6 Tips for Surviving an IRS Audit

Help with your taxes

If you are like most Americans, you may worry about getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Many people live in fear of having their taxes audited. Whether or not you file on your own to go to tax advisers for help, there is always the chance that the government will want to do a tax audit on your. This is not the time to panic. Here are some things you can do to get through it.

  1. Make sure your records are in order. You do not have to be surrounded by tax advisers to know that it is always in your best interests to keep good records. If you keep track of your spending and other records throughout the year, when tax season rolls around, you will have everything you need to either do your taxes or get some help. Having all of your documents in order will also help if the IRS wants to do an audit on you. You should keep all of your tax records and receipts for three years. That should be extended to seven years if you take a loss for a bad investment.
  2. Do not panic if you do not have your records. If something has happened to your records or if you were not great at keeping everything, do not panic. There are ways to go back and recreate the records of your spending and tax payments. If some of your expenses are related to your business, think about how you paid. If you used a credit card, you can get the receipts. If you are looking to make deductions for medical bills, you can get copies of those.
  3. Learn about the process. Your tax advisers can help you negotiate the process but if you go into the process with some idea about what will happen and how, you will be in a much better position. In the first place, it will reduce your stress level. There is a lot of information on the IRS website to help tax payers understand the process.
  4. Get professional help. If you have received a notice that you are the subject of an audit by the IRS, you should talk to your tax advisers about hiring someone to help you deal with the government. You need to understand the process but also need a professional to get you through. A person who has been trained in tax law and will know what your options are. Tax law is very complicated so you want an expert who has worked in this area a lot to help you make it through your audit.
  5. Do not lose your composure. When you get a notice from the IRS, they will set a date and time. If you and your tax advisers are not able to make that time, you should be able to change it. The IRS may be frustrating to deal with but you will do yourself no favors by getting upset with the agents who are working on your case. Be as polite as you can be. When you go in to meet with the IRS, dress professionally and try to be as organized as you can be. You want the very first impression you make on them to be a good one.
  6. Never think you can win the IRS personnel over. Some people go into their meetings with the IRS and are surprised to see that they really like the people working on their case. That is fine, there is no reason to not like them. By the same token, you should not get the mistaken view that these people are on your side or that you should become friends with them. They believe that you have made some grave mistake on your taxes, whether this was on purpose or by accident does not matter. Never fill any silences with more information. Having an expert by your side can prevent you from talking your way into more trouble.

The IRS audit process can be scary. Having good tax advisers by your side can help you a lot. Another point to remember is that the IRS agents make mistakes, too. You will make it through your audit.

Tips Every Company Should Know About Auto Lead Generation

Subprime car leads

if you’re trying to secure more leads for your auto company, there are several ways that you can achieve this. Generating auto leads does not need to be time-consuming and difficult, and it can really help grow your business.

Did you know that auto financing interest generates a whopping $98 billion in revenue each year? The average borrower has $17,966 in debt, and 43% of people choose to finance their vehicle. Which means lots of leads are available out there, we just need to pull them in. Auto lead generation is actually pretty simple.

Here are some ways your business can find low credit score auto leads.

1. Have a blog content strategy

One of the easiest ways to reel in individuals looking for auto loans is to post thoughtful and engaging content on your blog. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, and think about what kind of information you would want to be reading about if you were in their situation. Write smart pieces about this information and share it with them on a blog. This way, it shows that not only you understand them, but you have the knowledge to help them out and to help them understand what your role in helping them is.

Starting a blog is quite simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. You can hire a freelance writer to write 1-2 articles per week, or even less frequently, but you want to make sure you have enough content on your blog to keep readers engaged.

2. Email promos

If you’ve has past customers, you need to be sure that your sales team is keeping in regular contact with them. Offer promos through email blasts to try and reel these customers back in. You could also offer referral bonuses or some kind of reward for people bringing your company friends and family they know can benefit from a car loan. This method of auto lead generation is great because it’s very cost-effective, and you can track the feedback on your email to see what is working and what is not (some email systems even offer analytics to show the open rate. etc.), which can help with future auto lead generation.

3. Cold calls

Of all the auto lead generation strategies, this could be the most difficult, just because it takes people with thick skin to make cold calls. You know there are going to be people who do not want to be bothered with sales calls and can be pretty nasty in their responses. Know that you are just doing your job and do not need to be pushy, however, if an individual is being difficult, thank them for their time and simply move on. With people being so busy these days caring for their family, working, and taking care of other properties, it might be hard to catch people on the phone. This is why email messages work great for auto lead generation because they can view it whenever they want.

Do you have any other ideas for auto lead generation? Let us know in the comments!

Four Reasons, Besides Selling, that you Might Need a Business Valuation

Comparables valuation

You don?t plan on selling your business anytime soon. In fact, you are still growing your business and you are excited to see where it will go and how large you can make it. Why then, do you need a business valuation report? Isn?t a business valuation report primarily for selling your business? Not always. Business owners go through the process of a full business valuation analysis for the following reasons.

To create a growth business plan

If your business plan is to grow 50% or even 100% within the next two years, what are you measuring your growth success on? It can be difficult to measure results, without first getting a business valuation report. The information from the business valuation report will give you a starting number that you can base future business growth results on. You can also use this information later on if you do decide to sell, to show how quickly you were able to grow. A solid business plan is one that shows hard numbers and comparisons and a business valuation report can help you do just that.

To obtain financing

Many business owners rely on financing to expand a business. However, you will find that most banks or lenders are not willing to give you funding unless you can prove your business success. You will need a strong business valuation calculation to prove your worthiness of funding. When you apply for financing, you will be required to provide specific documents. Creating a business valuation report requires many of these same documents, so you will already have access to them. Business valuation is actually a largely economic analysis exercise. The company financial information provides key inputs into the entire process. The two main financial statements you will need are the income statement and the balance sheet. To do a proper job of valuing your small business, you should have about 3 to 5 years of historic income statements and balance sheets available.

To understand business growth struggles

Many small businesses will face a number of struggles, especially in the first couple of years of business. There are few methods for overcoming these struggles and for preventing them from failing the business. One of these is by doing a competitive analysis. Look at your competitor?s success and compare it to your own. What are you doing the same? What are you doing differently? Can you take any of their methods and apply it to your business to overcome the struggle?

When you use business appraisal services, you can get an even better idea of how well your business is doing when compared to your competitor. You can often determine the value of your business by using these three approaches, by comparison to recent sales of similar businesses, based on the businesses earning power and risk assessment, and based on the company?s assets. Specifically looking at the comparison of recent sales of similar businesses, you can accurately gauge your current business worth.

Important factors that might influence your business valuation report

It is important to understand, however, that there are many factors that can influence your business valuation report. The specific comps valuation method or business valuation resources used can affect the outcome. Additionally, it might seem surprising at first that the valuation results are influenced by your need for the valuation, but business value is not absolute. It is a process of measuring business worth, which depends on two main key elements, how you measure business value and under what circumstance. In formal terms, these elements are known as the standard of value and the premise of value.

While the majority of business valuation reports are obtained with the intent of selling the business, there are also many other reasons that a business might order a report. Determining the business valuation number of your business can help with your business growth, allow you to compare to competitors, and give you insight into current growth struggles as a business.