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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act & Small Business Taxes

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Taxes aren’t a fun to deal but incredibly important.  For most businesses, annual tax expenses are often their largest outlay of money annually.  These costs exceed rent or mortgage payments, vehicle expenses, and marketing costs. The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drastically changed a lot of our tax laws, specifically ones for businesses. Below we outline some of the changes and provide you some advice.  Always check everything with your tax professional before taking action.

 

 

New Laws, New Rules

The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the tax rates for some small businesses. C Corporations and S Corporations now have a flat tax rate on top of reduced tax rates for individuals. This act also added an array of deductions or credits for offering health insurance, retirement plan contributions, and continued wages during family and medical leave to your employees.

 

Some other deductions were eliminated or dramatically changed. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses were allowed to deduct the cost of entertainment for their clients. Now, regardless of how relevant, you cannot deduct entertainment and you can only deduct 50% of the cost of any food served (prior to the law you could deduct 100% of all entertainment and food).

 

 

Get A Pro

Did you know that new federal, state, and local tax rules occur each year? Not keeping up with all of the changes can really hurt your business. Most small businesses use paid tax professionals to complete their tax returns each year due to the complexity of our tax laws. Unfortunately, given the complexity of the changes by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, most paid professionals have been slowly raising their prices because of the added time now needed to complete the new forms and schedules.

 

Preparing for tax time and actually doing your taxes is a huge drain on a business’s resources. Even if your business uses a professional tax person, there are still a lot of things that must be taken care of by the business before the professional steps in; things like record keeping, meeting and talking with the tax professional, paying for services, checking past returns, and more.

 

 

Do Not Lie

Even if your business uses a tax professional, mistakes can still happen which can cost you additional in interest or penalties. You may also be tempted to try to outsmart the IRS, but their computer systems are state of the art and they catch conflicts in returns often.  Honesty is the best policy.

 

 

Our Advice

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

 

 

Need more assistance?

The IRS has a lot of information on their website : IRS’s Small Business and Self-Employed Center.

Small Business Ideas for Veterans – Part 1

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Those who serve in the military obtain many skills in various areas that can be transferred to owning and operating their own business. If you are a veteran who wants to become an entrepreneur, but you don’t know what type of business you want to start, below are some ideas (in alphabetical order) for you to consider:

 

Adventure Travel Business

This is an excellent fit for those who love adventure and travel.  This is the type of business that allows you to customize adventure trips for your clients.  You should be physically able to lead the excursions and be knowledgeable of the areas you are visiting.

 

Arms Dealer

If you are proficient with firearms and can qualify for a gun dealer’s license, that usually includes background checks and fingerprint scans, you can buy and sell firearms as a business.

 

Auto Glass Repair & Replacement

This is a business that can be very lucrative if you have a solid customer base and provide good customer service. If you can’t secure a location that is spacious enough to contain all the vehicles whose windshields you might have to work on, consider a mobile replacement operation. Mobile glass replacement is becoming very popular to consumers.

 

Auto Repair Business

You must enjoy working on autos and be willing to constantly update your knowledge as the technology changes.

 

Campgrounds

Starting a campground business is a wonderful business for those who love the outdoors. You will probably need to hire others to help out in the day to day operations, but camping has become more popular and can be lucrative.

 

Commercial Cleaning Business

Commercial cleaners keep the interiors and exteriors of businesses clean to ensure that the business image is hygienic and positive.  All you would need are the cleaning supplies and knowledge of cleaning chemicals.    This is an excellent business for service-disabled veterans to bid on government contracts.

 

Construction Business

If you are handy with tools and building, you may want to enter the construction industry.  You should obtain the proper licenses in place before you start your business.  You may want to specialize in specific areas of construction such as plumbing, roofing, framing, HVAC, patios, etc. and decide if you want to focus on residential or commercial.

 

Courier Service

If you have a cell phone and reliable transportation, you can start a courier business. You may want to decide on whether you will focus on residential or business services.  People an businesses want convenience.

 

Defensive Driving School

A defensive driving school offers the next-level training for teenage drivers and other drivers who need to know what to do under special conditions, such as driving police cars, ambulances, etc.  Parents want their children to be safe so this has become popular.

 

Disaster Planning and Preparation Service/Restoration Business

Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and wildfire are recurring on a regular basis. This business offers preventive measures that might help in reducing the destruction of property or offer repair/replacement services for properties that have been impacted.   Insurance companies often hire independent companies too.

 

Dry Cleaning/ Laundry Business

This can be challenging and a lucrative business that usually requires fairly long hours.  You would also need training as well as various permits and licenses required to operate.

 

Firearms Maintenance Business

Starting a gun cleaning business might be a natural transition for veterans. More than likely, you have probably been trained how to do this during your military service, and you can add other services and sell some products.  This offers repeat business as well.

 

Firearms Training Instructor

This also can be a natural transition for veterans who have received firearm training. If you expertise in operating firearms you should consider turning your talent into a business.

 

Fitness Trainer

“Boot camps” and hardcore workouts are part of every military recruit’s training, so this is a good idea for a business for those who are fit and can train others.  We live in a society that values fitness.

 

Garage Door Repair Business

Garage doors are important to every homeowner, so your business can offer maintenance, repairs or replacement service.

 

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

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