Lifetime Tax & Accounting
Lifetime Tax & Accounting

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Lifetime Tax & Accounting Blog

Did someone else claim your child as a dependent?

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Believe it or not, this happens! This situation usually occurs between divorced spouses, but sometimes it is a case of identity theft. In order for someone to claim your child as a dependent, they would need access to the child’s full name, social security number, and date of birth.

What do I do if someone claimed my dependent?

Due to confidentiality, the IRS cannot share the information of who claimed your dependent. But there are several things you can do in order to remedy this situation.

  1. Determine the eligibility of your dependent. Your dependent must be either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative in order for you to claim them. If you are certain of your eligibility to claim the child or relative as a dependent, continue to step 2.
  2. Print out and manually file your tax return. Your claim will be flagged along with the person who claimed your dependent, and you will both have to provide proof of entitlement for the dependent.
  3. An audit will occur. Both you and the person who claimed your dependent will be audited in order to determine who is entitled to claim the dependent. You should prepare school and medical records that prove your eligibility to claim the child or relative as your dependent.

Dependent identity theft is never a pleasant situation to encounter, and we hope you never have to experience this. If you or someone you know has encountered this tax dilemma, send them our way. The professionals at Lifetime Tax & Accounting can answer any questions you might have, and we can help guide you through the process.

Contact us online, or call us at 603-230-2404 today. We’re happy to talk with you!

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Benefits of Hiring a Professional Bookkeeper vs. DIY

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Keeping track of your personal or business finances can be a hassle. That’s why professional accountants exist. It’s our responsibility to provide you with accuracy, guidance, and industry updates that otherwise have the potential to blindside the unsuspecting DIY bookkeeper. We’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of Do-it-Yourself bookkeeping, because we’re all at our best when we’re informed.

Benefits of DIY bookkeeping

  • Initial cost savings: you don’t have to hire an accountant or outside bookkeeper
  • Ease of Technology: accounting programs can be user-friendly if you know what you are doing
  • Potential for Streamlining: if you stay on top of everything, your paperwork stays in one place, and you could save time & money

Cons of DIY bookkeeping

  • Technical & user error: accounting software mistakes are unforgiving, and the origins are hard to track
  • Lack of consultation: you won’t have professional industry guidance if issues arise
  • Accounting responsibilities: You would be legally responsible for all aspects of invoicing, deadlines, and record-keeping.

In short, there are some benefits to doing your own accounting. Accounting software is initially less expensive than hiring a staff accountant. Just make sure you know your software inside and out and keep it up to date!

There certainly are a number of things that can go wrong in the accounting world, such as not maintaining accurate records, invoicing errors, payroll and tax mistakes, the list goes on… That’s where Lifetime Tax can help.

Benefits of hiring a professional bookkeeper

  • Financial flexibility: save money by hiring on a needs basis
  • Reduce stress: save time and energy that can be devoted to running your business
  • Same work, done faster: experience greater efficiency and turnaround time with accounting experts
  • Peace of mind: registered, licensed accounting professionals are required to be accurate and timely

Professional bookkeepers, at your service

Whatever you decide upon as the best bookkeeping option for your business, Lifetime Tax & Accounting is here to guide you. Contact us online, or call us at 603-230-2404. We’re happy to discuss your bookkeeping options with you.

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The “Get Transcript” Identity Theft: Am I at risk?

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In May 2015, the information of approximately 100,000 taxpayers was compromised during tax season when hackers broke into the IRS’s Transcript Application system called “Get Transcript.” An investigation followed, and it was recently revealed that nearly 390,000 additional accounts were jeopardized.

Was your tax information accessed?

On February 29th, 2016 the IRS sent out notifications to the individuals whose information was compromised through “Get Transcript.” If you have received one of these notifications, don’t be alarmed.

What should I do if I get a letter?

First, identify whether your tax information was accessed or merely targeted. Attempts were made to access a large portion of accounts, but they were unsuccessful. If your information was accessed, you have the option to apply for an Identity Protect PIN.

This will provide protection for your SSN on your 2016 federal tax return. Visit the Get Transcript FAQ page on the IRS website to learn more specific information about the program and those affected by the attack.

Want more information on the “Get Transcript” attack?

After over 9 months of investigation, the IRS is moving quickly to repair the damages caused by this identity theft. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact us online or by phone at 603-230-2404. We are standing by to assists you in any way possible. See you soon!

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