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Monday, May 22, 2017

First Installment of New Monthly Sales Tax Blog

Welcome to the first installment of our new monthly blog –

“What are the rules for NYS Sales Tax for my profession?”

Every month we will highlight another industry with a few of the broad guidelines to follow!  Our hope is not only to provide helpful information for the business owners but the consumers as well!

This month’s industry is: 

Image result for general auto repair photos

Auto Repair and Body Shops

What exactly is considered Auto Repair by NYS?  You might be surprised to know that it is not just repair of cars, it also includes repairs of trucks, RVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, etc.  As a general rule sales tax must be collected on charges for parts and labor on repair services. If the shop also sells parts directly, for example oil, windshield wipers or fluids, those are also taxable. 

If a vehicle needs to be towed to the shop those towing services are taxable.  If you charge for the storage of the vehicle if it is in the shop long term that service is also taxable.

NYS Inspection fees are free from NYS sales tax!

If work is done under a warranty then the warranty company is charged directly. No sales tax is charged to the warranty company provided they give you form ST-120 Resale Certificate. If work is done under an insurance claim however, all work is charged sales tax to the insurance company the same as a consumer. 

If you purchase parts or supplies for a repair with the appropriate Resale Certificate, you are not required to pay sales tax on those purchases.  The supplies and parts must be directly used in the repair.  General shop supplies used on multiple repairs are not free from sales tax as they are not directly passed on to the consumer. 


Remember this is just a broad guideline and more research might be necessary for more complicated issues. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rainmaker


How to be a Rainmaker in 2017

Rain·mak·er – An executive with exceptional ability to attract clients.
Many people believe that rainmakers have special talents.  In some cases that may be true but the skills needed to be a rainmaker are easily learned. 

Step 1 – Write a Marketing Plan
  •          Who is my target market?  Be specific.  Define age, income level, industry…
  •          What products or services will I provide? 
  •          When should I market my business? 
  •          Where shall I network?  Where will I advertise?  Where will I get published?
  •          How will I get my name out to the public?


Step 2 – Know Your Competition
  •          Locate your competition by expertise and/or geographic area
  •          Determine what sets you apart from your competition and be prepared to exploit that difference
  •         Which of your competitors is more successful than you?  Why?  What are they doing that you are not?  Learn from them. 
  •          Form relationships with your competition.  Often competitors can become referral sources. 


Step 3 – Create Your Image
  •          Dress for success
  •          Get involved with the right organizations
  •          Have the proper credentials
  •          Evaluate the look and location of your business


Step 4 – Set Yourself Apart as an Expert
  •          Lecture
  •          Teach a class or seminar
  •          Write an article or book
  •          Get quoted


Step 5 – Develop an Internet Presence
  •          Create a website
  •          Participate in social media
  •          Write a blog
  •          Post your newsletter
  •         Communicate with your clients, colleagues, vendors and prospects through regular email blasts


Step 6 – Network, Network, Network
  •          Research the meeting you plan to attend.  Will the right people be in attendance?  Who do you want to speak to?
  •          Don’t monopolize anyone’s time
  •          Focus on the person you’re speaking with.  Don’t scan the room for your next target.
  •          Be generous.  Be willing to give a lead before getting one. 
  •          Follow up within 24 hours


Step 7 – Track Your Results
  •          Create a referral file
  •          Ask every person who calls, “How did you hear about us?”
  •          Don’t waste your time on meetings, people, advertising, etc. that do not bring in results


Finally…
  •          Be consistent
  •          Learn from others
  •          Update your marketing plan periodically
  •          Market 365 days a year
  •         Market everywhere you go
  •          Make marketing a way of life
  •          Have fun! 


Sandra G. Johnson, CPA
February 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

On the Side


A Little Something on the Side

More and more, I’m hearing about people who have started “doing something on the side” to help bridge the income gap.  I admire their enthusiasm, ingenuity and hard work.  And then I think about income taxes.  Record keeping for income taxes is not usually at the forefront of the thought process when someone makes the decision to start their side business.

When we earn money, the government wants a piece.  We have to include income from these side businesses, but we can also deduct the expenses incurred to generate income, but only if good records are kept.  Assuming you’re in it to make a profit, you will likely need to file a schedule C with your personal income taxes. 

You may receive a form 1099-MISC from companies or individuals who paid you $600 or more.  Even if you do not, you need to report your income.  Consider keeping a list or spreadsheet to track income and expenses. 

Expenses that are both ordinary and necessary for your business can be deducted from the income you generate.  Keep a record of all expenses and keep your receipts in one folder or box.  Depending on the nature of your side business, expenses may include supplies, travel, dues & subscriptions, insurance, telephone, etc.  If you use your car for deliveries or sales calls, keep a log of dates, destinations, mileage, repairs & maintenance, insurance and purpose of each drive.  As your side business grows, consider establishing a separate bank account for use only by the business.  Depositing all business income and paying all expenses from one account can make tax time that much easier.

As always, let your CPA know about any changes in your income so they can keep you informed and up to date on your tax filings!  We encourage our clients to reach out to us during the year – better to be informed and meet all filing requirements, than to incur additional penalties and interest later.


Honorine M. Campisi, CPA