About Emil Estafanous, CPA

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So far Emil Estafanous, CPA has created 3037 blog entries.

IRS audits may be increasing, so be prepared

The IRS just released its audit statistics for the 2020 fiscal year and fewer taxpayers had their returns examined as compared with prior years. But even though a small percentage of returns are being chosen for audit these days, that will be little consolation if yours is one of them. Latest statistics Overall, just 0.5% [...]

5 ways to take action on accounts receivable

No matter the size or shape of a business, one really can’t overstate the importance of sound accounts receivable policies and procedures. Without a strong and steady inflow of cash, even the most wildly successful company will likely stumble and could even collapse. If your collections aren’t as efficient as you’d like, consider these five [...]

Eligible Businesses: Claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a valuable tax break that was extended and modified by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted in March of 2021. Here’s a rundown of the rules. Background Back in March of 2020, Congress originally enacted the ERTC in the CARES Act to encourage employers to hire and [...]

Are you a nonworking spouse? You may still be able to contribute to an IRA

Married couples may not be able to save as much as they need for retirement when one spouse doesn’t work outside the home — perhaps so that spouse can take care of children or elderly parents. In general, an IRA contribution is allowed only if a taxpayer earns compensation. However, there’s an exception involving a [...]

IRS extends administrative relief for 401(k) plans

As mitigation measures related to COVID-19 ease, it will be interesting to see which practices and regulatory changes taken in response to the pandemic remain in place long-term. One of them might be relief from a sometimes-inconvenient requirement related to the administration of 401(k) plans. A virtual solution In IRS Notice 2021-40, the IRS recently [...]

Traveling for business again? What can you deduct?

As we continue to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be traveling again for business. Under tax law, there are a number of rules for deducting the cost of your out-of-town business travel within the United States. These rules apply if the business conducted out of town reasonably requires an overnight stay. Note [...]

Are you a nonworking spouse? You may still be able to contribute to an IRA

Married couples may not be able to save as much as they need for retirement when one spouse doesn’t work outside the home — perhaps so that spouse can take care of children or elderly parents. In general, an IRA contribution is allowed only if a taxpayer earns compensation. However, there’s an exception involving a [...]

Critical path method can propel IT projects

Among the only certainties of business technology is that it will continue changing. One consequence of this is a regular need for companies to undertake IT projects such as developing custom software or upgrading network infrastructure. Much like a physical construction job, IT projects often look eminently feasible on “paper” but may get bogged down [...]

Are your company’s job descriptions pulling their weight?

At many businesses, job descriptions have it easy. They were “hired” (that is, written) many years ago. They haven’t had to change or do anything, really, besides get copied and pasted into a want ad occasionally. They’re not really good at what they do, but they’re used again and again because everyone assumes they’re just [...]

2021 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2021. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. Monday, [...]

Seniors may be able to write off Medicare premiums on their tax returns

Are you age 65 and older and have basic Medicare insurance? You may need to pay additional premiums to get the level of coverage you want. The premiums can be expensive, especially if you’re married and both you and your spouse are paying them. But there may be a bright side: You may qualify for [...]

Don’t assume your profitable company has strong cash flow

Most of us are taught from a young age never to assume anything. Why? Well, because when you assume, you make an … you probably know how the rest of the expression goes. A dangerous assumption that many business owners make is that, if their companies are profitable, their cash flow must also be strong. [...]

Recordkeeping DOs and DON’Ts for business meal and vehicle expenses

If you’re claiming deductions for business meals or auto expenses, expect the IRS to closely review them. In some cases, taxpayers have incomplete documentation or try to create records months (or years) later. In doing so, they fail to meet the strict substantiation requirements set forth under tax law. Tax auditors are adept at rooting [...]

Tax-favored ways to build up a college fund

If you’re a parent with a college-bound child, you may be concerned about being able to fund future tuition and other higher education costs. You want to take maximum advantage of tax benefits to minimize your expenses. Here are some possible options. Savings bonds Series EE U.S. savings bonds offer two tax-saving opportunities for eligible [...]

Pondering the possibility of a company retreat

As vaccination levels rise and major U.S. population centers fully reopen, business owners may find themselves pondering an intriguing thought: Should we have a company retreat this year? Although there are still health risks to consider, your employees may love the idea of attending an in-person event after so many months of video calls, emails [...]

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