Monthly Archives: December, 2017

Getting Your Business Prepared for Tax Season

December 21st, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Smart business tips No Comment yet

The end of 2017 marks the end of the fiscal year for most businesses, which can be the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays. It’s tax time! We know tax season can seem intimidating and daunting, so here are some quick tips to get your business ready for a visit with the accountant.

 

Plan Ahead

The number one reason people dread tax time is because they aren’t prepared for it. Even if you start taking a few hours a week now before the end of the year to get organized, you will have a much better experience preparing your taxes. Start by sorting paperwork and putting them into inexpensive folders or envelopes. Label important documents so you can easily find them when it’s time to do your taxes. While gathering these invoices and receipts, take time to reconcile your bank accounts to make sure everything matches up. The IRS has generated a handy checklist of things you need to prepare your taxes here.

 

Business Tax Deductions

The cost of running your business is what is called your business expenses. A business expense is considered to be tax deductible if it is ordinary and necessary. The IRS defines ordinary expense as one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business.

Two common businesses deductions are home office and auto deductions. If you use your home for your business, you may be able to deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, utilities or insurance. Visit the IRS’s website to see if you meet the requirements.

For your car, you can deduct expenses in one of two ways. You can either deduct the standard mileage rate (total miles driven multiplied by the standard rate for the year), or you can deduct actual car expenses like gas, insurance or repairs. For more information about these options visit the IRS HERE.

 

Put Bartercard to Work for You

The IRS recognizes 1 Trade Dollar is equal to 1 USD, so transactions would be reported as income/expenses depending on how they are used.  But, did you know you may be eligible to claim a charitable deduction on your tax return? We have a number of non-profits in our trade network that would be grateful for trade dollar donations. If you would like to make a donation please contact your Trade Broker for assistance.

Additionally, it is always recommended that when a Bartercard member is considering making a donation of Trade Dollars to a charity that you consult your tax advisor or accountant to discuss the particulars of the gift, and determine how much of the gift may be deductible for tax purposes.

 

Plan ahead and remember this is general advice only – please seek specific advice for your own circumstances from your own professional tax advisor and the IRS.

 

Article written by, and shared with permission of Bartercard Buffalo.

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout and Enjoy the Season

December 14th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Smart business tips No Comment yet

With the end of the year quickly approaching, a lot gets piled onto the calendar; events, parties, work obligations, family commitments, shopping and preparations. It’s hard to maintain your high holiday spirit when there is so much to do and only so much time to do it in. Here are a few ways to battle the stress of the holidays so that you can enjoy them.

Keep Yourself Healthy
One of the easiest ways to avoid burn out is to maintain your health. When the time crunch starts, the first thing to go often are sleep and healthy, balanced meals. Not sleeping enough or eating at your desk or on the run all the time will make you burn out faster. Make time for full meals and 6-8 hours of sleep to recharge your body.

Take Time Off & Delegate
During crunch times you might often find yourself “doing it all simply because you have passion for your work or business. However, everyone needs to take some time out to relax though and you can’t do that if you are doing everything. To free up your time to keep normal work hours or take a break during the day, delegate some of your tasks to other employees. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help. Often, people are very willing to assist you so that you can get some relief and enjoy life.

Unplug
Once you have delegated your tasks to free up your schedule and have a proper meal and sleep, unplug from technology. It’s very easy to continually work without even realizing it. How many times have you “just quickly checked an email”? Your eyes and brain need a break from screens to unwind. Social media and emails can just be a constant reminder of all the things you need to do, which creates anxiety. Make a conscious effort to put technology away after a certain time of day to help you unwind and relax.

Have Fun
Remember to have fun at your job! Find ways to insert some fun and laughter into your day. If you keep your own morale up at work, you will find yourself coming home happy. Combine this with the other steps above, you will create a reccurring cycle of happiness during the crazy holiday season.

 

Written by Stacy Werner, Bartercard Buffalo. You can find the original post here.