3100 West End Ave Suite #1060 Nashville, TN 37203
Cody & Jones CPAs
615 469 5566
3100 West End Ave Suite #1060 Nashville, TN 37203
Brad is a Certified Public Accountant that has been in the accounting field since 2007. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Brad has worked in both large and small organizations and is very familiar with the complexities of running each. He has had extensive experience in financial analysis and working with companies to improve operational efficiency and increase profitability. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. Brad lives in Hendersonville with his wife Lindsay and their two children.
John has been in the accounting field since 2006. He specializes in a variety of solutions including business accounting, business consulting, tax planning and tax preparation. John has extensive experience in financial accounting and reporting, financial management, income tax planning and tax preparation. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Tennessee and a graduate of Clarkson University with a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. John lives in Nashville and enjoys spending his spare time with his wife Meaghan and daughter Emma.
We pride ourselves on providing one-on-one attention to our clients to meet their specific needs. Are you running your business at its peak performance?
10 After Tax Season Tips
Now that tax season is over and you have hopefully already filed your tax return. Here is a list of helpful tips to make filing your taxes next year a breeze.
Keep a copy of your 2014 tax return.
If you move or change tax preparers your new accountant is going to want to see your prior year taxes for comparison purposes and to see if you have any carry-overs from 2014 that will affect your 2015 tax return.
Keep track of that mileage!
We know it can be a pain to keep good records especially a mileage log. But should the IRS ever try to challenge your mileage deduction keeping a good log of your mileage will be invaluable.
Save those receipts.
If you buy anything big like a car, truck, SUV, boat or even an airplane you can deduct those sales taxes on your tax return in addition to your regular sales tax deduction. Also if you have any business expenses that you are not reimbursed for save those as they may be deductible.
Make your estimated payments or adjust your withholdings.
It’s never a good idea to pay too little in tax all year and have a big tax bill when you file your return. Likewise it’s not a good idea to overpay all year and give the government a free loan on your money. If you are self-employed make the estimated payments your accountant recommends and make them on time to avoid potential underpayment penalties. If you work for an employer check your latest pay stub and see what percentage is being withheld and compare that to your effective tax rate last year. Generally it is a good idea to have slightly more withheld then your effective tax rate.
Save all your important tax documents in the same place.
It can be easy to lose track of those important tax documents that your accountant will need to file your tax return. We recommend you keep one folder for each year of tax documents and each time you receive one simply place it in the folder and when you’re ready to file your taxes had that folder to your accountant.
Own a business? Keep clean and reconciled books.
Odds are if you own a small business you either lack the time or expertise to keep an accurate bookkeeping system. It would be well worth your money to hire a qualified bookkeeper to enter transactions and reconcile accounts on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis depending upon your needs.
Have a home office? Save those utility bills.
If you have an office in your home which you use regularly and exclusively for business purposes you can deduct a portion of your utility bills from your business income. But you will need to keep good records of all your bills.
If you donate to charity keep records of all your gifts.
If you donate household goods or clothing have the charity give you a receipt which shows what you donated and an estimate of the fair market value (FMV) or what they will try to sell it for. Goodwill provides an estimate of the FMV of various items on their website. Gifts of cash or check you need to keep receipts or get a statement for any gifts over $250.
Find a CPA.
If you don’t have one already find a competent tax professional such as a CPA to help you file your taxes. A good CPA can look at your specific situation and provide valuable guidance to minimize your tax burden.
File an extension? Wrap up your return as soon as possible.
If you had to file an extension because you didn’t have all the information you needed to finish your taxes you have an extra 6 months to get your tax return done. Just because you now have until October 15 th doesn’t mean you should wait that long. If you owe the longer you wait the higher the interest you will have to pay. Alternatively if you are getting money back don’t you want to get that back as soon as possible? Once you have it all ready get everything back to your accountant and get those taxes done sooner rather than later.
Ready For Tax Season Nashville? Helpful Tips For Tennessee Taxpayers
With Tax season here our Partner John Cody sat down with WZTN Fox 17 news to discuss some tax tips.
Important updates relating to the affordable care act:
- Everyone is required to have minimum essential coverage under the law or potentially face a penalty.
- A new form 1095 will be issued to provide proof of coverage but for this year reporting is optional so it is up to the taxpayer to determine if they had coverage which qualifies.
- There can be stiff penalties for those who fail to have coverage up to 2% of income or the cost of the lowest price plan on the healthcare exchange.
- Individuals can potentially be exempted from the requirement to have coverage or exempted from the penalty if they meet certain requirements.
- We recommend anyone who did not have minimum coverage required under the law to seek help from a tax professional (CPA or EA). Also anyone who purchased a plan under the exchange and received a subsidy should have their tax return prepared by a professional.
See the full story here.
Gallatin & Nashville CPAs answers the question, “Should I hire a bookkeeper?”
I hear so many entrepreneurs say they wish they hired a bookkeeper sooner than they did. There are many reasons why business owners are hesitant about hiring a bookkeeper though. Let’s review some of the typical questions business owners have about hiring a bookkeeper.
Q. What are the tasks that a bookkeeper performs, and how often?
A. Bookkeepers can take care of payroll, year-end payroll forms, government remittances, record daily/monthly financial transactions, prepare budgets, pay bills, and even some admin type tasks. How often depends on how many transactions you have, but the norm is at least monthly, if not weekly. Many bookkeepers can work remotely now with the help of QuickBooks Online and other online accounting programs.
Q. What are the benefits of having a bookkeeper vs managing it yourself?
A. The main benefit to hiring a bookkeeper is that it frees the business owner up to concentrate on running their business and generating income. Bookkeepers will be more efficient and will often complete the tasks in half the time the business owner would spend. Another benefit is having access to the bookkeeper’s knowledge. A bookkeeper typically has multiple clients and can give guidance on best pricing for services such as banking, insurance, etc.
Q. How does one get started working with a bookkeeper?
A. Many times, your accountant can refer a great bookkeeper if their office does not offer the service. Or ask other companies who they use and what services the bookkeeper performs for the company. These first two options are the best since someone else is recommending the bookkeeper based off their experience of working with them. But you can also find a qualified bookkeeper that is certified through the accounting software the company uses. For example, QuickBooks certifies individuals by making them take and pass tests on the software. So you know the individual is experienced using the accounting software.
Q. Is a bookkeeper and CPA the same thing? Should I have a bookkeeper and a CPA?
A. Bookkeepers and CPAs are not the same. Bookkeepers focus on the daily/weekly/monthly tasks, providing information but not any opinions. A CPA has a higher level of expertise, having completed additional certifications. They provide advice and other analysis, including certified year-end financial statement preparation, tax returns and dealing with the IRS. I like having the company’s CPA firm handle the bookkeeping as well as all tax work. Not only does it makes it more convenient for the business to have everything handled by the same office, it ensures the bookkeeper and CPA is working together and the CPA can spot any problem areas before tax season.
Q. What accounting software should I use?
A. If you run a small business and are seeking a more efficient way to do your bookkeeping, you've most likely considered using computer software. There are several ways to go when choosing accounting software for your small business, but QuickBooks is most often business owners’ first choice.
QuickBooks is perfect for small- to mid-sized businesses, because it's affordable, customizable, and easy-to-use. At Cody & Jones CPAs, LLC we can help you with every aspect of QuickBooks setup, training, and use in Nashville and Gallatin.
Setting up QuickBooks for Your Business
We’ll take time to discuss your accounting and software needs before making recommendations about how to best use QuickBooks for your business. We’ll then help you:
• Install the QuickBooks software – We assist you in designing and setting up a system that works for you, including payroll processing, accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable.
• Load your chart of accounts and balances per your selected starting date
• Create a list of the items that you sell, including: services, inventory parts, non-inventory parts, other charges, and sales taxes
• Enter your outstanding accounts receivable and accounts payable details, as well as your ending statement bank balances, and outstanding checks and deposits.
We’ll even print a trial balance and compare it to the information from your old system. No matter what business you’re in, or how you’ve structured your accounting system, our team of CPAs can design the setup of your QuickBooks accounting software in the way that makes the most sense for you and how you do business.
Getting the Most out of QuickBooks Every Day
Once QuickBooks is up and running, we train your employees on how to use it. We will come to your location and give you one-on-one support that helps you take advantage of QuckBooks’ many features, so you get the most out of the program.
And once we’re done showing you to use the program, we won’t leave you hanging – we offer QuickBooks tune-ups so small business owners can get a handle on their books. Whether you need to prepare for tax season, a financial review, or you just want to clean up some problem areas, our tune-up will help you organize your bookkeeping system.
Our QuickBooks tune-up allows you to:
• Review all of your transactions for the year• Create customized reports• Clean up stray entries• Balance your general ledger
Using QuickBooks for Your Small Business? Get Help from a CPA!
Cody & Jones CPAs, LLC specializes in helping small businesses with all of their accounting needs. If you are looking to get started with QuickBooks or would like to know how to better utilize it, give us a call to learn more about our Nashville and Gallatin QuickBooks services.
QuickBooks Setup Although QuickBooks is designed for the layman to understand, the initial setup and installation can be tricky. Save hours of frustration by allowing us to setup QuickBooks for you correctly.
Buy QuickBooks and Save Save up to 20% on the newest version of QuickBooks.
QuickBooks Training Once QuickBooks is setup and working properly, we can train you or your employees to properly operate QuickBooks specifically for your business.
QuickTuneup Whether you need to prepare your books for tax time, a financial review, or you just need to clean up some problem areas, you'll get your QuickBooks running smoothly again with a complete Tune-up.
QuickBooks Tips Please take a look at these shortcuts and "tricks of the trade" designed to save you time and make your QuickBooks experience even more productive.
Why 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.
Nashville CPA’s Guide to Prepare for Tax Season
The end of the year is typically a joyous time for people. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “Time flies when you are having fun.” And there is so much fun at year end. There is Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and preparing for tax season. Well, maybe preparing for tax season is not much fun. This year, let’s do away with the shoe box of receipts and review some tips to prepare for tax season.
1.) Figure out how you are going to prepare your taxes. Are you going to use software and do it yourself? Are you going to use a preparer? Software has simplified the process of preparing taxes yourself, but it is always best to consult a CPA if you had a major life event. There are several major life events that will change your tax situation and dramatically affect your tax benefits. Marriage, divorce, birth of a child, bought or sold a home, someone in the household went to college, changed jobs, retired, or started a business are all major life events. Make sure you get all the deductions possible by speaking to a CPA.
2.) Securely save each and every tax form that arrives in your mailbox. Designate a secure place to put all of those W-2s and 1099s and statements as they arrive and, when they show up, put those forms in that place.
3.) Use a tax organizer. Most accountants and bookkeepers provide their clients with a basic tax organizer. The tax organizer outlines what items should be collected and are necessary to complete a tax filing. Gather all items and keep them in your designated secure place until your meeting with your accountant or CPA.
4.) Missing Information? After you review the materials in your organizer make a list of missing items. Are there questions that you cannot readily answer? While you’re pursuing the missing documentation, it is recommended that you continue to schedule your tax appointment and gather whatever data you can. Once at the appointment, you and your accountant can review the gaps and devise next steps.
5.) What to bring. Regardless if you have used an accountant or tax preparer before, there are standard items that you will need to gather each year.
a) All of your income and expenses from all sources (interest income, business income, partnership, SSI, investment expenses), preferably organized into categories and totaled. If you own your business and don’t have clean accounting records, it is best to use the services of a bookkeeper to organize the data. The bookkeeper hourly rate will be a lot cheaper than a tax professional performing the same work. Investment income and expenses can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other investments. Generally investment firms provide statements (either quarterly, annually, or when a sale or purchase has been made) for your records.
b) Get those deductions. If you have deductible business expenses, you’ll need to provide documentation for every purchase including medical expenses, capital expenditures, interest, and charitable contributions. Employee-related deductions are often overlooked and can include employee business expenses such as flowers for the secretaries, going away luncheons, brief cases, calculators, supplies, union dues, subscriptions, etc. Make sure to maintain an accurate log of expenses including the date purchased, reason, and proper receipt.
6.) Admit to delays and deal with them. Do not stress yourself out by waiting until April 14 th to frantically call your accountant and beg for an extension. It is better to file the extension early and continue to work on whatever gaps exist in your tax documentation. You will have peace of mind knowing that you have extra time to file and your accountant will thank you for the advance notice.
7.) Don’t be surprised by the Self Employment Tax (SE Tax). For small business owners, this tax amounts to about 15% in addition to your federal income tax on net business earnings. The SE Tax is basically a social security tax for small business and independent contractors. So be prepared to pay the tax and don’t shoot the messenger when your accountant tells you that you owe this payment.
If you have complicated tax issues, please plan ahead and know that they cannot be resolved on April 14 th . No matter what business finances issues you have, it is advisable to address these issues with your accountant or CPA throughout the course of the year so there aren’t unpleasant surprises in April.
Owe back taxes, IRS Tax Lien or Tax Levy? How we can help:
We usually see at least one to two new clients each month with significant tax problems in our Nashville or Gallatin, TN offices. They come to us and have not filed taxes in 3, 5 or 7 years and/or they owe thousands of dollars in back taxes. Naturally, they are scared and maybe ashamed. We are honored that people trust us and turn to us for help through a difficult time. Their wages may be garnished or the IRS has filed a Lien or Levy on their assets or bank accounts. We can sit with them for about an hour and explain our process; usually by the end of that initial meeting they are feeling better.
The road to fixing these IRS problems starts by appointing a representative. As CPA’s, we are licensed to practice before the IRS and to represent tax payers to resolve tax problems. In the initial meeting we will gather all of the relevant facts and discuss the process we will take to resolve your case with the IRS.
The first step is having you and, if married, your spouse sign a Power of Attorney (Form 2848). This form authorizes us to discuss your case, have access to your tax records, represent you and negotiate directly with the IRS on your behalf. Once we have this form and a retainer for our services, which is typically $1,000 to $1,500, we can get started on resolving your tax problems. Within about 3 days we can contact the IRS and have all collection activities stopped. If you have been assigned a local revenue agent, we can work with them directly. Otherwise, we will discuss your case with the regional collections department. We can stop any wage garnishments or bank seizures and get the IRS to place a temporary hold on the account while we get everything prepared and filed. This temporary hold will stop any liens, levys, or garnishments that the federal or state tax departments may place on your account.
Shortly thereafter, we will get started on preparing any past due tax returns that you may have. Although we ask that you provide us with every original tax document, we can pull any income or deduction reported to the IRS if you cannot find each original form. Once the returns are complete, we will usually deliver them in person to the local IRS office here in Nashville, TN. It will then take the IRS 6-8 weeks to process all the returns.
Once all the returns are prepared, the IRS will usually give us another 30-60 days to prepare either an Offer in Compromise (Form 656) or Installment Agreement request (Form 9465). Depending on the amount of back taxes you owe, your current income level, and your financial situation, we can decide if an Offer in Compromise or an Installment Agreement will be the best option for you to resolve your tax problems.
An Offer in Compromise is when the IRS will accept a payment of less than your total tax debt in order to settle the total amount of taxes that you owe. If you qualify for an Offer in Compromise, we will pursue this option first as it is the most effective way to reduce your tax debt and resolve your back tax issues with the IRS.
An Installment Agreement is essentially setting up a payment plan with the IRS. If due to your income level or your net worth (Total Assets minus Total Liabilities) you cannot qualify for an offer in compromise, an installment agreement is the next best option if you cannot find a way to pay your total tax bill in full. This will give you time, usually over 72 monthly payments, to pay your past due tax bill. However, interest and penalties will continue to accrue on your past due tax debts until all back taxes are paid in full. If you can obtain credit through traditional means (a home equity line of credit for example), this is often a better option due to the interest and penalties the IRS will continue to accrue on your tax debt. The interest paid on a home equity line of credit is also tax deductible, where interest paid to the IRS is not tax deductible.
Whatever solution is right for you, we can help guide you through the difficult process of resolving your tax problems, removing a tax lien, levy or wage garnishment and settling your back taxes in the most effective way possible given your unique circumstances.
John and Brad have worked in public accounting firms as well as small and large companies in the corporate accounting field. We gained invaluable experience providing tax preparation, bookkeeping, payroll, financial planning and budget analysis for these companies. But something was missing. We missed working with individuals and small businesses. We started Cody & Jones CPAs to offer the same accounting and tax services that large corporations receive from their full staff of accountants to individuals and small businesses so they can fully understand their financial situation and reach their personal and professional goals. We strive to be their all-encompassing financial partner.
As a trusted advisor, our mission is to provide superior financial, tax and consulting services to businesses and individuals in the Nashville area.
Through exceptional service and value we will become the premier CPA firm in our region and favorably impact the communities we serve.
By embracing the highest ethical standards we engage with our clients and colleagues in a fair and ethical manner and seek to gain trust through our actions.
We are dedicated to continuous improvement and learning to maintain our expertise in the evolving business environment and stay ahead of the emerging issues that matter most to our clients.
We foster an environment of mutual respect with our clients, business partners, employees and vendors. We are committed to our client’s privacy and maintain strict confidentiality.
We provide timely, accurate and up-to-date service solutions for our client’s financial needs. We deliver on our commitments to our clients.
We provide exceptional service to our clients by building personal relationships, understanding their needs and dedicating ourselves to help them meet their goals. We serve as advocates for our clients.
Business Tax Services
Small Business Accounting
New Business Formation
- IRS Audit Representation
- Non-Filed Tax Returns
- Back Taxes Owed
- Payroll Tax Problems
- IRS Liens
- IRS Levies
- IRS Wage Garnishment
- IRS Seizures
- IRS Payment Plan
- Offer In Compromise
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Get Your IRS File
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My View on Corporate Inversions
The Department of the Treasury announced new regulations on Monday aimed at limiting corporate inversions. Although this has been covered in detail by the news media no one seems to be talking about the real issue which is our corporate tax code. US Corporate taxes are some of the highest in the world while to code is riddled with loopholes which allow many Corporations to greatly reduce and in some cases even eliminate their corporate taxes. In my view the new treasury regulations put another Band-Aid on the problem but fail to address the real issue which is the tax code itself.
A corporate inversion is when a corporation moves its headquarters to a foreign country (with a lower corporate tax rate) in order to reduce or eliminate its tax bill in the United States. Inversions are usually done as part of a merger or acquisition the goal of which is to reduce the total tax burden for the organization. There are several types of transactions the corporation can then enter into which shift taxable income out of the US subsidiary and into the foreign parent company.
Inversions have received much criticism in the media recently as some view them as an unfair trick companies can use to reduce US taxes. However, the goal of a corporate entity is to maximize the wealth of its shareholders so if a corporation had a way to reduce its total tax bill why wouldn’t they take advantage of it. In my view the unwillingness or inability of law makers and the administration to address the corporate tax code and make it more competitive globally is the cause of the issue.
The highest federal US corporate tax rate (the rate most large corporations would be subject to) is a 35%. KPMG estimates that when you average in state taxes the effective tax rate for US corporations is 40%. ( kpmg.com/global/en/services/tax/tax-tools-and-resources/pages/corporate-tax-rates-table.aspx ) This is compared to a global average of 23.57%.
So why should US corporation be subject to taxes nearly double that of the global average? My view is that 1. They shouldn’t and 2. Lawmakers are well aware this rate is unfair and non-competitive in the global business environment but lack the willpower to reform the corporate tax code. Due to various deductions and credits some large corporations are able to avoid paying corporate taxes at all. ( huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/corporation-tax-rate_n_4855763.html ) This is yet more evidence that the current tax code is unfair and in need or serious reform.
I would propose a more equitable tax code would have a globally competitive rate (20-25%) and eliminate loopholes which allow some companies to avoid corporate taxes all together. I simpler tax code would also reduce the administrative burden on corporations and eliminate these inversion games which have become so popular. Corporations are not at fault for this inversion mess, they are only playing by the complex ground rules; instead our outdated tax code is the root cause of the problem.