Dreaded Tax Season

Posted by Annie on Apr 1, 2011 in Education, Income Tax |

Hey procrastinator,

When are you  going to buckle down and get those dreaded taxes done? I’m right there with you. In fact, I’ve been such a procrastinator that I just mailed our 2009 taxes a few days ago. I plan to get our 2010 taxes finished up this week. I have at least started them. It’s just such a time consuming chore.

Homeschoolers don’t really talk about taxes enough. While every so often a rumor is started or a piece of legislation is introduced to create tax-breaks for homeschoolers, I am totally happy to foot the bill for my son’s education, so long as I am free to decide what we purchase.

Over the years, we’ve come to see ourselves as partners in our son’s life and education. Our role as parents is to prepare him for life — to be self-sufficient, happy and prosperous. We encourage him to try as many new things as possible. After all, how do you know whether you like something or not, if you’ve never tried it. We have the same rule at the dinner table. Just give it a try — one bite.

Since we started our home business we’ve encouraged our son to be a part of the family business. We’ve paid him to check links, write reviews, and learn new software that he would find beneficial in the business world. In essence what we’ve done is enrolled our son in vocational school.

We keep our tax situation in mind all year long. When we are considering making a purchase, we always consider whether an item is tax deductible, in the decision-making process. We can deduct any item that helps us to generate revenue for our business. It’s a bonus if we can also use the item purchased for educational purposes.

I strongly encourage any homeschooling family to consider starting their own family business. It has  been a wonderful experience for our entire family. We started out slow — our first month we proudly made $330.00, not enough to live on but it was $330 we didn’t have before. In those early days, we were very determined to make it and live where we wanted to live. So, we had to make it work.

My husband worked two part-time jobs and I had two part-time jobs besides trying to run our own business. He worked for a local newspaper a couple days a week and he worked for Staples 4-days a week. I had the midnight shift at 7-11 and I delivered newspapers one day a week. We weren’t setting the world on fire, but we knew one thing for certain — if we combined our efforts and worked together we could accomplish anything.

Today, we have a select group of clientele that we enjoy working with. Our business continues to grow and change, sometimes at an alarming rate. The best part is that neither of us has to work a second job. We are able to devote ourselves fully to our family, our business, our education and our community. If something doesn’t work, we try something else, until we get it right.

The best part is that our son sees us pulling together. We normally include him in on the decision-making process — he may not always get a vote but he at least knows that we take his needs into consideration. We hope that the lessons he learns while still at home, will serve him well throughout his life and that he will have the skills he needs to start his own business or perhaps he will continue to work with us. Only time will tell.

If you decide to take the plunge this year and start your own family business. Be sure to start out right by keeping good records. It doesn’t have to be a complicated system. First off, we ask for a receipt for every purchase. I have two folders for receipts, one for business expenses and one for personal expenses. We also found that it’s a good idea to photocopy any checks you receive from clients. The income should be claimed on your taxes, your expenses will offset some or even all of your added tax burden.

You may or may not need the receipts, depending on the direction your career takes. I’ve known people, who have started their own business only to be noticed, then hired by a corporation at a nice salary through the contacts they have made. Owning your own business is a learning experience, no matter what the outcome. The lessons learned can be applied to other areas of your lives and help expand your child’s business skills.

We’ve found Turbo Tax Home and Business to be very helpful — the software even provides helpful hints and helps to explain complicated tax laws.

Here are a few more articles you may find helpful.

Additional Resources:

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