As the year draws to a close, a lot of us carving out time between holiday parties and wrapping up projects to make a few New Year’s resolutions. After writing or typing out our lists, we roar into the new year with the best of intentions, armed with gym memberships, apps, and new gadgets. Yet, by the end of 2019, more than 90% of us will have abandoned our resolutio until December, when the whole cycle starts again. In this habit-forming episode, we talk about goal setting: why we succeed, why we fail, and some strategies for making your 2019 resolutions ones we’ll keep. Because we’re a money and finance podcast, and because financial resolutions are incredibly common (one poll taken at the beginning of the year found that saving money was tied with diet and exercise changes for the most popular resolution), we also discuss some things to do to get your finances ready for 2019.
Not subscribed yet? You can do so on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. Our previous episodes can be found here. If you want to talk to us about habits, resolutions, or your financial goals for 2019. we’re @financialflipside on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Mentioned on the show:
Business owners aren’t in business to lose money. So there’s not much to like about a nonprofitable year. For a shareholder in an S corporation, however, a down year can have an upside — the corporate loss may give rise to a personal tax deduction.
Standing between an S shareholder and the loss deduction is a tricky tax computation known as “adjusted basis.” Under the tax law, a shareholder’s loss deduction is limited to the shareholder’s adjusted basis in his/her corporate stock and in any debt the company owes the shareholder.
What is adjusted basis, anyway? Essentially, it’s a figure that tracks the shareholder’s investment in the company for tax purposes. The basis number changes every year to account for any money flowing between the company and the shareholder — distributions, capital contributions, loans, and loan repayments — as well as for the shareholder’s allocated share of corporate income or loss.
If a net operating loss is anticipated for the year, S shareholders should find out whether they will have enough basis to benefit from the projected loss deduction. If not, it may be possible to increase basis by making a contribution to capital or by loaning the company money before year-end. When you give us a call today, our tax professionals can offer guidance so that the transaction will pass IRS muster.
Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and Lyft all began life as startups, and their success has meant that the romance of rapid growth and multi-million dollar exits has permeated not only the world of business but almost every aspect of our daily lives. Popular business magazines draw readers in with breathless company profiles and promises that the morning routine or management style of this or that founder could transform your business too. Away from the office, television shows like Silicon Valley and Shark Tank have turned coding marathons and venture capital pitches into appointment viewing.
Where does our collective fascination leave businesses that don’t follow the startup model? Is there any real difference between startups and small businesses? What can startups and small business learn from each other? These are just some of the questions we tackle in this episode. Enjoy!
As always, we want to hear from you: tell us about your startup dreams, adventures in building a strong business culture, or even your favorite (or least favorite) entrepreneurship-entertainment. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @financeflipside, or you can email us at [email protected]
Mentioned on the show:
Growly.io’s history of startups
Are you running a startup or a small business? What’s the difference?
When does a business stop being a startup?
Homogeneity and diversity in tech startups
Flat vs. hierarchical business structures
5 startup founders discuss company culture
The myth of flat hierarchy in startups (opinion)
Do You Know Where Your Money Is? 3 Tips to Get Your Startup’s Finances in Order
Accounting 101 for Startups
5 reasons why small business owners shouldn’t ignore marketing
101 ways to market your small business and 40 more ideas for small businesses on a budget.
Startup writer and entrepreneur John Westerberg argues that most entrepreneurs should focus on building small businesses instead of startups
If your company is organized as an S corporation, you may wonder whether it is better to take income from the company as salary or as cash distributions. Of the two options, distributions carry the least tax cost because they are not subject to employment taxes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a paycheck from your firm.
Over the years, the IRS has made a point of warning S corporations not to attempt to avoid federal employment taxes by having corporate officer/shareholders treat their compensation as cash distributions, payments of personal expenses, or loans instead of as wages. According to the IRS, distributions must be treated as wages to the extent the amounts are reasonable compensation for services rendered to the corporation.
What Is a “Reasonable” Salary?
To avoid problems with the IRS, you should be sure to take a reasonable amount of salary if you receive any direct or indirect payments from your company. However, the tax law has no hard-and-fast guidelines regarding what is considered “reasonable.” When the issue has come up in court, the determination has been based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Various factors have come into play, including:
* Duties and responsibilities
* Time and effort devoted to the business
* Training and experience
* What comparable businesses pay for similar services
* Timing and manner of paying bonuses to key people
* Payments to employees who are not shareholders
* The corporation’s dividend-paying history
* Compensation agreements
* The use of a formula to determine compensation
What about an S corporation officer who doesn’t perform any services for the corporation — or whose services are very minor? In this relatively unusual situation, assuming the officer receives no direct or indirect pay, he or she would not be considered an employee.
For more help with individual or business taxes, connect with us today. Our team can help you with all your tax issues, large and small.
According to a recent Banrkate.com survey, 4 in 10 Americans have side hustles, or jobs that they work in addition to their primary source of income. Another survey of 1,000 Americans from CreditLoan.com found that 15% of side hustlers want to start a business of their own. If the legions of breathlessarticles aboutside hustling are any indication, we may be nearing a future in which everyone is living their entrepreneurial dreams and working 50 hour weeks. Today’s episode tackles the hows and whys of side jobs, including making friends with fear, adjusting to irregular income, ethical side hustling, and turning your side hustle into a full-time business.
Discussed in this episode:
The origins of the term “side hustle” and the aestheticization of poverty
The dark side of side hustle mania, embodied in Fivver ads
4 questions to help you work a side job without getting fired
You may have as many hours in the day as [insert super-accomplished public figure], but research suggests that you should spend some of them away from work.