Every week I email a "Tax Tip of the Week," to clients, business associates and acquaintances, and some family members.   And every week I get back a handful of "Auto replies" stating this individual or that individual will be out of the office on vacation starting today and going through ____.   Some weeks these auto replies are greater than others - especially the summer and especially this week. For many employees, the week between Christmas and New Years can

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Everyone is looking for ways to be more productive.   For many, the answer to better productivity lies in your surroundings...on your desk that is.   I'm amazed at the number of clients' desks that I've sat at and looked for a standard office supply that, at my desk is right within reach, only to find it somewhere it shouldn't be - a stapler shoved in a drawer; paper clips tangled up with rubber bands (if on

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As the 4th quarter begins, companies should be starting their budgeting process.  While there are A LOT of businesses that are highly budget-focused, there are also A LOT that don't take the time to create one...for whatever reason. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are 2 different ways to create your budget - 1) Revenue first or 2) Expenses first.   I'll address each one below. Revenue first If you know or can project

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Situation: April 15th has come and gone.  The question inevitably comes up, "So what do you do now?  You're on vacation for the next 9 months, right?"   Most of these comments are said in jest, and we know that.   However, some people truly may not know what accountants do for the remainder of the year as they may only come in contact with theirs for the preparation of their individual income tax return.   Well, here

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I’ve often said in the past that you should keep good records for many reasons – to know your actual bank balance; to understand how you are performing for the year; to understand how you are performing in comparison to prior years; to make informed business decisions; to make it easier on your accountant to prepare your tax return(s).   But for some, I need to take one step back and say to just keep records, never

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This Thursday, 7/23, The Believe Project, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that brings the joys of Christmas to children stricken with an illness, is holding a Christmas in July fundraising event. My wife was talking with our neighbors who plan on joining us and gave CASH to purchase the tickets.   Now, maybe I’m overly sensitive due to my line of work but, while cash still is king, you don’t give CASH to purchase tickets for a

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  The retirement planner who left a job on Wall Street to start his own firm. The title insurer that is constantly updating his business to comply with ever changing regulations. The insurance agent that started his own business in an industry completely new to him. The list can go on and on.   But when you hear about these professionals the term “Entrepreneur” (typically) doesn’t come to mind.   That term generally evokes an image of

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As a self-employed individual or partner in a business, you may not understand self-employment (SE) tax, how it’s calculated, or how it affects you. As an employee SE tax doesn’t affect you at all.   While you can stop reading at this point, I suggest you continue in case 1) you plan on starting your own business, 2) become partner, or 3) want to understand the tax consequences of your boss (assuming (s)he’s a sole proprietor

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In real estate it may be location, location, location but in business it's definitely recordkeeping, recordkeeping, recordkeeping.   In my August 28, 2012 post, I used the TV show Shark Tank to demonstrate the importance of keeping good records and knowing your numbers.   Why am I bringing it up again?   Because it's THAT IMPORTANT! I encountered 2 business owners today that don't keep good records - 1 has to amend his return and the 2nd came to

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I recently met with a client that had come into a pretty significant sum of money.  The first thing she did, to the chagrin of her financial advisor, the bank, and some friends, was pay off her mortgage.   Many people, banks included, suggest that you keep the mortgage because of the tax deduction.   While you do get a tax deduction for mortgage interest, we’ll see below how much this deduction actually saves you. Truth be

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