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856-770-1400 Voorhees Office
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Understanding Estimated Tax Payments and Penalty
Even when you submit your tax return by the due date and remit any tax owed, the IRS may still penalize you for paying late. Taxpayers are required to pay income tax throughout the year. This is accomplished by having tax withheld from paychecks or sending four estimated tax payments.

The withholding can occur at any time during the year, but the estimated payments of tax should be approximately equal. Paying little estimated tax early in the year and more later will result in an underpayment penalty. Fortunately, the IRS offers a safe harbor method for escaping this misfortune.

A penalty is not assessed when four equal estimated tax payments are short of your ultimate tax owed by less than 10% or $1,000. Moreover, penalty is averted when the four equal tax installments total 100% of your tax liability for the preceding year. This target is 110% if your adjusted gross income for the year is more than $150,000.

When most of your income comes at a certain time of year rather than about equally throughout the year, your accountant can use the annualized installment method to avoid a penalty. This permits you to pay estimated tax based on when you have income. Or, if your income fluctuates widely from year to year, your accountant can use the regular installment method. This technique determines tax based on income expected this year rather than using the safe harbor amount of last year's tax. For either alternative, contemporaneous records are needed for timely calculation of tax during each income period.
How to Win Big in Today's Economy

The altered economic landscape presents innovative and nimble businesses with opportunities to thrive.

Find out how by requesting my free report "How to Win Big in Today's Economy."

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CSR and Sustainability: Good for the Planet
and Good for Business
It's a given that finding and retaining the right talent is one of the cornerstones of a successful business. But as business practices evolve, recruiting and retention are becoming more difficult. Demand is strong, and ambitious young candidates want more than just a decent salary. They respond to an open, sustainable brand voice and company culture. That's why corporate social responsibility should be a focal point in your business, not only for the good of the planet but to keep your business thriving too.

A 2016 Forbes report found that millennials "put an emphasis on CSR, have a great reverence for the environment and place higher worth on acquiring experiences than material things." Seeing as millennials are set to make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025, it makes sense to keep them engaged and on board. But this isn't as difficult a conundrum as it may seem.

Although it may seem that way, millennials don't actually have the luxury of choosing where they work in today's market, but they are driven by the genuine desire to have purpose and live purposefully. This is perhaps the biggest difference between millennials and the generation before them and something important to remember when greening your company.

When it comes to revising and implementing green strategies, remember that socially aware millennials are committed to sustainability, climate change, equality and peace. Try to stitch these elements into the fabric of your sustainability strategies and implement digital transparency at the same time. A good place to start is your energy provider. Energy consultancy Geo Green Power reports a surge in the number of businesses moving toward sustainable energy options in recent years.
Worth Reading
Why Community Building Unlocks Business Potential
By Ramon Ray
Smart Hustle
Finding your own unique leadership framework and realizing your own potential are key to becoming an inspiring as well as motivating delegator and leader. With a genuine heart that builds relationships with both employees and customers, Ray discusses how he's been able to foster a community that both creates and supports his business's growth.
Read More
Be a Better Leader: 16 of the Best Leadership Blogs
By Deanna deBara
FreshBooks Blog
"When you're green, you're growing. As soon as you're ripe, you start to rot." Leading a business and a team is nothing short of a heroic calling; sharing experiences and keeping a student mentality is the best way to navigate this journey toward success. Feel inspired and sprout new ideas from these top suggested blogs from today's relevant leaders.
Read More
4 Tips for Asking for Referrals the Right Way
Referrals are the seeds that keep your garden growing. Here are some basic "green thumb" rules for a successful referral that keeps your business blooming with cash flow.

Pick at the right time. Once you've heard positive feedback and built a good working relationship with a client, you can mention that the "best tip" is a good referral (especially understood for business during these tough times). Catching them at the pinnacle of delight is the optimal time to request a referral.

A gentle touch. Be mindful to approach your client in a delicate way: remember that you are asking your client for a favor when asking for a referral. Thank them for their business, and make mention of the specifics of what was memorable about the work you did for them.

The art of "the ask." Be specific and make it easy on them. This specificity is in gently telling them what you'd like them to say and where you'd like them to say it. For example: "Thank you so much for your positive feedback! It makes me so happy that we could do an excellent job and put your mind at ease! If you have a moment, I'd really appreciate it if you'd write a Google business review that echoes what you mentioned about how we exceeded your expectations and delivered everything on time."

Attitude of gratitude. Be flattered by their referral. Send a small token of appreciation, however big or small, to thank them for taking the time to not just give you their own business but also to help elevate your brand awareness while, hopefully, bringing in a new customer.
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Links You Can Use - Business Development
Business development plants the seeds that grow everything from your profits to your overall market presence. As we enter into spring, here are some ideas to help your sales pipeline bloom.
The Rise of
Virtual Events
in 2021

Host professional events that keep your guests engaged even while remotely attending.

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The Ultimate Google Analytics Guide for Small Businesses in 2021

Get into the weeds and watch your profits grow with more efficient online traffic.

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Virtual Sale: 13 Ways to Make It Happen Now

Without the customary handshakes and
client wine-and-dines, here are tips for
remote sales.

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Social Media Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World

In an era of distance, here are some ways to create connection and make some noise via social media.

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3 Important Issues to Discuss with Your Accountant
An abundance of software applications that automate small business bookkeeping is an easy lure into a false sense of security. Financial nirvana will not arise from mere keystrokes on a computer. Rather, accounting software is simply a tool that's valuable only when understanding what you're using it to build.

Bookkeeping Software

The most commonly misconstrued bookkeeping concept is the double-entry nature of recording transactions. Bookkeeping software, in its data entry simplification, furthers thinking of a transaction as impacting only a single account. The software conceals from view the second element of a double-entry transaction.

Advice from your accountant makes clear how each bookkeeping entry is really impacting two accounts. When money comes into your business, you record both where and why the funds were received. For example, where the cash was received is typically the bank account and why it was received is usually because revenue was earned. Similarly, when your business makes purchases, you record what you bought and how. For instance, you paid a specific business expense with either cash from the bank or perhaps a company credit card.

Financial Statements

With a basic understanding of double-entry bookkeeping, you discover the benefits and shortcomings of accounting software. A substantial disadvantage is the ease of recording transactions despite their inaccuracy. Incorrect account selection results in misclassifications. In addition, data imported from multiple sources can easily create duplications.

Your accountant can show you the financial statements to scrutinize, which are the automatic feature of accounting software. Be sure that you grasp the meaning of these crucial reports. Don't merely examine the bottom-line profit. These will not be accurate if the other side of double-entry transactions has errors. The balance sheet report has key insights about data entry accuracy. As its name implies, it balances profit in the current and past years against what the business owns and what it owes. If these assets and liabilities are not right, the profit you're evaluating is surely wrong too.

If you don't have double-entry bookkeeping software and use merely a spreadsheet, you're recording only single entries. You miss the grounded continuity of a double-entry system. This might be okay for a simple solo operation. But your accountant will help you see a superior overall picture of your business by creating complete, properly formatted financial statements. Your spreadsheet is only a starting point.

Tax Returns

Tax forms are confusing to interpret. And reading the instructions for tax schedules is more perplexing than enlightening. Your accountant can translate for you the purpose of each tax form. An inquiry about your tax return goes beyond simply asking why you owe so much to the government. Your aim is discovering if and how all business activity is captured for tax purposes.

Responsibility for clear communication about business revenue and expenses rests solely with you. A discussion with your tax preparer assures no omissions or errors. Moreover, gaining some insight about tax reporting permits you to inquire about different steps that could lower your tax burden.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.

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