The Closet Cash-In
You may have a significant tax write-off opportunity in your midst.
Companies that have excess, nonmoving inventory may be overpaying the IRS without realizing it. Corporations that donate such merchandise to charity can earn a federal income tax deduction under Section 170(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, according to the nonprofit National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources. In some cases, the deduction can be as much as twice the cost of the merchandise.
The NAEIR offers a guide on the donation process that includes a formula for calculating your company's potential tax savings. For a free copy, call (800) 289-4551.
Online Print Shop
Emerging businesses often have extensive printing needs involving such things as business cards, stationery, and promotional materials. Wouldn't it be great if you could tend to such concerns at your leisure while enjoying significant savings?
As it happens, online print shop iPrint.com offers these and other service features. iPrint.com boasts it can save small businesses up to 50 percent on items such as envelopes, letterheads, invitations, address labels, personalized Post-it Notes, memo pads, and novelty items like T-shirts and key chains. Customers have only to select a product and choose a starting template before customizing it with text and graphics, including clip-art and company logos. Dozens of fonts and colors are available.
Orders are placed via the Internet, fulfilled for iPrint.com by its backend printing partners, and delivered within days. Customers can see a proof of their work before it's printed, reducing the likelihood of a reprint. And 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access guarantees around-the-clock ordering capability.
iPrint.com's numerous awards include being named to Windows Magazine's 101 best business Web sites list, InformationWeek's ebusiness 100, and CIO's top 50 Web sites (for two consecutive years).
Head to www.iPrint.com for more information.
Virtues of Leasing
Many companies, particularly small ones, acquire new equipment through leases rather than loans. Of the $566.2 billion spent by U.S. business on productive assets in 1996, $169.9 billion, or 30 percent, went toward leases, according to the Equipment Leasing Association of America (ELA).
The benefits of leasing can be considerable. On a practical level, lessor companies typically provide a range of equipment-related services — such as maintenance and upgrading — enabling lessee companies to focus on core business operations rather than management of equipment.
Because an operating lease is not considered a long-term debt or liability, it does not appear as debt on financial statements, thus making you more attractive to traditional lenders should you need them. Of course, since a lease does not require a down payment, you'd have more money to invest in your business to begin with.
Perhaps best of all, because the IRS considers an operating lease to be a tax-deductible overhead expense rather than a purchase, you can deduct the lease payments from your corporate income.
The ELA offers a wealth of equipment-leasing information on its Web site, www.elaonline.com. The organization can also be reached at (703) 527-8655.
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