Unemployment insurance, at its root, is pretty easy to understand – it’s just a program meant to protect workers that become involuntarily unemployed. But because it is run on a hybrid state-federal system, and is often calculated based on weird variables like experience ratings, the entire concept quickly becomes muddled. Most states also change rates and maximum taxable wages on a year-by-year basis, so what was paid last year may not be the same this year. Thankfully, as long as you learn a little bit about unemployment programs and stay on top of those annual changes, UI shouldn’t cause too many problems. (more…)
Hiring your first employee is an exciting time for your company. Your daily duties have expanded and you need to hire someone to take over some of the responsibility. Before you interview and find the person you want to bring into your company, you need to understand the legal requirements for hiring and maintaining employees.
Over the past couple of years, controversy rose around independent contractors. The line between employee and independent contractor has thinned, and many are confused over how workers should be classified. In general, the independent contractor is considered to self-employed, and the company is their client. This means that there are some vast differences between the tax obligations for independent contractors and employees.
You never want to pay more tax than you need to, so it makes sense to claim for all the expenses that you can. Just remember that an expense has to be ‘wholly and exclusively’ for business purposes, so you can’t claim your weekly food shop.
To give you an idea of what you can claim, here is a comprehensive list of expenses for the self employed. (more…)
Let’s just start out by being completely honest with each other, shall we? We all hate, hate tax season! Either we completely despise it or we run around in circles with our hands flailing about just thinking about it. I hated filing my returns too. I procrastinated until the last minute on the dreaded date – April 15th. I felt like there was ticking time bomb, ready to explode somewhere, but let me just wait till 10 seconds on the clock and do something trivial while time flies by. Have you ever felt the same thing? Don’t worry though, tax season does that to you.
I know procrastination can seem like the best idea in the world, but here’s some friendly advice: don’t do it. Just don’t. When it comes to filing your returns, planning in advance really helps. It may even help you reduce your income tax liabilities, because you’re thinking about it more thoroughly than you would if you were filing at the last minute. So, no more last minute fretting. Follow these tips and you’ll do just fine.
By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant.com Writer
Driving a vehicle is something many of us do without putting much thought into it. From sedans to trucks to SUVs, we all have to transport ourselves from one location to another for various reasons. We also have to deal with the expenses associated with driving and maintaining a vehicle that can add up quickly over time. If you spend time behind the wheel for business reasons, however, have you explored the tax deductions on vehicle costs that you may be able to claim on your tax return?
You shouldn’t have to live in fear of facing your utility bills each month at the workplace! One of the most effective ways to conserve energy is to cut down on the amount of electricity, natural gas and other fuels we use while trying to bring the temperatures in our office buildings to comfortable levels. According to Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program that advises businesses and individuals on eco-friendly energy savings, up to 30 percent of the energy generated to heat, cool and light the average commercial building is wasted.
Weatherproofing your doors, windows and skylights is the best way to make sure unconditioned air is not seeping in to or out of your office. And while weatherproofing can help you save on your utility bill, it can also put a dent in your annual taxes by applying your improvements toward tax deductions offered by Uncle Sam.
By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant.com Writer
Do you have plans to launch a brand new small business? Are you ready to take the dive toward a profitable and rewarding future? If you intend to become a newly crowned business owner, it is vital to ensure you know what types of business structure options exist so that you choose the one that is most appropriate for you. This includes understanding how each type of business entity is taxed. One option is to go with a C corporation, which is considered the most traditional type of business structure.
When it comes to filing federal taxes, the IRS treats C corporations as separate business entities. A C corporation can be created when there is an exchange of money or property among prospective shareholders who make up a business. This is done for the capital stock of the business. The advantage of a C corporation is that it typically can claim more tax deductions than the ones available to sole proprietorships or partnerships when calculating their amounts of taxable income. Tax deductions can lead to big savings, helping small business owners hold on to more of the income their companies bring in.
All new entrepreneurs have the choice of incorporating or not. By not incorporating, you’ll get out of some hefty paperwork, though you’ll be missing out on some great benefits that come along with incorporating your business. If you are a small business owner and you haven’t gotten around to incorporating yet, here’s what you’re subjecting your business to:
A lack of trust from customers.
Your customers want to know they are giving their business to a legitimate, professional establishment. Having an Inc. or LLC at the end of your business’s name helps make your customers feel comfortable with you. Without it, you may receive some skepticism.
The one thing most new business owners really struggle with from the get-go is organization. There’s so much new paperwork and so many bills you need to keep track of! Being organized can really separate the good businesses from the great businesses. Every customer wants to feel as though they are in capable hands. You can be a great business for your customers with the help of QuickBooks.
QuickBooks is an organization tool that, according to their website, “manages your money, imports from your bank, and gets you ready for taxes. It’s accounting software made easy.”