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December 12, 2017

What’s in the Senate Tax Bill and What’s Next?

The Senate recently passed a tax reform bill. Here are some of the key provisions it contains:

For Individuals

The Senate bill changes the rates on taxable income to:

10% (income up to $9,525 for individuals; up to $19,050 for married couples filing jointly)
12% (over $9,525 to $38,700; over $19,050 to $77,400 for couples)
22% (over $38,700 to $70,000; over $77,400 to $140,000 for couples)
24% (over $70,000 to $160,000; over $140,000 to $320,000 for couples)
32% (over $160,000 to $200,000; over $320,000 to $400,000 for couples)
35% (over $200,000 to $500,000; over $400,000 to $1 million for couples)
38.5% (over $500,000; over $1 million for couples)

Eliminates the personal tax exemption of $4,050.

Nearly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Eliminates state and income tax deduction.

Caps property tax deduction at $10,000.

Retains mortgage interest as deductible up to a debt cap of $1 million.

Doubles the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $2,000, but the additional $1,000 is not refundable.

Retains the Alternative Minimum Tax, but it will apply to higher earners.

Allows teachers to deduct $500 of self-purchased supplies rather than $250.

Allows itemizers to deduct medical and dental expenses if they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income in 2017 and 2018 (lowered from 10%).

Removes the mandate to buy individual health insurance.

For Businesses

The Senate bill cuts the corporate tax rate to 20% beginning in 2019.

Companies would be required to pay a one-time tax on existing overseas profits (14.5% on cash assets and 7.5% on non-cash assets).

What’s next for the tax reform bill?

The House and the Senate each passed their own version of a tax reform bill. They must both pass an identical version before it can be presented to President Trump for his signature.

Need help with tax preparation? Call EZ Accounting at 520-318-4912 or click here for more information.

Smiling businessman calculates taxes and gestures with a thumbs up to portray the concept of tax credits.
November 7, 2017

Understanding Tax Credits

While tax deductions lower the portion of your income that can be taxed, tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe. The amount of your tax credits lowers the amount of tax you owe. There are two types of tax credits: non-refundable and refundable.

Non-refundable tax credits can reduce tax owed to as little as zero. Examples of non-refundable tax credits include retirement savings, education, and child care expenses.

Refundable tax credits allow you to get a refund past zero tax liability. Examples of refundable tax credits include:

– The Earned Income Tax Credit – If you are a low or moderate-income working family with children, you may be eligible for up to a $6000 tax credit.

– American Opportunity Tax Credit – If you are paying tuition for an eligible student, you may qualify for up to a $2500 tax credit per student.

– Additional Child Tax Credit – If you have children, each dependent child under age 17 may entitle a qualifying household to a credit of $1000.

Tax credits are also available at the state level. Some examples of Arizona tax credits in 2017 are:

– Contributions to qualifying charitable organizations

– Renewable energy production tax credit

– Corporate tuition tax credit

– University research and development tax credit

EZ Accounting can help you take advantage of all the latest tax credits to maximize your return. Call us at 520-318-4912 for help.

October 10, 2017

Are Charitable Donations Still Tax Deductible?

Charitable donations remain tax deductible as long as they comply with IRS regulations.

In order for your donations to be tax deductible, they must be donated to an IRS-qualified charitable organization. You can check whether an organization is qualified by entering their name in the search tool on this IRS web page:

In order for non-cash donations to be tax deductible, the items must be in good quality or better condition at the time of donation. The value of tax deductible items is based on the fair market value if they were sold in a consignment or thrift shop. To help you determine how much you can claim for various items, some charities provide valuation guides on their websites. One such example is

Typically, businesses are allowed to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income as charitable contributions, while businesses are limited to 10 percent of their taxable income.

Individuals and businesses should obtain and retain receipts for charitable donations in case of an audit. Receipts should state the name of the charity, the date of the donation, the location where the donation was made, and a description of the items given. If your donation is more than $500, special tax forms and appraisals may be required.

EZ Accounting can provide expert help with maximizing your charitable donations. Call us at 520-318-4912.

September 18, 2017

What You Can Do If You’re Worried About the Equifax Data Breach

You may have heard that Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, was recently hit by a cybersecurity attack which has compromised the private credit information of about half of the adults in the United States. Here is some helpful guidance about what you can do to protect yourself.

1) Visit the Equifax website directly for the latest information: At last report, when you visit this site, you can enroll for a free year of Equifax credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The service will include credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — as well as copies of your Equifax credit report. You can also scan for fraudulent use of your Social Security number on the internet; lock and unlock your Equifax credit report; and obtain identity theft insurance. All these services will be provided free for one year.

2) If your credit card was breached, you can rest assured that consumers are not liable for fraudulent charges on stolen credit cards. Still, you should go online to monitor your statement. If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your credit card issuer immediately so they can reverse the charge and issue you a new card. Be sure to hold on to your receipts, so you can prove which charges are authorized vs. unauthorized.

3) Debit cards do not automatically have the same fraudulent activity protections as credit cards, and since debit transactions withdraw straight from your bank account, you should pay very careful attention to your debit card account. Call your bank or card issuer and inquire if fraud protection applies. Ask if they recommend issuing you a new debit card. They may suggest you set up “alerts” on your account, so you will receive a notice when a transaction exceeds some threshold amount determined by you. They may also be able to set a password, so that someone who comes into a branch to make a withdrawal from your account has to first present that password. Monitor your debit card statement online, and if you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your debit card issuer immediately.

4) Make sure all your passwords are strong. If you’re using your pet’s name for a password, now is a good time to change it to something less prone to hacking.

5) Do NOT click on a link from an email or social media message regarding an Equifax data breach. It very likely is a scam.

6) If your credit or debit card was compromised, you will likely hear from your bank or credit card issuer first.

7) Optionally, you can visit to implement a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports. A freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report or scores, but you cannot be approved for new credit before lifting the freeze. A fraud alert flags your account, but won’t prevent you from applying for new credit.

8) Beware of any ad, email, phone call, or social media message pitching a free credit report. is the only website authorized by the Federal Trade Commission to offer you a free annual credit report. It’s a good practice to check your credit report annually for errors, even when there hasn’t been a report of a data breach.

EZ Accounting will continue to keep you in-the-know! For accounting help, call us at 520-318-4912.

August 21, 2017

City of Tucson Sales Tax Hike

On May 16, 2017, Tucson voters approved a 5-year increase to the City of Tucson sales tax rate. Effective July 1, 2017, the rate rose from 2.0% to 2.5%, increasing the total retail sales tax rate in Tucson, AZ from 8.1% to 8.6%. This change has no impact on Arizona use tax assessment, which remains at 5.6%.

Need help with sales tax filing? Call EZ Accounting today at 520-318-4912.

July 18, 2017

The Top 5 Reasons to Outsource Your Accounting

 1) By some estimates, you can save as much as 40% on monthly costs by outsourcing your accounting. This is because you pay only for accounting services and avoid the cost of employee salaries, expensive employee benefits packages, and other ancillary costs.
2) Having a lone bookkeeper can be a problem when he or she gets sick, goes on vacation, or quits. By outsourcing, you can benefit from a larger team that can keep your accounting running without interruption. Critical financial information may also be more readily accessible when you need it.
3) Hiring and letting go of accounting staff each time you have a significant ebb or flow in your business revenue can be time consuming and costly. You may find it easier, cheaper, and faster to scale your accounting needs up and down by outsourcing it.
4) No one can grow your business better than you can. Outsourcing your accounting frees you up to focus on growth.
5)  Accounting software and necessary, ongoing upgrades can be a major expense. Let your outsourced accounting firm absorb that cost, and spend the savings on your next vacation!
Ready to outsource your accounting? Call EZ Accounting today at 520-318-4912.
July 18, 2017

Employee or Independent Contractor?

The success of companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are driving a “Gig” Economy. This means there is a larger pool of labor available for short-term contract or freelance work. Many employers are gaining a competitive edge by tapping into it.

It is important that employers determine whether their workers are employees or independent contractors. Employers are required to withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes, and unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. Employers usually do not have to withhold or pay taxes on payments to independent contractors.

Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor depends on many factors such as the worker/employer relationship and the amount of behavioral control the employer exerts over the worker.

The IRS provides a free service to help employers determine the status of their workers. To obtain a free determination letter from the IRS, complete and submit Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding, to the IRS. The form is available at

For payroll support, contact EZ Accounting at 520-318-4912.

May 4, 2017

Did You Miss the April 18 Filing Deadline?

The penalty for filing a late tax return can be significantly higher than the penalty for paying your taxes late. If you did not file and you owe taxes, a return should be filed as soon as possible to reduce penalties. Penalties are usually based on a percentage of the tax owed, plus interest. If you are due a refund, there is no penalty for late filing.

Feeling overwhelmed? EZ Accounting can help. Call 520-318-4912.

May 1, 2017

Identity Theft by Email

Be wary of thieves who may try to obtain your personal financial information via email in order to commit fraud. This criminal activity is called “phishing.”

Phishers target their victims with emails that appear to be from a legitimate business. These emails often ask for highly personal information, such as social security number, bank account number, or credit card information. Phishing emails may also include a clickable link to a fake login screen. This is designed to get victims to share their user id and password information.

Don’t let authentic-looking logos, web addresses, or fake log-in screens fool you. Most financial institutions, including EZ Accounting, will never ask you to send an email containing your personal financial information. The safest way to log into your online accounts is to type the legitimate website address in the url address bar in your internet browser. Save the url link as a “bookmark,” so you can quickly return to it as often as needed.

You can securely share your financial information with EZ Accounting by visiting our website at Click on the blue “Transfer a File” button at the top right of the screen and log in with your user id and password.

If you receive a phishing email, you can file a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission’s website, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

May 1, 2017

New W-2 Scam Warning from the Arizona Department of Revenue

Employers should watch out for a W-2 email phishing scam this tax season, according to a March 2017 news release by the Arizona Department of Revenue. A company human resources or payroll person may receive an email that appears to be from an executive of that business. The email may request employee W-2 data and/or payroll information to be emailed in reply. The Arizona Department of Revenue recommends companies and their staff never respond to the email to confirm the sender’s request. Instead, they suggest payroll or HR connect with the person whose name is on the email by phone or in person.

An organization receiving a W-2 scam email should contact the Department of Revenue’s Identity Theft Call Center at (602) 716-6300, and forward the email to and place W-2 Scam in the subject line. Additionally, any company that falls victim to this scam should immediately file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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