Changes to TX Ag Exemption System

Beginning in 2012 individuals and businesses claiming an exemption an agricultural and timber purchases must provide a registration # provided by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Who is eligible to register?

A person (person is generic this includes individuals and businesses) including a non-Texas resident, engaged in the production of agricultural or timber products for sale in the regular course of business is eligible for a registration.

Should I register?

If you make agricultural purchases that are eligible for the exemption and you are an eligible person you should register, otherwise you'll have to pay the sales tax when you purchase your agricultural items. If you're wondering what are eligible agricultural purchases here's a link to qualifying and non qualifying items: Exempt and Non Exempt Products

How do I register?

You can apply online via this page: Texas Agricultural and Timber Exemption Number Online Application . If you prefer to apply by paper you can click on the following link and complete and print a paper application: Texas Agricultural and Timber Exemption Number Application.

What do I need to register?

You'll need the basic information such as knowing your business entity (sole proprietorship, llc, partnership, corporation etc), name, mailing address, street address, owner social security #, business federal tax ID # and if registered with the state your state file #.

If you have questions about registering, please do not hesitate to contact me. Registering is simple but if you'd prefer you can request that I complete your registration for you. Please contact me by phone or email if you have questions.


Surviving Your Serengeti-7 Skills to Master Business and LIfe by Stefan Swanepoel

Recently I was given a complimentary copy of this New York Times Bestseller book through Booksneeze.com. I should preface my review of this book with the fact that I'm not usually a big fan of self-improvement books. In fact even though I'm an avid reader, they rarely make it into my reading repertoire. This book was different -it was captivating and thought provoking.

This book is about a couple on an African safari who meet up with an enigmatic old friend. The friend affords the couple the opportunity to witness many different animal species and the skills they use to survive as they make their annual thousand mile migration across the wild and changing Serengeti.

The couple watch and learn how each animal has adapted to life on the Serengeti and how humanity can learn by watching and using the same principals in our personal and business lives to further our goals.

Which animal are you?

Are you the enduring Wildebeest who has the steadfast ability to hold on for one more day?
The strategic Lion who has a road map to define and achieve its goals?
Or are you the graceful giraffe who has more than style and finesse, but also does the right thing.
Maybe you are the Cheetah, master of efficiency, optimizing all resources to achieve the best results.
How about the enterprising Crocodile who explores all options and boldly seizes opportunity?
Are you the Mongoose who takes calculated risks as an essential part of every journey?
Lastly you might be the Elephant the effective communicator who delivers its message.

If after reading the book you can't decide, you can go to http://www.whatanimalamI.com and take a quiz. I'm not sure about the Quiz though...it said I was an Elephant, I would have thought I was the Cheetah. Perhaps I'm a bit of both.


IRS Raises Standard Mileage Rates

Mileage Rates to Increase

Just this morning the IRS issued Announcement 2011-40 releasing news that the business standard mileage rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents a mile from the 51 cents rate for the first six months of 2011.

The medical and moving mileage rates will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute and remains at 14 cents a mile.


In Honor of Earth Day...

In honor of earth day I thought I'd write about a practice I've undertaken in my business and personal life for the last year -removing my name from mass mailings. How much of the mail you receive each day is simply pitched into "File 13" unopened and unread? Well instead of simply pitching, I now take the time to remove my name from the mailing list, and then pitch (of course into the recycle bin).

Happily there is a great organization on the web -that makes this process a little simpler. It's called Catalog Choice.org. This organization has a great website where you simply search for the company whose catalog you no longer want to receive -select it, fill out any additional information requested and your done! They will submit the request and hopefully in a few weeks you will find you are no longer receiving those catalogs. And the best part? This site is absolutely free (though you can make a donation to help fund their operation if you choose)

It's good for the economy and good for the earth. Think how much money is wasted printing and mailing those catalogs? Wouldn't that money be better spent on JOBS!! And let's not mention how much landfill these catalogs create.

Please do your part and start removing your name from unwanted catalog mailings instead of just pitching the catalogs into your recycle bin...every little green thing we do helps makes the world a better place.


Small Business -First Year of Business

I read this article the other day and thought I'd pass it along as it has some good tips:

At the bottom of the page is a link to the writer's website: takecommand.org which is a subscription based website but has a lot of good free valuable information. I haven't subscribed so can't comment on the paid information content, but I found a lot of good information for new businesses within the free content.


January 31 is deadline for many tax forms, are you in compliance?

Annual payroll forms 944/941/940/943 are due January 31, 2011 (if all taxes have been paid timely the deadline is extended by 10 days to February 10, 2011).

W-2s should be prepared and issued to your employees by January 31, 2011. You have until Feb 28 to submit copies to the SSA (March 31 if you electronically file)

1099's should also be prepared and issued by January 31, 2011. You have until Feb 28, 2011 to file the IRS copy (March 31 if you efile).

Who do you issue a 1099-misc to? Remember this applies to business and rental property, but not personal payments:

"File Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, for each person to whom you have paid during the year:
  • At least $10 in royalties (see Box 2 on page 4) or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest (see Box 8 on page 7);

  • At least $600 in rents, services (including parts and materials), prizes and awards, other income payments, medical and health care payments, crop insurance proceeds, cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) you purchase from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish, or, generally, the cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate;

  • Any fishing boat proceeds; or

Gross proceeds of $600 or more paid to an attorney. See Payments to attorneys on page 2."

Here is a great link to a calendar that shows various tax deadlines for 2011: IRS Tax Calender. You might want to bookmark it so you have it at your finger tips.

Also for those who only have a few 1099-misc forms or W-2's to file , you can file them for free at



Tax Changes for Small Businesses...

Happy New Year -instead of rewriting information, I've decided to post links to items I feel are newsworthy to my clients.

Here's a link to a summary of a few important tax changes for Small Business made in 2010.

Tax Changes for Small Business

Here are the 2010 & 2011 Standard Mileage rates: Standard Mileage rates for 2011 and 2010 standard mileage rates.