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How Small Businesses Can Minimize Tax Liability in 2022

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

  1. Registering your corporation has Benefits. . . and Liabilities

One important consideration during tax season is your company’s organization, including any registration with government bodies.

Many small businesses outgrow their initial registration types. As a small organization grows, often the ownership needs to choose different organizational strategies.

Each business structure has its own “fit.” The simplest corporate structures retain the status of pass-through businesses. This category includes sole proprietorships, LLCs (limited liability corporations), and S corporations. Some of these business structures may not pay a corporate income tax.

On the other hand, these companies may lose out on other benefits. For example, companies that pay corporate taxes may receive asset protection against creditors, such as when a natural disaster forces bankruptcy and the ownership justifiably seek to keep their private assets separate from those of their enterprise.

Consider a balance of the different considerations at each stage of the development of your business. A sole proprietorship or home business almost never requires any kind of registration. Such a measure would only bring tax liabilities and nothing else. As a business grows in complexity, perhaps the benefits of registration may outweigh the tax liabilities.

  1. Charity Work Can Provide Low-Cost Marketing While Freeing You from the Taxman

As described in other posts, involvement in the community can market your ideas, services, and products. Never forget the importance of tax breaks as well. The advantages of community engagement can lift hearts and spread the message of your company far and wide, but never forget the tax advantages. Charitable contributions are deductible, as are expenses in the pursuit of community enterprises.

  1. Consider How you Treat your Employees: Tax Benefits can Arise

The IRS provides many incentives to treat employees well. For example, retirement benefits can not only improve employee retention but can also help pinch pennies when tax time comes.

For example, a 401(k) account for your employees, or even for yourself, can allow deductions in the amount of any contributions you make. As an alternative, a SEP may provide some of the same benefits to employers

More importantly, especially considering the coronavirus pandemic, several plans allow credits for employers who work to minimize the impact on their employees during the pandemic. Consider the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Without going into too much detail about each of these Pandemic-era legislation measures, this legislation applies to employers who paid their workers during periods of lockdown, who provided benefits to such employees, and who allowed paid time off for the purpose of getting vaccinations.

The Bottom Line

Some changes may provide increased opportunities for Veteran Small Business Owners during the 2022 tax season, not least due to the pandemic. Overall, the best strategies for minimizing tax liability may arise from investigating the right organizational strategies. Remember to apply a holistic approach to balance the right strategies not only to avoid the worst tax liabilities, but to maximize benefits to yourself, your employees, and your community as well.   This article addresses generalities, and we highly recommend that you consult a tax professional with your specific questions.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/

Maintaining Customer Retention and Loyalty

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

(1) Know how your clientele thinks:

Veteran Business Owners should understand the habits, needs, and proclivities of their target consumers. The best services in the world may fall flat if the delivery fails the customer. Consider the everyday habits of their clientele, and which practices most conveniently serve each party’s economic base.

For example, the geographic location of a physical business may provide access to a busy, out-of-way community, or may place it out-of-the-way from the ideal markets. The best fertilizer in the world may rot unsold in a downtown Manhattan warehouse, away from the farmers who might benefit. Similarly, imagine the hottest nightclub with the coolest DJs, open only weekdays from 7 AM to 6 PM. In both examples, employees and resources would idle, and waste away your resources as well.

Idle hands are the devil’s work. But these are extreme, comical examples. In the everyday sphere, businesses should stay integrated with the surrounding community in order to keep establishments profitable, at full capacity, and catering to the needs of all concerned parties.

(2) Also know the distinct needs of different segments of your clientele:

Understanding the larger habits of the greater community does not suffice for a company seeking to maximize its profit margin.  Veteran Business Owners need to consider the diverse needs of each constituent of that community. Directed marketing efforts may sort these constituents according to demographic or interest groups.

Family-oriented clients may seek different offerings from your company than singles looking for thrills. Additionally, as discussed in previous blog posts, often a certain customer base shares unique interests and hobbies. Marketing efforts that break into these sometimes isolated (and often online) communities can benefit all concerned parties.

(3) Keep a well-trained staff:

All good bosses should invest in effective hiring and training programs. Remember, every business is different, and workers always face unique challenges adapting to their niche. 

Good staff should know how to address various customer demands, and these demands may vary based on the services the company provides, as well as intangible factors such as the surrounding community and the company’s resources and economic fortunes. Hence, the employees, as well as the managers, should have the knowledge to face these demands in order to maintain positive word-of-mouth end a healthy reputation. 

(4) Give deals, free items, or services when possible:

As the purveyor of fungible goods and services, at times every business owner finds themselves stuck with a surplus. Companies should try to see these opportunities not just to unload merchandise or services. These opportunities can spread positive word-of-mouth, as well as memorable experiences for the patrons or their families. 

Free stuff always tastes/feels better. Giveaways and freebies give an opportunity for that positive initial interaction with customers. Remember, business owners should get their customers hooked early. 

(5) Whenever reasonable, consider the customer is always right.

Consider “yes” the default answer to customer requests. This philosophy ensures the good karma necessary to recycle positive word of mouth, maintaining a healthy reputation. When possible, honoring special requests, including for children, friends, and other family members can ensconce your establishment in someone’s imagination as their favorite go-to institution. Such an overarching philosophy can do wonders in your ongoing project of maintaining the network of well-wishers and happy customers necessary to keep your business prospering.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Anyone can start a small business. As your business grows, you may absorb greater liabilities. Soon enough, operations may complexify. At some point in this process, your procedures should account for the unforeseeable. Natural disasters may occur, as well as conflicts with customers or even with the court system. At this point, before you know it, your own assets may be at risk.

From the beginning, the best safeguard is a good records system. Even with your first small Etsy transactions, your standardized procedure for recording the most casual purchases may still hold credibility with a variety of governmental bodies, including unemployment and other administrative tribunals, should conflicts arise. 

Remember, as the demands on your new business turn more hectic and bustling, separation of your own assets from those of your business becomes more crucial. 

Different Business Entities

Fortunately, transforming your business into any one of several legal corporate entities may keep this oil and water separate, in order to simplify matters when complexities arise.

As your business develops, the business may shape-shift so that the institution should split from the ownership. After this split, creditors can no longer reach the private assets of the ownership. 

Incorporation can close a veil between the business and the ownership. The separation between ownership and operation allows fair accounting in situations where new stakeholders come into the picture, or situations complicate themselves beyond the owner’s ability to manage. 

Different kinds of incorporation may include registration as an S or C corporation or an LLC, or “limited liability company,” which often protects a business when multiple stakeholders drive the business’s direction. S corporations are most popular among small businesses because of the tax benefits.

Many small, home-based companies often don’t bother to take such measures. Incorporation may require annual fees, as well as differing taxation requirements. Some businesspeople may not find either incorporation or registration as an LLC worth their while. They may feel the corporate body itself may transform into an unwieldy entity not worth the benefits from the business endeavor itself. Either choice is valid. However, business incorporation does provide many tax advantages as well as protection from creditors, absent extenuating circumstances.

Business Insurance 

Incorporation with the state is not the only way to protect private assets. Several types of business insurance provide additional protection beyond a strong corporate veil between the owner and the institution itself. Business insurance diverges into countless varieties including business interruption insurance, property insurance, and workplace compensation insurance, as well as many more. Many sorts of business insurance protect against sudden disasters and accidents 

Remember Your Plan B

Even outside your business proper, your underlying skills may serve you as a freelancer. Business owners may freely utilize their talents outside their LLC or registered corporation. Additionally, freelance work often serves as a contingency plan when the main enterprise sputters. Remember that even in the worst-case scenario, no one can take away your talents and skills.

The Bottom Line

Fairness dictates the separation of a business itself from the assets of the owners in many situations. The operations of a business may bring in additional stakeholders whose missteps may drive the corporate direction wayward, and often, unforeseeable problems should stay within the corporate confines. Regardless of the type of corporate structure, entrepreneurs should prepare for sudden business problems to stay business problems whenever possible, and not immediately cause the ruin of hearth and home.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Tax Questions for Small Business Owners

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

The year 2020 has been a very shaky on numerous levels.   Many small businesses have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some that have continued to operate profitably and even experience growth with the help of government loans, tax credits, and payroll deferrals.

All have seen drastic changes to their income, workforce, supply chains, and customers. As we head into the holiday season and New Year it is time to focus on what your potential tax liabilities for 2020 will be. What are the questions you should discuss with your accountant or tax professional to plan appropriately and not be surprised?

Below are five tax related issues that immediately come to mind that you will want to discuss:

1.) Will the government stimulus check impact my taxes?

The answer is both yes and no.  It depends on the programs and assistance you may have taken or not taken.  Below are three of the most popular COVID assistance programs and if they will help or harm your taxes for 2020:

  • If you participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) you will not be taxed on any loans you took under that program. However, any expenses incurred that are eligible for forgiveness are not tax deductible that may create a tax liability for you.
  • If you paid any employees for time off under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, you will be entitled to a tax credit once this year ends.
  • If you deferred payroll taxes, you will still owe them; you simply delayed when you needed to pay them.

2.) How does working from home impact taxes?

You and your employees who are working from home may be able to deduct expenses incurred from running an office out of your homes.  Some of the expenses may include such items as the space you used, equipment, utilities, etc. However, if your employees are working from home out-of-state you may be liable for higher payroll taxes than your home state charges. It really depends on the makeup of your company and employees if you may be facing any potential tax liabilities or benefits.

3.) Should I be saving more for my retirement?

Most of the current workforce working from home has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of money they spend on food, going out to restaurants, entertainment and other consumer goods that may translate into building greater savings.   Now is a very good time to put those savings away for the future. Consider contributing more to your 401(k) or IRA accounts.

4.) Is now a good time to invest in capital equipment?

Right now, there are a lot of outstanding deals out there and interest rates are very low too. Lots of businesses are taking advantage of that fact and are buying needed equipment, furniture, technology, and other capital items at steep discounts. A lot of these purchases are deductible and can equal huge tax savings.

5.) Can I estimate my 2020 taxes based on last year?

Candidly, 2020 has been so chaotic and unprecedented that your estimation based on the prior year should be tossed out the window! You may have made way less this year than anticipated, or way more, and your actual tax implication may not even properly reflect the reality of your income. Take a close look at how your business did this year overall to make a better estimation of what your taxes may be.

Taxes are an unavoidable and annual huge expense for all of us. This year taxes are going to be more confusing and difficult than ever before. The earlier you can get together with your accountant or tax professional to go over what your potential tax liability will be, the better it will be, and you can prepare accordingly.   These are questions that you need to address with your account or tax professional.

If you are looking at updating your technology, please check out the very significant discounts being extended to VAMBOA family and friends by Dell Technologies.  Here is a link to check them out:  https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Every small business wants to minimize their taxes and maximize their deductions. However, many small business owners miss out on a tax code that can benefit them, U.S. Tax Code Section 179.

 

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Section 179 has helped small business growth and prosper:

  • 35% of current small business owners are unaware that they could be eligible for a deduction under Section 179.
  • 78% of small businesses used Section 179 to offset their tax expenses last year.
  • 82% of small businesses purchased equipment or software last year (cars, trucks, office furniture, machinery, etc.).
  • The top three purchases made were computers (51%), vehicles (44%) and office furniture (31%).
  • 75% made qualifying purchases of less than $50,000.

 

What is Section 179?

Section 179 refers to property depreciation deductions a business can claim. It does not increase your overall deduction but it can give you the option to take the deduction more quickly. In other words, you can declare the entire deduction in a single year instead of spreading it over many years.

 

An asset’s useful life depreciation deduction can be stretched out to a maximum of 39 years but most are taken over a 5 year period. Under Section 179, you can deduct the entire expense in the first year.

 

This can be especially helpful if the company needs the asset to grow and the item purchased was quite expensive up front. The tax impact can help ease the burden and help the company grow. Currently, the deduction is limited to $1 million and a total investment limit of $2.5 million.

 

How Can This Help Your Business?

Section 179 can be used for most tangible assets purchased to run your business. This tax break is intended to make it more affordable for small businesses to buy expensive equipment including:

  • Machinery
  • Computers
  • Computer software
  • Other business equipment
  • Company vehicles
  • Office furniture
  • Capital investments
  • Property
  • And more

While a business has always been able to deduct expenses of this nature, they could only deduct a portion of the asset’s value every year. With Section 179 the full value can be deducted in the same year that the purchase was made.

 

Where Can I Obtain More Information About Section 179?

If you have any questions about Section 179, visit the official Section 179 informational website at http://www.section179.org/. If you are looking to learn about other potential tax breaks for you or your business, you can always visit the IRS’ website at https://www.irs.gov/ to learn more.

 

Our Advice

The US tax rules are constantly changing, it is always best to pay attention to taxes all year long and not only at tax time.  Keep alert for changes in tax laws and always consult a professional for help.

 

Disclaimer

We are not tax professionals and we strongly recommend that before you take any actions, that you consult your own licensed tax professional. It is always best to seek professional assistance if you have questions about taxes or their s on your specific business. Working with a professional also provides you better opportunities to find and take advantage of legitimate tax breaks and opportunities to lower the amount of taxes that you pay.

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