Money Matters

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Business Tips

When and How to Incorporate Your Business

When is it time to convert to a corporation? What are the benefits of incorporating, and what are the steps involved? If you are an entrepreneur or sole proprietor, or you're planning to launch a new business, you may have some of these questions. Setting up a corporation has many benefits, but there are also costs involved—a cost-benefit analysis ...
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Why Your Business Needs a Bookkeeper

If you're a business owner, you understand firsthand the challenges of providing excellent services and products while running a business. You also understand that you only have so many hours in a week to meet deadlines and accomplish your goals, and this time crunch can lead to stress. You may feel stress because you don't have time to do your own...
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Sharing Economy and Your Taxes

Sharing economy (also known as the on-demand or access economy) is a fast-growing business model that allows providers to use online platforms and smart phones to easily connect with customers and rent a spare room, provide car rides, or provide other personal services. If you've ever rented out a room or vacation home on Airbnb, or provided rides ...
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IRS Mileage Crackdown: No Log, No Deduction

Mileage is a popular business deduction, but taking advantage of it has gotten more complicated as the IRS cracks down on mileage deductions by not allowing estimates to be used in an audit. In fact, unless you provide complete and accurate records, your entire mileage deduction can be rejected, even if you can prove that you drove for business during the year.

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Three, Two, One, Presto: AMEX Becomes VISA at Costco

Costco is changing its credit card partner from American Express to VISA effective June 20 and cardholders will benefit from the new card’s reward program.

The Citigroup Visa increases most of the reward tiers from the American Express program by one percentage point each. VISA cardholders will earn four percent cash back on fuel purchases instead of three percent up to $7,000 in eligible gasoline purchases per year and one percent on eligible gasoline purchases thereafter.

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2016 IRS Mileage Rates Down from 2015

New mileage rates went into effect Jan. 1 and they are lower than the 2015 rates. The Internal Revenue Service's "optional standard mileage rates"are used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

The 2016 standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel trucks are:

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A Tale of Two Businesses

Business One: “Fred” is a skilled electrician. He worked 20 years for the same company, and one day realized that he was getting paid $20 per hour but was billing $80 an hour for his time. “This is unfair!” he thought, so he decided to sit for the contractor’s license exam and open his own business. He had $10,000 saved up, and he knew that he would be able to get clients the same way his boss did very easily.

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Top 10 List for New Businesses

  • Create a Business Plan! Have something in writing detailing your business plan. Establish goals, procedures and policies; set deadlines for reevaluating your business, etc. Meet with your financial and business advisors to make sure you’re on the right track. Ensure that you have a budget and projection, at least for your first year in business, preferably for the first two years, and consult with professionals to compare.
  • Determine your business structure. What type of organization will you create? Will you operate as a sole proprietor or as a business entity (corporation, partnership, etc.). If you have set up an LLC – elect the tax reporting entity.
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