CONTACT US FIRST FOR ALL OF YOUR TAX AND ACCOUNTING NEEDS!
The information found on this website is general in nature and may not apply to each reader’s situation. Therefore, the reader should not rely only on the information on this website. For specific advice, please call us at: 1(732) 332-1700 or toll free at 1(800) 642-7273.
What services do you provide?
We prepare all tax returns including individual, corporation, LLC and LLP, non-profit, estate and trust, partnership, payroll, sales tax, property tax, and other taxes. We offer financial planning and consulting. We also offer bookkeeping and financial statements as part of our services. Please see section "services" for an extended description.
Do I need to visit your office to have my taxes prepared?
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.
What size clients do you serve?
We provide services to individuals, to home based businesses, professionals, as well as larger businesses. We have worked with companies with annual sales revenues in excess of $90 million.
What size clients do you accept?
We accept any clients within our service range. Currently we serve clients across the
Do you service clients outside of
Yes. Due to available technology, distance is no longer a problem. Therefore, we service clients in all states. For example, our tax preparation software includes every state, while the Internet allows us to service clients more effectively from distant locations.
What are your hours and are you a seasonal company?
We are open each day throughout the year from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. If this is not convenient however, call for an appointment and we can structure a more convenient time to fit your schedule. Our extended hours reflect our commitment to offer our service at a time most convenient with our clients.
Do you perform business valuations?
Yes. We are often engaged to conduct a business valuation. Business valuations are required or recommended in the following situations: Divorce, Estate and gift tax valuations, Buy/Sell Agreements, Shareholder disputes, Mergers and Acquisitions, Incentive Stock Options, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Initial public offerings, Legal claims for damages.
Can you help me with my investments?
We can set up an appointment to help you determine your goals and the strategies that you are comfortable with. If you are pleased, we will assist you in the process of transferring your accounts to concur with those strategies.
What is all this that I hear about “wealth accumulation and retention?” Come on, is there really any thing that we can do these days?
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.
It seems like everyone and his brother (except me!) has a retirement plan! Can you explain the various plans available?
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! We can help design the PERFECT plan for your business and your circumstances. Give us a call so that we can discuss this!
I am concerned that my business is not as profitable as I would like it to be. What can you do to help me?
We offer an operational auditing program where our professionals assess your company’s operational strengths and weaknesses. We breakdown your business into the areas that are mission critical and offer recommendations (that we can help you to implement!) to get your business on track. Organizational efficiencies and profitability structuring are the keys to your business working FOR YOU rather than vice versa.
How do you charge for your services and how does your cost compare to other tax preparation firms?
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. In some instances, it may be to the client’s advantage to be on a monthly or quarterly retainer. We can discuss the best payment plan for your needs.
Is there any non-tax record that I should keep?
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 case of any emergency that may arise.
Should I keep my old tax returns? If so, for how long?
Yes, we at Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's recommend keeping your tax records for ten years. This is longer than recommended by the Internal Revenue Service, but we feel this is the safest length of time. However, documents in support of the purchase of a depreciable asset should be kept until the asset is disposed of and documents in support of loans and mortgages should be kept until the loan or mortgage is liquidated. At the very least 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 Internal Revenue Service, service center where you filed your return.
What pieces of paper do I need to keep in order for you to do my taxes?
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.
When should I give you my tax information?
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.
How do I know when certain taxes are due?
You can give us a call or check out the Due Date Calendar on this website.
What do I need to do to start a new business?
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. We can file all the necessary required forms and register and incorporate your business with the federal government as well as whatever states you will be doing business in.
Should I use a lawyer or an accountant to incorporate my business?
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. Our firm can handle all the paperwork for you.
Is QuickBooks a good product?
QuickBooks 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. Our staff is trained professionals specializing in QuickBooks.
By using QuickBooks Pro, can I reduce my fees?
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.
Where can I get additional information about Internal Revenue Service e-file?
You can visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov – or feel free to call our office to ask us questions as well (732) 332-1700. We are now e-filing a good portion of our clients tax returns with excellent results.
Can I ever save tax by filing a separate return instead of jointly with my spouse?
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.
If I owe, how do I pay my taxes electronically?
You can e-pay by credit card. If you e-pay by credit card, you delay out-of-pocket expenses and may earn miles, rewards or money back from your credit card issuer. Payment by check or money order is acceptable. If you owe money, Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's will provide you with a voucher and addressed envelope to mail your check into the Internal Revenue Service. Your return can be e-filed at any time before April 15th, and then you can mail your payment in later – as long as it is postmarked on or by April 15th.
Is there a fee charged for using my credit card to pay my taxes?
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.
Does the Internal Revenue Service store credit card information?
No. Internal Revenue Service does not have access to credit card numbers or directly participate in the credit card transactions. The Internal Revenue Service 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 Internal Revenue Service.
How can I pay my taxes by credit card and which credit cards are accepted?
Credit card payments can be made by phone (1-8002PAY-Tax or 1-888-ALLTAXX, toll free) or Internet (www.officialpayments.com or www.1888ALLTAXX.com) using Discover, American Express, or MasterCard. You will be provided a confirmation number at the end of the payment transaction and your credit card statement will provide confirmation of your electronic payment. The payment and return are reconciled bases on the social security number entered and type of tax selected during the transaction.
What do I gain by using IRS e-file?
Accuracy! Security! Electronic Signatures! Proof of Acceptance! Fast refunds with direct deposit! Electronic Payment Options! Federal/State e-file! Only IRS e-file offers these advantages.
What is an Authorized IRS e-file Provider?
An Authorized IRS e-file Provider is a tax professional or firm who is accepted into the IRS electronic filing program. One type of Authorized IRS e-file Provider is an Electronic Return Originator (ERO). An ERO is a person or firm that taxpayers entrust with tax information for the purpose of filing income tax returns electronically to the IRS. Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's is an ERO.
What is the Personal Identification Number (PIN)?
The PIN allows you to personally sign your electronic tax return using a five-digit number. The PIN serves as your signature on your tax returns. Our firm will have this form all filled out for you when you come to pick up your returns or they are mailed to you. All we need you to do is sign the form for us to keep on file and then we are able to e-file your returns.
Do I really get my refund faster?
With IRS e-file you get it back in half the usual time. It’s even faster and safer if you have your refund deposited directly to your bank account in as few as 10 days. Ask your Authorized IRS e-file Provider for the estimated date of deposit.
Can I pay my balance due by phone or Internet with a credit card if I’m a “married filing joint” filer?
Yes. Just be sure to enter the Social Security number of the first taxpayer listed on the return’s pre-printed mailing label or postcard. This is usually the taxpayer listed on the return.
Should I wait until April 15th to file electronically if I owe taxes?
No. You can e-file your return as soon as it is completed. Then send your payment in on or before April 15th. Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's will give you a payment voucher and addressed envelope to make sure it goes to the correct IRS center.
Do I have a greater chance of getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service if I use IRS e-file?
No. The chance of an audit of an e-filed return is no greater than with a paper return.
How do I know that the IRS really has my return?
The IRS notifies your Authorized IRS e-file Provider within 48 hours of transmission that your return information was received. If the IRS detects any errors, it sends a message back to our firm indicating the error. Our firm will correct the error and notify you to let you know what the error was. We will then retransmit your returns to the IRS.
Can my state tax return be e-filed with my Federal return at the same time?
There are 37 states and the
What if I owe and cannot pay the full balance due on my taxes?
The tax preparation software used by our firm can allow you to make partial payments. In this case, you can make a payment for less than the balance due amount on your return. If you cannot pay in full by April 15, you can file an Installment Agreement Request. This form is available to our firm. Please call our office for this service.
What happens if my return is filed electronically, I am receiving a refund, and I owe taxes from previous years?
The amount owed on back taxes is automatically deducted from your refund just as if you filed a paper return.
How can I contact the IRS about my tax return?
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.
How can I obtain a copy of my tax return?
Of course, we at Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's supply you with a copy and if you lose it, we will furnish you with another copy. If we did not prepare the return, and for some reason you do not have a copy in your possession, you need to file form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Forms, with the IRS service center where you filed your missing return.
Do I have what it takes to own/manage a small business?
You will be your own most important asset, so an objective appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses is essential. To determine if you have what it takes, YOU need to answer some questions about yourself: Am I a self-starter? How well do I get along with a variety of personalities? How good am I at making decisions? Do I have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? How well do I plan and organize? Are my attitudes and drive strong enough to maintain motivation? How will the business affect my family?
What business should I choose?
Usually, the best business for you is the one in which you are most skilled and interested. For example, you are trained as an auto mechanic; you may want to consider opening a shop related to auto repair. As you review your options it is advisable to consult local experts and business persons about the growth potential of various businesses in your area. Matching your background with the local market characteristics will increase your chance of success.
What is a business plan and why do I need one?
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals and serves as your firm’s resume. Its basic components include a market study, marketing/promotional strategy, current balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make the right decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan package.
Why do I need to define my business in detail?
It may seem silly to ask yourself, “What business am I really in”, but some owner-managers have gone broke because they never answered that question. One watch store owner realized that most of his time was spent repairing watches while most of his money was spent selling them. He finally decided he was in the repair business and discontinued the sales operations. His profits improved dramatically. Clearly defining your business or your purpose will give a true sense of direction as your venture develops.
What legal aspects do I need to consider?
Licenses, permits, zoning laws and other regulations vary from business to business and from state to state. You will need to consider requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to accommodate needs of your customers and your employees. Your local Small Business Administration office and/or chamber of commerce can provide you with general information, but you will need to consult your attorney for advice specific to your enterprise and area. You also must decide about your form of organization (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship).
What do I need to succeed in a business?
There are four basic needs for success in small business:
Would a partner(s) make it easier to be successful?
A business partner does not guarantee success. If you require additional management skills or start-up capital, engaging a partner may be your best decision. Personality and character, as well as ability to give technical or financial assistance, determine the ultimate success of a partnership. A successful partnership usually occurs when partners compliment each other so that one’s weakness is another’s strength. If you decide a partner is a good idea, make certain each of you has a clear, written understanding of your responsibilities and your rights.
What other financial responsibilities do I have for employees?
You must withhold federal and state income taxes from all wages and salaries, contribute to unemployment and workers compensation systems, and match Social Security contributions. You may also wish to inquire about key employee life or disability insurance. Because laws on these matters vary from state to state, you should consult local information sources.
What should I know about accounting and bookkeeping?
The importance of keeping adequate records cannot be stressed too much. Without financial records, you cannot determine how well your business is doing or where it is going. At a minimum, records are needed to substantiate:
1. Your tax returns under Federal and State laws, including income tax and Social Security laws;
2. Your request for credit from vendors or a loan from a bank;
3. Your claims about the business, should you wish to sell it.
But most important, you need them to run your business successfully and to increase your profits.
How do I set up the right record keeping system for my business?
The type of records and how many you need, depend on your particular operation. Our resources and accountants can provide you with many options. When deciding what is and is not necessary, keep in mind the following questions:
1. How will this record be used?
2. How important is this information likely to be?
3. Is the information available elsewhere in an equally accessible form?
What financial statements will I need?
You should prepare and understand three basic financial statements:
1. The balance sheet, which is a record of assets, liabilities and capital at a specific point in time;
2. The income (profit and loss) statement, which is a summary of your earnings, expenses and net profit (or loss) over a given period of time;
3. The cash flow projection, which shows the actual inflows and actual outflows of cash into and out of your business.
Do you work with Start-Up companies (new companies)?
Yes! Many of our clients are / were new entrepreneurs that are just starting in business. We will lead you through the necessary governmental forms. Through our area networking, we can also assist in finding you other necessary professionals to deal with; (lawyers, insurance agents, mortgage brokers).
I prepare my own tax return, why use your services?
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.
If my return is electronic, how do I sign it?
The most convenient way for you to sign your electronic return is to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN). It is completely paperless! Our firm has you sign a document that shows that you agree with the numbers in the return and are allowing us to e-file your return for you. The signed forms stay at our firm for four years.
What is the most tax efficient way to save for my children’s education?
The educational savings area is very complicated. We at Steven Sewald & Co., CPA's recommend that taxpayers seek professional assistance. Although a Section 529 Plan, under the 2001 Tax Act, is an extremely flexible and tax effective plan, there are other plans to be considered. Also when considering any educational savings plan, consideration should be given to the impact on financial aid qualification requirements.
I want to start a new business. Can you tell me which type of business I should form?
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 and consideration given to liability issues and tax advantages.
What do I do when I am ready?
You have done your homework: you have a complete business plan; you know where you want to operate; you know how much cash you will need; and you have specific information on employee, vendor and market possibilities. You now may want someone to look over your plans objectively. Contact us. We will review you work and help with the fine tuning. Then, when you have made the final decision to go ahead, it is time to call the bank and get going. We can take care of all of your business federal and state registration package requirements for you. Good Luck!