What is wrong with the displayed Invoice? There are at least ten(!) clues to its falsity — and none of them have to do with Accounting or addition. ( For a LARGER version of the invoice click: ZZZ BIGGER or ZZZ BILL ) This invoice was part of a court case that put Mark Morze*
Kickstarter (and RocketHub and others) are new type of funding platforms for all you “artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers.” (no, you do not have to be a Client.). Described as a “new way to fund and follow creativity. Kickstarter aggregates pledges online — if the project does not meet its target within a
How well are YOU taking care of your (tax) body? Tell me whether these are Y-Deductible; N-Not Deductible; USC –Under Specific Circumstances Answers in the Comment section below The one you ALL ask me about – Cost of hotel room for sex therapy? Navajo healing ceremonies (a/k/a “sings”) Jewish healing ceremonies (a/k/a “zings”) Clarinet lessons Flute
Indeed. Yours truly, self and other styled “Zen Mensch CPA” was interviewed by a local cable show, “One Hour With Bob”. I talked about my background and some tax issues. The show airs in Rhode Island starting Thursday March 3 and plays at various times through the next week — may be extended to two
You have a great product. A detachable shower head that runs on solar energy to vacuum your floors and discipline your children. You’ve done the prototypes and only need $10,000. Chump change for the banks, right?
The credit landscape has changed dramatically since 2008. (A reputable accounting firm that owns its building finally got approved this year to expand its line of credit; accounting is not known as a high-risk enterprise.)
Banks want air-tight financials, proven multi-year success, collateral and (often) a personal guarantee. What’s a start-up with limited resources to do? Read more
CROWDFUNDING IS ALL THE RAGE!
Banks (still) aren’t lending, the government is broke (or broken) and venture capital is highly competitive. How then to start a business in 2013? Crowdfunding says “Ask my friends (and their friends).” It goes against everything we are taught to believe in a hyper capitalist society. We give only when there is a return –a dividend, a tax break, a stake in the growth. Enter crowdfunding – Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub and others are proving this notion wrong in a Big way. While by no means a sure-fire method to raise funds for a business venture, there are success stories, some of them in the millions of dollars. And taxes are the last thing the founders are thinking about while they are consumed with starting the business and pitching it for crowdfunding. Until. They. Win.
See the full article at crowdsourcing.org
by Rich Streitfeld, CPA
Wow! I am still celebrating the demise of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act”. This wonderful news puts married same-sex couples on the same playing field as heterosexual couples when it comes to federal benefits, at least if you are ”in the right state”*. For most situations, this is great – you can file your taxes jointly, your partner reaps Social Security survivor benefits upon your death, and you can automatically sponsor your partner for a green card.
Yet there are hidden complexities and, yes, even disadvantages, to being married when it comes to some tax and financial matters. Maybe not enough to keep you from tying (or untying!) the knot, but these are worth your being aware of. Take health insurance. If you are “in the right state”* then here is:
The Great news: Read more
It is quite possible you are not getting as much “value” out of your little pumpkin as you could. No, I am not suggesting sending her out to work – yet. I am talking about squeezing some extra dollars out of tax credits that are passing you by.
Most parents know that you can take a credit for childcare when you file your taxes. However, a far more lucrative option is to find out if your employer offers a pre-tax” cafeteria plan” with a dependent care option. Why? Read more
Every taxpayer’s worse nightmare. On the other hand, it is the price we pay for having a kind of “honor” or “voluntary” or system. I don’t mean at all to suggest that the government has no right to collect taxes or that you are not (generally) obligated to file — (I am not a Minuteman). But there are certain Western countries where the government essentially computes your taxes “for you” — it’s not up to you/your accountant to decide which deductions to take or whether a certain position is “risky”. Read more
In the best of worlds, taxes can be complicated, provoke anxiety, and, of course, be costly. In a divorce situation taxes have the potential to become yet another battleground for the exhausted parties. Many of the financial decisions made by the parties – or made for them if they cannot agree – have serious, long-lasting tax consequences. Care and consideration must be given, as illustrated in the following examples:
It ain’t over till it’s over. Bette and Peter* are negotiating a particularly nasty separation that will span two calendar years. Peter is a banker and Bette is a stay-at-home mom. Peter wants to file as a couple – “married filing jointly” – so they will get a small refund. Because of the acrimony between them, Bette will not agree and thus they have to each file “married separately” returns – she will still not owe anything (no income) and Peter will owe a ton (the rates are much higher and the credits limited for “married filing separately”).
Logic dictates that Read more
Q: I donate my time to a non-profit. Is it tax deductible?
A: No. The tax code allows for many types of donations – cash, real estate, old clothes and securities are among the most common. Now, volunteering your services is invaluable, even charitable, but clearly not tax-deductible. However, if you itemized your deductions then mileage driven on behalf of the organization is deductible as a charitable contribution at $.14 per mile for 2012. Certain unreimbursed expenses of volunteers may also be itemized as charitable contributions – for instance, Read more
How much is my business worth?
A Guest article by Gary Schine
We hear these questions a lot from business owners. Sometimes it’s because they want to sell their business or take on a partner, or do some estate planning. More often, it’s because they’re just curious; it’s just nice to know how much something you own might be worth.
There are all kinds of rules of thumb out there as to how the value of a business is established, such as: Read more
Some of the topics I address:
Tax deductions for artists, designers and makers; minimizing audit risk; incorporation options; record-keeping.
I love doing these; let me know if you want me to speak, in person or remotely, to a receptive audience you are familiar with. View the slide show: Read more
Free, informative and friendly — What’s not to like? Building on its initial success, I will be holding Biz Aid sessions in Southern Rhode Island in October, while continuing the monthly business-legal sessions in the Providence area. Meanwhile, my newest partner is the fabulous business coach Ed Drozda.
My friend, the “Small Business Doctor” Ed Drozda, will be offering free sessions at my firm’s office in Cranston the afternoon of October 19 from 1 PM to 3 PM.
As with all Biz Aid offerings this is a no fee, no obligation consultation designed to help you remedy a burning business challenge.
You can sign up for one of the October 19 sessions with Ed at 508-695-2146 or email@example.com.
Ed has been instrumental in challenging me to fulfill my dreams and potential. He is a fun and creative thinker. I would not miss a chance for some free insights!
I am thrilled to be bringing this popular FREE business consulting series to Southern Rhode Island (or,as the locals call it, “South County” — although there is no such county.) Saturday October 20. Details below.
FINALLY, The next Biz Aid in Providence metro, with lawyer extraordinaire Tobias Lederberg and myself, will take place the mornings of Wednesday, October 10 and Friday, November 9. These slots have filled quickly in our first two offerings. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Please join me for this live and lively webinar. The topics I will cover in this popular presentation include:
- What can an artist/designer deduct?
- Keeping the books
- Should I incorporate?
- Sales tax blues
- Minimizing audit risk
Learn from the privacy and convenience of your couch, studio, or maybe even your car.
The webinar is sponsored by Rhode Island School of Design’s Alumni Relations Department. They are generously inviting any working artist or designer to attend; you do not need to be affiliated with RISD to participate. Read more
A new and important program, authorized by the state legislature.
Per Rhode Island’s Division of Taxation: “A unique opportunity for you to get a fresh start. Pay what you owe in delinquent state taxes—no matter the type of tax. In exchange, we waive penalties and reduce the amount of interest we’d normally charge.”
Translation: You will pay less in total than you otherwise would and – this is starting to affect a lot of people – your driver’s license renewal will not be held up while you repay. (The Division of Taxation now has the authority to deny your registration until delinquent taxes are taken care of. And they have been doing this.)
That’s the good news.
The challenge Read more