Author: Janet Behm (146 articles found) - Clear Search


Big Reporting Change for CashApp, Venmo, Zelle, etc.

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"You don't pay taxes – they take taxes." - Chris Rock

Up till now, whatever you made on eBay, Etsy, and the like might have seemed like tax-free cash. But now, the IRS will be in the know more and more regarding those sales… and that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind going forward.

Lowering the limit

Rules that were in effect until this month said that if you sold goods or services via platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Uber and if that platform used third-party transaction networks (think PayPal), you received a federal tax document called a 1099-K, and your income was reported to the IRS.

Thing is, you didn’t get that form unless you had at least 200 transactions worth a combined twenty grand or more.

Now, that limit’s been lowered.

Payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, CashApp, and other third-party e-payment
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The Infrastructure Act and Your Business

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“Americans: Time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.” - Dave Barry

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. You’ve probably heard of it as the trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure bill. It has a lot to do with bridges, roads, drinking water, climate improvement, public transit, and internet broadband. It’s being called a “once-in-a-generation” law, and, yes, it is big news.

A few of the new law’s tax provisions are high-flying: extending some highway taxes, tinkering with taxes for superfund sites, and allowing bonds for some broadband projects and climate-friendly facilities.

There’s also a provision to extend relaxed funding requirements for employer-sponsored retirement plans. (We can tell you more about that one.)

But the Act also tweaks taxes you and your business might pay. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes.

Credit discard

The Infrastructure Act will have a big impact on small businesses that planned to take advantage of a popular pandemic-related tax break.

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was a real goody, a tax credit for a big chunk of the wages paid by companies that the pan
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How Businesses Build a Quality Prospect List (And What To Do With It)

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“Master the topic, the message and the delivery.” - Steve Jobs

Growing a prospect list starts with your current customers – and the ones you like working with most.

Look at them. What makes these folks special? What do they have in common when it comes to your business? Is there one service they use a lot or a product they always buy? Are they all in the same industry, or do they live in the same area?

Any prospect who has a lot in common with your best customers is going to be a hot prospect indeed.

Quick note: A “prospect” is not a “lead.” A lead is often little more than somebody’s contact info. A prospect is somebody who, for whatever reason, is a whisker more likely to want to do business with you.

Prospects also don’t even have to be interested in buying right now. They just have to fit the general characteristics of the folks who already buy from you.

Another way to find good prospects is to see what markets are doing well in your area. “Market” can mean a lot of things, from more people moving in-- to more businesses opening. Sometimes all it takes to spot an opportunity is taking the time to look.

And of course, what’s the competition up to? Probably most times you look at the other guy with envy that th
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How To Invest in Real Estate and Not Lose Your Shirt

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“Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.” -Will Rogers

Why is real estate always so popular? Well, ever heard of “alternative” investments? Usually, this means coins, gold, art, and so on. Real estate is a kind of alternative investment – and a good one, too.

For one, real estate isn’t hitched to the stock market. Wall Street’s one-off bad days (and boy are there a lot of those) often don’t faze real estate holdings.

You can also get a lot of tax breaks with real estate.

In short, real estate can be a good place to park your money. Let’s look at some options.

It’s your choice

RE investing is like the buffet at a rich cousin’s wedding: Everybody can find a favorite. It all depends on how much money and time you’ve got, your taste for risk, and how much you want to learn new w
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Mending Your Spending For Better Credit

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“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”  - Dr. Robert Schuller

Your new mortgage company sticks you with high interest. The best credit cards are out of your reach. You finally found that great new car and your loan application comes back with a big fat DENIED. None of these are situations anyone wants to find themselves in.

And feeling like you have the plague when it comes to people lending you money or trusting you to pay your bills stinks (just like your credit).

But, you CAN fix it… if you start putting time and money to the right uses...

Know the score
First, do not jump to use a credit repair company. A lot of what they do, you can do for free. Save your money, at least initially in your repair process. You’re going to need it.

Second, don’t be
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A Valuable Tax Deferment May Be Changing

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"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success." - Ross Perot

Using Sec. 1031 has long been handy as a tax-deferral tactic (aka “a 1031” or sometimes, “a Starker exchange”). It basically lets real estate investors avoid capital gains taxes when they sell property if they invest the gains into the purchase of more property. (There are many other conditions, which we’ll get to in a sec).

The 1031 has been especially good for landlords who juggle side-gig properties and who want to do their taxes a favor at the same time.

A kind of special swap

If you sell an investment property (residential or commercial), you typically must pay capital gains taxes on the profits. You can defer these taxes -- notice that I said “defer” -- by doing a special like-kind exchange under Sec. 1031 for another  property.

These exchanges are available no matter if you file taxes as an individual or as an LLC, C or S corporation, or other type -- pretty much any taxpaying owner of real propert
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A Financial Systems Check-Up For Your Business

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As A Real Estate Investor, This Is  Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Usually, keeping track of numbers is tedious.

Check it out! What are the bene’s that make this task more attractive than the usual alternative…”Oh Geez. I’ve got a closing on Monday and I need financials.”

Your business obviously makes and spends money. The pluses and minuses add up (you hope) to being able to stay in business, and a look at the books tells you if your business is doing okay or headed for trouble.

What are your books telling YOU?

In our experience, it’s often the company’s financial system (or lack thereof) that makes the answer easy to discover or downright difficult.

Have you looked at your own business’s financial system lately? Would you know how to read between the lines to interpret what you see there?

Because a financial system for business s
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Janet Behm's Business Negotiation Skills FTW (For The Win)

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“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” - Robert Quillen

No matter what industry you're in, or how far you go in your career, the ability to effectively negotiate can make the difference between success and mediocrity. You may have heard me quoted, "Be World Class At ONE Thing, Rather Than Mediocre At Everything!"

Whether it's a multimillion-dollar contract, a job offer, or a luncheon, here are some trenches-tested business negotiation skills that will bring you closer to your ideal outcome:


Know what you want in advance.  Don't go to the table without a clear, realistic idea of what you want to achieve. It will help you negotiate with confidence.

Ask
 for what you want.
 Don't be afraid to make the first offer. You'll set the tone for the discussion, and studies (and my experience) suggest that the negotiator who goes first usually comes closer to getting what he or she wants. In chess, white moves first and continues the advantage.

Understand what your partner wants.  A successful negotiation should satisfy both sides. Instead of trying to crush your competition, find out what he or she hopes to get, and work together toward a solution that works for you both.
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How To Plan for Personal Independence

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“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker

When you go through hard times, financially, it's easy to believe that there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

But did you know that most people of great wealth were previously bankrupt at some point? (Just Google it. You'll see.)

In fact, it's often the "fire" of these times of trouble which serves to clarify things -- and get you into the place of making smart decisions, perhaps for the first time.

So, if you're feeling the financial heat right now, look out for the blessings in the midst of pain. I know it's hard -- but chances are, you're being reminded of what's REALLY important ... and often, seeing this again can be a launching pad for living the kind of life you really want to live.

How To Think About Growth
Money has no value unless you've got the time and good health to enjoy it. In fact, if you have to be p
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How To Create -- And Keep -- Personal Independence

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“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” -Tim Ferriss

Often, as we strive to keep our heads above water in these culturally crazy times, it's easy to lose sight of why we're all working hard each day. What is the goal? What is it we're trying to accomplish by earning wealth? For me -- and for many others -- the answer is cashflow independence.

Now, I would define this as "having an income sufficient for your basic needs and comforts from sources other than paid employment." Independence implies freedom. It's the condition of having saved and invested money so you can do whatever you choose. Whether you elect to keep working doesn't matter -- you have enough saved and invested to follow your dreams.

But is independence (in the monetary sense) just a pipe dream? Is it something only for the lucky and the strong? No, it's a goal that anyone can reach, if they're armed with some basic knowledge and make some smart choices.

As I see it, there are four keys to accumulating wealth:
1
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