Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So Much Info, So Little Time...

Ah, when you haven't written a blog in 8 days, you accumulate alot of information to impart. I'm going to synopsize alot of that in this one blog post.

IRS and Small Business Recordkeeping
Wondering how you should prove expenses for your business when it comes to taxes? What are considered to be adequate records? How long should you keep records and receipts? For a good in-depth view of this topic, including a nifty chart you can print out and post, go here.

Home Office Deductions
Here are FIVE important facts about Home Office Deductions you should be aware of if you are running a homebased business.

Hobbyists Ask Yourself Some Questions
Here are eight questions the IRS wants you to ask yourself if you are a hobbyist.

Phishing Scams
The IRS is warning everyone of email "phishing" scams which have become more and more prevalent in recent months. Those involved in the fraud often pose as officials seeking personal and financial information. If you respond, you can become a victim of identity theft. One scam involves the Making Work Pay provision of the stimulus plan. The customer receives an unsolicited email appearing to have been sent by the IRS, saying the consumer is eligible for a tax refund. The IRS notes that it DOES NOT contact or discuss tax account matters with taxpayers via email.

ZIPskinny.com
This truly, dare I say AWESOME, site was brought to my attention by Keith Yurgosky of the SBDC staff. Click here, then enter your zip code. You will get a wealth of U.S. Census data on the zip code area you entered, including comparisons and charts to other areas. LOVELY, especially for those needing demographic information for the development of business plans and marketing information. THANKS KEITH!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SBA Bill Approved

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the FY 2010 Financial Services Appropriations bill, HR 3170, on July 16. This legislation provides funds for the Small Business Administration and its programs, including the Small Business Development Center/SBDC national program ($110 million for FY 2010). The SBA's entrepreneurial development programs helped generate 73,000 new jobs, infused $7.2 billion into the economy, and offered consulting and training to over 600,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs in 2008. About 900 SBDC offices nationwide provide entrepreneurial assistance to more than 1.2 million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs annually. FYI: The SBDC's annual conference will be held from September 14-17 in Orlando, Florida. For more information, check the site http://www.asbdc-us.org/conference/conference.html. A wealth of information is imparted in over 80 workshops during the conference. The workshops are attended by both SBDC consultants, to further their training and skill set, as well as outside organizations (such as chambers of commerce, industrial development groups, and others) who want to learn more about working with small firms.

There are 4 SBDCs in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region, including:

The University of Scranton SBDC, covering the counties of Bradford, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming.
The Wilkes University SBDC, covering the counties of Carbon, Columbia, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Sullivan.
The Bucknell University SBDC, covering Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union counties.
The Lehigh University SBDC, covering Lehigh, Northampton, and a portion of Bucks and Montgomery counties.