Whether you run a big corporation, a small start-up, or a busy household, your main tax concern is likely minimizing the amount you have to pay and maximizing the return you receive at the end of the year. One of the best ways to accomplish this is enlisting the services of a Certified Tax Professional, who can clue you into potential tax benefits. Below are just some of the breaks that are often overlooked by those who file their own returns: Medical expenses: If your annual medical bills add up to over 7.5% of your income, they can be written off as a tax deduction. While you can’t count portions that were paid by an insurance policy, any non-covered costs are eligible, including associated expenses like insurance premiums and mileage to and from a treatment facility. Property taxes: As of 2008, married couples filing jointly can enter a standard deduction of up to $1,000 for real estate taxes, and single homeowners can deduct up to $500—even if they don’t have enough deductions to file an itemized return on a Schedule A.
Most business owners would rather suffer through a root canal than be subject to a tax audit. Even for those who keep meticulous records and adhere to all state and federal regulations, the auditing process can involve weeks of anxiety and tedious red tape. Without professional guidance, most taxpayers don’t have the information or the confidence to defend them against an audit. Although there’s no surefire way to bullet-proof yourself against a tax audit, a good CPA can help make the process less painful by offering helpful tips like these: 1. Keep records for at least the past three years. The IRS typically initiates audits within 18 months of a filing, but by law they have up to three years before the statute of limitations ends. By having all of your forms and receipts organized and easily accessible, you’ll greatly reduce stress in the event of an audit. When you work with a CPA, you’ll receive all of the year’s tax documents neatly packaged for your files.