Bottom Line
Tax Tips
Predicting the future
Every year at this time we bring up the importance of having an income tax projection done to use a guide through the balance of the year.

By Howard Abrams, PBS Tax & Bookkeeping

Cramming of phone bills

I heard about cramming of phone bills. What does that mean?

Cramming is when someone places an unauthorized charge on your phone bill. The charges could be for education courses, spas, diet-related items, long distance, services, etc. They don't even need your Social Security number; all they need is your phone number from a phone directory.

How do I know if this is happening to me?

Examine each line of your phone bill and make sure you know what the charges are for. Cramming charges are labeled with hard-to-decipher descriptions and can be for minor amounts. But they add up over months.

Is there anything I can do to avoid this?

Don't answer any online inquiries or sign up for any free trials that ask for your phone number.

What do I do if I find out I'm being charged these charges?

If you find you are a victim, call your phone company to get past charges refunded and the monthly charge removed. You can complain online to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at or call 888-225-5322.

Q. What is an "income tax projection"?

A. Think of income tax projection as a mini tax return done during the year, using year-to-date results.

Q. How is it done?

A. First you need to know your year-to-date net income as of a certain date – for example, Sept. 30. Using Sept. 30, add to that the projected net income for the next three months. That will give you the projected net income from operations for the year. Then make your adjustments such as depreciation and per diem to arrive at a projected business income for tax purposes. Using that income, project your income taxes much as you would at tax time.

Q. What is the purpose?

A. To find out whether you will owe or get a refund and to adjust your estimated taxes accordingly. You may have to adjust your projection based on actual results going forward.

The benefits from the tax projection are as follows:

1. Reduces potential penalties for not estimating your taxes accurately.

2. Allows you plenty of time to do tax planning before the end of the year.

3. Helps you determine the availability of cash regardless of whether you will owe or get a refund.

4. The cash available may enable you to plan those tax savings ideas or for expansion.

Q. Is that all I need to do?

A. Although we feel an income tax projection is a must, you should also have the results of operations throughout the year to enhance your planning and spot potential problem areas occurring. All expenses should be "percentaged" against the results of operations throughout the year to enhance your planning and spot potential problem areas occurring. All expenses should be "percentaged" against the gross receipts so you can spot your problem areas. Learn the percentage of gross receipts for each expense and, for those that vary, find out why. Also, knowing and understanding the percentages will help you figure the profitability of future jobs.LL

This article is written by PBS Tax & Bookkeeping Service, a company that has been providing income tax and bookkeeping services to the trucking industry for more than a quarter-century. If you would like further information, please contact PBS at 800-697-5153 or visit their website at

Please remember everyone's financial situation is different. This article does not give and is not intended to give specific accounting and/or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax or accounting professional.