Jerry Jones CPA
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a CPA that you deal directly with, that understands your business, that works in all 50 states and is there for you when you need him?
“For more than 30 years I have relied on Jerry to provide me with critical guidance for both investment decisions and tax strategies. His opinions have been crucial in helping me make the best possible business decisions, as well as providing me with sound advice regarding personal tax planning”.
Steve T., Taxpayer

How to Report Self-Storage Income

Is a self-storage facility in the business of providing customers with a service or merely renting space?  The distinction is important for income taxes. In fact, those who answered “service” and whose self-storage facility is profitable, may need to file amended tax returns to recoup taxes paid.  

About Self-Employment Taxes

One of the distinctions between service and rental income is that rental income is not subject to self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes include Social Security and Medicare taxes. The tax can be significant. The tax rate is 15.3 percent, but half of the tax is deductible.

Those who operate as sole proprietors or are taxed as partnerships are subject to self-employment taxes on income for services they provide. Rental income is not subject to self-employment tax. The distinction between a service and rental activity is not always clear. This is particularly true with self-storage, where some owners provide ancillary services in addition to renting space. Luckily, the courts have weighed in on this topic.

What are Robocalls and Scam Calls?

What spam is to email, robocalls are to your phone. They're annoying, automated, and often illegal pre-recorded messages. Cybercriminals use robocalls to steal information and money from victims.

 

As we’ve reported in a previous Malwarebytes blog, what spam is to email, a robocall is to telecommunications devices, such as home phones, mobile phones, and VoIP landlines. There is usually no real human behind a robocall, only an automated, pre-recorded message. And as the name suggests, the calls are made by computers.

Illegal robocalls generally contact recipients with the intention of stealing something from them. As such, they use scams, attempting to swindle you out of your contact number, your financial information, your identity, or anything else of value through dishonest means.

There is legislation that addresses robocalling and the scams they attempt to pull off. Just for good measure, here’s how The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) defines a robocall, also known as “voice broadcasting.” It is any telephone call that delivers a prerecorded message using an automatic (computerized) telephone dialing system, more commonly referred to as an automatic dialer or “autodialer.

When the call is answered, the autodialer either connects the call to a live person or plays a prerecorded message. Both are considered robocalls. Some robocalls use personalized audio messages to simulate an actual personal phone call.

New Requirement Applies to Any Business Seeking a Tax ID Number

IRS offers data security tips

The Internal Revenue Service wants small business taxpayers and the self-employed to know that, starting May 13, an important change will affect the way it issues employer identification numbers, or EINs.

With identity theft on the rise in the business community, the agency also offered business taxpayers tips and resources for protecting their data from theft.  

National Small Business Week is May 5-11. For more than 50 years, the week has recognized the important contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Taking Care of Business: Record Keeping for Small Businesses

Small business owners should keep good records. This applies to all businesses, whether they have a couple dozen employees or just a few. Whether they install software or make soft-serve. Whether they cut hair or cut lawns. Keeping good records is an important part of running a successful business.

Here are some questions and answers to help business owners understand the ins and outs of good record keeping.

Securing Your Passwords and Physical Devices

Part of securing your passwords is understanding how they become compromised. Two of the most frequent ways passwords are compromised is through Brute-Force attacks and data breeches. In a Brute-Force attack, hackers are using a systematic plan to check all possibilities until the correct one is found. If a hacker knows that the site requires a minimum of 8 characters and requires the use of both alphabetical and numeric characters they will start with those parameters. This is not done by hand. They write programs to do the dirty work.

So how do you defeat attacks like this?  First don’t make it easy on the attacker. Never do the bare minimum.  If a site requires a minimum of an 8 character password with at least one number: abcdefg1 is not a good password.  Sure it meets the site’s requirements, but a Brute-Force attack will have that password in no time.  So how should you craft your password?  The best passwords are a minimum of 16 characters and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers, symbols and spaces.

Of course, there’s a problem with having strong passwords, they are impossible to remember.  Using a plugin like LastPass can help you safely store passwords, but what you should have enabled, on all of your logins that include the feature, is two-factor authentication.  Two-factor authentication will require you to also enter a code that’s sent to you, typically to you via text message, before allowing you access.  As you read that you may think to yourself, what a pain that extra step creates, but what you’re doing is preventing someone else to access you account.  Even if your bank password has been acquired through a Brute-Force attack or is part of one of the numerous database breeches, the moment your username and password are entered the hacker will be prompted with the send a code link.  Well what do they do send the code to you, so you know something is wrong, or just give up there?  Chances are they give up. 

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