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As a small business person-slash-advice columnist I dread the first quarter of the new year. Not because in my mind my own business fortunes start at zero again every January or because I have already dismissed every New Year's resolution I made when the clock rang out the New Year.
No, the reason I dread the first quarter of the new year is that my email box floods with questions about business taxes and the IRS, my two least favorite subjects on earth. It's not that I am opposed to paying my fair share of business taxes. It's that I consider the IRS to be a little like Beetlejuice, the movie demon who appeared only after his name was called three times in a row. My fear is if I write too many IRS columns their dark agents may appear on my doorstep, ready to drag me away to an uncertain fate.
Oh well, one must do his duty no matter the consequences, so here we go?.
Q: I am starting a small retail business. While talking to a potential supplier last week he asked for my EIN number. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I told him I would have to get back with him because I didn't have the number handy. What is an EIN number and why do I need one? -- Robert P.
A: Robert, do you remember the old Johnny Rivers song "Secret Agent Man?" There was a line that said, "They're giving you a number and taking away your name." An EIN isn't as cool as a secret agent number, but it works much the same way when it comes to your business' relationship with the IRS. Instead of identifying your business by name, the IRS identifies your business by EIN.
EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and is also known as a federal tax ID number. The EIN is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to businesses and is used to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns.
Does your business need an EIN? According to the IRS the answer is yes if:
· Your business has employees
· Your business is a corporation or partnership
· You file returns for Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tax
· You withhold taxes on income (other than wages) paid to a non-resident alien.
· Your business has a Keogh plan
· Your business involves trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduits, non-profit, farmers' cooperatives, or plan administrators.
Applying for an EIN is a relatively painless task. You can apply online at the IRS website (irs.gov), apply by mail or telephone, or if you do business in a state that participates in the Federal Employer Identification Number project you can apply through you local IRS office (sorry, Alabama is not one of them).
You will need an EIN number prior to filing business returns with the IRS, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to obtain one. For more information on EINs and your business, consult your accountant.
And while we're on the subject ?
Q: I made extra money selling things on eBay last year. These were items I picked up at yardsales mostly. My husband says I am responsible for paying income tax on the money I made, but I disagree. This is just my hobby, not a business. What do you think? -- Gladys A.
A: With so many people selling on eBay these days this is a question I get quite a bit. In fact, I have plans for a future "eBay and taxes" column, but I believe your question is more, "is it a hobby or is it a business?"
Again, I went to the horse's mouth (at least I think it was the mouth) for the answer. According to the IRS there are a number of factors that help determine if your hobby can be considered a business and thereby make you susceptible to the IRS tax rules governing business.
Do you carry on the activity in a business-like manner? If you conduct your eBay activities like a business, i.e. you keep business records, track your profit and loss, keep a separate checking account, etc. then whether you think so or not, your hobby is considered a business.
If you put considerable time and effort into your venture, the IRS may contend that you do so for profit and not fun. It seems the folks at the IRS don't believe in doing things strictly for pleasure. My guess is, neither do you. If you weren't making money selling on eBay I doubt you'd be bothering getting up at 4am to hit all those yardsales. Then again, maybe you would?
If you depend on income from your eBay activities for your livelihood, it's a business, not a hobby.
There are a number of other factors the IRS considers to determine if a hobby is really a business, but in your case I think that covers the basics.
For detailed answers to any tax question you should consult a qualified accountant or tax attorney. God forbid you rely on a guy who is afraid to mumble the letters "IRS" three times in a row.
Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim's latest books include "Small Business Success Secrets" and "The 30 Day Blueprint For Success!" Related Links: http://www.smallbusinessqa.com http://www.dropshipwholesale.net
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Two Maine malls have now gone up for auction.
Ford auctioned off its first GT Heritage Edition supercar on Friday at the 48th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, where the vehicle ...
Arizona's collection of classic car auctions sold $251 million worth of cars during the past week, a total up about 1.2 percent increase from the previous year.
The Spenger maritime collection went to auction this past weekend, but the rarest items, including a 34.29-carat diamond and a rare Japanese vase from the ...
Heritage Auctions' early January numismatic sales topped $71 million for the fourth consecutive year, the company announced Jan. 18.
WOODLAND — There's a lot to admire in The Columbian's offices.
Sunday is the last day of the Barrett-Jackson auction and will feature the last round of high-powered collector cars.
“The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community. Today's column is written by Sara Badler, senior vice president of ...
Jackie Robinson's contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers -- one of the most important documents of all time -- is hitting the auction block and it's expected to fetch ...
View detailed pictures that accompany our The 11 most expensive lots at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction article with close-up photos of exterior ...
PASADENA, Texas - The city of Pasadena will host a public vehicle auction Saturday. The vehicle auction will be held at the Pasadena Maintenance Services ...
In recent years, buyers have flocked to private marketplaces to avoid the fraud, hidden fees and low-quality ads they saw in the open marketplace. Agencies ...
FUN and NYINC U.S. & World Coin & Currency auctions register countless price records, 97% sell-through rate. Heritage Auctions announced Friday its early ...
The commercial and industrial property market enters 2019 on the back of a strong finish to 2018, with a total of 38 properties around the North Island selling for ...
HOUSTON, Texas -- Gallery Auctions, Inc., is pleased to announce a grand auction open to the public on Saturday, February 16, 2019, showcasing the lifetime ...
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today issued an invitation for bids to award 25 expired restaurant licenses in the eighth license ...
2Pac's pornographic drawings and hand-written love letter to his girlfriend have been sold for over $21000 at auction.
While no single work topped last year's $450.3 million “Salvator Mundi” painting by Leonardo da Vinci, plenty of other auction records were broken this year.
The 28GHz spectrum auction, dubbed Auction 101, continues to limp toward completion with a paltry $700 million in total bids. That's nothing compared with the ...
FUN and NYINC U.S. & World Coin & Currency auctions register price records, 97% sell-through rate Heritage Auctions has announced that its.
The charity auction of the first 2020 Toyota Supra this past weekend shocked many when it netted US$2.1 million at Barrett-Jackson's annual event in Scottsdale ...
Treasure hunters in Evansville search for a diamond in the rough. Gems they seek are locked behind metal doors, and the highest bidder wins whatever is ...
Wild Bird Society of Tainan director Pan Chih-yuan (潘致遠) on Saturday held an online auction to raise funds the group needs to continue its wild bird rescue ...
Quite a range of auctions this week to keep an eye on, including three sales on Tuesday, January 22: At Bunch Auctions, a combined sale of Rare Books & Fine ...
A 30858-square-foot Paradise Valley home that was once listed for $35 million is going up for auction later this month. The Paradise Valley home, called Villa ...
Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his Massachusetts home.
Several Arizona multimillion-dollar mansions, including one owned by Randy Johnson, could soon go to the highest bidder in a live Scottsdale auction.
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Silent auctions are a mainstay of charity events, but how do they really work? Read more to learn what a silent auction is and how silent auction software can ...
Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald auctioned off three of his cars at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale Saturday.
Visitors formed long lines before daybreak on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Tokyo's renowned tuna auctions — now at the Toyosu wholesale fish market — as ...
Invaluable said it sold half a million lots on its global marketplace in 2018, which is up 20% over the previous year and is up 130% over 5 years. The number of ...
The owners are selling homes in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Colorado that were previously individually listed for a combined $46 million.
Artsy presents Rago Auctions: Modern Design, featuring works by George Nakashima, Gio Ponti, Harry Bertoia, and more. In advance of the auction, browse lots ...
Artsy presents Rago Auctions: Modern Ceramics & Glass, featuring works by Dale Chihuly, Hans Coper, Yoichi Ohira, and more. In advance of the auction, ...
Arizona Car Week kicks off this weekend with Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding & Company, RM Sotheby's, Russo and Steele, Silver Auctions and ...
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Two dozen horses in poor condition were rescued from a local auction, and almost half had to be put down.
The most garish symbol of a convicted former Venezuelan national treasurer's greed — 14 Palm Beach County show-jumping horses seized by the feds — will ...
India plans 350 GW solar, 140 GW wind power capacity operational by 2030, with share of renewable energy in overall power generation targeted at 40%.
Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake sprints for the end zone as time runs out in an NFL game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 9, 2018, at Hard ...
Jeff Gordon is auctioning off a 2016 Corvette C7.R with supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8 engine to raise money for cancer research at Barrett-Jackson.
Prices of most Japanese government bonds were steady on Wednesday, supported by a pause in the stock market, but confined to a narrow range ahead of an ...
That's a lot of money for four cars that aren't street legal.
The ball is signed by Jay Hook, who pitched the entire five-hitter game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Equine Sales Company has released its complete 2019 schedule of sales after previously announcing that the 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held April 2.
The last remaining bit of 175-year-old McConnellsville business Harden Furniture is up for sale, with a sealed-bid auction due to end Feb. 1 for the company's ...
Gooding & Co. will auction off some of the most expensive cars in the Valley on Friday and Saturday. We're talking multimillion dollar.
RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- An Illinois man is facing several charges after allegedly issuing several worthless checks at the Manheim Milwaukee Metro ...
GLENPOOL, Oklahoma - The first ever medical marijuana auctioned online in Oklahoma sold to a dispensary in Oklahoma City that bid $2,200 for a half-pound.
The FCC's auction of 28 GHz spectrum officially surpassed $700 million after 35 days of bidding activity. The total amount of provisionally winning bids has ...
You have read 1 of 10 articles. Log In or Subscribe. It was one lone golf ball – but if the item was small, it reaffirmed two big things about the Lyle Area Cancer ...
While the late-rapper was serving time in the mid-90's, he drew an explicit drawing for his then-girlfriend, which is now going up for auction.
For a 20th straight year, the 'Magic' is about to come alive to help Cedar Valley children and their families. The 20th annual Magical Mix Kids auction is.
Woodmere estate in Ligonier, once listed for $7.5 million, sold for under $5.2 million at a no reserve auction held in Chicago.
Arconic shares fell 25 percent on Tuesday after the aluminum products maker said it was no longer pursuing a sale of the company, following reports that it was ...
Walla Walla Community College's Institute for Enology & Viticulture will receive a $15000 grant to help support the program's “Human Capital” fund.
A legendary Ford Mustang sold for a historic price at the Mecum Auctions event in Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday night when the bidding ended at $2,200,000.
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At auction, the most expensive Moutai can far exceed the value of rare whisky, but with forgeries aplenty, investing in the spirit is not for the faint-hearted. Natalie ...
The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, 30 Atlanta Street SE in Marietta, will have Martinis and Music on Feb. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m..
Rickey Jensen spent decades finding and collecting motorcycles and other items produced by or related to Indian-brand motorcycles. All of it, found in a locked ...
Calling all fans of Ben Baller and slide sandals: Get your bids ready. StockX, the Detroit-based “Stock Market Of Things,” announced a new IPO ...
NAGPUR: In an unprecedented action, income tax department here has auctioned 18 properties, which included jewellery and immovable assets, to recover .
Two foreign mobile operators expressed interest in joining the 700-megahertz (MHz) spectrum auction unless the reserve price is based on the previous licence ...
Artsy presents Rago Auctions: Lost City Arts - 36 Years of Collecting, featuring works by George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Vladimir Kagan, and more.
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A woman who has battled NASA for years over an artifact from the Apollo 11 moon mission has filed a new lawsuit accusing the agency of damaging the object ...
BROOKINGS – It's looked at to be a fitting finale to the final day of National Catholic Schools Week 2019: the St. Thomas More Catholic School Winter Gala ...
If you thought that just about every barn in Europe was checked for the presence of a Lamborghini Miura long ago, you were overestimating the barn-checking ...
Atonement Lutheran Church in the Heights is holding its Bounty of the Field wild game event on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Four luxury homes going up for auction in the same week by Robert and Miryam Knutson. They have been previously estimated in value for a combined $46 ...
VAIL, Colo., Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Real Estate Auction Marketplace™, Interluxe, will be accepting bids for two coveted Vail, CO properties on its online ...
Can't be at the Barrett-Jackson auction in person? See which vehicles draw the biggest bids on TV.
French actress Catherine Deneuve shares her YSL items in auction, including the gowns she wore to the Academy Awards in 1993 and 2000.
The Mecum Auction's Kissimmee sale features an assemblage that includes rare road rockets from the 1930s through 1960s and beyond.
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CINCINNATI, Jan. 22, 2019-- The Showboat Majestic, a National Historic Landmark, is currently for sale by auction on the online government surplus.
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A 1994 Club Car Golf Cart sold for $58,000 at Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions on Thursday, with proceeds benefiting the family of fallen Salt ...
A commercial property in the very active Lakeview neighborhood of Birmingham will hit the auction block next month. Local company Granger Thagard will hold ...
In 1864, the Civil War raged on, with severe consequences both on the battlefield and in commerce. The greenback could not hold its value and Confederate.
Civil War archive of Charles A. Hill relating to his *service* in the 1st Regiment Infantry, US Colored Troops. An extensive archive consisting of 112 letters from Hill ...
Gimmicks dominated the art scene but some technological changes have genuine potential.
FORMER Gers ace Ricksen was recently reunited with his wife Veronika, 32, and his six-year-old daughter Isabella who flew in to St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie.
The national auction clearance rate across the last quarter of 2019 fell to 43.6 per cent from 62.3 per cent the previous year.
If there's one thing an automaker loves, it's auctioning off the first VIN of a fancy new model for charity. Ford's the latest automaker to hitch its horse to that cart, ...
In tough rental markets it is not uncommon for someone to walk into a rental property and offer the agent a higher price.
A rare example of an 1885 Trade Dollar, intended to help improve commerce with China, sold for $3.96 million in Dallas, Texas, last week. Prominent Utah ...
Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., check out an art and wine festival or see what's going on the block at a high-end car auction.
The 13,000 square foot home that overlooks Roberts Bay will be sold fully furnished. In total, there is more than 20,000 square feet of covered space, both ...
Larry Fitzgerald had three of his vehicles hit the auction at Barrett-Jackson over the weekend. So, how much did they sell for?
FreshPlaza is the number one portal for the *fresh* produce industry, offering the latest news, job advertisements, pricewatching, and photo reports.
The $30 bln online merchant has a history of spinning off bits of itself. It has, though, missed opportunities in its core business. While the activist may persuade ...
Heavy snowfall in the nation's capital has prompted the FCC to suspend the 28 GHz spectrum auction. The agency plans to resume activities on Jan. 15 with six ...
These are the five most interesting vehicles up for auction at the RM Sotheby's Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The auction takes place January 17-18, 2019.
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