The Pros & Cons of Using a Professional Tax Preparer

You’re getting ready to do your taxes. The question is: Should you hire someone or do it yourself?

If your business is making money and you have business expenses, by all means, hire a competent professional. Ask friends who they use and interview at least three accountants before settling on a final choice. With tax time coming up, tax pros are getting busy, so don’t procrastinate!

If you don’t have 1099 self employment income, it makes sense to purchase a tax software   Continue reading this post >

Daily ProsperiTIP

Contribute to your 401k even if you don’t plan on staying with the company long enough to claim the matching dollars.

A 401k plan allows an investor to place money into investments on a pre-tax basis. Let me explain what that means: when you collect cash from an employer, they’ve already taken out federal tax, state tax, FICA tax, and in some cases, city taxes. Yuck. When you invest in a 401k, your money avoids ALL of these taxes until you   Continue reading this post >

From the Mailbag

The IRS just sent me a notice that I still owe money on my taxes. I realized that I forgot to file all of my data on my tax return. What do I do?
– Lana

Lana – This is a great question for your accountant, if you have one. The basics are easy: the IRS has a form called 1040X, which is used specifically for situations like yours. The form is simple, but read the attached instructions. You’ll need to fill   Continue reading this post >

When Are Seminars & Workshops Worth The Price?

WHEN ASKED by Kiplinger about financial planning for individuals, President Obama recently said, “Spend on things that are going to increase your productivity and your income over the long term.” I agree with this sentiment. I get excited about purchasing items and services that can multiply the amount I’ll earn over the course of my career. It’s money well spent. Abundance Bound is built on the philosophy that knowledge increases your wealth.

I mention this quote because in the mail I   Continue reading this post >

From the Mailbag

Hi Miata,

Should I set up a separate business account for the small amount I earn from my craft? It seems like overkill because I make so little.

– Jasmine

Dear Jasmine,

Absolutely.

Keeping craft money separate from household funds is important for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Separate funds create a scorecard. Many artists want to track how they’re performing financially from their art. By keeping it separate, you’ll have a gauge of how far you’ve come. You’ll also know how far you need   Continue reading this post >

Contests & Taxes

After our recent Abundance Bound Facebook contest, I received a wonderful email from Erin Cronican at The Actor’s Enterprise. I thought this excellent question she poses may be something you’re also curious about, so I’d like to post the question and answer here.

Hey, Miata!

Your contest had me wondering, and I’m curious if you can cover this in a blog post: what are the financial ramifications of accepting prizes – either cash prizes, or physical prizes? Using   Continue reading this post >

The ABC’s of Index Funds

INDEX FUNDS ARE LIKE the overbearing producer on the set of a motion picture. You know the guy. The one who always wants to cut scenes to lower costs. The one pounding the drum for cheaper costume changes and sets. Maybe worst of all, the one who prefers recycling old standards for the soundtrack instead of creating new music. It makes the results predictable. The cost of making sure that you avoid failure is that you also never create magic.

That’s   Continue reading this post >

How Mutual Funds Work

Committing to invest money is like finding a good script and deciding to begin production. Although there’s power in making that first decision to begin, the harder parts are still to come. So today we’re going to roll up our sleeves and get a little technical, but in a fun way!

In my last blog post we discussed mutual funds and why these tools are an excellent choice for neophyte investors. I’ve been asked some important questions since that post —   Continue reading this post >

Seven Tax Tips For 2010

THE REALITIES of business sometimes get in the way of our artistic pursuits.  Because we earn money from our work, reporting income to the government is something that has to be done.  That’s why this is my busiest time of year for tax tip questions; but I’m afraid it’s also the worst time of year to try and implement tax strategies.  The truth is that most of your real tax planning for 2010 should have been done long ago. Still,   Continue reading this post >

Top 5 Financial Lessons of 2010

PHILOSOPHER GEORGE SANTAYANA SAID, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That’s why, at the end of the year, I like to study the past twelve months and ask myself, what is it that I learned? Some years the answers to the question are easy, like in 2000, when the obvious moral was that the stock market doesn’t always skyrocket. In 2002, we were lucky to learn that the inverse, stock markets don’t always plummet,   Continue reading this post >