Comprehensive Accounting Philosophy

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Tax Compliance and the Comprehensive Approach

Jeanine advocates a comprehensive approach to your tax compliance consisting of tax planning, tax preparation and filing, and taxpayer representation only when necessary. If taxpayers engage their accountants year-round, getting off to a good or remedied start with an accounting system customized with a Chart of Accounts (the index to your general ledger also known as your GL), then they can be assured that their financial transactions are timely and organized. The GL can include not only accounts required to track your financial history and progress, but also accounts to monitor your tax compliance for income taxes, payroll taxes, sales & use taxes, fixed assets, intangible assets, and more. The thoroughly collected data can then be coded to the appropriate financial reports (financial statements) and the required tax returns (entity income, owner income, payroll, sales & use, property, other) from the data that has been coded appropriately and reconciled to your bank and credit card statements.

Planning makes a difference between being prepared to comply with tax laws and suffering the consequences of not being prepared. Knowing about your taxpayer obligations ahead of time, and becoming aware of new laws by staying in communication with your tax professional, gives you time to absorb the knowledge, ask questions, learn about your options when they exist, and take action or make elections on your tax returns. Your tax professional can only advise you and protect your best interests if you are available to speak with him or her, scheduling quarterly and annual consulting appointments when recommended, usually a couple of weeks prior to quarterly due dates for tax estimates, and again in late January prior to the income tax season starting in February. Providing updates to your status, tax documents, tax organizer (interview) responses, tax documents, clarifications, and availability to answer clarification requests messaged to you, are important elements of good planning, preparation and filing of taxes. Clients paying their required tax estimates for income and/or payroll compliance purposes on time and in full, are setting themselves up for success in avoiding additional financing fees and interest charges on top of their tax liabilities.

Hopefully, taxpayers will NOT need taxpayer representation for non-filing tax returns, non-payment of required taxes, or other tax obligations. Taxpayers who get into trouble in these areas COULD represent themselves in tax proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or state or local taxing authorities, BUT this is NOT recommended. The ONLY professionals who can represent taxpayers before the IRS are Enrolled Agents or EAs licensed by the US Department of the Treasury, Certified Public Accountants or CPAs, and licensed attorneys or Esquires. Do note that, NOT all CPAs and licensed attorneys are specialized in tax compliance! EAs are licensed specifically in tax compliance and especially suited for tax planning and taxpayer representation, but CPAs and attorneys are NOT specifically trained nor licensed in tax compliance. Therefore, if you are not choosing to utilize EAs for your tax planning and/or tax compliance needs, then research the experience and qualifications of CPAs and attorneys carefully, to determine that they are in fact experienced and knowledgeable about tax compliance.

Jeanine is an Enrolled Agent (EA) federally licensed by the US Department of the Treasury, an accountant holding a Master’s Degree in taxation and accounting, with undergraduate degrees in accounting, finance, and paralegal studies, and 38 plus years of business experience helping businesses and their owners and managers. Jeanine participates in continuous, annual professional development to enhance knowledge and skills in tax law and resolution techniques. Her strong understanding of IRS processes, audit procedures, and collection strategies, along with proficiency in tax software, accounting software, and Microsoft Office Suite, enable Jeanine to service clients monthly, work directly with vendor services, and to make referrals when specialists such as financial auditors, financial planners, and attorneys are requested by clients.

Jeanine is detail-oriented with strong analytical and problem-solving skills but possesses excellent communication and interpersonal skills to effectively liaise with clients and tax authorities. She has assisted tax teams in offers-in-compromise, payment plans, audits, letter responses, filing extensions, and other taxpayer responses. Although the best course of action is planning, filing on time, and paying taxes when due via withholdings or estimates, Jeanine is knowledgeable in how to assist taxpayers if they get into trouble. Jeanine tends to work with client tax departments as a representation team member when opportunities arise, primarily outside of December through April, having the ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team environment. She will however refer larger cases to a specific colleague who operates his own representation firm, and who works exclusively on representation issues when taxpayer clients do not have their own corporate tax departments to represent them.

Taxpayer Planning

Obtaining professional assistance in setting up your accounting system with a chart of accounts (index to your general ledger also known as your GL) with accounts to record and track your financial progress, and integrate tax compliance requirements for income taxes, payroll taxes, sales & use taxes, and/or other taxes, is a key part of taxpayer planning! Keeping your transactions on a napkin or scratch paper, and tallying up figures at the end of the year for a tax preparer, is definitely NOT adequate! Working with an accountant that has a working knowledge of financial accounting, payroll accounting, AND tax accounting, year-round, is the best course of action that any taxpayer could engage in. Jeanine emphasizes the wisdom of businesses, other entities, and high-net-worth individuals/families investing their time, money, and energy, into obtaining year-round tax planning services. Once a year is NOT enough! – to be well-informed about your financial status and to make intelligent decisions about your tax situation.

Owners, managers, and high net-worth families should see their tax accountant, ideally an Enrolled Agent (EA) federally licensed by the US Department of the Treasury, prior to each quarter ending, and in January prior to the income tax season. This is to discuss the status of their accounts, financials, and for the tax accountant to update calculations of estimated taxes due. Planning enables taxpayers to take action before the consequences of not acting set in without any way out of a situation or any way of alleviating an inevitable circumstance. No one should like surprises! – especially surprises that require a large, unexpected drain on their financial resources. Planning can make a difference between an expensive result or a cheaper or non-existent reduction in financial resources.

Tax Preparation and Filing

Jeanine prepares and submits comprehensive and accurate tax filings, amendments, and other required documentation on behalf of her year-round clients as part of their full-service contracts. This can include your business’s entity (C corporation, S corporation, partnership or multi-member LLC, proprietorship or single owner LLC, not-for-profit, trust or estate, or other) income taxes, owners’ and employees’ income taxes, payroll taxes, property (personal or real), sales & use taxes, or other required taxes.

Comprehensive tax preparation requires taxpayers to complete a tax organizer (interview annually) to answer questions about their tax year’s activities and updated status. The tax accountant or tax attorney (preferably an Enrolled Agent or EA, Certified Public Accountant or CPA specialized in tax compliance, or a licensed attorney or Esq. specialized in tax compliance) should review the taxpayer answers and seek clarification from taxpayers where needed, confirm that the financial accounting is up to date AND reconciled, and then mindfully enter the taxpayer financial data into their tax calculations to produce relevant tax returns for taxpayer client review. Once BOTH the taxpayer(s) and the tax professional receive relevant clarifications from the review, the tax professional can finalize the tax returns at hand, obtain required taxpayer signatures and dates, and e-file (or prepare clients for paper-file if taxpayers not eligible for e-file or conscientiously object to e-filing) the tax returns.

Taxpayers should be aware that corporations, self-employed individuals, partners or LLC members working in their businesses, investors incurring capital gains, retirees receiving non-principal distributions, prize winners, sellers with capital gains, and some other taxpayers, are subject to estimated tax payments on a quarterly (with specific due dates!) basis. This is a requirement under the US Tax Code because income taxes are due as income is earned during a tax year, NOT when you complete your income tax returns. Should you fail to pay the required estimated taxes for income tax compliance or payroll tax compliance by the specified due dates, then you will incur financing fees and interest charges on top of the estimated taxes due. This is NOT the fault of your tax accountant or other tax professionals IF you chose NOT to get tax planning advice, and IF you chose not to make your REQUIRED estimated tax payments when due. You, the taxpayer, are always liable for your own taxes due, and for paying them in a timely manner by on or before the due dates.

Taxpayer Representation

Jeanine conducts detailed reviews of clients’ tax situations to identify potential issues and create appropriate strategies for resolution. As an Enrolled Agent (EA), federally licensed by the US Department of the Treasury, she can communicate with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state/local tax authorities for you, when you need to respond to notices, inquiries, and audits. She can collaborate with case’s teams at your firm or company tax and/or legal departments, to gather necessary information and documentation to support clients’ tax resolution cases. She can negotiate with tax authorities to achieve favorable resolutions, including installment agreements, offers in compromise, and penalty abatements. Jeanine maintains detailed and organized records of client interactions, case developments, and resolutions.

Jeanine stays updated on changes in tax laws and regulations to ensure accurate advice and compliance for clients. In fact , she far exceeds the minimum number of continued education credit (CPE) hours each year, required in federal taxation, federal compliance, and ethics. She even takes classes not required for her federal licensing in such areas as financial auditing, technology, , payroll compliance, human resources, management and supervision, and more. She studies languages and attends international folk dancing events in order to learn about diverse cultural things that make us unique.

Core Concepts of Jeanine’s Operating Philosophy

Jeanine provides expert advice and guidance to clients on tax planning, compliance, and resolution strategies year-round. This must include the set-up and/or reorganization of your company’s or entity’s general ledger to accommodate your required tax liabilities, fixed assets tracking, accounts receivables, accounts payables, industry considerations, and owner preferences. We do NOT take “tax only” clients, and especially not “income tax only” clients, because we prefer to know our clients and their businesses or entities as well as possible. Any business owner or manager who thinks that once a year is enough to confer with an accountant or even an unlicensed income tax preparer, is not a good fit for our firm and is doing themselves a disservice as well.

Jeanine utilizes Intuit (QuickBooks), Drake Tax, Intelligent Office, ADP, and occasional other contractors, in addition to her own accounting services, to service her year-round accounting clients. We do not have any employees. We keep our costs down for us and our clients, by utilizing a minimum of administrative and software costs, and by only charging additional fees for specialty services requested by clients (such as in-person appointment spaces). The software companies that we contract with, provide us with IT services for our client accounts, so any issues are resolved quickly and seamlessly to clients in the background, outside of the accounting and consulting done by Jeanine for our clients. Our systems are backed up routinely, and we operate with a security plan and a secure file exchange for client communications and transfer of client documents to us, and of reports for client review to clients. You are welcome to ask questions about our protocols and services, during a free scheduled telephone appointment, to evaluate your services needs and concerns. Please use the automated scheduler on this website, and put in the memo line of the request “needs evaluation”. Jeanine looks forward to speaking with you.

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Please schedule a free 15-minute phone call for a “business services evaluation” if Jeanine’s comprehensive philosophy of accounting services appeals to you. Jeanine will ask you questions about your business or entity, your goals, and your concerns. It may be helpful for you to have your most recent annual P & L, and current date balance sheet, along with your most recently filed copy of your entity income tax and payroll tax returns, available during this conversation. Jeanine will then be glad to send a follow-up e-mail within the next two business days, proposing a services plan and including estimated costs, for your consideration.

Please note, that there is NO contract for services established UNLESS you choose to sign/date the proposed engagement letter, and you pay the e-bill for the recommended retainer which is credited to your services account. Jeanine will be glad to talk with you during a scheduled telephone needs evaluation call to answer your services questions and concerns.

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