Leadership Training: Lesson 17
The Tax Advantages of Having Your Own Business
In this lesson I will discuss an exciting topic that is very close to my heart: The tax advantages of having your own business. Before I continue, however, I must disclose that I am not an accountant nor a tax attorney. I have learned a few things over the years because I have owned my own business since 1984 and have employed the services of a CPA since then who has taught me a lot. But before taking my advice you should check with your own accountant because you will not want to do something questionable that could trigger an audit.
Even if you operate your business part-time, out of your home, and even if you are not yet realizing a profit, you can deduct all of your business expenses. This includes supplies, such as brochures, copy paper and business cards; and expenses, such as mileage to and from the post office, bank or office supply store. You may even be able to deduct some of your utility bills if you have set aside a portion of your home as your office.
You can take prospective or existing clients out to lunch and write off the cost of the meal and the mileage, as long as you discuss your business at some point during the meal. Keep your receipt and write on the back of it who attended and what the purpose for the meeting was. This could be something as simple as discussing a new product or ways to attract new customers.
Need a new computer? As long as you are going to use it for your business it is a business expense and a tax write-off.
Even if you never made a profit with your business the tax benefits could make the entire venture worthwhile! But don't get carried away. It is when your write-offs are way out of line with what is normal for your type of business that a tax audit could be triggered. That is why I recommend the services of an accountant.
Be sure to keep good records, including all of your receipts. Keep a mileage book in your car and record all of your mileage (not just your business miles.) Then, when tax time comes, give your records to an accountant and let him or her help you. You will probably only have to meet with your accountant once a year, and the fee will only be a few hundred dollars, which will be well spent tax-deductible money. If your tax form is submitted and signed off on by a professional, not only will this help insure that you have not claimed anything out of the ordinary, but it will also be less likely to trigger an audit since the IRS knows that professionals are less likely to make mistakes.
Let Uncle Sam Pay for Your Vacations!
My wife and I rarely take a vacation that is not a tax deduction. The way we accomplish this is by combining business with pleasure. Why do you think businesses of all kinds are always scheduling their meetings, seminars and conventions at luxury resorts and popular vacation destinations like Las Vegas and Hawaii? We have attended Nature's Sunshine conventions literally from coast to coast, including Philadelphia, Anaheim, Calif. and Hawaii! We have attended conventions as far north as Minnesota and as far south as Florida and New Orleans. We have even been on a luxury cruise.
As you reach certain levels you will find that Nature's Sunshine will often pay your way to conventions. The first one that you are likely to qualify for, and the one that you will always remember and cherish, is Rising Star Convention. But even if you do not yet qualify to attend a convention at NSP's expense, don't hesitate to attend one at your own expense. I assure you that the information you learn will be invaluable and the motivation you receive will be priceless. And remember, your expenses are tax deductible! So enjoy!
Wishing You the Best in Health and Prosperity!
Dr. Duane Weed, MS, DC, LAc
For your convenience, the previous lessons from this series can be accessed from the menu below:
1 Welcome and Introduction 2 Quality is the Difference 3 Service Sets You Apart 4 Know Your Company 5 Know Your Opportunity 6 Know Your Compensation Plan 7 About Network Marketing 8 The Online Health Assessment 9 Company Loyalty 10 Goals 11 Persistence 12 Integrity 13 Follow-up 14 Customer Follow-up 15 Member Follow-up 16 Knowledge is Power
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