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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, Barbara Weltman is your source for the right ideas for growing your business.

  • 40 years of legal and small business experience
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Idea of the Day®

August 21, 2018

Union Persuader Rule Rescinded

A prior Labor Department rule under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act had required employers to disclose their hiring of outside counsel to deal with workers’ unionizing efforts (referred to as the “persuader rule”). In November 2016, a federal district court had blocked the rule from taking effect, agreeing with the NFIB’s argument that the rule violated an employer’s First Amendment rights and attorney-client privilege. Now, the DOL has rescinded the persuader rule, reverting to the former rule mandating an employer to disclose fees paid to consultants but exempts legal advice.

New! What You Should Know about the Streamlined Sales Tax

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • The Streamlined Sales Tax is an organization that started in 2000 with the goal of finding solutions for the complexity in state sales tax systems. Today there are 24-member states. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision effectively allowing states to require out-of-state merchants to collect sales tax on transactions within their borders, the activities of the Streamlined Sales Tax are vital to your business. How the Streamlined Sales Tax works Because there are more than 10,000 sales tax jurisdictions in the U.S. when you factor in local sales taxes, and the items (and even definitions of items) subject to […]

  • That’s the finding of a recent poll from Insureon and Manta — “Small businesses are unprepared for disaster.” Sixty-one percent of small business owners didn’t have a formal business plan, and 31% didn’t know if their businesses could survive a disaster that required them to close down for more than a month; 20% of those having reported a closure never reopened. Disasters can occur at any time for a variety of cases, such as hurricanes in the Southeast, wildfires in the West, tornadoes in the Central States, and even a volcano in Hawaii. I’ve written about disaster preparedness before. But too […]

  • That’s the admonition to those with or considering a sideline activity if you want good tax results — “Your sideline business better be for profit.” How you choose to spend your time and effort is one thing, but the tax law makes having a profit motive vital these days. Here’s why. Overview of hobby activity rules If you’re in business, you report on your tax return your income and losses (expenses in excess of revenue). But if the activity is merely a hobby (i.e., you engage in an activity that doesn’t have a reasonable expectation of making a profit), then […]

  • Killing the Pink Tax

    The “pink tax” isn’t a tax levied by the government. It’s the markup of goods and services charged to women versus men for comparable goods and services. On July 26, 2018, Burger King launched a campaign to highlight the pink tax by charging more for a pink box of fries than a regular box with the same amount of fries. This should prompt you to think about whether you’re using gender-neutral pricing. Pink tax rates How big is the problem? According to a study of gender pricing in New York City, women’s products on average cost 7% more than similar products […]

  • Qualified retirement plans aren’t just for large corporations. There are a number of compelling reasons for small businesses to consider adopting a plan now or revising your current plan. 1. Reduce current taxes I’m sure you know that as an employer you can deduct contributions you make for the benefit of employees (up to annual limits). If you are self-employed, contributions for employees are a deductible business expense, while those for yourself are deducted from gross income on your personal return. And you may also be entitled to a tax credit of 50% of your administrative costs (up to a […]

  • Certain women from the past have had a tremendous impact on our lives. Here are 5 outstanding women who were born in the month of August and I’d like to give a salute to them. Lucille Ball (b. August 6, 1911) We remember her largely for her role in I Love Lucy (a show that ran from 1951 to 1957 but is still being shown regularly today). But her real claim to claim is that she was the first woman to head a major Hollywood production company, Desilu Productions (she was president and CEO). It produced not only her show […]

  • If your business nets $50,000 and you qualify for the new 20% business income deduction for owners of pass-through entities, you’ll save $10,000 in federal income taxes. Should you opt to plough this back into your business, here are 10 smart things you can do to improve your business, solidify your workforce, and do good for your community. And all of these suggestions are tax deductible, so you’ll be reaping additional tax savings. 1. Give “spot bonuses” These are payments you make now, rather than at the end of the year or on an employee’s work anniversary. Spot bonuses may […]


Resources For Your Business

Book Interview - J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2018

10 Summertime Actions for Your Business


August 21, 2018


August–September 2018

barbara’s books

  • The ultimate money-saving tax guide for the small business owner.   J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes is designed to help business owners make sense of their taxes and file correctly, on time, without over- or under-paying.  Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource offers a complete overview of small business tax planning and provides you with the information needed to make tax-smart decisions throughout the year. Focusing on strategies that help you use deductions and tax credits effectively, shield business income, and maximize other aspects of small business taxes, this practical guide will show you how your actions in business today can affect your bottom line from a tax perspective tomorrow.
  • The complete guide to all deductions and credits for individual taxpayers.   J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks shows you just how much money you can save on your taxes—legally—simply by taking advantage of what's out there. Millions of Americans overpay their taxes by billions of dollars every year, because constantly evolving laws and regulations make keeping track of deductions and breaks next to impossible for the everyday taxpayer. This book helps you put a stop to overpayment so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. Fully updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws — including an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress — this book answers all of your "Can I claim…" questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • 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.3
  • Smooth Failing - Living Edition

    This is the Living Edition of Smooth Failing. New stories from business leaders on their business failures and the lessons learned will be added regularly at no additional cost. Alerts will be sent out automatically when each new version is available. Specific requests and challenges can be submitted by the reader for future consideration and these will dictate how often and how many additional stories will be made available.
  • 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."


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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

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