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Tom Copeland
St. Paul, Minnesota
Writer, trainer, advocate on the business of family child care
Interests: reading, Mark Twain
Recent Activity
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It can be a challenge finding a tax professional who understands your family child care business. This is because there are a number of unique rules affecting child care providers. To make sure your tax professional is familiar with your business, here are some key questions to ask: Should I... Continue reading
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Do you worry if your 2014 tax return will be prepared properly? Did you take all of the allowable business deductions you are entitled to? Did you take advantage of the new depreciation rules ($500 rule and 50% bonus rule)? Do you want to make sure you didn't make any... Continue reading
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If you are looking to attend one of my trainings, here's a list of some of my workshops in the coming two months: February 7th - Renton, Washington - Record Keeping and Taxes/Contracts. This event is for SEIU union Local 925 members only. More information. Register. 10th - Webinar: The... Continue reading
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My previous article discussed some problems that you will encounter if you use TurboTax software to prepare your tax return. As I said then, I don't recommend using any tax software unless you know what you can deduct, how to calculate the business portion of your deductions and where they... Continue reading
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Do I recommend that family child care providers use tax preparation software? Not unless you know exactly what you are entitled to deduct as a business expense, how much of these expenses you can deduct, and where they should appear on your tax forms. The three major tax preparation software... Continue reading
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When bad weather strikes your town, you need to have a plan for keeping children and parents safe. If the weather creates unsafe conditions, you may want to consider closing your business for the day, delaying your opening time, or asking parents to pick up children early. Some providers' policies... Continue reading
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When family child care providers seek help from tax preparers, too often they receive bad advice because the tax preparer doesn't fully understand their business. Here are four areas in the tax laws that are unique to the family child care business. Make sure that your tax professional understands them.... Continue reading
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Family child care providers often care for children on a part-time basiss Some children may only come on Wednesday through Friday. School age children may only need care a few hours in the afternoon each day. Maybe you even provide care on an hourly basis for parents who have irregular... Continue reading
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The short answer is "No." Family child care providers sometimes offer discounts or scholarships to parents to help them afford their child care services. For example: * A provider gives a parent a $100 discount on her services because the parent lost her job. * A provider gives a parent... Continue reading
My 2014 Family Child Care Tax Companion is now available from Redleaf Press. 2014 Family Child Care Tax Companion The Tax Companion is for providers who use tax preparers. It contains a series of worksheets and checklist tied to specific IRS tax forms (Schedule C, Form 8829, Form 4562) that... Continue reading
My 2014 Family Child Care Tax Workbook & Organizer is now available from Redleaf Press. 2014 Family Child Care Tax Workbook & Organizer The Tax Workbook is for family child care providers who do their own taxes. It includes all new tax law changes and step-by-step instructions for completing the... Continue reading
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If you had the chance to put $350 into a savings account and have it immediately turn into $1,000, would you do it? You have this chance if your family is low income and makes a contribution to any Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by April 15, 2015. This federal rule... Continue reading
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Do you want to know: What you can deduct as a business expense? How to keep proper records to save you time and money? The three most important record keeping rules? How to calculate your Time-Space %? And more? Attend my webinar: The Basics of Record Keeping I am offering... Continue reading
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Every January I get many questions from family child care providers on the same topic: "Do I have to give the parents in my program an end-of-year receipt?" "I'm I responsible for giving parents my Social Security number, even if they left owing me money? "Do I have to complete... Continue reading
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When you rent something that is used in your family child care business, you can deduct it using the rules described below: House/Apartment – Deduct the Time-Space % of your monthly rent. You won’t be able to claim any mortgage interest or property tax (unless you are responsible for paying... Continue reading
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January 15th is the deadline for family child care providers to file your federal estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter of 2014. The fourth quarter includes the months of September, October, November and December. Yes, the tax quarters for estimated taxes are not equal! Most child care providers do... Continue reading
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Family child care providers Lori Taylor, Kym Lyon, and Sandra Ferguson are the three lucky winners of a copy of either my 2014 Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer or my 2014 Family Child Care Tax Companion. They won because they joined or renewed their membership in The Child... Continue reading
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The year 2014 saw a number of tax changes that affect family child care providers. Be sure your tax professional understands these changes. * Providers may deduct in one year (rather than depreciating) any item they purchased in 2014 that cost less than $500. This rule also applies to 2015... Continue reading
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It's the last day of the year and a parent hands you a check for $150. You deposit the check on January 2nd. What tax year do you report this income? You must report income in the year you receive it. So, the $150 is income for this year. If... Continue reading
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My father always told me that the only things in life I should borrow money for were a home, a home improvement, and my education. Everything else should be paid for with cash. "If you can't afford to pay with cash, you can't afford it," he told me. I think... Continue reading
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Time is running out! December 31, 2014 is the deadline to join or renew your membership in The Child Care Business Partnership and be entered into a drawing to win either the 2014 Family Child Care Tax Workbook or the 2014 Family Child Care Tax Companion. Join the hundreds other... Continue reading
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Depreciation is the most complicated tax issue family child care providers face. It's complicated because there are so many rules associated with it and they often change from year to year. And there's a lot of math involved! What fun. What is depreciation? Depreciation is the process of spreading the... Continue reading
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A law just passed by Congress has revived the 50% bonus depreciation rule for 2014! This rule had expired as of the end of 2013, but is now back. This revived rule applies to the following items: Computer, office equipment, fence, furniture, appliances, patio, car/truck, and playground equipment. It does... Continue reading
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Family child care providers who want to deduct (rather than depreciate) items costing less than $500 in 2014 did not have to prepare a written statement at the beginning of 2014. This is contrary to what I have written in the past. In previous articles (here and here), I've stated... Continue reading
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There are several ways a family child care provider can reduce her 2014 taxes before the end of the year. The goal is to accelerate your deductions into 2014 and delay income until 2015. Here are some ideas: 1) Stock up on business supplies and materials before the end of... Continue reading