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Nine Often-Overlooked Ways to Legally Keep More Revenue for Yourself

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Save Money On Taxes

Small Business Owners, Stop Overpaying on Taxes!

Eric Tyson, MBA, author of the new book Small Business Taxes for Dummies®, Second Edition, shares some great tax breaks you may not be using to your advantage.

          Hoboken, NJ (March 2019)—If you’re a small business owner, you know: The quest for revenue is never-ending. That means, besides chasing new customers, you’re also scouring your expenses to see where you might make cuts. Eric Tyson’s suggestion? Focus on minimizing one of the biggest (and sneakiest) expenses you face. Taxes.

          “Quite often, small business owners overlook some great tax reduction opportunities,” says Tyson, author of Small Business Taxes For Dummies®, Second Edition (Wiley, March 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-51784-9, $26.99). “Yes, we all have to pay taxes, but there’s no reason to overpay. Employ legal tax reduction strategies, send less to Uncle Sam, and you’ll automatically keep more revenue for yourself.”

          Keep reading to learn nine things you can do this year to improve your tax situation:

Invest in wealth-building assets. During your working years, you probably don’t need or want taxable income from your investments, because it can significantly increase your income tax bill. So, Tyson advises investing in real estate, stocks, and small business investments. These offer the best long-term growth potential. They are a tax-friendly option as well, because you’re in control and can decide when to sell and when to realize your profit. Hint: As long as you can hold on to these investments for more than one year, your profit is taxed at the lower, long-term capital gains rate.

Fund some retirement accounts. When you funnel your savings dollars into retirement accounts, such as 401(k), 403(b), SEP-IRA, or SIMPLE IRA, you can earn substantial upfront tax breaks on your contributions.

“If you think that saving for retirement is boring, just consider the tens of thousands of tax dollars these accounts can save you during your working years,” says Tyson. “And if you don’t take advantage of these accounts, you may well have to work many more years to accumulate the reserves necessary to retire.”

Contribute to a health savings account. HSAs hold promise for people to put money away on a tax-advantaged basis to pay for healthcare-related expenses. Money contributed to an HSA is tax-deductible, and investment earnings compound without tax and aren’t taxed upon withdrawal so long as you use the funds to pay for eligible healthcare costs. So, unlike a retirement account, HSAs are actually triple tax-free!

Calculate whether a deduction is worth itemizing. The IRS gives you two methods of determining your total deductions. You can either choose the standard deduction method, or you can choose to itemize. Standard deductions make sense if you make a regular paycheck, have a rented apartment, and have no large expenses. In 2019, single people qualify for a $12,200 standard deduction, and married couples filing jointly get a $24,400 standard deduction.

The other deduction method is itemizing. This procedure is more of a hassle, but if you can tally up more than the standard deduction amount, itemizing saves you money. Your personal property and state income taxes are itemizable, up to an annual cap of $10,000. Further, if you pay a fee to the state to register and license your car, you can itemize the expenditure as a deduction. (However, you can deduct only the part of the fee that relates to the car’s value.) Because you can control when to pay particular expenses that are eligible for itemization, you can shift more of them into selected years to take full advantage of itemizing. However, if your itemized deductions are equal to or less than the standard deduction, take the standard deduction.

Trade consumer debt for mortgage debt. Suppose you own real estate but haven’t borrowed as much money as your lender allows. And suppose you’ve run up high-interest consumer debt. In that case, you may be able to refinance your mortgage (borrowing at a lower interest rate than your credit card bill) and pull out extra cash to pay off your consumer debt. You may even get a tax-deduction bonus, because while consumer debt isn’t tax-deductible, mortgage debt usually is.

“Remember that refinancing your mortgage and establishing home equity lines involve fees and charges,” says Tyson. “Keep these expenses in mind when weighing the pros and cons of this strategy. Also, be aware that borrowing against the equity in your home can be an addictive habit that can handicap your ability to work toward other financial goals. Stay responsible.”

Consider charitable contributions and expenses. When you itemize your deductions on Schedule A, you can deduct contributions made to charities. Most people already know that when they write a check to a college or house of worship, they can deduct it. Yet many taxpayers overlook the fact that they can also deduct expenses while performing activities for charitable organizations. For example, when you go to volunteer at a soup kitchen, you can deduct your transportation costs getting there. You can also deduct the fair market value of donations of clothing and other goods to charities; just keep your documentation of donated items. Finally, you can deduct contributions to local schools, including youth sports programs, as long as the money goes to the overall team rather than being earmarked for your child. You can even deduct the cost of driving your kids to school events.

Scour for self-employment expenses. If you’re self-employed, you already deduct a variety of expenses from your income before calculating the tax that you owe. When you buy a computer or office furniture, you can deduct those expenses. Employee salaries, office supplies, rent or mortgage interest for your office space, and phone expenses are also generally deductible.

“Although more than a few business owners cheat on their taxes, some self-employed folks don’t take all the deductions they should,” says Tyson. “Be sure you take advantage of deductions for which you are eligible.”

If you’re part of a married couple, crunch the numbers on filing separately. About 5 percent of married couples file their federal income tax returns under the status of “Married Filing Separately.” Most do so to save money, but there can be other reasons, such as each spouse not wanting to be liable for their spouse’s tax transgressions. To know if you should consider this option, crunch the numbers. Couples with the following characteristics may benefit:

  • If one spouse owns a pass-through business that is eligible for the 20 percent pass-through deduction but loses that deduction due to the combined income of their spouse.
  • If one spouse has high medical expenses, which can be written off when they exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, but loses that deduction due to the higher combined income with their spouse.
  • If the couple lives in a state that has a tax code that may favor spouses who file separately.
  • If you have a tax preparer, be careful to understand their additional fee for filing separate returns as that cost may wipe out the potential tax savings.

Consider working overseas. When you work in a foreign country with low income taxes, you may be able to save big-time on income taxes. For tax year 2019, you can exclude $105,900 of foreign-earned income (whether you work for a company or are self-employed) from U.S. income taxes. To qualify for this exclusion, you must work at least 330 days (about 11 months) of the year overseas or be a foreign resident. If you earn more than $105,900, don’t worry about being double taxed on income above this amount. You get to claim credits for foreign taxes paid on your U.S. tax return, and the IRS gives you two extra months, until June 15, to file your tax returns.

Remember two caveats to this exclusion. First, many of the countries people dream of living in—such as England, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, and Spain—have higher income tax rates than the ones in the United States. Also, this tax break isn’t available to U.S. government workers overseas.

          “When you’re running a small business, every penny counts,” says Tyson. “Having more revenue in the bank can make the difference between struggling and thriving. A smart tax strategy can help more than you may have ever realized.”

# # #

About the Author:
Eric Tyson, MBA, is the author of Small Business Taxes For Dummies®, Second Edition (Wiley, March 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-51784-9, $26.99). Eric is an internationally acclaimed and best-selling personal finance author, counselor, and writer. He is the author of five national best-selling financial books including Investing For Dummies, Personal Finance For Dummies, and Home Buying Kit For Dummies. He has appeared on NBC’s Today show, ABC, CNBC, FOX News, PBS, and CNN, and has been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows and print publications.

About the Book:
Small Business Taxes For Dummies®, Second Edition (Wiley, March 2019, ISBN: 978-1-119-51784-9, $26.99) will be available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.

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Top Tips To Bring Back The Fashionista Glam For Moms

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Bring Back The Glam for Moms

Being a mother is the most difficult job in this world. Every one of us loves our moms, but sometimes we feel sad when we see they lose their glam. They have swimming lessons to drive their kids to, lunch or dinner to prepare, Legos to avoid stepping on and all the unexplained things stuck on their shirts. Being a mother comes with daunting challenges that they don’t even have time to think on what to wear. The yoga/leggings-wearing-mom has become a stereotype. However, being a busy mother does not mean trading convenience for style.

Here are a few tips for all the mothers out there to bring back their glam.

Little Black Blazers

The great thing about blazers that a lot of people don’t know is that it is so versatile. We have put an emphasis on this just because you can use it on a casual Friday or a lavish dinner date at a fancy restaurant. So if you don’t have a black blazer in your closet, rush to a nearby mall or look for one at online shops such as Bonprix. Bonprix’s great deals and offers are significantly cheaper compared to those blazers found in shopping centers.

Open Cardigans

In today’s fashion world, open cardigans have become the new jacket or sweater. Using oversized cardigan compliments skinny jeans and boosts the look to a more fashionable level. On the other hand, cropped cardigans placed over an untucked button-down will give you a more casual girly look. If you are not into knitted or woven cardigans, Newchic provides cardigan alternatives that will fit your fashion style. Avail of the discount coupons and all offers of Newchic so you can get a hand of their unique open cardigans that is cozy and stylish, a perfect match for your outfits.

Use Accessories

Do you feel that your outfit is plain? Then take out those jewelries outside of the box and put them to good use. Use your treasures and check which matches your outfit or what makes you look glam. If you’re not into jewelries, a scarf with a great print will do the trick. You can wrap the scarf on you neck or just tie it to your bag to add extra fashion points.

Layers

Using layered outfits is an exemplary way to be glamorous, comfy and warm, all these while flattering your sexy curves. You will also never worry about bulkiness, layering tops and leggings anymore! Layers are perfect for daily wear, and having classic colors with stylish prints can emphasize any woman’s fashion sense and shape. If you are a single mom going on a date, use layers so you won’t be worrying about how you look on your intimate encounter. Still looking for someone special? Spice up your life with Lexa dating app!

Good Hair

Everyone knows the hackneyed phrase that “the hair is a woman’s crowning glory” because it really makes sense. Busy moms often resort to messy buns to cover up their lack of time to fix themselves but to be honest, you should still invest time for yourself and go to a salon to get your hair treatment. Cut whatever needs to be cut, get a hair rebond to revive your look and have that extra youthful glam as you used to have.

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Running A Family Is Tough: Problems That Arise And How To Solve Them ASAP

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Running A Family Is Tough: Problems That Arise And How To Solve Them ASAP

Running a family is tough with children as all people in a family can have very different personalities. For this reason things are not always going to be smooth sailing in a household as there will be various conflicts and issues. The most important factor of getting through these issues is that of communication as letting a problem fester only makes it worse. A proactive approach to communicating displeasure will help avoid big blowout fights where all problems come out during a heated argument. The following are common issues that a family can have and how to effectively deal with these as a parent running the household.

Money Is Starting To Get Tight

Personal finance issues are extremely stressful as lack of money could impact the family as a whole in an immense fashion. The first thing that needs to be done in these situations is create a concrete budget. Families that do not have a budget might not understand where money could be saved in the first place. Tracking all monthly expenses might illuminate an issue of the family going out to eat multiple times per week instead of staying in for a home cooked meal. For those that do not want to modify their lifestyle there are other income options as a plethora of freelance jobs are available online. This can be supplemental income that can help a family get out of debt or avoid it totally. The opportunity to earn without sacrificing time at home with the family makes this an ideal option if the current family income is not sufficient.

Child Having Problems At School

A child having problems at home might need extra help outside of the classroom setting. Unfortunately teachers have their personal teaching styles which could work for a majority of children but just not yours. The issue could be that your child is more interested in socializing than that of paying attention during class. Once you have identified the issue it is important to remedy it as fast as possible. You do not want your child to fall behind and be labeled a poor performer in school as this can impact the way they are place in future classes. Sit down on a nightly basis to help with homework as you might be able to explain certain things in a way that your child won’t forget. Behavioral issues need to also be dealt with quickly as you do not want an expulsion impacting your child years later. Seeking professional help for behavioral problems is important but make sure that consequences are set for specific actions to deter your child from doing it in the future.

Family Dog Has Behavioral/Separation Anxiety Issues

The family dog tearing up the home when you leave for extended periods could be a symptom of various things. Lack of exercise can cause dogs to be destructive so taking the dog out for a long walk before leaving could be the key to solving this problem. Separation anxiety issues can be a bit tougher as you might need to medicate your dog in these cases. CBD for dogs can be used without fear of side effects that tend to come with medications that are not naturally based. This can also be a saving grace if you need to bring the dog on a family road trip as the last thing you want is a wild dog while traveling at high speeds.

A Person Is Not Pulling Their Weight With Housework

Every household has a person whether it is a teen or spouse that does not contribute to doing any housework. Chore wheels have become popular due to this so create one of these so a person is not stuck doing the lawn week after week. If your spouse is not doing any housework it is time to sit them down to talk about it. Communicating this issue could be the end of it as at times people do not realize how little they are doing until they are informed.

Teenager Is Starting To Rebel

If you have teenagers one might have a rebellious streak while the other does not. Each teen is different so it is important to allow some rebellion as long as it does not go too far. Teenagers want freedom and are in an awkward time of life where people tell them to act like an adult but do not treat them as so. Keep an eye out for signs of substance abuse and monitor grades as this can be the first sign of something occurring. The most important thing is to make sure that your teen avoids anything that could impact their future like that of an arrest.

Run your family effectively by using the tips above and facing problems head on instead of ignoring them hoping they will go away. A mother’s job is hard so do your best as running a home is a team effort!


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