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Archive for August, 2009

Guide to Self-Employment Tax

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

There are alternative methods that can be used for figuring liability of self-employment tax and they are: The Farm Optional Method and the Nonfarm Optional Method. These methods may qualify an individual to claim a larger Earned Income Credit or Child Tax Credit; they may also, however, increase your self-employment tax liability.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to self-employment tax is currently $87,000.00. Now, when figuring your adjusted gross income on Form 1040, you may deduct up to one-half of your self-employment tax liability and if you are member of the ministry or clergy you may request an exemption from self-employment tax from the IRS.

When must self-employment taxes be paid? Generally, the self-employment taxes aren’t due until the end of the year, when your personal tax return is filed. Why is it this way? The self-employment tax isn’t due until the end of the year simply because of the fact that many self-employed business owners don’t file the net profit or net loss figures on their self-employment earnings, until the year’s end. If there is a net loss, the self-employed individual receives a credit of self-employment tax due, in the amount of one-half of the amount due.

The self-employment tax is the self-employed individual’s equivalent to the social security and Medicare tax deducted from employee’s pay check each week. The wage earner’s taxes are configured by their employer and are deducted on a weekly basis. The self-employed individual isn’t required to make weekly payments of self-employment tax, but they are held liable for the full 15.3 rate, that is split between the employee and the employer in wage earning situations. In general, however, if you expect to owe taxes in excess of $1000 for the year, you are required to pay estimated taxes each quarter.

In summary, if you are self-employed, have net earnings of $400 or more, and file a tax return, you will be subject to self-employment tax. To learn more about individual liabilities, exemptions, and alternative tax methods, please visit the online site for IRS Forms and Publications at the IRS website. Topic 554, Publication 517 and 533 will provide more detailed and situation specific information.

Five Online Business Tips

Friday, August 7th, 2009

With the number of websites and blogs online numbering in the billions it only stands to reason that you will never stay in business unless you do things as good or better than your competition. You have to treat what you are doing as a business. This article will give you five online business tips that if you follow will help you make money and be in business for the long term.

1. Coach John Wooden was quoted as saying “do not mistake activity for achievement”. This sums up the way people play at internet marketing. Goofing around online today is not running an online business. To be effective you first have to accept responsibility for what you do everyday. If you are not doing things to promote and move your business forward you are just wasting your time.

2. Set meaningful goals and work towards them. You should be able to sit down and read your long term, intermediate, and short term goals. If you have not written them down you are not serious about hitting them. Along with this is creating a daily log of things you need to get down. Spending a few minutes at the end of the day writing down what you want to accomplish tomorrow will go a long way in helping you become successful.

3.Do some basic accounting in your business. Accounting 101 states the income minus expenses equals profits. Many online business owners make the mistake of thinking since they work at home they have no overhead. Of course this isn’t true. Certainly operating a business from home offers some benefits in terms of keeping your costs down. But you still will have expenses. Hosting, domain names, some advertising, product development, autoresponders, outsourcing, and other things can come into play.

4. Most successful internet marketers will tell you the fortune is in the follow-up. You can sell a product one time and be done or you can build a list of your customers and work to sell back end products. A good customer is worth a small fortune to you if you treat them right. Plus it costs less to make a second sale than it did to make the first one. Understanding this basic premise is what separates the successful from the failures. This tip alone can keep you in business for years and years. Build a list and treat your customers and prospects right and they will stay with you.

5. Lastly it is important that you spend as much time as possible in your business working at what you are good at or like the most. If you like to build web pages do as much of that as you can. This might mean that developing fresh content is not your favorite thing to do. You could hire an article writer to do that for you. Maybe you really enjoy interacting with other internet marketers and you hang out in discussion forums all day. That could be great for your business if you hire a website builder to keep your site active and fresh.

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