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Ever thought of starting your own business?

I guess you might have seen those adverts where people offer to show you how to make oodles of money online. I know I have.

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When starting a business, you have to show that you are serious, and that you have thought your ideas through. This will help clear your thoughts and convince others of your intentions!

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10 Reasons To Start A Home Business  
by Ruth Bird

1: Tax Advantages Business Deductions. To qualify as business deductions, expenses must be reasonable and necessary. Taxpayers are required to keep accurate books and records. The records should be complete enough to include types and sources of income, gains, losses, costs, expenses, and substantiation for tax deductions. Your records should include items such as bank statements, cancelled checks, receipts or invoices, credit card statements, diaries and logs. Here are some examples of what you could deduct. Remember...also check with a professional first. Tax Deductions for Home-Based Businesses Nobody likes tax time, but owning a home-based business can literally save you thousands of dollars a year in taxes by allowing you to turn personal expenses into legitimate, allowable deductions.

The more tax deductions your business can legitimately take, the lower its taxable profit will be. For example, if you earn $100,000 per year from your job and home-based business, combined, but have $15,000 in allowable business deductions from your business, you would only pay taxes of your net income of $85,000. At 30% tax rate, that could save you $4,500 in federal taxes!

We recommend you talk to your accountant about allowable tax deductions, but here are some tax strategies to keep in mind:

Auto Expenses You can keep track of and deduct all your actual business-related expenses. Again, make sure you get the exact information that applies to your circumstances.

Education/Training Expenses Costs of training meetings, training programs and manuals, books, online training subscriptions, etc. Legal and Professional Fees, Fees you pay lawyers, tax professionals or consultants

Business Entertaining You may deduct a certain % of the cost for entertaining existing or prospective customers, if it is either "directly related" to the business, and business is discussed, or "associated with" the business, and the entertainment takes place immediately before or after a business discussion. (Keep notes of the people involved and the business purpose.)

Travel When you travel for business, you can deduct many expenses, including the cost of plane fare, costs of operating your car, rental cars, taxis, lodging, meals, shipping business materials, dry cleaning, telephone calls, faxes and tips. It's OK to combine business and pleasure as long as business is the primary purpose of the trip. But if you take your family along, you can deduct only your expenses, just as if you had traveled alone.

Interest Interest and carrying charges on credit cards and business loans are fully tax-deductible.

Computers and Software Check with your accountant about the rules that apply to your business.

Charitable Contributions are deductible Rules vary depending on how your business is registered. Get the details that apply to your business.

Advertising All expenses involved in advertising or promoting your business are deductible, i.e. business cards, classified ads, yellow pages, brochures and flyers, etc.

Household Expenses This can be one of your most valuable deductions. To qualify, a percentage of your home must be used "exclusively and on a regular basis" for your business.

Often Overlooked Expenses

Business related long distance services. Improvement costs to your office space. A percentage of all household expenses, including property taxes, mortgage interest, homeowner's insurance, utilities, property maintenance, alarm systems, snow removal, grass cutting, etc. Office furniture and equipment - Have you purchased any desks, chairs, computers, files, lamps...Up to a certain amount can be deducted in one year. Homeowner's insurance, utilities and related expenses based on the percentage of their use in the home office. Household maintenance - would be deducted on a percentage basis. Snow removal and lawn maintenance. NOTE: If there is any possibility you will sell your house within the next several years, talk to your accountant about the tax ramifications.

Note: This list of business expenses is not inclusive. If the item you're thinking of using as a business tax deduction isn't on this list, that doesn't mean it's not a legitimate business expense. Check with your accountant Business Expenses * Accounting & Legal fees (related to business activities) * Advertising expenses * Automobile expenses * Bad Debts * Bank Charges * Business Taxes & Business Licenses * Collection Agency fees * Conference and Convention fees * Expert Advice (consultant fees, for instance) * Interest expenses (on money borrowed to run your business) * Insurance expenses (for buildings, machinery or equipment) * ISP fees (business use) * Membership Dues (for business-related organizations) * Meals and Entertainment expenses * Office Rent expenses * Office Supplies expenses * Postage & Courier expenses * Private Health Service Plan (PHSP) premiums * Promotion expenses * Property Taxes * Repair & Maintenance expenses * Salaries of employees - including salaries of family members * Telephone/Telecommunications expenses * Travel expenses * Utilities

More Reasons for working from home.

2: Personal Freedom to come and go as you please. Did you ever want to just spend a day with your family? Did you ever want to attend a special funeral but you had to work? What about visiting someone in the hospital? Can you just take a few hours off in the day? This is one of the best reasons for having a home are able to manage your own time. This does not mean working less; rather it means flexibility of time scheduling. 3: You get to keep the profit. All of it. This needs no explanation. If you work hard, if you are committed to your business, you will reap the benefits...and you will also get to keep the profit. 4: No Boss. The stress of working for an unfair and egotistical boss can be tremendous. It has even been suggested that this kind of stress can lead to heart disease. Work related stress has been the cause of marriage break ups. Some people just cannot come home at night and leave their work related issues AT the office. They bring their concerns, fears and frustrations home with them...and the whole family suffers under this strain. I had a wonderful boss for 25 years. That changed. I work from home now. 5: No stress about co-workers. Numerous studies show that office stress is associated with susceptibility to illness such as cold and flu including carpal tunnel syndrome. You spend 8 - 10 hours at work. If you do not get along with your co-workers, if there is a lot of office politics these hours 8 hours can seem an eternity. Office politics and employee dissention can eat away at the inner core of your being. 6: You get to raise your own children. By choosing to work at home, you can choose your own business hours and personal hours to fit your needs. Many successful home business entrepreneurs will also hire nannies to look after their little ones while working in their home office. They love being there for their children and can still devote the necessary hours to their work. 7: You get to be creative. No one can limit your talents. You can outsource what you are not good at doing. Instead, you can concentrate on what you are good at doing. 8: No rush hour traffic or concerns about driving in bad weather. Working at home means you wake up and look out the window; you either smile or frown at what you see and go get yourself a cup of coffee. You watch the news; you watch the traffic problems, and then you go to work, at home.

If you have kids at the daycare, you know all too well the stress of getting there on time to pick them up after a long day at work. Daycare workers may love to look after your little treasures in the daytime...but, come a certain time in the evening, and they want your little ones gone. Many daycare workers charge a big fee for overtime, and rightfully so, but many also get very upset when the children are picked up late.

9: Not being tied down by someone else's demands. Do you have to work when asked to do overtime? Are you worried about losing your job if you do not comply? Do you feel pressured to work on your days off? Do you make plans to be with your family only to have your boss veto your plans? Working at home means you are able to schedule your own time. 10: Most important...You choose with who you work. You choose how you work. Always remember, working at home does NOT mean working less.

One very special reason... especially this time of year, to start a home based business is TAX ADVANTAGES! Keep your hard earned dollars out of Uncle Sam's pocket

About the Author

My name is Ruth Bird. I have been married for 27 years to my husband Chris. Chris has been battling the monster, MS, for a number of years. To visit my home business and tax site, click here.

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