Year-End Tax Moves To Make Now

Most people don’t think about taxes when it’s not tax season, but you absolutely should. 2020 has been unusual in every way, and the upcoming tax season will likely follow suit because there are tax moves you can make before the end of this year that will benefit you once you file. Here are a few that we suggest:

Track receipts

If you are self-employed and working from home, you can deduct your office space (it has to be used just for work) and any expenses you incur. If your income was lower than usual but your medical expenses were higher, you might qualify for deduction. Best practice for 2020? Save your receipts.

Don’t forget about other taxable income

Many people were furloughed or lost their jobs this year because of the stay-at-home order. If you picked up a side hustle to make ends meet, your earnings are considered taxable income, even if you don’t have official paperwork that details the money. Unemployment benefits are taxable, too. If you received any of those, you’ll have to fill out a 1099-G form and enter those amounts on your tax return. If withholdings weren’t taken out of those payments, you’ll have to make up for it when calculating your 2020 estimated tax payments.

Max out for retirement

If your income went up this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to reduce your tax liability by increasing your contribution to your retirement account.

Conversely, if your income went down and you had to borrow from your retirement account, you won’t pay penalties but you will have to account for that on your taxes for the next three years.

Make the most of your savings

If the stay-at-home order resulted in prepaid vacation refunds, fewer travel expenses or less spending in general, you may find yourself with a slightly larger wallet. If that’s the case, make the most of that money by investing it now in a long-term savings account, such as a 529 or Roth IRA.

Check your withholdings

If your income has changed, check your paycheck to make sure you are withholding enough for federal taxes to avoid penalties and interest to the IRS. The IRS has a tool to help you do this, but you will have to manually calculate it for your state withholdings.

Revisit your stimulus eligibility

If your income decreased in 2020, you might qualify for the stimulus payment made available from the CARES act, even if you didn’t qualify in 2019 or 2018. There will likely be extra documentation to fill out with the IRS Form 1040. The credit will automatically be applied if you are eligible.

We understand that tax filing can be overwhelming in the most normal of situations, so it will be especially challenging when filing for this year. We also know you have a life to lead and business to run, so let us handle your accounting issues and headaches. If you have any questions about what you should be doing now for the upcoming tax season, please reach out to Donohoo Accounting Services today at 513-528-3982 for a free consultation.

For more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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How To Network During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected the way we conduct business, especially when it comes to sales. We’ve all had to get creative about how we build meaningful connections and establish or maintain business relationships virtually. Until in-person meetings return to full capacity (which likely won’t be any time soon), most of our efforts will need to be done via screens. But don’t worry. It’s entirely possible to network in the time of COVID. And we’ve put together some ideas on how to get it done:

Have a “help first” attitude

Networking is not synonymous with selling, and in fact, a sales pitch right out of the gate can be quite the turn off. Begin your initial interaction by asking questions. Get to know the person you are speaking with. Find out what their pain points are, and ask how you can help them or who you could introduce them to. The good karma will find its way back to you when the time is right.

Reach out to potential connections

LinkedIn was built for this purpose. But to be successful on the platform, it’s wise to include a message with your invitation. Tell them why you are interested in connecting, even if it’s that you work in the same industry, have the same alma mater, or would just like to get to know them better. You can always leverage your mutual connections for an introduction, too.

Take advantage of virtual opportunities

Many businesses and networking groups are hosting morning coffee breaks or virtual happy hours. These events can offer an informal way to get to know each other on a personal level, and have a little fun, too. Additionally, networking groups and Chambers have moved their meetings online to allow their members to continue to connect professionally.

Follow up from virtual conferences

If you’ve attended a virtual conference recently, consider reaching out to the presenters or panelists. While you may not be able to get your hands on an attendees list, most presenters welcome the chance to connect with their audience.

Explore national/regional virtual groups

The internet knows no boundaries. This is an opportunity to network outside of your geographical area. If your business can serve clients remotely or in other locations, this is your chance to meet people you might not have otherwise met.

Show grace

With many professionals now working from home — along with spouses, roommates, and kids in virtual learning — you may witness (or experience) interruptions, barking dogs and connectivity issues. Show grace. This is a challenging time for all of us, and we need to be understanding and kind to one another.

Be consistent

Keeping your name out there on the networking circuit is an important way to let people get to know you, like you and trust you. Don’t show up once, disappear and expect to get great results from networking.

Donohoo Accounting Services understands the challenges of virtual networking. We’re faced with it, too. We’re here to offer our help and support with any of your financial needs, whether it be tax preparation, COVID-19 relief or saving for college, so you can focus on growing your network. With more than 20 years of experience, we’re your trusted partner in quality accounting and tax support. Contact us at 513-528-3982 or on our website for a free consultation. For more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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