Is This A Business Expense?

An Open Discussion On Tax Deductions And The Power Of Justification

by in Personal Finance on Jan 26th, 2012

Someone gave me a great tip on business expenses when I asked him jokingly whether I could deduct my pet food.  He said, “Sam, everything is a business expense so long as you can justify it.”  Interesting!

I’m no accountant, but I have read hundreds of financial statements and understand the basics of maximizing revenue, minimizing costs, and thereby maximizing profits after tax.  A company’s expenses are different, depending on industry.  The Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for an individual blogger might be $0, since the individual is writing all his or her own content.  COGS is very straight forward.

It’s the operating expenses which gets a little gray.  Operating expenses are essentially all expenses that are necessary for you to make profits happen.  There are a whole set of rules of what you can and cannot deduct.  What I’d like to do is have a open discussion using an example to understand more.

AN INCOME STATEMENT SNAPSHOT Read More

Debt And Tax Advice For A Friend

What do you do when the government grabs hold and doesn't let go?

by in Personal Finance on Jan 17th, 2012

A friend contacted me about the debt problems he has. While I know a lot about investments and alternative investments, I’m not an expert with defaulting on debt and the legal issues that come along with it.

I figured a great way to help my friend was to contact my fellow Yakezie members and ask for their expertise. Any advice or suggestions to my friend is greatly appreciated. Please comment on this post and help my friend out.

My Friend’s Story

My friend has been a computer programmer for over 30 years. With only a high school education he started in the mail room (literally), and worked his way up to the position he is at now. His income is in the low six figures, has no dependents, and lives in a New York city borough. He rents, and the only decent sized asset he has is a truck which is worth approximately $700.

Around the middle of 2007, he suffered a massive depression. Nothing he did seemed to work in getting out of it. He sought out help from friends and family, but no one was able to help him. He started to see a therapist, but wasn’t helping much either. Another friend of his, who had bouts of depression, suggested he see a doctor. Eventually my friend went to see the doctor, and received medication for his depression. Read More

Documents You Need For Tax Time

Time To Get Organized

Right now, before tax time, is a great time to get financially organized.  Why?   Because it is the only time of the year that you are forced (by Uncle Sam) to find all those financial documents to report your income.  I’m talking about those 1099-INT from your bank accounts, 1099-DIV from your investments, and each and every other type of form.   Beyond that, the more organized you are now, going into tax time, the easier it will be to get your taxes done quickly and efficiently.

What to Look For Read More

Blogging Tax Tips for 2011

Getting Your Money Squared Away

by in Personal Finance on Apr 3rd, 2011

As I was reading Yakezie Member posts months ago, I realized that many started off like myself as bloggers looking towards reaching a personal goal. Some of us saw blogging as an opportunity to get more educated on our finances and take responsibility for our futures. Along the way, we noticed that it also became a legitimate and alternative source of income.

With January here and many people thinking about their taxes, I thought it would be a perfect time to go ahead and share some tax tips for bloggers.

Blogging as a Business, Not a Hobby Read More

Who Gets To Claim The Kid After A Divorce?

H&R Block Tax Giveaway

Divorce is an ugly situation that none of us want to face.  However, life happens and we must move on from soured relationships.  With the widely quoted statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, inevitably there will be questions about how one claims depends and pays for taxes during this time of the year.  Many unmarried couples are also now having children and perhaps have some similar questions.  H&R Block has sponsored this post and the giveaway that follows it.  At the bottom are details for how to enter the giveaway.

Q: My son lives with me for half the year. The other half of the year, my son lives with his dad. We are not married, but we have shared custody. Who gets to claim my son? Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Financial Samurai: Every single site is like it’s own little business. Definitely worth trying to maximize!
  • Financial Samurai: It’s worth doing an A/B split test. That’s what I did on various prime positions on my...
  • moneystepper: Excellent points FS, thanks. Multiple sources of income are important everywhere, even down to the...
  • Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja: This is great information. I don’t have media.net, only adsense right now, but...
  • Financial Samurai: Natalie, how long have you been working at your day job? I’m pretty confident that after...
  • Financial Samurai: Great to hear! A perfect combo indeed. Maybe I’ll write about it :)
  • Natalie: I don’t think I could quit until I was making more than what I make at my day job. I won’t leave...
  • The Phroogal Jason: Great post. Making it to a top blogger list and winning an award are two ways to feel validated....
  • FamilyMoneyValues: This really worked for us as well. My spouse worked for the federal government which was very...
  • Financial Samurai: Good stuff. It’s nice to have a combo of steady eddy paycheck, and more entrepreneurial...

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