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Don’t Play a Guessing Game, Meet With a Fresno CPA to Plan For 2021 Business Needs

Posted on December 30th, 2020

2020 is almost behind us. COVID-19 vaccines are arriving, and many people are breathing a sigh of relief and starting to feel hopeful about 2021. For business owners who have been hard-hit by the pandemic, the changes couldn’t be more welcome. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we must be prepared for the unexpected.

If you are a business owner, you’re no doubt looking ahead to 2021, wondering what the year will bring and how you will move on after 2020 and the changes it brought to your business, good or bad. A Fresno CPA from Gill & McAvoy, LLP can help you decide where you go from here.

Business Planning Benefits Thriving and Struggling Businesses

This is not the time to play it by ear or take a wait and see approach. Developing a solid 2021 business plan based on your current situation can help you navigate whatever comes your way in the next year.

If your business did well in 2020, a business plan could help you decide where to reinvest profits, reward employees, expand your business, or protect assets from tax obligations.

If your business struggled, this is your chance to examine year-end data to see exactly where those struggles occurred and how they affected the business. Together with your Gill & McAvoy, LLP Fresno CPA, you can develop a strategy going forward that identifies opportunities for business growth, business assistance, and/or tax savings.

Eliminate Risk and Maximize Opportunity With Help From a Fresno CPA

2020 has proven that just because a certain way of doing business worked in the past does not mean it will work in the future. Don’t put your business at risk by planning the same approach as in years past. Use this time to examine your data, develop a plan, and pivot or expand your business for greater success in the future.

You don’t have to do it alone. The Fresno CPAs at Gill & McAvoy, LLP are here to help you make sense of your situation and develop a plan for the future. Contact us by calling (559) 412-4100 or connecting online.

Year-End Tax Planning Starts Now. Meet With a Fresno CPA To Get Started

Posted on December 9th, 2020

The 2020 tax season is going to be a challenge for millions of people. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses and individuals, we are still seeing some new tax laws go into effect as a result of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes. Muddying the waters even further for certain tax filers are changes in job status, income earned, and the different stimulus programs that were made available this year (CARES, SECURE, etc.). There’s even a possibility that more tax breaks or deductions could be implemented before years end.

Meeting with a Gill & McAvoy, LLP Fresno CPA now can help you prepare for 2020 tax filings and 2021 tax planning based on your current income and employment situation. Tax strategies that worked for you in the past, may no longer be as effective. We can help you find the best tax saving strategies for your current situation.

Below are some examples of tax-saving strategies that could benefit you this year and in 2021.

Consider Your Deductions

The TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction for all filing statuses – and those amounts are set to be adjusted for inflation every year through 2025. In addition, any item that used to qualify as deductions are no longer eligible. That means taxpayers should closely examine whether to itemize or take the standard deduction for the biggest tax savings. Be sure to look at qualified state and local tax deductions and home-related deductions for the full picture.

Track Your Donations

Thanks to the CARES Act, charity donations have been adjusted for 2020. Generally, donations are not tax-deductible unless you itemize. However, the CARES Act allows even those who take the standard deduction to claim up to $300 of cash to donations of qualified charities in 2020.

Contribute to HSAs and FSAs

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can act as money-saving, tax-reduction vehicles in addition to healthcare savings accounts. Since contributions are made pre-tax, they reduce your taxable income. HSAs are similar to IRAs, bearing interest, growing tax-deferred, and rolling over from year to year, providing you with both access to funds for medical expenses and a personal savings vehicle. FSAs typically do not roll over from year to year, but if you know you will have medical expenses in the coming year, they are a smart way to reduce your taxable income while saving for anticipated medical expenses at the same time.

Identify Tax-Saving Strategies With Help From a Gill & McAvoy, LLP Fresno CPA

These are just three examples of tax-saving strategies that can still be employed in 2020 or can be enacted for tax savings in 2021. There are many more tax reduction and tax savings strategies that might apply in your situation, including child and dependent care credits, 529 plans, education credits/deductions, and more.

Explore Your Business’ COVID-19 Relief Options With a Fresno CPA

Posted on November 9th, 2020

As federal stimulus talks continue to stall, states are stepping up to expand relief options for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; California is no exception. Our Fresno CPA firm has been busy meeting with small and mid-sized business owners this fall, helping them to understand their financial situations better and explore relief options that are available through the state of California. Below, we share a few of the assistance or relief options that were available to California business owners as of mid-October.

  1. Pandemic-Related Tax Relief. Both individuals and small businesses can obtain some tax relief. The California Earned Income Tax Credit, and Young Child Tax Credit are available to taxpayers who do not have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and can be applied for their 2020 individual tax returns. Small businesses may be eligible for:
  2. Interest-free deferrals of sales/use taxes up to $50,000.
  3. A $1,000 tax credit for new employees.
  4. The exclusion of forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans from their state gross income.
  5. Federal tax credits for COVID-19-related employee paid leave.
  1. $25 Million Has Been Made Available for Small Business Loans. The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank has made the funds available through the California Rebuilding Fund, which is tasked with making loans to California Community Development Financial Institutions so those institutions can provide small business loans.
  1. Small Business Loans. $50 million has been added to the Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program, and an additional $50 million has been added to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
  1. Debt Relief for SBA Borrowers. The Small Business Association will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees for qualified existing borrowers. Program requirements can be found here.
  1. Small Business Center Assistance. State-supported small business centers remain open to provide free counseling and one-on-one assistance from a local advisor who can help small business owners secure loans, explore funding options, and more.
  1. Commercial Renter Protection. On September 23, 2020, Governor Newsom extended an order authorizing local governments to halt evictions of commercial renters through March 31, 2021.

Meet With a Fresno CPA at Gill & McAvoy, LLP To Protect Your Business

Our Fresno CPAs can help you make sense of relief programs, debt burdens, and the financial repayment programs that you may be considering to keep your business afloat as the pandemic drags on. Contact us to discuss your business’s financial health, gain a better understanding of the relief options available to you, or how any relief options you have already obtained are affecting your business.

Contact Gill & McAvoy, LLP by calling (559) 412-4100 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Your CPA in Fresno Remains Your Best Source For COVID-19 Related Tax and Business Advice

Posted on November 5th, 2020

COVID-19 is still making life difficult in California and throughout the country. As businesses grapple with the ongoing challenges, we’d like to remind you that the Gill & McAvoy, LLP team is here to help you. Meet with a CPA in our Fresno office to discuss business strategy or receive tax advice based on your current situation. We are also available to help you navigate the many different state and federal relief programs available to businesses.

New Bills Supporting California Businesses Passed in September

In early September 2020, Governor Newsom signed three bills into law, two of which are intended to help small businesses during the pandemic. The third is intended to stimulate construction projects.

  • AB 1577 allows small businesses to exclude Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that were received via the CARES Act and subsequent amendments from gross income for state taxes. This conforms state law to existing federal law.
  • SB 1447 authorizes a $100 million Main Street hiring tax credit program for small businesses. The credit is equal to $1,000 for each net increase in qualified employees and caps out at $100,000 for each qualified employer.
  • SB 115 accelerates $230.5 million in state bond funding to help jumpstart construction projects.

Small businesses remain the most severely affected by COVID-19 closures and restrictions. In California, small business owners employ nearly half of the state’s private-sector workforce. Numerous programs have been created this year to help alleviate the economic strain COVID-19 has put on small business owners. Many programs are still available. A full listing of programs supporting California small businesses can be found here.

Meet With a CPA at Fresno-based Gill & McAvoy, LLP For Personalized Advice

Not only have COVID-19 restrictions affected businesses differently, but the financial health of every business was also different before the pandemic. Some businesses have been better able to weather this year’s challenges than others. Others have taken action to adjust their operations and business plans to stay afloat during this time.

If you are a small business owner struggling to find relief, need help adjusting your business plan, would like some tax advice or could use some guidance as to all of these many relief programs available, contact us.

Talk to a CPA in Fresno, CA for COVID-19 Related Business Tax Advice

Posted on June 29th, 2020

A number of stimulus packages and tax changes have been made this year to help businesses navigate the economic havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consult one of our CPAs in Fresno, CA, for advice or guidance on any of the following COVID-19 related business tax changes.

Eight Business Taxes Changes and Credits That Have Been Affected by COVID-19

  1. Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). ERTC is a new tax credit that is intended to help businesses keep employees on the payroll. Eligible businesses can receive a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee.
  1. Tax Credit For Sick And Family Leave. Businesses that have less than 500 employees and had to provide paid sick leave/family leave to employees, specifically because of the coronavirus can be reimbursed for those expenses at 100% of the amount paid out for leave. The reimbursement takes the form of a quarterly tax credit.
  1. Delayed Payroll Tax Payments. Under the CARES Act, businesses and the self-employed can defer their payroll tax payments and pay them over the next two years, with 50% being paid by the end of 2021 and the remainder being due by the end of 2022.
  1. Charitable Gift Deductions Expanded. Deductible charitable contributions made by corporations have been increased from 10% to 25% of the corporation’s taxable income.
  1. Net Operating Loss Changes. Net Operating Losses (NOLs) sustained in 2018, 2019, or 2020 can now be carried back up to 5 years at 100% or forward up to 20 years but are subject to an 80% limit. This change is intended to help cash flow and liquidity.
  1. Business Loss Deduction Changes. The $250,000/$500,000 cap on business losses on individual/couple returns has been suspended under the CARES Act. The suspension affects 2018 through 2020 returns. An amended return can be filed to receive a refund.
  1. Interest Deductibility Changes. Businesses can deduct up to 50% of their adjusted taxable income business interest expenses for 2019 and 2020, an increase from 30%.
  1. Facility Improvement Write-Offs. Costs associated with interior improvements to non-residential buildings can be written off immediately by businesses and commercial property owners, providing more liquidity to the business. Changes affect the tax year 2018 to the present.

Speak With A Gill & McAvoy, LLP CPA in Fresno, CA For More Business Tax Advice

If your business has taken advantage of any of these services or if you need help navigating the tax implications that COVID-19 has created for your business, contact a Gill & McAvoy, LLP CPA in Fresno, CA for help.

Call (559) 412-4100 or contact us online.

Why Consulting A Fresno CPA Makes Sense In The New COVID-19 Business Environment

Posted on June 1st, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly everyone, upending lives all around the world. California was one of the first states to enact quarantine measures and stay-at-home orders, and as soon as it did, our Fresno CPA firm got busy helping clients navigate this new reality. What these clients realized was how helpful it would be to talk to their CPA about their situations.

COVID-19 Related Services Available At Our Fresno CPA Firm

Business owners and individuals alike have questions regarding their finances during this outbreak, and there is no better resource for getting answers than your CPA. Here are a few examples of the services we have been providing to our clients lately.

  • Small Business Employment Issues. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of Coronavirus Relief Options to help small businesses during this time. The process can be frustrating and confusing on your own. Our CPAs have been busy helping clients navigate the application process and understand the requirements that come with any program they participate in.
  • Stimulus Payments. As stimulus payments start hitting bank accounts, clients have a lot of questions about whether they will have to pay the money back or will owe taxes on it. For the record, the answer to both questions is No. Check out this article for more answers to common questions about the stimulus payments.
  • Cash Flow Analysis. Some of our clients were immediately affected by the pandemic, and others are worried about the future. A cash-flow analysis can help business owners and families understand how to manage revenue and expenses, identify opportunities for new revenue, or evaluate the need for financing or lines of credit.
  • Tax Planning. Estimated income tax payments, unemployment claims, changes in income, or worker status can all affect your 2020 tax bill. Our tax planning services can help you understand and plan for the tax impact any of these changes so you can make adjustments.
  • Tax Preparation. The income tax deadline has been extended to July 15 this year. That means we are still helping clients file their taxes and plan for the year ahead. Professional tax preparation can help identify credits and deductions you may have been unaware of, minimizing your tax burden and boosting your refund.

We Are Here To Help

Every financial situation is different. If you need help navigating the financial changes brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, contact Gill & McAvoy, LLP, and speak to one of our Fresno CPAs. We are here to help you with all aspects of personal and business tax and financial planning.

Call (559) 412-4100 or contact us online to get started.

Questions About The CARES Act? Talk With A Fresno CPA

Posted on April 28th, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an enormous impact on global and local economies. In the U.S., The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed to provide some financial assistance and relief to those who are affected by business and income losses. Our Fresno CPA firm has been busy fielding questions from clients regarding The CARES Act; this post will provide a quick look at three of the most common questions we’ve received regarding the Act and its’ impact on tax situations.

  1. “Can I withdraw funds from my retirement accounts to cover expenses?”

The CARES Act allows “qualified individuals” to take up to $100,000 in “coronavirus-related” distributions in 2020 without penalty, even if they are still working. You are eligible for withdrawals if any of the following apply:

  • You, your spouse, or dependent has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • You have experienced negative financial consequences due to quarantine, furloughs, lay-offs, or a reduction in work hours due to the coronavirus.
  • You are unable to work because of a lack of child care due to the coronavirus.
  • You own or operate a business and have had to close or reduce hours due to the coronavirus.
  • You have experienced adverse financial consequences due to other factors as provided in guidance issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

Keep in mind that although penalties have been waived for early withdrawals, you will have to pay taxes on the withdrawals. You can also recontribute the withdrawn funds in one or more payments within three years without those contributions counting toward the maximum contribution limit in the year that the funds are recontributed.

Learn more about retirement plan withdrawals under CARES here.

  • “Is my business eligible for the Employee Retention Credit?”

The Employee Retention Credit is an employer tax credit that was designed to help employers retain employees on payroll, even if they experience hardship due to COVID-19. It is a refundable tax credit in amounts equal to 50% of the qualified wages employers pay to their employees. The credit is capped at $5,000 per employee.

Eligible employers are any that run a trade or business during the calendar year 2020, that either:

  • “Fully or partially suspends operation during any calendar quarter in 2020 due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (for commercial, social, religious, or other purposes) due to COVID-19”; or
  • “Experiences a significant decline in gross receipts during the calendar quarter.”

Neither governmental employers nor self-employed individuals are eligible for this credit.

Learn more about the Employee Retention Credit here.

  • “Can I defer payroll taxes due to COVID-19?”

The CARES Act allows employers to defer the employer share of Social Security taxes and allows the self-employed to defer payment of some self-employment taxes. It is open to all employers except those who received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Once the PPP loan is forgiven, those employers are eligible to defer their payroll taxes.

Learn more about the payroll tax deferrals here.

Contact Our Fresno CPAs For More COVID-19 Related Tax Advice

COVID-19 is certain to affect nearly every person in the country in some way or another. For more information about stimulus packages and payments, tax deferrals, retirement plan withdrawals, or tax or financial planning, contact our Fresno CPA firm for help and advice. The Gill & McAvoy, LLP team is available for phone or video calls and via email at Call (559) 412-4100 or contact us online for help navigating the financial implications of COVID-19 on your family or business.

Choose A Local CPA In Fresno For Personalized Tax Advice

Posted on April 7th, 2020

There are many advantages to working with a professional to take care of your tax needs, but those advantages are compounded when you choose a local CPA in Fresno. Local tax professionals provide all of the same expertise and knowledge as big-name tax advisors along with a local perspective that can be very helpful. For instance, a local tax advisor can recommend local banks that are best for small business loans and they will definitely be fully aware of any state tax breaks that are available to you.

Big Name Expertise Right in Your Hometown

Bigger isn’t always better. It’s all too easy to become a faceless number with larger, non-local firms or virtual sites. For people who like the personal touch or who have a lot of questions about their tax situation, it’s best to meet with a local CPA in Fresno face-to-face. There is no substitute for in-person discussions when you have questions or concerns about your taxes. These meetings can be used to address the immediate concern and to share information with one another that can be used for future tax planning purposes.

A local CPA is a neighbor and small business owner, actively involved in the local community and employing locals. Just because they’re local doesn’t mean they don’t have the expertise or know-how to address all of your tax needs. Anyone who carries the CPA designation is a highly trained professional who works in many broad areas of tax preparation and planning, including business and personal tax. Not all tax preparers or advisors are CPAs, which can limit their ability to help you, so always look for the CPA designation to ensure you are working with someone who can meet all of your tax needs.

In California, CPAs must pass a four-part state exam that covers: Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts. In addition to the exam, CPAs must meet specific educational, experience and ethics requirements. Educational requirements include a minimum of 150 semester hours of undergraduate work in both accounting and business-related subjects that culminate in a bachelor’s degree. They also have to work in accounting under the guidance of a CPA for one full year before they can even sit for the exam. The CPA exam is one of the most rigorous licensing exams in the country.

Get Professional Tax Advice From A Gill & McAvoy, LLP CPA In Fresno

If you have been looking for a tax professional who is a CPA in Fresno, contact Gill & McAvoy, LLP. Our firm is dedicated to providing highly personalized tax and accounting services to businesses, families, and individuals throughout the Fresno area. We assist with tax planning and preparation and offer a full range of business services as well.

Schedule a meet and greet session by calling (559) 412-4100 or contacting us online.

4 Benefits To Hiring a Fresno CPA for Tax Review and Filing

Posted on February 25th, 2020

Did you know that our Fresno CPAs can be counted on to review your tax forms before the April 17, 2020 filing deadline? It’s true. Even if you completed your taxes yourself, a Gill & McAvoy, LLP tax professional will happily look them over for you to make sure they are accurate, complete, and have taken advantage of every possible tax benefit available to you.

4 Benefits CPAs Provide at Tax Time

CPAs deal with tax situations every day. They’ve seen it all and can be an invaluable source of information and advice, even if you do your own taxes. Some of the benefits of consulting a CPA include:

  1. Accurate Returns. Tax returns must be completely accurate – at least as far as numbers are concerned. Even the smallest discrepancy can have dire consequences like flagging you for an audit or impacting your refund.
  1. More Deductions. Tax law is complex and changes every year. That means there is a chance that deductions that you did not qualify for in the past or didn’t even know about are now available to you. CPAs have the knowledge and experience needed to identify these deductions and make sure you have claimed them.
  1. Q&A. Tax forms are complicated, and the IRS designs them for general use. That doesn’t help you understand how a form or line on a form applies in your specific situation. A CPA can make that connection for you and answer other questions you may have about your tax situation.
  1. Planning Ahead. Taxes come around every year. A Gill & McAvoy, LLP Fresno CPA can help you reduce your tax liability in the future by recommending actions you can take today. They provide advice on reducing taxable income, setting up tax shelters, investment accounts, as well as college and retirement planning. Taken together, this advice can keep more money in your pocket in the short-term and provide you with improved financial security in the future.

Our Fresno CPAs Are Here to Help You

It never hurts to have a second set of eyes look over your taxes. A professional CPA will spot any red flags, missed deductions, and opportunities for tax savings to minimize your tax liability and protect your financial future. If you are at all unsure about submitting your 2019 tax return, contact a Fresno CPA at Gill & McAvoy, LLP to schedule a tax review session by calling (559) 412-4100 or contacting us online.

Accounting Firms in Fresno Should Be Your First Resource When Starting a New Business

Posted on January 30th, 2020

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the launch of a new business. You’ve got a great idea, the ability to turn it into a business venture, and finally get to be your own boss. Who wouldn’t be excited? But before you jump in head-first, take some time to speak to accounting firms in Fresno to make sure you are operating the business in accordance with California law and have taken the right steps to protect yourself.

New business formation services are available at many accounting firms in Fresno, including Gill & McAvoy, LLP. These services will help you establish a strong foundation for your business and set you up for long-term success while protecting your personal assets.

New Business Must-Do’s

  • Choose a Business Structure. One of the most fundamental considerations you’ll have to make regarding your business is the legal structure it will take. The four most commonly used business structures in California are: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. A professional CPA can help you choose the structure that provides you with the best tax and financial benefits as well as liability protection.
  • Obtain and EIN and Register the Business. If the business has employees or will be taxed separately from you, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Even if you don’t technically need an EIN for tax purposes, you may want to obtain one as banks will often require one for new business accounts. Once you have an EIN you can register your business with the State of California. In some cases, you may need a permit or license, which can be checked here.
  • Prepare a Business Plan. Businesses need more than a great idea to succeed. They need a solid business plan and capital investment. Accounting firms in Fresno can help you with both by outlining a business plan that addresses marketing and investment needs, including inventory needs and financing options and availability. This will help provide you with a realistic roadmap to success.
  • Establish Financial Procedures. How will you pay employees? When are taxes due to the state and the IRS? How will customers be invoiced and payments collected? What is the cash flow budget? These are basic financial questions that should be addressed before you launch the business. The more work you do ahead of time, the less painful business growth and management will be.

Trust Accounting Firms in Fresno With Your New Business Needs

These are just a few of the must-do’s that every new business owner will need to check off their list as they get ready to open the doors. You’ll also need to understand the tax implications of being a business owner and develop financial controls and procedures. Accounting firms in Fresno like Gill & McAvoy, LLP specialize in helping new businesses get off the ground and establish themselves for success. To discuss your particular needs or to learn more about our business services, call (559) 412-4100 or contact us online.