That was a fast month. Also a fast summer and fast year. Its already August and all those back-to-school commercials are on (hated those as a kid). Still little has been answered on the sunset of the 2001 tax cuts (set to expire after December 31, 2010), as well as what will happen to the estate tax, which is currently suspended but set to come back on January 1, 2011. Lots up in the air still. Hopefully we’ll have some developments on these items soon, and when they happen, I will alert you on important changes.
Please see the information towards the end of this newsletter about my new Client Community Directory.
Not too much to talk about taxwise since we’re waiting (and waiting) on the administration to act, I want to take spend a little time here taking you through the BobCraig.biz website. I am posting to it consistently so it will always have fresh and updated content. There is lots more there besides taxes and its available to look at 24 hours (please don’t tell me if you’re using it as a sleeping pill if you have trouble sleeping). I have added a button called “Ask A Question” on the top bar. You or anyone you know can use it to email questions to me that you may have on taxes, finances, business, or life.
The site is laid out as follows:
1. Recent Posts on the right sidebar shows my articles chronologically, showing the most recent 15 (otherwise that list would get really long). If you scroll down the page there is a section called “Archives” which shows posts by month. So you can go here to see older posts.
2. The next section on the right sidebar is called “Categories”. I am categorizing the articles by category. Some articles overlap and I’ve tried to keep that in line the best I can but I’m sure its not perfect. Check the “Helpful Tools” category for things I find that should help save you time and make it easier to get some things done. For example, there is a Home Budget worksheet available in the Helpful Tools category. On some things be sure read the entire post as this one requires a username and password which I have provided. These are all free things and I will add more as I find them.
3. The next section down is “Pages” which are static and mirror the buttons on the top bar. This is where the “Ask A Question” button is found. There is also a button for “Downloads” where you can download a tax organizer and tax planning worksheet. I will add more items as I come across them.
Feel free to pass this Newsletter and the BobCraig.biz site to anyone you know or think may benefit from it.
Announcing My New Business Development Website: I am also developing a new website for business owners, entrepreneurs, people who are thinking of becoming entrepreneurs, and even people who don’t own or want to own a business but want to get insights into what business owners think (their bosses or managers maybe) that may help further their careers. The web address is www.BizCoachSite.com. Feel free to check out the site and again, feel free to recommend it to anyone you know who may be in business or thinking about going into business for themselves.
The Payroll Tax Holiday: I have been alarmed at the number of small business owners who did not know about the “Payroll Tax Holiday.” I have alerted my clients to be sure they have taken advantage of the benefits. And if you know of anyone who has payroll you may want to pass this along to them as I have found a number of people who have missed the tax savings entirely, but can amend their quarterly report to take advantage if they qualify. I have posted the link for information on this benefit below:
Payroll Tax Holiday – Employers don’t forget if you have qualified employees you can take advantage of the ‘Payroll Tax Holiday” under the stimulus. If you’re not sure if you have qualified employees, CLICK HERE
The First-Time Homebuyer Credit closing date has been extended to September 30, 2010. The qualifying home must have been under contract by April 30th. If you are purchasing a qualifying property in escrow, keep on top of all parties involved to be sure the escrow closes by September 30th or you lose the $8,000 tax credit.
For Quickbooks Users: Quickbooks Pro is amazing software for the price. It can usually be found on sale somewhere (Costco etc) for under $200. While it is quite intuitive and easy to use, if one is not trained in bookkeeping or accounting, it can be quite a little mess for your accountant or tax preparer to ‘clean up’ at year end.
Having it setup by an accountant or tax preparer familiar with Quickbooks is the best way to start. Also a mid-year and year-end check of the Quickbooks file can save time and money at tax time when preparers are much busier and maybe a little on the grouchy side working those late nights and weekends. Also, having it looked at before year end facilitates some good old Tax Planning that can save you money on your tax return. Tax planning in February, March and April for last year is not very tax efficient. Plus, it just might be nice to know how your business is really doing in real time. The old saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it” holds true here.
To see some actions you can take to get a jump on Quickbooks problems, check out this post: http://bobcraig.biz/quickbooks-accounting
Client Community Business Directory: If you have a business, mlm, online business, home based business or ???, I am planning to put up on my site(s) a directory for my tax and business clients. If you are a client and would like to have your information posted for all to see please send me an email with a short, elevator speech type of introduction to your business. Include all contact info with website info. Please don’t refer me to a website for the info as I plan to just cut-n-paste the info. This will be a lot of work so I want to make it easy on myself, lazy sort that I am. Again, I must limit this to my tax and business clients to limit competing businesses as I’m sure you understand. (Though know that if you are not a client, you are certainly welcome to become one)
Court Case – Closely Held Corporation Shareholders: This won’t affect most of you but you may know someone who it does affect. If you are a sole shareholder or a major shareholder in a closely held professional service corporation and have an employment agreement (non-competition agreement) between yourself and the corporation, the goodwill of the corporation will most likely be considered a corporate asset. This could be a disadvantage later on if you sell the corporate assets and dividend rates are higher than capital gain rates. If you think you may fall into this category, please consult with me, your tax advisor and/or attorney.
Please feel free to contact me or leave comments. And don’t forget, there is a lot of good information available at www.SolvangTax.com, tho I don’t (know how to) update it as often as the BobCraig.biz and BizCoachSite.com sites.
And again, feel free to forward this Newsletter this to your email list if you wish. I’m working to make it full of information with something for everyone.
Robert W. Craig, E.A. Tax and Business Services
1444 Aarhus Drive, Solvang, CA 93463
Telephone: (805) 264-3305
Fax: (805) 617-1879
Website: www.BobCraig.biz and