’s growth. There was a substantial amount of legislation entitled to. “Tax planning is something you should do year that came about shortly into the new year with the round, not just at the end of the year. Our doors passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Many of the provisions were retroactive to don’t close at the end of the tax season. We the beginning of 2012. This has caused the IRS are here for our clients when they need us. We to have to rewrite several of the tax forms which consider them friends as well as clients,” Kevin has delayed tax season. A+ Accounting is commit- commented.
A+ Accounting will be open late and on weekends during tax season to accommodate their clients’ schedules. Both federal and state returns can be filed electronically at no additional cost. Please contact A+ Accounting at 319-626-8500 in North Liberty or at 319-390-7910 in Cedar Rapids for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Local Tax Professionals at your Service
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
$20.00 Off
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
J L Palmer, CPA
Friendly Local Service
• Income Taxes • Payroll Tax Reports • Payroll • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly or Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services (Bank Reconciliations) etc.
1158 Club Rd NE Shueyville
Tax return preparation
319.338.2799
6 East Benton St. • Iowa City
319-848-7026 for appointment
New clients only Must present coupon 1 coupon per visit Expires 4/15/13
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates
626-4998
North Liberty
2013 TAX PREPARATION GUIDE
Need help with your taxes?
Taxes Plus
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
319.338.2799 6 East Benton St. • Iowa City IOWA CITY– Taxes Plus has begun its second decade. “Sometimes I’m amazed that we have lasted more than 10 years,’’ said Marlene Perrin, an enrolled agent who founded the business in September 2002. The company’s success is a tribute to “wonderful, supportive clients and an exceptional professional staff,” she said. Taxes Plus served a handful of clients the first year– too few to pay the bills, much less a salary to the owner. But by the fourth year, the business was paying its current bills and had re-paid its start-up loans. Last year the staff of four enrolled agents, three registered tax return preparers and two other tax professionals, most of whom work part-time, served more than 1,000 individual and business clients. “Our goal is to provide exceptional value by offering great customer service at a reasonable price,’’ Perrin said. “Taking the worry out of tax time for clients is important, too. It’s all about the people.” Local ownership is key, she said. “Our staff has no trouble putting customers first because they are our friends and neighbors. We keep prices relatively low because we don’t have to send a big share of income to out-of-town owners. “Locally-owned businesses help support each other and keep our community vibrant.’’ Taxes Plus is proud of the professional integrity and qualifications of its staff members. Enrolled agents (EA), before this year, were the only tax professionals who were tested by the IRS Monday - Friday 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Front row: Ila Zimmerman, Joan Walton and Marlene Perrin. Back row: Peter Moore, before being admitted to practice. EAs must Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Doug Grimsman, Ed Spencer and John Gilroy. adhere to a code of ethics and take continuing Appointments also are available at other times. professional education. Keeping up with yearly Taxes Plus is located at analyst at University supplies the office with beautiful flowers. tax code changes requires constant learning, 6 E. Benton St., Iowa City Hospitals, see clients Clients are greeted by three receptionists: Carla Lyon, Perrin said. “It’s more than typing numbers in Phone: 319-338-2799 nights and weekends Connie Clark and Nan Cord. Lyon and Clark have been a software program.” during the tax season. on staff for several years; Cord is new this year. E-mail: taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net Last year the IRS created a new designation, “In spite of their busy Taxes Plus files individual and business returns elecregistered tax return preparer. An RTRP must lives, they keep doing tronically at no extra charge, and offers free tax planning pass an IRS exam that is less rigorous than the EA exam taxes because they like working with people and enjoy and reviews of prior year returns. Free routine audit assisbut measures minimum competency. new learning opportunities and new challenges,’’ Perrin tance is available for returns prepared by the company’s Taxes Plus’ enrolled agents are Perrin and John Gilroy, said. professionals. both tax professionals for 31 years and EAs for 21 years; Three Taxes Plus professionals passed the RTRP exam Clients are encouraged to sit down with a tax profesLynne Kinney, a tax professional for more than 20 years last January: Edward Spencer, who has been preparing sional to discuss their individual situations, determine and an EA for more than 10 years, and Ila Zimmerman, taxes for 20 years; Joan Walton, who is beginning her information needed to complete their tax returns and a tax professional for more than 10 years and an EA sixth year in the business, and Peter Moore, who is be- select filing options. They can make appointments or drop since 2004. ginning his fifth year. off information for a tax professional to review. Walk-ins Because tax preparation is a seasonal business, other The two other professional staff members are: Douglas also can usually be quickly accommodated. EAs in the office all also have other occupations. Kinney Grimsman, in his fourth year checking returns for Taxes The company’s web site, taxesplusiowacity.com, inoperates her own bookkeeping service, although she Plus, and Sanja Hunt, who completed two comprehensive cludes a tax newsletter and has links to calculators for tax, works at least part-time at Taxes Plus year-around. Gilroy, tax courses offered by Perrin and assisted in the tax of- business, loan, retirement planning and other personal who owns Harney Oil Co., and Zimmerman, a systems fice last year. Hunt, owner of Every Bloomin’ Thing, also finance purposes.
Tax season office hours:
Local Tax Professionals at your Service
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
$20.00 Off
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
J L Palmer, CPA
Friendly Local Service
• Income Taxes • Payroll Tax Reports • Payroll • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly or Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services (Bank Reconciliations) etc.
1158 Club Rd NE Shueyville
Tax return preparation
319.338.2799
6 East Benton St. • Iowa City
319-848-7026 for appointment
New clients only Must present coupon 1 coupon per visit Expires 4/15/13
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates
626-4998
North Liberty
2013 TAX PREPARATION GUIDE
Need help with your taxes?
J. L. Palmer
The Fiscal Cliff: Don’t panic. It’s not that bad.
Whether you are an individual or a business, you may be wondering how all of this excitement in the news is going to affect you. You will need to be aware of what does and does not apply for 2012. This year is going to be somewhat confusing; with some things expiring, some things being brought back from 2011, and a few new things coming in. And there are some things that the IRS is not even able to accept the filing of until later into the season. I can help you sort all of this out. As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), I have acquired years of education and experience. To keep up with all the changes, I attend numerous tax education programs throughout the year. Jennifer Palmer I started my business here North Liberty, Iowa in 1996 because I love to work with numbers and I love to help people. Prior to that, I worked for other CPA firms. I would appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you. Call or e-mail me at (319) 626-4998 or jlpalmercpa@southslope.net. Identity theft is a major concern for individual tax payers. Thieves will use stolen identities to commit income tax fraud that might lead back to you. The IRS has been taking steps to prevent this. If you have had your identity stolen, it needs to be reported so that further fraud can be prevented. Even if you don’t have to file due to low income, you might want to file to help prevent the theft of your identity. or debit cards, you will again be receiving a 1099-K. Companies that administer your credit and debit card receipts and forward you the money are required to issue you a 1099-K at the end of the calendar year. This form reports the total Gross dollar amount that they have paid to you throughout the year. Notice the word Gross. This is not the actual deposit that you received from them. This is the gross amount that was charged. It includes: sales tax, added tips, added cash back to the customer, and last but certainly not least, the fees that they charge you for their services. The good news is that so far you don’t have to worry
J L Palmer, CPA
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates • Income Taxes • Payroll • Payroll Tax Reports • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly & Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services
(Bank Reconciliations) etc.
Friendly Local Service
email: jlpalmercpa@southslope.net
NORTH LIBERTY
319.626.4998
BUSINESS OWNERS: If you accept credit and/
about reconciling the 1099-K to your actual income. But at some point, you will have to be prepared. I can help you get ready. You need to start planning now on how you will maintain an accounting system that tracks the gross submitted to your administering company and separates out the amounts that are not actually income to you– sales tax you pay to the state, tips you pay to your employees, cash back you give to your customers and their fees that they subtract before you get your deposit. I have extensive experience in this area. I have worked with retail businesses that accept credit and debit cards and I am accustomed to reading the monthly statements that these companies provide to you. Consider hiring me to provide monthly financial state-
ments for your business. This will include tying out the credit and debit card receipts statements to your actual income and liabilities and your deposits. In addition, I will help you reconcile your checking and other accounts. By issuing a monthly financial statement, you can see how your business is growing on a month-to-month basis. It also helps you to make more accurate estimates for your quarterly tax payments.
I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you. I can be reached at 319-626-4998 and jlpalmercpa@southslope.net.
Local Tax Professionals at your Service
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
$20.00 Off
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
J L Palmer, CPA
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates • Income Taxes • Payroll • Payroll Tax Reports • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly & Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services
(Bank Reconciliations) etc.
Friendly Local Service
1158 Club Rd NE Shueyville
Tax return preparation
319.338.2799
6 East Benton St. • Iowa City
319-848-7026 for appointment
New clients only Must present coupon 1 coupon per visit Expires 4/15/13
email: jlpalmercpa@southslope.net
NORTH LIBERTY
319.626.4998
2013 TAX PREPARATION GUIDE
Need help with your taxes?
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, Inc.
Good advice when it comes to your money
CORALVILLE– How do you safely navigate through these uncertain economic times? A tumultuous year ended as the nation avoided a fiscal cliff and the ramifications of federal legislation will have a big impact on your finances. Whether it’s a tax return for your family or the payroll for your small business, it’s especially important to keep up with the changes this year. You need good advice when it comes to your money. That tax knowledge is what Kuhl, Phillips and Jans, Inc. provides. The firm, operated by John Phillips and Jesse Jans, has been in existence since 1986, is located at 2121 9th St. in Coralville, just off the strip. “You really need to pay attention this year,” Jans said. Income taxes have been affected by federal cliff legislation, the State of Iowa hasn’t coupled with those federal changes on its tax forms, health insurance reform provisions are being implemented, the payroll tax holiday ended and the economy has been sputtering. “Everybody’s concerned about it,” Jans reported. For clients at Kuhl, Phillips and Jans, improvements in technology have made it easier to stay on top of the year’s tax picture. The firm’s website, kpjinc.com, has been overhauled, with secure individual portals for each client to upload documents safely. “It works great,” Jans said, noting clients can send a Quickbooks file or almost any type of file whenever they need to instead of trying to accumulate paperwork for their annual appointment. The company is also sending out a newsletter featuring timely information and seasonal reminders. It’s all part of the commitment Kuhl, Phillips and Jans makes to its clients. “I like working with people,” Jans explained. “I like helping individuals and being able to save people money.” This position, he said, allows him the interaction he enjoys. “In a small accounting firm like this, we are working closely with so many people. When we are consulting with clients, we go to their businesses so we can actually see their day-to-day operations,” Jans said. “It’s the best way for us to analyze what they do and then make good recommendations for their financial decisions.” Phillips said it adds to a bigger picture. “For us to go to a client’s site helps us understand more about every aspect of what they do. We help them to become more efficient.” Phillips, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, earned his accounting degree in 1996. Growing up on a farm in Ida Grove, his high school teachers noticed he had a knack for explaining numbers and accounting
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
The staff of Kuhl, Phillips and Jans, Inc.: Back row: James Moriarty, Jessica Pawelski, Eric Otte, John Phillips; Middle row: Lori Donahoe, Jesse Jans, Kevin Hasler, Jennifer Baldwin; Front row: Alex Krebs, Tracy Bahou, Melissa Majka. principles to other students. Now, he is happy to explain tax returns and changes in the rules to individuals, small business owners and corporate clients alike. The firm prepares returns for those entities, and handles fiduciary accounts, estates and tax-exempt organizations as well. “We are licensed professional tax preparers who can practice in front of all taxing authorities. We have over 25 years experience between the two partners. Our rates are reasonable as we strive to add value to clients situations in a struggling economy,” he added. But they don’t disappear after April 15. Phillips and Jans also provide direct business services, including start-up planning, software and tax consulting, payroll services, bookkeeping services and estate planning. “We are sort of a one-stop shop,” Jans said. They even share their space with certified financial planner David Darner, to whom they can refer clients who have questions about investment decisions. Darner’s presence helps Jans and Phillips keep abreast of a much larger financial picture. “When people come here, they ask us all sorts of financial things, including markets and investments,” Jans said. “We have to be in tune to what is happening. We don’t offer investment advice but we have to be aware of the trends.” Phillips agreed. “We have to understand the tax impact of a client’s investment decisions. With pensions, life insurance and estates, changes occur,” he said. “It’s nice to have David to refer clients to.” Others share the office as well. Lori Donahoe has been office manager for 16 years, and the firm regularly hires nine or 10 seasonal interns each year from the University of Iowa’s accounting program to help them gain experience. The firm also gained an additional CPA as staff member Eric Otte earned the designation in 2012. When the firm moved to its present location, the surrounding area was largely undeveloped and covered with trees. Now in the heart of the Coralville strip across from McGregors furniture, Kuhl, Phillips and Jans, Inc. is right in the middle of things.
Local Tax Professionals at your Service
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
$20.00 Off
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
J L Palmer, CPA
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates • Income Taxes • Payroll • Payroll Tax Reports • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly & Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services
(Bank Reconciliations) etc.
Friendly Local Service
1158 Club Rd NE Shueyville
Tax return preparation
319.338.2799
6 East Benton St. • Iowa City
319-848-7026 for appointment
New clients only Must present coupon 1 coupon per visit Expires 4/15/13
email: jlpalmercpa@southslope.net
NORTH LIBERTY
319.626.4998
2013 TAX PREPARATION GUIDE
Need help with your taxes?
Smith Accounting
offers a family approach
IOWA CITY– It’s reassuring to work with someone you know and trust. Every year when you prepare your taxes, you receive a questionnaire from your accountant. It asks you for information about your year, whether or not you sold a home or changed jobs, and helps organize your information. When Jim Smith is your accountant, your organizer comes with a personal note, updating clients on the Smith family. Son Josh is still in the military, a sergeant in the U.S. Marines; son Jacob is a medical resident at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee ; youngest son Justin is working for the firm full-time preparing taxes and working the front desk. It’s a familiarity you won’t find at many accounting firms, but most firms don’t have roots this deep in the community. Smith Accounting has been located in Eastdale Plaza in Iowa City for the last 25 of its 34 years. During that time, many clients have seen their own children grow up and raise families of their own. Jim’s wife Pam is a City High graduate, as is her mother. Their son Johann works with Smith Accounting as its securities advisor. It’s a family business, not the type of tax firm that is only around for tax season. “We’re not one of those ‘closed-April 15’ type of shops,” Jim observed. A Chicago native, he had grown up in Muscatine and worked for a CPA firm in Tipton for two years, but Pam wanted to return to her native Johnson County. He spent some time assisting a Cedar Rapids firm, but by 1977 his practice had grown to the point that he opened his own office in Iowa City. Smith Accounting offers all forms of tax service for small businesses and individuals, and Jim has accrued numerous professional designations, including enrolled agent, licensed public accountant, accredited tax adviser, registered investment advisor and registered representative. The firm processes approximately 1,600 returns a year, and most new clients come through referrals. Why? Because Smith approaches the client as if they are family. “If you treat everybody right, in the long run, you’ll be taken care of,” he philosophized. “We’re very client-oriented.” Smith encourages his clients to come in during the summer to brush up on their situation and strategize for the upcoming tax year. He’s been doing financial planning for over 20 years with his clients because it’s been in their best interests to plan for the future. Looking out for people – the family approach. “The advantage is that you know the client’s full tax situation – they can’t hide from me,” he added with a smile. “They have to tell me the truth so their taxes can be prepared properly. “Most of our clients will walk away with their tax returns in their hands,” he explained. “Most know what they need to bring and we do it while they’re here.” Smith Accounting has been e-filing returns since it became available. The first year, only a handful of clients were among those with returns filed electronically. “The next year, every one of them wanted to do it again,” Jim said. Onehundred percent of Smith Accounting returns are now filed electronically with the government, and refunds arrive in
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
Johann and Jim Smith.
10-17 days. Because of the quick turnaround, Smith discourages rapid refund loans, which often cost around $100. “Most clients have the patience to wait a couple weeks for their money,” he said. Tax season is the busiest time of the year, but Smith maintains a commitment to his family. “Never work on Sunday,” he advised. When tax season is over, Jim, Johann and Mary Saylor continue to provide accounting and tax services, financial planning and investment advice to clients. “I was always good at math,” Jim noted. “I took accounting in high school and found it easy. But I’ve always liked the challenge of accounting.” What challenge is there if accounting is easy? “Well, the IRS has changed the tax code every year since I started.” Smith Accounting continues to accept new clients throughout the tax season. The office is located in Eastdale Plaza, 1700 1st Ave. in Iowa City, and can be reached at 341-6299.
Local Tax Professionals at your Service
Smith Accounting Service
Personalized Professional Income Tax Preparation Business & Individual • Year Around Tax Assistance Locally owned for over 35 years
Kuhl, Phillips & Jans, INC.
with Tax Preparation
FREE!!! Electronic Filing
Jim Smith, EA
Enrolled to practice before the IRS Licensed to do Taxes in ALL states
KPJ
319-337-2979 2121 9th Street Coralville
Call for appointment 341-6299
www.ictaxpros.com
Certified Public Accountants
www.kpjinc.com
Taxcpas@kpjinc.com
or drop in - 1700 1st Ave. • Iowa City first floor Eastdale Plaza between the DOT & Cooks Jewelry
$20.00 Off
www.taxesplusiowa.com
taxesplusic@qwestoffice.net
J L Palmer, CPA
Experience & Quality at Reasonable Rates • Income Taxes • Payroll • Payroll Tax Reports • Bookeeping • Monthly Financial Statements • Computer Check Printing • Monthly & Quarterly Sales Tax Reports • Personal Services
(Bank Reconciliations) etc.
Friendly Local Service
1158 Club Rd NE Shueyville
Tax return preparation
319.338.2799
6 East Benton St. • Iowa City
319-848-7026 for appointment
New clients only Must present coupon 1 coupon per visit Expires 4/15/13
email: jlpalmercpa@southslope.net
NORTH LIBERTY
319.626.4998
This document is © 2013 by admin - all rights reserved.