Meet Kyle Cruz

Meet Kyle Cruz

Kyle graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s in Accounting and now lives outside of Springfield, MO. He is currently studying to become CPA certified and is interested in mergers & acquisitions. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and traveling.

 

Favorite part of your job: The fast pace and the ability to work independently

One piece of accounting advice: Keep your receipts!

Why did you go into accounting: For the challenge

Middle name: Joshua

Hometown: Coventry, Rhode Island

Family members: My mother, brother, and family live in Rhode Island

Hobby: Fishing, reading, and playing music

Favorite Springfield lunch spot: That Lebanese Place

Community service/involvement: Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Dog rescue

If you could go on a dream vacation the day after busy season, where would it be: Southeast Asia

Least favorite chore: Laundry

What music are you listening to right now: Django Reinhardt

Favorite sport to watch: World Cup soccer

Favorite season: Spring

One word to describe yourself: Dynamic

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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OnJuly 13, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

Meet Brittany Hopp

Meet Brittany Hopp

Brittany Hopp took a cross-country route to get here, but is happy to now call Springfield, Missouri home. Brittany graduated from Drury University in 2008 with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration and then completed a research position at the Financial Accounting Standards Board in Norwalk, Connecticut specializing in XBRL and the SEC’s US GAAP Taxonomy. She worked as an audit associate with KPMG in New York City for two years before moving back to the Ozarks to start York and Hopp CPAs with two business partners. Brittany is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Favorite part of your job: Learning about my clients’ businesses and seeing the passion of a small business owner in action

One piece of accounting advice: Keep an open dialogue with your CPA—it’s always best to take care of issues at the beginning, rather than doing damage control later.

Why did you go into accounting: It was a happy accident. I had always planned on law school after college, but decided that route wasn’t for me after visiting several law schools during my senior year at Drury. Since I was already an accounting minor, I decided to stay an extra year and complete my accounting degree. This was the best decision I’ve ever made!

Middle name: Katherine

Hometown: Gillette, Wyoming

Family members: My mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law all still live in Wyoming. In Springfield, I have two cats, Ender and Bean (named after the book!).

Hobby: Quilting

Favorite Springfield lunch spot: That Lebanese Place

Community service/involvement: I have been treasurer of Ozarks Counseling Center for the past three years, and will serve as president-elect in 2014. I am involved as an advisor in my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, at Drury University. I also volunteer with Commercial Club of Springfield and Hero Healthy Kids.

If you could go on a dream vacation the day after busy season, where would it be: Anywhere with a beach and a drink in hand

Least favorite chore: Mopping the floor

What music are you listening to right now: Christmas music, of course!

Favorite sport to watch: Denver Broncos Football!

Favorite season: Spring

One word to describe yourself: Analytical

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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OnDecember 10, 2013, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

Meet Kailey York

Meet Kailey York

Ever wonder how York & Hopp CPAs got started? It was originally Kailey’s idea, and thank goodness she was crazy enough to dream it up! Kailey graduated from Drury University in 2008 with a degree in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. Learn a little more about her below:

Favorite part of your job: Hearing the appreciation from a client I have helped.

One piece of accounting advice: Ensure your CPA is someone you can trust. Just like any other advisor relationship, you need to be sure you have the same goals and means of arriving at those goals as your CPA.

Why did you go into accounting: I have the crazy accounting gene, I guess you’d say. I love organization and as nerdy as it sounds I love the structure of accounting.

Middle name: Ann

Hometown: Springfield, MO

Family members: Michael York, husband, and Braelyn York, daughter

Hobby: Spending time with my family, crafts, playing and watching sports

Favorite Springfield lunch spot: If it were up to my husband, McAlister’s but I’d have to say Pizza House!

Community service/involvement: President of Commercial Club of Springfield, board member of the Urban Districts Alliance, member of the audit committee for Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, Inc., and parent volunteer for Parent’s Voice at Braelyn’s school, Discovery Garden Montessori School

If you could go on a dream vacation the day after busy season, where would it be: Anywhere but the office!

Least favorite chore: Weed-eating. Actually I’m not allowed to weed-eat at my house anymore because I’m terrible at it and the huge scar on my shin is proof of that.

Secret talent: I’m a pro at botching sayings and lyrics. It’s quite comical.

What music are you listening to right now: Coffee House station on Pandora

Favorite sport to watch: Volleyball

Favorite season: Fall

Favorite smell: Holiday candles

One thing you’re most proud of: I have 2 – my marriage and my daughter, Braelyn

One word to describe yourself: It may be a surprise for some, but not for the ones close around me – ditsy.

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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OnNovember 26, 2013, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

The government is shut down — what does that mean for the IRS?

The government partially shut down on October 1. We’ll leave the finer points of the shutdown to other sources, but the following is a list of how the shutdown might affect you and your business.

–The government may be shut down, but the underlying tax law remains in effect. This means that all deadlines and due dates are still effective. Yes, that means extended individual tax returns are still due today!

–All individuals and businesses should continue to file their tax returns and making any payments to the IRS.

–The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds.

–Have a question? It will have to wait, as no live telephone customer service is available and walk-in taxpayer assistance centers are closed.

–The good news? Most audits are on hold. This includes appointments with IRS personnel. If you have an appointment, it will be rescheduled for a later date.

–Automated IRS notices will continue to be mailed. If you receive a notice during the shutdown (or really, any time), contact your tax professional to discuss the best way to proceed with the notice.

Hopefully the government will be up and running again soon, but in the meantime, your best bet is to continue business as usual. In other words, keep calm and call your CPA!

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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OnOctober 15, 2013, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

What’s different this filing season?

Because of the late passing of The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (click here for our earlier blog entry) in January, the filing season for taxes was delayed for many taxpayers. The IRS opened electronic filing for most taxpayers on January 30, 2013 and for most businesses on February 4, 2013. This past week, the e-filing opened for tax returns containing depreciation and amortization and education credits.

However, there are forms that must wait until the first week of March to file. To see a list of individual forms ineligible for electronic filing, click here.

The delay in finalized forms does not affect taxpayers’ deadline to file. Corporation tax returns are due March 15, 2013. Partnership and individual returns are due April 15, 2013.

In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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OnFebruary 16, 2013, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Early this year, congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Here’s a quick breakdown of the contents of the bill, and how it could affect you this tax season:

  • The temporary Social Security payroll tax reduction that was in effect for tax years 2011 and 2012 has expired. For paychecks dated in 2013, the employee Social Security rate returns to 6.2%
  • Raises the top tax rate to 39.6% for married couples earning $450,000; single taxpayers earning $400,000
  • Raises long-term capital gains and qualifying dividends tax rate to 20% (from 15%) for taxpayers in the 39.6% tax bracket
  • Permanently extends Bush-era tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 for all other taxpayers
  • Reinstates phaseout of personal exemptions and overall limitation on itemized deductions for married couples filing jointly earning over $300,000 and single taxpayers earning over $250,000
  • Extends for 5 years (through 2018) the American Opportunity Tax Credit to pay for higher education, and special relief for families with 3 or more children for the refundable portion of the child tax credit and increased percentage for the earned income tax credit
  • Patches the AMT for 2012 and adjusts the exemption amount for inflation going forward
  • Extends through 2013 the following individual tax benefits:
    1. Above the line deduction for teacher expenses
    2. Relief from cancellation of debt income for principal residences
    3. Parity for employer-provided mass transit benefits
    4. Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums as interest
    5. Election to deduct state and local sales taxes in lieu of income taxes
    6. Above the line deduction for qualified education expenses
    7. Tax-free distributions from IRA accounts for charitable purposes
  • Extends through 2013 certain energy tax incentives that expired at the end of 2011 including:
    1. Energy efficient credit for existing homes
    2. Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit
    3. Biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives
    4. Wind credit
    5. Energy efficient credit for new homes
    6. Credit for manufacture of energy efficient appliances

    Check back soon for more information on the act!

    In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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    OnJanuary 7, 2013, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

    The IRS sent me a notice—now what?

    It can be very scary to get a letter from the IRS in your mailbox, but the most important thing is to deal with it as soon as possible. Remember, there are many reasons the IRS might be contacting you, and many times it can be taken care of quickly and painlessly!

    The notice should give you specific instructions on what action you need to take. The good news? Your CPA can communicate with the IRS on your behalf, as long as he or she has a signed power of attorney (Form 2848) on file. This power of attorney gives your CPA the authorization to represent you before the IRS. According to the IRS, Form 2848 “authorizes the listed representative(s) to receive and inspect confidential tax information and perform all acts that you can perform with respect to matters described in the power of attorney.” You can revoke the power of attorney at any time. The best advice we can give is to call your CPA immediately if you get correspondence from the IRS or your state department of revenue—he or she can then decipher what is going on and give you specialized advice on how to deal with the notice.

    Something else you should know—IRS notices and letters are always sent by mail. The IRS does not correspond by email, so if you get an email that says it’s from the IRS, it’s probably spam.

    Remember, the notice may not turn out to be the doomsday scenario that you may imagine it to be—it could be a simple correction to your account or something that needs more clarification. For more information on dealing with IRS notices, check out this IRS article!

    In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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    OnNovember 20, 2012, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

    Tax Planning: There’s still time!

    November is the perfect time to take a look at your financial situation and make changes, if necessary. Your tax situation should never be a surprise—so, if your income varies during the year, or if you’ve had a major life change, you could be in for a large tax increase or decrease.

    Your CPA can look at your history, alongside your current state of affairs and formulate a plan to ensure that you know what’s coming on April 15, and in many cases, mitigate the effects of any changes to your advantage.
    Here are a few red flags that indicate you might be in for a tax change for 2012:

    • Marriage or Divorce: A change in filing status can help or hinder your tax liability, depending on what other factors affect your tax return.
    • Birth of a child: Congratulations! If you have a child on or before December 31, 2012, you are eligible for the child tax credit of $1,000. There are limitations and exceptions, so consult with your CPA.
    • Dependent in college: You may be eligible for a variety of education credits, depending on your tax situation. Be sure to keep track of all of your college expenses!
    • Job loss or new job: If you’ve lost or taken on a different job in 2012, your withholding may be skewed. Your CPA can take a look at what you should expect to owe or be refunded.
    • Fluctuating income: Small business owners are extremely susceptible to a variance in income throughout the year. Make sure your estimated payments are adequate, as the last estimated payment is due January 15, 2013!

    There are many more situations that could cause issues in your tax return—that’s why now is the perfect time to schedule a consultation with your CPA. The most important thing to remember is that each tax return is different and is affected by the various credits, deductions and rules differently. Be sure you feel comfortable with your CPA to ensure your financial life is covered!

    In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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    OnNovember 13, 2012, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

    How to choose a tax preparer

    This time of year is perfect for taking a look at your financial situation and making changes if needed. Your relationship with your tax professional is a very important one. It’s vital that the person you entrust with your tax preparation and planning needs is qualified, that you feel comfortable asking questions and you’re taken care of the entire year. Here are some tips from the IRS to help you choose a tax preparer:

    • Check the preparer’s qualifications and history – All paid tax preparers are required to have an identification number (PTIN). Also, ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization and attends continuing education classes. It also may be helpful to check with the Better Business Bureau or state boards.
    • Ask about fees – Avoid preparers who base fees on your refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
    • Ask about electronic filing – If a preparer files more than 10 returns for clients, he or she must file electronically, unless you opt to file a paper return.
    • Make sure your tax professional is accessible, even after the due date, in case you have questions.
    • Provide all records and receipts to your preparer – A quality tax preparer will request to see records and receipts, as well as have multiple questions to determine your qualifications for expenses, deductions, etc.
    • Review your return before signing it – Never sign a blank return, and be sure to review your return and ask any questions you have. Always make sure you understand your tax return and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it. Your tax preparer, by law, also must sign the return and include his or her PTIN.

    Always remember that if you’re not happy or completely comfortable with your tax preparer or situation, you should speak up! Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions—after all, this is your financial life, and you’re in control.

    For more information, check out this IRS article.

    In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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    OnNovember 6, 2012, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by

    Be a responsible, smart donor

    With Hurricane Sandy and the devastation left in its wake, many people may be wondering how they can help those in need. Often, cash is the most immediate need and helpful resource. Here are a few tips and resources to make sure you’re giving responsibly.

    • Research the charity to whom you’re giving money – make sure your donation is going to a reputable organization that will be a good steward of your gift.
    • Be sure you’re giving what’s actually needed – call ahead to see if the charity needs physical items and specify which kind. Make sure your gift will be used.
    • Keep your receipts! All properly-designated charities are required to give you a receipt for donations. Be sure to keep track of these for your CPA at tax time.

    See the websites below for more information on responsible giving!

    Article from Time.com “How to Find the Best Charities

    Look up nonprofit reports at www.guidestar.org

    Want your donation to help with a disaster? See the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster’s website!

    In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.

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    OnOctober 31, 2012, posted in: Tax & Accounting Tips by