Frequently Asked Questions
A CPA has demonstrated professional competence by passing a rigorous examination and meeting high standards of education. In addition, they must meet strict continuing education requirements, undergo peer review, and adhere to a stringent set of ethical standards.
CPAs are authorized to represent taxpayers in an IRS audit, as are attorneys and other professionals known as enrolled agents (EA). An EA is an individual who has demonstrated technical competence in the field of taxation and is the only taxpayer representative who receives their right to practice from the U.S. government. An accountant can only represent a taxpayer before the IRS if he or she is an EA.
The IRS estimates that it can take 28 ½ hours to research tax law, organize your records, and complete a standard 1040 return with three common schedules. Tax law is constantly changing, so it is important that you are educated about these changes so you correctly fill out your forms. Being technologically savvy is also important as tax preparation software can help eliminate errors, both mathematical and technical. If you're not comfortable with using this type of software, you may want to contact a CPA.
If you're a salaried employee who takes the standard deduction, your return is likely to be simple. However, if you've encountered a major life change, such as marriage or divorce, or own a vacation home or rental property, your tax situation may be more complicated.
Self-employed individuals and small business owners are more likely to be audited by the IRS, and working with a CPA will help lessen that risk. In addition, if you have a high income, live in a state with high income taxes, or have a lot of miscellaneous itemized deductions, you could be subjected to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT, which eliminates many itemized deductions and was created to ensure that the wealthy pay their share of taxes, is now affecting more middle-class taxpayers. If you think this might affect you, consult a CPA.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provided the answer to this question.
I am starting a new fashion business that is costing me $10,000. We are a wholesale company, and we pay our employees 10-15 percent commission-based pay. Do you think we should start the sales of our products at $1,800 and up in order to make a profit? Companies purchasing our products must purchase at least three products from us, which will cost them $5,400. Do you think I need to sit down with an accountant?
It's impossible to say what the selling price of your product should be since there are innumerable factors that go into that decision, such as cost to produce or purchase the product, target gross profit on the product, the gross profit the market will bear for the product, overhead, etc. The price should be based upon your own internally generated factors. Do not shy away from a figure just because the price tag seems large. Large to you may not be large to potential customers.
It is imperative that you contact a CPA. You will need to discuss the organization of your company for tax purposes as well as numerous other issues relating to operations, not the least of which will be setting your target pricing and gross profit margins. Don't wait until the year-end to have this discussion. You could be making decisions without the proper advice, and that could wind up hurting you financially or legally.
It depends on your financial personality. Do you prefer to have more withheld today so that you can get a refund next year? (This is really an interest-free loan from you to Uncle Sam.) Or are you disciplined enough to set aside some of your paycheck today and save it to pay your taxes next year? (You could invest the money in the meantime.)
It is also depends on your prior year tax liability. Do you know how to avoid an underpayment penalty situation?
We can tell you how to avoid the underpayment penalty, and we can compute approximately how much you will get back or have to pay in.
First you need to ask yourself, "How valuable is my time?" Imagine what you could be doing to build your business with that time. Could you earn more than what a CPA would cost? The answer to these questions will change as your business grows.
Second, you need to ask yourself if you have the skills and the desire to do it yourself. Will you have to learn these skills? Will you have to keep yourself updated? Do you really want to crunch numbers? Do you want more than just a report when you are done?
Any professional you choose should not only have the technical knowledge required but should also treat you with respect.
Does your CPA and advisor take time to listen to you? Does your CPA and advisor return your calls in a timely manner? Do you feel comfortable asking your CPA and advisor a question?
When you need a professional in the region who will make you their top priority, call us!
A significant contribution of CPAs in the practice of public accounting is the audit, whereby an independent opinion is expressed as to the fairness of financial statements. CPAs also perform almost every conceivable financial and management advisory service for businesses and individuals. CPAs do general accounting, tax planning and advice, tax return preparation, estate planning, personal financial planning, and representation of clients before government agencies. CPAs also help clients choose and implement accounting systems. They help in the development and analysis of financial models, cost controls, profit plans, and internal reports. CPAs are often consulted on business, civic, and other problems on which their judgment, experience, and professional standards permit them to provide helpful advice and assistance.
Yes. The more you understand about your needs, the better job we can do together of matching our services to those needs. Your first step is to decide what you want from us. Different CPA firms offer different levels of experience and provide different services. Prior to meeting with any CPA you are considering, you should review your present and future financial goals and needs. Some general questions you should ask yourself might be:
Will you need help with personal financial issues, individual or corporate tax returns, retirement, estate, or college planning? Are you seeking investment help?
Do you need financial statements prepared for your business? Must those statements be audited or reviewed? Will you need special financial reports for government agencies?
How comfortable are you in your own ability (or in the case of a business, your staff's ability) to handle financial and operational details. Do you want to do as much as possible in-house, or are you considering out-sourcing some of your bookkeeping, accounting, or CFO functions?
Do you need help preparing a business plan or a personal or business loan application?
Will your business need other services such as technology planning, strategic planning, process consulting, or costs analysis?
What is your budget for CPA services?
We base our fees on a number of factors including the type of services required, the time required to perform the services, the level of expertise and experience required, and the complexity of the work. The fees at Kang&Thomas, LLC. fall into three categories.
Hourly based fees — For much of our work we are compensated based on the numbers of hours it takes to complete the work. We are happy to quote our hourly rates and to provide fee estimates for specific tasks.
Task based pricing — Our payroll processing service is priced based on the number of pay periods per month, the number of checks in each pay period, and the costs of any expenses (such as delivery fees).
Fixed fee services — For some longer term projects or commitments such as monthly write-up we charge a fixed fee.
Different types of services command different rates because of the expertise level of the people who perform them. We will talk frankly with you about our fees and put together a plan that utilizes the right CPA or staff person for the services you need, so that the value of the service and the price of the service make sense for you.