How can The Prosperity Cycle™ help your business?
How can The Prosperity Cycle™ help your business?
Setting up and continuing to update the right entity structure is one of the most critical things you will ever do for your business. Give us a call at 702-457-9800 to learn more.
Or visit us at: www.davehallsba.com/
Dave Hall has been doing radio and podcasting for years. He has taken all of this experience and knowledge and he created a business podcast that focuses on the Las Vegas area. The purpose of the show is to educate and entertain Las Vegas entrepreneurs on ideas and strategies that can help them be more successful business owners.
In the short 2 months of doing this show Dave has already jumped to the top of iTunes New and Noteworthy and has become Las Vegas’s #1 Business Podcast. With over 15 episodes aired on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and at www.davehallsba.com/rethinklasvegas and dozens already recorded and waiting in the wings. If you do any business in Las Vegas you do not want to miss this Podcast.
Stitcher Radio: http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/52269/episodes
LinkedIn: Rethink Your Business Las Vegas Podcast
If you would like to be a guest on the podcast and you live or work in Las Vegas, email CR Thelin the podcast producer at email@example.com
At DAVE HALL we are more than just a CPA firm. We are a team of professionals whose main goal is to help our clients find success in both business and in life by exceeding their expectations with the products and services we offer.
We treat each client as a lifetime partner with whom we expect to take through “The Prosperity Cycle”. We do this by implementing our 3 P’s of Prosperity into their life.
- First, we help Protect assets through proper Planning and Entity Structuring.
- Second, we help Preserve income by providing Audit Fail Proof Accounting, Business Consulting, and Strategic Tax Planning.
- Third, we help Produce wealth by offering Financial Planning, Retirement Planning and Wealth Management Services.
We also offer valuable content via mediums such as podcasts, educational training sessions, e-newsletter, etc. This helps us be a more effective and valuable partner. Please take the time to learn more about the services we offer on our website at www.davehallsba.com.
As your most trusted advisors we are here to provide you with the products and services you need to help you reach your personal and business goals while providing you with the best customer service our industry has to offer, it is what we call the The Dave Hall Difference!
1. State Sales and Income Taxes
Thanks to the fiscal cliff deal last January, the sales tax deduction, which originally expired at the end of 2011, was reinstated in 2013 (retroactive to 2012). As such, taxpayers filing their 2013 returns can still deduct either state income tax paid or state sales tax paid, whichever is greater.
If you bought a big ticket item like a car or boat in 2013, it might be more advantageous to deduct the sales tax, but don’t forget to figure any state income taxes withheld from your paycheck just in case. If you’re self-employed you can include the state income paid from your estimated payments. In addition, if you owed taxes when filing your 2012 tax return in 2013, you can include the amount when you itemize your state taxes this year on your 2013 return.
2. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Most parents realize that there is a tax credit for daycare when their child is young, but they might not realize that once a child starts school, the same credit can be used for before and after school care, as well as day camps during school vacations. This child and dependent care tax credit can also be taken by anyone who pays a home health aide to care for a spouse or other dependent–such as an elderly parent–who is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself. The credit is worth a maximum of $1,050 or 35percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses per dependent.
3. Job Search Expenses
Job search expenses are 100percent deductible, whether you are gainfully employed or not currently working–as long as you are looking for a position in your current profession. Expenses include fees paid to join professional organizations, as well as employment placement agencies that you used during your job search. Travel to interviews is also deductible (as long as it was not paid by your prospective employer) as is paper, envelopes, and costs associated with resumes or portfolios. The catch is that you can only deduct expenses greater than 2percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
4. Student Loan Interest Paid by Parents
Typically, a taxpayer is only able to deduct interest on mortgages and student loans if he or she is liable for the debt; however, if a parent pays back their child’s student loans the money is treated by the IRS as if the child paid it. As long as the child is not claimed as a dependent, he or she can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid by the parent. The deduction can be claimed even if the child does not itemize.
5. Medical Expenses
Most people know that medical expenses are deductible as long as they are more than 10 percent of AGI for tax year 2013. What they often don’t realize is what medical expenses can be deducted, such as medical miles (24 cents per mile) driven to and from appointments and travel (airline fares or hotel rooms) for out of town medical treatment.
Other deductible medical expenses that taxpayers might not be aware of include: health insurance premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays, and dental premiums and treatment. Long-term care insurance (deductible dollar amounts vary depending on age) is also deductible, as are prescription glasses and contacts, counseling, therapy, hearing aids and batteries, dentures, oxygen, walkers, and wheelchairs.
If you’re self-employed, you may be able to deduct medical, dental, or long term care insurance. Even better, you can deduct 100 percent of the premium. In addition, if you pay health insurance premiums for an adult child under age 27, you may be able to deduct them as well.
6. Bad Debt
If you’ve ever loaned money to a friend, but were never repaid, you may qualify for a non-business bad debt tax deduction of up to $3,000 per year. To qualify however, the debt must be totally worthless, in that there is no reasonable expectation of payment.
Non-business bad debt is deducted as a short-term capital loss, subject to the capital loss limitations. You may take the deduction only in the year the debt becomes worthless. You do not have to wait until a debt is due to determine whether it is worthless. Any amount you are not able to deduct can be carried forward to reduce future tax liability.
Are you getting all of the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to? Maybe you are…but maybe you’re not. Why take a chance? Make an appointment with us today and we’ll make sure you get all of the tax breaks you deserve.
One of the biggest hurdles you’ll face in running your own business is staying on top of your numerous obligations to federal, state, and local tax agencies. Tax codes seem to be in a constant state of flux making the Internal Revenue Code barely understandable to most people.
The old legal saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is perhaps most often applied in tax settings and it is safe to assume that a tax auditor presenting an assessment of additional taxes, penalties, and interest will not look kindly on an “I didn’t know I was required to do that” claim. On the flip side, it is surprising how many small businesses actually overpay their taxes, neglecting to take deductions they’re legally entitled to that can help them lower their tax bill.
Preparing your taxes and strategizing as to how to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket becomes increasingly difficult with each passing year. Your best course of action to save time, frustration, money, and an auditor knocking on your door, is to have a professional accountant handle your taxes.
Tax professionals have years of experience with tax preparation, religiously attend tax seminars, read scores of journals, magazines, and monthly tax tips, among other things, to correctly interpret the changing tax code.
When it comes to tax planning for small businesses, the complexity of tax law generates a lot of folklore and misinformation that also leads to costly mistakes. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the more common small business tax misperceptions.
1. All Start-Up Costs Are Immediately Deductible
Business start-up costs refer to expenses incurred before you actually begin operating your business. Business start-up costs include both start up and organizational costs and vary depending on the type of business. Examples of these types of costs include advertising, travel, surveys, and training. These start up and organizational costs are generally called capital expenditures.
Costs for a particular asset (such as machinery or office equipment) are recovered through depreciation or Section 179 expensing. When you start a business, you can elect to deduct or amortize certain business start-up costs.
Business start-up and organizational costs are generally capital expenditures. However, you can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up and $5,000 of organizational costs paid or incurred after October 22, 2004. The $5,000 deduction is reduced (but not below zero) by the amount your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized.
2. Overpaying The IRS Makes You “Audit Proof”
The IRS doesn’t care if you pay the right amount of taxes or overpay your taxes. They do care if you pay less than you owe and you can’t substantiate your deductions. Even if you overpay in one area, the IRS will still hit you with interest and penalties if you underpay in another. It is never a good idea to knowingly or unknowingly overpay the IRS. The best way to “Audit Proof” yourself is to properly document your expenses and make sure you are getting good advice from your tax accountant.
3. Being incorporated enables you to take more deductions.
Self-employed individuals (sole proprietors and S Corps) qualify for many of the same deductions that incorporated businesses do, and for many small businesses, being incorporated is an unnecessary expense and burden. Start-ups can spend thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees to set up a corporation, only to discover soon thereafter that they need to change their name or move the company in a different direction. In addition, plenty of small business owners who incorporate don’t make money for the first few years and find themselves saddled with minimum corporate tax payments and no income.
4. The home office deduction is a red flag for an audit.
While it used to be a red flag, this is no longer true–as long as you keep excellent records that satisfy IRS requirements. In fact, so many people now have home-based businesses that in 2013, the IRS rolled out the new simplified home office deduction, which makes it even easier to claim the home office deduction (as long as it can be substantiated).
Because of the proliferation of home offices, tax officials cannot possibly audit all tax returns containing the home office deduction. In other words, there is no need to fear an audit just because you take the home office deduction. A high deduction-to-income ratio however, may raise a red flag and lead to an audit.
5. If you don’t take the home office deduction, business expenses are not deductible.
You are still eligible to take deductions for business supplies, business-related phone bills, travel expenses, printing, wages paid to employees or contract workers, depreciation of equipment used for your business, and other expenses related to running a home-based business, whether or not you take the home office deduction.
6. Requesting an extension on your taxes is an extension to pay taxes.
Extensions enable you to extend your filing date only. Penalties and interest begin accruing from the date your taxes are due.
7. Part-time business owners cannot set up self-employed pensions.
If you start up a company while you have a salaried position complete with a 401K plan, you can still set up a SEP-IRA for your business and take the deduction.
A tax headache is only one mistake away, be it a missed payment or filing deadline, an improperly claimed deduction, or incomplete records and understanding how the tax system works is beneficial to any business owner, whether you run a small to medium sized business or are a sole proprietor.
And, even if you delegate the tax preparation to someone else, you are still liable for the accuracy of your tax returns. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We’re here to assist you.
Yelp.com was created to allow businesses to advertise locally, targeting a huge population in the region where the company is in operation. Retailers, service businesses, and organizations can benefit from sharing their business facts on Yelp’s website for free. Customer reviews are noticed by Google and other search engines, increasing traffic flow to the company’s online web pages.
Creating a Yelp Business Account
Business owners can simply sign up for an account with Yelp and then start placing information about their company on the local pages. Yelp charges for business advertisement, but the benefits of a business account are numerous. The account holder can check the monthly stats for visitors, link visitors to the actual company website, and incorporate Yelp mobile apps to aid local customers who are searching for a certain type of business or product.
Yelp also has a messaging service that allows account holders to contact site visitors and answer questions they may have about the company, its products, or anything else. There is also the search engine optimization benefit of a strong presence on Yelp. Being on Yelp can be an effective means of gaining local customer traffic.
Customer Reviews and Comments
Yelp pages allow visitors to add comments and reviews to the company listings. This is extremely important information for retailers, restaurants, hotels and motel managers, and merchandisers. One of the best ways for a business owner to find out if anything concerning the company is in need of shoring up is to see what the buying public has to say.
Advertising on Google has become a much different game than it was just a few years ago. Companies that desire a front-page ranking cannot rely on direct search traffic and advertisement relevancy. Instead, focusing on things like customer reviews and comments is now a priority. This is because the search engines take more factors into their algorithm, even if the company is mentioned only in passing on a social or business networking site.
A Growing Audience
Yelp is one of the most effective online means of getting the word out to the local public because it is one of the most popular websites when it comes to reviews for products and services. Approximately 90 million unique viewers check out at least one business on Yelp each and every month and the numbers are increasing.
When business consultants advise clients to expand their exposure via the Internet, Yelp is often a component of that strategy. The companies that are active on Google, have Google+ Local Pages, link their business on Facebook, and create a page on Yelp, and other social sharing sites, are in a better position to increase their sales.
Jason Nelson of Ascent Internet, a Utah online marketing company, contributed this article. You can reach Jason through his website at www.ascentinternet.com.
One of the things many entrepreneurs hope to do one day is to go into business with their family. Although this is a very noble goal, to go into business with the people you love the most on this earth, it can often turn into a disaster. Therefore, if you are contemplating going into business with family, or if you have already gone into business with family, there are a few key tips that can help make your experience a rewarding one.
Borrowed Money Must Come with Terms
No matter which side of the coin you are on when it comes to borrowing money from family for a business there are a number of key principles you need to make sure you follow.
First, if the family member does not qualify for a bank loan, or a loan from a regular financial institution, be very careful lending them money. Banks are in the business of borrowing money and getting it all paid back with interest. If a bank is unwilling to give a loan to your family member there might be a reason for it that your family member isn’t telling you about. For example maybe their credit score is to low because they have had a history of not paying back loans, or maybe it is just because the banker can see there is no true business model in the investment your family is pitching you on.
Second, you need to make sure you are charging interest in accordance with the risk you are taking. For most of you, you are not in the business of lending money; therefore, if you decide to lend money to a family member it is going to be a much riskier proposition for you than for a bank. You need to get paid for this through a higher interest rate.
Third, make sure you get security and you get the loan in writing. All too many family members believe their family would never stiff them, yet it happens all of the time. The best way to increase your chances of getting paid back are to make the borrowing party not only sign the loan, but also personally guarantee it. If they are unwilling to do this to protect you, then there is no reason you should be going out on a limb to risk your assets for them.
Separate Family from Work
All too many family businesses struggle with this one concept. They cannot separate their families from their office and it creates a few problems.
First, it can cause major problems with other employees. It is very hard for your good employees to stay motivated if you are always making special allowances for family members. For example if you have a policy that your employees must be on time or they will be subject to consequences, yet your family member comes in late every day and you do nothing about it. This sends a horrible message to your other employees of how little you really think of them.
Second, if you are in business with a spouse or someone who lives in your home, you have to have down time. As a result, you have got to be able to leave work at work some days or you will find your personal relationships will suffer. We all deal with the stresses of owning a business differently, but if your safe haven has always been your home and now you are in business with your spouse and they are bringing home work problems every night, you are going to find this very frustrating and damaging to your relationship.
Hold Each other Accountable
You can’t let things slide just because someone is family. If you have family members in your business you need to make sure they are pulling their weight. If they are not, it is your job to set them down and let them know what is expected and the consequences that will occur if they don’t start pulling their weight. As hard as it might be to fire a family member, I can tell you from the clients I have talked to it ultimately is much easier than losing your business because the family member pulled everyone else down in the organization.
So whether you are already in business with family, or just looking forward to the day you can, remember the above and always remember that the best way to resolve any problem is to communicate with all parties involved.
As much as tax professionals want to make sure they do a good job in preparing your income tax returns not one of them can do it without your help. There are some key things that you can do to help your tax professionals do the best job for you they possibly can.
- If you have moved make sure they have your new address. This may seem like a small thing, but if you move and your tax professional does not get the right address on your return, you might miss critical correspondence from the IRS or state taxing authorities. If this happens, many times what starts as a very small issue can grow into a crisis very fast.
- Take time to fill out an organizer. Most all tax professionals have the ability of sending you a tax organizer to help you not only organize your documents, but to make sure their isn’t something you have missed. Most organizers also include a number of questions that will help you make sure your tax professional is aware of everything they need to be in order to prepare a complete and accurate return.
- Send all of your information in at one time. When you send tax professionals your tax information in bits and pieces you open yourself up for the chance of one of your documents getting lost or not being included in your tax return. Often times, tax professionals are so busy during tax season that if they are getting a number of emails from you with various documents attached they will end up missing something.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many times tax payers don’t want to question their tax professional, because they think the professional knows more about taxes than they do. Although this is probably true in general, you often times will know as much, or more, about your individual tax situation as your tax preparer does. Therefore, don’t be afraid to question what has been done on your return. Ultimately, you are the main one responsible for the return so it is important you understand it.
- Let your tax preparer know of life changes. Often times your tax preparer only sees you once a year. As a result they are very unaware of what goes on in your life on a daily basis. Therefore, if you have had a baby, a child go off to school, or maybe you just started contributing more to your retirement, please make sure you let your tax professional know so they can make the necessary changes to your return.
By following these five tips you will find that your experience with your tax professional will be a much more rewarding one, because you will have a better chance of having a complete and accurate return filed. Remember that your tax professional is human and is definitely capable of making mistakes if they are not correctly informed.