Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | November 27, 2017

Enrolled Agents: Two Tips for Avoiding Tax Fraud

Enrolled Agents | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, P.A.

Tax matters require a lot of sensitive, personal information such as Social Security Numbers and bank account numbers. Unfortunately, criminals see this as an excellent opportunity to scam people. They pose IRS employees to trick people out of their information. Working with an Enrolled Agents in Tampa can help you avoid potential scams and keep your personal information safe.

1. Work with Enrolled Agents

By working with tax professionals in Tampa, you can reduce your risk of tax fraud. Enrolled Agents have authorization from the IRS to represent taxpayers. They undergo extensive education and must keep up their training and recertification. Enrolled Agents are trained to understand how to protect sensitive information and ensure that documents and personal data are kept secure and away from potential hackers.

2. Beware of Suspicious Emails

Phishing is one of the most common sources of identity theft. Sending emails under the guise of tax-related matters has made the IRS’s list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams to watch out for. If you are working with Enrolled Agents in Tampa on your finances, call them if you receive any emails from them that look out of place. Do not click on any links in an email until you are certain that they are from a trusted sender. Hover over a link to see the URL and make sure that it is sending you to a safe webpage. For example, if you hover over a link for, but the URL that pops up does not go to that domain, do not click it.

It is better to be safe than sorry. Also be cautious of phone calls and voicemails from the IRS. Plenty of criminals use phone calls and emails to gather sensitive data from unsuspecting taxpayers. The IRS will never initiate contact with you via email, text, or social media. If you come across something suspicious, report it to the IRS. If you want to make sure that whoever calls you is really with the IRS, ask for their name, badge number, and a call-back number. Then, call the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 and provide them with the information.

Choose Garcia and Cuadra for Enrolled Agents You Can Trust

If you are looking to utilize the services of Enrolled Agents in the Tampa Bay area, trust the professionals at Garcia and Cuadra. Our firm has been helping individuals and businesses with their tax matters since 1980. We can help with bookkeeping, financial planning, budgeting, payroll services, financial statement preparation, and more. Call us today at 813-415-2431 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | October 30, 2017

Personal Tax Advisors: Avoid These 3 IRS Penalties

Personal Tax Advisors | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, P.A.

Every year, millions of Americans face extra fines and penalty fees from the IRS due to simple mistakes. With the help of personal tax advisors in the Tampa Bay area, you can avoid making these same mistakes.

1. Underestimated Income Penalties

Underreporting your income can come with serious financial penalties and often people don’t realize they are doing it.  Simple miscalculations or misunderstanding that tips and part-time work, apart from your full-time job, are considered part of your income can cause you to underreport your income. The IRS performs audits regularly to ensure that no income goes unaccounted. If they notice any incorrect information on your return, they can call for a full audit of your finances.

Should they have reason to believe that incorrect numbers were reported intentionally, they can prosecute for tax evasion. A personal tax advisor in Tampa can help you determine what counts as income and help you avoid underreporting penalties. If the IRS discovers that you had unreported income, you will owe interest and penalties not only on the income you did report, but also the income you didn’t.

2. Penalty for Not Having Health Insurance

When the Affordable Care Act debuted, it gave millions of Americans access to healthcare. The government mandated that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty each year on their taxes. This move was to ensure that enough healthy individuals contribute to the system to make up for the ailing individuals who need to use the insurance money. While not everyone agrees on the efficacy of the program, the government still requires taxpayers to pay a fee if they chose not to enroll in health insurance, ACA or otherwise.

While there is no way to avoid this penalty if you do not have healthcare, working with personal tax advisors in Tampa can ensure that your finances are in order. This way, you can either decide if it is worth it to pass on health insurance and pay a fine or enroll in coverage and have the insurance should something happen.

3. Penalty for Not Filing

If you do not file your taxes, you face serious penalties from the IRS. A failure-to-file penalty may cost you 25% of your unpaid taxes on top of interest for filing late. Tax fraud and evasion are considered to be crimes and can land you in jail if convicted. If you make enough money to warrant filing a return, legally, you must file your taxes with the IRS. In the year 2017, the minimum gross income requirements for filing are $10,350 for singles and $20,700 for both spouses. However, if you didn’t file, a professional can help you file late. Should this happen, trust personal tax advisors to help you stay on track with your payments. For Tampa residents who need assistance with filing a return, Garcia and Cuadra can make the process simple.

To meet with personal tax advisors in Tampa Bay, give Garcia and Cuadra a call today at 813-415-2431 or contact us online.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | September 25, 2017

Individual Tax Preparation: Getting Ready for Tax Season

Tax Preparation | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, P.A.

Not many people in Tampa look forward to tax season, but it is a reality that we must all face every spring. Individuals who want to make life easier learn early on to trust a professional with their accounting and financial matters. Placing your financial stability and accounting needs in the hands of a professional is essential for staying on top of the game. Instead of falling behind, contact Garcia and Cuadra to get help with your financial preparations. In addition, Garcia and Cuadra can assist you in getting the most out of your returns with professional tax preparation!

What to Bring to Your Tax Preparation Meeting

When you choose to enlist the assistance of a professional in Tampa, you benefit from the having tax advisors with experience help you with:

  • Income. If you are a full employee, then bring any W2s you have from the past year or 1099s if you did any work as an independent contractor. Bring documentation of any other sources of income such as investments and interest.
  • Expenses. You can deduct certain expenses from your taxes. Discuss with your tax preparation specialist if you can deduct medical expenses, moving expenses, and more. You will need receipts and other documents if you wish to deduct these expenses, so come prepared.
  • Deductions. If you have children, then there are many aspects of being a parent that can be deducted from your taxes. Other overlooked deductions include charitable donations, 401(k) and IRA contributions, education and job expenses, student loan interest, and much more. A professional can help you determine what you can deduct, getting you the largest return.

There are many other benefits of enlisting a professional to help with your tax preparation in Tampa Bay. By hiring a specialist, you can save time, money, and serious stress when it’s time to file your return.

Choosing Enrolled Agents for Tax Preparation

Many people don’t know what Enrolled Agents do. Enrolled Agents are individuals who are fully licensed and granted the power to represent taxpayers by the IRS. In order to become an Enrolled Agent, an individual must pass an extensive Special Enrollment Exam. This exam covers federal tax planning, taxpayer representation, and individual and business tax preparation. Requirements include continuing their education throughout their career to stay on top of the latest changes in policies and procedures.

At Garcia and Cuadra, we have Enrolled Agents on staff who are ready to help you make the most out of your taxes this season. We work tirelessly to help make sure that you get the help you need in the Tampa Bay area. Give us a call today at 813-415-2431 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | August 21, 2017

3 Secrets Your Tax Advisors Want You to Know

Tax Advisors | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, PATaxes can be confounding for many people. Lots of numbers, deadlines, and forms need to be submitted every year, and many residents don’t want to bother. However, with professional tax advisors in Tampa, you can handle tax season with a breeze. At Garcia and Cuadra, we make sure our clients are taken care of.

1. Being Organized Is in Your Best Interest

When tax return preparation time comes around, you may find yourself scrambling to find all of the documents and information you need for completion. This is why it is so important to stay organized. Always make copies of every financial related document or form you receive and save it somewhere where you will be able to locate it when you need it. Create a digital folder and back it up every month and keep it organized. If you need, tax advisors in Tampa can help you stay on track. At Garcia and Cuadra, we provide clients with a list of things they’ll need, which helps you get organized.

2. It Is Never Too Early, but It Can Be Too Late

As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. When it comes to preparing for tax season, it is never too early to start preparing. Tax advisors do their job all year long, while many Tampa residents only think about taxes once a W2 or 1099 form ends up in their mail once a year. However, if you want to be ahead of the game, consult with an Enrolled Agent throughout the year. You can keep track of business expenses, charitable donations, and other write-offs that can increase your return come spring time.

In that vein, it can also be too late. Once a filing deadline has passed, you are still have to file your return. However, you face penalties for being late, and it only grows the later you are. So, if you are late, it is better to act as soon as possible and seek out a professional to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

3. Trust Your Tax Advisors

It may seem like an intimidating relationship, but you have to trust your tax advisors with all of your personal information. They are in charge of making sure that they receive the entire picture that demonstrates your current financial state, and without all of the information, the picture will be incomplete. At Garcia and Cuadra, we are not here to judge you or use your information for our own gain. We take our role very seriously and promise that you will be protected at all times under our care.

Give us a call at 813-415-2431 or connect with us online to get started today in Tampa!

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | July 31, 2017

How Year-Round Tax Filing Services Keep You on Track

Tax Filing Services | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, P.A.As an independent contractor, you are responsible for keeping yourself on track. This includes not only your work and productivity but also your finances. As an independent contractor, you are subject to self-employment taxes. Figuring out exactly what you owe and when, and what everything means for your bottom line can be confusing. When you need a guiding hand from a professional, trust Garcia and Cuadra for tax filing services in Tampa.

Independent Contractors: What You Need to Know

Filing self-employment taxes are different than an employee filing their taxes every year. The difference between being an employee and an independent contractor can be a blurry line for some people in Tampa, so if you are having difficulties determining which you qualify as, look at the IRS Form SS-8 (Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding) for guidance. For those who earn $400 or more, the IRS requires that you to file an income tax return.

When it comes to tax filing services, for your annual return, you will file a Schedule C (Form 1040). If your expenses amount to less than $5000, you may qualify to file a Schedule C-EZ. Those who report payments made during the course of business or for services often submit a Form 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income). This form is also necessary if you have any subcontractors or have paid someone $600 or more throughout the course of the year for services.

To stay on top of your work, be organized throughout the year, and maintain records of expenses. In addition, make sure to record deductions so that you can easily identify them later on when filling out forms. If you use a personal accountant for tax filing services in Tampa, this will allow them to catch more deductions and possibly help you get more money in the long run.

Trust the Professionals at Garcia and Cuadra for Tax Filing Services

For businesses, employers, independent contractors, and more, Garcia and Cuadra can help you understand and complete your tax filing services. It is our goal to demystify the financial and accounting matters relating to businesses and trade for our clients in Tampa. We know how frustrated many people get when tax season rolls around, and it is our job to prevent the stress.

To schedule a consultation with an Enrolled Agent, give us a call today at 813-415-2431 or contact us online.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | June 30, 2017

Do You Need Sales Tax Services? Services Subject to Sales Tax in Florida

Sales Tax Services | Tampa | Garcia & Cuadra, PAWhile many people in Tampa enjoy the fact that the state of Florida does not have income taxes, there is a sales tax rate of 6%. Most people understand that things like retail goods (new and used), foods and meals, entry to games, sporting events, performances, and amusement parks, renting commercial property, or hotel accommodations are sales taxable. However, not all businesses know what is and is not taxable, including some services. If you are in one of the following industries, then you may need sales tax services.

Nonresidential Cleaning Services and Commercial Pest Control Services

Cleaning and pest services are common around areas like Tampa. There are many businesses that need a hand with cleaning and keeping the native pest population under control.. While there is not a direct exchange of goods for money, you are rendering assistance and expertise to your clients, so that is taxable. If you offer assistance with housekeeping, janitorial, sanitation, facility management, custodial services, they are taxable. Pest control, including extermination, pest and termite treatment, fumigation, inspections, and more will also require sales tax services in Florida.

Detective, Commercial/Residential Burglary and Security, and Protective Services

Even if you are hire privately, your work may be taxable. Burglary and security monitoring companies in Tampa offer clients peace of mind. However, the companies have to consider their finances, which include sales tax services. You are providing goods in the form of actions and planning, so they are taxable according to Florida Law. Taxable planning and actions includes bodyguards, armored cars, fingerprinting, skip tracing, fire alarm monitoring, guarding, patrolling, polygraph, and more.

In Need Sales Tax Services? Call Garcia and Cuadra, P.A.

Determining what taxable can be confusing. No one wants to end up on the wrong side of the law due to taxes. Even if your business does not fall under one of the above categories, it may still be a taxable venture. To find out if you need sales tax services, speak with a professional at Garcia and Cuadra, P.A. in Tampa Bay today. Ask us about discretionary sales surtax and whether that is also required of your business. We can also discuss which of your offerings are not taxable so that you can keep everything in order. Contact us or give us a call at 813-415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | May 30, 2017

How Your Business Benefits from Financial Services

Financial Services in TampaTampa business owners are constantly pulled in a million different directions. It’s impossible to handle it all on your own. The performance of your organization hinges on the people you enlist to help you. Much of this falls on the employees you hire to join the team, but it also includes professionals you partner with to manage critical aspects of the company, such as financial services.

It goes without saying that the finances of your business are of key importance. Therefore, it is essential to have experienced and credible tax advisors and accountants who can help you every step of the way.

Top Ways Financial Services Help Boost Tampa Businesses

Are you thinking about starting your own business? Are you looking for ways to improve a current one? Then you need independent accountants on your side who offer expert guidance.

Maintain Compliance

With experienced tax advisors and independent accountants on your team, you can rest assured that your Tampa business complies with all regulatory requirements. For example, if you are subject to Florida sales tax, it’s imperative to complete and file certain documents before the deadline. However, a professional advisory firm makes sure it is done with ease and convenience.

Increased Confidence

The last thing you need is to waste time or attention on paperwork due to errors made the first time around. When you work with skilled and trained professionals, you feel confident; you know all areas of financial services — and the processes involved — are handled correctly the first time. Furthermore, this increase in confidence gives you the peace of mind that allows you to turn your energy to other critical aspects of your business.

Improved Strategy

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons Tampa business owners should consider hiring independent accountants is that they provide an opportunity to minimize costs and, in turn, expand profits. Unless you are well versed in accounting, sales taxes, and other such aspects of business management, there’s a chance you spend more money than necessary on certain operations without even realizing it.

Additionally, professional advisors can look at your business model and identify any and all opportunities to reduce spending, therefore increasing earnings. Our financial services could be exactly what you need to gain a cutting edge over competitors.

Hiring Accountants for Tampa Financial Services

Once you make the decision to enlist the help of professional advisors and accountants to manage the finances of your business, the next step is choosing who to work with.

Fortunately, at Garcia and Cuadra, we help organizations in Central Florida effectively navigate the most complex areas of their company. Regardless of the industry or size of your business, we provide the expert planning, strategy, and consultation needed to improve your model.

Also, we offer a wide-range of specialty financial services to Tampa businesses and individuals alike. This includes:

  • Accounting systems design
  • Financial statement preparation, analysis, and forecasts
  • Business entity selection
  • Tax planning and consultation
  • Forensics and litigation support
  • Estates and Trust tax return preparation
  • Federal and state tax return preparation
  • And more

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today to request more information about our financial services in Tampa. Alternatively, give us a call at 813-415-2431 to schedule a consultation with an expert Enrolled Agent!

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | April 28, 2017

How to Prepare for Tax Preparation Services

Tax Preparation Services in Tampa

It is never too early to get started on your taxes, and you should always stay organized so that you can easily locate any forms or papers you need at any time. If you have chosen to utilize professional tax preparation services in Tampa, congratulations — you are making a smart decision! Professional accountants and preparers can save you a lot of money that you might otherwise have missed.

Gather All of Your Documents

Even if you do not have everything you think you might need, be sure to bring as much information and documentation as you think will be helpful. Use this list for reference:

  • Identifying information for you and any dependents. This includes Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and all dependents you can claim.
  • Income documentation. If you and/or your spouse were an employee, bring your W-2 forms your employers sent you. If you and/or your spouse were a contract worker, bring your 1099 forms. This includes anything documenting business income, unemployment income, rental property income, Social Security benefits, and any other miscellaneous income.
  • Copies of your federal income returns and refunds from the previous year.
  • Adjustment information, such as student loan interest, IRA contributions, or Medical Savings Account contributions.
  • Deduction information, including childcare and education costs as well as charitable donations.
  • Lists of stocks and mutual funds, as well as other assets.
  • Information for direct deposit, including your bank’s routing number and your specific account number.

If you are unsure about an asset or account, ask your designated preparer before going in for tax preparation services in Tampa. You do not want to make it to your meeting only to find that you are missing a vital document and have to hold up the process in order to acquire it.

Know What to Expect

Whether you have sought out professional tax preparation services in the past or you are a first-timer, it is good to have an idea of what is to come in order to make the most of your time together in Tampa. When you meet with a professional, they will sit down and discuss your situation with you. If it is filing season and you have a considerably “standard” case, then the process will be straightforward.

Call Garcia and Cuadra, P.A.

When you need professional tax preparation services and consultation assistance, Garcia and Cuadra is your go-to source. Our firm has been helping Tampa Bay clients with their financial needs for many years. We work hard every day to find every last deduction to get our clients the biggest returns. With qualified and experienced Enrolled Agents on our team, you know we have the knowledge and capability many seek in a professional tax preparer. It is never too early or too late to get your finances in order — call us today to schedule a consultation at (813) 415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | April 6, 2017

Reasons Why Self-Employed Workers Need Accounting and Tax Services

Accounting and Tax Services | Tampa | Garcia and CuadraBeing self-employed can be a liberating, life-fulfilling experience, but without professional accounting and tax services, it can also be a nightmare. There are many different tax laws that apply once you start working for yourself. It’s important to prepare, or you could end up owing a lot of money to the government. On the other hand, if you aren’t familiar with what deductions and benefits apply to you, you could also end up paying the IRS too much.

As a self-employed filer, you don’t want either scenario. Here are three ways accounting and tax services in Tampa can help you.

Home Office? Deduct It

If you are operating your business or service out of your home office, that can qualify as a deduction. This process works by deducting a percentage of your home (like a room or office) used for business. You can do the same with utilities as well.

For example, if you’re paying for internet service in Tampa and you spend a portion of time online to run your business, that could qualify as a deduction. The same rule applies if you’re using your phone for business. If a professional takes the time to examine your home and understand how you operate your business, it could save you thousands.

Be Organized and Track Business Related Expenses

Hold on to all of your business-related receipts. Examples may include receipts for office supplies, shipping fees, subscriptions, and software. Programs like QuickBooks are also useful for staying on top of your income, expenses, and other aspects of bookkeeping. Staying on top of things will help you get the most out of your taxes when it is time to make deductions.

Get Professional Help from a Local Accounting and Tax Services Company

While it’s possible to handle accounting and tax services on your own, it isn’t easy. As a self-employed person, you must pay income tax as well as a self-employed tax. Get expert help from a professional in Tampa who is familiar with self-employment. They will help you to take advantage of special deductions and allowances.

For a consultation with the best accounting and tax services in Tampa, call Garcia and Cuadra at 813-415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | February 28, 2017

5 Tips for Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning | Tampa | arcia and CuadraRetirement planning should be on your mind no matter what stage of life you’re in. You might be a young, burgeoning entrepreneur in Tampa, or perhaps, you’re preparing to phase out of your career after many years. No matter your circumstances, this concept is foreign territory for most. Whether you’re just starting out or ready to stop working in a few years, you’ll want to keep certain things in mind.

1. Pay Off Debts

You might be inclined to save for when you aren’t working. After all, it seems like starting ahead of time would serve you best; but nagging debts will impede your efforts in the long run if you don’t address them. Instead of keeping debts at bay, tackle them head on before you dive into full-fledged retirement planning. Once you’ve paid them down, you can focus on what’s ahead of you in Tampa.

2. Inform Your Beneficiaries

Clear designations help your family members avoid probate or surrogate court, so put them in place well ahead of time. The more explicit your wishes for your 401ks, IRAs, and life insurance, the better. An unexpected gift you can give to family members in this arena is preparation.

3. Make an Effort to Understand Your Retirement Account

It’s not enough in Tampa to have an account for retirement planning. You need to have a general understanding of it too. There are fees involved, some of which can dig into profits. Not everyone is versed in financial terminology or practice, so you might consider hiring a financial advisor to help with comprehension. By gaining an understanding, you can make your money work for you for years to come!

4. Consult with Retirement Planning Professionals

As you enter a season of voluntary unemployment, you shouldn’t have nagging anxieties about your financial status. Not everyone feels comfortable managing their future finances. If you have little to no experience in this area, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the prospect. Instead of stressing out about this task in Tampa, consider the benefits of working with a financial consultant.

5. Need Retirement Planning Assistance? Hire Garcia & Cuadra

At Garcia & Cuadra P.A., our independent accountants and tax advisors specialize in putting our clients at ease. Our Enrolled Agents are equipped to manage your finances and assist with processes like estate or retirement planning. An early start is more important than doing it yourself, so consult with our accountants about:

  • Tax return preparation
  • Estate preparation
  • Taxpayer representation services
  • Retirement planning
  • Business startup
  • And more

Put yourself at ease by hiring the best financial advisors in Tampa! By prioritizing your future, you can celebrate all of your hard work for years to come!

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