Big Ideas for Small Business® is dedicated to providing small businesses with the tools they need to gain a solid foundation and future financial success. With counsel for almost every facet of entrepreneurial finance, Big Ideas for Small Business® is your source for the right ideas for growing your business.
March 18, 2019
How many jobs does one new job create?
There’s an employment multiplier, which is the ripple effect of the creation or destruction of a job (i.e., impact on suppliers and jobs supported by the income from direct jobs and supplier jobs). According to the Economic Policy Institute (see Table 1), the answer depends on the industry. For example, it found that one new job in durable manufacturing leads to 7.4 new jobs; one construction job leads to 2.3 new jobs and one job added in the retail trade leads to 1.2 new jobs.
The last time you had to deal with a utility, how much time did you have to spend on resolving an issue? Recently I had to change carriers and the matter should have taken only a few minutes. It wound up taking hours and hours, wasting more than half a work day (not to mention the aggravation involved). This prompted me to think about all of the time wasters we face in business and what we could do about them. Various sources have found that employees waste hours each work day, and it’s not because they’re lazy; there are time […]
Most businesses use vehicles—cars, trucks, or vans—to conduct their activities. For example, on Schedule Cs for self-employed individuals in 2015 (the most recent year for statistics), deductions for car and truck expenses was nearly $90 billion! There are numerous tax-related issues for using vehicles in your business. Here are 10 of them: 1. Should you buy or lease the vehicle? The decision involves not only tax considerations, but also financial ones. Leasing usually allows you to use a more expensive vehicle for less cost than buying. But if the vehicle is going to be driven more than 15,000 miles a […]
One of the top complaints from employees is that their leaders do not communicate well. They don’t give clear directions or offer constructive criticism. Some refuse to talk to subordinates or even know their names. If you want to be a good leader, you need to learn to listen and communicate more effectively. As Lee Iacocca said: “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” Communication skills Success has identified 6 key communication skills to master in order to be a better leader: Know yourself (i.e., self-awareness) Know your audience […]
If your business conducts research and development (R&D), you may be eligible for certain tax breaks. This is so whether you’re creating a new product or merely working on new internal-use software to run things better within your company. These tax breaks are significant and greatly reduce the financial cost of your R&D activities. Expensing of R&D costs From a tax perspective, research and development (R&D) costs can be treated in one of 3 ways: Deduct all costs currently Elect to treat the costs as deferred expenses, amortizing them over a period of at least 60 months Elect to amortize […]
If you have a group health plan in your company, you better know about a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, or COBRA. This law requires employers that have a group medical plan and 20 or more employees who work more than 50% of business days to extend an offer for coverage after a qualifying event (e.g., termination of employment for any reason other than gross misconduct). The majority of states have enacted mini-COBRA laws to impose a similar requirement on small employers (those with fewer than 20 employees). Collectively these are referred to as […]
Maybe you have Alexa or other digital helper in your home. There are now many choices from Amazon, Apple, Google, and more. PC Magazine listed the best smart speakers for 2019. But have you considered whether such devices can be helpful in your business? A look at the future and smart speakers According to Computerworld, “voice technology will re-shape business.” Consider these facts: 20% of all web searches are now done by voice (and it’s expected that 30% of searches within 2 years will be done without a screen) Three-quarters of businesses are going to invest in customer-facing voice systems […]
It is commonly accepted wisdom that tax rules are complicated. This belief is well supported by the conflicting tax rules that apply to business owners, depending on their participation in the business. Let me try to make some sense of these conflicting rules. Overview Business owners may be active in their business. This means they are hands-on and are involved in day-to-day activities. Other business owners may be mere investors, adding their capital but not their labor. The following are various rules that take into account whether owners do or do not work in their businesses. Qualified business income deduction […]
The tax law is not static. Since the publication of this book, the IRS has provided guidance on some of the changes for 2018 returns that were made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). And there’s been additional legislation, court cases, and other IRS pronouncements that affect 2018 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2019. Here are the key developments, some of which can apply to your 2018 return while others impact your 2019 withholding and estimated taxes. At the time this Supplement posted, Congress had not yet addressed the tax rules that expired […]
The determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor has wide-ranging ramifications for both the company for which work is being performed and the person doing it. The matter of worker classification is ongoing because there is no single definition that can be relied upon. What’s more, the determination of worker classification may depend on where your company is located. Here’s what we know and what we need to know to avoid problems for our businesses. IRS criteria For purposes of federal wages withholding, FICA taxes, and federal unemployment tax, the IRS has a general rule. […]
The tax law is not static. Since the publication of this book, the IRS has provided guidance on some of the changes for 2018 returns that were made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). And there’s been additional legislation, court cases, and other IRS pronouncements that affect 2018 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2019. For small business owners, it is important to take action based on what is known now, and to watch for any tax changes that may affect your business and personal taxes in the future. Pay attention to what is […]
Sales Tax Issues for 2019
Successful Tax Planning Strategies for Your Small Business - Interview by Jim Fitzpatrick
Book Interview -- Smooth Failing
Book Interview -- J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2019
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-Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach
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