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Barter Transactions – Four Facts About Bartering :


In today’s economy, small business owners sometimes look to the oldest form of commerce – the exchange of goods and services, or bartering. The IRS wants to remind small business owners that the fair market value of property or services received through barter is taxable income.

Bartering is the trading of one product or service for another. Usually there is no exchange of cash. However, the fair market value of the goods and services exchanged must be reported as income by both parties.

Here are four facts about bartering that the IRS wants small business owners to be aware of:

  1. Barter Exchange A barter exchange functions primarily as the organizer of a marketplace where members buy and sell products and services among themselves. Whether this activity operates out of a physical office or is internet based, a barter exchange is generally required to issue Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, annually to their clients or members and to the IRS.
  2. Barter Income Barter dollars or trade dollars are identical to real dollars for tax reporting. If you conduct any direct barter – barter for another’s products or services – you will have to report the fair market value of the products or services you received on your tax return.
  3. Taxes Income from bartering is taxable in the year it is performed. Bartering may result in liabilities for income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax, or excise tax. Your barter activities may result in ordinary business income, capital gains or capital losses, or you may have a nondeductible personal loss.
  4. Reporting The rules for reporting barter transactions may vary depending on which form of bartering takes place. Generally, you report this type of business income on Form 1040, Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business, or other business returns such as Form 1065 for Partnerships, Form 1120 for Corporations, or Form 1120-S for Small Business Corporations.

For more information see the Bartering Tax Center in the Business section at

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QuickBooks Time Keeping | It’s About Time : Mobile App for Quickbooks Time Keeping

For those small business owners that a struggling with keeping accurate track of their billable and non-billable time you can now take your time on the road with you with this simple app.

Quickbooks Time Keeping

Here is a link to

This app comes in handy when you are on the road, or are looking to have a timer while you are performing services.  Its About Time uses your lists from QuickBooks ( it walks you thru importing them) so you choose your client, your item/service, employee name, and a section to detail out what services you are performing.  You can also choose to manually enter your start and stop times, or force a time length, or lastly it offers a timer feature.

The only downside I can see for this app is it is currently only available for Android.

By far this is one of my most used apps on my phone (you guessed it, I have an android phone!!)



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Free Picture in Picture Software

Check out my latest video on using a picture in picture picture for your youtube videos.  I show you where I found this free software, that I use in conjunction with TechSmiths Jing software… to record a picture in picture for more personal youtube or training videos.

In this video I used Jing software to record the screen, but I have since found Snagit to be a better software and totally worth the investment in purchasing this software.  Snagit allows you to do screen captures as well and video, and come with a really easy to use editor for editing and adding finishing touches to your screen captures.


charitable-donations-jarCan I deduct time spent volunteering?

Can I deduct time donated to charity?

I get these questions several times every tax season from small business owners that are in the service industry and decide to donate their time to a worthy cause.

One would think that if I donate my time I should be able to deduct my normal per hour rate that I would have made if this work would have been done for a “true client”.  Most business owners look at the situation as that I “would have” made $1000 if I billed a client for that 10 hours of my time, and since I am losing out on that revenue, shouldn’t I be able to get a tax deduction for it? Unfortunately you are probably not going to like my answer to the question.

The answer to this question is NO for the time and services part of the donation, and YES for any out of pocket expenses incurred or mileage driven for the charitable purpose.

Let me explain:

While your time is valuable in your business, when you donate your time, you have not reported the “income earned” from those services / time therefore you can not take a deduction for them.  So in the above example, because the $1000 of income was not earned, received as a payment on and deposited into your business checking account, you would not be able to deduct the “loss of income”.   Even if you did decide to some how report this income thru a journal entry, the out come would be a wash and therefor not necessary for the added bookkeeping.

However, if you incurred any out of pocket costs (for example any supplies etc) you can deduct those costs as long as you have a receipt for them and you have documented what charitable organization it was purchased for. In addition you can also deduct 14 cents per mile for any charitable miles your drove as part of your volunteering. This rate is for the 2012 and 2013 tax years.

Final note > Please remember that the organization your are volunteering for MUST be a registered charitable organization under IRS code section 501(3)c in order for you to be able to deduct your out of pocket cost and your mileage.

Most importantly should you have any questions or concerns you should reach out to your tax professional.  They are there to assist you with your questions and concerns.

Do you have any tax or accounting questions?  Please comment below and I may use your question in a future blog post!!


Here is a video I did walking you thru how to fix the annoying QuickBooks Invoice Sequence issue.  If you have ever had an issue with not being able to go into invoicing and have the correct “next” invoice number.. this is your answer!!!



Six Important Facts about Dependents and Exemptions

Some tax rules affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return – these rules include dependents and exemptions. Here are six important facts the IRS wants you to know about dependents and exemptions that will help you file your 2010 tax return.
  1. Exemptions reduce your taxable income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. For each exemption you can deduct $3,650 on your 2010 tax return.
  2. Your spouse is never considered your dependent. On a joint return, you may claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. If you’re filing a separate return, you may claim the exemption for your spouse only if they had no gross income, are not filing a joint return, and were not the dependent of another taxpayer.
  3. Exemptions for dependents. You generally can take an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. You must list the social security number of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption.
  4. If someone else claims you as a dependent, you may still be required to file your own tax return. Whether you must file a return depends on several factors including the amount of your unearned, earned or gross income, your marital status, any special taxes you owe and any advance Earned Income Tax Credit payments you received.
  5. If you are a dependent, you may not claim an exemption. If someone else – such as your parent – claims you as a dependent, you may not claim your personal exemption on your own tax return.
  6. Some people cannot be claimed as your dependent. Generally, you may not claim a married person as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.

For more information on exemptions, dependents and whether you or your dependent needs to file a tax return, see IRS Publication 501. The publication is available at or can be ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant at to determine who you can claim as a dependent and how much you can deduct for each exemption you claim. The ITA tool is a tax law resource on the IRS website that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.

IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

Original posting by IRS Tax Tip 2011-07



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One of the minor flaws of Quickbooks Pro is the fact you can only access the most recent bank reconciliation. Of course when you are first deciding on what version to purchase, that is not one of the options even discussed or compared.

So what happens is that you go along your merry way maintaining your accounting records in the QuickBooks Pro software. You are reconciling each month with out a glitch, good job!!    Did you print out a hard copy of your bank reconciliation?   Most will probably say no.  Whether is it just they didn’t want to bother, or they are going “GREEN”,  the reconciliation report was never printed.

The problem is Quickbooks Pro only saves the most recent reconciliation. So you can never go back and view a reconciliation report for more that a month back.

In Quickbooks Premier you can always access all previous bank reconciliations you have completed. If you don’t wish to pay the extra money and upgrade to the Premier version, here is your work around.

In Quickbooks, when ever you call up any report; under the file menu there is a “save as pdf” menu option.  I recommend when you have reconciled for the month you choose the option to view the detailed report.  Once the report is on the screen;  you then choose the “save as pdf” option in your file menu and then save the pdf onto your hard drive in a place where you keep all of your business financial documents. This way you keep a pdf version of each reconciliation you complete for easy retrieval.


trolling the internet i found a really great article pertaining to the Home Office deduction.. This is quite easy to understand and small business owners considering taking the deduction should read this article.


The Home Office Deduction – Do You Qualify?.

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Here is an easy way to speed up the process of added into your customer center your new customers.
Go to the customer center;
choose new customer/job; and then new customer
start entering the customer name down in the tab section for “address info” doing this will prefill the top input box for company name and also added the name in the “bill to” address box also… So you are now saving yourself entering the customer name into 3 separate spots..

Also please try to fill out as much information as you can in adding new customers, especially the contact name and email address; in my next blog i will be showing you an easy way to call up all of your customer email addresses with out going crazy with syncing the quickbooks contacts with your outlook, or if you don’t use outlook this is an easy way to get all you emails for a mass emailing.


OK lets be honest. When was the last time you have cleaned out your entire Inbox to EMPTY!!! nothing!!!!.. For me it has been a while. I am always thinking i will get to it “someday” Well I have decided that Today was the day….. I challenge you to do the same.

Have you ever thought how much time you spend checking responding and sorting emails costs you on a daily basis???

If you keep your inbox clear, you will know exactly what has come in, which emails require action, and which just need to be filed.

Here is a few tips I have picked up along the way:
1. Use your Junk mail options in your email software. Outlook has this amazing option called “block send” one click of that button and the next email from this spammer, will go to your junk mail folder. Such a  neat trick.
2. If you need to think about reading an email ( from stores, jokes, ads) just delete them.
3. If you have already read and responded to an email; either file it, or delete it; remember a copy is still in your sent folder.
4. Create folders to file the emails you need to retain.
5. Be careful of the “unsubscribe or opt out features” on many spam emails. Click on these links may actually add you to more email lists.

so before this  weekend is over… kick back, and clean out that Inbox…. I DARE YOU!!!!


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