Category Archives: Taxes

Tips for Small Businesses in Tax Season

Tips for Small Businesses in Tax SeasonIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or, maybe not. Regardless of how thrilled you are (or aren’t) about tax season, it’s upon us. And, filing your information for your small business isn’t exactly the same as filing your personal info. Here are some tips to consider when filing your small business tax information.

1. Estimated Tax Payments

When you’re employed, your employer takes the taxes out of your paycheck for you. This doesn’t happen when you’re self-employed. You have to take out that money yourself. The IRS has a form to help you figure out who needs to pay Estimated Tax Payments. Check it out and see if that’s you.

2. Insurance Deductions

If you are self-employed and you paid for medical and dental insurance, you are entitled to more deductions. Not sure if you qualify? Well, it wouldn’t be a bureaucratic agency if they didn’t have a form for that.

3. Start early

Get started now. Leave yourself a little wiggle room. If something goes wrong or you start to feel overwhelmed, at least you won’t have to add feeling rushed to that list. Getting a head start on taxes is always a good way to go.

4. File an extension

Better safe than sorry. Even if you get a head start on everything, you still might need extra time. File for an extension, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

5. Hire an accounting firm

You might think you can handle it. And, you very well might be able to. But, again, error on the side of caution. For the first and second years of your business, you should ask a professional to help you. You’ll be able to ask questions, see the forms completed, and get the advice of someone who knows what they’re doing, not just because it’s their job, but because they’ve done it before. You might even develop a relationship and be able to seek out financial assistance during the rest of the year.

Will you be filing early? What are your tax tips for small businesses? Share in the comments!

The Taxman Cometh

TAXMAN_Banner_1Don’t let tax season get you down. The Taxman is on BiZTV!

Got a problem with the IRS? Maybe you even THINK you have a problem with the IRS but are too afraid to ask anyone, we’ll we’ve got the guy for you! Michael Rozbruch IS, TAXMAN!

Each week Michael will take you on a journey to help you navigate your way around the complex, and sometimes concerning, tax laws that everyday Americans are faced with.

Michael Rozbruch is the founder and CEO of Tax Resolution Services and is one of the nation’s leading experts on solving individual and small business IRS tax problems. As a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) and CPA (licensed in the state of Maryland), he has represented thousands of taxpayers who owe the IRS, but simply cannot afford to pay.

Michael has been the guest expert on over 150 radio stations across the country including the nationally syndicated shows BigBiz Radio and The Michael Dresser Show. He has been the guest expert numerous times on Fox 11, KABC and KCAL television news segments. Michael has been interviewed by major newspaper publications including the Los Angeles Daily News the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal. He is a published writer, having written several articles, two of which have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Tax Talk in the February and March 2006 issues.

In 2009, CPA Magazine honored Michael with the prestigious national recognition of Top Tax Advisor to Know During Recession. He was also named an Executive of the Year Finalist in the 2009 American Business Awards. Additionally, Michael is the recipient of ASTPS’s prestigious “Top Practitioner” Fall 2005 Award, which recognizes distinguished members for their exemplary professional accomplishments, dedication, and contributions to the organization and the profession.

Budget cuts and no tax increases

The 2010 midterm elections resulted in a big change of leadership throughout the country.  More than a dozen governors have promised to balance their states’ budgets. These state chiefs, nine of whom were elected two weeks ago, will have little choice but to slash spending in order to bring their budgets in line, experts say.

All of them are Republican, save for New York’s Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo.

While left-leaning advocates fear that the vulnerable will lose their safety nets, their GOP counterparts see the Republican landslide as an opportunity to overhaul state services. Even without Democrats standing in their way, these governors will be fighting an uphill battle. They still have to deal with powerful public employee unions. Some bargaining groups are agreeing to concessions over salary and benefits. But others are not, which governors say force them to make layoffs and deeper budget cuts.

What is the plan?

Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich pledged during his campaign that he would reduce taxes. His answer to solving the budget problem is to make the state more business-friendly, which will result in greater revenues.

Kasich also wants to reduce the size of the state government by reforming programs and shedding those that don’t work, said his press secretary, Rob Nichols. Though he didn’t provide many specifics, Nichols said everything would be examined.

The governor-elect said the election gave him a mandate to overhaul state services. He will have to tackle a budget gap is estimated to be between $4 billion and $10 billion.

“We took a step forward to shrinking government and making it better,” Kasich said in his acceptance speech. “Ohio has said it wants to run our state in a new way.”

In Pennsylvania, Gov-elect Tom Corbett has called for reducing state administrative operations by 10% and for cutting the state automotive fleet by 20%, which would save $140 million over 10 years. He also wants to eliminate per diems given to certain state workers and require all elected officials to contribute to their health care coverage.

Republicans now control the governor’s mansion and both houses, ousting Democrats who ran all three. They will have their work cut out for them since they are facing a budget gap of at least $2.4 billion and Corbett has promised not to raise taxes.

“We have the opportunity to bring fiscal discipline to Pennsylvania, to bring limited government and to bring free enterprise to Pennsylvania,” Corbett said in his acceptance speech.

Republicans, however, aren’t the only ones calling for a freeze in tax hikes.New York Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo has also pledged not to raise corporate or personal taxes or sales taxes, even though the state is facing a $10 billion deficit. He also wants to put a ceiling on local property tax increases.

To get the Empire State’s fiscal house in order, Cuomo said he would freeze salary increases for state employees and impose a cap on state spending. He would also reduce the number of state agencies, commissions and authorities by at least 20% through consolidation or elimination.

He also wants to take over the administration of Medicaid from the counties, in hopes of better controlling participants’ use of the program. And Cuomo wants to reduce ever-escalating pension costs by providing less generous benefits to new hires.

Where does your governor stand?

 

 

Jobless claims reach new heights

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose to its highest level in close to six months, a fresh signal of a weak jobs market.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose to its highest level in close to six months, a fresh signal of a weak jobs market.

The data comes two days after the Federal Reserve downgraded its assessment of the economy’s health and said it would take steps to ensure its support for the fragile economic recovery does not wane.

So, how should we fix this? Not with any stimulus. Here’s what one politician thought:

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

No, not Ronald Reagan. This quote is from John F. Kennedy. You may remember him as a Democratic president from the 60’s. Here’s another gem of his:

“Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”

The stock market has responded to the jobless data, and not in a good way. Stocks have fallen, as the data indicates a weak labor market.

Senate will see a new energy bill

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid will unveil an energy bill that will make offshore drilling safer and convert trucks to run on domestic natural gas.

The full Senate could begin consideration of Reid’s bill on Tuesday and Democrats would like to pass it by the early part of the following week.

With time running short ahead of a month-long recess starting Aug 6, Democrats abandoned efforts last week to put climate-control measures in the bill. Reid said then that he had no Republican votes for items such as carbon caps and mandates requiring utilities to generate some of their power from alternatives sources such as wind and solar.

Democrats would like to revisit climate control in September, but for now, they will compromise with the hope of passing the bill quickly.

If Republicans pick up seats, as expected, the effort to put a price on carbon and cut emissions could be stalled for years, which would also hamper the Obama Administration’s efforts to take a lead role at the world climate talks.

The natural gas trucks incentives could cost the government $4.1 billion, compared to the $19 billion price tag for an earlier bill. The energy efficiency measure known as Home Star will include $5 billion in incentives for plugging window leaks and insulating attics.

To pay for these measures, lawmakers may consider raising taxes on the oil and gas industry.

Bush tax cut extension

The tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration are set to expire.

Party lines are clear on part of the issue: Most Republicans want to permanently extend all the tax cuts enacted during George W. Bush’s presidency, nearly $3 trillion worth over the next decade. Democratic leaders want to let the cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire.

The Democrats want to extend them for everyone else, but perhaps only temporarily, out of concern for the rising red ink. That’s where Democratic lawmakers are struggling to find agreement.

Passing only a temporary extension would open majority Democrats to claims they are planning middle class tax hikes in the future — after the extension expires. Making any of the tax cuts permanent could increase complaints about a national debt that already exceeds $13 trillion.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke has come out to support the continuation of the tax cuts, saying it’s a means of stimulus for the economy.

On the other hand, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told reporters Thursday she is adamantly against continuing the tax cuts, which expire at year’s end, for those making more than $250,000. “My stance is that the Bush-era tax cuts contributed to the deficit, did not create any jobs, and that they should be repealed,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat.

Home repossession hits record high

In April, banks took control of 92,432 properties which is up 1% from March. The number is up 45% from last year. While the number of repossessions rose, the number of new notices declined.

California, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and Nevada were the worst affected. Those five states accounted for 52% of the repossessions in April. The worst affected urban area was Las Vegas. One in every 60 homes received a repossession notice.

The National Association of Realtors said that house prices rose in nearly 60% of US cities in the first quarter.

Though April was a grim month, banks are hoping the number will fall in May.

French Carbon Tax

France withdrew a carbon tax plan that was set to make France the first big economy to tax carbon emissions. Prime Minister Francois Fillon said it would give French industry too much of a disadvantage in competition. Fillon would be optimistic if such a plan was enacted on a European level.

The repeal is a result of tens of thousands of public sector workers striking against President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy’s UMP party was defeated in several regional elections. The strikes added insult to injury. Sarkozy intends to cut jobs and reform pensions for public employees. With his political loses, Sarkozy hopes getting rid of one controversial plan will help him accomplish another.

The defeat of the UMP leaves the Socialist-led left wing party controlling 21 of the regions in France and Corsica.

Tax Day Countdown

Take our poll!  An make sure to tune in to The Big Biz Show with Sully and Russ T. Nailz to get tips and advice during “Tax Day Countdown” – every day between now and April 15th.

Watch The Big Biz Show with Sully and Russ T. Nailz live here.

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