ATLANTIC MINE - Radio and television ads oftentimes encourage taxpayers to utilize the latest in tax preparation software on their home computers.
"The problem with that is if you don't understand what you're inputting into it, you don't understand what you're getting out of it," said Gary Jorgenson, enrolled agent and president of Lake Accounting in Atlantic Mine. "In the two hours you would spend learning how to do a tax program, you could get your information together and bring it in to us and we can prepare your return quickly and ensure that return is done correctly."
At Lake Accounting, Gary and his staff of experienced agents specialize in tax preparation for individuals, corporations, LLC's, partnerships, non-profit, estates and trusts. Because the firm is locally owned and operated, Gary said they have a keen understanding of the customer base in the four-county area they service.
Lake Accounting employees from left to right in back are David Spilling, Gordan Lumbert, Tom Saari and Bill Lake. In front, left to right are Jackie Ketola, Gary Jorgenson and Pat Jorgenson.
"We understand that we have to keep our services affordable so taxpayers and businesses take advantage of our knowledge of federal and state tax laws," he said, noting individual returns start out at $65 and that includes federal and state tax returns. "Our goals are to provide our customers with the highest professional level of tax preparation services at an affordable cost."
Lake Accounting is open year round, and the staff is always available to answer questions.
In regards to the pending regulations for tax preparers, Lake Accounting is already in compliance as all returns are prepared by enrolled agents and/or CPAs.
The Enrolled Agent designation have taken and passed examination by the IRS covering Individuals, Businesses, Representation/Practice and Procedures (to include ethics).
Enrolled Agents must also pass a background check to insure they have not engaged in any conduct that would justify the suspension or disbarment of an Attorney, CPA, and Enrolled Agent from practice before the IRS.
Tax laws have become more complex each year, Gary said, as the federal and state government try to provide social programs through the tax code. For example, the Stimulus payments in 2008, the Making Work Pay Credit in 2009, the expansion of the Earned Income Credit, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, Child Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation for Business Owners, and Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Additionally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has added additional tax incentives to stimulate taxpayers spending. That includes expanding the first-time homebuyer credit of up to $8,000 and created the long-time homebuyers credit of up to $6,500; the American Opportunity Credit replaces the Hope and Lifetime Learning Credit and it expands eligibility and increases the credit; the Making Work Pay Credit of up to $400, the Government Retiree Credit of up to $250 and Economic Recovery Payments of $250, among others.
"These are just some of the credits from the ARRA. That is why we recommend a professional complete your tax return," Gary said. "At Lake Accounting it is our business to know these changes and ask you the right questions to ensure that if you qualify, you get the maximum deductions allowed by law."
Noting an important change for Michigan taxes, Gary said there is still an Earned Income Credit, and this year, there is an Energy Efficiency Credit. The Energy Efficiency Credit is for home improvements/appliances for principal residents and their income has to be less than $37,000 for single or $75,000 for married. The Energy Efficiency Credit is not available for renters or purchases made for a second home.
Lake Accounting also specializes in business accounting services, including monthly bookkeeping, payroll, financial statements and compilations, QuickBooks, tax planning, business consulting, from entity selection and start-up to business plans.
"We help them from inception," Gary said. "From the day they come up with the idea, to actually helping them set up their corporation, their financial plans and getting them licensed through the federal and state, and then working with them with their monthly bookkeeping and taxes."
While Gary earned both a degree in accounting and finance from Michigan Tech, it was only fitting he offer additional financial services.
Separate from Lake Accounting, Gary Jorgenson, Registered Representative, owns and operates a Genworth Financial office, which is a full-service brokerage. Genworth Financial specializes in investments (mutual funds, stocks and bonds, fee-based asset management services), retirement planning (IRAs, 401(k) plans, pension/profit sharing plans, SEPs, simple plans), estate planning, education planning (529 college savings plans) and insurance (fixed and variable life insurance, disability, long term care, fixed and variable annuities).
Juttila, Jorgensen and Associates provides services in addition to the services provided by Lake Accounting.
Services provided by Juttila, Jorgenson and Associates are audits and compilation and review, and governmental and non-profit accounting.
"We completed our external peer review," Gary said. "Peer reviews of a member firm are carried out by other CPAs under the offices of the AICPA and provides assurance that the firm has the appropriate system of quality control for its accounting and auditing practices and that we're complying with them."
At Lake Accounting, what's most important to the staff, which includes Bill Lake, M.B.A., Jackie Ketola, B.S.B.A., Mike Juttila, C.P.A., David Spilling, B.B.A, and Pat Jorgenson, is that customers know when it comes time for tax preparation, they are accurate, cost competitive, service oriented, timely and confidential.
"We are the tax experts. Come and see us."
Lake Accounting is located on M-26, 1 mile past the Copper Country Mall in Atlantic Mine. Business hours (during the off tax season) are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Business hours from Feb. 1 through April 15 are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday and evening hours are available by appointment.
For more information, call 482-2370 or visit lakeaccounting.com.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Lake Accounting of Atlantic Mine. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.