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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.

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Idea of the Day®

February 21, 2019

Getting Sales Taxes Right

 

If you sell products or services to residents or businesses in another state, be sure to collect and remit sales taxes to the extent you’re required to do so. QuickBooks now has a Sales Tax Calculator that you can use to automate sales tax tracking. The calculator is free with QuickBooks.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • 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 […]

  • When the polar vortex shut down offices and various government activities (including postal delivery in some mid-West states in late January), it prompted some businesses to allow employees to work from home. If it worked during this bad weather, couldn’t it work just about any time? It’s clear that technology has enabled employees to work remotely. The question to answer is whether this is a good idea and, if so, how to make it work. A business decision Some businesses…retail stores, restaurants, hair salons…can’t offer employees the opportunity to work from their homes. But many other types of businesses can. […]

  • Valentine’s Day is a time for romance. As actress/singer Pearl Bailey said: “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” But in this era of the #MeToo movement, there is the potential for sexual harassment violations within a company. Can you or should you set a dating policy? About office romances It’s a fact that office romances are common. Vault’s 2018 Office Romance Survey found that 52% of workers said they’d had at least one office romance; “hookups” were the most common type. But the survey also found that views about office romances are changing. According to […]

  • Being a leader means displaying certain key qualities. This is the second in a series of posts on leadership qualities; it focuses on confidence, courage, and inspiration. As Napoleon said: “A leader is a dealer in hope.” It’s up to small business owners to inspire their staff to do great things. Why confidence, courage, and inspiration matter Ask employees what they want from the owners of their company or their managers and you’ll find that they want to know their higher-ups are passionate about what they do. This helps employees feel they are part of something that matters. And when […]

  • 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 […]

  • Worker Classification Revisited

    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. […]

  • According to Doodle, a company providing scheduling software, business meetings are a waste of time. It’s projected that in 2019, this will cost businesses $399 billion. It surveyed 19 million business meetings in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. With that said, some business meetings are needed, but there are ways to make the necessary ones successful. 1. Is a meeting necessary? Despite the conclusion that meetings are a waste of time, they are a necessary fact of business life. Meetings are important to employees where team efforts are used for project and other business functions. Brainstorming at meetings is often […]

  • 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

    Sales tax is a cost imposed on a company’s customers for the goods and services it sells. It’s up to the company to collect the tax from these customers and remit it to the state. And they must file sales tax returns to report their sales and tax collections. There are about 10,000 different sales tax jurisdictions within the U.S., factoring in rates of the states and various localities (e.g., counties and cities). Rate changes for 2019 Sales tax rates have changed this year in some locations. Usually, the rates go up (for example, in Alabama in some cities, Colorado […]

  • The federal government “shutdown” ran from midnight on December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019, a total of 35 days. During this time, many small businesses struggled; federal contractors weren’t being paid, pending SBA-guaranteed loans weren’t being processed. These and other issues affected small businesses and reveal some important lessons for us all. After all, a government shutdown is not too different from a natural disaster that forces a business to close for a period of time. 1. Don’t ignore the indirect impact Even though your business hasn’t been directly impacted by the shutdown, you may feel an indirect impact. […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

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

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

February 22, 2019

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February–March 2019

barbara’s books

  • Maximize your bottom line with the nation's most trusted small business tax guide

    J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2019 is the small business owner's ultimate guide to a money-saving, stress-free tax season. Providing straightforward advice from the nation's most trusted tax expert on small business taxes, this book gives you the answers you need quickly, with clear, concise guidance. Updated to cover changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other legislation, this edition also includes an e-supplement covering additional developments from Congress and the IRS to keep you fully up-to-date.
  • A complete list of individual tax relief opportunities

    J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2019 is the complete and thorough guide to reducing your tax burden. By listing every possible deduction and credit available to individual taxpayers, this book can help you achieve substantial savings on your 2018 tax return. Updated and expanded to cover new and changing tax law, this edition also includes an e-supplement covering the latest developments from Congress and the IRS to keep you fully up-to-date. Stop overpaying and gain peace of mind as you find the answers you need for your specific tax situation. Mine your paperwork for write-off opportunities, and claim your tax breaks correctly; easy-to-follow instructions give you clear guidance through the maze of worksheets to help you reclaim what is legally yours.
  • Presenting a recently-launched, updated, paperback edition!  Barbara Weltman takes an inspired look in Smooth Failing at the hard lessons learned when things go wrong. Through extensive interviews with entrepreneurs whose ventures failed for a variety of reasons — some stunningly unexpected, some painfully inevitable — Barbara gleans valuable insights about the small mistakes that can lead to large scale catastrophe.  Smooth Failing seeks to save readers from similar disaster — while empowering those who are learning from failures and adversity to bounce back stronger and wiser on the often rocky road to success.
  • Tax facts and strategies every self-employed person needs to know As a self-employed person you have to handle many, if not all, of the aspects of running your business. J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment is intended to help you with some business aspects with which you may not be familiar—but which have a great impact on your bottom line. It skillfully focuses on taxes as well as many legal and financial matters that may pertain to your business.
  • Small Business Survival Book

    12 surefire ways for your business to survive and thrive! Owning a small business can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding experience, but to be successful, you must know what to do while the business is up and running, and, most importantly, what to do when the business runs into trouble. This book is definitely part of what you need to succeed!
  • As Vicki Raeburn of Dun & Bradstreet notes in the forward, "...the successful creation of credit by small business has a significant effect on one of the most important business drivers, namely cash flow. ...     [This book has] the information needed to understand and build business credit."

testimonials

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    I just wanted to reach out and give you a very big, truly heartfelt "thank you" for all the work that you do to help small business owners grow and succeed. More specifically, I wanted to offer you some praise for your blog posts and Idea of the Day®. My email inbox gets so very cluttered. And honestly, on most days I will do a wholesale delete of many, many messages. But I literally stop and specifically look for your name and your small business Idea of the Day®. I don't want to miss it! In fact, I look forward to reading it daily (even on weekends!) because I know I'm going to learn something new that saves me money, time or just adds to my professional knowledge in a way that helps me help others too. So thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts! ”

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    I follow your blog religiously for the great tips you provide. I love the new look. It makes me smile to see that your blog got an update.  Thanks for providing such useful information. ”

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  • " Barbara Weltman is an Advocate for Small Business
    She has been an advocate, public speaker, and resource for small business news since the release of her first book, J.K. Lasser’s Tax Deductions for Small Business, in 1995. Since then she has run her website, her Big Ideas for Small Business® newsletter, and her blog, not to mention written over a dozen books. Ms. Weltman is on this list twice because for many business owners, it is easier to scroll through her Twitter feed for trending topics and news events than search her website. However, if you don’t take a minute to read her newsletters or blog — you’re missing out. ”

    -Meredith Wood, Fundera Ledger

  • " Great segment!!!
    Barbara Weltman is one smart cookie - I follow her on Twitter, and her content is always interesting and informative. ”

    -An eBay Radio listener - purplejaime1976

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