Home Office Cash Flow: Staying in Pursuit of Foldin’ Money

Cost Cutting, Create & Run Your Biz, Legal & Accounting
January 27th, 2016 No Comments »

For any small business owner or home-based company, nothing brings slacking cash flow into sharp relief like the sagging bank balance. The numbers start to dwindle; meanwhile, bills on the desk or inbox start to pile up. For those who pay Uncle Sam monthly or quarterly, your (silent) business partner is always out there, uninterested in your excuses – just lookin’ for his payroll tax deposits in the form of real, foldin’ money.

Look, no one hung their home business or small business shingle way back when and said, “Man, I’m gonna really dig sportin’ that back-office hat!” But billing, invoicing and collecting on money owed your business is essential. It’s the fuel of your micro-economy.

What’s a small business bloke to do?

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Home-Based Business Mathematics: 3 Ways Last Year Can Guide the Year Ahead

Create & Run Your Biz, Legal & Accounting, Solo Business Strategies
January 17th, 2014 No Comments »

Every year about this time in the home office, I open Quicken and do some simple calculations regarding my home-based business’s performance for the previous year. Actually, it’s more about my clients’ performance – how they affected my bottom line and what trends unfolded over the course of the last 12 months.

A quick scan of the numbers – parsed and parceled using the column headers across the top – reveals loads of insights. (Of course, the more accounting savvy among us know that various accounting apps have much more detailed metrics available. If you have them, learn to use them). For example, some clients’ activity was up (by how much?), and some was down (ditto). Some had seasonal cycles, and some fell off as the year went on.

Some were one-time projects, and some were new – and grew as the relationship blossomed.

I even compare last year to the year(s) before, in hopes of spotting more macro-trends related to their – or the market’s – habits and activity.

This way, I’m possibly able to plan my year ahead (I say “possibly” because any small business owner knows business often comes at us like a curveball – unreliably and unpredictably, and there’s little we truly can count on with certainty).

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Guest Wisdom: June Walker’s Year-End Home Office Tax Planning

Legal & Accounting
December 21st, 2011 No Comments »

Whether you run a home-based small business or a Fortune 500 corporation, year-end is tax time. June Walker, the tax pro to the independent professional, has some great tax tips — regardless of what side of year-end you may find yourself. She calls it the December 31 Rule — and it’s the source of some often-missed deductions. They’re excerpted below from her?Five Easy Steps booklet.

As June writes, “The following excerpt from my publication, Five Easy Steps, may help you with some last minute tax deductions….

For Credit Cards: Every item charged to your bank credit card on or before December 31 is an expense for that year, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until the following year. The exception to that rule – yes, here’s another exception — is for store credit cards. An item purchased using a store credit card cannot be deducted as a business expense if it has not been paid for by year-end.

Here’s why:

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Work from Home Write-Offs: 5 Ways to Trim the Tax Bill For At-Home Businesses

Guest Column, Law / Tax & Zoning, Legal & Accounting
May 21st, 2011 No Comments »

Millions of Americans operate businesses from the comfort of their homes. For many, the benefits of working from home relate more to lifestyle than money. However, many people already working from a home office — even as a teleworker — overlook the potential tax benefits that come from working at home.

The following post from mortgage researcher Phil Green highlights five of the most prominent potential tax deductions for individuals working out of their homes (it is not from; any information or inaccuracies provided are the responsibility of the author).

One keen bit of advice from Phil: In considering these or any possible tax benefits, consult with a tax professional. Tax laws are complex, as there are often exceptions to the exceptions to the rule. And tax regulations change all the time. Getting a professional to advise you on how these deductions can help minimize your tax liability is imperative.

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Four Common Insurance, Legal Questions for Small Business, Home Office

Guest Column, Legal & Accounting
April 11th, 2011 No Comments »

Launching a small or home-based business can be daunting. Even opening a home office for a teleworker can present challenges. Small business owners often struggle because the demands of running the company often leave little time to focus on other important aspects that can affect the financial well-being of the business and its owner, including insurance, compensation, benefits and retirement planning. Engaging advisors, even at this earliest stage, may help you avoid liability and financial struggles later on.

Below are four questions to ask your advisors; look for more conversation starters at The Hartford.

– What type of insurance do I need as an emerging business? Business owners often tell us their decision to buy insurance came when they realized they had created something worth protecting. An insurance agent who works with small businesses can help you identify your needs.

Think about what you want to protect. Health insurance is important, and protection for equipment or property is obvious, but how about loss of income? Business income coverage provides funds to help the business continue as it recovers from a loss.

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Year-End Tax Tips for the Small, Home-Based and Independent Business

Law / Tax & Zoning, Legal & Accounting
December 16th, 2010 1 Comment »

June Walker, tax guide to the small and independent business owner, has a few choice insights for all home-based and small business owners as we head into year’s end.

The Small Business Jobs Act went into effect in September. Now, I know you have little time if any time to think about taxes. It’s a most busy time of the year and besides — taxes! Come on June, this is not where our heads are at.

I understand so I’m going to give you a very quick rundown of those things that I think may have an impact on you.

Read the 10 items below that I think may help you.

Then discuss with your tax pro. Some are in effect for 2010 only and some for 2010 and subsequent years. Use the links below to direct your tax pro to more information. This isn’t layman stuff for you to try to figure out. Your job is to be sure your records are complete and that your tax pro is on her toes and aware of all these changes.

The Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010.?Simply stated:

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Never Too Soon – or Late – For Soloist & Home-Based Business Taxes

Law / Tax & Zoning, Legal & Accounting
September 14th, 2010 No Comments »

Taxes: Which ones and how much do I pay? It’s the question that bedevils home-based business owners and home office dwellers. Real estate tax, Social Security tax, sales tax, excise tax, city tax, federal income tax, state income tax, personal property tax, gross receipts tax, fuel tax, Medicare tax, luxury tax – the list goes on and on.

As an indie which and how much tax do you have to pay?

Independent tax consultant June Walker offers a simple overview of the two Federal taxes for which indies are liable. They are federal income tax and self-employment (SE) tax, and their calculation is combined on your federal tax return.?When you make estimated tax payments, each payment is a combination of these two taxes.

The following explanation does not include any taxes unique to each state and or local government which may apply to your indie business or geographic locality… Read More »

Home-Based / Small Business S Corps Beware: Changes Loom

Law / Tax & Zoning, Legal & Accounting
June 25th, 2010 No Comments »

Congress has been busy debating tax legislation over the past few months. The newest legislation being considered, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, is designed to extend unemployment benefits, create new jobs and encourage economic growth.

According to South Florida CPA Jeff Bolton, the legislation achieves these goals through unemployment benefit extenders (Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, Extended Benefits program and extension of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program) and new job programs.

There is also a provision that many S-corporation shareholders may find alarming. The bill includes language designed to close “tax loopholes” that allows certain business owners to minimize the amount of employment tax paid.

Key Point: If this bill becomes law, shareholders of S-Corp’s may be required to pay more in payroll and social security taxes due to changing self employment tax rules.

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