Mom's Gone Virtual's Telecommuting Taxes

Income taxes can be a very difficult topic, especially if you telecommute or work from home! Mom's Gone Virtual helps take the confusion out of telecommuting taxes by giving you free tax tips.


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7 Money Saving Tips to Decrease Home Business Expenses

We all know that running a home business is highly satisfying, and at times downright liberating! No clock to punch, no dress code, and best of all, no boss to answer to. But there are also many facets of business ownership that entrepreneurs must stay on top of. One of those is keeping the expense to income ratio in balance. Below are seven painless ways to do just that.

1. To save on costly ink cartridges, print in draft mode, unless the printout is for a client or will be reproduced.

2. After spending your hard earned money on those ink cartridges, turn them into a free ream of paper! Many office supply stores offer a free ream of copy paper when you recycle a used ink cartridge at their store. Ask your local office supply store if they offer this service to their customers.

3. Make that free paper last twice as long. How many times have you printed something without spell checking it first? Use the back of those misprints for making lists and jotting down ideas. Another way to keep paper use down is to utilize the annoying sheets that often print out last with just a small ad or footer on them. Turn them over and print on the blank side.

4. Apply for a cash back/rewards credit card. Using one credit card for all of your business purchases simplifies bookkeeping and makes categorizing expenses at tax time a lot easier. Why not earn rewards such as airline miles or restaurant gift certificates, or even better- cash, on purchases you have to make anyway? Just be sure to fully read the fine print concerning interest charges and late fees. Or pay off the balance each month and avoid both!

5. Compare prices on internet service providers. Some companies offer a discount when internet access is bundled with cable or phone service. If you are really happy with your current ISP, call and ask if they are offering any promotions that you can take advantage of.

6. Network with other home business owners and offer to barter goods or services. If you own a gift basket business, assemble baskets featuring a direct sales consultant’s products, and customers are purchasing from both of you at once. A bookkeeper can trade services with a web page designer. The possibilities are endless. You just have to ask.

7. For low cost advertising, contact organizations holding charity auctions or raffles. You supply the prize, whether it’s jewelry or web hosting, and in return you receive exposure for your business and pleasure in donating to a worthy cause.

Paige Pate Hall is a work from home mom and Independent Consultant for Azante Jewelry, a company specializing in handcrafted sterling silver and beaded jewelry.
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Setting up Your Accounting System w/o Accounting Software

The set up of your business accounting system does not have to be as hard as it may seem. There really is more leeway here than most think. Although an automated accounting system does make life easier for a lot of business owners, there are some who can’t afford hundreds of dollars on software, don’t have the time to learn that software, or those who don’t know (or care to know) the detailed difference between a debit and a credit. Rest assured there are other options available to you.

You can easily set up an Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of the basics you need. Something as simple as the date, expense or income amount, and description of the payment or receipt will suffice. You can re-create this sheet for each month of the year. You can either put the information into your spreadsheet via the computer or by hand, whatever works best for you. Just be sure that you are including ONLY BUSINESS related items on this sheet. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to do your taxes. There are some people who don’t even want to fool with the computer if they can keep from it and there are systems that will work for them as well.

One way, is to get a small file organizer and file folders. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle you can put it there and just put receipts, deposit slips, etc. in the organizer as you receive them. There are a few options on how to organize this. I have found organizing it by month is the best way, especially if you have an accountant or bookkeeper who does all the work for you. You could even go further by separating each month into expense and income folders. This will help the process stay more organized and save you time, because now you can enter your transactions in a ledger or your computer once a month instead of daily or weekly.

Some people have found that a notebook/checkbook will work for them just as well. I would not recommend either of these if you have a lot of transactions (payments, receipts), but for someone just starting out this would be another way to keep everything together in the beginning. You must be diligent about recording in either one of these items. If using a notebook or checkbook, I would suggest daily recording of items because if you are not extremely diligent with your recording this way, you will inevitably have an important transaction slip through the cracks.

No matter which method you use: Keep your receipts, etc. in a file cabinet or a small organizer like the one mentioned above so you will always have supporting documents. There are various ways that you can create an accounting system that works for you. That’s the key, finding something that works for you, doesn’t take up so much time that you are not able to concentrate on the business itself and is accurate. As long as you stay organized and on top of things, you’ll find that your system can help you instead of hurting you. Wouldn’t you rather have all your records right there together when you need that loan or at tax time, instead of hunting your desk, car floorboards, day planner, filing cabinets, and kitchen table for hours on end and still missing that one important write off? I know I would.

The information found at is not intended to be, nor should it be taken as, legal advice of any kind. Please contact your personal tax advisor, accountant, or attorney for questions pertaining to your specific situation.