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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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Now is the time of the year to find out the answer to this question. Some parents in your family child care program will be able to give you more money without it costing them anything. How is this possible? Many employers offer a payroll option that allows their employees... Continue reading
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Office expenses appear as a business expense category on the IRS Form Schedule C, line 18. What expenses might you have that you can deduct on this line? Adding machine, tape Bank charges (checks, monthly account fees, bounced check fee) Books (childrens' books, parenting books, family child care books, my... Continue reading
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It’s the one day of the year that potential clients are knocking on your door! Halloween is a wonderful opportunity for you to promote your program. Parents with young children are walking down your street! Although the child knocking on your door may not need child care, parents of young... Continue reading
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Giving parents a receipt for their payment is a sign of professionalism and can be a helpful record if you are ever audited. Most family child care providers give parents a receipt at the end of the year showing how much they have paid for the year. Parents use this... Continue reading
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Do you know what to look for when buying a family child care business liability insurance policy? Do you know the difference between "per occurrence" and "aggregate" coverage in your policy? What's the difference between an "individual policy" and a "master policy"? Not all business liability insurance policies are the... Continue reading
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An increasing number of family child care associations are reimbursing their board members and officers for the costs of attending association meetings. What are the tax consequences of such payments? Expenses of association officers or board members, paid by the association to reimburse the costs of attending association meetings are... Continue reading
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Your Time-Space Percentage is used to determine how much of the cost of items used for both business and personal purposes can be deducted as a business expense. You won’t know what your percentage will be until the end of the year because it’s based on the hours you work... Continue reading
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"What's the maximum amount you can contribute to your Traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SIMPLE IRA?" "Are contributions to my Roth IRA tax deductible?" "What is probably the most important factor that determines how much your mutual fund will earn over the long run?" I'll be answering these questions and... Continue reading
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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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One day a parent in your program asks you for copies of all the records you have on her child. Maybe the parent is leaving and wants all your records to pass on to her new provider. Maybe the parent is in a custody dispute and wants to use the... 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