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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tax Planning

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The first mistake is failing to plan. Planning is the key to beating the IRS, legally. I don’t care how good your accountant is with a stack of receipts on April 15. If you didn’t know you could set up a Section 105 plan and write off your kid’s braces as a business expense, there’s nothing you can do on April 15.

You lose that deduction forever! True tax planning gives you concepts and strategies you need to minimize your taxes. In plain English, not legalese. Without intimidating spreadsheets or endless “projections” that change every time Congress decides to change the law. What should you do? When should you do it? How should you do it? And tax planning gives you two more valuable benefits. First, it’s the key to your financial defenses. As a business owner, you have two ways to put cash in your pocket.

Financial offense is making more. Financial defense is spending less. Taxes are probably your biggest single expense. So it makes sense to focus your financial defense where you spend the most. And second, tax planning guarantees results. You can spend all sorts of time, effort, and money promoting your business. But that can’t guarantee results. Or you can set up a medical expense reimbursement plan, deduct your daughter’s braces, and guarantee savings. We like to start new client relationships with a comprehensive tax plan that lets us start saving you money right away, long before we prepare your first tax return.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mistake Business Owners Make

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Not Paying Yourself is the biggest Mistake Business Owners Make.

 
When you run a business, you must deposit ALL business income into your business bank account. (Please don’t stuff it under your mattress!) You should use this money to pay your business expenses. You should not take money out of the business account to use it as you please. You should not pay personal expenses with your business checks, debit cards, or ATM cash withdrawals. You must use the business income for paying business expenses. Since you work in the business, your salary is a valid business expense.

 
You must pay yourself a salary.

 
This doesn’t mean just transferring money from your business account to your personal account. Nor does it mean writing a company check to yourself and putting “salary” or “payroll” on the memo line. Doing this will subject you to the same “Self Employment Tax” contractors pay. This is an additional 15.3% tax on the money you paid yourself.

Technically, you do not “own” the business, it is an entity unto itself (like an artificial person). You are an employee of the business and must be paid as such.

The business should hire a payroll service that will issue you a W-2 at the end of the year and make all the Payroll Tax deposits that are required by law.

This is the best way to make sure you are compliant with IRS guidelines.