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Idea of the Day®

April 18, 2019

Small Businesses Are Creating Jobs

As reported in the NFIB Jobs Report for last month, owners added a record high number of new employees for the past two months. Only 1% (down two points) of small business owners reported reducing employment an average of 2.4 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted) in March, the lowest percentage of owners reporting reductions in survey history. And 60% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, up three points from February’s reading. Of those owners, 90% reported few or no qualified applicants for the position.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • As singer/songwriter Jim Croce wrote many years ago,  “There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do.” With business growth and, in some companies, under-staffing, working more than the traditional 9 to 5 is common. But stop and think whether long working hours makes sense to continue. Here are reasons for closing your doors after 35 or 40 hours and some ideas for achieving this result. Business cost for long working hours There are things that need to be done, but having workers do them on overtime hours is not necessarily a good solution. […]

  • You can deduct travel costs while away from home in the pursuit of business. These costs include your lodging, meals (subject to a 50% limit), dry cleaning and laundry, and other expenses. But the key to deductibility is being “away from home.” What’s a tax home? If you live and work in the same general area, your tax home and personal residence are essentially one and the same. Thus, when you go out of town for a conference or to see a customer or vendor, you can deduct your travel expenses for that trip. If you have a personal residence […]

  • Mark Twain said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When it comes to what’s happening in jobs and small business, things can get very confusing. What’s really going on here? Hiring is up According to the NFIB February 2019 Jobs Report, small business job creation recently broke a 45-year record. This is very significant because two out of every three jobs in the US are created by small businesses. The report found that 57% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire workers. And 49% reported that they couldn’t find qualified workers for their openings. […]

  • With the college admissions scandal in the headlines, the issue of honesty and integrity in business couldn’t be more relevant. How you conduct yourself in your personal life translates into what happens in running your business. So let’s look at how integrity and honesty are essential leadership qualities and how you can best display them. Importance of integrity A survey a few years ago found that integrity was cited by employees as the most important attribute in a leader. Employees get inspired by leaders they view as being honest. Conversely, they get turned off, and often leave companies, where they […]

  • Decision making, according to BusinessDictionary, is the thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options. Business owners make important decisions every day…who to hire or fire, setting prices, selecting vendors, and more. Some decisions sound wise when they’re made but turn out to have unintended negative consequences. How can you prevent this from happening? The problem Take the case of Walmart and the termination of all of its “people greeters” in April of this year. The decision to end this position in more than 1,000 Walmart stores was likely done to save money (Walmart said the reason […]

  • Now is the time that businesses typically seek out summer interns. If you are thinking of doing this, be sure you know the benefits and burdens that using interns entail. Benefits  Some companies view their summer intern programs as trial runs for permanent positions. If an intern works out well, the company may offer to hire the person following graduation. You may be eligible for a tax credit if you hire from a specific category of individuals. The work opportunity tax credit, which is claimed on Form 5884, is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income taxes up to $1,200 (40% […]

  • You may have the best product or service, but if customers don’t know who you are or what you stand for, you’re lost. Here’s where branding comes in. Branding is the process of promoting your company name and/or products by various means. It enables the public to recognize you. Branding isn’t a one-time activity; it’s something you must continually work at. Understanding branding You want to gain brand recognition so the public can easily spot and remember you. This is done through a memorable name, logo, slogan, and other elements that reinforce your company brand. For example, the brand for […]

  • 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 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 […]


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

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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."


  • " 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!
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    "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

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