Thursday, March 11, 2010
Checking; contributions; dining; home storage
Because Ron sent several questions look for my answers after each question.
I initially found you because I was looking for information on business checking online. The fees, beginning at $12 monthly (for the least expensive option) seem unnecessary, and as I have been keeping solid records since beginning my consultancy last year, think I’m going to stick with the personal account for now. Nice to see someone provide a good rationale for what seems a rational choice.
Ron refers to these posts on business checking accounts.
So now I’m writing because I’ve just finished reading your book Self-employed Tax Solutions (terrific – thank you! everyone should follow your New Year’s Eve/Day tip!). I agree. I’ve been tracking all my expenses and incomes meticulously, but you gave me some other good points to think about. Here are some questions I have, based on the book scenarios:
1) My kids’ sports leagues all solicit team sponsorships from local businesses. But in your book, you suggest this might not be a wise write-off for indies. Can you elaborate? Should I not do it? And what about sponsoring the softball team that I play on myself?
A quick overview on charitable contributions made by sole proprietorships -- indies: They are not deductible as business deductions. They are personal deductions. Advertising is deductible. So $100 to your daughter's soccer team -- not deductible. $100 for an advertisement in your son's concert program -- deductible. $500 for hockey uniforms that have the name of your business visible to the public -- deductible.
2) I’m still hung up on the “if you have dinner with your wife …” point, primarily because you’re describing exactly what happens to us: The only real time we get to talk about the business, strategy and planning is when we dine together! Permissible deduction, right?
Dinner with someone with whom you have a personal relationship is deductible only if the reason for the dinner is business. Not that you happen to talk business while at dinner. There must be specific business goals that you work on achieving at dinner: spouse reviews brochure; spouse sketches designs for an ad. Things like that.
3) Currently, I can’t take the home office deduction because we don’t have “exclusive space” to work from. But, we do have some space that is exclusively used for storage of business books, files and materials. Can I claim that area? Yes.
Thank you – RA in L.A.
Long Beach, Calif.