- Meals with customers
- Meals with staff
- Meals with stockholders
- Meals with DSC's
- Drinks and expensive meals with your accountant
- Entertainment with any of the above.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Q: What types of bank accounts are insured?
A: Checking, Savings, Trust, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), IRA Retirement Accounts, and Money Market Deposit Accounts.
Q: What is not FDIC Insured?
A: Investments in mutual funds, annuities, stocks, bonds, Treasury securities and safe deposit boxes. See additional questions and answers below for more on these accounts.
Q: How much is insured?
A: The basic insurance amount is $100,000 per depositor per insured bank. Certain retirement accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts, are insured up to $250,000 per depositor per insured bank.
If you and your family have $100,000 or less in all of your deposit accounts at the same insured bank, you do not need to worry about your insurance coverage -- your deposits are fully insured.
Q: What if we have more that $100,000 deposited in the same bank?
A: The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for deposit accounts held in different categories of ownership. You can qualify for more than $100,000 in coverage at one insured bank if you split up your deposit accounts into different ownership categories.
Self-directed Keogh plan (or H.R. 10 plan) accounts
If any of these requirements are not met, the entire amount in the account, or any portion of the account that does not qualify, would be added to the owner's other single accounts, if any, at the same bank and insured up to $100,000. If the revocable trust account has more than one owner, the FDIC would insure each owner's share as his or her single account.
Additional Questions and Answers:
Q: What about Mutual Funds?
A: The key point to remember when you contemplate purchasing mutual funds, stocks, bonds or other investment products, whether at a bank or elsewhere, is: Funds so invested are NOT deposits, and therefore are NOT insured by the FDIC – or any other agency of the federal government.
A: Securities you own, including mutual funds, that are held for your account by a broker, or a bank's brokerage subsidiary are not insured against loss in value. The value of your investments can go up or down depending on the demand for them in the market. The Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC), a non government entity, replaces missing stocks and other securities in customer accounts held by its members up to $500,000, including up to $100,000 in cash, if a member brokerage or bank brokerage subsidiary fails.
Q: Treasury Securities?
A: Treasury securities include Treasury bills (T-bills), notes and bonds. T-bills are commonly purchased through a financial institution. Even though Treasury securities are not covered by federal deposit insurance, payments of interest and principal (including redemption proceeds) on those securities that are deposited to an investor's deposit account at an insured depository institution ARE covered by FDIC insurance up to the $100,000 limit.
Q: Safe Deposit Boxes?
A: The contents of a safe deposit box are not insured by the FDIC. If you are concerned about the safety, or replacement, of items you have put in a safe deposit box, you may consider purchasing fire and theft insurance. Consult your insurance agent for more information.
Information provided by FDIC.gov
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WAS INSTITUTED TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.
NOTE: IN 2008 THE BUDGET FOR THIS DEPARTMENT IS NOW AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. THEY HAVE 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Now for the fine print:
- Surroundings must be conducive to business discussion.
- To prove your deductions, you’ll need a diary, day planner, or similar log to verify your deduction. IRS Publication 463 directs you to record the cost of the meal, date of the meal, establishment where the meal takes place, the business purpose for the expense (or business benefit you gain or expect to gain from the meal), and your business relationship with your guest.
- You’ll need receipts for expenses over $75. (Many clients mistakenly think they have to keep receipts for expenses over $25.) Credit card statements work if you corroborate them by recording the business purpose of the expense in your business diary.
- You can’t deduct meals with your spouse unless you’re traveling together for business. However, you can include the cost of a spouse or other “closely connected” person (such as children or parents) if your guest brings their spouse.
- Don't forget the cost of entertaining at home! You can deduct costs for small gatherings at your home under the same rules that apply when you go out to eat. If you invite more than 12 guests, you can deduct “reasonable” costs if your primary purpose is business. To show compliance, include employees; let guests know your business purpose; discuss and display your product or service at the event.
Really, why celebrate something as trivial as a birthday, bat mitzvah, or wedding anniversary when you can celebrate 10 years in business, or 15 years at the same location? Just take it from Rick Moranis, playing nebbishy accountant Louis Tully in Ghostbusters:
"Hey, everybody, this is real smoked salmon from Nova Scotia, $24.95 a pound! Only cost me $14.12 after tax, though . . . . that's why I invited clients, instead of friends."
- Expenses for sporting and theatrical events, golf and boating outings, and similar entertainment are also 50% deductible if they take place directly before or after a substantial, bona fide discussion directly related to the active conduct of your business. Deductions include the face value of tickets (but not a scalper's premium) to sporting and theatrical events, food and beverages, travel and parking expenses, taxes, and tips.
You can deduct a full 100% of the expenses listed below:
- Meals and entertainment for sales seminars and similar events where the meal is integral to the presentation
- Costs for sporting events you organize to benefit charity
- Recreation expenses for your employees
Meal and entertainment expenses are easy to overlook -- especially when it comes to entertaining at home. But over time, those little expenses add up. Don't lose out on those easy savings!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Bar Stool Economics
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
§ The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
§ The fifth would pay $1.
§ The sixth would pay $3.
§ The seventh would pay $7.
§ The eighth would pay $12.
§ The ninth would pay $18.
§ The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
§ The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
§ The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
§ The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
§ The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
§ The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
§ The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
It is a pleasure serving you.
Larry Kopsa CPA