Happy Holidays. Got a Tax Question?

Wednesday Dec 21st 2005 by Dan Muse
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Small Biz Bits: The Small Business Administration is offering a free Web chat to offer tax advice. Plus, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, you have no plans to retire.

Tomorrow, at large businesses around the country, the eggnog will flow, gifts will be exchanged and general holiday merriment will abound. But you're a small business owner — you don't have time for that. Why waste an afternoon on frivolity, when you could be learning about taxes?

That's right. Taxes. Knowing that for small businesses, the end of the year means taxes almost as much as it means the holiday season, the Small Business Administration announced that Thomas P. Ochsenschlager, vice president of Taxation with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), will host a live Web chat Thursday from 1 p.m to 2 p.m. on "Tax Planning & Preparation for Small Businesses."

The SBA's Web chat series is designed to provide small business owners with the opportunity to have conversations about relevant business issues with industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs. You have direct access to the Web chats via either questions you submit online in advance or during the session, with immediate answers, according to the SBA. Previous SBA Web chats have focused on disaster preparedness, health care, business development and other topics relevant to small businesses.

During tomorrow's chat, according to the SBA, Ochsenschlager will answer questions and share information on tax implications for business owners and provide tax tips.

Ochsenschlager works with the AICPA Tax Executive Committee in developing AICPA tax policy, shaping and communicating the Institute's initiatives in tax matters, and providing tax products and services for members. Ochsenschlager is also responsible for interacting with the federal government on tax-related issues, acting as a liaison with the national office of the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Tax Policy. He also works closely with Congressional tax committees on tax-related issues.

You can join the live Web chat by going online to the SBA's homepage and clicking "Your Small Business Voice Online Chat." You can post a question for Ochsenschlager prior to the chat here.

Keep on Keeping on
Those workers already enjoying holidays are probably also looking down the road to retirement. But, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, you aren't.

The Small Business Index reports that eight of ten small business owners surveyed are happy running their businesses and have no intention of retiring. Almost four out of every ten say the only thing that would force them to retire is their health.

According to Wells Fargo/Gallup, 42 percent of small business owners surveyed indicate they may cut back on work, but will never completely abandon their business. The Index also shows that almost two-thirds of small business owners expect their business to continue operating after they have retired. Only 19 percent plan on traditional retirement.

Of those business owners who expect their businesses to carry on beyond their working years, 41 percent expect someone in their family to keep the business going. Additionally, 34 percent expect to sell their business to someone from outside the business, and 21 percent say they will sell it to one or more employees in the business.

"Small business owners have a different definition of the word 'retirement'," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and small business segment manager for Wells Fargo, in a statement. "Since many are living their dreams and love what they do, they do not want to stop working. It's their passion and they want to stay engaged in their business as long as possible."

The Index is designed to track six key measures for both current conditions and future expectations as reported by small business owners: current financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs and credit availability.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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