Avoid Tax Season Pitfalls For Your Small Business

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Tax season tends to be people’s least favorite time of the year, which is only compounded for small businesses. Don’t live in fear under the ever-nearing tax thundercloud, make sure your business is prepared to meet the daunting season. Here are five basic rules to keep your business ahead of tax season.
1. Regularly update accounting records. Knowing the intricacies of your company’s financial situation throughout the year makes tax season much less intimidating. Plus, if all records are up-to-date and exact, your accountant has more time to spend on finding ways to save the business money instead of organizing information.
2. Triple check your tax bracket. Marginal tax rate analyses help guarantee that your small business isn’t needlessly pushed into a higher tax bracket. This is especially beneficial if your business is teetering on the edge. Recognize income when your tax bracket is lower; pay deductible expenses when the bracket is higher.
3. Take inventory of supplies, equipment and other potential write-offs. Equipment might be damaged or too outdated to maintain productivity. Replacing office supplies and obsolete assets before the new year gives the company added deductions. For costly technology, confer with your accountant to see whether an immediate or depreciable write-off is preferable. Financial planners like On Call Accountants help maximize deductions and increase expenses to prevent owing exorbitant fees. Learn more about possible deductions at www.oncallaccountants.com.
4. Contribute to a retirement plan. If you haven’t set up a retirement plan yet, do it before the year-end to reduce this year’s income. Qualified retirement plans afford tax deductions for all contributions. Find an appropriate plan for your business, and explore contribution limits. A retirement savings opportunity will also garner loyalty among employees.
5. Look into business tax credits. Small businesses may be eligible for numerous tax credits, as listed on the IRS website. Examples of possible credits are Low-Income Housing, Credit for Increasing Research Activities and Disabled Access Credit.

Navigate Tax Season With These Tips

Tax season tends to be people’s least favorite time of the year, which is only compounded for small businesses. Don’t live in fear under the ever-nearing tax thundercloud, make sure your business is prepared to meet the daunting season. Here are five basic rules to keep your business ahead of taxes season.

1. Regularly update accounting records. Knowing the intricacies of your company’s financial situation throughout the year makes tax season much less intimidating. Plus, if all records are up-to-date and exact, your accountant has more time to spend on finding ways to save the business money instead of organizing information.

Tips to Prevent Winter Household Heating Fires

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Don’t let the quest to keep warm this winter turn into a fire-safety hazard. With wintery weather and chilly temperatures come increased risks within the home. Follow these precautions now so your heated home and family can secure warm feelings of safety while keeping winter chills out.
* Use heating equipment properly. In 2008, heating equipment was responsible for an estimated 66,100 reported U.S. home structure fires. These fires caused $1.1 billion in property damage. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, many of these fires were a result of improper use of heating equipment. Follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.
* Avoid clutter around space heaters. What may at times may seem like a harmless heating device, space heaters can quickly become a mountain of potential risk as home clutter accumulates around and on top of them. Take time to make sure all clutter is clear of any heaters in the house. Keep heaters at least three feet away from paper, bedding, furniture and other potentially flammable household items.
* Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory. If you don’t recognize the testing laboratory, have a qualified technician check to see that the unit has been properly installed.
* Look for new safer heater models. Supplemental zone heaters, like those from Sunheat (www.sunheat.com), are ideal for homes that put safety first. Sunheat heaters have been tested and proven unable to start a fire while effectively using infrared heat to warm 800 to 1,000 square feet. They produce no harmful emissions and are safe around children and pets.
* Install gas-fueled heating devices with proper attention to ventilation. If unvented gas space heaters are used in bedrooms or bathrooms, make sure they are small and well-mounted. National Fire Prevention Association codes prohibit use of liquefied petroleum gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies.
* Inspect solid-fueled heating sources. Have all wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other solid-fueled heating equipment inspected annually by a technician. Have them cleaned as often as a technician proposes.
* Test safety-alert devices. Test smoke detectors monthly and install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.

Sports Safety: Not Just for the Home Stretch

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You know that your child should wear safety equipment for the big game. But do you practice equal vigilance at your child’s practice? If you don’t, you’re not alone. According to Safe Kids USA, 33 percent of parents take more safety precautions for games, even though 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries happen at practice.

There’s no doubt that sports benefit kids. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child participate in sports or another activity that promotes physical activity. So what can parents do to make practices safer? Here are some tips:

* Make sure your child is healthy enough to play sports in the first place. Children should receive sports physicals before signing up for any sport.

* Make sure that practice facilities are safe. For example, ask your school to make the gymnasium less slippery. Some companies are actually designing floor cleaners that increase slip-resistance. For example, Traction-Pak from PAK-IT (www.pakit.com) cleans and polishes floors while also creating a non-slip surface.

As slips and falls are a major cause of injury in schools, cleaning hallways and cafeteria, as well as gyms, with a slip-resistant floor cleaner is an easy way to improve overall safety.

* Make sure kids wear the proper safety equipment for their sport. Equipment should fit well and look well maintained. And children should wear the same equipment for practice as they do at games.

* Don’t allow your child to overtrain. In the past, child athletes played different sports each season. Now, children face pressure to choose one sport and play it all year, leading to overuse and repetitive-motion injuries, such as pitcher’s elbow. Encourage children to try different sports and, if they only want to play one, have them try different positions.

* Keep kids fueled. Overexertion and dehydration also pose problems on the practice field. Provide healthy snacks, and make sure that kids drink enough water. In hot weather, coaches should give children frequent breaks.

For more information, visit www.pakit.com or www.jbiglobal.com. JBI trades on the OTC under the stock symbol: JBII.

Ensure a Good Start to Pool Season

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As much as you look forward to enjoying your pool this summer, you don’t enjoy contemplating its upkeep. But spring is the perfect time to upgrade pool equipment to save money and energy during pool season.

Hayward Pool Products, a company that makes reliable, energy-efficient products designed to enhance the pool and backyard experience, offers the following tips:

* Get an energy audit and upgrade equipment accordingly. During spring inspection, schedule an energy audit to determine whether procedural changes or equipment upgrades can help you save money and energy in the upcoming months. For example, switching to a variable-speed pump can save up to 75 percent on your pool’s energy costs, and switching to a robotic automatic pool cleaner can save up to 94 percent of the energy used by a pressure cleaner, while adding a heat pump will maintain constant comfort while saving up to 80 percent in energy costs versus gas heaters. Also, some areas offer rebates or incentives to those who switch to energy-efficient equipment.

* Make sure your pool equipment is working correctly. Pool-inspection procedures should always include maintenance checks like visually inspecting the pump, filter, heater, lights, automation equipment and chlorinator, and checking the operating pressure on the filter. Hayward always recommends that pool owners consult a professional. Paying for a pool inspection will cost less than trying to fix a major problem later in the season. Plus, professionals will be able to spot safety problems like missing or loose drain covers or electrical or gas issues, which an untrained eye might miss.

* Switch to salt. Salt chlorination produces water that is softer on the skin and gentler on the eyes than factory-produced chlorine. As chemical prices are on the rise, installing a salt chlorine generator, like Hayward’s Aqua Rite Pro, will save you money in the long run. Salt-chlorinated pools regulate themselves, so you won’t need to test your water as often or buy as many products to maintain the water.

For more information, visit www.haywardnet.com.

Green Up Your Exercise Routine

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – “Green exercise” might seem redundant to the uninformed person — bikes don’t emit carbons, and jogging doesn’t use electricity. But for those Americans who face limited time or occasional inclement weather, exercise machines hold wide appeal. And while exercise bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals and treadmills can provide good workouts, they also consume energy.

Gym owners understand that their clients are becoming more eco-conscious. However, getting rid of old fitness equipment — even 12 power-sucking treadmills that run 12 hours a day — could seriously hurt business. Luckily, some manufacturers are looking to aid the environmentalist gym-rat crowd.

SportsArt Fitness, a designer and manufacturer of cardiovascular fitness equipment, recently launched its Eco-Powr motor system. Treadmills featuring the Eco-Powr motor system use up to 32 percent less energy than conventional treadmills. A gym who replaces 12 treadmills with Eco-Powr treadmills stands to save over $3,000 a year in energy bills. SportsArt also makes self-generating cycles and ellipticals that run without electricity. Their Web resource, http://green.sportsartamerica.com, allows people to calculate what their savings would be by simply switching their equipment to Eco-Powr machines.

SportsArt Fitness offers the following tips to green fitness enthusiasts who want to take steps to improve their health while also protecting the environment:

Commute by walking or biking. The fittest people exercise before and after the gym, too. Choosing to walk or bike will help conserve fossil fuels while also burning calories. If you must commute a long distance, try fitting in walks on your lunch break or at other times of the day.

Choose eco-friendly, physical leisure activities. Gardening helps reduce stress and beautify lawns. Instead of relaxing in front of the television, play catch with the kids or jog or hike along a nature trail. Urban exercise counts, too. Walk to perform simple errands, or find a park in which to exercise.

Find equipment made from eco-friendly materials. Look for resistance brands made from bio-degradable materials. Wear gym socks made from Merino wool or organic cotton, and choose bamboo over foam yoga blocks.

For more information, visit www.sportsartamerica.com.