The Real Numbers on the Budget Deficit

a look at the budget cartoonThe March projections on America’s Budget Deficit was projected to reach a 22 percent increase, but the latest projection shows it will be closer to a 35 percent increase or $590 billion.

Read the details of the article: Budget Deficit for FY 2016 Higher Than Originally Projected

 

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How to Plan Your Social Security Benefits

social.securityPlanning is important for financial success. Understanding how to properly plan for claiming your Social Security Benefits can be critical in its affect on your lifetime income. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has an interactive benefit calculator available to assist you. You can explore your options for claiming your Social Security Benefits and it can help you make a decision of when to claim your benefits.

Interactive Social Security Retirement Benefit Calculator

 

Loving Senior Couple

Year End Tax Tips For Businesses

Tax TipsYear end is upon us and it is not too late to review the tax tips for businesses to maximize tax savings for 2015.

  • Filing Changes: Partnership tax returns will be due on March 15, not April 15; C Corporations will be due on April 15, not March 15; S Corporation tax returns will continue to be due on March 15.
  • Code Sec. 179 expensing as a key component of year-end tax planning. Sec. 179 property is generally defined as new or used depreciable tangible property purchased for use in a trade or business. Software was also recently included, as was qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property and qualified retail improvement property. (Congress has not renewed the enhancements to Sec. 179 expensing for 2015, but they likely will be renewed.)
  • Work Opportunity Tax CreditIf your business is considering expanding payrolls before 2015 ends, take a look at the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).  (Although the WOTC, under current law, expired after 2014, Congress is expected to renew the WOTC for 2015 and possibly for 2016).Generally, the WOTC rewards employers that hire individuals from certain groups, including veterans, families receiving certain government benefits, and individuals who receive supplemental Social Security Income or long-term family assistance. The credit is generally equal to 40 percent of the qualified worker’s first-year wages up to $6,000 ($3,000 for summer youths and $12,000, $14,000, or $24,000 for certain qualified veterans). For long-term family-aid recipients, the credit is equal to 40 percent of the first $10,000 in qualified first-year wages and half of the first $10,000 of qualified second-year wages.

You can review the entire article provided by the National Society of Accountants at Year End Tax Tips For Businesses by NSA

 

helping your business grow

Have More Accounts Receivable than Cash in the Bank?

key with dollar signMany business owners find themselves with more accounts receivable than cash in the bank. Effectively managing accounts receivable will provide cash flow needed to successfully operate your business. The key to effective management of receivables is to establish, and consistently process collection procedures. Here are some guidelines that will help you design your procedures.

Billing and Collection Terms: Your billing and collection terms should be documented in writing on your website and in the initial paperwork each new client receives. This should detail your billing cycle, payment terms and advise them of the interest that will be charged on their past due balance. Contact your state for legal requirements in charging interest.

Payment Methods: Review your payment methods to determine if you should offer credit card processing. This is a great payment option to have available and may reduce your receivables significantly. Convenient online payments through your website is another option to consider.

Billing Cycle: Your collection procedures should be structured by your billing cycle. If you invoice monthly, you need to consistently invoice the same day each month. Doing this allows you to design collection procedures by the aging of the invoice date.

Payment Terms: Establish your payment terms for your business and clearly state them on every invoice. For example, the billing term may be Due Upon Receipt and is considered late after 30 days from the invoice date. Check out what your competition is doing and stay within the same framework to be competitive.

Past Due Notice: Once the invoice is late based on your payment terms, calculate and charge interest charges to each account balance with past due amounts. Send statements referencing the PAST DUE amounts with a copy of the past due invoice(s).

Second Past Due Notice: In 15 days from the date you sent out statements, your efforts should be stronger. Mail a letter to the client advising them you will be processing further collection activity with an attorney or collection agency if payment is not received immediately.

Critical Past Due Notice: In 15 days from the date you sent the second past due notice, process the second month’s interest charges on the account. Mail a letter requesting payment and advise them you will be terminating them as a client unless payment is received.

Final Past Due Notice: In 15 days from the date you mailed the critical past due notice, mail a certified letter, with return receipt requested, advising them you have terminated them as a client and will be forwarding their account to a collection agency or attorney.

Legal Collection: Contact your attorney or collection agency to provide further collection activity as needed.

The guidelines can be adapted to fit your business but the most important aspects to include are consistent communications that are date driven. Adding a PAST DUE stamp in red ink to your statements will often get you results. You may consider offering a discount if paid within 10 days from the date of the invoice. Define the system that is right for you and your business. Be consistent and stay on top of your receivables. Your bank account will thank you.

greedy man with money cartoon

Tracking Spending – There’s an App for That!

a look at the budget cartoonThe word BUDGET is always a dreaded word for everyone, but it is a necessary step in achieving financial freedom. To achieve financial freedom means you are managing your money rather than having your money manage you. You can be successful in reaching your goals in life once you have mastered being a money manager. To begin, you must start with a budget. A budget defines your sources of income and your expenses for a given period of time, usually by the month. To define your budget it is best to begin tracking your money flows going in and out. This is made easier if you use a financial app to track your finances. Kiplinger has a great article on five great financial apps that are FREE.

 Five Great Financial Apps That Are Free-KiplingerElectronic Gadgets

Choose the app that best fits your needs and get started today in tracking your finances. Once you have tracked your finances for at least three months, you have good information to begin working on your budget. The first step comes in knowing how your money is spent. Then you can begin making choices  which will be your first steps in reaching financial freedom and achieving your goals.

2014 New Year Resolutions

2014 ResolutionsEveryone makes New Year Resolutions, but how many people keep them? I think the time has come to step back and look carefully at your life to determine what is most important to you and your family. With the economic changes we have seen in the last five years, it is wise to consider financial resolutions as very important. Paying off debt, increasing savings and controlling spending should be your first moves to put yourself in a better financial position.

Check out these tips for saving money.

6 New Year’s Resolutions for Saving Money – Reader’s Digest

5 Money Saving New Year’s Resolutions – Bankrate.com

Money Resolutions for 2014 – CNBC

With the end of January fast approaching, where are you with your financial New Year’s Resolutions for 2014?

Great suggestions for funding College without debt!

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