Sawin and Kotani CPA Tax Services

More information on the many services we provide.

At Sawin & Kotani, we do much, much more than preparing your business and personal tax returns. We can help you make decisions for the future of your personal estate or your business in order to maximize your opportunities for earning returns and creating tax savings. We provide bookkeeping services if you need help maintaining your records and we perform compilations, reviews and audits to ensure your books are well-organized and error-free.

Life is anything but certain. When you own a lot of assets, you need a plan for managing them when you pass away, so the government doesn’t take all of it and leave nothing for your heirs. Sawin & Kotani can help you develop a strategy for disposing of your wealth that will leave you and your heirs with minimal tax liabilities.

If you are buying or selling a business or other significant asset or property, there are many financial and tax ramifications to consider. We offer consulting to assist you in covering all of the bases in any major transaction. If you are looking to borrow money, we can help you develop the leverage you need to negotiate a better rate and better loan terms.

Annual Taxes

The new year often brings new opportunities, but April always looms on the horizon as when you have to sit down with a mountain of papers and a dusty, old calculator and try to make sense of the obscenely complex tax forms and publications that are always changing from year to year. Even if you’ve upgraded to tax preparation software, it is often still full of jargon you don’t understand and it won’t prevent you from making a mistake because it only uses the data you provide. Also, tax software is designed for the average taxpayer; your situation may not be average, and you may be able to take advantage of deductions and credits that others are not eligible for.

It’s simply not worth the headache, stress and substantial loss of time for you to file your returns alone, and you definitely don’t want the constant worry that the IRS may find you made a mistake somewhere along the way and come after you for thousands of dollars in back taxes, penalties and interest. Sawin & Kotani will save you time, save you money and eliminate the concern that you will ever be held liable for mistakes in your accounting records or tax returns. We urge you to spend your valuable time doing something more enjoyable and productive and let us handle your tax return preparation for you. We are experts in tax law. We will analyze your specific situation and go beyond the more common credits and deductions such as the child tax credit and earned income credit to save you as much money as possible by reducing your tax liability. The best part is if the IRS ever has any questions or concerns about any returns we prepare, we will deal directly with them, so you don’t have to.

Tax Planning

Taxes often represent a greater expense for an individual than his or her mortgage or rent, and they also have an enormous impact on businesses, particularly because they are expenses that are not at all linked to the generation of revenue. Because of the prominence of taxes in your finances, they are not something that we should only think about for a few weeks in March or April of every year.

If you are going to maximize your tax credits and deductions, you need to think about taxes the entire year round and plan ahead; Sawin & Kotani can coach you on how to accomplish this. If you allow us to guide you through your tax decisions for the entire year, we can save you substantially more money that if you simply come to us after the year is over to prepare your returns.

Corporate Taxes

If you think preparing individual tax returns is complicated, corporate tax law represents an entirely new level of complexity. We can help you not only complete your annual returns accurately, but plan to minimize the taxes you have to pay going forward.

As a corporation, you are subject to a myriad of taxes. Depending on your business structure, these can include federal and state income taxes (possibly county income taxes in the near future), unemployment insurance, employment training taxes, disability insurance, property taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes and use taxes, and this is by no means a comprehensive list. Keeping track of what you owe and strategizing how to reduce your liabilities is a demanding task, particularly because the rules are constantly changing. Sawin & Kotani has the expertise to help you ensure you are compliant and minimize your tax burden.


As a business owner, your primary task is to keep money flowing into your enterprise; this means you have to focus on generating sales and acquiring capital. Bookkeeping is a time-consuming labor that generally detracts from your ability to focus on the primary aspects of making your business successful, which is why it is often one of the first responsibilities that successful entrepreneurs outsource.

Accounting records are vital to a successful business, but you didn’t go into business to do accounting. Let us do the accounting for you; we provide bookkeeping services for businesses from one-man, home-based operations to much larger corporate entities. We further provide you with the confidence of knowing your records are being overseen by a licensed CPA.

Estates & Trusts

Death and taxes are two certainties of life, and in line with these realities is another inevitability: taxes after death. You want your wealth to be transferred to your heirs when you pass on, but without a plan for your estate, it is more likely to end up in government coffers. The earlier you begin the estate planning process, the sooner you can implement your plan, leaving you a greater variety of options to ensure your estate is distributed to the people and organizations you specify.

There are a wide variety of methods of protecting your money, and Sawin & Kotani can advise you on which will prove most effective for your specific situation. From credit shelter trusts to grantor-retained annuity trusts and gift tax exclusions, we can help you determine the most effective vehicles for preserving your wealth and transferring it seamlessly to the next generation.

Compilations, Reviews & Audits

Whether you need to compile financial statements for a loan application, you want to check the accuracy of your books and verify they comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or you need a complete financial audit, our team of CPAs can do it for you. With something as important as your financial records, you want to be sure there are no errors. An independent review or audit is the best means of gaining that assurance.

Financial Consulting

As we grow older, our financial situations generally become more complex. Each time we purchase a major asset, borrow money or open an investment account, it becomes more difficult to manage our money and keep track of the tax ramifications of all of our transactions. We can assess your current financial situation and provide you with expert advice on how to move forward with your finances.

Whether you need help with planning for retirement, including 401(k)s and IRAs, saving for college or managing your investment portfolio, Sawin & Kotani is here to give you the financial advice you need to build your wealth successfully and borrow responsibly.

Buy/Sell Agreements

Acquiring or disposing of a major asset isn’t like buying bread from the grocery store. There are many aspects that complicate the goods for money exchange, and it is easy to neglect one or more aspects if you’re not careful. If you’re the seller, will it be financially better for you to take a lump sum or installments? If you’re considering a purchase, could leasing be more advantageous? How much will you owe in capital gains tax, or is there a way you can avoid having to pay any?

When large sums of money are at stake, getting professional advice can save you a lot of time, complications and money. Come to us before you contract is signed, and we will help you answer the above questions and more.

Loan Negotiations

Applying for a loan can be intimidating, particularly when lenders are less than cordial. The truth is, you are the lender’s customer, and you should be treated like one. Don’t be pressured into accepting unfavorable terms because you’re being told you won’t be able to get a loan any other way. Sawin & Kotani can review your financial situation and advise you on how to leverage the bargaining assets you possess to push for better loan terms.

If you already have a loan and want to bargain for a better interest rate, we can help you determine your chances for success and how best to approach your lender.