Most Popular Blog Posts of 2010
Very few business owners are thinking about taxes in August. Even if they extended their returns, the deadlines to file corporate and personal returns are in September and October, respectively. With no urgent deadline to meet, business owners are happy to not think or worry about taxes and focus on other parts of their business.
Compliance is not very interesting or fun according to most entrepreneurs or business owners. That's why they usually put off discussing taxes until the very last moment possible. Not only does this usually cost them more in taxes, but the entire process can be one of the most compelling things they do, if they do it right.
Start-Up companies do not need theoretical or impractical advice. They need tips and suggestions that they can easily and swiftly implement to improve their chances for success. In the spirit of this need, here are ten tips in the areas of accounting and finance that they should consider implementing in a hurry:
What are your chances for being audited? IRS's 2008 data book provides some clues.
The IRS has issued its annual data book, which provides statistical data on its fiscal year (FY) 2008 activities. As this article explains, the data book provides valuable information about how many tax returns IRS examines (audits), and what categories of returns IRS is focusing its resources on, as well as data on other enforcement activities, such as collections.
What are the chances of being examined? A total of 1,391,581 individual income tax returns were audited during FY 2008 (Oct.
There is a rising trend, especially among Gen Y and Gen X entrepreneurs, toward building their business models around social causes. Should these enterprises be structured as for profit, not-for-profit, or is there some other way?
Marci Alboher wrote in the New York Times: "It used to be that people who wanted to solve a social problem — like lack of access to clean water or inadequate housing for the poor — created a charity.
Many people have asked me the rules about activities being a hobby or a business. The IRS says that hobbies are activities that are not pursued for profit. Here are some things to consider:
Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
Do you depend on income from the activity?
If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in he start-up phase of the business?
Have you changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on th
The IRS had a rough 2008. Their overall collections were down almost 5% from 2007, their first year of negative growth in a decade.
This just does not happen every day! According to the USA TODAY, the IRS usually sets the mileage reimbursement rate in the fall for the entire upcoming calendar year. With gas prices surging, they have raised the mileage reimbursement rate to 58.5 cents from 50.5 cents for the second half of 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-06-23-mileage-rates_N.htm).
The new rate will apply to miles driven between July 1st and December 31st of 2008.
While IRS audits of large firms declined, as depicted above, "the IRS increased audit rates of small and mid size corporations (USA TODAY, IRS Cuts Back on Audits of Large Firms, 14 April 2008) Consider this fair warning - the IRS is looking very hard at S-Corps. The single largest item they target in S-Corps is the wages paid to officers and owners of the company. With the pass-through benefits afforded to S-Corp shareholders, some forgo taking a wage in lieu of distributions. The distributions avoid traditional payroll taxes, while wages do not.