Saturday, June 27, 2015

Are You a Boomerpreneur?

So you're thinking of starting a business.  You're retired and bored.  Or you need to supplement your retirement income.  Or maybe your nearing retirement age but know that you won't be able to afford it.  Congratulations!  Starting a business at our age can be rewarding in many ways.  But the first thing you need to do is ask yourself a question.  Are you ready to be a Boomerpreneur?
Be honest now.  Are you ready to face the challenges and, yes, risks, of starting a business at this stage in life?  Are you self-motivating?  Is your family supportive?  If you answered no to any of these questions, then it will make reaching your goal much more difficult.
Here's a quick checklist.  How many of these can you answer with a "yes."  The more yeses, the better your chances of success!
  1. Are you self-motivating?
  2. Do you have a support system (family, friends, or hired employees)?
  3. Do you manage your time effectively?
  4. Are you willing to take some risks?
  5. Do you communicate effectively?
  6. Do you have something that you are passionate about that you can turn into a business?
  7. Are you ready to set goals and create a plan to reach them?
  8. Do you have the financial means to start your business without touching retirement savings?
  9. Can you manage your finances wisely?
  10. Can you promote yourself and your business?
  11. Are you healthy enough to put in the hours and do the work?'
  12. Do you have or can you learn the required skills?
  13. Are you organized?
If you didn't answer yes to most of these, then you may want to rethink becoming a Boomerpreneur.  It does take most of these to be successful.  Starting a business isn't for everyone.  
However, if you are only lacking a few of these, then congratulations!  You may be ready!  The skills and traits you have can significantly contribute to your success.  And you may be able to learn or acquire what you lack.
So, are you a Boomerpreneur?  If so, let's get started!  Not sure how?  Visit my Boomer Business Ideas website for ideas and information.  Of check me out at to learn more about a very simple yet profitable and rewarding business that you can start today.  And welcome to the world of the Boomerpreneur.  You're going to love it here!      



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It’s the Little Things that Really Add Up

Sometimes, saving money on your tax return comes down to little more than keeping good records. And that means tracking all those little expenses, because they can add up throughout the year. Sure, you know to deduct that new computer you bought, and the money you paid the accountant, and you’re even taking your home office deduction. The question is, are you capturing all the small expenses, too?

Frequently Forgotten Expenses
It’s staggering how much goes into running a small business, and how quickly things can become tangled between business and personal accounts – especially for sole proprietors. Think about it. You’re doing your grocery shopping and remember you need a new desk calendar, so you toss one in your cart. Or you’re Christmas shopping on Amazon and see a good deal on printer ink, so you stock up. Or maybe you’re meeting a potential client for breakfast and while you remembered to deduct your meal, you forgot about the mileage to get there.

These types of common but small expenses can quickly add up to a major tax deduction. The trick is remembering to deduct them, and keeping solid records. Some of the most common (and often overlooked) business expenses include:

  • PayPal and other payment processing fees. If you get paid via PayPal, then you know they charge around 3% of each transaction for the service. These fees add up fast, so make sure you’re keeping track and adding them to your tax return as “bank fees.”
  • Dues and subscriptions. Do you belong to paid forums or membership sites related to your business? These charges are deductible as well.
  • Office supplies. This includes small stuff like paper and pencils and printer ink, along with big-ticket items like furniture and computers.
  • Domain names and hosting. Your Hostgator bill, GoDaddy purchases, etc.
  • Advertising. Whether you do pay-per-click via Google or Facebook, buy solo ads on mailing lists, or pay for post placement on other websites, it’s all deductible. And don’t forget your mailing list provider!
  • Commissions. Do you have affiliates? Deduct those payments!
Keeping Good Records

The key to making the most of your tax deductions lies in keeping good records. For most small businesses, the simplest solution is to use a software program set up specifically for this purpose, such as Quickbooks or Peachtree. No matter what solution you choose, though, make sure you consistently record your expenses. The last thing you want to do is scramble at the end of the year to find receipts and enter data. That would be a nightmare.
Instead, set aside time each week (or more often, if necessary) to update your books. If you find it overwhelming and you tend to put it off, consider hiring someone to maintain your accounts for you. Remember – what you pay him or her is deductible as well!

Finding all those hidden expenses can mean the difference between a huge tax bill and one that is more manageable. While the things listed here will get you started, it’s a good idea to also speak with a tax professional. Make sure he or she fully understands the nature of your business, so he or she can ask the right questions and make appropriate recommendations for your business write-offs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's a Family Affair! How to Save on Your Taxes By Hiring Your Kids

For small business owners with kids, the most often forgotten deduction is sleeping in the next room: your children. Sure, you deduct them as a dependent, but if that’s the only tax savings you’re getting, you’re missing out.

As a business owner, you can legally hire your children and avoid paying many of the taxes that go along with having an employee. Things like income tax withholding are not required for the underage children of the business owner unless you are a corporation. Sole proprietors and LLCs do not have to deal with payroll, even though technically your child is an employee. You also don’t have to cover them on your worker’s compensation insurance.
Even better, your kids don’t have to pay income tax on the money they earn. To a point, anyway.

All that said, though, there are a few rules you have to follow.
Work, not Just Chores

You have to be careful that your kids are actually working in the business. Things like raking leaves and doing dishes won’t qualify – unless your business is a lawn service or a restaurant, that is. Instead, have them do tasks you would normally either do yourself or hire outside help to handle.
Depending on the ages of your kids, such tasks might include:

  • Internet research
  • Video editing
  • Site updates
  • Basic graphic design
  • Addressing envelopes
  • Simple bookkeeping
You will also need to be able to show proof of hours worked, and that the pay was reasonable. In other words, you can’t pay your child $50 an hour for a job that – if anyone else were to do it – would normally pay $10 an hour. Set up a timesheet, and make sure he or she fills it out and turns it in every pay period, so you can have it on file.

Paying Your Kids
Each pay period, you’ll pay your children just as you would any other employee or contractor. As we already said, there’s no payroll tax or other deductions to worry about, so they get paid everything they earned. Even better, your business can claim the expense.

What about income tax? Your kids (and everyone else, for that matter) can earn up to $5,950 tax free. That’s the standard deduction, and it applies whether you pay your child or a total stranger, so it just makes sense to keep that money in the family if you can.
Not only that, but since you’re the parent, you still get to claim your kids as dependents. So your kids earn money tax free (which is a great way to start teaching them about budgeting, etc.), your business claims the expense without worrying about payroll taxes, and you claim the deduction. It’s a perfect system for getting work done while at the same time saving a substantial amount of money on taxes every year.