Do I need an accountant if the industry is unregulated?

Yes. There are many advantages to using an accountant to file your tax returns. The greatest advantage is having your taxes prepared properly, so you don’t end up overpaying. Other advantages include:

■ Audit services, which only accountants can provide.
■ Business valuation and restructuring advisory services.

It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling or successful, it’s important to consult an expert, especially when dealing with money; the person that can do this best for you is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Does my accountant need to be certified?

Yes. We understand saving money is appealing, but if you don’t use a certified accountant, you may be losing more money if you have to overpay on your taxes. Most small business owners try to save money by using so-called accountant firms where none of the staff are certified accountants. These companies usually mean well, but haven’t been properly trained. It takes years of study in this industry to be properly trained and the smallest mistakes could result in you either overpaying taxes or underpaying. This could lead to eventual issues with the IRS and attract some of the highest interest rates and penalties.

Does my accountant work for me or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell. Rather than telling you the proper way to account for expenses they ask you what you’ve been doing and account for that way of doing it, which is not always in your best interest. Your accountant should always advise you on the most tax effective way of doing things so that you . . . STOP OVERPAYING YOUR TAXES!

Does my corporate tax return need to be completed by a CPA?

No. Anyone can fill out your tax returns, however, not everyone can fill out tax returns properly. Thus, we often find an average of $3,000 per client when we go back and look at their three previous year’s filings.

Should I remain a sole-proprietor or should I incorporate?

There are two main reasons to incorporate; one is liability, if your business puts you at risk (your actions may cause damage to property or injury to a person) then there may be a chance that you could be sued for damages; and as a sole-proprietor your personal assets, cash, home and vehicle would be at risk. The second is tax advantage, if your business is achieving sales/revenues above $50,000 yearly then, you’re no longer operating a “casual” business, you should elevate your business’s legal status.

My business is incorporated; do I need a business bank account?

Yes. Any income that is NOT deposited into your business bank account could be perceived as your personal income and would then be taxed at your personal tax rate. A business bank account and its fees are an expense to your business and can be deducted within your business taxes.

Should I outsource my accounting department?

Let a professional do a professional’s job. If you are like most small business owners, you take full pride in the services or products your company provides. You want to focus your time and energy on business strategy and goals. Outsourcing the accounting to a dedicated, highly skilled professional services firm allows you to do exactly that. By outsourcing your accounting to Michael R Watson CPA PA, you’ll save valuable time in your day, reduce operating costs and gain peace of mind.

How do I form a business corporation?

A business corporation may be formed by filing a Certificate of Incorporation pursuant to Section 402 of the Business Corporation Law. The Department of State has prepared instructions intended for use by first-time domestic incorporation. It includes answers to commonly asked questions, names and addresses of other government agencies that a corporation may need to contact, instructions for completing a Certificate of Incorporation, tax information, and fee information.

What is a business corporation?

A business corporation is a legal entity separate and distinct from the individual(s) who compose the business. It has rights and abilities similar to those of a natural person. Principal features are perpetual duration, limited liability and easy transferability of interests. A corporation may be formed for any lawful business purpose or purposes. The Department of State cannot offer advice about the choice of business formation and strongly recommends consulting with legal and financial advisors before making the decision.