How to Get Copies or Transcripts of Your IRS Tax Returns

You can get either exact copies or brief “transcript” of your past U.S. federal tax returns from the IRS.

Typically, you can request copies or transcripts of Tax Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ for up to 6 years after they were filed (after which they are destroyed by law). Copies of other types of tax forms may be available for longer than 6 years.

How to Register as a Government Contractor

For thousands of small businesses, contracting for the sale of their goods and services to the federal government agencies opens the doors of growth, opportunity and, of course, prosperity.

But before you can bid on and be awarded government contracts, you or your business must be registered as government contractor. Getting registered as a government contractor is a four-step process.
1. Obtain a D-U-N-S Number

You will first need to obtain a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number, a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants. Visit the D-U-N-S Request Service to register and learn more about the D-U-N-S system. Read More

Small Business Loan Programs from the SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs lend money to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels.

The SBA loan programs are operated through private-sector lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA — the agency has no funds for direct lending or grants. Most private lenders (banks, credit unions, etc.) are familiar with SBA loan programs so interested applicants should contact their local lender for further information and assistance in the SBA loan application process.
Here you will find brief descriptions of the primary loan programs available through funding from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). For detailed information, including qualifications, allowable uses of funds and interest rates, click on “Complete loan information from SBA.”

The traditional firm is still very much alive

As a tax and accounting professional, no matter your level of involvement with industry conferences, state societies, or trade articles, you can’t help but be inundated with the same messages over and over. Industry thought leaders continue to pontificate on the future of the profession and the need for firms to adapt. It’s likely you’ve heard one or all of the following statements more than once:

  • Tax preparation is on its way out, so get ready.
  • To remain relevant, firms must adopt advisory services.
  • Transactional and compliance services are going the way of automation and artificial intelligence, so shift your revenue sources now.
  • The traditional firm is dead. Read More

The Advantages of Using LLCs for Rental Properties

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the Limited Liability Company business structure is popular because it is a hybrid of a corporation and a partnership, offering the benefits of both. For a rental property owner, incorporating as an LLC provides many advantages and protections in legal, tax, and management flexibility. An LLC offers owners, also known as members, limited personal liability for the actions and debts of the LLC. Read More

Tax Consequences for Transferring Property to a Limited Liability Company

If your small business is organized as a limited liability company, you can transfer your personal property to your company. You must be prepared for tax consequences. Familiarize yourself with the possible tax consequences of the transfer for yourself and any other LLC members. Though an LLC is a pass-through entity, and therefore does not pay taxes itself, it can pass on higher taxes to LLC members as a result of the property transfer. Read More

How to Convert Personal Property to Business

If you are thinking of starting a small business, or have already started one, chances are you have made use of personal property in your business activities. You might use your personal cell phone or laptop to conduct business or you may have moved an unused desk unit into your workspace. This is a common strategy for entrepreneurs seeking to save money at a financially sensitive time in the life of their business. However, to truly convert your personal property to business use property, there are a few additional considerations you’ll have to make. Read More

Tax Implications for Converting to a Rental Property Business

You can become a small business owner by converting property you own to rental property. If you are considering doing this, familiarize yourself with the tax differences for commercial property. You will find a host of new tax obligations as the owner of rental property, and you will discover many benefits you do not have if you don’t currently rent out property. Learn the tax benefits and drawbacks to converting to rental property.

Rent

Any money you collect as rent is taxable as income. This means you not only need to cover your mortgage payments and repair expenses when you set rent amounts, you must cover your income taxes. You will report rental income on Schedule E and attach it to your tax return. Do not count security deposits as income, unless you keep a part of a deposit as compensation for a tenant who leaves before satisfying his lease obligation. Read More