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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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Are you ever surprised when parents give notice that they are leaving your family child care program? Do you know if parents in your program are happy with the care you are providing? Are there things you could do to improve your program that would keep or attract parents? One... Continue reading
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Have you ever had a parent leave your program owing you money? Do you wonder if the next parent you enroll in your program has a history of not paying their previous caregiver? Unfortunately, these are common concerns of family child care providers across the country. In my travels across... Continue reading
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Most family child care providers are not comfortable with choosing investments for their retirement. Unless you are spending a lot of time researching various investment options, it can be daunting to try and decide what to do with your money. If you are someone who doesn't know much about investing,... Continue reading
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Have you ever heard this from your tax preparer or another family child care provider? "You can't deduct that because you use it for personal purposes." "You can't deduct that because you owned it before your business began." "You can't deduct your house expenses because you are not licensed." "You... Continue reading
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What Every Woman Should Know is an valuable booklet published by the Social Security Administration. Family child care providers care for their own children, their spouses and their daycare children. Taking care of yourself is just as important. The bedrock of your retirement income is likely to be your Social... Continue reading
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When child care is in the news, the news is often negative. Here are some headlines from newspapers around the country just in the last month: A family child care provider is arrested when an 18-month old girl in her care had her leg partially severed below the knee while... Continue reading
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The arrival of fall is also the beginning of my busy season for conducting training workshops across the country. Here are four conferences I'll be speaking at between now and the end of the year, followed by my complete training schedule. Bismarck, North Dakota - October 4th: Purpose Driven Child... Continue reading
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The obvious answer is that we all do. Life is full of unexpected events. Are you ready for them? * Your car breaks down and requires a major repair. * You fall and break your arm, and are unable to provide child care for four to six weeks. * Your... Continue reading
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Unfortunately, there may come a day when you decide it would be best to terminate a contract with a client. Why would you want to end your agreement with a parent? There can be many reasons. * The parent regularly breaks your rules * The parent is disruptive or difficult... Continue reading
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It's a common story: A family child care provider gets audited by the IRS and doesn't have receipts for all the expenses she claimed. When I help providers in this situation I always recommend that they try to reconstruct some of their records. Reconstructing records can be difficult if several... Continue reading
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My Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide just got better! Redleaf Press has just released the ninth edition of this book. It's the most important book you can have to make your business a financial success. The Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide lists over 1,000 allowable business deductions. It... Continue reading
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Walter Nichols, Lisa Whitehead and Sheryl Hazuka are the three lucky winners of a free review of their 2013 tax return. They were entered into the drawing by joining or renewing their membership in The Child Care Business Partnership. I will advise them about whether they properly claimed all their... Continue reading
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True or False? 1) As a new family child care provider you must open up a separate checkbook account for your business. 2) Borrowing on your credit card is a good way to finance your start-up expenses. 3) You cannot deduct an item as a business expense if you purchased... Continue reading
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September 15th is the deadline for family child care providers to file your federal estimated tax payment for the third quarter of 2014. The third quarter includes the months of June, July and August. The fourth quarter includes the months of September, October, November and December. Yes, the tax quarters... Continue reading
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When setting aside money for their retirement, family child care providers have a variety of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to choose from. The Traditional IRA, Roth IRA and SIMPLE IRA are the most common ones. There is no income eligibility requirement to set up a SIMPLE IRA, unlike the other... Continue reading
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This Sunday is the deadline for participating in a drawing to win the chance to get a tax refund on your 2013 taxes! You are eligible to participate in this drawing if you join The Child Care Business Partnership by August 31st. I will help three lucky winners uncover potential... Continue reading
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The more spaces in your home that you use in your family child care business, the lower your taxes. That's because space is part of a formula called the Time-Space Percentage that you will use to determine how much of your house expenses you can claim as a business deduction.... Continue reading
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Family child care providers often don't think about the potential for claiming tax credits involving their own children. But, you can claim the federal child care tax credit if you send your own child to a summer camp (soccer camp, YWCA camp, etc.), if you meet these tests: Your child... Continue reading
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Are you, your spouse or a dependent heading off to college? If so, here's a quick tip from the IRS: there are education tax credits that can save you money at tax time. American Opportunity Tax Credit This credit can be up to $2,500 annually for an eligible student. The... Continue reading
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Today is my birthday and here's my favorite birthday picture of me at age 5. Continue reading
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Can a taxpayer claim: * An exclusive room for her business when she walks through it to get to her bedroom? * 70% of her Internet expense when it's packaged with her telephone and cable television bill? * A portion of her electric utility charges without receipts? * The cost... Continue reading
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The best part of being a family child care provider is caring for children. Probably the worst part is taking care of the business side of what you do. For new child care providers and for those who are getting ready to open, there are many business issues that should... Continue reading
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While most family child care providers get a refund from the IRS when they file their taxes, some don't. If you do owe federal taxes, the IRS has six ways for you to pay: 1) Pay your tax bill. If you get a bill from the IRS, you'll save money... Continue reading
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If so, it's possible that your homeowner's insurance policy no longer covers your home or its contents. That's because many policies exclude coverage for family child care altogether. Or provide coverage only if you care for a few children. "Read your policy!" says Rose Grimes, family child care provider. "After... Continue reading