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The 20 Mistakes Small Business Make When Filing a Tax Return

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One requirement a business should achieve on a yearly basis is filing a tax return. And the last thing you want to happen as a business owner is making mistakes that can result in higher taxes and can cost you interest and penalties or even draw IRS attention to your return.

Luckily, here are the 20 mistakes you should avoid when filing a tax return:

  • Misreporting Income 

The IRS computers can see what has been reported to you, so it is a wise idea to be truthful and give the correct information. 

If you noticed some errors and want correction, you need to report the wrong amount with the proper adjustment and attach an explanation to your return; this way, you will only be taxed on the proper amount. 

  • Failing To Report Income 

Business goods and services that are bartered will be taxed on your account. Whether you trade one-on-one or use the virtual currency to acquire or pay products and services, these transactions must be reported appropriately. Remember that the IRS is always looking closely, even at your virtual currency transactions. 

  • Over Reporting Income 

If your business deals with inventory items, then you must factor in the total price of the goods sold. This way, you do not have to pay tax on the gross receipts from sales. The basis of your income is the difference between the cost of an item and how much you sold it for.

  • Not Applying The Limitation On Deducting Meals 

A business should only deduct 50% of business meals. Certain meals might be a business expense; however, you can only deduct half of the amount.

  • Mixing Personal & Business Spending 

Keeping a separate business bank account and personal account is a wise idea for any business owner to make sure that the business income and expenses are crispy clear.

By doing so, you eliminate oversight, and your return will be more accurate.

  • Not Having A Mileage Record

Your personal vehicle should not be used for business driving. If so, you are then required to take down records as you have to apply deductions for business driving costs. Recordkeeping requirement for this are found in the IRS Publication 463.

  • Thinking That The Home Office Deduction Is A Red Flag For Audit

This belief should not be taken into consideration. Why? If you work from home and you become eligible for the home office deduction, then receive it! Other relevant information about the home office deduction is found on the IRS website. 

  • Tax Errors From Overlooking Pre-Opening Expenses 

You must be able to implement a deduction for startup costs before launching and welcoming your customers through your door. An estimated value of $5,000 should be deducted in your first year of business. However, if your total startup costs exceed $50,000, then special rules may apply. 

  • Not Utilizing Retirement Plans 

By contributing to qualified plans, your current tax bill can be lessened while you save for your future. There are numerous retirement plans; all you have to do is to look and register for one. 

  • Failing To Keep Basis Records 

Business losses that go through to partners and S corporation shareholders can be appealed in their personal returns only up to a particular basis amounts. Without keeping basis records, losses are entirely lost.

  • Overlooking Carryovers

You must be keen on checking your carryovers of the following: capital losses, general business credit, home office deduction, and net operating losses. 

  • Not Gaining Acknowledgements For Charitable Contributions

A donation that exceeds more than $250 must have a written acknowledgment to be qualified for a deduction. Acquire one first before filing for your tax return. 

  • Underpaying Estimated Taxes 

Always bear in mind to factor all your taxes aside from your income tax. This includes self-employment tax and Medicare taxes if you are subjected to it. If a business owner underpays his or her estimated taxes, then he or she can be reprimanded with additional tax penalties. 

  • Not Claiming The Qualified Business Income Deduction 

This personal deduction is under Section 199A, which calls owners of pass-through affiliations. This is also a valuable way to lessen tax liability. 

  • Avoiding Worker Classification 

Do not dodge employer tax obligations by labeling your employees as independent contractors when they are under your umbrella. Watch out for the IRS as they are always on the lookout for these kinds of deeds. And yes! It will cost you big time. 

  • Late To File 

It would be best if you were punctual when filing your tax return. If you are not able to do so, you can always ask for an extension. You do not need to explain your reasons as long as you strictly file by the extended due date. 

  • Failing To Attach Necessary Forms, Election Statements, Or Schedules

Your tax return is not 100% complete if you fail to attach all the paperwork required. 

  • Not Understanding The Differences In Federal & State Tax Rules 

Other tax breaks borders on federal returns and is only limited to state income purposes. For instance, various states have an array of rules when it comes to the Section 170 deduction and bonus reduction. 

  • Not Updating One’s Self On Tax Developments 

Updates in the tax law may warrant you to new tax breaks on your current tax return. They can also permit you to a refund if you submit an amended return. Learn what suits your situation and apply for a refund. 

  • Not Disclosing Everything To Your CPA 

To avoid tax mistakes, you should rely on a tax professional, but also be 100% transparent to avoid penalties. 

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Corporation

Vizio Establishes Grounds in Ad Business

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Vizio Ads, the unit being formed to sell advertising on Vizio’s SmartCast internet-connected TV operating system, seeks to be worked on by about two dozen ad sales executives across the U.S. through 2020. This will reside in the company’s “platform” business alongside Vizio’s TV data operation Inscape, as claimed by Mike O’Donnell, senior vice president of the platform group.

So far, O’Donnell reported Vizio’s six ad sales executives hired as of writing.

The undertaking will propose ad inventory to marketers, such as commercial time on Vizio’s free streaming service WatchFree, and display advertising units on SmartCast’s home, search, and discovery screens. Vizio also has the right to sell some inventory within various ad-supported apps accessed via SmartCast.

Contenders in the connected TV advertising market include over-the-top ad sellers on TV networks, digital video programmers, and tech giants like Amazon.com Inc.. Even TV manufacturers, like Samsung Electronics Co, add in to the heat of the competition.

According to a forecast by ad-buying group Magna, streaming video ad revenue on U.S. TV screens is expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2020, up from $3.4 billion in 2018.

Earning a mid-eight figure including Vizio’s cut of its platform-generated ad and subscription revenue as well as revenue from Inscape’s data deals,  O’Donnell said, “You don’t have to buy a streaming box or a dongle to plug into your Vizio TV,” holding firmly his belief in the connected TVs his company sells.

Potential for connected TV ad sellers seems to present itself in such platform businesses. Roku Inc., one of the largest streaming ad sellers in the market, far surpassed its retail of streaming devices with a generated platform revenue of $481.2 million through the first nine months of 2019.

Today, customers are enjoying an explicit option to share data with Vizio and advertisers, and about 13.2 million users have already opted in, said the company. In addition, O’Donnell said that an ad business could improve tight margins for TV sets, which frequently get sold at a discount.

According to data from market research firm IHS Markit Ltd., Vizio was the second-biggest U.S. TV shipper mid-2019, with a 16.5% market share.

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Unlearning Fear Through the Practice of Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is a practice that helps you to focus on what’s happening at the present moment. This practice is becoming more and more popular in recent years because of its many benefits. For many people, practicing mindfulness helps them to be more motivated, more serene, and much calmer when facing the stresses of their day to day lives. 

The studies focusing on the benefits of mindfulness are also increasing. There are pieces of evidence that strengthen what people who practice mindfulness claim. It can indeed bring many good effects not just for our physical health but also for our mental health.

There have been studies that found that the practice of mindfulness can help improve blood pressure control. It also showed to be effective in treating opioid use disorders. Earlier researches have established that mindfulness helps in the treatment of anxiety and depression. 

Now, there’s a new study from universities from Sweden, China, and the US about how mindfulness can help people in unlearning fear responses. Fear, in the evolutionary sense, is a good thing. Fear was able to help early humans to stay away from dangerous situations. However, today, many people deal with learned fear responses. These are mainly counterproductive and unhelpful. 

One example of fear responses is the fear of flying. This phobia can be very challenging to eradicate once it starts. But with the latest research on mindfulness, the researchers suggest that practicing mindfulness can help people unlearn fear responses. 

The study consisted of two groups of people. One group received mindfulness training daily for four weeks. The other group did not. After 4 weeks, the experiment was conducted. The participants were shown images. 

When some of the images were shown, they received mild electric shocks. This way, the participants learned to make an association between the shocks and the images. Whenever the images came up, the research participants experienced increased sweating. This is an indicator of the fight or flight response. 

After the participants established the association, the next step of the researchers was to eliminate the reaction. To do this, the same set of image images were shown but there were no more electric shocks. 

What the researchers found what that the set of people who trained how to practice mindfulness were able to unlearn the fear reaction. The control group still reacted to the images that they have associated with shocks. Researchers determined this through skin conductance measurements. These examined physiological responses to psychological arousal. 

The researchers are currently repeating their experiments on mindfulness and unlearning fear. This time, they will be using an fMRI-scanner. It will allow them to measure the participants’ brain activity to a higher degree of precision in all of the parts of their experiment. 

As for the application of mindfulness, the researchers state that mindfulness practice can be combined with exposure therapy for people dealing with phobias. The treatment effects of this treatment combination may be able to achieve more significant and longer-lasting effects for individuals who have certain fears. 

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Customer

Five Travel Trends That Will Make Customers’ Eyes Roll

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Travelling might be one of the most enjoyable activities for people. However, traveling can be a strain when it comes to certain things like forgetting your luggage somewhere or getting swindled by a foreign taxi cab. Despite the minor issues encountered when traveling, there are more pressing matters that are intolerable and irritating such as travel trends that simply won’t go out-of-style.

Here are some of the most eye-rolling travel trends that would make you scream STOP: 

  • The Dreaded Basic Economy 

The basic economy crams people together with little legroom and even less storage. This trend started in the year 2012, wherein Delta Airlines introduced this by turning the back of the airplane into an area that would inhabit more than its size. Ever since then, other airlines like the Hawaiian, JetBlue, Alaska, United, and American Airlines followed. In exchange for a comfortable and unforgettable experience in flying is a lucrative business that will make you feel denied the value of your money. 

  • The End of Frequent Flyer Programs

In October 2019, the United Airlines announced they were entirely cutting out the miles flown. It is now apparent that the money you throw at them is their interpretation of loyalty. Today, to show commitment and get benefits from an airline requires you to be part of the one percent; that one cohort entails having much money. 

  • The Selfie Stick

The selfie stick is a helpful tool that helps you take photos or videos independently, but this trend tends to become an extension of our narcissism. There are two kinds of travelers today, the ones who celebrate the stick and those who don’t. Sadly, in most cases, people who don’t find this tool amusing is because it lessens human interaction and feeds the society’s norm of what and how things should be, for instance, beauty. 

  • The Travel Influencer 

Travel influencers get thousands of likes and followers online, especially on Instagram. They seem to cause traffic and be updated with the latest and coolest places you should visit. Be that as it may, these influencers are unconsciously setting up a trend towards the society—that instead of going to a place and soaking in its culture, travelers now lean towards having the perfect selfies and polishing their outfits to be Instagram-worthy.

  • The Staycation 

A staycation or a do-it-yourself spa in the backyard may be relaxing, but it shouldn’t be considered a vacation. 

By marrying these two different worlds, you cut off yourself from experiencing the world, especially if you can afford to travel to different places. 

“I think it’s dangerous to stay at home. Never going out and seeing the world and meeting new and interesting people? Now that’s dangerous,” John Waters, a film director, said. 

Final Thought: Travel Like A Local 

The term “Travel like a local” may seem to be a bit confusing since locals do not travel. Having said that, the coined term pertains to just being your authentic self and behaving. It involves being curious, talking to people, asking questions, and trying out the local cuisine. 

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