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Idea of the Day®

December 11, 2019

Co-Mingling Personal and Business Expenses Can Be Costly Taxwise

An owner of a C corporation that did engineering transferred funds — more than $113,000 — from his corporate account to his personal account and used the money to pay personal expenses. The Tax Court said that this was a constructive dividend, which is not deductible by the corporation but taxable to the owner.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Annual board meeting requirement One of the requirements for corporations in most states is to have an annual board meeting. Typically, these are held near the end of the year to address certain matters for the coming year. Here are some reasons you need to hold your meeting, what should be discussed, and how to conduct the meeting. Why hold an annual meeting? If you are the only owner or work with family and friends, you may think that it’s no big deal to skip the formalities. After all, you may be talking only to yourself. However, missing the meeting […]

  • The 2020 Edition Book Review For more than 25 years, I’m proud to say my tax book for small businesses has been the go-to guide for owners and their tax advisors. The 2020 edition for preparing 2019 returns as well as tax planning for 2020 has been updated to incorporate new laws, court decisions, and IRS pronouncements. As has been my practice, I’ve written my own book review to explain the purpose of the book, what’s new, and what’s ahead. Why small business owners need a tax book If you’re like the vast majority of small business owners (86%), you […]

  • Self-Audit Your 401(k) Plan

    If you have a 401(k) plan, even one covering only you (“self-only 401k”), be sure that you are operating in accordance with government rules. The failure to comply fully can result in penalties or, even worse, loss of plan qualification so that all benefits become immediately taxable. The following is a checklist modified from an IRS’s 401(k) Plan Checklist that you can use to ensure you’re fine and have no worries about your plan.   Audit Questions Yes No Have you reviewed your plan documents to make sure they’ve been updated for law changes? Do you even know where the […]

  • National Holiday of Thanksgiving In the midst of the Civil War in 1863, by proclamation President Lincoln scheduled a national holiday of Thanksgiving.  Here’s an excerpt from the proclamation:           I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions […]

  • President Harry Truman summed up leadership with his deck sign that said:  “The Buck Stops Here.” As the leader of the country, he knew he had to take ultimate responsibility for everything that happened.  As the leader of your business, you should follow suit. Antithesis of leadership Truman’s slogan is the opposite of bad leadership where a business owner “passes the buck” and tries to place blame for mistakes or problems on other people, events, or bad luck. Blaming employees, for example, is not only counter to good leadership but is detrimental to the business. These employees won’t trust the leader, […]

  • Now is the time to make your employee benefits plans for the coming year. What you offer depends on what your company can afford, so check your budget and line up what to offer employees in addition to any salary or wage increases you may make. Keep in mind that most employee benefits are not subject to payroll taxes (look at the chart on page 6 of IRS Publication 15-B), so offering them is less costly than merely increasing wages. The following is a list of some key benefits to consider and the limitations that apply for 2020. Be sure […]

  • Those born between 1995 and 2009 (depending on the source) are referred to as Gen Z (Generation Z) and some of them are now becoming part of the job force. As an employer, it’s helpful to recognize that as a group there are certain characteristics that distinguish them from the prior generation (Millennials born between 1980 and 1994). This may help you better handle your staff. And even if you aren’t hiring, knowing more about this group can help you better market to them. Keep in mind, of course, that talking about a group is merely speaking in generalities. There […]

  • The value of an ownership interest in a business may be worth a lot by the time an owner dies. For heirs, whether this interest is diminished by estate taxes depends on the situation…how valuable that interest is and when the owner dies. For planning purposes, things are very confusing. Let’s try to sort them out. Federal estate tax rules When the value of an estate is below a threshold amount (called an exemption), there is no federal estate tax. The exemption amount for an owner dying in 2019 is $11.4 million. A married couple can effectively double the exemption […]

  • According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s The Digital Boost to Startups and Small Businesses: Online Advertising Delivers BIG Benefits, online advertising is a game changer for small businesses. In this holiday season, and throughout the year, consider the benefits you can reap from using online advertising as well as the ways to optimize your budget and your efforts in online advertising. Benefits of online advertising For some businesses, traditional media venues for advertising, such as print and radio, remain helpful. But for the vast majority of small businesses, and especially startups, online advertising is extremely useful because of […]

  • Telework is a prevalent practice these days, especially for work that can easily be done remotely (e.g., business consulting, marketing, and programming). According to the State of Remote Work, it’s estimated that 66% of companies allow remote work and 16% have a fully-remote workforce. If you are thinking about engaging employees to work offsite, be sure to understand how it can benefit you and your employees. But don’t ignore some of the complications for this work arrangement. Benefits of hiring remote workers Today’s tight job market has forced some companies to look outside their geographic area to find the talent […]


Resources For Your Business

Getting Out of Your Commercial Lease

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


December 11, 2019


  • 8:00 pm

    Each Wednesday from 8-9pm ET

    Sponsored by: @SmallBizLady, @Tai_Goodwin


Events in December 2019–January 2020

barbara’s books

  • This e-Book was created for Uber and Lyft drivers as their GPS -- to help them get where they want to go in their business, safely and securely. 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 and Lyft Driver's Guide to Running Your Business," is your answer!  
  • Maximize your bottom line with the nation's most trusted small business tax guide

    J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2020 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 2020 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 2019 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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    -Meredith Wood, Fundera Ledger

  • " Great segment!!!
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    -An eBay Radio listener - purplejaime1976


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