7362 Futures Drive, Suite 16, Orlando, FL 32819

Business Services

 

Small Business Accounting

As a small business owner you have more important things to do than to keep your own books. We take care of your books for you, so you can get back to the job of running your business and generating profits!

Each month or quarter we’ll do the following things for you…

These tasks form the solid foundation of your small business accounting system. You can customize the package of services you receive by adding payroll, tax planning, tax preparation, or any of our other services.

Bank Reconciliation

Reconciling your business checking account each month allow us to keep your bank account, accounting, and taxes up-to-date.

Having us reconcile your account each month allows you to…

  • Identify lost checks, lost deposits and unauthorized wire transactions.
  • Detect and prevent excess/unjustified bank charges and ensures transactions are posted correctly by your bank.
  • Detect and prevent embezzlement of funds from within your company
  • Know how your business is doing? You can’t really know unless all accounts are reconciled and properly accounted for on your financial statement.
  • Manage your cash more effectively. Proper management of funds not only saves money, it makes money for you.
  • Protect yourself. By timely reconciling and promptly objecting to your bank about any unauthorized, fraudulent or forged checks presented to your bank and paid by that bank, you can relieve your agency of responsibility for the shortfall and transfer the risk to the bank. This reason to reconcile alone should be enough. Crime exists.
  • Sleep Better. You will sleep more peacefully at night knowing your bank accounts are reconciled, in balance and that all escrow funds, accounts, checks and disbursed funds are properly accounted for.

Income Statement

An income statement, otherwise known as a profit and loss statement, basically adds an itemized list of all your revenues and subtracts an itemized list of all your expenses to come up with a profit or loss for the period.

An income statement allows you to…

  • Track revenues and expenses so that you can determine the operating performance of your business.
  • Determine what areas of your business are over-budget or under-budget.
  • Identify specific items that are causing unexpected expenditures. Like phone, fax, mail, or supply expenses.
  • Track dramatic increases in product returns or cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales.
  • Determine your income tax liability.

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet gives you a snapshot of your business’ financial condition at a specific moment in time.

A balance sheet helps you…

  • Quickly get a handle on the financial strength and capabilities of your business.
  • Identify and analyze trends, particularly in the area of receivables and payables. For example, if your receivables cycle is lengthening, maybe you can collect your receivables more aggressively.
  • Determine if your business is in a position to expand.
  • Determine if your business can easily handle the normal financial ebbs and flows of revenues and expenses?
  • Determine if you need to take immediate steps to bolster cash reserves?
  • Determine if your business has been slowing down payables to forestall an inevitable cash shortage?

Balance sheets, along with income statements, are the most basic elements in providing financial reporting to potential lenders such as banks, investors, and vendors who are considering how much credit to grant you.

Maintaining a Clean General Ledger

The general ledger is the core of your company’s financial records. These records constitute the central “books” of your system. Since every transaction flows through the general ledger, a problem with your general ledger throws off all your books.

Having us review your general ledger system each month allows us to hunt down any discrepancies such as double billings or any unrecorded payments. Then we’ll fix the discrepancies so your books are always accurate and kept in tip top shape.

Unlimited Consultations

We are always available to spend time with you so you fully understand how to interpret and utilize the financial information we provide. Our consultations are already included in our price, so please feel free to call us whenever you have a question or concern.



Why Quickbooks10 Reasons Why You Should Use QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the ideal business accounting software for small to mid-sized business owners. Here’s 10 reasons why you should be using QuickBooks.

  1. You save time on bookkeeping and paperwork because many of simple bookkeeping tasks are handled automatically making it easier to run your business.
  2. You can easily generate the reports with the information you need, so you always know where your business stands. You instantly know whether you’re making money and whether your business is healthy.
  3. You save money because QuickBooks is so affordable. You can use it to run a $5 million or a $25 million business for a few hundred bucks. PC accounting software is truly one of the great bargains in business.
  4. Your business can grow with QuickBooks. QuickBooks will help you design a business plan to use when trying to secure a small business loan or line of credit or to plan for the future. QuickBooks will create a projected balance sheet, profit and loss statement and statement of cash flows in the format recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  5. You can customize QuickBooks to work the way you want. QuickBooks is specifically designed to be flexible and adaptable to a wide range of small businesses. To broaden its appeal, QuickBooks has recently added customized accounting packages for Contractors, Retailers, Health Care Professionals, and Non-Profit organizations.
  6. You can rest assured knowing that QuickBooks is a stable, reliable and proven product. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout the world have chosen QuickBooks as their accounting software. You can’t go wrong with a software program with such an extensive installed user base.
  7. You save typing time and errors by sharing data between QuickBooks and over 100 business applications. You can even share data with popular programs, such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and ACT.
  8. You will get paid faster with QuickBooks online payments. E-mail an invoice or statement and with QuickBooks Online Billing, your customer can easily pay you with a credit card or bank account transfer. No more waiting for the check in the mail!
  9. You can easily accept Credit Cards. With QuickBooks Merchant Account Service, you can accept credit cards with ease. QuickBooks Merchant Account Service is the only credit card acceptance service integrated with QuickBooks software, which means you don’t have to enter the same data twice. No additional software or hardware is required. Your customers can use Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
  10. You can pay your bills and bank online. Setup your current bank account in QuickBooks, and you’re ready to pay your bills without licking envelopes, sticking stamps, or printing paper checks. Just write checks in QuickBooks as you normally would, then click a button and your participating bank does the rest! Pay anyone in the U.S. from your credit card companies to your pizza service. Online Banking also lets you download your monthly statement from your participating bank directly into QuickBooks for easier reconciliation.

QuickBooks Setup

Although QuickBooks is designed for the layman to understand, the initial setup and installation must be done correctly in order for future information to be accurate.

All information necessary to setup manual accounting records is also necessary to setup and install QuickBooks on your desktop. This task is even more complicated if you switch from manual accounting operations to QuickBooks in the middle of the year.

Which accounting method will you use? What chart of accounts do you need for your business? How do you handle beginning balances?

An expert can easily answer all of these questions and complete the initial Setup and Installation in a timely manner. In addition, your accounting employees receive training on the accounting software to enhance their performance.


QuickBooks Training

How much does it cost? We first want to find out a little more about your business and your accounting records before we quote you an exact price. Rest assured that we work with many small business owners and our rates are designed to fit the budgets of our clients.

As with any accounting software program, installation and training take time – time taken away from managing your business. Here’s a short list of the services we provide during your QuickBooks setup:

  • Study and evaluate your software and accounting needs.
  • Recommend software and hardware requirements.
  • Install software, design and set up chart of accounts and entire accounting package including payroll, accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, etc.
  • Determination of your QuickBooks starting date
  • Loading your chart of account and balances as of that starting date
  • Preparation of a list of the items that you sell to your customers. This list includes services, inventory parts, non-inventory parts, other charges and sales taxes
  • Entering your outstanding accounts receivable and accounts payable details as of your starting date
  • Entering your ending statement bank balances and outstanding checks & deposits in transit as of your starting date
  • Printing a trial balance as of your starting date and comparing it to your trial balance from your old system
  • Entering your transactions since your starting dates into QuickBooks
  • Train client or client staff in use of software to meet their accounting, management and tax needs.

Ongoing Services:

  • Follow up training to ensure the client is “on the right track”.
  • Monthly, quarterly or annual review of client QuickBooks data to assist in tax preparation and management reports.

QuickBooks Training

Once QuickBooks is set-up and working properly, we can train you or your employees to properly operate QuickBooks specifically for your business.

Why choose one-on-one attention instead of taking a class?

  • We come to your location.
  • We focus on the individual issues facing your business.
  • We will be there to answer your specific questions and concerns.
  • No need to spend time on features that don’t impact your business!

Payroll Service

When it comes to paying employees, laws and the IRS have made the payroll function a time consuming nightmare for the small business owner.

Small business owners spend an average of eight hours a month performing payroll functions. That’s 12 full days a year that could be spent generating sales, prospecting new business opportunities, improving products or services, or servicing customers.

We offer payroll solutions that meet your business’s needs and enable you to spend time doing what you do best–running your company.

Why Outsource Your Payroll…

  • It’s Cost EffectiveUse your staff more efficiently by letting us handle payroll and the associated legal details. Reduce overhead by removing the need to hire specialized employees.
  • It’s a Time SaverOur payroll service eliminates the burden of customizing, updating and maintaining your own payroll system–no more data entry, no more researching updates or new laws, no more worries.
  • Worry Free Payroll Tax FilingEliminate the risks of calculating and filing your own payroll taxes by having professionals do it for you. Federal, state and local payroll tax laws are frequently changing and becoming more complex.  How much time do you want to spend  learning all the rules and keeping your information up to date?
  • Allows You To Focus On Core CompetenciesOur professional staff allow you to focus on the core competencies of your business. We are accounting professionals–you get the experts working for you and with you.
  • Comprehensive ReportsYou get a wide variety of user-friendly and accurate payroll reports. For a nominal fee, we will include union reports, certified payroll, workers’ compensation reports and much more.

Get the Payroll Solution That Best Fits Your Needs.

We know that when it comes to payroll service – no one size fits all. That’s why we offer the following 3 custom payroll processing options.

1. Comprehensive Payroll Services

Our Comprehensive Payroll Service takes care of all of the payroll processing for you, so that you won’t have to. You get…

  • Your payroll checks prepared and printed on-time, every-time.
  • All of your payroll checks are laser printed on “blank” check stock to ensure maximum security and meet the micro encoding standards as set forth by the Federal Reserve System.
  • Free Direct Deposits
  • Worry Free IRS and State tax reporting as well as EFTPS tax deposits.
  • User friendly, and easy to understand monthly, quarterly, and annual payroll tax reports, including W-2, W-3 and 1099 forms.
  • Detailed reports on your employee’s vacation, sick days, and personal days accruals.
  • Creation and filing of the required new hire reports
  • Your payroll records maintained in tip top shape.

2. After-the-Fact-Payroll Services

We will take your manually-prepared payroll records and other payroll information and post this information to our data files, so you get…

  • Worry Free IRS and State tax reporting as well as EFTPS tax deposits.
  • User friendly, and easy to understand monthly, quarterly, and annual payroll tax reports, including W-2, W-3 and 1099 forms.
  • Detailed reports on your employee’s vacation, sick days, and personal days accruals.
  • Creation and filing of the required new hire reports
  • Your payroll records maintained in tip top shape.

3. Online Payroll Processing

You can enter your employee’s hours and earnings securely online and get…

  • The ability to instantly print payroll checks on your own printer.
  • Free Direct Deposits
  • Worry Free IRS and State tax reporting as well as EFTPS tax deposits.
  • User friendly, and easy to understand monthly, quarterly, and annual payroll tax reports, including W-2, W-3 and 1099 forms.
  • Detailed reports on your employee’s vacation, sick days, and personal days accruals.
  • Creation and filing of the required new hire reports
  • Your payroll records maintained in tip top shape.

Custom Payroll Reports Service

There seems to be an endless amount of special reports Government agencies require. We can prepare the following reports for you.

  • Worker’s Compensation Audits
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Social Security Audits
  • Child Support Audits
  • W-2 and W-3 processing
  • 1099 and 1096 processing
  • Preparation/assistance with Federal and State registration forms

How much do we charge?

In order to give you an accurate price for our payroll services we need to know a little more about your business and what services you’re interested in. Our prices are very affordable.


Part-Time CFO Services

Growing businesses often reach a point where they need professional financial advice, but can’t afford a full-time CFO or controller.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in this position then we have the perfect solution for you. Our Part-Time CFO service gives you a professional financial manager who works with you to help guide your business to success.

The cost of hiring a full-time CFO can range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year plus bonuses and benefits. Our Part-Time CFO services provides you with experienced support at a small fraction of that cost.

Here’s what you get with our Part-Time CFO services…

  • More time to focus on new services, new customers and other core business issues.
  • Better understanding of the financial side of your business. So you have less surprises and more control over the money.
  • Improved decision-making capabilities from clearly seeing the hard and true numbers of your business.
  • A readily available sounding board to help you with those tough business decisions and help you clarify your business plans.
  • The comfort from knowing that a professional is overseeing, protecting and constantly improving the financial side of your business.
  • A professional who establishes strong financial controls in your business to reduce employee theft and increase profits.
  • Training and managing your accounting staff.
  • Improved quality and timeliness of financial information.
  • Budget preparation and monitoring.
  • Profitability analysis by service or product line.
  • Tax saving strategies.
  • Trend analysis.
  • Assistance in defining long-range plans and the quantification of goals.
  • Cash management.
  • Liaison with bankers, attorneys, vendors, insurance agents, etc.
  • Assistance in obtaining financing from banks, including assistance with negotiations.
  • Review/negotiation of insurance policies.
  • Development of company accounting procedure manuals.
  • Analysis of equipment purchases, expansions, etc.
  • Mergers and acquisitions assistance
  • Custom designed collection policies and procedures

Stockholders, creditors, and private investors often need assurance that the financial statements accurately represent the true financial position of a company.

Your stockholders, creditors, or private investors have different levels of risk tolerance, so we provide three levels of assurance to meet your needs.

Review – Limited Assurance

Less extensive than an audit, but more involved than a compilation, a review engagement consists primarily of analytical procedures we apply to the financial statements, and various inquiries we make of your company’s management team. If the financial statements or supporting information appear inconsistent or otherwise questionable, we may need to perform additional procedures.

A review doesn’t require us to study and evaluate your company’s internal controls or verify data with third parties or physically inspect assets. Rather, a review report expresses limited assurance in the form of the statement: “We are not aware of any material modifications” for the financial statements to be in conformity with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Reviewed financial statements must include all required footnotes and other disclosures.

Why might a business request a review engagement? It can be a good middle ground, providing the advantages of a CPA’s technical expertise without the work and expense of an audit.

Compilation – Lowest Level of Assurance

In compiling financial statements for a client, we present information that is the “representation of management” and expresses no opinion or assurance on the statements. Compilations don’t require inquiries of management or analytical procedures. Instead, we rely on our knowledge of accounting principles and a general understanding of your business.

Banks often require compilations from an independent CPA as part of their lending covenants.

Which Report Should You Use?

Each type of financial statement report may suit specific circumstances, depending on requirements from your client’s bank or other parties, as well as meet budgetary needs.

Understanding each report’s unique strengths and weaknesses can help you choose the most appropriate one. Please call if you have questions about which type of report is right for you.


Cash Flow Management

A wise business owner once said, “Happiness is a positive cash flow.” As a business owner, I’m sure you agree. Everything is better when your cash-in exceeds your cash-out.

A cash crisis can be emotionally devastating and it can even kill your business. If you’ve ever had to beg, borrow and steal to cover tomorrows payroll you know what I mean.

Our cash management service allows you to…

  • know when, where, and how your cash needs will occur.
  • know what the best sources are for meeting your additional cash needs.
  • be prepared to meet these needs when they occur, by keeping good relationships with bankers and other creditors.

The starting point for avoiding a cash crisis is allowing us to develop a cash flow projection for you. We can help you develop both short-term (weekly, monthly) cash flow projections to help you manage daily cash, and long-term (annual, 3-5 year) cash flow projections to help you develop the necessary capital strategy to meet your business needs.

We also prepare historical cash flow statements to help you gain an understanding about where all the money went.

Creating an accurate cash flow projection is just one of the many cash management services we provide. You also get…

  • Help obtaining an appropriate line of credit
  • Cash collection acceleration techniques
  • Proven effective collection policies
  • Proven effective payment policies
  • Help obtaining the maximum rate of return on your idle cash

Bank Financing

Need money to grow your business?

Requesting a business loan without adequate preparation sends a clear message to the lender: High Risk! Therefore, it pays to be prepared and organized in your approach for financing.

Put your best foot forward by allowing us to prepare a winning loan proposal for you. Our proposals have a high likelihood of success because they’re created from the lender’s perspective.

You get the money you need because we know exactly what banks want to see. Even more importantly, we know how to prove to them that you’ll be able to pay them back.

Our winning loan proposals come complete with…

  • Executive Summary: Where we concisely state the purpose of the loan, the exact amount of money required, an explanation of what the loan will be used for and why it’s needed.
  • Pro-forma Cash Budgets and Financial Statements: We use your data and underlying assumptions to prepare information that your banker can easily read and buy in to.
  • Owners Personal Financial Statements: We make copies of the last 3 years of personal tax returns for the bank as well as identify the collateral being pledged as security for the loan.
  • Representation: We help substantiate your financial needs/position to your banker in person.

Business Valuation

Few things are more important to business owners than the value of their business. The valuation you get for your business can make or break a proposition.

Whether you’re negotiating a merger, considering new shareholders, attempting to resolve disputes associated with liability, shareholder equity, estate planning or marital dissolution, objective valuation can make the difference between loss or gain, success or failure.

Business valuation is not an exact science. It’s based on judgment, experience and relevant information. So, you need professionals who are well qualified, with significant experience in evaluating all types of organizations.


Strategic Business Planning

A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all you plans and ideas locked up inside your head… preparing a strategic plan helps you clarify your company’s direction, ensures your key leaders are all “on the same page”, and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.

A Strategic Plan is often needed when…

  • Starting a new venture, product or service
  • Expanding a current organization, product or service
  • Buying a new business, product or service
  • Turning around a declining business

The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.

The plan allows you to…

  1. Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
  2. Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
  3. Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
  4. Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
  5. Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
  6. Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company’s success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
  7. Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
  8. Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.

Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Let us help you develop a powerful Strategic Business Plan that drives your business to the level of success you deserve.


New Business Formation

Thinking of owning your own business?

Opening your own business is exciting and thrilling. It’s everything that comes after the excitement and thrill has worn off that dictates whether a small business will make it or not. It’s up to you to maintain and stretch out the “thrill and excitement” period forever.

A methodical plan of action is needed to fulfill your dream or goal of being your own boss and running a successful business. Success lies in the approach you choose to take. We help you avoid the common pitfalls that many new small business owners make when starting their new venture.

We help you…

  1. Prepare an initial business plan to clarify your marketing, management, and financial plans.
  2. Determine your start-up capital needs.
  3. Identify sources of start-up capital and backup sources if needed.
  4. Evaluate and quantify your borrowing power so you know how much money you can get your hands on if needed.
  5. Select a business structure that best fits your needs by evaluating tax advantages, legal exposure, ease of operation and portability should you need to relocate.
  6. Select the right accounting software by evaluating your budget, needs and hardware.
  7. Prepare a Cash Flow Budget so you know exactly how much money you need to keep the business alive each month for the first few years. Unplanned cash requirements are always emotionally painful.
  8. Establish billing and collection procedures to maximize your cash flow.
  9. Establish procedures to monitor and control costs.
  10. Setup a home office so you can maximize your tax deductions.
  11. Prepare and file all required state and local licenses and permits.
  12. Prepare and file your application for your Federal Employer Identification Number.
  13. Provide payroll and payroll tax filing when you bring on your first employee.
  14. Comply with employment laws so you don’t get hit with fines and unhappy employees.
  15. Identify your business insurance needs.
  16. Develop a solid Partnership Agreement. This is an extremely important document for all new partnerships and will help prevent a tremendous amount of financial and emotional problems down the road.

Let us help you succeed by getting your new business off to a good strong start.


Non-Profit Organizations

We can help you setup and maintain your non-profit organization’s tax-exempt status by handling all the IRS reporting for you.

Each year the IRS requires most tax-exempt organizations to submit the Form 990 and its relations, which includes the following items.

  1. Income Statement with very specific revenue and expense categories like donations, salaries, postage, rent…
  2. Balance Sheet with specific categories like cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable…
  3. Functional Expense Statement with all the expenses allocated to either program services, fundraising, or operations.
  4. Individual Program Expense Statement that reports all of the expenses for each program or service like seminar programs or educational mailings.
  5. Revenue Support Schedules that detail the organization’s sources of income in specific categories like charitable donations, membership fees, investment income.

The IRS uses these very specific revenue and expense classifications to determine if your organization will retain its tax-exempt status. So it’s imperative that you build your accounting system around these revenue and expense classifications.

Here’s what we do for you…

  • Review and compile your financial statements
  • Design, install, and maintain your Accounting System
  • Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payroll preparation
  • Payroll Tax Preparation and Deposits
  • Provide training for your accounting personnel
  • Complete and file your non-profit status application
  • Provide training for your board on non-profit financial statement usage and effective budgeting practices
  • Prepare and file the 990 and 990T tax forms
  • Prepare your initial start-up documentation, including incorporation, federal employee identification number (FEIN), and payroll setup with federal and state agencies.
  • Churches: We prepare the pastoral housing allowance and other required benefit documentation to meet the complex dual status of ministers.

If you’re starting a new not-for-profit organization we can help you prepare your organization’s 501 (c)(3) application for tax-exempt status.

Here’s what’s needed…

  • Articles of Incorporation containing the Exempt Purpose Statement as described in IRS Code section 501(c)(3) and defined in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph d and the Dissolution Statement described in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph b subparagraph 4 (“Organizational Test”).
  • Employer Identification Number
  • By-laws of the Organization
  • Minutes of Board Meetings
  • Names, Addresses, and Resumes of Board Members
  • Names and addresses of all Active Members
  • Inventory of Assets like cash, furniture, equipment, property, pledges…
  • Inventory of Liabilities like mortgages, accounts payable, loans…
  • Rent/Lease Agreements and Contracts
  • Revenue and Expense Statements for the last four years or as far back as possible if your organization has been in existence for less than four years.
  • Written Reason for Formation and History of the organization.
  • Organization Mission Statement or Statement of Faith or Beliefs for Churches and other Religious Organizations.
  • Organization Activities, Operations and Programs Documentation including your statement of purpose & operations, food programs, fundraisers, flyers/brochures/pamphlets…
  • Financial Support Documentation including all sources of revenue like contributions, tithes, offerings, fundraisers…
  • Fund Raising Program Descriptions
  • IRS Processing/Filing Fee

We are happy to prepare any of these items if you need help.


Internal Controls

At times you may need a trained outside professional to evaluate your company’s operations to determine if the appropriate controls are in place to ensure proper handling of resources and to protect yourself from employee theft.

We assess your internal control systems to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your operating procedures. Then we make recommendations that help your company become stronger and more profitable by correcting any inefficient or ineffective operating procedures we find.

What we do for you…

  • Implement segregation of duties so that duties are divided, or segregated, among different people to reduce risk of error or inappropriate actions. No one person has control over all aspects of any financial transaction.
  • Make sure transactions are authorized by a person delegated approval authority when the transactions are consistent with policy and funds are available.
  • Ensure records are routinely reviewed and reconciled, by someone other than the preparer or transactor, to determine that transactions have been properly processed.
  • Make certain that equipment, inventories, cash and other property are secured physically, counted periodically, and compared with item descriptions shown on control records.
  • Provide employees with appropriate training and guidance to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to carry out their job duties, are provided with an appropriate level of direction and supervision, and are aware of the proper channels for reporting suspected improprieties.
  • Document policies and procedures and making them accessible to employees. The documented policies and procedures provide day-to-day guidance to your staff and continuation of duties in the event of prolonged employee absences or turnover.
  • Review operations to ascertain whether results are consistent with established objectives and goals and whether the operations are being carried out as planned.

IRS Certified Acceptance Agent

As a Certified Acceptance Agent, HW & Associates is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to process a Form 1040 and other tax schedules. The Acceptance Agent facilitates the application process by reviewing the necessary documents and forwarding the completed forms to IRS.

We have signed an agreement with IRS to process W7 (ITIN) applications as Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA). A CAA is an individual, business or organization (college, financial institution, accounting firm, etc.) authorized by IRS to assist alien individuals and other foreign persons in obtaining ITINs (Individual Tax Identifying Number) from the IRS.

CAAs review applicants documentation, complete a certificate of accuracy, and forward the certificate and application to the IRS for processing. An Acceptance Agent cannot complete the certificate of accuracy therefore the original identification documents must be mailed to IRS. CAAs do not act as agents of the IRS, nor are they authorized to hold themselves out to be agents of the IRS. We do charge a fee for this service.

Acceptable documents for identity and foreign status

  • Passport (stand alone document)
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)
  • School records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)
  • What documents do I need to bring in for the ITIN application processing?

We need following documents to process application:

  • W7 form, if you have already filled it in.
  • Copy of the W7 filled in form
  • Original acceptable documents for identity & foreign status listed above
  • Two copies of the acceptable documents
  • Original supporting document to prove the need of the ITIN e.g. tax return, bank letter or any other supporting documentation
  • Copy of the supporting document

Can I send notarized documents directly to IRS for ITIN processing?

No, Starting from June 22, 2012 IRS has stopped accepting notarized documents. Original documents or certified copy by the issueing authority unless your case falls in an exception.

Do I need to submit original documents?

Starting from January 1st, 2013, Original documents are required to be submited to IRS for dependents only. We are required to review original documents for primary and secondary taxpayers but it does not have to be submitted to the IRS. There are some exceptions to this requirement.

What are the exceptions to the original documents submission requirements?

There are four exceptions to this new documentation requirement described above. Applicants who are not impacted by these changes include:

  • U.S. military spouses and U.S. military dependents
  • Non-resident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits
  • Noncitizens that have approved TY 2011 extensions to file their tax returns. These are temporary ITINs.
  • Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) participants

Do I need to be personally present to get ITIN application processed?

Yes and No. Starting from January 1st, 2013, IRS requires face to face interview with the ITIN applicant. In cases when ITIN applicant can’t visit our office, we can fulfill this requirement by a video conferencing interview with the ITIN applicant.

Will the IRS return my original documents to me? How long will it take to get them back?

The IRS currently receives original documents with some applications and they have a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants. The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7.

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range of 70-88 in the fourth and fifth digit, example 9XX-70-XXXX.

IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code. Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a valid federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.

What is an ITIN used for?

ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers (SSNs). An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Who needs an ITIN?

IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN.

Other examples of individuals who need ITINs include: A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return

A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return

A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien

A dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder

How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you do not have a SSN and are not eligible to obtain a SSN, but you have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal income tax return, you must apply for an ITIN.

If you have an application for a SSN pending, do not file Form W-7. Complete Form W-7 only if the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that a SSN cannot be issued. To obtain a SSN, see Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. To get Form SS-5 or to find out if you are eligible to obtain a SSN, go to Social Security Administration Website ( http://www.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.socialsecurity.gov ) or contact a SSA office. By law, an alien individual cannot have both an ITIN and a SSN.

IRS processes returns showing SSNs or ITINs in the blanks where tax forms request SSNs. IRS no longer accepts, and will not process, forms showing “SSA205c,” “applied for,” “NRA,” blanks, etc.

What documents are acceptable as proof of identity and foreign status?

IRS streamlined the number of documents the agency accepts as proof of identity and foreign status to obtain an ITIN. There are 13 acceptable documents. Each document must be current and contain an expiration date. IRS will accept documents issued within 12 months of the application if no expiration date is normally available. Documents must also show your name and photograph, and support your claim of foreign status. Below is the list of the only acceptable documents:

  • Passport (stand alone document)
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)
  • School records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)

When should I apply for an ITIN?

You should complete Form W-7 as soon as you are ready to file your federal income tax return, since you need to attach the return to your application. If you meet one of the exceptions to the tax filing requirement, submit Form W-7, along with the documents that prove your identity and foreign status and the required supplemental documents to substantiate your qualification for the exception, as soon as possible after you determine that you are covered by that exception. You can apply for an ITIN any time during the year; however, if the tax return you attach to Form W-7 is filed after the return’s due date, you may owe interest and/or penalties. You should file your current year return by the prescribed due date to avoid this.

How and when can I expect to receive my ITIN?

If you qualify for an ITIN and your application is complete, you will receive a letter from the IRS assigning your tax identification number, usually within six weeks. If you have not received your ITIN or other correspondence six weeks after applying, you may call the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040 to request the status of your application.

Are ITINs valid for identification?

No. ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system. Since ITINs are strictly for tax processing, IRS does not apply the same standards as agencies that provide genuine identity certification.

ITIN applicants are not required to apply in person, and IRS does not further validate the authenticity of identity documents. ITINs do not prove identity outside the Federal tax system, and should not be offered or accepted as identification for non-tax purposes.

Are ITINs valid for work purposes?

No. ITINs are for federal income tax purposes only. Getting an ITIN does not change your immigration status or your right to work in the United States.

Can ITINs be used as proof of identification to obtain a state driver’s license?

No. ITINs are not valid for identification outside the tax system. For more information access the DMV communication provided to the state departments of motor vehicles.

What do I do when I am assigned a social security number (SSN)?

Once you receive a SSN, you must use that number for tax purposes and discontinue using your ITIN. It is improper to use both the ITIN and the SSN assigned to the same person to file tax returns. It is your responsibility to notify the IRS so we can combine all of your tax records under one identification number. If you do not notify the IRS when you are assigned a SSN, you may not receive credit for all wages paid and taxes withheld which could reduce the amount of any refund due. You can visit a local IRS office or write a letter explaining that you have now been assigned a SSN and want your tax records combined. Include your complete name, mailing address, and ITIN along with a copy of your social security card and a copy of the CP 565, Notice of ITIN Assignment, if available. The IRS will void the ITIN and associate all prior tax information filed under the ITIN with the SSN. Send your letter to:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin, TX 73301-0057

What is an ITIN Acceptance Agent?

An ITIN Acceptance Agent is an individual, business or organization (college, financial institution, accounting firm, etc.) authorized by IRS to assist individuals in obtaining ITINs. Certifying Acceptance Agents review applicants’ documentation, complete a certificate of accuracy, and forward the certificate and application along with a tax return to the IRS for processing. Click the link (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/acceptance-agent-program ) to verify our participation via the IRS website for a list of Acceptance Agents.

What information is available for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellers?

Foreign buyers and sellers of U.S. real property interests need Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) to request reduced tax withholding when disposing of the property interest, and to pay any required withholding. Individuals who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers may obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to meet the requirement to supply a TIN. Click ITIN Guidance for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellers for more information ( https://www.irs.gov/ ).

Other useful links:

https://www.irs.gov