Tax and Finance For Truckers

The trucking industry is one of the single most important trades key to the stability of our national economy.  Everything, it seems, moves by truck in America.  Because of this, the tax code has many deductions and credits specific to trucking.

o It’s imperative that a truck driver maintains organized records.  Because of the complications of trucking industry tax codes, truck drivers are frequently the targets of IRS audits.

o The basic tax strategy for a self-employed trucker is that everything that has anything to do with your truck is a deduction.  This includes apparent items like fuel and gas down to the rags you use to wipe a dipstick.

o Itemizing deductions does not cause audits, but a long, itemized list does make the IRS more curious.  So, when it comes to your truck, keep receipts of every expense you are going to list.  Keep a receipt book in case you forget something.  In the event you lose or forget a receipt for an item, write down the day, date, and time of the expense.  Include a detailed description of the expense, along with its cost.  This should satisfy the IRS should you be audited.  Just don’t have too many receipts written in the book, instead of actual ones.

o You are allowed on the road meal allowances as part of your return.  Keep receipts and a logbook of meals taken on the road.

o Almost every state you travel through is levying a tax against you in the form of tolls and other charges.  Keep strict account of what you have to pay out in each state, as these are deductions on your federal income tax form.

o If you drive a truck over 55,000 pounds, you will have to pay a federal highway tax by the end of August every year. If you have just purchased a truck that weighs in at these numbers; you will have to pay the highway tax at the end of the month in which you bought the truck.  After your first highway tax payment you have the option of paying the highway tax in full by the end of every August or in quarterly installments.

o Keep accurate track of your mileage and fuel purchases, as you will get a deduction against fuel taxes.

o Truckers need a tax preparation professional even more than most business people.  The income tax as it applies to truckers is a warren of credits and codes.  Find someone particularly experienced in preparing income tax returns for truckers.  An income tax preparation professional with experience doing truckers taxes will not miss the special deductions and tax credits available to you in the current tax code.

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Myths of Real Estate, Part One: The Importance of the Latest Real Estate Statistics

I am choosing this topic to be the first of this series because it a concept that will simply not go away. The most common question people ask me is after all “How’s the market?”

My theory of why the notion of good markets and bad markets is so firmly entrenched in the public mind (and those of some Realtors) is simply because we live in a world where the most common source of real estate information for most people is the media outlets and the info is usually bundled as part of “news”. News by definition needs something new to talk about. The fundamentals of real estate change slowly if at all. So, what they hear about most often is not necessarily the most important stuff to understand, it’s just the stuff that has changed lately. Pump it full of drama and speculation and it’s ready for public consumption. After hearing it again and again for a time, it’s the main thing people think they need to know about.

I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that what the market is doing will have no effect on you or your financial well being. What I am saying is that short term market fluctuations secondary to your financial standing as well as some other factors in most cases. The exception being of course if you are someone who works in a real estate related field but that is another article. One can pick these things apart and dissect it into a million pieces. In the end though, it always comes back to the Buyer’s personal financial situation.

In other words, what you can afford now and for the foreseeable future is more important than what the real estate market is doing. You have to remember that all the dramas about ups and downs are short term and that in the long term values rise. This simple truth is what makes real estate such a good investment for both homeowners and professional investors. It requires patience though.

When you can appreciate the statement “There are no good markets or bad markets. It all depends on what cards you are holding.” then you are starting to hear where I am coming from. If it still sounds like a Zen koan (riddle) to you, then I recommend that you keep researching. There is a lot of depth to the real estate world but there are certain simple principles that all the knowledge and research keeps pointing back towards.

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How to Size an Emerging Market

In developing their business plans, companies of all sizes face the challenge of determining the size of their markets. To begin, companies must present the size of their “relevant market” in their plans. The relevant market equals the company’s sales if it were to capture 100% of its specific niche of the market. Conversely, stating that you were competing in the $1 trillion U.S. healthcare market, for example, is a telltale sign of a poorly reasoned business plan, as there is no company that could reap $1 trillion in healthcare sales. Defining and communicating a credible relevant market size is far more powerful than presenting generic industry figures.

The challenge that many firms face is their inability to size their relevant markets, particularly if they are competing in new or rapidly evolving markets. On one hand, the fact that the markets are new or evolving is the reason why there may be a large opportunity to establish them and become the market leader. Conversely, investors, shareholders and senior management are often skeptical to invest resources because, since the markets do not yet exist, the markets may be too small, or not really exist at all.

In developing over 200 business plans for emerging ventures, venture capital firms, SMEs and Fortune 500 spinouts, I have encountered the challenge of sizing emerging markets numerous times and has developed a proprietary methodology to solve the problem.

To begin, it is critical to understand why traditional market sizing methodologies are ill-equipped to size emerging markets. To illustrate, if a research firm were to use traditional methods to size a mature market such as the coffee market in the United States, it would consider demographic trends (e.g., aging baby boomers), psychographic trends (e.g., increased health consciousness), past sales trends and consumption rates, price movements, competitor brand shares and new product development, and channels/retailers among others. However, conducting such an analysis for emerging markets presents a challenge as several of these factors (e.g., past sales, demographics of the customer when there are no current customers) don’t exist because the markets are presently untapped.

The methodology required to size these new markets requires two approaches. Each approach will yield a different approximation of the potential market size, and often the figures will work together to provide a solid foundation for the market’s potential. I call this first approach “peeling back the onion.” In this approach, I start with the generic market (e.g., the coffee market) that that company is trying to penetrate, and remove pieces of that market that it will not target.

For instance, if the company created an ultra high-speed coffee maker that retailed for $600, it would initially reduce the market size by factors such as retail channels (e.g., mass marketers would not carry the product), demographic factors (lower income customers would not purchase the product), etc. By peeling back the generic market, you eventually will be left with only the relevant portion of it.

The second methodology requires assessing the market from several angles to approximate the potential market share, answering questions including:

o Competitors: who is competing for the customer that you will be serving; what is in their product pipeline; once you release a product/service, how long will it take them to enter the market, who else may enter the market, etc.

o Customers: what are the demographics and psychographics of the customers you will be targeting; what products are they currently using to fulfill a similar need (substitute products); how are they currently purchasing these products; what is their degree of loyalty to current providers, etc.

o Market factors: what other factors exist that will influence the market size – government regulations; market consolidation in related markets, price changes for raw materials, etc.

o Case Studies: what other markets have experience similar transformations and what were the customer adoption rates in those markets, etc.

While these methodologies are often more painstaking than traditional market research techniques, they can be the difference in determining whether your company has the next iPod or the next Edsel.

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No Credit Check Loans – Get a Fast Cash Loan Online Even With Bad Credit

No credit check loans with cheap rates are a great solution for unexpected emergencies. You can use these unsecured loans to solve your short-term temporary financial needs. Perhaps your car broke down and you need the extra cash to get it fixed or maybe your child got sick and needed medical attention. When you just need a little extra cash a no credit check loan can help you.

Many people are afraid to try to get fast cash loans as they feel their credit is not good enough to qualify for these loans. That is not the case. Most of the fast cash loan companies out on the market today offer many types of options for you no matter what your credit rating is.

Short Term vs. Long Term Loan

Cash advance loans are very short term and generally are required to be paid in full up to 30 days. There is a small finance charge for the processing part of the loan and the pay back date is based on your next payday.

In some cases, you are able to extend the loan by paying the finance charges. This will allow you to borrow the same amount again for an additional 30 days. If possible however, do not extend it or continually borrow against your next pay check because this is how your payday lender makes big money.

As this loan can cost you the fee plus all the interest as well, make sure you pay the loan off in full as soon as you can. Never rely on payday advances for day to day living expenses or even use them as regular long-term lending sources.

Fast Cash Loan Application Requirements

With the convenience of online personal loan services, you can obtain a pay day loan online and with no credit check. This means that bad credit or no credit will not disqualify you from getting a payday cash loan. In fact you deserve instant approval for no fax no credit check loans without having to go through a great deal of paperwork.

While online loan lenders may not require any faxing of documents such as your pay stub and a utility bill offline companies might require you to fax the documents in order to approve your loan. But an active checking account, a stable job and a steady source of income is generally all that is required.

If you are self employed prove your income by providing a copy of your W9. This will show them your income so that they can calculate how much you are able to borrow. The amount that you can borrow is up to $2000 or even more depending on your lender and the amount of your usual paycheck.

Getting Approved for a No Credit Check Loan

If you are in need of extra cash until pay day and a short-term cash loan is the best choice for you, consider applying for a pay day or check loan online. Applying and getting approved for an online cash advance loan is fast and easy. Sometimes you can be approved and have the cash deposited directly into your checking account the very same day you apply.

No credit check loan interest rates vary from company to company. Fees can range from as little as $10 dollars to up to $30 per hundred borrowed. Compare the rates charged by payday advance services when looking for the lender that offer the cheapest fast cash loan rate and fees.

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