By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Tax season may have just ended but you should already be thinking and preparing for next April’s tax bite. In fact, a little thinking ahead might save you hundreds of dollars or more. After all, you likely didn’t deduct everything that you could have in your last tax filing. CPA Bernard B. Kamoroff, author of 422 Tax Deductions for Businesses and Self-employed Individuals (Bell Springs Publishing, 2008), provides an alphabetical list of hundreds of tax deductions for small businesses, from the common to the obscure. You owe it to yourself to read this one. Buy the Book
FROM THE BOOK: 5 WAYS TO SAVE ON YOUR TAXES
Kamoroff’s book features tax deductions available for small businesses, home businesses, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors. If you receive a 1099-MISC form, the IRS’s “miscellaneous income” form, this book is for you. Here are some ways he says you can save on next year’s taxes when it comes to business expenses.
1. Keep good records. Get a receipt for everything. Have a good filing system for these receipts and keep them for at least three years. Receipts are your best defense if the IRS ever audits you. No receipt? No worries. Make notes about your expenses, such as driving mileage, or keep a business diary on paper or electronically that logs these expenses. Good records kept throughout the year will be handy when you get ready to file. For example, a cell phone used 100 percent for business can be deducted fully but you need to keep detailed records on the cell phone usage, including time, place, and purpose of call. Here’s a shortcut: Cell phone companies can provide you with a detailed call-by-call list.
2. Educate yourself. You can’t deduct if you don’t know what to deduct. For example, did you know your NAR membership dues can be deducted? Dues and other expenses for business groups, professional organizations, and trade associations are deductible. Other business deductions: rental costs for billboards, car expenses due to business purposes, computers, decorating expenses, ATM fees, late charges (except for government penalties), your Web site maintenance and domain name fees, downloaded software, fees paid to rent mailing lists, coffee services, marketing expenses (except for entertainment, which is 50 percent deductible), office
Marketing trainer and real estate broker Terry Watson offered up some of his picks for top marketing books for real estate professionals at a marketing forum during NAR’s Midyear meetings today. Here’s what Watson called the “best marketing books” available and why he likes them.
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (2003), by Seth Godin. Watson said the book’s take-home message of “you’re nobody unless you are spectacular” provides ideas on how you can make your marketing stand above the crowd.
- Inside Steve’s Brain (2008), by Leander Kahney. The book takes you inside Apple’s mastermind Steve Jobs, including valuable lessons on showing you how to delegate and ask for help to get ahead in your career, Watson said. Continue reading »
NAR’s annual Midyear meetings are underway in Washington, D.C., and some of the best-selling books flying off the bookshelf at the REALTORS® booth in the Trade Expo include:
- Power Real Estate Letters, by William Pivar and Bradley Pivar
- 2007 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Continue reading »
Here are the latest top selling books about sales and marketing from Amazon.com:
1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, By Timothy Ferriss
2. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, By Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, By Malcolm Gladwell
4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, By Robert B. Cialdini
5. The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles from America’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur, By Mary Kay Ash
6. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
7. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly, By David Meerman Scott
8. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, By W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
9. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, By Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini
10. Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, By Avinash Kaushik