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Financial Education


  • Submitted on 11 April 2013

    Created on April 11, 2013
     

    Can’t File By April 15?

    There are three ways you can request an automatic extension of time to file a U.S. individual income tax return: (1) you can electronically file Form 4868 (PDF), Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return; (2) you can pay all or part of your estimate of income tax due using a credit or debit card or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS); or (3) you can file a paper Form 4868 by mail.

    If you file your Form 4868 electronically you will receive an acknowledgement or confirmation number for your records and you do not need to mail in Form 4868. If you need to pay additional taxes when filing Form 4868 electronically, you may do so through the outside service provider or through e-file. You can refer to your tax software or tax professional for ways to file electronically using e-file services. Several companies offer free filing of Form 4868 through the Free File program that you can access on the IRS.gov website. If you wish to file electronically, be sure to have a copy of last year's tax return. You will be asked to provide the adjusted gross income (AGI) from the return for taxpayer verification.

  • Submitted on 25 February 2013

    Created on February 25, 2013
     

    Export-Import Bank: Your Global Finance Partner

    As U.S. businesses seek to expand their global footprint in emerging markets, the demand for a dependable global financial partner is imperative.  The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States is the official credit agency of the United States and offers solutions to U.S. companies to assist with demystifying international financing options.  Its mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. 

  • Submitted on 23 January 2013

    Created on January 23, 2013
     

    Angel InvestorsMinority-owned businesses are the fastest growing business sector in the Nation, in terms of gross receipts and paid employees.[1] Yet, access to capital remains the biggest obstacle limiting their establishment, expansion and growth. While traditional funding remains the most sought after source of capital, alternative funding sources, such as angel investors, have proven successful for minority entrepreneurs.

    Minorities represent on average less than 7% of all entrepreneurs seeking funding from angel investors. However, they succeed in acquiring angel funding as often as their non-minority counterparts. From January 2009 to June 2012, 17% of all entrepreneurs seeking angel investor funding succeeded. The yield rate for minority entrepreneurs during that same period was 16.1%, a negligible difference. The yield rate is the percentage of investment opportunities that are brought to the attention of investors that result in an investment.

  • Submitted on 11 October 2012

    Be Attentive to Employee and Worker ConcernsBe Attentive to Employee and Worker Concerns

    As part of our blog series on tax literacy, MBDA will highlight the latest tax-related news issued by the IRS for business owners.  The material presented in this website is not offered as legal or tax advice.  You are urged to seek the advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner for any issue related to tax obligations.

    Payroll

    Maintaining good payroll records is critical for both you and your employees. Keep all records of employment taxes for at least 4 years. They should be available for IRS review. The following is a list of some of the records you should keep:

  • Submitted on 24 September 2012

    Created on September 24, 2012
     

    All Those Extras Add UpCar Expenses

    To take a business deduction for the use of your car, you must determine what percentage of the vehicle was used for business. No deduction is allowed for strictly personal use, such as commuting.

    Deductible car expenses can include the cost of: 1) traveling from one workplace to another, 2) making business trips to visit customers or attending business meetings away from your regular workplace, and 3) traveling to temporary workplaces.

    It is important to keep complete records to substantiate items reported on a tax return. In the case of car and truck expenses, the types of records required depend on whether you claim the standard mileage rate or actual expenses.

    Standard mileage rate: To claim the standard mileage rate, appropriate records would include documentation identifying the vehicle and proving ownership or a lease and documentation showing miles traveled, destination and business purpose. The 2012 standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) are on www.irs.gov, search: standard mileage rate. If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car you own, you must choose to use it in the first year the car is available for use in your business. Then in later years, you can choose to use either the standard deduction or actual expenses.

  • Submitted on 13 August 2012

    Breakeven analysis is a tool used to determine when a business will be able to cover all its expenses and begin to make a profit. For the startup business, it is extremely important to know your startup costs, which provide you with the information you need to generate enough sales revenue to pay the ongoing expenses related to running your business.

    A startup business owner must understand that $5,000 of product sales will not cover $5,000 in monthly overhead expenses. The cost of selling $5,000 in retail goods could easily be $3,000 at the wholesale price, so the $5,000 in sales revenue only provides $2,000 in gross profit. The breakeven point is reached when revenue equals all business costs.

  • Submitted on 28 June 2012

    With an economy that’s struggling, every small business owner is looking for ways to increase profits, save money and improve efficiency.

    The good news is there are plenty of ideas that you can find in books and articles. But rather than cover the obvious ones, in today’s tough economy you need new and creative ways to save.

    Consider the following ten cost-saving ideas for your small business:

    1. Go paperless
      You can lower storage costs, printing costs and improve overall efficiency by running a paperless office. By scanning documents you can send and share information effortlessly saving your business time and money.

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    Applying for a business loan and securing its approval can be a lengthy process. The actual approval time varies widely depending on the type of loan, its complexity, and the borrower’s timeliness providing the necessary information. This guide from SBA can help you gather the right paperwork, whether you’re applying for an SBA loan or a regular business loan.

    But knowing exactly what you’re signing up for is just as important as rounding up the details and completing the paperwork accurately. If you’ve ever purchased a car and found yourself surprised when extra line items turn up on your monthly billing statement, then you’ll know the feeling. With loan agreements, there are devils in the details. That’s why it’s critical to pay attention to the fine print, often found in the promissory note or security interest section of the agreement.

    Here are some tips for what to look for and how to avoid potentially costly mistakes:

    Common Details Buried in the Fine Print

    Some of the key terms that make up a loan agreement aren’t always as explicit as one might hope. The fine print, for example, can include detailed and complex technicalities, qualifications or restrictions of the agreement, and even vital information about the loan’s terms. Things to look out for include:

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    IRS YouTube Videos
    Preparing for Disasters:
     Spanish | ASL

    With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.

    Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically

    Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set.

  • Submitted on 20 June 2012

    Credit AgreementState and local economic-development agencies – and numerous nonprofit organizations – provide low-interest loans to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional commercial loans.

    When it comes to applying for these loans, the good news is that most of these other lenders require the same kinds of information. Of course, each loan program has specific forms you need to fill out. But for the most part, you’ll need to submit the same types of documentation. So it’s a good idea to gather what you’ll need before you even start the application process.

    Here are the typical items required for any small business loan application:

    Loan Application Form

    Forms vary by program and lending institution, but they all ask for the same information. You should be prepared to answer the following questions. It’s a good idea to have this information prepared before you fill out the application:

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