Michele Sweeten

Techflex: Easy ways technology can save your small business time and money now

What POS system?The Golden Age of Technology (as I like to coin it) has been amazing to experience!  It has also been overwhelming at times given the super-sonic speed at which new technology arrives on the scene.  It can be tempting to bury your head and hope it will all be over soon.  But resist! If you are a small business owner there are many fabulous, easy to use, affordable and practical technologies out there just waiting to save you time and money.  (And don’t worry, we won’t try to fill a bucket with a fire hose.) Continue reading…

"So you're an expat? What's that?" Tax implications of living and working abroad

An expatriate–or expat for short– is just fancy lingo for someone who is living in a different country than their upbringing. And while the idea of being an expat is thrilling for some (What? Living and working in Paris, London or Tokyo?  Yes, please!) it will almost always mark the beginning of needing a legit CPA to help with your taxes. Why? Because United States citizens pay taxes on worldwide earned income. What does that mean? It means that Uncle Sam gets his share even if you live, work, earn money, and pay taxes on that money in a different country. The waters of expat taxes can get murky with complexity, so for now let’s just get our toes wet (a.k.a., seek further competent help if you are going to take the plunge). Continue reading…

On January 1, 2013, in a galaxy not so far away: the 2013 Medicare Tax Increase

I have one good guess as to why George Lucas sold Lucasfilm along with the prodigious Star Wars franchise to Disney in 2012 instead of 2013. It’s called Medicare Hospital Insurance, slated to begin in January 1, 2013. What is that, you ask? Exactly.

Conceived to help pay for the new  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”, this Medicare Hospital Insurance provision is nothing more than a new tax with a fancy name. The tax is levied on individuals making more than $200,000 or married couples making more than $250,000, as well as anyone with unearned income (that could include you). Continue reading…

Business Travel: What can I deduct?

The general rule: whatever expense is necessary and ordinary in making money for your business is a legitimate business expense.  Especially in today’s global economy, this involves traveling.  Many of our fabulous clients ask us which expenses come under the tax-deductible business travel umbrella and how to claim them.  First, if you are a business owner, these expenses for you and your employees will be an expense to your business on your company’s books.  However if you are an employee and your employer does not reimburse you for your business travel (most will), hang on to the receipts and hand them over to your accountant as they can be itemized deductions on your personal taxes.  In either case, and as with anything, the key to maximizing this deduction is to keep great records. Continue reading…

Financial Terms: get 'em down with our easy-to-understand dictionary

People use them on TV and in every day conversation.  So when we aren’t exactly sure of what some commonly used financial terms mean, we might be too embarrassed to ask! Remaining in the dark about common financial terms can at best curb our ability to converse about such matters, and at worst lead to incorrect financial decisions.  No more delay; it’s time to dive in with a dictionary of these common financial terms (or at least you can brush up). Continue reading…

Plain-speak: Understanding the New Health Care Law (Affordable Care Act)

Everyone is saying it.  The new health care law, or the Affordable Care Act, will impact everyone.  Naturally we are all anywhere from curious to compelled to find out how it will play into our individual lives.  But the law is about 2000 pages long and in legal jargon, no less!  So how are we, the average person whom it will reportedly affect, supposed to understand it?!

Luckily for you, I have researched and befuddled through it already. Below I will give a plain-speak, as simple as possible explanation of the act and its tax consequences to you, the average Joe and Jane.  But as you read, keep in mind the following:

Continue reading…