Are you utilizing your time properly and working as much as you need to be? Thanks to some easy to use tools and apps, you can monitor this with ease!
As we get back into a normal routine, returning to business and productivity as normal can be a little daunting. With so much happening in our community while we are adapting to many new changes, we wanted to share some of the best tips and tools on how to keep your small business productive.
Make sure you know exactly how much time you and your employees are spending on each client and project. There are multiple ways to track this progress with apps, a dial-in program on your work phone database, computer programs, and more. Make sure to review this time with your employees, and see if they are working wisely. Discuss with them if time needs to be added or if they're spending too much time on certain things. If they are spending too much time on certain projects or tasks, offer suggestions on how to use their time better. If their time is exactly what is needed to get every task and project done properly, make sure your clients are paying the correct amount for the hours you're working for them. Tracking hours like this can help you adjust your fees accordingly and to guarantee you and your employees are getting compensated properly. Toggl, Tsheets, and ResueTime are great examples of tools that can help you with this.
TO DO LIST
Managing your time is very important and so is managing your projects and everyday tasks. Being proficient in this will help keep your current clients very happy, help with getting the word out about how professional your company is, and be a huge draw to new potential clients. Being able to give very accurate timelines and project estimates is essential, and following through with them as promised will guarantee a happy client. Knowing what projects and tasks you have on your plate, knowing what order they need to be finished in, what their completion dates are, and which ones must be done right away are important to keep your sanity and productivity intact. Efficiency is a key proponent to the growth in any small business. Don't worry, there are many different kinds of task management software out there for you to use. You just need to find the right one for your companies particular workflow. When you're in the market for this kind of software, try out a few versions for free before committing to anything. This can save you a lot of time and hassle. Make sure you pick software that allows your whole company to use it and communicate in, and one that allows a calendar to be uploaded into it so deadlines can be set. Pick one that has an operating system that is flexible to your personal needs, and doesn't take a long time to learn. Pick one that can sync with your current applications, software, and with your website and social media platforms if needed. Trello, Basecamp, and Asama are three great examples to start with.
Make sure that once your small business is up and running that you have a solid program manager that allows you to control your website domain, emails, Eblasts, documents, and more. This will allow you to be in control of your domain and be able to manage your website without stress. It will allow you to send out eblasts, gather and store clients' emails for easy use and promotional purposes, and to keep all of your online documents organized and accessible. Squarespace, GoDaddy, MailChimp, and WordPress are great examples to start with. Also, use Google to your advantage. Their business tools are outstanding, easy to use, easy to access, and free!
DAY TO DAY
Social media management is a key player in your advertisement world. This can become very time consuming having to not only create all of your content, but also needing to remember to post at the correct times every day. Thankfully, there are plenty of programs available to you that allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time once they're created. You can also choose what platforms your content is being posted to, what times, how often, and more. Buffer, HootSuite, Agoraplaus, and Facebook Creator Studio are good choices to look into. Make sure when choosing the correct platform, that it allows you to post on all the social media sites you use. Some don't allow posts to Instagram, while others only allow you to post on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to read the fine print, try it out for free if you can, and only invest in a plan that you need. Your plan level will depend on how many accounts you're running, what platforms you're posting to, and how many posts you'll be posting every month.
Everyones ability to remember their ideas, tasks, projects and activities vary from person to person. You might believe that you can remember everything without writing it down. When working for or owning a small business, that's a difficult place to put yourself into. Avoid putting yourself into these situations and skip the possibility of forgetting something. Even if you're not someone who likes writing a list or keeping a handwritten planner, tons of wonderful apps can help you with this. Your smartphone is a great place to start, as it might already have a built-in calendar and note-keeping app. Google is also a great place to begin. They have a fantastic interface for both your computer and your smartphone. Other great apps to keep your to-do lists and notes organized are Evernote, Wunderlist, and Todoist.
Staying organized, communicating, and using your time wisely are three of the most important things to keep your small business productive. We hope these tips and suggestions help your company grow. If you have any questions or comments, never hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
The pandemic has affected us in many ways. Sometimes, it's difficult to keep up. For those who receive supplementary security income, receiving financial support has been an interesting battle.
Hello Goose Creek! We hope this finds you healthy and well. Times are still unsure, but there is a ray of hope in how our beautiful state is starting to open up bit by bit. The waves of financial help have been an interesting experience, and each of us has been affected in different ways. For those of you who receive supplementary security income or SSI, it has been a difficult and interesting experience to go through. But, there has been an update to your economic impact payment. In this blog, we will be discussing what this update is, how to apply for as much financial help as you can, and what this will look like for you over the next few years. These specific benefits for SSI recipients were created to help you as much as possible and to help care for and supplement your children.
For those new to the term, SSI pays benefits to adults with disabilities and also helps pay for children who have limited income and resources. It also financially helps those who are 65 years and older who don't have disabilities but who meet the financial limit and need assistance.
For those of you who collect SSI, you had until May 5th of this year to go to the IRS website and fill out the IRS non-filer tool to list and receive $500 for each of your qualifying children. A qualifying child is one that is 17 years old or younger who is under your care and your responsibility. If you did not make this May 5th deadline, you will have to wait until tax time of next year to apply and receive this financial help. Even if you did miss the deadline you will be able to (if you haven't already) receive your $1200 stimulus check. You will receive them either in paper form or through direct deposit. Please note that the IRS will be sending you these checks, not the Social Security Administration. If you have any questions about filing or any questions about a qualifying child, contact the IRS offices. Not the SSA.
Be aware, as we have mentioned in some of our recent blogs, there are a lot of scams out there targeting SSI beneficiaries directly. There is no fee or anything you have to give to receive your stimulus check or your impact payment for your qualifying children. The only thing you were required to do was to fill out the non-filer tax form on the IRS website. If you have already missed this cutoff, make sure to still apply and fill out this form. Even if you don't receive this money until next year, you are entitled to it. The information that the SSA gives to the IRS every year doesn't provide them with any information about your dependents (your qualifying children). Not filing at all will prevent them from knowing that you have dependents that qualify for this $500. If you did file on time, you should have started to see your money mid-May. You will receive the money just like you would with your normal SSI benefits. When you do begin this process and use the non-filer form, be prepared to create an account. You will need to provide information for each of your qualifying children. You will need to provide contact information, social security numbers, your address, email account, and phone number. Be prepared and have this information ready for when you do file.
Do NOT apply for this or through the non-filer form if you did end up filing your 2019 tax return. If you are required to file, this tool will not speed up the process of getting your payment, it will slow it down. If you are someone over 65 and you're caring for a child 17 years or younger, please know that you are also eligible for these benefits. If you missed the cutoff date, make sure to file for these benefits so you can receive them in 2020.
For everyone who receives SSI benefits and those who are eligible for this economic impact payment, we hope this helped. Don't forget, we are always here for a consultation if you need help! Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about your taxes, filing for taxes, and so on. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
You can follow the Social Security Administrations Offices on Facebook, twitter, and their blog by following the links below:
For Updated information about the current pandemic and how it will affect you financially, visit the IRS website!
With the recent announcement that the unemployment rate is at its highest since the great depression, more and more people have needed to apply for unemployment. With the high volume of people calling and applying every day, it's become a challenge to get any kind of relief money. During these difficult times, we wanted to share some tips and suggestions on how to make the process of applying for unemployment a little less painful and to help get the money you need now!
Hello Goose Creek! We hope during these unknown times you continue to remain healthy and safe. We have been watching the news as closely as many of you have, and we are anxious to see what things will be like as everything is slowly allowed to open up. We are still diligently working for all of our clients, and we are here for all of your tax preparation needs as we get closer to the new tax date of July 15th.
Many of us are still waiting for our stimulus checks, our tax returns, and our small business loans to be approved or to show up. With the delays being connected to many different and unique factors, it's still hard to know exactly when our personal financial relief will finally appear. With the unemployment rate continuing to skyrocket, more and more people need and have been applying for unemployment. Many of the people who are applying are doing so for the very first time. Over 33 million people, it has been estimated, have applied for unemployment over the past two months. This number is expected to rise as businesses remain closed. With this incredibly high demand, it has brought an extreme amount of frustration to those who have been attempting to apply with no success. People are spending countless hours trying to get ahold of anyone to help them with their application process with no success, and heaps of frustration. With this headache adding to the stress we're already carrying, we wanted to share some tips on how to make the process of applying for unemployment during this pandemic a little less painful.
The new stimulus relief bill that the president signed in March for $2.2 trillion in relief money has changed who is now qualified for unemployment. Before the pandemic hit, those who worked part-time or who were self-employed and lost work or clients were unable to apply for unemployment. Now, that has all changed. Thanks to the new stimulus package full time, part-time, self-employed, those who collect veteran or social security benefits, those whose businesses have closed due to the pandemic, those who were unable to start a new job, or those who now have to care for children or family members whose care facility was closed due to the pandemic, are now all eligible to apply for unemployment. The new stimulus package will be giving its recipients an additional $600 a week on top of their state's weekly benefit that they have been deemed eligible for. It is also providing an addition 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who are eligible. You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you're able to work from home. You are also not eligible if you've quit your job out of fear of getting COVID-19. On the other hand, you are eligible if you have had to leave your job and self-quarantine due to possible exposure.
Each state is unique in how they handle their unemployment claims, and how and when you can apply. Who is and who is not eligible is still a little hazy, so you need to pay attention to the small print. That is where a lot of the frustration can come from and why so many people are calling unemployment instead of just filing right away online. The fine print is peppered across all the documents you need to fill out to apply and they can be very confusing, leading to those high call volumes. There are some things you can be doing that can make the process a little less painful, though.
These are unknown times, and losing your job or getting your hours cut can add on extra worry and stress. There is nothing wrong with applying for unemployment or asking for help on how to apply. It was created to help during times of crisis, and the money it can give you and your family can help you survive. Take the opportunity to apply for it if you need it. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about your taxes, filing for taxes, and so on. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
It's tempting to use your tax return to buy something fun and exciting. It's also such a relief when those funds show up in your bank account. But, in a world that is very unsure and uneasy, it might be time to think practically when it comes to your tax return this year!
Hello Goose Creek! How are you? We hope you and your family are doing well, and we hope you know we miss you! Know that through everything we are here for you, and if there is anything we can do to help you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! It was a much different April than any of us expected or could have imagined. Tax day came and went without much attention. For the first time since 1955, when April 15th officially became tax day, we didn't have to pay our taxes on that day. It was also the first time since 1955 that tax day was moved, this time to July 15th. It was very strange for us, of course. But, we know that for many families in Goose Creek, this might have been a huge relief! Did this help you and your family? If you still haven't paid your taxes, you do have time to do so. But, we do recommend that you do so as quickly as you can. This way you can receive your tax return quicker and possibly your stimulus check too if you haven't already!
Regardless, for every accounting service in Goose Creek and tax preparation in Goose Creek, this was a very strange April. Thankfully there are still plenty of great things to look forward to on the horizon. One of those great things being the appearance of our tax returns in our bank accounts or mailboxes. For many families, the appearance of this money comes with a lot of relief, bills being paid, and sometimes something very fun for the whole family. But, as we mentioned before, this April and the whole of 2020 has created quite a different dynamic for our everyday lives. As much as we love surprising the family with a new TV, A new car, or a family vacation, now might be the time to look at your tax return in ways you never have before. Being the best tax preparation service in Goose Creek, we wanted to share some of the best and worst ways you can spend your tax return. By doing so, we hope to help bring awareness to what is important right now, and what isn't. Please note, we are a family company. We love our town and want each of you to rise to the best of your abilities. We respect the freedom of your decisions but want to help you through these difficult times as best we can.
WHAT NOT TO SPEND YOUR RETURN ON!
WHAT TO SPEND YOUR RETURN ON!
Money can be a difficult and tricky topic, but it doesn't have to be. We hope these tips help you and your family through this difficult time. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
Money for many of us is tighter in new ways than we could ever have imagined. How can you make life a little easier while you adapt to the changing world around you?
It seems strange that while the world is turned on its head and we are living differently than we ever have before, there are still bills to pay, groceries and important items to buy, and other possible expenses heading our way. Before your tax return shows up and the stimulus check appears in your bank account, money might be very tight at the moment. For those of you who have been put on furlough or have been laid off from your job and you're now depending on an unemployment check or your savings, these times are even scarier. For those who don't have unemployment or savings, these times could be very dire. We understand, and we sympathize with you. With these changing times, we wanted to share a few tips and pieces of advice to help manage your money while the world is on hold. We hope these tips and suggestions help while you wait on your tax return, your stimulus checks, and to head back to work.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing you need to focus on is to not panic and to make wise decisions. Panicking can lead to some very drastic decisions, especially when it comes to your money. Please remember we are all going through this together. We are here to answer any questions you might have or to advise you during this difficult time. We are still here to offer everyone in Goose Creek the best tax services too. Please don't be a stranger. Give us a call or email us, we will figure out your next best step, together!
When it comes to your retirement plan, taxes still need to be included in this plan. But with the constant shift in what's available to employees now, the change in how long employees are staying with one company, and what some companies are and are not offering, are you prepared for the end of your career and for a new way of paying taxes?
For some of our readers and clients, retirement may be many years away. For others, it might be right around the corner. Either way, it's always important to be informed and be prepared. Saving for your retirement is something you'll be doing for the entirety of your professional career, and isn't something you'll stop worrying about once that retirement fund is what you're living off of permanently. In our last blog, we talked about what a 401(k) is and how taxes may or may not affect it. In this blog, we will be discussing what a pension is and how they may or may not be affected by taxes. After reading both of these blogs, we would be interested in hearing what your preference is between the two if you have the option of choosing.
Today the 401(k) is much more common than the pension. For newer companies, a pension might never have been in their plan to offer to their employees to begin with. But, as you begin saving for retirement, or you are planning on retiring soon, it's good to know and understand what your options are and what you might be facing when tax season approaches during retirement. Sadly, you won't get to stop paying taxes. Retirement funds will provide you and your family many wonderful opportunities and a chance to live peacefully, but you'll still be dealing with the IRS. But what exactly will you be dealing with, and what do you need to be aware of before you get there?
Let's start at the very beginning. What is a pension? A pension is a type of retirement plan that pays and provides a monthly income to someone in retirement. As we have talked about previously, they're not as common as they used to be. Today, it is the most common to find pensions for those retiring from government or big company jobs. Through your time working for a company that does provide a pension plan as their form of retirement, the company is responsible for putting money into a pension plan throughout the time you work for them. Once you reach a certain age of retirement, the money that has been put into this account throughout the years of employment is given back to the employee in the form of a monthly check. This monthly check serves as income through the course of retirement. For many people today, even those who do come from a healthy pension, this is usually not their only form of income once they are retired. Social security and other forms of income combined with a pension are very common. The amount that you do receive in your pension checks depends on three different things. How long you worked for your employer, how much you were paid while you worked for them, and your age. The longer you work for the company paying into a pension, the more you will receive in your pension The amount every company has to put into a pension is decided upon, protected by, and guaranteed by the Department of Labor. They make sure you do receive all the benefits you're owed by the time you retire. You also have the option to put money into your pension as well from your paycheck or other outside sources of income, just like a 401(k).
But what about taxes once you do start taking this money? You've hit the age of retirement and the checks start coming. What now? Once you start taking this money, you will still have to continue to pay taxes. It is not a source of tax-free income once it starts arriving in the mail. There are some exceptions to this rule, and some parts of your pension could remain tax-free. If a pension is being paid based on health reasons or disability, then that could become tax-free. If after taxed money was added to your pension over time, that too could be considered tax free. But these examples and a few other examples are few and far between. You need to be aware of what you may or may not be taxed on. Once living on your retirement plan, how much you'll be expected to pay in taxes cannot be a guessing game. Your fun and exciting plans for retirement might not become a reality if you're not careful. You might end up spending more than you expected on taxes if you aren't careful, and not spending it on the things you want. The safest thing to do is to plan to save money from your pension to pay taxes on it. Pensions are usually funded with pre-taxed cash, making the whole amount taxable once you start receiving the funds. The good news is, that whatever money you contribute from after taxed money, you will not have to pay taxes on!
That being said - let's look at the pros and cons of a pension.
Paying for your retirement starts long before you get to enjoy it. Since you're going to have to pay taxes the whole of your life, what option sounds the best to you? A pension or a 401(k)? With the changes and needs in what people are wanting to do with their careers, their lives during their work years and retirement years, which plan sounds best to you? Now knowing all that you do in how they differ, does it make sense why a 401(k) is more common now than a pension?
We hope you enjoyed this series of blogs. Retirement is not something you should be putting off, start as soon as you can and plan for as long as possible. Be confident and knowledgeable about what taxes look like before and after retirement, and plan accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns about your retirement plan during this tax season or future seasons, we are here to help you in Goose Creek!
Tax season is here, and we are ready to tackle it head-on. With all the anxiety that tax season can bring, we wanted to give you something to look forward to.
We are inching closer to tax day by the minute, and it's time to stay focused and not get overwhelmed with what's to come. We are here to help you with all of your needs from now until it's over. So please do not hesitate to visit us! Make sure you and your family members are ready and prepared for tax day, and get everything filed on time. The last thing we want is to have you accrue late fees or other issues down the line with the IRS. To ease any worry or pain, we wanted to share with you when you should be expecting your 2020 tax refund. Everyone loves a refund, right? A refund is what so many of our clients look forward to every year, and we can't blame them. They are like little (or hopefully bigger than you expected) consolation prizes for getting your taxes done on time and done properly. As we've discussed in some of our recent blogs, the tax reform laws that started to take effect in 2018 will affect your tax refunds through 2020 and it will affect how much you could potentially be getting back in those refunds. Many factors determine when you receive your refund, some of them depend on you while others will depend on the government and the IRS.
On Your Plate
We are here to help you, bring you peace of mind, and get your refund money back in your pocket as quickly as possible. With this knowledge, it's easy to see that we can help skip some serious wait time and help you avoid worry for this tax season, and the many seasons to come. So until next time, keep this information in mind, stay organized, and visit us to help get your taxes filed on time!
The new year brings many new and exciting things, it is also the start of tax season. There have been many changes to business and federal taxes, but with all of these changes, personal taxes will also be seeing many changes for the 2019 and 2020 tax season. Are you familiar and up to date on these changes? If not, you've come to the right place!
2020 is officially here! Some people might be spending a little extra time at the gym and meal prepping, while all of us at Hood's are spending more time getting our clients and future client's in the Goose Creek area ready for April 15th with no surprises or stress. Every year, something changes with tax law. These changes might be small and easy to deal with, while other years prove to be rather difficult. It takes time and dedication to stay up to date on these changes, so why not take advantage of our services to make sure your taxes are prepared efficiently, on time, and with no worry about being charged any late fees?
While you are starting to gather your tax documents, there is quite a list of things you will need to keep in mind. Please take the time to read through every one of these changes before you start filling out any paperwork for 2019 and 2020. We talked a lot about changes for forms and filing in our last blog. In this blog, we will be discussing some of the benefits that will hopefully make paying your taxes a little easier.
Use these new changes in your personal taxes to prepare for this tax season and the next. They may not benefit or affect you this year, but they could have a significant effect on you in the years to come and for the better. Are you planning on retiring next year? How about getting married? Are you starting a new job that offers you a 401(k) for the very first time? Are you dealing with an HSA account for the first time or wanting to expand one? The changes we have mentioned above will help you decide and understand the best routs to take with these important decisions.
Please don't stress when it comes to taxes. Our professionals can help you with all of these changes, and answer any questions you might have. Please take into account that this list is just an overview of some of the changes happening, it doesn't cover all of the changes that could be affecting your personal taxes in the years to come. Come visit us and depend on Hood's to get everything taken care of, and to understand what changes are heading your way for this tax season and the many seasons to follow!
There are many loose ends you need to tie up at the end of any year for your personal taxes and those of your small business. You also need to be staying on top of the many changes coming your way in 2020 taxes. You might have more work ahead of you, so it's better to be prepared now for what is quickly heading your way.
You've made it through the holidays and all the celebrations that go along with them, both in your job and with your families. As tax season approaches for the 2019 fiscal year, you need to start thinking about a few new changes that you'll be seeing sooner rather than later, along with tying up a few loose ends.
In this blog, we won't be discussing all of the changes that are heading your way. We will just be touching on some of the most important. You will see changes in the W-4 form in 2020, in State withholding, Federal W-2s and State Deadlines, ACA Compliance from the State, and in Gig Economy and worker classification.
Changes with W-4 Forms
In 2020 you're going to see changes with the IRS W-4 tax form. They have changed the form and given it a bit of a facelift. The changes include calculations for income tax withholding. There is a new form that has been added for the head of the household as well. The new form eliminates withholding allowance. As an employee, you will just adjust your withholdings by putting your tax information on your W-4 forms. This will include non-wage income, full-year deductions, and any child or any other dependent tax credits. If you own a small business or are getting a new job in the year to come, filling out tax papers will be much different than previous years. Since you probably don't know all of your tax information off the top of your head, and you probably won't be carrying around copies of last year's tax refund, take more time filling out the paperwork. If you are a business owner, allow your employee to take it home. Ask your new employer for a private space to call home or your tax professional to fill out all the information. If you are happy with your current withholdings at your job now, you will not need to fill out the w-4 form again. If you need to change anything for your future taxes, you will have to fill out the new paperwork.
The new W-4 paperwork could affect state tax withholdings. Many states are still trying to figure out how to work with these new changes, so you or your small business won't be the only one trying to follow along. You will need to prepare for these changes by the end of next year, as their decisions on how to deal with these new changes will also affect how you file your taxes. The main issue many states are dealing with right now is the fact that there is no longer a box for allowances on the federal tax forms. Different states are picking different ways to handle the situation. One option that might become the norm is taking the focus away from income tax and shifting to pay-roll taxes. This might not be a very fun solution for many of us, but be prepared. When it's time to do taxes and paperwork for 2020, make sure to pay attention to the choices your state has made to deal with the W-4 changes.
Federal W2s and State Deadlines
In 2020 the tax rate will remain the same for employees and employers, at 6.2%. Medicare tax rates will also stay the same as they were in 2019. The IRS has now moved up the W-2 submission deadline to January 31st. They have done this to continue the fight against tax fraud and identity theft. Most states will now require electronic W-2 filing from your employers. Many states have also increased the penalties for late filings of W-2 forms. Be very aware of these due dates. These fees can add up very quickly and become very costly.
The good news for you, if you're feeling overwhelmed for next year's tax season, is that we are here to help you keep up to date on these changes. We are here to help you understand them, help guide you through them, and prepare for them. These charges vary from small differences to ones that will affect you on a state and federal level. Just like any tax law changes, the new ones we will be seeing in 2020 will evolve into others. So don't get too comfortable. Stay connected, educated, and ready for the unexpected.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.