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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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What do a gun safe, egress window, dog fence, and yard fence have in common? They are all items that many state child care licensing rules require family child care providers to install to keep children safe. And, because of this, 100% of the cost of such items may be... Continue reading
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It's almost April 15th and you haven't filed your family child care tax return yet. Don't panic. If you need more time you can file for a six month extension. Sometimes child care providers need more time to calculate their depreciation deductions, sort out their records, or deal with a... Continue reading
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March 31st is the deadline to join The Child Care Business Partnership and have Tom Copeland Review Your 2014 Tax Return! 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... Continue reading
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Here's a review of the key business tax forms you must file and the order you should be filling them out. Form 8829 Expenses for Business Use of Your Home On this form you will enter the numbers that will be used to determine your Time-Space Percentage. This includes the... Continue reading
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Before signing your tax forms and sending them to the IRS, use this checklist to spot potential errors on IRS Form Schedule C Profit or Loss From Business. [] If you have an EIN, enter this number at the top of the form, rather than your Social Security number. Do... Continue reading
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Before signing your tax forms and sending them to the IRS, use this checklist to spot potential errors on IRS Form 4562 Depreciation and Amortization. [] Part I: Did you purchase any furniture, appliances or equipment that was used more than 50% in your business? If so, you can use... Continue reading
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My March webinar on Minute Menu Kids Pro was so well received, I decided to offer it again on April 14th! Minute Menu Kids Pro is the most comprehensive online record keeping software designed specifically for family child care providers. Unfortunately, not all providers who use this software are taking... Continue reading
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Before signing your tax return and sending it to the IRS, use this checklist to spot potential mistakes on your IRS Form 8829 Expenses for Business Use of Your Home. [ ] Line 1: Is the number on this line less than line 2? If so, it means you didn't... Continue reading
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Here are some questions I've answered for family child care providers over the past week: Q: If I use Minute Menu Kids Pro software, what reports should I print out and give to my tax preparer? A: Schedule C Worksheet; Schedule C Detailed Worksheet; Form 8829 Detailed Worksheet; Standard Meal... Continue reading
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Minute Menu Kids Pro is the most comprehensive online record keeping software designed specifically for family child care providers. Unfortunately, not all providers who use this software are taking advantage of its many benefits. To help address this problem, I'll be offering a webinar, "How to Effectively Use Minute Menu... Continue reading
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Family child care providers who set financial goals for their family are more likely to reach those goals than providers who don't set goals. It's common sense. It's not too late to set financial goals for 2015. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take that first step and... Continue reading
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No! Unfortunately, many family child care providers and tax professionals make this mistake. They assume that they can treat a person who helps them care for children as an independent contractor because they pay the person less than $600 a year. Wrong. When you hire someone to help you care... Continue reading
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Gina, a family child care provider, called me with a problem and asked for my advice. "A father in my program won't follow my rules. He refuses to notify me when his schedule changes, so I don't know what days his child will be here. He and the mother are... Continue reading
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For more information: * "What's Deductible in a Family Child Care Business" * "How to Claim Food Expenses" * "The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do to Reduce Your Taxes" Tom Copeland - tomcopelandblog.com For further information see my Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide. Continue reading
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At tax time it's reassuring to see how much you can deduct as a business expense for all of the items you purchased last year. The more things you purchased last year, the lower your taxes will be. In fact, for every $100 you spend on items for your business,... Continue reading
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"You can deduct it!" This is probably the main message I've been spreading over the past thirty years to family child care providers across the country. I've identified over 1,000 allowable business deductions in my book, Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide (9th edition). But not every expense is deductible... Continue reading
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It started as a normal day in Kim Mueller's family child care home in Minnesota, when suddenly four unrelated children started vomiting within thirty minutes. She suspected that it was an outbreak of Norovirus, so she immediately called the parents and asked everyone to pick up their children as soon... Continue reading
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There will come a day when you close down your business. When that day comes, here are some tax and non-tax issues to consider: Tax Issues Claim all your business income and expenses for the last year you were in business. When you calculate your Time-Space % for your final... Continue reading
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Yesterday I described five common mistakes family child care providers are making on their tax returns. Here are a few more. Space percent: One provider didn't claim a bedroom and laundry room as regular use in her business. She was entitled to count the entire bedroom because she used it... Continue reading
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In the past two weeks I've seen these common mistakes made by family child care providers on their tax returns: * Not deducting car loan interest * Counting time spent shopping * Not depreciating items owned before the business began * Claiming 100% of household supplies I've been reviewing the... Continue reading
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The measles outbreak is all over the news these days. It has brought attention to the fact that an increasing number of parents are refusing to vaccinate their children. Although there is no federal law requiring parents to vaccinate their children, all 50 states have rules requiring vaccinations against certain... Continue reading
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Webinar Tonight! Do you want to know: How to take advantage of the new family child tax rules when filling out your 2014 taxes? Whether you should use the new IRS Safe Harbor rule regarding claiming house expenses without receipts? How to take advantage of significant new depreciation rules for... Continue reading
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When a parent leaves owing you money, no family child care provider wants to take the parent to court. It can be stressful, take up a lot of your time, and you may not win - even if your contract is clear that the parent does owe you money. Going... Continue reading
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When a parent leaves owing you money, no family child care provider wants to take the parent to court. It can be stressful, take up a lot of your time, and you may not win - even if your contract is clear that the parent does owe you money. Going... Continue reading
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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