Monthly Archives: September 2016

Hired right professional legal advice to protect your estate asset

To make the separation of property as equal as possible, Phoenix embraces community property law like estate planning phoenix. This means you can be confident that you will receive your fair share of the property acquired during your marriage and with the right documentation, be able to easily maintain anything that you inherited or brought into your marriage. While community property law is in place to help you retain what is yours, know that your spouse may have other ideas about which property belongs to whom.

For questions on how your property will be divided or any other issues regarding the divorce process, always remember to consult with your divorce attorney and allow them to be your guide. In an effort to better inform you and to help ready you for property division, below we have prepared a list of ten tips that will help you protect your assets.

#1. You Can Rightfully Obtain Business Records 

You have every right to interest from a shared business. In order to determine the amount of interest you deserve, feel free to have your attorney obtain and make copies of financial documents and client records. Also, if you feel comfortable enough to do so, it is legal for you to access your spouse’s office.

#2. Keep Your Business Records Transparent After Your Separation

If you own a business, do not change anything concerning billing practices.

  • For instance, if you were to change the way that clients have paid in the past, you would only be asking for your records to be under intense scrutiny if you were unable to prove that specific work occurred before or after your separation.
  • Make sure that you stay honest and discuss common practice with your attorney. Any experienced divorce attorney should be able to let you know if your business files are accessible through attorney privilege.

#3. Make Copies of All Important Documents

You’ll need to have copies of all important documents before you leave your residence. While your attorney will be able to obtain them with subpoenas, it will be easier and faster for you to have this taken care of before the process begins.  Make copies of any important deeds:

  • Past three years of tax returns
  • Pension plan
  • Savings and investment account statements
  • If you are a business owner make copies of joint tax filings, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and make an effort to acquire a backup copy of computerized accounting records

1. Inventory all of your Valuables: These items are not just possessions. They mean the world to you and you want to make sure they are off limits and will remain with you after your divorce.

  • Any objects that have been given directly to you-not both you and your spouse- including jewelry or heirlooms that have been passed down to you, rightfully belong to you.
  • Be sure to list and photograph everything you were given.
  • After you have properly catalogued each of your valuables, move them to a safe place in a timely manner as it may be more difficult to go back and get them if you choose to leave your residence.

2. Get Proof of Inherited or Gifted Possessions: If you have written proof to verify that certain items were given solely to you it will be a lot easier to ensure that they will stay with you.

  • If possible, ask the family member that handed down the item for written proof.
  • Make sure that they mention as much information about the item as possible, including when the item was gifted to you.

#3. Rightfully Acquire your Property from your Home

If you have chosen to move out of your residence, do not worry. Unless there is a court order giving your spouse exclusive ownership, you can return to your home to retrieve your belongings. Even if your spouse has changed the locks, you are lawfully allowed to have a locksmith help you get inside.

#4. Know the Status of all Property

If you will retain possession of any big ticket items such as automobiles or real estate after the divorce, make sure that you obtain all of the records for those items.

  • You should know if your spouse placed any liens against property holdings or deposited money in alternate accounts.
  • You should also make sure that there aren’t any outstanding tickets or registration payments on your car.

#5. Hire an Appraiser

A good way to guarantee that all parties are compensated fairly is by hiring a professional to go over your real estate and other valuable assets.

  • Have them assess everything of value, including joint businesses and retirement plans.
  • If you own a business, consider a forensic accountant who will be of great value in interpreting your business records, helping you place a correct value on your business, and also making sure that all fiduciary concerns are properly handled.
  • If you need assistance, never be afraid to utilize your attorney’s experience. Allow them to suggest professionals that will be both frank and trustworthy.

#6. Photograph Joint Property and Take what you don’t want to Replace

With the exception of a business run by one spouse, you will both have equal rights to common assets from your marital residence.

  • All property will be evaluated at its current market condition price. For example, say you spent $50 on a toaster. While the market value for a used toaster is probably much less than this, it will still cost you $50 to replace it.
  • Take photos of all joint property and then take any hard to find items or things that you don’t want to replace.
  • Also, make a list and keep the photographs of the items of significant value that you did not take.

#7. Your Spouse Has the Same Rights

You should be aware that your spouse shares the same rights as you do concerning shared property. Unless you have a court order stating that you have exclusive ownership of the home, he or she may also hire a locksmith to gain entry if you have changed the locks.

  • In this situation, as stated above, if there are things that hold a special meaning to you or there are items that you do not want to replace, move them to a secure location to guarantee that they remain with you.

Choosing Profesional Tax Preparation For Your Business

You need your taxes done, you don’t want to do them yourself, and now you’re faced with choosing a tax preparer that you hope will do a good job, help you pay the least amount of taxes by law, and keep you out of trouble with the IRS. But how do you choose the best service such as tax preparation Phoenix when you don’t know anything about taxes?

Here are some tips and questions to consider when choosing your tax preparer.

1.) Chemistry  

Chemistry is also important when choosing a tax preparer. Even if everything else lines up, if your gut feeling is giving you indigestion, look for someone else. In the case of chemistry, your gut is always right.

2.) Fees and Timing

Your preparation fees for tax returns will vary depending on how complex your situation is. Most tax preparers charge a flat fee to prepare your return, and some still charge by the hour.

The later it is in tax season, the longer it will take to receive your completed return. Get your documents collected early, unless you love procrastinating and waiting until the last minute. But please be nice: A typical tax accountant has only about 10 weeks of each year to complete a year’s worth of work, so try your best not to pester or rush them. They are working 12-hour days and doing the best they can.

3.) Services

The services you need should line up with the services that the firm offers. Here are some questions to think about when considering what type of help you need:

  • Do you need to e-file?
  • Do you need to meet them in person?
  • Can you do everything virtually?
  • What security and privacy do they provide for your data?
  • Are they familiar with your specific tax needs? Perhaps you have a farm, sold a house in another state or have a non-profit; find out if they can handle your circumstances.
  • Will they provide you with options and the related risks of those options?
  • Will they explain your return?
  • Do you need help adjusting your tax payments for next year? (If you incurred penalties, you may be able to avoid them next year.)
  • Do you need help with tax planning?
  • Do you need advice related to your retirement account?
  • Do you want them to represent you if the IRS contacts you?

Make sure each item you need is offered by the tax preparer you choose.

4.) The Gold Standard

The first thing to ask a tax preparer is what certifications they hold. The CPA is the gold standard, but not all CPAs offer tax preparation.

The size of the CPA firm has very little to do with quality. However, the larger the firm is, the higher the price is, usually due to quality-control issues and layers of management. I’ve seen some excellent one-CPA and two-CPA offices; in fact, I’ve seen many industry awards go to small CPA firms recognizing their excellent tax work.

Each CPA is licensed by their state’s board of accountancy, so make sure the CPA you hire can practice in the state you need tax expertise and is holding a current active license.

An alternative would be an Enrolled Agent (EA). Enrolled Agents are federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent clients before the IRS. Whereas a CPA is tested in a wide range of accounting, auditing and tax knowledge, the EA exam is not as difficult as the CPA exam and is limited in scope to tax problems. The greatest value in EAs is their ability to represent their clients to the IRS if needed, and they are often a lower-cost alternative to a CPA.

If your tax preparer does not have either of these certifications, you can expect to pay much less, but you might not be getting the highest-quality job.

5.) Experience Matters

It’s a fair question to ask your tax preparer roughly how many business returns they do each year. A good tax preparer making their sole living from taxes should be doing at least 100 total returns a year, and most solid full-time tax preparers will do 300 to 500 per year, depending on how complicated each return is and how many support staff they have. About a third of these will be business returns.

6.) Lifelong Learners

Tax preparation and the laws and deductions behind it change every single year. In any one year, hundreds of new pieces of legislation can affect your income tax return, so it’s imperative that you hire someone who has completed a tax update course within the last six months.

Smart Ideas: Merchants Revisited

Finding Reliable Credit Card Processing Services

It is notable that an estimated ninety percent of the total population of the world seek their financial solutions through banks, these services may include banking services, loans, mortgages, savings to mention a few. These means that every wallet or handbag you wouldn’t miss either one or two bank cards be it a credit card or even debit cards. The cards are very productive because they are saving us from the inconvenience of carrying huge amounts of money with us, which may pose a security threat through robbery. The plastic money as it’s called nowadays which are issued by our particular banks can be used anywhere to purchase or pay for any good or service as long as the merchant receiving the payment accepts the card.

When you use either of the cards there is always a small fee that is deducted from your account to cover the costs of the certain transaction that have occurred, and the fee is known as the processing fee or the merchant service, which basically takes care of the credit cards service providers.. Credit cards is a service offered by the financial institution where they issue you a degree of money that you can use either in an emergency or just regular transactions with a small interest fee, provided the money is paid within a limited period of thirty days. Merchant services or credit card processing is a problem among many card holders. Card holders are complaining about the high processing fee on their cards, and several banks have tried to come up with different strategies to curb this issue with no satisfactory results.

In any credit transactions there are several individual or company involved in the transaction; the seller who is ought to receive the payment, the buyer who is the owner of the credit card, the financial institution of the merchant that issues the processing service and the bank of the purchaser who issued the card also known as issuing bank. At the point the customer uses his or her credit card to purchase any goods or services the money that were lent by the issuing bank is transferred to the merchant through their bank at a certain fee, so both the seller and purchaser bank earn an interest through the parties involved. In other words, the seller receives an amount less than the price of goods or services render due to its bank processing fees. The processing fee is expressed as a small individual percentage that is fixed on the transaction by both parties, and it is very important for one to consult on the credit processing fees before acquiring any credit card from their specific financial institution to evade such.