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In Accounting there are plenty of formulas, theories, and equations, but by far the most important is the following: Assets = Liabilities + Equity First, I will describe in layman’s terms the three variables within the equation above. An asset is a resource that will be used to operate a business (e.g. inventory, plant, machinery). A liability is a creditors right to the resources within the business (e.g. loan, accounts payable). Equity is the owner’s interest in the business (e.g. stock, retained earnings). Home ownership is an easy way to understand the relationship between the three variables. The house itself is an asset because it can be used to generate revenue from rent or a business can be ran within the home (e.g. daycare, tax preparation). The mortgage on the home is a liability because a mortgage is a loan from a bank. The home is collateral for the loan, so if the owner cannot pay back the loan the bank will be able to take ownership... read more

The IRS offers free tax help to members of the military and their families. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has help sites both on and off base. This includes VITA sites to help our military overseas. Here are five tips to know about free tax help for the military: 1. Armed Forces Tax Council. The Armed Forces Tax Council oversees the military tax programs offered worldwide. AFTC partners with the IRS to do outreach to the military. This includes the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. 2. Trained volunteers. IRS-trained volunteers staff the military VITA sites. They receive training on military tax issues, like tax benefits for service in a combat zone. The staff can help you with special extensions of time to file your tax return and to pay your taxes or with special rules that apply to the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can also get help with the new health care law tax provisions. 3. What to bring. Take the following... read more

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who are unable to complete their tax returns on time that it’s easy to get more time to file their return. In fact, it can even be done online. For taxpayers who haven’t yet filed their taxes, the IRS has this advice: don’t panic. Taxpayers who need more time to complete their tax return can request an automatic six-month extension.    The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868. Filing this form gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file a return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and should also pay any amount due. The IRS cautions taxpayers that a request for an extension will give extra time to file a tax return; not extra time to pay any taxes owed. By filing either... read more

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who are unable to complete their tax returns on time that it’s easy to get more time to file their return. In fact, it can even be done online. For taxpayers who haven’t yet filed their taxes, the IRS has this advice: don’t panic. Taxpayers who need more time to complete their tax return can request an automatic six-month extension.    The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868. Filing this form gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file a return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and should also pay any amount due. The IRS cautions taxpayers that a request for an extension will give extra time to file a tax return; not extra time to pay any taxes owed. By filing either... read more

Many people who carry on a trade or business are self-employed. Sole proprietors and independent contractors are two examples of self-employment. If this applies to you, there are a few basic things you should know about how your income affects your federal tax return. Here are six important tips about income from self-employment: SE Income. Self-employment can include income you received for part-time work. This is in addition to income from your regular job. Schedule C or C-EZ. There are two forms to report self-employment income. You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet other conditions. See the form instructions to find out if you can use the form. SE Tax. You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you made a profit. Self-employment tax includes Social Security and Medicare taxes.... read more

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding individuals with home-based businesses filling out their 2014 federal income tax returns that they can choose a simplified method for claiming the deduction for business use of a home. In tax year 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, nearly 3.4 million taxpayers claimed deductions of more than $10 billion for business use of a home, which is commonly referred to as the home office deduction. Introduced in tax year 2013, the optional deduction is designed to reduce the paperwork and record-keeping burden for small businesses. The optional deduction is capped at $1,500 per year, based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet. Normally, home-based businesses are required to fill out a 43-line form (Form 8829) often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Instead, taxpayers choosing the simplified method need only complete a short worksheet... read more

The Internal Revenue Service recently reminded taxpayers planning to claim charitable donations to make sure they have the records they need before filing their 2014 tax returns. For any taxpayer, keeping good records is key to qualifying for the full charitable contribution deduction allowed by law. In particular, this includes insuring that they have received required statements for two contribution categories—each gift of at least $250 and donations of vehicles. First, to claim a charitable contribution deduction, donors must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all contributions of $250 or more. This includes gifts of both cash and property. For donations of property, the acknowledgement must include, among other things, a description of the items contributed. In addition, the law requires that taxpayers have all acknowledgements in hand before filing their tax return. These acknowledgements are not filed with the return but must be retained... read more

You can reduce your taxes and save on your energy bills with certain home improvements. Here are some key facts that you should know about home energy tax credits: Non-Business Energy Property Credit Part of this credit is worth 10 percent of the cost of certain qualified energy-saving items you added to your main home last year. This may include items such as insulation, windows, doors and roofs. The other part of the credit is not a percentage of the cost. This part of the credit is for the actual cost of certain property. This may include items such as water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems. The credit amount for each type of property has a different dollar limit. This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500. You may only use $200 of this limit for windows. Your main home must be located in the U.S. to qualify for the credit. Be sure you have the written certification from the manufacturer that their product qualifies for... read more

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are: 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations These optional standard mileage rates are used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law. Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates. A... read more

Hello Fellow Tutors,   I have lost two tutoring clients due to my honesty. I'm not asking for a medal or anything, but I'm wondering how best to handle this situation AND keep the business.   The first time was subtle. We met through Wyzant of course and it had never even occurred to me to discount my rate and NOT use Wyzant. Partly because of tax season and partly, because, well, we had met through Wyzant! I was surprised by this suggestion and just said softly, "I would prefer to go through Wyzant." I never heard from this client again.   The second time was more obvious after I billed one session through Wyzant. He sent me a message through Wyzant that simply said, "Call me I want to talk to you." Okay, no problem. I did and was asked if we could, "work something out." Immediately, I am suspicious. After my clarification, I realized I would definitely be making about $4 more per session than I would through... read more

Knowledge is power...   To that end, it is always a good idea to find out what you're working with. What are your biggest challenges... Where are you... Where do you want to be?   The following self-evaluation can help you answer some of those questions:   1.    What career field are you in?  2.    What is your current job title?  3.    How long have you been in this position?  4.    What are your primary responsibilities? 5.    What is the most interesting part of your job? 6.    In what way will skills-development improve your job performance, and opportunities for advancement?    _________________________________       I have been teaching skills-development courses for many years and would love an opportunity to assist you in achieving your professional... read more

Read. Pick up something and keep the wheels turning. Keeping fresh on news, or just pleasure reading is a skill that needs to be exercised and worked on regularly. Write. Depending on where you are in your academic career, one thing is fairly certain; you will be required to write the deeper you delve into subjects and years of schooling. Writing is learning on a new level. Research. Research something. Take it beyond Google, and do not rely on Wiki. Anyone can publish on Wiki, and some big mistakes happen there. Research and writing work in tandem, get used to it and have fun with it, after all you will learn something this way (and far into the future). Honing your search skill (Booleans, etc.) will pay you back exponentially one day. Learn something or do something new. Find a new hobby or research (see above #3) something new or do something new after looking into it as long as it's safe of course. Set Attainable... read more

NEED-TO-KNOW Know How To Add an Email Signature in Microsoft Outlook   Once you’re in MS Outlook: 1. Click on the “File” menu in your top task menu. 2. Click on “Options”. 3. In the dialog box, click on “Mail”. 4. Find and open “Signatures” on the right side of the page. 5. Create your signature by choosing “New” and type a name for it in the text field. * Now you’ll create the signature you want displayed at the bottom of your emails. You can personalize fonts, insert images and provide hyperlinks (company logos, website URLs, etc.)   Items You May Want to Consider Including: - Name - Job Title, Department - Office Phone, Fax Number - Company Name, Location - Logo or Website Link for the Company   Once you've finished & saved your signature, you can select which emails you'd like it to be automatically added to. It can be set to populate on every email sent from your Outlook account or you... read more

I combined eight subjects to complete a home-shopping website to post online. If you are a business, creative design, or writing student, you may wish to approach your professors to ask if they would give you credit for this website that you create by using the skills you learn from me and utilizing the subjects above. You will be provided with a template that may take you independently too long a time to get ready for your class. Your lessons with me will enable you to focus while co-piloting until you are ready to pilot the craft. I have already completed the entirety of steps (at least four lessons worth and maybe more) that it takes to get your novelties ideas open on the web. You can get ideas from your courses and incorporate them into the business at hand. Ask about it. The price for these lessons are higher than my normal rate and is $50.00 an hour.

Hi there Medical Billers and Coders: Have you been attempting to do medical coding and need some refreshing or just a guide of what to do. When I tutor a student, I also add tips and strategies used to help select the best the best code. For example checking the similarities between two medical terms. for example dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and dysphasia (impairment of speech). A good coder is familiar with medical terminology and always has a medical dictionary available. Recognizing the difference in similar terms ensures accurate coding. This means a claim can go out clean and would spend less time pending for payment, there would be no denial, thus no claim follow up, and no resubmissions when the information is abstracted properly for coding. Keep this in mind! Til next time! The Coding Instructor

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more

The IRS have opened up form 8863 Education Credit and you can file that form now. Many other credits are still not ready and taxpayers await these in order to file. What is my opinion as a tax professional for 26 year? See below. TAX PLANNING: It is perfectly legal to plan your tax affairs to your advantage as long as you don't break Tax Law. Many people don't know this. Some avoid tax professionals, claiming that they file their own taxes yearly... WORD OF ADVICE----when you are sick you visit a doctor, when you car needs repairs you take it to the mechanic---Trust me if you don't take your taxes to a seasoned tax preparer , I guarantee you that you are losing out on solid TAX PLANNING ADVICE ... Food for thought.

Greetings, scholars! One of my dad's favorite sayings is, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is." The website Coursera is an example of why that saying needs the word "probably". The idea of taking real college courses from top-notch instructors at prestigious schools for free sounds impossible, yet students around the world are doing just that. When I first heard of Coursera, I was skeptical. To try it out, I enrolled in some basic undergraduate courses so that I could see how they stacked up against the classes I took at KU and Emporia State University. I am currently taking precalculus at UC Irvine, organic chemistry at Illinois, and calculus at The Ohio State University. All three classes are superlative. The video lectures give me new insights into familiar concepts, and the online quizzes motivate me to practice my skills and keep them sharp and up-to-date. Best of all, they haven't cost me a dime, and I can attend class... read more

Here are some of my favorite quotes on education: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." --Mahatma Ghandi "Intelligence plus character--that is the true goal of education." --Martin Luther King, Jr. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." --Plutarch "The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead." --Aristotle "Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference." --Claire Fagin "You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love." --Julia Child "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." --Derek Bok "Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world's work, and the power to appreciate life." --Brigham Young "Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for... read more

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