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Ways to Make Time for Your Life

When it comes to working in the high stakes business world, it can be exhausting work. The job will demand a lof ot you, and it can leave you without the time and energy to take care of other parts of your life. For example, your aspirations of becoming a painter will have to be left on the side lines due to the density of your work load and schedule. This can take its toll on us if we leave it unchecked, so it’s in our best interest to make time for other important parts of our life when and where we can. Here are a few tips to help you make time for the important things in life with a demanding job.

First and foremost, let’s talk about fitness. Fitness is an important part of overall health and, thus, an important part of living life. Therefore, it deserves our time an attention. Luckily, there are a few ways to shave off some of the time invest in order to more easily shave off some pounds. For starters, try working out at home, rather than at the gym. While the gym makes things easier with a wide array of high end workout gear, you can accomplish much, if not all, of the same benefits at home. You’ll simply need to find a workout routine on YouTube and follow along. I recommend the rather comprehensive and brief 7 minute workout for maximum time saving. Another way to work fitness into your busy schedule is to use a dietary supplement lije Medifast to help you lose weight while also saving you time you’d otherwise spend cooking. This is just one of the many perks of meal replacements in the fitness world.

Another area in which we could afford to make some more time for ourselves is in the kitchen, however. When it comes to food, we often make the sacrifice of eating processed foods, fast food in particular, to avoid cooking when we find ourselves strapped for time. However, by simply doing some meal prep on the weekends, you can feed yourself all week by cooking just one or two large batches of food on Saturday, for example. This method of cooking is also cited as a way to save money, as less of our fresh ingredients go to waste4 when we prepare them this way.

Deducting Your Employer Business

If you are an employee, you may be able to deduct your un-reimbursed work-related expenses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A. Employee business expenses are subject to the 2{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of AGI limitation (see below). You can deduct un-reimbursed employee business expenses incurred in the normal course of carrying out your responsibilities as an employee.

You can deduct un-reimbursed travel expenses that you incur as an employee if you temporarily travel away from your tax home for your job. These expenses include transportation, car expenses, lodging and meals (meals are only allowed if you are traveling overnight). You can also deduct your job-related education expenses. You claim your employee business expenses on line 21 of Schedule A.

Travel expenses
Although commuting costs (travel between home and work) are not deductible, some local transportation expenses are. Deductible local transportation expenses include the ordinary and necessary expenses of going from one workplace to another. If you have an office in your home that you use as your principal place of business for your employer, you may deduct the cost of traveling between your home office and work places associated with your employment.

“Employment Business”

You may deduct the cost of traveling between your residence and a temporary work location outside of the metropolitan area where you live and normally work. If you have one or more regular work locations away from your residence, you may also deduct the cost of going between your residence and a temporary work location within your metropolitan area.

Where is your tax home?
In determining the deductibility of travel expenses when you travel outside your general work area, the location of your tax home must first be established. Your tax home is your main place of business or work, regardless of where you maintain your family home. The following factors are used to determine your main place of business or work:

  • The total time ordinarily spent working in each area.
  • The level of business activity in each area.
  • Whether the income from each place is significant or insignificant.

You are considered away from your tax home if you are required to be away from the general area of your tax home for longer than an ordinary workday, and you need to get sleep or rest.

What expenses are deductible?
If you are on a temporary assignment or job away from your tax home, your job expenses may or may not be deductible. A temporary assignment is one that is expected to last for one year or less, and does in fact last for one year or less. The following factors are used to determine if traveling expenses to that temporary assignment or job are deductible or not:

  • If the assignment has a fixed ending date (one year or less), the expenses are deductible.
  • If the assignment or job lasts or is expected to last indefinitely, the expenses are not deductible.

Your employee business (job) expenses can be deductible as long as they were:

  • Paid or incurred during the tax year.
  • Incurred for carrying out your job as an employee.
  • Ordinary and necessary business expenses.

To figure your meal expenses when traveling away from your tax home, you can use either the actual expenses incurred, or a standard rate of $46 per day. The standard rate can be higher in some cities, and you can find this information on the IRS website. Whichever method you use, tax law allows you to deduct ONLY 50{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of your un-reimbursed meal expenses.

You can deduct expenses of up to $2,000 per year for attending conventions, seminars, or similar meeting held on cruise ships.

Meal and entertainment expenses
If your job requires you to entertain customers, you can deduct ordinary and necessary meals and entertainment expenses, but only if they are directly related and associated with your business.

The directly related test is met if:

  • The meal or entertainment takes place in a clear business setting.
  • The main purpose of the meal and entertainment is for the conduct of business.
  • You did in fact engage in business.
  • You had more than a general expectation of getting income or some other business benefit.

The associated test is met if:

  • The meal or entertainment is associated with the active conduct or your trade or business.
  • The meal or entertainment directly precedes or follows a substantial business discussion.

In general, you can deduct only 50{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of business related meal and entertainment expenses. Therefore if you receive one bill, which includes the costs of meals, lodging, transportation, etc., you must allocate the expenses between the cost of meals and entertainment, and the cost of the other services.

If you gave away tickets to an entertainment event, you can deduct only the face value of the tickets. If you gave a customer tickets and did not accompany the customer to the event, you can treat the cost of the tickets as either an entertainment or a gift expense, whichever is to your advantage.

Business gift expenses
If the nature of your job requires you to give gifts to customers, the cost of gifts given directly or indirectly to a customer is deductible up to a maximum limit. The following rules apply to gifts:

  • You cannot deduct a gift of more than $25 per person (incidental costs, such as engraving on jewelry, or packaging and mailing, are not included in determining the cost of the gift).
  • A gift to a customer’s family member is considered an indirect gift to that customer.
  • If both spouses give gifts, they are treated as one taxpayer with one $25 limit per customer.
  • Items costing less than $4, and used for promotional purposes, such as pens, key chains, mugs, etc., with the business name clearly imprinted, are not included in the $25 limit.

An item that could be categorized as either a gift or an entertainment expense is generally considered to be an entertainment expense, and hence subject to the 50{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} deduction rule.

Local transportation
You can deduct the ordinary and necessary costs of business-related transportation expenses incurred within the area of your tax home. Transportation expenses include the cost of transportation by air, rail, bus, taxi, etc., and the cost of driving and maintaining your car. This following transportation costs are deductible:

  • Traveling from one workplace to another.
  • Visiting clients.
  • Traveling to a business meeting away from your workplace.
  • Traveling from home to a temporary workplace, if you have more than one regular workplace.

Commuting expenses are never deductible, and include the following:

  • Traveling between your home and your regular place of business.
  • Parking fees incurred at your regular place of business.
  • Traveling from a union hall where you get your assignment, to your place of work.

Car expenses
If you use your own car, van, pickup, or panel truck, for the purposes of performing your duties on your job, you can claim a deduction for the use of your vehicle. You can claim EITHER the standard mileage rate OR the actual expenses for operating your vehicle on the job.

The standard mileage rate is a rate allowed per mile for every business mile traveled. You can claim mileage at a standard rate of 51 cents per mile for each business mile traveled for the period 1/1/2011 to 6/30/2011, and 55.5 cents per mile for the period 7/1/2011 to 12/31/2011.

You cannot claim the standard rate if:

  • You used the car for hire (for example, as a taxi).
  • You operate five or more cars at the same time.
  • You claimed depreciation, or claimed a Section 179 deduction (see chapter 12) in an earlier year.
  • You are a rural mail carrier who received a qualified reimbursement.

Your actual expenses that can be deductible include the following:

  • The cost of lease payments.
  • Tires, gas, oil.
  • Insurance, registration fees, and licenses.

If you opt to claim your actual expenses, you must first of all ascertain your total expenses, and then divide your total expenses between business use and personal use, based on the number of miles driven for each purpose.

You can claim your business related parking fees and tolls as an additional deduction, whichever method you use.

If you are an employee, you cannot deduct any interest paid on a car loan. This applies even if the car is used 100{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} for business. However, if you are self-employed you can deduct the part of the interest expense that represents the business use of the car.

The cost of traveling between home and regular job is considered commuting expenses and is not deductible. If you have two workplaces, you can deduct the cost of traveling from one workplace to the other.

Business use of your home deduction
You can claim a deduction for the business use of your home if you use part of your home for your employer’s business. There are some tests that you must meet to be eligible for this deduction:

  • To deduct expenses for business use of the home, part of your home must be used regularly and exclusively for your employer’s business.
  • You cannot deduct business expenses for any part of your home that you use for both personal and business purposes.
  • The use of your home must be for your employer’s convenience.
  • You must not rent any part of your home to your employer and use the rented portion to perform services as an employee for that employer.

Deductible expenses for business use of your home include the business portion of real estate taxes, deductible mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance and repairs. Generally, the amount of your deduction for whole-house related expenses, like utilities, is limited to the square footage of the area you’re using for business purposes. You may not deduct expenses for lawn care in general, or for painting a room not used for business.

You must use the worksheet in Publication 587,Business Use of Your Home, to figure your deduction. You claim this deduction on line 21 of Schedule A.

(Off-the-shelf tax software will effectively bring up and complete theBusiness Use of Your Home worksheet for you)

Job-related education expenses
You may be able to deduct job-related education expenses paid during the year, as an itemized deduction on Schedule A. These expenses are also subject to the 2{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of AGI limitation (see below).

To be deductible, your expenses must be job-related, and must be for education that is:

  • Required by your employer or by law, to keep your present salary, status, or job.
  • Required to maintain or improve the skills needed in your present work.

Although the above requirements may be met, no deduction will be allowed on Schedule A, if the education is:

  • Needed to meet the minimum education requirements for your current job or trade.
  • Part of a program of study that can qualify you for a new job or trade, even if you have no plans to enter that job or trade.

If you are not allowed to deduct your job-related education expenses on Schedule A, you may however, be able to deduct them of Form 1040, as a tuition and fees adjustment, or as a lifetime learning credit.

Deductible job-related education expenses include the following costs:

  • Tuition, books, lab fees, supplies and similar items.
  • Certain transportation and travel costs, including driving from work to school.
  • Transportation from home to school if you are regularly employed and go to school on a temporary basis.
  • Other educational expenses, such as costs of research and typing a paper.
  • Travel, meals, and lodging for overnight travel, to obtain qualified education.

You must keep proper records to prove your education expenses; otherwise the IRS will disallow them in the case of an audit.

Employer reimbursement plans
If your employer does not reimburse you for your work-related expenses, any allowable expense in excess of 2{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of your adjusted gross income is fully deductible on Schedule A.

If your employer does reimburse you, the deductibility of the expense depends on the type of reimbursement plan you have. There are two types of employer reimbursement plans – an accountable plan and a non-accountable plan.

An accountable plan
Under an accountable plan, your employer’s reimbursement or allowance arrangement must require you to: (a) adequately account your expenses to your employer, and (b) return any excess reimbursement or allowance.

The rules under an accountable are as follows:

  • Your employer reimburses you for all the work-related expenses that you incurred, upon you accounting to your employer for all your expenditure.
  • Reimbursements are not taxable, and your employer should not include them in wages on your Form W-2.
  • You cannot claim a deduction for any amount for which you have been reimbursed.

A non-accountable plan
Under a non-accountable plan:

  • You do not account to your employer for the work-related expenses that you incurred.
  • The entire reimbursement is included as wages in box 1 of your Form W-2, and is treated as taxable income.
  • You figure your eligible work-related expenses on Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, and deduct them on Schedule A.

Completing Form 2106
You must complete Form 2106 to figure your deductible work-related expenses, which include:

  • All your travel, car, and other local transportation expenses incurred under a non-accountable plan, whether or not you are reimbursed for them.
  • All other expenses for which you are reimbursed under a non-accountable plan.
  • Any expenses for which you are not reimbursed under an accountable plan.

Your expenses from Form 2106 are claimed on line 21 of Schedule A. However, you can only deduct the amount that exceeds 2{c16690d587dda8d0acdf109768c9fb1ef95316006fa17a13947530abf1f4ec90} of your adjusted gross income. For expenses for items such as safety equipment, uniforms, protective clothing and dues, for which you have not received reimbursement, these can be entered directly on line 21 of Schedule A (you do not have to use Form 2106).

Record keeping
It is imperative that you keep proper records to support all your employee business expenses, especially if you plan to deduct travel, entertainment, gift, local transportation, and car expenses. The records should be in written format, and you should retain your bills, receipts, and cancelled checks. If you are audited and cannot provide the records to support your deductions, it is quite likely that the IRS will disallow the deductions.

Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense. For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all the following information: (a) the name and location of the hotel, (b) the dates you stayed there, (c) separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls. A restaurant receipt is enough to prove the expenses for a business meal if it has all of the following information: (a) the name of the restaurant, (b) the number of people served, and (c) the date and amount of the expense.

Tips for Self-Employed Business Owners

In business it is important to sustain a healthy bottom line. Increasing sales with contracts is one option that business owners seek when planning to increase profits. The question, however, is does this solution really drive better profit performance? Or are contracts overrated? Here are 5 factors to consider before you agree to sign on the dotted line.

#1: What are the opportunities?

When deciding what new opportunities to pursue always consider your current capacity. Bear in mind the amount of time available to service existing clients and manage tasks. Factor in time for training, marketing, research, and proposal writing.

#2: Who else is competing?

Follow the trends in your industry to streamline the procurement process. What are others currently doing to obtain new contracts? Find out who the top players are and study their practices. When it comes to securing bids there’s no need to reinvent the wheel just figure out how you can create a proposal that stands out from the crowd.

#3: How does this impact your bottom line?

There is a wealth of information on business success but what are you doing to get results? If you want to get new contracts, consider why your product or service will appeal to the prospect. Does your offering provide a unique solution for them? Is it timely and relevant to their mission? Will it help them achieve their current objectives? If not, then you may need to go back to reconsider your approach.

#4: What is the best strategy?

Work backwards by first stating your goal and then filling in the gaps. Think in terms of what types of contracts you need to get and the most effective ways to reach the key players. Strategy is a vital part of the timeline. Have you created a marketing plan? Once you figure out the “who”, then moving on to the “what” is as simple as fitting the right solutions together.

#5: How will you meet demand?

After you know who you want to reach and what solution you can provide, get set up to move from prospect to close. Getting new contracts is a process and you need to understand each step. When you don’t break out the elements then you run the risk of accepting projects that do not meet sales and profit expectations.

Self Employment Business Is Best For You

If you find yourself facing the possibility of having to leave an organisation, perhaps after many years of service how do you make that transition?

A friend of mine M, is faced with this now, in midlife. Don’t believe the stories about front line work not being cut… she is a front line manager making critical decisions on a daily basis but six of her peers will have to apply for three jobs. She has a large mortgage and she has never done anything but what she does now. she is in a real quandary. Is she too old to retrain – if she does retrain what should she do instead?

Well I did say to M that maybe my experience would help.

I left a very high-powered career working for a large multinational business ten years ago.

Why did I leave? I left because the project I had been working on was coming to an end and I could either take redundancy ( ah those were the days when you had real redundancy pay outs!) or go back to my old job. My old job entailed working 12 hours a day and lots of international travel. If you think international travel is glamorous… well yes when you first go somewhere it is fun, but after a while flying to Detroit once a month in winter, having to be at Heathrow at Sunday lunchtime really doesn’t appeal. I was also a single parent of a 5 year old daughter and although she had a full-time nanny, when I came home I was stressed and tired and really all I wanted to do was to collapse in a heap, not be the night shift! So in a way the choice was not difficult and I know I was in the lucky position that I could make a choice and that I had some savings behind me. Not everyone is in that position.

Ten years on I have what is euphemistically called a “portfolio career”: I do accountancy and life coaching and I teach business skills to those who don’t know about or don’t like business ( such as musicians and therapists), I have written a book and have a number of websites. I have a 3 year plan to be able to do as much as possible online/ passive income so that I can travel and work and that is what I am working towards. Does it work? Well there are times of the year when I am extraordinarily busy… when there is a clashing deadline ( tax return season and marking assignments for students which happens in January), but generally it works, yes.

I know that some people will look for another job immediately, but what if you are taking this opportunity to be your own boss and get out of the office rat race, or indeed if there are no relevant jobs out there?

Here is the strategy I adopted, and it worked for me and it has also worked for some of my coaching clients.

1. What are your skills, knowledge and experience? Make a list of what experience skills and knowledge you have and don’t forget to include areas outside the workplace as well. Can you bake an awesome cake? Are you a dab hand at working out people’s computer problems? Are you great with children and keeping them entertained?

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses… this is not necessarily the same as point 1, it is looking more at your innate personality and attitude. There is no point being able to sort out people’s computers if your weakness is that you get very frustrated with machines and get stroppy ( I have to put my hand up to that one!!). At school we are always told to address our weaknesses and improve them. In business though we will always be struggling against people for whom that is their passion and strong point. In business we need to play to our strengths not our weaknesses. We can usually delegate weaknesses to others. There can be difficulties stating our own strengths… we just take them for granted and we assume everyone can do it… so ask the help of close friends ( or even enemies!!) to assess what they think your strengths are.

3. What are you passionate about? What is special about or unique to you, that only you can supply? In the information age, into which we have slipped there is a growing market online for smaller and smaller niches catering to people who are equally passionate ion that particular niche. Of course the downside is that the barriers to entry are much lower than in the past and the competition is global. All the more reason to be honing up your strengths.

4. What opportunities are there in the market place? When I first set up my business coach work ten years ago I didn’t want to take on the expense of an office and I wanted the flexibility of working from home so that I could be at home at 3:30pm when my daughter came home from school. So I made a virtue out of necessity and advertised that I went to the client’s premises (as part of my unique selling point – what differentiates me from everyone else). Not surprisingly this went down well with those who could not easily get to an office, because of mobility problems or lack of transport and also with those who didn’t want to have to stop and dress up just to see their business coach and accountant (for example working in a dusty woodworking environment).

5. What resources can you bring together? This is not just funding but also what other resources you have access to… this may come in the form of use of an office, or contacts in a specialised area. Remember you don’t have to own the assets, just be able to access them, even if you pay for one time rental ( this has long been done in the creative film industry where a lot of equipment, technical skills and locations are bought in for the use in just one project). This idea can be transferred to a number of different businesses.

6. How much time can you devote to this enterprise and what will you have to give up in order to do this? Trying to squeeze in something on top of everything else doesn’t work. I know I’ve tried it and seen the resulting burn out in myself and others around me who have also dome the same. Sometimes the sacrifice is easy to do ( mindless tv), at other times it is more of a wrench ( giving up a salsa class and keyboard lessons both of which I enjoyed but which required more time commitment than I could realistically give them).

What if there is only a limited market for the business, or you can’t make much money in that area? Well this is where the portfolio comes in – a series of different income streams bringing in cash flow. I have income coming in from investments, royalties from my book ( and to a lesser extent from a music business I used to co-own), the intention was to have rental income – and that may still happen using the rent a room scheme, teaching and accountancy and coaching income. Of course it will be different for you. The advantage of this is that your are not reliant on one source of income and if like me you like variety no two days are the same. The disadvantage is that there is not the same certainty of cash-flow coming in, or it is skewed to different times of the year, which makes planning more difficult.

Employing Business Time Management

Time management for individuals can be tough enough but when it comes to business time management it can take on a whole new level of complexity. This is because the various facets and components of running a business require coordinating a variety of personnel and it’s no longer about the individual anymore.

There are also various other external factors that vie for management’s attention that can further add to the challenge of achieving effective business time management.

Thankfully, complex does not mean impossible and there are a number of ways a business can expand effective time management processes.

Probably the best initial step that any company can employ to develop effective business time management would be to draft a mission statement for the company. That is, once you have clearly defined your company’s goals and purpose, the employees of the company can follow suit and direct their collective energies into achieving the mission statement. It can pose challenges to effectively plan out schedules and priorities when your employees have no clear objectives or planned outcomes of their own.

Rather than to confront this situation your energy is best spent defining the goals of the company so that personnel can devise their own effective business time management schedule in accordance with the vision of the company as a whole.

A mission statement can be considered as an overall goal of the company to which each employee contributes and such a goal can only be achieved through the proper performance from personnel in a group effort. Instituting and defining these goals will aid in further boosting productivity and revenue.

Another component that goes into proper business time management involves hiring the right personnel who already possess the necessary skills, not only does this lessen the downtime and financial outlay required with training to get them up to speed but it also decreases revenue losses sustained from lost productivity. It’s important to hire the right people, this will ultimately determine how your companies time and resources are spent.

No one ever said business time management would be easy however when the proper systems and steps are put in motion the potential for a business to grow can be phenomenal.

Self Employment Business

Self employment has been dubbed the most easy and reliable way of living comfortably nowadays. Self employed people venture into niche business and prospers. Commonly referred to as private practice, owner managed businesses nowadays are doing great in terms of expansion and profitability. But so many of us crave for this and lack two key things, resources and the best ideas to venture in.

Selling becomes the easiest option to those who have the resources to use in the startup stages. Those without resources seek cheap and simple alternatives as start ups. However, self employment is deemed as engaging in a business which your skills and relevant qualifications can help nature into a profitable business.

There are two key incentives which one can venture into as self employment. These are:
Own service provision business
Selling business

Selling business involves setting up a shop and selling goods and products that people around you need most. This translates into shops, cyber cafes, telephone services, supermarkets to fast foods and tailoring. These are incentives which grow into major distribution companies and chain businesses.

A service business involves selling the services which you think people want. It could be a vet clinic, a local law firm, consultancy firm, a jobs bureau to barber shops and salons. These are incentives which transform the owner’s life tremendously in terms of both profit and his career.

These self employment principles often are fruitful. This is only if the owner is sure that this is what he wanted to practice and he commits his time and resources well on the venture. This way, self employment becomes both lucrative and profitable.

If you need money now, like I mean in the next hour, try what I did. I am making more money now than in my old business and you can too, read the amazing, true story, in the link below. When I joined I was skeptical for just ten seconds before I realized what this was. I was smiling from ear to ear and you will too.

The Need to Employ Business

When anything else fails and all your efforts to collect the money owed to you seem futile, employing business debt recovery services seems to be the smartest course of action. So what can a debt recovery agency really do, apart from the obvious benefit of facilitating and handling the payment collection for their clients?

Recovering overdue debts is the most obvious advantage of hiring debt collection services. Debt collectors will serve as third-party agencies that will be tasked to retrieve the payments from non-complying customers. Since debt collectors are already experienced and knowledgeable in handling all types of collections and debt transactions, it would be a lot easier for the company owed to hire such agency for more successful payment settlement results.

While debts and loans are common for many businesses, it’s still very frustrating to deal with those delinquent clients who refuse to pay their overdue accounts. In connection, collecting payments can also be a bit awkward for both the company owner and the client, especially if the company still looks forward to conduct business transactions with that particular client in the future. A business debt recovery agency, however, can simply handle the job and provide the necessary results (minus the awkward company-client relationship) at the same time.

Since collecting debts and pursuing delinquent debtors can surely be demanding and time-consuming, it’s really more cost-effective for businesses to hire a debt collection agency to handle their accounts for them. As debt collectors can keep updated records of the company’s debt transactions, it will be a lot easier for them to track the payments or company communications with a particular client. The company can expect the debt collector to handle all the communication aspects, from composing and sending out letters to contacting and giving the clients a personal visit.

A business debt recovery agency also has access to the right sources of info, making it easier for them to collect the payments more efficiently. Such agency can do a credit check on the clients involved so as to know the current financial situation and past records of the said customers. Through the accurate information they can gather, it will be more convenient for them to formulate strategies and actions that can be both beneficial for both parties.

Granted, hiring a third-party agency to collect debt repayments can cost the company owner some money. Debt collectors usually charge a flat-rate or a commission-based amount for their business debt recovery services. However, the payment is subject to the “No collection, No fee” policy. Despite the cost of employing a debt recovery agency, a lot of company owners certainly find this option more cost-effective in the long run because of the benefits it can provide.

Self Employment Business

First of all, you should cover all the right bases and get the schooling you need to learn about your career choice and get the skills you need to become a success in your business. There are some risks that you will need to know about when it comes to being your own boss. It is important to talk to other business owners when starting up your own business so they can give you the pros and cons of being self-employed and running your own business.

It is good to get all the advice that you can about your new business so you can make sure you are taking the right steps to make your business run smoothly without any catches. This is why talking to other business owners, especially those within the same type of business or field as you are intending, is a good idea in order to learn more about what processes and experiences they went through. Forming good relationships with other business owners can benefit your business, especially if someday they refer some of their customers to you. Your local chamber of commerce is a good place to learn about the requirements needed for filing state and local forms. Here you can talk to other business owners within your community. Some of these business owners may help you with finding services and equipment that can help your business to grow and become a success.

When being self-employed and owning your own business, you must consider taxes. Finding someone that you can trust to handle your taxes each year is a good idea. This person will be able to inform you about the tax laws for a business owner. Some business owners have accountants handle their taxes. If you need advice and help with getting a loan for your business your bank will be able to help you with this no matter what size of business you are planning to start.

Basis Periods For Self Employed Business

Self employed business in the UK is required to produce a set of financial accounts for a 12 month trading period. The format of the accounts is the personal decision of the proprietor and can be a full set of annual accounts including profit and loss account and balance sheet including using control accounts and cash and bank records and the self assessment tax return.

An appropriate accounting system for many self employed business would not be to prepare a full set of annual accounts but instead to prepare a simple income and expenditure account. Preparing an income and expenditure account allows a much simpler accounting or bookkeeping system where simple accounting software can be used.

The objective of any bookkeeping software being to maintain accurate financial records and produce the accounting records and totals required to complete the inland revenue self assessment tax return each year. Financial control is very important and the bookkeeping software should also produce regular financial statements showing the profit and loss of the business throughout the accounting trading periods.

The financial tax year varies depending upon which country business is conducted. In the US accounts are prepared during an accounting period from 1 January to 31 December each year. In the UK the standard financial year adopted by the inland revenue is from 6 April each year to the 5 April the following year.

In the UK tax rules are set for each financial year and by adopting the standard tax year a small business can benefit by preparing the financial accounts under a single set of tax rules and preparing the self assessment tax return accordingly. Adopting a different financial period involves straddling the official tax year and more than one set of tax rules might be applicable to the tax calculation resulting from the net profit being declared.

After choosing the April to April financial tax year accounts are required to be submitted by the submission deadline of 31 January the following year. Earlier submission is recommended as by submitting the final accounts and tax returns online by 31 October each year the inland revenue will calculate the income tax and national insurance payable.

When a self employed business has been in business for two or three years and has chosen a different 12 month accounting period to the financial tax year the 12 month tax is calculated according to a basis period. Up until that point the accounts may be subject to apportionment to calculate the tax due.

The basis period under which the business tax is calculated is the 12 month accounting period ending in the specific tax year. A business which has a 12 month trading period ending 31 December 2007 would be taxed under the basis period 2007 to 2008 being the basis period 6 April 2007 to 5 April 2008. The same rules apply if the accounting periods are shorter or longer than the standard 12 month period.

If the accounting date is changed by a sole trader the inland revenue are informed of the change on the self assessment tax return and the re3asons for the change. If as a result the self assessment tax return arrives late the tax will be assessed on the previous basis period.

Changing an accounting date that overlaps two basis years results in the business being taxed twice for the same accounting profit as the business would be taxed under both basis years. The extra tax paid can be highly unwelcome but can be reclaimed at a later date through the self assessment tax return.

Online Self Employed Business

Being self-employed does not always mean starting from scratch. There are self-employed businesses opportunities that can get someone started as an entrepreneur with little or no risk. These opportunities give a person the ability to make a viable business where they set their own hours, and have the flexibility to spend time with family or recreating. However, often there is some expense with the opportunities in the form of a start up cost. This covers the cost of materials, web sites, and training. If it is not something that can be afforded, a loan can be taken out for the necessary funds. Many times lenders are more than willing to lend to a small business and there are specific loans designed just for this purpose.

One of the great things using an existing business opportunity that does not require starting from the ground up is that there usually exists tested market. There is also customer service and people who can assist those just starting out and have never been self employed. Take a look at the online business opportunities available and see if there is anything that is workable. Many of them can be done part time to start as supplement income giving a sense of financial security at the same time a new venture is being made. Starting part-time while continuing regular employment also gives a little more capital to work with and reduces stress. Keep in mind that self-employed business taxes would be paid by you the business owner and not the opportunity presenter.

If a business opportunity that doesn’t involve significant risk, has an already established market and is all about being self employed without having to start from scratch is appealing than there are a number of opportunities available to suit individual tastes and needs in the business world.

The first step in making something like this work is to change one’s thought process. Many people see themselves as employees meaning they work for other people. However, this is not all bad because there is not limit to your income, no boss to make demands on you and no preset job duties or hours. If the thought of being free from the corporate shackles is appealing – start by doing a Google for online businesses and join a few news letters and forums. Get the pros and cons then start small and see where you end up. Who knows, you could be the next Internet millionaire success story.