Both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century.[26] In Middle English (used roughly between the 12th and the late 15th century) the verb "to account" had the form accounten, which was derived from the Old French word aconter,[27] which is in turn related to the Vulgar Latin word computare, meaning "to reckon". The base of computare is putare, which "variously meant to prune, to purify, to correct an account, hence, to count or calculate, as well as to think".[27]

One key tax planning strategy is to keep track of your itemized expenses throughout the year using a spreadsheet or personal finance program. You can then quickly compare your itemized expenses with your standard deduction. You should always take the higher of your standard deduction or your itemized deduction to avoid paying taxes on more income than you have to.


To take advantage of these lower rates, taxpayers should ensure that they meet the requirements for qualified dividend income and long-term capital gains. Most dividends that U.S. stocks pay qualifies, but any dividends that don't qualify get taxed at higher ordinary income tax rates. Selling an investment you've held for a year or less makes any gain short-term rather than long-term, and short-term capital gains also get taxed at ordinary tax rates. If you pick good dividend stocks and hold your investments for the long run, the tax laws reward you with lower rates.
When I initially spoke with Melody, I explained my tax situation with brevity and enough detail. She assured me she would be able to handle it for $225 in total, the negotiated price for both my relative and myself. Four days later, I spoke with her business partner explaining what I believed to be an error with another tax preparer whom my relative had found. Daniel told me in order to amend the taxes, I would need to send all documentation and they’d file an extension with a rate of $225, just as Melody had verbally quoted prior. He proceeded to tell me that “Melody goes over the taxes with a fine tooth comb” and that they have even met clients at a halfway point to show their utmost level of care and diligence with all taxes prepared. Later that night I forwarded all the necessary documentation over to Daniel. He replied at first back stating in actuality that they’d be “charging $100 for self employment income” due to the fact that on “Thumbtack is marked “Not self-employed”. That’s your justification? I seem to vividly remember telling Melody I had carryover losses and her mentioning she’d need to look into it. I wrote “not self employed” due to the fact that I’m NOT SELF EMPLOYED. That was from five years ago. Furthermore, regarding payment Melody specifically stated on my initial Thumbtack call that all work is completed upfront and payment is due upon filing. The petulant email from Daniel now stated moreover that there would be a $100 upfront fee to even begin work on the taxes. Only four minutes after this email Daniel sent another. This time it was regarding Melody and her rather abrupt “illness” never before even hinted at. Due to the “illness” she would “no longer be taking on new tax clients at this time” but he offered me an extension exactly 36 hours before the tax deadline. See they really do have your best interest at heart. I’d like to add that this esteemed company sent me belligerent private messages (much more hostile than the public one shown below) after I left a 1 star rating with no review in an attempt to shame and belittle me for how virtuous and holy they make themselves out to be. They left me with no time to spare and want to send a harassing message at 12:00 am about how I was “deceptive” and owe them. Get off your high horse and get in touch with reality. The circle of insanity is alive and well here. Do yourself a favor and keep looking. You deserve better than to play Twister with someone who expects your to pay $250 for less than an hours worth of work. Find a CPA who values and respects you and your time. It sure as hell isn't Houston Bookkeeping.
To take advantage of these lower rates, taxpayers should ensure that they meet the requirements for qualified dividend income and long-term capital gains. Most dividends that U.S. stocks pay qualifies, but any dividends that don't qualify get taxed at higher ordinary income tax rates. Selling an investment you've held for a year or less makes any gain short-term rather than long-term, and short-term capital gains also get taxed at ordinary tax rates. If you pick good dividend stocks and hold your investments for the long run, the tax laws reward you with lower rates.

Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2017 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2017 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.
The year 2001 witnessed a series of financial information frauds involving Enron, auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the telecommunications company WorldCom, Qwest and Sunbeam, among other well-known corporations. These problems highlighted the need to review the effectiveness of accounting standards, auditing regulations and corporate governance principles. In some cases, management manipulated the figures shown in financial reports to indicate a better economic performance. In others, tax and regulatory incentives encouraged over-leveraging of companies and decisions to bear extraordinary and unjustified risk.[72]

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In most cases, accountants use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when preparing financial statements in the U.S. GAAP is a set of standards and principles designed to improve the comparability and consistency of financial reporting across industries. Its standards are based on double-entry accounting, a method in which every accounting transaction is entered as both a debit and credit in two separate general ledger accounts that will roll up into the balance sheet and income statement.
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