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!

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | January 23, 2017

The Best Tax Preparation Services: How to Prepare

Best Tax Preparation Tampa Garcia and Cuadra, P.A.Once the calendar rolls around to a new year, many things must be taken care of. One of the most important of these is filing your taxes come April. Many folks in Tampa choose to do it themselves, but those who want to be assured that they are getting the most bang for their buck consult with the best tax preparation services available. Garcia and Cuadra, your personal Enrolled Agents, are prepared to help you find hidden deductions to maximize your return.

Gather Personal Documents

The first thing you will need to bring with you to your consultation is a few personal documents. These help us fill out the basic information on the necessary forms and will allow us to better understand what forms you need to have filed. For the best tax preparation in Tampa, bring along:

  • Social Security cards and some indication of dates of birth for you, your spouse, and your dependents.
  • Bank account and routing number for a direct deposit refund.
  • A copy of last year’s return would be helpful but is not required if you are unable to locate it.

A pay stub or some form of connection to your Tampa employer and that of your spouse will also help us properly fill out forms. You want to be prepared to make the most of your time, so the best tax preparation is to be prepared for anything! It’s better to bring too much information than too little.

Gather Your Receipts

This is where clients become overwhelmed. Deductions can be found in many places, although many are hesitant because of the gray area they present. Is something considered a legit deduction? If you are audited, will it uphold? Fear not, because, with the best tax preparation in Tampa, you can rest assured knowing that we find and note only 100% legal, legitimate deductions. Deductions can be claimed for the following, so bring proof for your consultation:

  • Education (including student loan interest), child care, and adoption expenses
  • Charitable donations (cash or noncash contributions you make to a qualified nonprofit organization)
  • IRA and 401(k) contributions
  • Mortgage interest and property taxes
  • Health savings accounts and medical expenses

There are many more places where deductions can be found. The best way to find them is to consult with your preparer ahead of time so that you are prepared. You may need to schedule more than one in-person meeting; one where we go over all of your assets and possible deductions, and a second where we actually complete the forms together.

Relax with the Best Tax Preparation Specialists at Garcia and Cuadra

At Garcia and Cuadra, we take care of all of the hard work for you. Many Tampa clients come back to us, year after year, because they know we can find every deduction possible, getting them the biggest return. To prepare for the best tax preparation, follow the guidelines mentioned above, bring as much information as you can, and call Garcia and Cuadra at 813-415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | December 20, 2016

5 Tax Preparation Tips to Start the Year off Right

Garcia & Cuadra Can Help With Tax Preparation!
As 2017 looms nearer, Tampa residents are charting out New Year’s resolutions by joining gyms and promising to eat healthier. Along with achieving goals and trying new things, independent accountants and financial advisors encourage individuals in Hillsborough County to make tax preparation a priority. Whether you aim to file yourself or want to hire professionals, here are some suggestions on how to prepare for the month of April.

1. Get Organized Early

By starting ahead of time, every process that follows will go more smoothly. From keeping track of payments to finding professionals in the area for assistance to managing deadlines, the earlier you begin the better. Not only will you keep stress levels low, but you will also have plenty of time to triple check your paperwork before submission.

2. Gather Financial Information Regularly

An essential component of getting a head start on tax preparation requires you to gather paperwork throughout the year in Tampa consistently. Whether you choose to make it a monthly event or a quarterly effort, keep track of:

  • Income from jobs
  • Investment income
  • Profit/loss statements
  • Escrow closing statement
  • Green energy credits
  • Alimony paid/received

These materials and more are necessary for smooth sailing, so create a folder to contain them. Instead of digging around frantically come April, opt for periodic organization. If management skills do not come easily to you, hire a financial advisor to get things in order.

3. Mark and Mind Deadlines

Instead of ignoring deadlines, use them as a guideline for when to kick off tax preparation. This might mean contacting your independent accountant or ensuring that your paperwork is in order. Whatever the case, work backward from the deadline to file.

4. Track Tax payments

To avoid overpaying, track any payments you submit. If you own a small business in Tampa or are an independent contractor, you will need to file multiple forms. Most individuals who deal with nontraditional documents (anything that is not a W-2 or W-4) choose to hire an independent accountant so that no stone is left unturned.

5. Enlist Professional Help

If you are hesitant or unsure about your capacity to get ready before April, you can enlist a tax preparation professional’s help. Financial advisors and independent accountants are the way to go because they are equipped to form, organize, and file your paperwork. If something is missing, they will let you know well ahead of time. Make sure to locate them before spring arrives in Tampa because the best in the area will be booked before you know it.

Garcia & Cuadra Can Help With Tax Preparation!

For tax preparation in Tampa, contact Garcia & Cuadra, P.A. Our financial advisors and independent accountants can also assist you with:

  • Retirement planning
  • Litigation support
  • Business entity selection
  • Incorporation services
  • Analysis and forecasts
  • And more!

Keep everything in Hillsborough County in order for the coming season. For feedback on your finances, call 813-415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | November 30, 2016

3 Reasons to Invest in Financial Services

Financial Services in TampaSince the inception of the great recession, some people have been distrustful of those who work in financial services and opt to do it themselves.  However, this is shortsighted and to your detriment.  Professionals who work in taxes or investing all have gone through rigorous training and certification that you probably do not have.  It is time to trust again and go with the Tampa Bay pros who want you to succeed.

Financial Services Can Help You Navigate Tax Season

Whether you own a company or are an independent contractor, both have to dance with the IRS come April.  So why not trust a professional in financial services to handle it for you?  Sure, it might be cheaper with some ‘SuperTax’ program because those software packages do run about thirty bucks.  However, how accurate are those packages in getting you the greatest refund?  How much liability protection do they offer you from a random audit because you clicked the wrong box?  Do the smart thing and go with a local Tampa agent whose job it is to do taxes, and have your back if an audit comes up.

Book Keeping Can Restore Sanity to Your Small Business

Running a small business in Tampa is no small feat.  It requires early hours and long days, and an impressive attention to detail. So why would you bring more madness upon yourself by doing your own bookkeeping?  Granted, it is cheaper to use some ‘OfficeBoss’ package suite to keep track of accounts and payroll, but is that how you’d like to spend your time in Tampa?  While you are playing around with unfamiliar software, who is running your company?  And how many hours per week are you spending of your precious downtime doing logistics?  Restore your sanity, and bring in a bookkeeper for financial services once a week. It will save you time and patience.

Look to the Future with Proper Investing

The business owner and individual contractor both have one thing in common: they will grow old.  It is important to have a strategy for the future set up, with savings and investment.  Going with a financial services expert can help you with:

  • Staying on budget to meet your goals
  • Set up a savings plan (for kid’s college fund, retirement, etc.)
  • Navigate the treacherous waters of a 401K or equitable retirement plan
  • Planning your retirement (what age you want to retire at, quality of life)

These decisions should match your priorities. By teaming with a professional bookkeeper, you can direct your actions toward profits.

Garcia and Cuadra: Your Finance Experts

Garcia and Cuadra have many years of expertise in the wild world of investment and accounting.  Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned mogul, or just a regular blue collar joe they can help you with retirement and more.  For the best in financial services in Tampa, give our office a call at 813-415-2431 to set up your future, today!

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | October 10, 2016

4 Tips for Tax Preparation Success!

We know that Brandon residents like to make money, but thoughts of the IRS and 1040’s can make some people cringe. Tax preparation is essential, but it isn’t everyone’s strength. There are detailed documents, deadlines, and so many consequences if even one particular is out of line. This is stressful, so leave it to professional preparers. The experts at Garcia & Cuadra have some advice for folks filing in Hillsborough County.

1. Get a Head Start

Instead of waiting until January (or worse, April), make it a point to maintain your documentation all year long. That way, you’re not scrambling to locate paperwork or last year’s returns in the face of a looming deadline. If you plan to hire a tax preparation service, do so ahead of time, because prices will rise as the month of January approaches. Also, the more you procrastinate, the less likely you are to get the best in the business. Don’t delay! Start your search early.

2. Consider Filing Online

Even if you’ve never had a problem filing your paperwork in Brandon, you should consider online options. Gone are the days of stamping and sending your papers by post. Not only is it a growing trend, but it is also:

  • Convenient
  • Immediate
  • Organized
  • Environment-friendly

No more tracking down loose papers to misplaced W2s. Once you’ve entered your personal information, it is stored and saved until you’re ready to submit. Once you do, you have the knowledge that your input was immediately received. By mail, you cannot guarantee that your envelope will arrive on time or at all. Save the expense of a stamp and go paperless!

3. File for a Direct Deposit

People overlook return specifications when it comes to tax preparation, and some individuals in Brandon are attached to the idea of receiving a check in the mail. However, a direct deposit is far more efficient, and you’ll likely get it sooner than by mail. Who doesn’t want to get their return earlier? Release your past habits and embrace the forward movement of direct deposits!

4. Choose Garcia and Cuadra for Tax Preparation

Perhaps the most beneficial choice Hillsborough County residents can make would be hiring professional preparers to ease the load. Your life is full in Brandon, and the ins and outs of tax preparation are complicated. Don’t let stress mount as the due date looms nearer. If you miss one blank or write down the wrong amount, you could suffer the consequences under the sharp eye of the IRS. Instead, get ahead by calling 813-415-2431 to set up a consultation with Garcia & Cuadra. We will complete the paperwork correctly and do so well ahead of schedule!

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | September 15, 2016

Is a Bookkeeping Service Right For My Company?

Tampa Bookkeeping ServicesBefore the question of whether or not a booking service is best for your company can be answered, a few terms must be defined. An accountant is typically used primarily for tax time and for the long game; to plan the financial success of your business through smart analysis of data and cash flow. A bookkeeper handles the day to day expenditures of a business and can help manage accounts and make sure bills are paid on time and help keep accounts separate. In this article, the argument will be made for businesses, especially in the Brandon and Tampa bay area, to use a bookkeeping service and what benefits they may convey.

“I Like To Do My Own Bookkeeping Service”

It is true that in this digital age there are a lot of software programs out for small business owners to purchase to manage their own expenditures and even do their own taxes at the end of the year. Those software packages are being sold to small business owners as a cheaper alternative to a traditional bookkeeping service, or as some misguided sense of pride that they do not need to hire people to do something they can do themselves. Consider the following services provided by bookkeepers in the Brandon and greater Tampa area:

  • Manage the day-to-day expenditures of a business
  • Compile and organize a report of all expenses
  • Ensure bills are cataloged and paid on time
  • Set up new employees on payroll & payroll management

Outsourced Bookkeeping is Cost Effective

Small businesses have some of the highest failure rates, especially in the first three years, so it is imperative to manage their cash flow properly, and that means using a proper bookkeeping service locally available in Brandon and the greater Tampa area. Ah, but how much is the cost? Well it depends on the business; most small businesses use a contracted bookkeeper to come in once a week to manage the accounts for a few hours. The fee may come in hourly or a flat rate depending on the person. However it should also bear mentioning that if you do go with a bookkeeping service, and they are in the office more than once a week it may be more cost effective to just hire a bookkeeper in-house

If You Have A Large Staff Of Employees

One of the largest overheads of a business is labor, also known as paying your employees. True, there are software packages small businesses can use to keep track of payroll but does it account for taxes? Will it help new employees set up their deductibles for the year? In addition to managing expenses and paying bills, a bookkeeping service will help will adding new employees to the payroll as well as managing existing employees on the payroll as well as deal with any pay discrepancies that inevitably arise with things like overtime and if a business lacks a bookkeeper then it becomes the owners’ problem.

Garcia & Cuadra: Your Bookkeeping Experts

For the best bookkeeping services in Brandon or Tampa, along with accounting, why not consider Garcia & Cuadra and for a reasonable amount let the professionals deal with it and you focus on running your business?

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | August 16, 2016

Estate Planning Tips and Tricks

Estate Planning Tips and TricksWhen most people hear the words “estate planning” they either cringe, or try to change the subject. Sure, you may not think of it as the most thrilling of topics to discuss, but it is something that everyone needs to talk about at some point. Sooner is better than later because it is better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best than to pretend nothing bad can happen in Tampa. Read on to discover some tips and tricks for making this process easier.

1. Take Account of Your Estate

Though you may think an estate is a large, stately home in the countryside, it also means everything you own. Your assets do include any owned property, but they include other things, too, such as cars, boats, checking and savings accounts, investments, and personal possessions. Before you jump into the estate planning process, try to create a list of the financially valuable belongings in your name. Many Tampa residents forget to include things like life insurance, IRAs, and even jewelry. Consult with a professional to make sure you cover all of your bases.

2. Consider a Revocable Living Trust

A will provides instructions for dividing up your property once you are no longer alive or in a state to control it, and it does not necessarily preclude the probate process. For effective estate planning that avoids the probate process, consider a revocable living trust. This is “revocable” because you can change it during your lifetime if you change your mind about something or come into new circumstances. The document will need to be signed by the trust maker and a notary official, and you will need to name all of your property in Tampa and the trustee who will take care of it once you have passed.

3. Enlist the Help of an Estate Planning Professional

When you are not sure about what estate planning measures are best for you, calling in the assistance of a professional is the best move. The law is tricky, and you do not want to think you are set only to leave a complicated mess for your beneficiaries when the time comes. In Tampa, Garcia and Cuadra, P.A. is the independent accountant and tax advisor service you can rely on. We have helped Tampa residents with their estate planning preparation for many years and have caught many mistakes that have saved people a lot of stress. It is never too early– give us a call today to prepare at (813) 415-2431.

Posted by: Garcia & Cuadra, PA | April 25, 2016

How To Prepare with Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning SolutionsLet’s face it—retirement planning can be overwhelming and difficult. However, if it’s done properly, carefully preparing in advance will be your key to a stress-free, enjoyable retirement in Tampa—exactly what you dreamt it could and should be.

When Should I Start Retirement Planning?

No time is too early when it comes to retirement planning in Tampa. Think about it this way—the sooner you start saving, the more money you will have in the long run (provided you can afford to save, that is). For example, if you start saving:

  • $20,000/year at the age of 30, you will have $700,000 saved by age 65.
  • $20,000/year at the age of 35, you will have $600,000 saved by age 65.

Similarly, for some, beginning to save later on in life, but saving more money per year, may be a more sensible option. For example, if you start saving:

  • $25,000/year at the age of 35, you will have $750,000 saved by age 65.
  • $25,000/year at the age of 40, you will have $625,000 saved by age 65.

How Much Money Is Enough?

The amount of money you will need for retirement in Tampa is entirely unique to you, your needs, and your lifestyle. However, most advisors suggest retirees replace around 80 to 85% of their income during the first year of retirement. For the sake of responsible retirement planning, is important to keep in mind, life can be expensive—not to mention the cost of additional assistance and care, if needed.

In Tampa, and in the entire state of Florida, there is no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and a number of other tax breaks, too, like real estate exemptions. For those reasons, Florida is often considered to be one of the best states in which to retire.

What Can I Expect from Social Security Benefits?

As of January 2016, the average Social Security benefit for a retired person was $1,341/month (or $16,092/year), according to GO Banking Rates.

When it comes to retirement planning, it’s crucial to know what you can expect, and what you can plan for. Current data from the National Academy of Social Insurance reveals early Social Security benefits are available starting at age 62, although they are reduced. Furthermore, the full benefit age is 66 for individuals born between 1943 and 1964, although for those born after 1960, the full benefit age will rise to 67.

Garcia and Cuadra: Your Retirement Planning Experts

At Garcia and Cuadra, we are dedicated to helping you make the most educated decisions, when it comes to your financial planning. If you are living in the Tampa area, and need help with retirement planning—from budgeting, to looking at investment options, to establishing a timeline—give us a call today at 813-415-2431.

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