At W3 Financial Group, we serve as your chief advocate to ensure that you consistently receive best‐in‐class advice and service. We take great pride in offering valuable education and insights to our clients. Find the answers to your tax, accounting, and finance questions here, or contact us for more information!

What should I do if I receive an IRS notice about my taxes?

If you receive a notice from the IRS, you should first read the notice carefully to understand what it’s saying. Not all letters from the IRS are critical. If there is a problem, the IRS will include the reason for the letter and how you can resolve the issue. You need to inform your CPA right away if there’s a problem.

How do you track the status of a tax refund?

You can quickly check the status of your federal or state tax refund through the IRS website. To access this information, you will need your social security number, filing status, and the exact amount of your expected refund.

How long should I keep my records and tax returns?

It’s recommended to keep your tax records for at least three years from the date you filed your original return or from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. However, it’s best to err on the safe side and keep your records longer in case any issues arise in the future.

How can I find out if I owe any other government debts besides taxes?

The best way to determine if you owe any other government debts besides taxes is to contact the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). TOP is a program that collects unsettled debts owed to government agencies by offsetting tax refunds and other government payments.

Can I deduct expenses for a business run out of my home?
Home-based entrepreneurs can claim deductions for home office expenses, such as rent, utilities, and insurance. However, to be eligible for these deductions, the home must be your principal place of business or where you meet clients regularly. Additionally, the area used for business must be exclusively dedicated to that purpose.
What is the difference between a C and an S corporation?
The main difference between a C corporation and an S corporation is how they are taxed. A C corporation is taxed separately from its owners, while an S corporation’s profits and losses are passed through to the shareholders’ personal income tax returns. Another key difference is in ownership restrictions. C corporations can have unlimited shareholders of any type, while S corporations have limits on the number and type of shareholders.
What are the consequences of early withdrawals from my retirement plans?

Withdrawing your retirement fund before you reach retirement age has serious consequences for your wealth management strategy. For one, you may have to pay an early withdrawal penalty of up to 10% in addition to regular income taxes on the amount withdrawn. Furthermore, you could also lose out on potential growth and compounding interest that can significantly impact your retirement savings in the long run.

What do I need to keep for my charitable contributions?

What you’ll need to keep will depend on whether your contributions are cash or non-cash:

  • Cash Donations – You should keep a record of all cash contributions, such as bank statements, receipts, or written communication from the organization.
  • Non-Cash Donations – For non-cash contributions worth $250 or more, you need to have a receipt showing the name of the charitable organization, the date and location of the donation, and a description of the items donated. For non-cash contributions worth less than $250, you should keep a record of the organization’s name and the date and location of the donation.
What are the differences between a Roth and a conventional IRA?
The main difference between a Roth and a conventional IRA is the tax treatment. Contributions to a traditional IRA are typically tax-deductible, but you will pay taxes on withdrawals during retirement. On the other hand, contributions to a Roth IRA are not deductible, but qualified distributions in retirement are tax-free. Additionally, there are no required minimum distributions for Roth IRAs, whereas traditional IRAs require mandatory withdrawals at a certain age.
What’s involved in succession planning for family businesses?

Planning for the succession of a family business can be complicated, which is why it’s important to partner with the right consultants for guidance. Below are the critical elements involved in a succession:

  • Business Strategic Plan – A business strategic plan outlines the company’s vision, mission, and goals. A business strategic plan allows family members to understand the company’s direction for every generation and make decisions based on it.
  • Family Strategic Plan – A family strategic plan outlines the mission and vision of the family. It ensures that the family is unified in its decision-making process, especially where it relates to business matters.
  • Estate Plan – An estate plan will help you determine how and when to transfer ownership of the company to the next generation. This plan could come from trusts, wills, or living wills. It also ensures that the transfer of ownership is tax-efficient.
  • Succession Plan – This plan is the seed of the business succession plan. It details how and who will run the business after its transfer to the next generation. A well-planned succession plan ensures a smooth leadership transition and minimizes potential conflicts.
What should I include in a business plan?

A comprehensive business plan aims to cover multiple facets of your business, including marketing and financial management. Here’s an ideal business plan structure:

  • Introduction – The introduction section provides a bird’s-eye view of your business idea and what you hope to achieve. This section should outline the purpose of your business, its goals and objectives, its structure, and a brief description of products or services.
  • Marketing – This section details your target market, competition, and marketing strategies. Include a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to provide a general overview of your market standing.
  • Financial Management – This section covers your financial projections, accounting, budget, and funding plan. It should include forecasts for at least three to five years, a detailed breakdown of costs, and expected revenue streams.
  • Operations – Here, you should outline your business’s day-to-day operations structure, including staffing and management. It also helps to include any legal requirements or permits for your business.
  • Conclusion – The last section of your business plan should summarize the highlights of your plan, reiterating key points and highlighting why your business is viable and profitable. You can also include appendices or supporting documents at the end of your business plan.
What steps can I take to improve my business’s cash flow?

There are numerous ways you can improve your business cash flow. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Incentivize Early Payment – Offer discounts to customers who pay early or on time to incentivize prompt payment.
  • Learn When To Lease and When To Buy – Leasing may provide more cash flow flexibility, but buying could save you money in the long run. Consider your business’s needs before deciding.
  • Consider a Buying Cooperative – Many business owners also seek ways to save money. Joining a buying cooperative can help you reduce purchasing costs and improve cash flow.
  • Optimize Inventory – Supplies are the biggest expense for many businesses. Consider optimizing your inventory using “just-in-time” techniques to reduce costs and adjust based on customer demand.
  • Send Out Invoices Right Away – The earlier you send out invoices, the sooner you can expect payment. This strategy will help improve your cash flow and keep your business running smoothly.
  • Utilize Digital Payments – Give your customers and clients the option to pay digitally. This method can help speed up payment processing and improve cash flow.
  • Increase Pricing Accordingly – As your business grows, you may need to increase prices to maintain profitability. Make sure to review your pricing strategy regularly and adjust accordingly.
Should I keep a cash reserve in my small business?
A cash reserve would benefit any small business in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses. Keeping an emergency cache of cash can help you stay afloat in difficult times and continue your business operations without taking on debts.

Additional Questions? Contact Us

If you don’t see your question on this page, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our services, our approach, or just general tax, accounting, or finance inquiries.