The Basics of Starting a Home-Based Business

More than half of all businesses today are home-based. Every day, people are striking out and achieving economic and creative independence by turning their skills into dollars. Garages, basements, and attics are being transformed into the corporate headquarters of the newest entrepreneurs–home-based business people.

And, with technological advances in smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well as rising demand for “service-oriented” businesses, the opportunities seem to be endless.

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Got Debt? How to Improve Your Financial Situation

If you are having trouble paying your debts, it is important to take action sooner rather than later. Doing nothing leads to much larger problems in the future, whether it’s a bad credit record or bankruptcy resulting in the loss of assets and even your home. If you’re in financial trouble, then here are some steps to take to avoid financial ruin in the future.

If you’ve accumulated a large amount of debt and are having difficulty paying your bills each month, now is the time to take action—before the bill collectors start calling.

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Small Business: Be Alert to Identity Theft

Small business identity theft is a big business for identity thieves. Just like individuals, businesses may have their identities stolen, and their sensitive information used to open credit card accounts or used to file fraudulent tax refunds for bogus refunds. As such, small business owners should be on guard against a growing wave of identity theft against employers.

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Late-Filing Penalty Relief for Partnerships

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (Surface Transportation Act) changed the date by which a partnership, real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs), or other entity must file its annual return. For calendar year filers, the due date for filing the annual return or request for an extension changed from April 15 (April 18 in 2017) to March 15.

Many entities filed their returns or their extension request for tax year 2016 by the April deadline, and if not for the Surface Transportation Act, these returns and requests for extension of time to file would have been on time.

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Safe Harbors Help Taxpayers Suffering Property Losses

Tax Tip

Safe harbor methods are used by individual taxpayers when determining the amount of their casualty and theft losses for their homes and personal belongings. Four of the safe harbor methods may be used for any qualifying casualty or theft loss, and three are specifically applicable only to losses occurring as a result of a Federally declared disaster.

For instance, one of the safe harbor methods allows a homeowner to determine the amount of loss, up to $20,000, by obtaining a contractor estimate of repair costs. Another safe harbor method allows a homeowner to determine the amount of loss resulting from a Federally declared disaster using the repair costs on a signed contract prepared by a licensed contractor. The guidance also provides a handy table for determining the value of personal belongings damaged, destroyed or stolen as a result of a Federally declared disaster.

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Standard Mileage Rates for 2018

Tax Tip

Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

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Extended Due Dates for Health Coverage Forms

Tax Tip

The due date for certain entities to provide 2017 health coverage information forms to individuals in 2018 has been extended.

Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31, 2018.

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Early Retirement Distributions and Your Taxes

Tax Tip Taxpayers may sometimes find themselves in situations when they need to withdraw money from their retirement plan early. What they may not realize is that taking money out early from your retirement plan may trigger an additional tax. …

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Important Tax Changes for 2018

As the New Year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2018 is no different now that many of the tax provisions pursuant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) are in full effect. From health savings accounts to tax rate schedules and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

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