Can I Claim My Airbnb Rental as a Hotel?

A young couple run on the sandy beach toward the house in the late afternoon light.

by William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

Vacation rentals are nothing new. For centuries travelers have opted to stay in private residences over hotels for a variety of reasons. It’s quite common here in Southern California with the lure of our local beaches and mountains for property owners to rent out their properties on a transient basis. Vacationers have long used the Internet to search for available properties by visiting sites like Craigslist or VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner). The emergence of Airbnb over the last few years has taken the industry to a whole another level. In fact, Airbnb has gained such large scale prominence that its nightly occupancy rates rival many major hotel chains. In 2015, 155 million guests stayed in Airbnb hosted properties that is 22% more than Hilton Worldwide.[i] Unlike other aspects of the sharing economy, long established tax rules do exist for vacation rentals. [Read more…]

A BORDER #$@&% TAX!

ascend shipping containersBy William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous clients ask me about how they might be impacted by the border adjustment tax. In fact, so many have expressed concern that they’re already seeking advice on how to avoid being impacted, even though nothing has been enacted into law. For those of you whom are unfamiliar with the subject, the border adjustment tax is currently a proposal, not law. The idea is derived from the House Republican’s Ways and Means Committee tax reform blueprint, “A Better Way”.[i] One of the central themes in the House GOP blueprint is to shift the taxation of goods and services from a “worldwide” to a “territorial” based system. Proponents of the plan believe that it would dramatically improve U.S. competitiveness because companies would no longer be forced to keep cash trapped overseas for fear of those funds being taxed upon repatriation. In other words, under a territorial system all earnings from overseas would be exempt from tax. [Read more…]

A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO TAX REFORM

aba-tax-reformBy William E. Rogers, MBA, CFP, EA

In the remaining weeks of this election, we are going to hear a lot of back and forth debate over who has a better tax plan. For years, there have been promises by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to reform our tax code. I’m not sure if many of you recall that in 2010 there was a bi-partisan commission convened by President Obama, “Simpson Bowles” to draft a proposal on reforming our tax code. What happened? The Commission presented its report to Congress, but they refused to do anything. [Read more…]

BUSINESS OWNERS, HELP YOUR ESTATE BY GIFTING COMPANY STOCK

 

Everyone needs a solid estate plan to distribute assets according to their wishes and benefit their heirs. But this necessity is especially keen for business owners, many of whom have spent years working hard to build up the values of their companies.

If you can relate to this statement, one effective way to reduce estate taxes is to limit the amount of appreciation in your estate — and your company may provide just the ticket for doing so. [Read more…]

HOW TO PROFIT IN TURBULENT TIMES

1By William E. Rogers, MBA, CFP, EA

If you’ve been following the headlines lately, there’s a growing uneasiness being felt among many. I have certainly encountered some of this in a few recent client meetings. This general sense of fear stems from a whole host of issues: fear of another terrorist attack, the election, and an overall feeling that things are coming apart here at home and abroad. Moreover, I would venture to say one of the greatest unspoken fears today is the economy. You see, there are still many people in this country who have not yet fully recovered from the financial crisis of 2008. Furthermore, there are large segments of the population who might have recovered financially but are still recovering from the psychological and emotional toll of the financial crisis. I personally knew several people who not only lost their homes and jobs but also had their lives turned completely upside down. It has been devastating for many middle-aged people nearing retirement, to have a lifetime of hard work and savings evaporate overnight. How does anyone begin the process of putting the pieces back together after going through something like that? [Read more…]

THE STRATEGIC THREAT OF OUR LIFETIME: PEOPLE VS. ROBOTS

robots welding in an automobile factory

Written by William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

As the election season heats up, you are probably going to hear a lot of discussion about trade policy. Although there is no question that millions of American workers have been displaced by globalization; I personally feel that this is the wrong issue to focus on. Why, because the offshoring of jobs and the ensuing hollowing out of small town America have taken place over thirty years. I believe that it is extremely dishonest to tell voters that we are going to magically bring our jobs back by simply renegotiating trade deals. The reality is the global economy doesn’t work that way. We are only lying to ourselves by not recognizing the fact that the genie has left the bottle, and there’s no putting him back in. Whether we like it or not, we have to come to the stark realization that jobs that have been lost to global trade are not coming back. [Read more…]

4 PILLARS OF ROBUST BUSINESS GROWTH

Many businesses start life small and simple. But with growth comes the need for a stronger company infrastructure and increased operational sophistication. As you pursue a more robust business, focus on these four pillars:

1. Organizational management

Implement a formalized system for measuring performance that begins with written job descriptions and training. Issue a clearly written handbook of company policies. Give employees regular and constructive feedback. [Read more…]

INNOVATE OR ACQUIRE? THAT’S THE STRATEGIC QUESTION

 

Many companies reach a point in their development where they have to make an important decision: Innovate themselves or acquire a competitor? Of course, it isn’t always an either/or decision. Nonetheless, business owners should consider the pluses and minuses of both approaches.

Innovating to grow

Innovation is a broad term that encompasses many strategies — all of which are intended to help the company achieve goals such as boosting profits, improving cash flow, or diversifying products or services. Common strategies are: [Read more…]

SPEED UP BUSINESS DECISIONS WITH DASHBOARD REPORTS

 

Would you drive a car without a functional dashboard? Perhaps once a month someone could tell you how fast you were going and how much fuel you had left. Sound good? Probably not. Yet this is how many business owners run their companies.

The good news is there’s a business solution. With the right software and some help from our firm, you can regularly receive dashboard reports that provide a one- or two-page summary of key business performance metrics in a concise, visual format. [Read more…]

CATCH THE E-SPIRIT – The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Big group of isolated small people in a line
It’s time to start a community in which we foster the entrepreneurial spirit in everyday people. It is my belief that each and every one of us possesses an “inner entrepreneur” that is waiting to be unleashed. It has been my lifelong work to inspire entrepreneurialism in ordinary people.

Entrepreneurialism not only can create endless business opportunities, but it can also transform the communities and society that we live in. [Read more…]