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Big Ideas for Small Business® is dedicated to providing small businesses with the tools they need to gain a solid foundation and future financial success. With counsel for almost every facet of entrepreneurial finance, Barbara Weltman is your source for the right ideas for growing your business.

  • 40 years of legal and small business experience
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Idea of the Day®

April 20, 2018

Pay Gaps Still Exist

There’s still a spread between wages paid to males versus females. That’s the finding from AAUW. The gap has only closed by 7 cents in the past 20 years, and currently is 20 cents nationwide. New York has the smallest gap (11 cents); Louisiana has the largest (30 cents).

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (11th Edition), there were over 53,000 incidents and 2,216 confirmed data breaches. Of these, 58% were categorized as attacks on small businesses. Exposure to attacks isn’t something new; I’ve previously written about protecting client and customer data. But this new report sheds some rather startling light on the problem of data breaches for small businesses. I think the findings may give you a heads up on where attacks come. And, as you’ll see, I’ll suggest what you should do to protect your business to the extent possible. About the data breaches You […]

  • Most owners of small businesses have pass-through entities (e.g., sole proprietorships, S corporations, partnerships, LLCs) and report their share of income on their personal tax returns. At this time of the year they may receive a tax refund related to their personal returns. Here are 5 things to do about these tax refunds. 1. Do a better job with estimated taxes Don’t congratulate yourself for getting a refund. It means you’ve made an interest-free loan to the government. It’s a better idea to more closely estimate your tax bill for the year so you don’t advance too much to the […]

  • If so, you’re not alone. According to a survey by Reliant Funding, 53% of small businesses are confused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and plan to seek expert tax advice. Yet another 22% don’t even know about the new law. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has identified about 40 areas in the new law that need immediate clarification so businesses can plan accordingly. Some of these impact only large, or multinational companies or individual income tax returns. But many may affect small businesses.  Let me run through some of what’s on the Chamber’s list as well as one of my […]

  • Winston Churchill said,  “Kites rise highest against the wind—not with it.” For businesses to succeed in a big way, owners need to use disruptive thinking. Here’s what this means for you. What is disruptive thinking? The term “disruptive thinking” is ubiquitous, but there doesn’t seem to be a set definition. Here are some ways in which it’s used: thinking outside the box, being counterintuitive, looking at the larger picture, changing the status quo. As you may guess from the term, it’s thinking in a nonconventional way.  In a word: innovation. How can you practice disruptive thinking? If you’re a conventional […]

  • What's Your Privacy Policy?

    Facebook has recently come under government scrutiny with lawmakers and the Federal Trade Commission demanding that the company explain its privacy practices … how it uses customer data and what it does to safeguard this information. Facebook, like all other big companies, have privacy policies explaining to website visitors and customers about collecting and releasing information. These policies address such questions as “Is this information kept confidential?” “Is it shared with others?” and “Is it sold to others?” What’s your privacy policy? Must I have a privacy policy? While there’s no specific federal law mandating that a website display a […]

  • Accountable Plans Revisited

    Accountable plans are an IRS-approved way to reimburse employees for various business expenses in a tax-advantaged manner. Everyone wins … employees are not taxed on reimbursements (the reimbursements not even reported on W-2s) and employers don’t pay employment taxes on the reimbursements. Accountable plans have been around for a long time, but with changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they are more important than ever. Here’s why you need to revisit accountable plans now … expand what you have or adopt one if you don’t … and how they work. Why you need to revisit accountable plans The […]

  • It’s probably no surprise to you that credit cards play an important role in financing for small businesses. During the Great Recession, they were about the only way to finance purchases and get capital. Now, financing options have loosened up a bit, but credit cards still are essential to your business. Here are some good things and bad things about using credit cards in your business. 1. Good financing option in some cases You know that credit cards carry high interest rates, so using them as a basic funding option isn’t wise over the long haul. But it can make […]

  • Social media cyber vandalism occurs when someone takes control of your social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter and uses it to misdirect information. This involves posting erroneous, vulgar, or inappropriate things on a site and making it sound like it’s coming from you. It can damage your business reputation and cost you serious dollars. No one knows the extent of social media cyber vandalism, although it had been estimated that as many as one-third of adults had a social media account hacked. And InfoSecurity Group posted a list of the top 10 worst social media cyber-attacks. And even […]

  • Following enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there’s been much public discussion about tax rate changes, the 20%qualified business deduction for pass-throughs, and immediate write-offs for equipment purchases.  As time goes on, tax professionals are digesting the cataclysmic changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and finding out that some business practices no longer work. We need to find new ways to proceed.  Let me describe some of the ways the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is changing how we do business. Trade-ins Until now businesses have been used to tax rules governing trade-ins of vehicles or equipment to […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

Book Interview - J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2018

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

April 20, 2018

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

April–May 2018

barbara’s books

  • The ultimate money-saving tax guide for the small business owner.   J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes is designed to help business owners make sense of their taxes and file correctly, on time, without over- or under-paying.  Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource offers a complete overview of small business tax planning and provides you with the information needed to make tax-smart decisions throughout the year. Focusing on strategies that help you use deductions and tax credits effectively, shield business income, and maximize other aspects of small business taxes, this practical guide will show you how your actions in business today can affect your bottom line from a tax perspective tomorrow.
  • The complete guide to all deductions and credits for individual taxpayers.   J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks shows you just how much money you can save on your taxes—legally—simply by taking advantage of what's out there. Millions of Americans overpay their taxes by billions of dollars every year, because constantly evolving laws and regulations make keeping track of deductions and breaks next to impossible for the everyday taxpayer. This book helps you put a stop to overpayment so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. Fully updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws — including an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress — this book answers all of your "Can I claim…" questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • Tax facts and strategies every self-employed person needs to know As a self-employed person you have to handle many, if not all, of the aspects of running your business. J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment is intended to help you with some business aspects with which you may not be familiar—but which have a great impact on your bottom line. It skillfully focuses on taxes as well as many legal and financial matters that may pertain to your business.3
  • Smooth Failing - Living Edition

    This is the Living Edition of Smooth Failing. New stories from business leaders on their business failures and the lessons learned will be added regularly at no additional cost. Alerts will be sent out automatically when each new version is available. Specific requests and challenges can be submitted by the reader for future consideration and these will dictate how often and how many additional stories will be made available.
  • Small Business Survival Book

    12 surefire ways for your business to survive and thrive! Owning a small business can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding experience, but to be successful, you must know what to do while the business is up and running, and, most importantly, what to do when the business runs into trouble. This book is definitely part of what you need to succeed!
  • As Vicki Raeburn of Dun & Bradstreet notes in the forward, "...the successful creation of credit by small business has a significant effect on one of the most important business drivers, namely cash flow. ...     [This book has] the information needed to understand and build business credit."

testimonials

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    I just wanted to reach out and give you a very big, truly heartfelt "thank you" for all the work that you do to help small business owners grow and succeed. More specifically, I wanted to offer you some praise for your blog posts and Idea of the Day®. My email inbox gets so very cluttered. And honestly, on most days I will do a wholesale delete of many, many messages. But I literally stop and specifically look for your name and your small business Idea of the Day®. I don't want to miss it! In fact, I look forward to reading it daily (even on weekends!) because I know I'm going to learn something new that saves me money, time or just adds to my professional knowledge in a way that helps me help others too. So thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts! ”

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  • " Barbara Weltman is an Advocate for Small Business
    She has been an advocate, public speaker, and resource for small business news since the release of her first book, J.K. Lasser’s Tax Deductions for Small Business, in 1995. Since then she has run her website, her Big Ideas for Small Business® newsletter, and her blog, not to mention written over a dozen books. Ms. Weltman is on this list twice because for many business owners, it is easier to scroll through her Twitter feed for trending topics and news events than search her website. However, if you don’t take a minute to read her newsletters or blog — you’re missing out. ”

    -Meredith Wood, Fundera Ledger

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    Barbara Weltman is one smart cookie - I follow her on Twitter, and her content is always interesting and informative. ”

    -An eBay Radio listener - purplejaime1976

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    it’s BRIEF, concise and timely. Funny, I do a quick scan of my bloated mail box, quickly deleting what I feel is a time waster. But I NEVER delete Idea of the Day® until I've first opened it. Both you and Napoleon Hill's Thought for the day ALWAYS get read. You’re in terrific company. Thanks. ”

    -Don Aronowitz

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