Archive for the Category ◊ Tax ◊

Saturday, January 14th, 2017
Category: Tax |  Comments off

The Government’s Home Buying Tax Credit Initiative


Jeremy C. Winters

The home buying tax credit is a government initiative to stimulate housing sales by providing a subsidy to home buyers, especially those who are buying homes for the first time. The subsidy allocated by the government encourages buyers to legally acquire houses for the benefit of enjoying tax credits. The real estate industry consequently rushes to assist buyers in getting the tax credit. This results in an active real estate industry, which is a critical aspect of stimulating the economy.

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In prioritizing the beneficiaries of the home buying tax credit, first time home buyers are preferred for the subsidy. Credits not to exceed $8,000 are doled out by the government depending upon the price of the real estate, which is usually 10% of the selling price. The credited amount is also refundable. If a taxpayer who bought the house qualifies for a tax credit worth $8,000 but only needs to offset taxes worth $6,000, then a check worth $2000 is returned to the taxpayer through the Internal Revenue Service.

Taxpayers who want to make a claim must also make sure that the purchased home will be their principal residence for the first three years. This policy is enacted to ensure that home buyers are really in need of the tax credit and are not just exploiting the benefit for investment gains. They also have to show proof that they have not owned a principal residence for three years before acquiring the property.

Recent changes in the policies restrict the home buyer from getting a house that costs more than $800,000. The capping on the price of the house avoids possible lavish expenditures, and instead promotes the primary goal of benefiting those who are in need the most. Home buyers planning to buy the house from a lineal relative or his or her spouse’s lineal relative are also not qualified for the tax credit.

The economic downturn, on the other hand, influenced annual income restrictions positively by increasing the upper limit to $145,000 for single filers. For married filers, the credit phases out between $225,000 and $245,000. These changes are seen to be more generous compared to the similar policy stipulated under the former law.

The home buying tax credit initiative was an effective strategy undertaken by the government to stimulate the economy. This law was extended to benefit more home buyers and to keep the real estate industry active thereby contributing to economic growth. The extended law even expanded in coverage by stating a separate priority for qualified repeat home buyers allowing them to enjoy tax credits not to exceed $6,500. The whole package is estimated to cost $11 billion.

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The Government’s Home Buying Tax Credit Initiative


Monday, December 26th, 2016
Category: Tax |  Comments off

10 Necessities for a Home Based Business


Dan Mitchell

When you make the decision to earn income from the internet you will need to go through a set up process to be ready for business.

Following are the basic steps in setting up for home business success.

1. Attitude

The key to your business success is your attitude.

Treat your business like a business.

This is critical whether you are working part-time or full-time. One of my colleagues is a mother who works from home around her family. She has always put her family first whilst at the same time developing her business. She says, “I work part-time, but I have a full-time attitude.”

Put another way, “If you have a hobby attitude you will have a hobby income, if you have a business attitude you will have a business income.”

You can be successful working part-time and you can be successful working full-time but it is highly unlikely that you will be successful working in your “spare time”.

2. Working Environment

A space that you can call your own, free from distractions for your scheduled time.

A comfortable chair and organized desk.

Stationery supplies as required. For example:

– pens

– highlighters

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– stapler

– hole punch

– sticky tape

– note book(s)

– a simple filing system

– ring binders

– manilla folders

Consider the value of a broadband connection. Your time is valuable and a broadband connection can allow you to get more done in a given time frame.

3. Schedule

Develop a schedule that works for you, your family (or “significant others”) and your business. When you allot a block of time for work then use that time for work. Equally important is to schedule time for your other commitments – family time, self education ( reading, listening and viewing), “health time” (exercise, cooking and eating), and leisure time. During these other times don’t work. After all if one of the reasons to work from home is to spend more time with your family then you don’t want your working at home time to consume your family time.

You are working for yourself and your schedule (by your choice) is your “boss”. When you have people calling you or dropping around unexpectedly or maybe out-of-town visitors may want to catch up with you then you need to make a choice. Are you committed to your own business success? What will be your choice in these situations? Only you can decide what is important to you.

In a family environment you may need to negotiate with your partner and children to have your business time agreed upon, during which you will not be interrupted. Put this schedule prominently somewhere so all family members are aware of your work schedule.

4. Describe Your Business

Be able to describe your business concisely; a powerful one or two sentence description that someone can repeat in describing your business to others. A unique and memorable tag line can also be invaluable for promoting your business.

5. Know Your Product or Service

Once you have selected your product or service to sell, it may or may not be something that you use yourself but you need to know your product intimately. If you are selling ebooks then know the content and its value. If you are selling software then use it know it “inside out”. You will develop a reputation of providing quality information and because of your product knowledge you can become the preferred supplier.

It is not practical to use certain products (for example a woman may choose to sell man’s shoes or vice versa) in which case the seller won’t be a product user, however the seller can still know the benefits and features of the product intimately.

6. Administration

Use good record keeping practices.

This may involve a consultation with a tax advisor who can let you know about the optimal way to set up your financial records and what records need to be kept. Your advisor will also recommend record keeping systems and you can find out what software may simplify this aspect of your business. Additionally your obtain advice on the best arrangement for your bank accounts. You will most likely be advised to have a separate bank account.

You will also need to keep track of your various logins, usernames and passwords. A very handy little software tool for this is Treepad available as either the free Lite version (without password protection) or the commercial Plus or Biz versions.

There are other useful tools for this also from a simple paper notebook to free and commercial password keepers. One popular solution is Roboform that will remember your login details and can automatically fill out your login and other registration forms.

7. Computer Protection

Your computer is the lifeline to your business dealings and must be protected including the data that is stored.

You need a virus scanner, personal firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware and preferably an email scanner with the ability to delete suspect of spam email from the server before it is downloaded to your computer.

Some suggestions are:

AVG Anti-Virus:

Spybot S&D:

Microsoft Anti-Spyware:


Mailwasher Email Scanner:

8. A Domain Name

You will most likely need a domain name for your business and one cost effective registrar is GoDaddy,

9. Payment Processing

You will need a way to process credit cards; that may be using services such as:

– PayPal

– Storm Pay

– 2 Checkout

– Clickbank or others.

This is the most economical way to get started. Once your business picks up you may need to look into your own merchant account for credit card transactions.

Consideration may also be given to other forms of online currency such as eGold

10. Email accounts

Once you have your own domain you can use an associated email account. This can further assist in the promotion of your business and promotes a more professional business image.

As a final comment on continuing in your internet business, conduct your business ethically, provide extraordinary service and be proud to put your name to the products or services that you are selling and you will be on track to developing a sustainable long term internet business.

Dan Mitchell is the author of numerous articles & eBooks on work-at-home topics. He is an editor at

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