Business in the USA from Russia. Part III. Accounting and taxes

Published on April 02, 2012

Business in the USA from Russia. Part III. Accounting and taxes

    Well, hands reached the next part.
    Segonya will tell you what I know about American accounting in relation to our alien` office and taxes.

    This is a continuation of the HOWTO topics : your business in the USA from Russia ,
    and Business in the USA from Russia. Part II Money and banks .

    Apparently, against the background of the fact that he finally unleashed the annual reporting here, in his homeland (“Mother-mother-mother”, echo 8- habitually echoed), I was drawn to write another post.
    Although, out of several lines of private correspondence in PM, there was a feeling that whoever needs it will ask, and there’s nothing to dump in public too.

    However, comparing the freshest sensations from “there” and from “here”, I can only say one thing - “if I could have been!” Therefore - I am writing 8-)

    Accounting

        There he is simple to disgrace!
    Naturally, the easiest way to hire an accountant. If on trifles, then (as far as I remember) you can find a freelancer for about $ 1000 per month. Naturally, a lot depends on the amount of work, qualifications of a bukh, certificates and so on.
    There is just an accountant, but there is a CPA - Certified Public Accountant. This is like our auditors 8-) and, among other things, they can represent the office in a dispute with the state, they themselves sign your statements and guarantee that everything will be tip-top. They are measured by the size of liability insurance to the client for errors. Well, in general, it's cool and expensive, I have not personally checked it.
        However, in fact, accounting is available even for a complete layman, to whom I belong. Yes, of course, a normal qualified accountant before or during the accounting process would probably manage to turn things around so that taxes would have to be paid less. However, the use of such a high-precision and expensive laser gun on our half-dead village sparrows does not make economic sense ...
        Therefore, I registered in QuickBooks Online, I pay $ 12.95 per month (with a card, every time - see the previous article) and I don’t blow it. I have a few operations, a dozen (a maximum of two) per month, because I easily score all this, receiving a weekly reminder from my planner. I spend half an hour a week from strength.
        The program allows you to set invoices. By the way, there, in America, the phrase "nice and professionally looking invoices" for some reason is considered necessary in advertising any nonsense for small business. Everywhere - from accounting programs to client banks and payment systems. Such a fair business for everyone. The main problem is to print the invoice 8-) they would try to fuss our mountains of documents back and forth ...
    However, okay.

        In general, everything is organized obviously. If you sold something to someone - it doesn’t matter, goods or services - you invoice a customer. the client has a debt, you have an asset. if you bought something from someone, write a check! From the bank account (or not at the bank, you can also take into account expenses from your pocket, although I do not use this) the amount of the check is debited, voila.
    In principle, it is possible to connect the accounting program directly to the client bank, and process the bank in (semi) automatic mode. However, this operation is not carried out head-on, it’s kind of like taking a QB Online account is not the cheapest, and the bank also has to pay something for the service - in short, it makes no economic sense to me again. I’ll hammer my check heels into accounting, and then with my own hands I will spread the money in the client bank.
        If the client paid money for some invoice - you accept the payment. The money themselves fall into the account, the invoice (or invoices, if there is a lot of money) are extinguished themselves. You can see the parameters of the company, a bunch of reports of all kinds, and so on. Again, this is unnecessary for us, with the exception of the moment when reporting to the tax begins.
        All this economy can then be edited, I used it several times, following the instructions of the accountant, in order to optimize taxes 8-) In general, both the program and the accounting principles themselves are simple as a door, they are not even difficult for non-professionals.

    Taxes

        I'd like to write a banal about "the inevitability of two things", but I will not.
    If only because I personally had the impression that it was just there that taxes could be avoided. All my experience with the fiscal and legal systems of the states says that Russian scammers who make hundreds of millions of scams in the USA are good reason for that. 8-)
        Well, the very first link on some local state tax website to the “Bill on Taxpayer Rights” , where 200 pages of taxpayer rights, and not a word about the rights of the IRS, after the native aspens are somewhat shocking. Yes, I have hatched from pink diapers for a long time, alas, and I fully understand that if anything - itI’ll be washed over and won’t think about it, but even if such aspirations of the state remain mainly at the level of declarations, it still warms the soul.
    Okay, time to go home to the rams.
        After registering with the IRS and receiving an EIN, a confirmation should come to the company address. It’s just an envelope, it has one leaf and a couple of booklets. On the sheet is printed (kabutta font on a typewriter! Although it seems like a laser. 8- looks very authentic and stylish) confirmation of the EIN assignment and it is written when and what reports should be submitted to the IRS. In my case, this is Form 1120 (Federal Income Tax) and the date is 03/15 / 20XX. Valuable paper, although not stamped, I would not like to fall in love with, therefore, once again - when registering, pay attention to the reachability of your American address! I don’t know how - even send yourself a letter to check how the mail goes through, that everything is blurry everywhere and the wheels are spinning ...

        Booklets are an EFTPS ad, a federal tax payment system. She is free. The thing is that there the office can’t just stupidly take it and transfer the tax to US Treasury. You must first declare the game to get authorization for this. Previously, all taxpayers were given FTD Coupons, this is a book with coupons that had to be somehow attached to payments. Dregs, in short. Now there is another option - you can rush into this federal online system and create something like an online coupon at your discretion.
        Since I have neither profit nor taxes, I did not begin to regret. But I do not rule out this possibility in the future. And at the moment, the principle of reasonable sufficiency, widely used in my life, (as the reader probably already managed to notice it myself) dictated the choice of the third way to pay tax - stupidly send a check. This is where the checkbook received at the bank comes in handy.
        But I ran ahead, first you need to calculate this tax and fill out the forms.
    I fully admit that true Aryans easily do it themselves. But to me personally - laziness. I do not like to do this. And the price does not look unbearable - the last time I paid for this dregs (and my own peace of mind) $ 350. I think it was worth it. If someone thinks wrong - there is no problem, the market is full of programs such as TurboTax or QuickBooks in the "reporting" version, which allow you to fill out forms yourself. They cost 25 bucks, as I recall. But - all responsibility is on its shoulders. And what can be written off where - you also have to decide for yourself ... In short, everyone decides for himself.

        I chose an accountant for a long time. Then I still thought that everything was much more complicated than it actually turned out, I had a lot of questions. They had to be asked by someone, the registrar refused to help me. Therefore, I primitively went to the yellow pages, wrote out a bunch of addresses (dozens) of different accountants and consultants from there, and wrote to everyone. About the same thing. He outlined his tasks, problems, and for starters - a couple of simple questions. Less than half answered, meaningful answers turned out to be less than 10. I talked to them more closely. The person who seemed to be the most sane in future communication and managed to disperse most of the fog in my head already got a contract, if I may call it that.

        Once a year, about a month before the date indicated in the letter (you can at least January 2, of course, but - in Russian, until the thunder sounds ...) I send Profit and Loss Report and Balance Sheet to the accountant. These reports are made in a couple of clicks in QuickBooks. Then, within about a week, we agree on the layout of the cost items, if there is any doubt, we get all kinds of expenses that are not accepted for accounting by local standards, because I usually forget about them (like, I paid here from my pocket for sending a declaration to the USA by mail ), in the end, the same Form 1120 comes out - with a dozen pages. It must be signed and sent by express / registered mail somewhere to American gullies (it seems, in Utah). I use (damn advertising) Pony Express.

        As I wrote earlier, there are only two main taxes related to a company like our semi-offshore IT office: Income tax in its federal part and Sales / Use tax - this is already local.
    Since we do not sell anything tangible (weighty, rude and visible), we are not interested in a continuous code, or even access to information, in general. And glory to the gods.

        Income tax is paid on profits. if she is. and taking into account losses of previous years.
    And this 2011 year is so-so-yes-dam! - turned out to be our first profitable one. Even taking into account losses of past years. So - a tax has been formed. The accountant struggled for a long time, trying to squeeze out at least some other expenses from me. “Well, didn’t they even buy a laptop ?!”, and so on in the same vein. I regretted that I didn’t take these facts into account again, honestly 8-) However, I was even interested in how it is to pay taxes to Uncle Sam?
    And here is the result. 534 dollars 00 cents. I think it’s very divine, with a turnover of under 200,000 for services. Less than 10% came from declared profits.
        Now we take a checkbook, write out a check for US $ 534 for US Treasury, attach it to the declaration and send it to the IRS. A pony for this takes something about a half thousand rubles. And we are waiting. About a week later a line appears in the client bank stating that the check has been canceled. That's all, the tax is paid. I will not say that I began to sleep much more calmly, but there is still something like that.

        As a result, the entire reporting campaign required me very little time and effort. I wrote and wrote dozens of letters, once simple forms that did not even have to be edited manually, so that they fit on a sheet and the whole text was readable, filled out a check, went to the post office and sent it. More precisely, the courier even went to the post office. Yes, mail is much more expensive than Russian Post, but there is a lot less smut. And it goes faster.

    It seems that I have already dried up in the presentation of this topic. If there are any unlit questions - prompt.