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August 12, 2022

Tax Deduction for Energy-efficient Commercial Buildings

There’s a special write-off in 2022 of $1.88 per square foot (63¢ per square foot for a partial deduction) for the installation of energy-efficient property into commercial buildings. The IRS has updated some guidance for the deduction. Qualified property must be at least one of three systems: (1) lighting, (2), heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot-water systems, or (3) the building’s envelope. There are 14 steps for claiming the credit, including obtaining a certification from a qualified individual (an engineer or contractor licensed in the state in which the building is located).  #IdeaoftheDay

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Resources For Your Business
  • Are we in a recession, which is defined as a significant decline in economic activity or two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction (something we’ve already had)? Some experts nonetheless argue that we’re not there yet, but is a recession on the horizon? We know from past experience that the experts don’t know any more than we do. Recall the dire predictions of a recession at the end of 2018 that drove the stock market down in December 2018. And it turned out that 2019 was a boom year. Nonetheless, it’s a smart business strategy to follow the proverb to prepare […]

  • As students head back to school, employers should take note of some important implications for their business. Employees, with and without children, may be thinking about education and the upcoming school year. What to consider and how to prepare: Dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) Employees with school-age children may need to pay for after-school care, and this may be pricey (depending on location and the nature of the care). Dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) enable employees to pay this personal cost on a pre-tax basis. The annual contribution for 2022 is capped at $5,000 ($2,500 if married filing separately), […]

  • Are employers responsible for their employees’ financial health? Should they act in loco parentis (a Latin phrase meaning in place of the parent)? You may think the answer is no, but given the aftershocks of the pandemic and the “great resignation,” it’s becoming a fact of company life that employers have some responsibility in helping employees with their financial wellbeing. Small businesses can only afford to pay so much in wages in order to maintain a profit margin, and it’s especially challenging to do this in today’s high inflationary environment. So, they can’t create financial wellbeing, but they can contribute […]

  • When starting in business you want to use all the resources you can, and that includes family members if you have them and they’re ready and willing to help. Here are some ways in which you can leverage family to help you get started. But beware: there are drawbacks to consider. Your business may be of finite duration, but family is forever, and you want to be sure and preserve relationships above all else. How family can help get you started: Financial support Parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and other family members may be a great source of funding your business. […]

  • Almost all small businesses in the U.S. are pass-through entities—sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and S corporations. When it comes to small businesses, of those with no employees (other than owners), 98.5% are pass-throughs and of those with employees, 77.5% are pass-throughs. These entities have been touted as a way to avoid double taxation. C corporations are taxed, but dividends paid to shareholders are not deductible by the corporation although taxed…again…at the shareholder level. But in today’s tax and economic environment are pass-throughs the best entities to use for conducting business? Should pass-throughs consider switching to C corporation status? […]

  • The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that the government will not interfere with the free exercise of religion or limit free speech. But we know that there are limits. The question for private employers is how these constitutional protections square with business policy. When and to what extent can an individual’s First Amendment rights be curtailed within the workplace? It can be a slippery slope. What the Supreme Court has to say  In June, the U.S. Supreme Court said a high school football coach had the right under the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the U.S. Constitution […]

  • When you go into business, the government is your silent partner in more ways than one. The government takes a chunk of your profits in the form of taxes. The government tells you what you can and cannot do (the rules and regulations applicable to your industry and location). And the government requires that you have certain licenses and permits to operate legally. Overview of licenses and permits Depending on what your business is about and where you’re located, you may be required to have one or more licenses and/or permits. Licenses and permits are issued by federal, state, and […]

  • IT process automation is the use of digital technology to perform or process a workflow or function. The use of IT process automation is a growing trend. According to one report last year, 63% of small and mid-sized businesses said automation allowed their company to quickly pivot as a result of the pandemic—whether it was bringing their goods and services online or changing their business model completely. There are many good reasons for this. Here are some to consider. Technology has made life both easier and more complex, but the benefits can’t be ignored. IT process automation can improve your […]

  • The word “income” is a generic term for the accretion to wealth. The word “income” connotes wages and earnings from self-employment. But for tax purposes, there are different income terms used for various limitations and opportunities. If you want to do tax planning, it’s helpful to understand how “income” impacts what you’re trying to accomplish. The following are the tax terms for income that are relevant to small businesses. Tax terms for income that are relevant to small business Gross receipts Gross receipts is a business term used to describe what a business takes in from the sale of goods […]

  • During COVID-19, many employees working from home got used to having their pets close by. After all, 70% of households have a pet. With employees returning to the workplace, some want to have their pets with them. And customers are out and about with their pets. Can you or should you permit pets in the workplace? It’s helpful to think things through and create a pet policy that works for your business. What to think about as you craft your pet policy: Consider how it helps employees There are benefits to allowing employees to bring their pets to work: Health […]

  • Work-life balance is defined by Business Daily News as “the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life.” There’s been a big emphasis on remote work arrangements as a way to improve work-life balance for employees, especially for those with children and responsibilities outside of work. For small business owners like me, it’s more a matter of lifestyle than a balancing act. Here’s why. Why lifestyle trumps balancing Work-life balance strives to achieve fewer work hours to create more time available for personal pursuits. That’s not the goal of […]

  • If you are an employer, you are required to deposit your employment taxes on a regular schedule that’s dependent on the usual amount of the deposit. Most small businesses are on a monthly deposit basis, which requires employment taxes to be deposited by the 15th day of the following month. But what happens if you fall behind because you lack the funds to make the deposit? Here are some ideas to help when you fall behind in tax deposits. Pay it off When cash flow becomes a problem, it may seem easy to duck employment tax deposits. You think it’s just […]

  • There’s been much discussion about “taxing the rich” and making them “pay their fair share.” What may get lost in the discussion are the special taxes already being levied on certain higher income taxpayers—which include many small business owners—in addition to regular federal income tax. One of these special taxes is on earned income and the other on investment income (with certain adjustments). Understanding them is important (1) to better project estimated taxes each year and (2) to have a realistic take on what is actually paid by affected taxpayers. This is especially important for small business owners, who may […]

  • Gas prices at the pump have nearly doubled in one year, causing severe strain on business budgets. This is especially so for businesses that are based on driving, such as delivery services, or that feature deliveries as part of their offerings. Businesses can ameliorate this strain somewhat by being able to deduct the cost of business driving. But the tax rules for doing this are complicated and businesses must make decisions to optimize their write-offs. The following is an overview of the tax rules and is not meant to be a complete treatment of them. An overview of tax rules […]

  • “There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.” — Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Small business owners know it’s important to recognize the achievements of employees. It’s been reported companies with formal recognition programs have 31% less turnover and are 12 times more likely to have strong business outcomes. But what about recognition for companies and their owners? It is important too. What form can this recognition take? Importance of recognizing small business owners Small business owners self-define their success and don’t necessarily seek out recognition or praise. Success may be in […]

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  • J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2022
     A complete guide to taxes for small businesses, brought to you by the leading name in taxes
    If you own a small business, this comprehensive guide explains in easy-to-understand terms the essentials of business taxes to prepare you to work better with your CPA or other tax adviser or handle tax responsibilities on your own. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or have organized your business as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, the information is tailored for your business. Up-to-date information is keyed to the 2021 tax return as well as providing evergreen tax planning to improve your bottom line. A free supplement available in February 2022 updates the information so you won’t miss out on any tax-saving opportunities.
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  • J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions & Tax Breaks 2022
    The definitive guide to all income-tax deductions and credits for the everyday taxpayer.
    The fifth edition of this popular book has been fully updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws, allowing the reader you to easily refer to the appropriate deductions for their your particular needs. A free supplement available in February 2022 updates the information so you won’t miss out on any tax-saving opportunities.
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  • 500+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business

    Ideas you'll use everyday!

    With only so many hours in the day, it’s impossible to stay on top of key developments and opportunities to help you run your business better and smarter. 500+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business gives you quick access to resources and tips you can use every day. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, you’ll find actionable ideas to help you with your finances, your operations, your staff, your marketing, your taxes, your technology, your environment, and your personal growth.
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  • Home-Based Business Start-Up Guide
    A Step-By-Step Road Map--with Checklists--to Get You Started Up, Profitable, and Successful 
    Whether you want to start up a part-time home-based business or jump in full throttle and work on it full time, you need a start-up guide. A road map! Home-Based Business Start-Up Guide will help you chart your course to work-from-home success. Written by industry expert Barbara Weltman, our Start-Up Guide is broken up into easily digestible chapters that cover the key areas of a new business launch. We outline 10 fundamental steps to succeed in running a home business. These include selecting a business; determining business fit; establishing your business organization; business protections; marketing and selling; setting up a productive home office; managing your business; achieving success; business growth and more. Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best."
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  • The Delivery Driver Tax and Business Guide, Kindle Edition

    Your GPS to Get You Where You Want to Go in Your Business

    Do you enjoy driving and being your own boss with flexible work options? Are you looking for a part-time (or full-time) activity that earns good money? Maybe you’ve already discovered that there are great opportunities for making money with your car. Or, you’d like to become a delivery driver driver but uncertain how to begin. This guide, "The Delivery Driver Tax and Business Guide" is your answer!
    Buy from Amazon
  • Guide to Self-Employment: Taxes, Strategies, and Money-Saving Tips for Schedule C filers, 2nd Edition

    What every self-employed person needs to know about their taxes!

    If you’re self-employed, chances are the majority of your time is spent finding new customers or clients, servicing existing ones, and handling each and every aspect of your business. Freelancers, independent contractors, gig economy participants, and other individuals working for themselves need to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to paying their taxes. Even if you have an accountant or use tax preparation software, you may not be aware of all the deductions and credits you are entitled to. That’s where the experts at J.K. Lasser come in. The second edition of J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment helps you file your taxes correctly, accurately, and on time. Using clear, jargon-free language, this bestselling guide explains the legal and financial implications of self-employment and shows you how to keep as much of your hard-earned money as legally possible. A reader says: "This book, Guide to Self Employment, is an excellent tax resource for all freelancers & self employed people, including small business owners. Barbara Weltman is a knowledgeable tax attorney & small business specialist."
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  • The Uber/Lyft Driver Tax & Business Guide, Kindle Edition
    Created for Uber and Lyft drivers as their GPS -- to help them get where they want to go in their business, safely and securely.
    Note: This e-Book has been updated with a new title and revised content (shown). Do you enjoy driving and being your own boss with flexible work options? Are you looking for a part-time (or full-time) activity that earns good money? Maybe you’ve already discovered that there are great opportunities for making money with your car, and you’re a business owner driving for Uber, Lyft, or other platform. Or, you’d like to become an Uber or Lyft driver but uncertain how to begin. This guide, "The Uber/Lyft Driver Tax & Business Guide," is your answer!  
    Buy from Amazon
  • Smooth Failing
    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.
    Buy from Amazon
  • Small Business Survival Book

    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!
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  • The Rational Guide to Building Small Business Credit
    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."
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  • " Always an excellent newsletter from you, Barbara!
    Barbara's newsletter and the information she shares are always useful and topical. Always an excellent newsletter from you, Barbara!”  -- Bob Benowitz ”

    - Bob Benowitz

  • " Love your articles!
    I love the simplicity of your articles. ”

    - Marie Porolniczak, CB

  • " Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going!
    Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best." ”

    - Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show

  • " I Love Your Ideas of the Day!
    I love your ideas of the day! They have become an instrumental part of my learning! ”

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  • " You should sign up for the Idea of the Day®
    You should sign up for the "Idea of the Day®" by Barbara Weltman. This will give you great tips and help you with your daily business needs. She writes every article with consummate skill. ”

    - Lesley

  • " Your blogs contain information that everyone can use!
    As a tax attorney and small business specialist, Barbara has a lot of great information to share. Barbara, your blogs contain information that everyone can use!  Your newly-expanded ebook, "175+ Big Ideas for Small Business" ebook has lots of great recommendations for small business owners. ”

    - Lisa Rubenfeld

  • " Best information for a small business owner!
    For a small business owner, the information [in your book] is absolutely one of the best I’ve come across! Thanks so much for the break-down of information. ”

    - Michelle Joe

  • " I don't want to miss it!
    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! ”

    - Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

  • " Getting your daily email is like getting an MBA in small business!
    Thank you for finding this important information. Getting your daily email is like getting an MBA in small business. ”

    - J. S. Budnik

  • " Thank You, Barbara!
    "Thank you, Barbara Weltman, for all of your articles and tax advice to small business owners! All the best." ”

    - Shane Madigan

  • " Thanks for providing such useful information!
    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. ”

    - Lee Drozak

  • " 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

  • " Absolutely love your Idea of the Day®
    it’s BRIEF, concise and timely. Funny, I do a quick scan of my bloated mail box, quickly deleting what I feel is a time waster. But I NEVER delete Idea of the Day® until I've first opened it. Both you and Napoleon Hill's Thought for the day ALWAYS get read. You’re in terrific company. Thanks. ”

    - Don Aronowitz

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