Monday, January 17, 2011

2011- The Year to Invest in Equipment

Have you been keeping a Wish List of Goodies to buy for your business? A new sewing machine? Maybe a kiln? A dapping block? Mannequins? Expensive tools? Thanks to "Tax Relief Act of 2010" recently passed by Congress, this is my year to BUY!

The GOAL of the provision is to encourage business, especially small business, to invest in itself in 2011 to stimulate the economy.

The BENEFIT is that a business can fully deduct the cost of qualifying equipment bought in 2011 instead of depreciating it over several years.

Be sure to discuss with your tax advisor the benefits & restrictions on this "Section 179 Deduction" for 2011. By purchasing business equipment & taking this deduction, you'll reduce your taxable business income for the year as well as your income tax liability. If your 179 deduction exceeds your business income for 2011, then you might qualify to carry the loss forward to future years under revised Bonus Depreciation rules. Presumably the requirement to make a profit 3 out of 5 years still applies, however, which might affect how extravagant you can be with your purchases in 2011. I trust Basic Turbo Tax to get me through the tax maze again this year. At any rate, small business owners with a growing Wish List won't need to count on the whims of Santa in 2011:)

Here are some items on my Wish List :

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Growing Up To Excel

Making jewelry is not just about making jewelry. By January 31, I must pay WA the sales tax I collected on their behalf during 2010. This process is not nearly as much fun as making jewelry!

I'm only marginally proficient at Excel spreadsheets, so for 5 years I've maintained a table for each year's sales data using Word. Word has been barely adequate for this purpose. SO...

I'm bracing to stumble up another learning curve- Excel! The syntax of formulas that make Excel such a powerful tool is my biggest challenge at the moment. I must say, I was rather proud of my first sophisticated Excel formula==>

=(IFERROR(F2/(1+H2),"Verify calc")

It determines the base price of an item sold, given (F2) its gross price including sales tax & (H2) the sales tax rate. Excel puts the result in the single cell I highlight (G2). If Excel encounters a problem, IFERRORS places my "Verify" string in cell (G2)instead. I "drag" the G2 cell down the column to perform the same operation on the matching F & H cells.

I think I might be "in like" with Excel, especially if next year, this is a whole lot easier!!