Author Archives: c12643402

Welcome Business Owners

The end of the year is quickly approaching. If you have not already reviewed your accounting and taxes for the year, it is time to focus with doing just that.

My name is Holly Bottiglieri. I’m a partner at Long Island Tax, Accounting & Advisory Services Inc. My firm is a bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation and business advisory firm. I operate primarily in the Long Island area but service clients in Westchester County, Manhattan and the five boroughs of New York City.
 
The firm handles a wide variety of businesses in several industries. Depending on the circumstances, the firm provides basic bookkeeping and payroll tax services, general accounting services and specific accounting services to specific industries, business and individual federal and state tax preparation services and business consulting.
 
If you feel that your business is ignored by your accountant, if your tax returns are always placed on extension, if you and your business do not receive any tax planning or you just feel that you are not getting the services you expect and are frustrated, call us.
  • We will at no charge, meet with you and discuss your business and tax structure.
  • We will discuss your concerns.
  • We will tell you, from an accounting perspective, your businesses’ strengths and possible weaknesses.
  • As a result of this review, we will tell you that either all is well with your accounting structure and tax reporting or that there are areas of concern.
I understand that accounting and tax issues are usually placed on the back burner and addressed when you have the time. Unfortunately “having the time” for most business owners, does not exist. Yet your concerns are important. At Long Island Tax Accounting & Advisory Services, Inc., we will streamline this review and respond immediately with our results. You will then have the information to make an informed management decision.
 
If you have concerns about your business’ accounting and tax services and you are interested in our review, please contact us for a no-charge no-hassle initial consultation. Our phone number is 631-645-5257 or visit our website at www.litaasi.com
 
Sincerely,
 
Holly Bottiglieri, E.A.(Enrolled Agent)
Email address: Holly@litaasi.com

Tax Planning Needs To Start Now!

There goes another year! Year-end is a good time to start taking stock of any events that have occurred that may change earlier projections on your income taxes.

In addition, if you purchase your healthcare from the Marketplace, any life changing events, will also affect your premiums, and whether or not you will owe money or get a refund on these premiums at the end of the year.

socialEvents that will give cause for attention include:

  • Birth or adoption
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Moving to another address
  • Changes to household income
  • Gaining or losing health care coverage or eligibility
  • Other changes affecting income and household size

If you receive advance healthcare credit payments in any amount or if you plan to claim the premium tax credit, you MUST file a federal tax return.  If you receive any advance credit payments, you will use your return to reconcile the difference between the payments and the credit.

If any of these or other events occurred, please contact us to discuss so that we can help you with proper tax planning for the upcoming year.  There is still time left for good forecasting and planning.  Practicing due diligence will be worth all of your effort.  The last thing we want for any of our clients is any unnecessary negative surprises!

Finances and Mental Health

Awareness about mental health needs to be taken more seriously and the stigma needs to be taken away of being scared or ashamed.

– Normally when you would start to read an article like this – the topic usually would be about one or the other – not both at the same time.  If we were physically sick, would we not seek the help of a medical professional? Male caretaker assisting senior couple in using laptop at nursing home porch

There needs to be more discussion on what is “normal and acceptable mental health” in our youth, adults and in our growing aging population and we need to be brave enough to discuss it openly and look for early signs of behavior that is not “normal and acceptable mental health”.

We need to be prepared with the proper tools and knowledge to help those who are in need and are unable to realize that they require such aid.

Education is key.

Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia currently affects over five million Americans and that number is expected to more than triple by 2050.

  • How is our aging population going to be equipped to handle their finances?
  • Are these people making the best choices in how they save and spend their money?
  • Are there people out there looking to take advantage of this group of people because they know that their checkbooks are not being overseen by someone who may be more capable to handle their financial decisions?
  • …all things that make you go hmmmmm…

Currently there are some regulators and firms that are working on the issue of dealing with clients with a diminished mental capacity, but they have a long way to go.  Regulations currently require that advisors protect a client’s privacy and follow through with the wishes of such clients, regardless of the consequences.  But advisors are becoming more wary, that by following the rules, family members could possibly bring on lawsuits claiming that the client did not have the full capacity to make financial decisions.

Things to watch for when questioning a person’s capability of handling finances:

  1. Memory lapses about money
  2. Failure to pay bills on time
  3. Paying the same bill multiple times
  4. Difficulty with money concepts
  5. Investment of money and choices of risk
  6. Making frivolous purchases on debit and credit cards

According to some recent publications, financial advisors are among the first to recognize the signs of declining memory – the handling of money is one of the first skills to fade.  We do not want someone who is in this position to deplete their nest egg or fall victim to scams.

There are some investment firms that have started to educate their advisors regarding dementia and elder care abuse.  In some instances, if there is some doubt of the client’s capacity, some firms may put a freeze on the transaction and make every effort to contact family members. There are currently no clear cut rules governing how to handle these situations and laws if any are governed by the states.  On a federal level they are working on a clause that would allow brokerages to delay withdrawals from older client’s accounts if they suspect there is fraud.

According to AARP, they are currently working with the American Banking Association Foundation to produce educational materials for consumers, financial caregivers and bankers on age-friendly banking, including on how to address dementia, fraud and financial caregiving.

As a proud member of the “sandwich generation”, my family is still at home and I am a caregiver to my 85 year old mother.  Three years ago, I took over as caregiver, financially and otherwise for my mom’s benefit.  It is not an easy task to take away responsibilities from our parents, when they have been doing these things their whole lives. But we need to be diligent with our decisions and know deep in our hearts that it is the right choice for their well being.

Look for the warning signs … and be prepared to take away the debit, credit cards and checkbook… you can save yourself and your loved ones much heartache! 

Holly Bottiglieri

Identity Theft – Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones Who Died

Alarming Identity Theft Facts and Figures:

* Based on information provided by various sources, here is some alarming information we though our clients should be made aware of:

  • From 2006 – 2011 the Internal Revenue Service reported that  67,000 people born before June of 1901 had returns filed resulting in a $3 billion dollar loss using deceased peoples social security numbers.*
  • Data from 2012 – to current year indicates that 7% or about 15 million people age 16 or older were victims of identity theft. 85% of identity theft incidents involved the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information resulting in financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion dollars.*
  • 29% of victims spend more than 2 months of their time along with more money spent by them trying to correct this issue.*

Unfortunately, as the methods used to perform identity theft expand, every individual or business is vulnerable to attack.*

Suggestions provided from various sources that can help prevent Identity Theft from happening to you:

  1. IDtheftOnly carry essential documents with you. No need most of the time to carry your social security card or birth certificate.
  2. Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
  3. Shred sensitive information before throwing it away in the trash.
  4. Stay on top of your credit. Make sure your credit reports are accurate.
  5. Create stronger passwords or PIN numbers.

Suggestions provided from various sources that can help prevent Identity Theft from happening to a loved one who passed on:

  1. Immediately send death certificate copies by certified mail to the three main credit reporting bureaus requesting that a deceased alert be placed on the credit report.
  2. Mail copies ASAP to banks, insurers and other financial firms requesting account closures or change of joint ownership.
  3. Report the death to the Social Security Administration and IRS. You can contact us to get the phone number if needed.
  4. In obituaries, don’t include the deceased’s birth date, place of birth, last address or job.

Goal Setting

7K0A0223Every small business owner, regardless of where they are in the business life cycle, needs goals to keep them moving forward, get motivated to do more, and maintain the success of their businesses.

Goal setting can follow many different processes, and each one can be successful as long as it defines both long and short term goals and devises a plan for getting there. Whether you have a 50-employee company or an empire of one, your business success depends on your ability to set and achieve goals. To help you with this process here are a few tips to consider.

  1. Be Specific – You have clearly defined what you want to accomplish this year.
  2. Measurable – You have identified targets so you can track your progress. Our firm can help you with this.
  3. Attainable – Your goals need to be realistic and manageable.
  4. Relevant – Your goals fit your business model.
  5. Time-Based – You have a specific time frame in mind to achieve these goals.

 Now for the fun part – How to get started: Goal setting doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process. Grab a piece of paper and pen and ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish more than anything else? What keeps you up at night?

Take a few minutes to reflect and start writing down what comes into your mind. For example, say one of your goals is to pay off credit card debt by the end of the year.Your sheet of paper may include:

  1. Reduce expenses
  2. Review spending habits
  3. Cut up credit card
  4. Create a budget

Once you have written down everything you can think of, go back and break down each idea so it becomes a list of action items.

  • How am I going to reduce spending?
  • When do I spend more money during the year?
  • Which credit card do I cut up?

Talk with us to help you set a budget that will help you achieve this goal and then finally:

Make a Commitment to see it through and know we are here to help you each step of the way!

Ways our firm can help you grow your business

As your trusted business advisor, we want to hear from our clients on how we can help to grow your business.  We would like to start this dialogue by letting you know the services we have to offer.

1)      We provide real-time accounting services using cloud based applications – The benefits include: better cash flow management, faster identification of any tax liabilities, ability to see if you’re making a profit or a loss and make your accounting functions more efficient.

2)      We associate ourselves with other local professionals – We have a large network of professionals that can help you with insurance needs, legal advice, succession planning, wills & trust along with investment/retirement planning just to name a few.

3)      We are up to date with all tax and accounting guidelines – As a CPA and an Enrolled Agent, we are current with all regulations with regards to accounting and taxation. This enables us to provide the best advice and produce accurate results that you need when compiling your financial information.

4)      We offer affordable prices – Our prices for all of our services put money back into your pocket. An example of this is for those of our clients who switched from having their payrolls processed through ADP or Paychex and now have our firm provide full payroll services instead at competitive pricing.  The savings for our clients range from $500 per year and up.

5)      We provide information and access to documents in our new secure website – If you wish to get 24×7 365 day access to your documents, contact Holly to activate. If you need financial assistance,please review our financial calculators – however, before you make any final decisions about your finances please contact to us first.

Do not hesitate to contact us to keep the conversation going.

Boneheaded moves can cost you plenty of money each year

Here is a great article we came across to step back and take a look at how boneheaded moves can cost you plenty of money each year!

MSN: Are you pulling a Pete Carroll with your money?

IMG_1181Everybody is smarter than Pete Carroll right now. How could the Seattle Seahawks head coach call such a dumb play on Sunday night? How could he throw away the Super Bowl by telling his quarterback to make a risky pass instead of handing off the ball for a run from the one-yard line?

But before we stand in judgment at the water cooler, just one small question: Are we smarter? The boneheaded decisions so many people make when it comes to simple money matters makes me wonder.

From where I sit, here are at least seven “Pete Carroll” blunders that an awful lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacks seem to be making.

1. Throwing away money. I’ve actually stopped arguing with friends about their cell-phone bills. They could cut them in half each month by changing carriers, but the information just doesn’t seep in. They look at me, blankly. Ditto cable TV, car payments and all that rubbish people buy at the mall. For a nation obsessed with taxes, we sure do waste a lot of money.

Read the rest of the article here at MSN

Give Yourself A Gift – Save For Retirement!

Now that it is the New Year, we all have that annual chore of compiling a years worth of paperwork to get ready to do our income taxes. One thing that many people forget is that it should also be the time to decide how much are they going to put away for retirement. 

socialIf you are putting away through a managed plan through work – great – then you are doing your due diligence on a regular basis.Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, many small businesses do not have that kind of set up. So when it comes to year end, the burden is on the individual to make the choice to put money away for the future.

It is never too early or too late to start. An individual up until the age of 49 can put away $5,500.00 per year. 50 and over you can play “catch-up” and put away $6,500.00 per year! Not only are you saving for retirement, you also get yourself a very nice tax deduction, (This can vary based on your modified adjusted gross income).

You have until April 15, 2015 to make a contribution for 2014 tax year. So if you have not started yet, you have over three months to put aside money from each paycheck in order to make your 2014 contribution. Even if you can’t put away the full amount, putting away something is better than nothing. In these economic times you can never have too much money put away for your future!

H.B.