financial analysis | Melville, NY | Franco & Buonocore CPA Associates  | 516-520-4200

Have finance questions? We have the answers.

Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions below. Don't see your question on the list? Contact us!




financial analysis | Melville, NY | Franco & Buonocore CPA Associates  | 516-520-4200

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Here are the answers to some our most frequently asked questions

The information found on this website is general in nature and may not apply to the reader's situation. Therefore, the reader should not rely on the information on this website alone. For specific advice, please call us. Thank you.

Q. What services do you provide?

A. We prepare all tax returns including individual, corporation, LLC and LLP, estate and trust, partnership, payroll, sales tax, and other taxes. We offer bookkeeping and accounting services, financial planning and estate and trust planning.

Q. Do you provide prospective clients with estimates of your fee?

A. When appropriate, we prefer to provide a fee estimate. We always provide a fee range estimate for the preparation of tax returns. Where appropriate, we also provide written fee estimates to business clients.

Q. Can you help me with my investments?

A. We are affiliated with various registered advisory firms. We all meet together to determine your goals and strategies.

Q. What is all this that I hear from your firm about "wealth accumulation and retention?" Come on...Is there really any thing that we can do these days?

A. The answer to your question is an unequivocal "YES". Obviously, the markets have been tough on all of us over the last few years. But we have strategies available to us still that can get you on the road to developing a wealth base, and then in helping you to develop that base and RETAIN IT! Please give us a call and we will set up a time to discuss this.

Q. It seems like everyone and his brother (except me!) has a retirement plan! Can you explain the various plans available?

A. A good retirement plan can be an essential weapon in your arsenal for accumulating wealth. I will go out on a limb...Every business owner with taxable income from some source (whether from the business or not) should have a retirement plan to help defer taxes and to accumulate savings tax free!

Q. Do I need to visit your office to have my taxes prepared?

A. It is not necessary to visit our office. Many clients utilize the mail or express services to send their information to us. For new clients, we encourage a meeting so that we can discuss your unique tax situation.

Q. What size clients do you serve?

A. We provide services to businesses, professionals and retailers of small to medium size.

Q. Can I ever save tax by filing a separate return instead of jointly with my spouse?

A. You sometimes may benefit from filing separately instead of jointly. Consider filing separately if you meet the following criteria: One spouse has large medical expenses, miscellaneous itemized deductions, or casualty losses. The spouses' incomes are about equal. Separate filing may benefit such couples because the adjusted gross income "floors" for taking the listed deductions will be computed separately.

Q. Do you service clients outside of the New York Metropolitan area?

A. Of course. With our technical abilities we can provide services anywhere in the country.

Q. How do you charge for your services and how does your cost compare to other tax preparation firms?

A. We charge by the hour. We can give you a quotation of our expected costs. When providing our services, if we can help you reduce our time, we will tell you how. Our support, such as our tax organizer, is designed to offer professional, fast, and accurate services and to minimize our charges to you. Our overhead is kept low to allow us to pass our cost savings onto our clients. Our charges are normally less than other quality firms.

Q. Do you work with Start-up Companies?

A. Yes! Many of our clients are just starting in business. We will lead you through the necessary governmental forms. Through our networking, we can also assist in finding you other necessary professionals to deal with (lawyers, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, etc.) throughout the state.

Q. I want to start a new business. Can you tell me which type of business I should form?

A. Yes. When setting up a new business, it is crucial to set up the right type of business, such as corporation, S corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc. Our consulting services will help you form the right type of business based on your unique situation with consideration given to liability issues and tax advantages.

Q. Is there any non-tax record that I should keep?

A. There are other records you should keep, even though they don't appear to have any use for your tax returns. Family documents, certain medical records, insurance policies, records of major purchases, are just a few examples. These documents will be needed in the case of any emergency that may arise.

Q. Should I keep my old tax returns? If so, for how long?

A. Yes, you should keep your old tax returns for at least 7 years. When a return contains information pertaining to the basis of property owned, it should be kept until that property is sold. One of the benefits of keeping your tax returns from year to year is that you can look at last years return while preparing this years. If you do throw out an old return you may fill out form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form, and send it to the IRS service center where you filed your return.

Q. What pieces of paper do I need to keep in order to do my taxes?

A. Keep detailed records of your income, expenses, and any other information you report on your tax return. A good set of records can help you save money when you do your taxes and will be a trusty ally in case you are audited.

Q. When should I give you my tax information?

A. You should bring all your information in as soon as you have it all together. The sooner you bring it in to us the better chance we have at making sure we've done the best possible job for you.

Q. What do I need to do to start a new business?

A. Typically, most people will go to their lawyer first, get the business set up and then contact an accountant. We would rather that you contact us at the beginning. There are many different kinds of companies and we can help you select the best one for the kind of company that you will be setting up. Then we will continue to help you with payroll, tax returns, monthly accounting, and financial statements to whatever degree you need.

Q. Should I use a lawyer or an accountant to incorporate my business?

A. Although lawyers can get the paperwork together to make your incorporation happen, they might not know all the different tax laws that can apply to the different kinds of incorporations. Therefore, we suggest you see an accountant first to find out exactly which kind of incorporation you should pursue. Then have either your accountant or the lawyer finish the paperwork.

Q. Are QuickBooks or Peachtree good products?

A. QuickBooks and Peachtree can help you with your small business accounting, but they cannot think for you. The software has to be set up properly from the beginning or you will have problems. We find that by setting it up yourself, it can cost you more in accounting fees because it takes longer for us to resolve those errors. We advise that if you are going to use one of these products you have your accountant help you set it up. We can help you with this process.

Q. By using QuickBooks Pro, can I reduce my fees?

A. Our experience shows us that if you know something about accounting AND your computer software is set up properly from the beginning, it is possible that we don't need to spend as much time on your accounting. But in some cases, the initial set up was not done properly and we end up spending more time 'cleaning up' the errors than if we had just entered the detail from the beginning.

Q. Do I need a Certified Public Accountant or is an accountant okay?

A. Some people do not need the expertise of a Certified Public Accountant. The best way to find out is to call a CPA firm and ask them that question as each situation is different.

Q. Is there a fee charged for using my credit card to pay my taxes?

A. The company that processes your credit card payment charges a convenience fee. You are informed of the convenience fee amount before you authorize the payment. The fee is in addition to any charges, such as interest, that may be assessed by your credit card issuer.

Q. Is the IRS storing credit card information?

A. No. IRS does not have access to credit card numbers or directly participate in the credit card transactions. The IRS relies on private credit card processors to verify the validity of the card and line of credit. The processors forward the appropriate tax payment information to the IRS.

Q. Do you offer free business consultations?

A. Yes, we offer a free half-hour consultation for businesses. The consultation is to gather information about you and your business, while you find out more about us. We can usually answer a few questions at that time and determine if you have done the necessary registrations and filings. We request that you bring your last two income tax returns and financial statements (if any). Also bring anything else that you may have a question on.

Q. I prepare my own tax return, why use your services?

A. Many times you are correct and you can prepare and file a return. But did you take all the deductions? Did you take the available tax credit? Did you go to a tax course in the past 12 months? We find that many returns can be self-prepared but many are lacking in all the deductions that can be taken.

Q. How can I contact the IRS about my tax return?

A. You can call the IRS at its toll-free line at 800-829-1040. To be ready to respond, you should have your Social Security number, your filing status and your refund or payment due amounts. Allow between 4 to 6 weeks before you contact the IRS.

Q. Can I deduct child support payments?

A. No. Child support payments are not deductible, because they represent a pre-existing legal obligation to support your children.

Q. In a divorce who is entitled to the child dependency exemption?

A. The parent who had custody of the child for the greater part of the year is generally treated as the parent who provided over one-half of the child's support and will claim the exemption if other tests are met. Custody is usually determined by the divorce, separate maintenance or custody decree or agreement. If no decree or agreement establishes custody, then the parent who had physical custody for the greater part of the year is entitled to the exemption.

Q. What is Long Term Care insurance?

A. Long Term Care insurance covers an individual for the costs of home health care, community based care (such as assisted living)and nursing home care. It works in conjunction with Medicare and\or private insurance. It is a contract between an individual and an insurance company that, in exchange for premiums, provides daily health benefits. For a man over the age of 65, the odds are one in three (33%) that he will need long term care; for a woman, the odds are one in two (50%). 

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