Contractors – Dont think your Accountants or Bookkeepers! Hire People!

By: Janice Williams

We recently spoke to several contractors who have been in trouble with the IRS lately do to back taxes and improper accounting issues. Many of these contractors were Very good at their jobs and made a lot of money – this is probably why the IRS decided to audit them. Some of them had a bookkeeper and others didn’t. We discussed many of the issues that they faced with the IRS tax audit and we were more than happy to pass their information along to the right people to help them in their endeavors.  We discussed with them some crucial parts of Avoiding IRS audits by following some rules that many people dont know about. We’ll be disussing that here today! Below is a well written article from a local small business bookkeeper that we have worked with in the past to find out more about what to do and not do when starting your tax process and keeping your books clean, balanced and LEGAL!

Things to DO/NOT DO to Avoid a IRS Audit!

Whether you’re just wish to prevent one or experiencing an exam, listed here are 5 ways to take get you prepared or to deflect attention. Why me? You got the request to some “celebration” that you wished you had never attend – an IRS audit.Did this happen from occurring again and just how are you able to avoid it? We will reach the when we answer to survive one and just how to reduce the likelihood of an exam.

Rule 1:
Check your math mathematical errors generate Several audits alone. The IRS computers immediately correct both errors and statistical mistakes where you’ve claimed deductions that exceed limitations established from the tax code itself, like the 7.5% adjusted gross income limit on medical deductions. However, a lot of of those types of problems show that that’ll result in a complete review, and a poor return. Although it might seem clear, let us not provide any extra factors to check out your return to the government. But will you get selected? An IRS computer system weighs the differences and examines your breaks to others inside your income group. This key government method, named the DIF Rating, can be used to pick results using the greatest possibility of generating additional audit revenue.

Rule 2:
Organize your money so that they do not stand-out if you were to think perhaps you are audited, see if your circumstances will probably attract the tax man’s attention. Listed below are organizations that usually do receive questions:

In that case, anticipate to verify your costs as deductible expenses. The government understands the variety “company cars” that disappear to university every September, as well as the possibility of your being audited is improved.

The review fee for 2005 was 0.92%, up from 0.65% in 2003 and 0.77% in 2004.

People who obtain money in cash. The government has particular audit programs targeted at professions and particular jobs. Individuals who work-in the gambling market, servers as well as physicians are primary exam objectives simply because they get a lot of their revenue in money. The more money you obtain as well as the greater your earnings potential, the likely by reviewing your return the government would be to locate additional tax dollars.

There are certainly a quantity of types of regions of possible punishment that draws the government. Recently, the government continues to be targeting these areas for review:

* Offshore bank card users
* risky, high income taxpayers
* People in promotions and abusive schemes
* Unreported income

Rule 3:
Verify. Verify. Where citizens have traditionally didn’t maintain the necessary proof verify Within The review itself, the government will concentrate on these products. Usually, vacation car, foods and enjoyment have already been the areas audited. To withhold car expenses, you have to create the particular expenses in addition to the proportion of business use. I ask my customers to maintain a small-cassette recorder within their vehicles to report function and the company mileage. Held contemporaneously, it’s appropriate as adequate proof of business use. Instead, a written journal of kilometers employed for business might even be accepted.

You’ll want a bill for several expenses of even more or $75 for entertainment and meals. The principle is straightforward: no deduction, no bill. A journal notation is enough when the cost is significantly less than $75. However, both the journal notation as well as the bill should have all the following information:

* The amount
* precise location and The title of the leisure or restaurant service
* anyone you entertained
* that individual’s business model with you
* the company discussion associated with the activity

If you don’t discuss business during or following the dinner, your reduction will not be allowed. Remember, using the government, document guidelines! With every costs, breaks could be more quickly permitted when you have a bit of document to back up them. Listed here is another bit of guidance: Do Not are available in having a carton of miscellaneous receipts. The more “organized” the more document as well as your bills you create, the simpler it’s for an IRS representative to determine that you’re organized, have complete proof and owe no additional fees. Yet another point about the way you are chosen for an exam. Several results are selected by the government computer for review on the random basis. Your earnings, your geographical area or breaks are irrelevant. Students making $3,000 annually is equally as apt to be chosen as an accountant making 000, $300. You got “happy.”

You can be audited by the government for 3 years once your return files. The truth is, however, many results are audited within 1 5 years of processing. This provides the government moment to complete the evaluation and demand the right proof prior to the law of restrictions (often the three-year period) ends. The government usually can’t review your return when the law has go out, as well as your costs are protected from assessment. It’s been stated the you record, the more unlikely it’s the government may choose your go back to be reviewed. The government still contends that brokers assessed or aren’t rated about the amount of cash they gather until — surprise! — congressional testimony shows that plan isn’t just like training.

Rule 4:
Learn when to record I would recommend which you have your return prepared. When you therefore are not concerned with review problems and have a large return, document early and obtain your cash back. When you have no fee for underpayment, and fees due, do not record until April 15. Do not actually spend a national tax bill before it’s due. It is a pursuit-free mortgage for the government.Before last second, if you should be worried about a possible review, never document about the other hand. It may only lower your likelihood of being selected and won’t hurt.

Rule 5:
Plan your fees to preempt an exam I recommend the usage of pre-review methods. Attach copies of one’s medical expenses for your return if, state, you’ve an enormous medical discount to get a year which you experience might raise your likelihood of being audited. Instead, should you created an unusually large charitable contribution, connect of the check or bills for your return. The government computer may still kick-out your return, however the consumer may notice that you realize the guidelines when a genuine person discusses it. It might actually lower your likelihood of a complete review. WE COULD HELP SHOULD YOU CHOOSE END UP THE TOPIC OF A REVIEW!

A lawyer should handles your whole tax audit situation is with a “organization.” This implies nothing and anything ought to be ignored or assumed. There must be personnel or no sellers focusing on your private tax review situation anytime. Obviously a tax attorney could also depend on the valuable help of the select number of experts and CPA’s to assist to build up your IRS audit situation. However when it is all stated and completed, it’s knowledge and your attorney’s view that’ll be offered for Tax Court judges and the government. Please evaluate used knowledge and this degree of tax audit support to that provided by businesses rather than lawyers. You’ll be surprised at exactly what a difference treatment and this additional safety could make within the results of your tax audit.

Hardwood Flooring in Portland, Oregon – we found the Most affordable company!

By: Janice Williams

As you might have read in one of our previous posts regarding setting up a home entertainment system here ; we decided to start getting bids for our hardwood floors, since we needed them to get refinished anyways! Well, not to our surprise, we headed over to Facebook and posted a message on our board to see if we could harness some responses. Low and behold, we got several good responses and start looking through all the businesses we found. One business in particular, which was on Facebook, brought back some good results regarding hardwood flooring in Portland. We called browsed through some of the pictures we found on the facebook business page and were pleasantly surprised with all the great photos and reviews they had and decided to head over to their website for more information.

We were strongly encouraged by the sites professionalism and easy to use layout. We were even more impressed about how quickly they picked up the phone when we called them! We had quite a few questions for them; some of which are as follows:

  1. The most important question we wanted to find out was : Do we need to move all our furniture and belongings before they can come in and look at the flooring?
    Answer: Nope! They told us to just setup an appointment and they’d come out and look over our hardwood flooring and give us a bid regarding the repairs that needed to be made in the hallway and under some of the couches since there was some minor damaged spots.
  2. Will all scratches and gaps in the hardwood be filled and level?
    Answer: Yes – they instructed us that any Cracks, scratches and spaces between wood flooring will either be filled with a “filler” and then sanded down to be level with all surrounding hardwood. We were instructed that the home needs to stay at the Proper Humidity levels after they finished refinishing the floors in order for proper settling of the hard wood flooring.

We asked the same questions to all the other wood flooring contractors that we called and many of them answered very shortly and/or didn’t even have time to answer them over the phone, they just wanted to bid the job instead of answering the questions we needed. That is another reason that we choose Hardwood flooring PDX the other companies; they took the necessary time out of their day to speak with us and actually answer all our questions over the phone before coming out to see the job in person.

After we discussed all the questions we had for them over the phone, we then scheduled a time for them to come out. We had to work around their schedule due to the fact that they were so busy, but we appreciated that they were so upfront with us about timing and schedule, and gave us further confidence that they were in high-demand and had quite a large customer base.

Now that we had them out to the house, they walked us through the process of what needed to be done in order to restore our hardwood flooring in all of the rooms we had it in (hallway, dining room and living room). We walked the estimator through the house and pointed out all the scratches in the hardwood floors that really bothered us. We didn’t want them to miss anything and we meticulously touched on all the spots then needed to be addressed and continued throughout the next portions of the house. Suffice it to say, our house is old. Period. It was built in the 1940′s and the wood is magnificent and has a lot of character. that is why we wanted it refinished, rather than completely replaced. They just do not make wood the same as they used too and we are proud of the “old house feeling”. After completely going over every knock-and-cranny of the rooms/hallway, the young gentleman who was giving us the estimate walked out to his car and wrote up an estimate for the job. We waited a couple minutes in our anxiousness and when he came back in he sat us down and discussed everything we had brought up previously. He wrote down all the small details when mentioned and took into account the meticulous details we wanted fixed and gave us a very affordable bid. We were more than happy to pay them what they were asking, and even thought it was cheap, but we would never argue that!!!

After a week days, they were able to drop by the house and start the process. By then, we had moved all the furniture out of the way (maybe that is why our bid was so affordable, we moved our own furniture because we didn’t want any damage occuring to them) and they were off to the reaces with the sanding, fixing and staining process. We were delighted by the outcome and the cleanliness that they upheld throughout the whole process! We are more than happy with the final product and would recommend them to anyone.

More details about this hardwood flooring in Portland, Oregon company at their website: hardwoodflooringpdx.com – There phone number is 503-406-9244. You can find them on Facebook and twitter as well!

Should you Hire a Renovation Contractor or Restoration Contractor for your Home Improvement Project?

By: Janice Williams

As far as we know, we are not aware of any universal distinction between “restoration” and “renovation” contractors. Although , there could be something I’m not aware of regarding the differences between the two. Nevertheless, you will find a big difference between different contractors, regardless of which title they use.

More often than not, “getting shafted” by a contractor means that you and they have different expectations of what scope of work needs to be carried out. Then there are the real shady, scummy contractors that will take your initial down payment and spend it on everything but the job at home. Assuming you have a contractor who wants to stay in business, you still have to make your expectations clear ahead of time by having a clear scope of work and a rock solid contract.

1. The more details you work out before agreeing to a price, the better off you are when the job begins.

Layout a Clear scope of work. There are a lot of details in the construction building process, and if you don’t work them out PRIOR to agreeing to a price, you could end up owing them more to make it work, and feeling screwed because it costs more than you thought. Many businesses, not only contractors, use this tactic – we’ve seen this primarily in Car dealerships. Im sure your familiar with the term Bait-and-switch. It works in many industries.

2. Bring more details to the table. You will know what you’re paying for.

Don’t rely solely on suggestions from contractors who want to do the work. You will end up receiving very different idea from different contractors, and there will be no way to compare the rates because they are not for the same scope of work as the previous guy. The best case scenario would be to show several builders EXACTLY what you want them to do, and have them each give you a price for the same work; that way everyone is on the same page. Have a clear written Scope of work and Hand a copy of the same one to each contractor. If one is significantly cheaper than the others, ask for references before you hire them. Hopefully their prices will all be close, and you can use whoever you trust the most and are most comfortable talking to – CHECK References too. This is a must! We suggest using a Building cost estimator like this one http://www.building-cost.net/ in order to get a rough estimate of what it may cost you to build the project.

Hire an Architect for Detailed Drawings of what you want

Consider hiring an architect to sketch up plans that you can give to various contractors for pricing as well. This is a sure fire way to guarantee you are comparing “Apples to Apples and Oranges to Oranges”. This is the method that commercial construction works and there is no reason it wouldn’t work for Residential Construction. We have experienced with that side of the industry, and have hired an architect to design the siding we put on our house and it was money well spent. We ended up using a local Siding Contractor in Portland, Oregon and the total cost was about 10% cheaper than the total project budget. We did the proper due diligence, called References and we were more than happy with there work, even though they were the Cheapest in Portland! (Here is there website for more information, if anyone is interested: http://www.WoodGuild.com/

Take a look at it from the contractor’s perspective when choosing to do a job like this. Ask for a quote without having plans, you are essentially asking the contractor to not only build something, but also to design it while they are building it. They have to design things to a certain level of details before he can give you an estimate, but at that point you don’t have a contract with them and this could be (and most of than not, is) time they spends that they never get paid for. Thus, their only choice is to take a broad approach and ignore minor details in his price, and they have to round up thei price to ensure that he is covering the details they haven’t considered (and hasn’t been paid to consider). Contractors take a lot more risk taking on projects without having plans in front of them. Like every other business owner, they need a higher profit potential to actually justify that risk. Having plans drawn up ahead of time reduces his risk, and his profit, making the job cheaper for you as the customer and easier for them.