Tag Archives: IRS

Loan Modification Document Checklist

Home loan modification may be the best way to get out of delinquency and save your home. But promising as it is, a loan modification can only work if you do your part in the process. Reports from major lenders show that most loan modifications fail because people don’t comply with the requirements, particularly when it comes to paperwork. It may seem like a big task, but it’s not as complicated as it seems – and it’s always worth the effort to save your home.

Your home loan modification attorney can help you gather the documents you need to complete your application. To help you get started, here’s a list of loan modification documents required by most major lenders.

Hardship letter This is basically a letter explaining the circumstances of your default and how you have recovered. Make sure every claim can be backed up with solid evidence such as bank records, and don’t exaggerate or play down details. Your home loan modification attorney can help you draft your letter to meet your lender’s standards. Most lenders also require a photo ID and a copy of your social security card.

Proof of income Steady income is one of the main requirements for a home loan modification. Your bank will want to see proof that you’ll be able to make your payments once the loan is modified. The general requirement is two months’ worth of pay stubs and tax returns for the last two years, or if you’re self-employed, your latest IRS filing plus proof of two months’ worth of income. If you’re getting child support, pension, or other sources of income, you’ll need to provide proof of these as well.

Financial status Your bank will want to know how your current finances are, and whether you have assets other than your home. Provide bank statements from your current accounts, including checking and savings. If applicable, you can also submit statements from your 401(K), profit sharing plan, IRA, or retirement account. Investment accounts such as stocks and bonds can also serve as proof of assets. Your home loan modification attorney can help you determine which ones will be most valuable in your case.

Mortgage documents Most lenders will ask for your latest mortgage statement, as well as any recent correspondence you have received from them. If your mortgage payment doesn’t include insurance and taxes, you may need to provide these statements as well.

Other bills Not all lenders will require utility bills such as gas, electricity, phone and water, but it won’t hurt to put in some as well. These will give your bank an idea of your monthly expenditure, which in turn helps them find a suitable home loan modification plan. Other useful documents include garbage pickup bills, home insurance policies, and homeowners’ association dues.

Tax Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

New ecommerce entrepreneurs can find them confused and confounded by the tax and accounting requirements of their venture. And thats a shame: If someones spotted a great new category and successfully built a web presence, heck, that someone shouldnt find themselves bogged down with the accounting minutia. The entrepreneur should focus on increasing traffic, expanding margins, and growing cash profits.

With that in mind, I offer up the following tax and accounting tips:

Tip #1: Dont Incorporate

A true corporationwhether a C corporation or an S corporationsaddles your business with more complicated tax accounting and a bunch of state filing requirements. You dont want to deal with this redtapeor at least not until youre profitable.

Instead, operate your business as a sole proprietorship. If youre concerned about legal liability protection, note that you can setup a one-owner limited liability company, or LLC. A one owner LLC is treated as a sole proprietorship for income tax purposes.

Tip #2: Start Your Business Before Making Investments

Expenditures you make before youre actually in business-in other words, before youve got a business license and before youre selling or trying to sell your stuffarent very deductible.

Specifically, you can probably deduct the first $5,000 of these expenses. But any amounts in excess of the $5,000 must be amortized over the next fifteen years.

What this means is that you want to start your business before you start spending money on advertising, training, web development, accountants and lawyers and so on.

Tip #3: Automate Your Bookkeeping & Accounting

By lawand some people dont know thisyoure required to maintain an accounting system that lets you clearly measure your income. As a practical matter, this means you need to use a product like Quicken or QuickBooks.

But you ought to go one better than simply using desktop accounting software. Make sure that youre taking advantage of online banking and bill payment features which integrate your accounting system with your banking. As much as is possible, for example, you want to be able to move money from PayPal to your bank to QuickBooks simply by typing a few keys or clicking your mouse a few times.

Tip #4: Hire a Payroll Service Before Hiring Employees

Many successful ecommerce business owners can run their operations without employees. And if thats true for you, hey, congratulations. If and when you do need employees, however, dont try to handle the payroll yourself. Oursource the payroll to one of the large payroll service bureaus like ADP, Payroll, or QuickBooks.

These services are expensive. Figure $1000 to $2000 per year. But the services let you avoid the bookkeeping nightmare called payroll and prevent you from getting into payroll tax trouble.

Tip #5: Consider S Corporation Status After Youre Profitable

Ive written and talked much about how S corporations save taxpayers money and how the right way to set up an S corporation is first create a limited liability company and then ask the IRS to treat the LLC as an S corporation for tax purposes.