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Don’t Relax When It’s Time For Tax

Don't relax when it's time for tax - old school photo NY Public library shop window sign
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Tax has long been one of the most frustrating aspects of finances for normal people, with this ancient form of bill dating back thousands of years. Of course, there isn’t much wrong with this sort of payment, and countries simply wouldn’t be able to exist without it, but this doesn’t make it any easier for people to take it seriously. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the challenges which can arise when you don’t pay proper attention to your taxes. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or have a job with a big company; you should always be on top of this side of your finances.

Overpayments

Making overpayments on your tax is one of the best mistakes you can make with it, as this won’t result in any nasty surprises. Instead, you’re likely to be able to get the money you’ve overpaid back. Some countries will do this automatically, giving you a lump sum once they’ve figured out how much you need to pay. In other cases, though, you may have to file for a refund, and this will mean that you will have had to do some accounting beforehand. Tax return accountants can be used to help with this, giving you the chance to avoid any errors in your initial payment.

Underpayments

It’s far more common that people will pay too little towards their taxes, with the amount they pay failing to reflect the money they’ve earned. While this is easy enough to do, it’s not worth the hassle, as you will often receive a bill from your government which has to be covered very quickly. If you’ve underpaid by a large margin, this can be a fortune, and will be very hard for most people to cover. You can avoid this by using special accounting software throughout the year, or by taking on the support of a company like HFM Tax to make sure that you don’t get anything wrong.

Failing To Pay

Finally, as the last area on this list, it’s time to think about the most severe circumstances you could find yourself in with your taxes; you haven’t paid anything. This can be a horrible spot to be in, with many governments charging large fines when people don’t take the time to file their taxes properly. Of course, if this goes on for many years and you actively avoid paying your taxes, you could find yourself in much more serious trouble. People have been put in prison for this sort of crime, and this is highly likely if many years go by and you don’t have the money to make up for the tax you owe.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of dealing with your taxes. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it difficult to feel comfortable when it comes to tax season. Of course, though, there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you, and the support of a professional company isn’t too hard to find.

5 Crucial Expenses Founders Need to Budget for

It’s easy to underestimate how expensive starting your own business can be. Building an industry-leading company requires more than just a great idea or plenty of industry passion, you also need the right finances in place to guide your organization towards success. 

While some entrepreneurs assume that they can simply jump in and tackle each expense as and when it arises, the truth is that planning your costs ahead of time is a far better alternative. Not only will your budget give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions on behalf of your business, but it will also make it easier to apply for a loan or seek out funding from investors too. Everyone who might consider giving your business money will want proof that you’ve thought about the future. 

Here are a few of the crucial business expenses that you will have to consider when you’re building your startup budgeting plan. 

5 Crucial Expenses Founders Need to Budget for - startup founder business image
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  • Equipment Costs

Depending on the nature of your business, your equipment costs may be one of the biggest monthly expenses you have to think about. If you’re running a conventional business, like a brick-and-mortar retail store, or a restaurant, your equipment could include everything from point of sale systems to ovens, refrigerators, storage rooms, and more. 

Even if you’re just running a basic online business from the comfort of your own home, there are still equipment expenses to consider. For instance, you might need a computer that you can use to complete your work each day, a printer for your invoices, and a phone that you can use to make long-distance calls. Remember, you can always save some extra cash on equipment by checking out second-hand options.

  • Supplies and Inventory

Next, you’ll need to pay for the materials required to create the products that you’re going to sell. It will be up to you to figure out how much inventory you need to have on-hand at any given moment. However, remember that an absence of inventory could mean that your customers go elsewhere if you can’t deliver what they need straight away. 

Do your research before you begin building your products, so you can determine exactly what kind of products and materials you need. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the supplier that gives you the best deal too! If you need somewhere to store your products, take that warehousing cost into account too. 

  • Human Resources

Although it’s becoming a lot easier for entrepreneurs to launch businesses without any outside assistance today, there are companies that you won’t be able to run on your own. You may need the help of a team of dedicated sales assistants to ensure that you can properly serve your target audience. On the other hand, you might just need a few dedicated specialists to help you out at a few times of the year-  such as an accountant or marketing professional. 

Don’t forget that you can reduce some of your HR costs by considering things like remote working today. Working with contractors over the internet means that you don’t have to pay for physical office space where your team members can work. 

  • Legal Fees

There’s more to keeping your business’s head above water legally than paying for an attorney when someone tries to take you to court. You’ll also have fees to consider when it comes to things like incorporating your company or setting up retainers. Make sure that you know exactly how much it’s going to cost to get your business off the ground, then keep it up and running. 

To protect yourself from overly excessive legal fees, don’t forget to invest in the right business insurance too. You might need to take to a business advisor for insights into the kind of insurance that you need for your type of company. Not every kind of coverage will be relevant to you. 

  • Marketing

Finally, if you want your business to grow, then you’re going to need to set some extra money aside for capturing your audience’s attention. Startup founders need to budget at least some of their cash aside for things like social media marketing, email marketing, website development, and so on. 

The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Even some basic investment into social media can be enough to start generating real engagement from your target audience. You can always invest more cash into marketing as your business grows. 

Explaining Business To Kids

Owning a business can be confusing at the best of times, it can be overwhelming at times even for adults, so if we are going to raise a generation of incredible business people, who have all the skills they need to hit the ground running, we need to help them understand exactly what business is and how to manage their money effectively. So how exactly do we help small children understand all about business?

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Maths

A lot of children may hear the word business and automatically assume it’s all about the numbers and money, and since a lot of children don’t particularly enjoy maths it can be off-putting, but it’s essential to make sure children are enthusiastic about trying business. Many teens are making money currently from using their entrepreneurial skills already, so there’s nothing to say the smaller children can’t start learning the ropes as well, and as long as they know there are tools like corporation tax calculators to help with the tricky finance moments, then there will be less fear around business and what it entails. 

Roleplay

There’s a little bit more about playing ‘shopkeeper’ than having fun and spending £4675674 on a tomato. It teaches kids the very basics of business, it teaches them some skills surrounding sales, and it boosts their communication skills. The next time the pretend shop comes out why not show them how to put a little bit of savings aside for tax and make sure they know their objection handling skills too! Why not help them type a mini CV while you’re at it? 

Do what you love

Encouraging children to try everything they can and find the thing they love the most is a surefire way to put a child on the right path to success, business usually starts with a love for something or a passion, and often that ‘thing’ can be discovered as a child which saves a lot of time and energy later down the line. Of course, there’s no pressure, let them learn and discover new things at their own pace. But It’s also great fun and confidence-building to try new things out! 

Online Marketing

This is a big one, children must know about advertising and the many forms that it takes in 2019, most Youtube videos children watch these days will be making money for a brand or sponsored one way or another, so it’s great for kids to know what they are viewing may not always be as natural as they think, and that companies make a lot of money from toys sold via videos and adverts. It’s also helpful to show kids how that works in business as well, it gives them an insight into marketing, and depending on their age, it helps with realistic expectations too! 

Whichever way you decide to introduce business and how it works to your kids it’s essential to keep it light and age-appropriate, kids don’t need to know about the ins and outs of every detail in business, but they can certainly show an interest and get a good insight from an early age.

Chasing Your Dreams – The Unexpected Costs

According to various surveys nearly 50% of Americans harbor ambitions of starting their own business. Whether for a new career, a passionate cause or an income boosting side hustle – it pays to be aware of some of the unexpected costs of chasing your dreams.

The infographic from turbo.intuit.com below explains some of the costs of starting a business, which you may or may not have considered.

Should You Buy Or Lease Your Business Assets?

Every business owner needs to provide their company with direct access to the industry equipment and premises necessary for growth. Whether you’re considering the machinery your company needs to maintain its productivity or the overall location of your business, an entrepreneur has to decide when it’s time to buy when it’s time to rent. Both options have their advantages and inconveniences. As a result, it’s essential to consider a variety of factors when defining the most suitable solution for your company. Ultimately, while cost is a driving factor in the decision-making process, it isn’t the sole element to take into account. Here’s a little bit more on the pros and cons of buying and renting.

Should You Buy Or Lease Your Business Assets? - retail shop image
Shop Slippers Inside

Buying a property gives you more freedom

There is no shortage of commercial rentals. In fact, as many rental shops tend to stay empty for prolonged periods of time, it would seem that there are more rental commercial properties than there are businesses. In reality, small businesses often struggle to secure premises as commercial leasing agreements can be unaffordable in the long term. On the other end, you can turn to expert sites and search PropList or similar realtors to find a list of your local commercial properties to buy. A commercial mortgage can facilitate ownership – commercial loans are very different from personal loans – and protect your business from unexpected leasing cost increase.

What are the risks of renting?

Businesses that consider signing a lease need to be careful about the terms they agree to. Indeed, while the typical length of the contract can be of 5 to 10 years, depending on your business, break clauses, and stamp duty can make it difficult for undercapitalised companies to relocate. it’s not uncommon to find rent-free periods for commercial properties, but what businesses forget to consider is that the actual rent is likely to be inflated as a result.

Buying your equipment: It doesn’t have to be new

Similarly, the next important asset to secure is your business equipment. Buying your equipment is an expensive investment for a startup or a small company. However, a purchased asset can bring tax benefits as it is typically deductible. While there are financing options available, most SMEs prefer reducing their costs with the purchase of used equipment. Ultimately, saving money can come at a high cost if you’re not careful. You can’t commit to a purchase without considering the length of the remaining warranty period as well as the condition of the machinery. Indeed, repair costs could tip your business over the edge!

When is leasing a good idea?

On the other hand, leasing your equipment can be a profitable decision that also comes with a non-negligible tax advantage. Indeed, you can deduct the leasing costs from your tax return. More importantly, leasing allows your company to finance the price of its equipment, which can free up additional capital. For a business working with limited cash flows, leasing is a manageable solution. However, it also implies that you need to find a reliable provider who can maintain and service the equipment.

To buy or to lease, this is the question that countless business owners have to answer. There is no unique solution, as your decision will depend on your cash flow, your market, and your long-term requirements. In short, the cost is not the sole factor to consider!