It’s Not Too Late: A Resolution That Can Save Money and So Much More

The New Year has just begun, and already people are ditching their New Year’s resolutions and revisiting their old ways. But what if you had picked a resolution that could help save you money or even your life? Maybe then you wouldn’t be so quick to break it.

Maintaining your vehicle could do both: save money and keep you safer on the road. All you need to do is follow — and keep following — these important steps from Firestone Complete Auto Care:

How to Spend Less on Gas and More on Holiday Gift-Giving

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle when you’re constantly looking for the perfect gift. The holidays can get expensive, but there are ways to save , and your vehicle doesn’t have to add to that huge dent in your wallet.

Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you save money at the gas pump so you can focus on the season of giving.

The New School Year Has Begun! Talk to Your Teens About Vehicle Maintenance

We all remember that amazing feeling of freedom our first car gave us. As our teens head back to school this fall, Firestone Complete Auto Care encourages parents to take a few deep breaths and be sure to go over, not only in-vehicle safety, but also vehicle maintenance procedures so their teens can have that “new car” freedom by keeping their vehicle running newer, longer.

•    Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of oil, and change it according to your owner’s manual, usually every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage.

Tire Pressure Is Key During Summer Travel

It’s summertime, and vehicles are rolling out of garages and hitting the pavement. Warm weather offers a variety of outdoor travel opportunities and roadtrip fun. And to be sure your vehicle is operating safely, it is important that tire pressure be at proper levels.

Most motorists know that routine tire-pressure checks can preserve tire life and help drivers to avoid potential accidents from blowouts, uneven wear and under inflation. Even so, tires can lose air pressure without appearing to be underinflated, and motorists may not notice a slow leak. New technology is taking the guesswork and potential for human error out of the equation.

The Great Car Debate: To Buy or to Lease?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the economy continues to rebound, more Americans find themselves strolling the lot of their local car dealership and facing a difficult decision — whether to buy or lease a new vehicle.
“Both options have their pros and cons,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor at Cars.com. “It really depends on your personal driving habits, the amount of money you’re willing to spend and how often you like driving a new car.”
Wiesenfelder offers these tips for car shoppers:

This Season, Don’t Let Pump Prices Put a Damper on Your Holiday Fun

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hubbub when you’re running around looking for the perfect gift. While the holidays can be expensive, there are ways to save. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you save money at the gas pump so you can focus on your holiday celebrations.

Slow Down and Get Some Air
• Vehicles use less fuel the slower they travel. While staying within the speed limits, try dropping your highway speed by 10 mph to see big savings at the pump.
• Calm down. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent in the city.

Savvy Tips for Renting a Car

With friends and relatives renting cars while they visit and vacationers renting in sunny vacation spots, summer brings many people into car rental offices — some who might not have much experience car rental.

Rent-A-Wreck has some tips to help consumers get the right car and the best value:

•    Research car rental companies before your trip. Find out what companies are in the area, their rates and their policies. Always ask for hours of operations and return policies. Many rental locations offer a key drop or off-hour returns, but don’t assume that all do.

Year-Round Tax Tips for Small Business Owners

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Successful small business owners must master operations, sales, customer service, marketing, human resources and accounting. They must also maintain accurate accounting books in order to maximize tax liabilities.

A receipt-scanning program like Shoeboxed helps quickly document and track tax-deducible expenses including:

– Travel expenses such as costs of plane tickets, taxis, lodging, meals and automobiles. Automobile costs can be tracked by multiplying mileage by the standard mileage rate or by claiming the business-related expenses for the vehicle. Standard mileage rates cannot be included on Forms 1065, 1120S and 1120. Mileage logs should include odometer readings, total miles driven, percent of mileage used for business, destination and purpose of the trip.

– Expenses for advertising, promotions, interest on borrowed money and bank fees.

– Legal and professional fees in the year incurred. If consultation relates to future years, the fees must be deducted over the life of the benefit.

– Miscellaneous expenses such as bad debts (goods sold, not services), customer gifts, business-related books, postage, seminars and trade shows and business association dues.

If job descriptions, time sheets and W-2s are on file, unincorporated small family businesses employing their children can enjoy several tax benefits:

– No Social Security or Medicare taxes are due. State unemployment and disability taxes are typically waived.

– Child labor restrictions generally do not apply.

– If children are paid less than the standard deduction, earned income is not taxed.

– Owners can use their children’s earned income to open Roth IRAs. Earnings are non-taxable, and withdrawals for college-related expenses or a down payment for first-time homeowners can be made without penalty.

Tax software can be used throughout the year to help owners understand how financial decisions affect their tax situations. By organizing early, owners can maximize deductions and save time when it’s time to submit their tax returns. Customers who pre-order TaxACT Preparer’s Business software can use preview versions as soon as they’re released in October. Final versions of TaxACT Preparer’s Business 1065, 1120 and 1120S are released in January.

Tax information for small businesses is available at www.IRS.gov, and TaxACT information can be found at www.TaxACT.com.