There is a tremendous advantage for a business that rents a home office from the individual entrepreneur.

Rent for the use of property to which the business has no title and in which the business has no equity can be deducted by the business as a trade or business expense if the rent is paid in connection with the company’s trade or business, is ordinary and necessary, and is paid or incurred during the taxable year.

The home office lease provides the company with a framework for a business deduction for the amount paid to the employee, shareholder, officer, director or independent contractor. It provides the shareholder of a corporation or member of an LLC a framework for creating a home office deduction when allowing the company to use a portion of the individual’s home as a work place, storage, or garage for the company vehicle. The home office lease allows for the reimbursement of business expenses for employees of the company as working condition fringe benefits excludible from wages. It documents the actual commencement date and length of the lease agreement and allows for automatic renewals of the lease agreement to avoid additional lease preparation costs in the future. It is a legally binding, written lease agreement between the company and the employee, officer, director or independent contractor for use of a portion of the home. It complies with state law which generally requires all leases of real property for more than a stated period to be in writing.

If you still have questions about how you can benefit from a home office lease, call your attorney or CPA

Written by Spiegel & Utrera, P.A.’s

In general, you should retain records pertaining to your tax return of a given year for at least three years. But keep in mind that there are always exceptions and that you should always consult with a tax professional regarding your tax situation before tossing out any documents that may be needed later as proof. To get you started here is a brief list of documents and considerations:

Capital gains and losses. While you own the investment these records should never be thrown out because investing and reinvesting is a cycle that occurs over many years or decades – you never know how far back you will have to go to prove numbers in the case of an audit. Once the investments are sold then those records should be kept for minimum of three years after having filed a return that reports the sale of such.

Home expenses. Records relating to expenditures and upgrades should be accessible until the property is sold. Due to the 1997 tax law, homeowners profiting from a sale reported on a tax return of $250,000 individual $500,000 joint or less will not be subject to taxes for that sale. Even so, it is still a wise habit to keep related records for at least three years.

Business records. When in doubt hold on to business tax records. For example, non-residential real estate can now be depreciated for over 39 years and after filing the return for the 39th year that return in worse case may be audited within the three year period that follows the filing.

Employment, banking, and brokerage documents. All W-2s, 1099s, brokerage, and bank statements should be kept for a minimum of three years after being used to file taxes. This also goes for supporting documentation such as receipts, mileage logs, diaries, checks, reimbursements, checks, and so on.

Tax returns. Consider the three-year statute of limitations and how long you think that it will no longer affect your future tax filings. A prudent habit is to keep your tax returns for at least 6 years after the date of filing.

Social security records. Make it a habit to eye-ball the quarterly statements that you get from the Social Security Administration or try to check it online at, make it a habit to confirm once a year that your payments have been credited to your account. If there is a discrepancy then you‘ll be happy you kept income records to reconcile and prove the correct amount.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar points out that attitude in business is all about enthusiasm.  Getting excited about your work and maintaining that excitement shows others that you believe in whatever it is you do.  If you don’t believe in yourself or your company, it’s going to creep into your attitude.  Your level of enthusiasm will determine how high you’re going to fly.
Be excited and make 2011 your best year yet…

In our example, we are looking for people who are looking to buy a home in Livermore,CA…it is very important to be specific with your target group.  The more general your target group, the harder it is to find them.

Step 1: create ads that are geographically specific and speak to a narrow audience…

Step 2: give a compelling and valuable offer that appeals to someone in your target group….for our example, we will offer a list of the Top 10 Foreclosures in Livermore

Step 3:  have a way to capture the visitors information in exchange for your compelling offer.

Learn how you can systematize any task, routine, whatever in 3 steps.
Step 1- list every detail of the item you want to systematize
Step 2- segment the details into like categories for chronological sorting and delegation
Step 3- segment the groups and details into chronological order and template it as the way you do it every time. Automate it and use internet based tools if possible to template the process. Outsource your processes whenever possible.

I have people ask me often what my setup is like to shoot videos.  I shoot videos in a few different places but in the green screen studio that I created it looks like this:  10×20 chroma green backdrop, 2 $6 Home Depot sheetrock lights to light backdrop with 100watt bulbs in each, overhead 100watt light shining down, 2 soft box lights in front one with 200watts the other with 100 watts.  Then I have my iPad sitting on a piece of wood that I made an angled channel cut so a piece of glass (from an 8×10 frame) fits in and the camera is mounted to the wood at the back so you look through the glass to see the camera.  If you want any other closeups, feel free to ask…
The backdrop green screen you can find here
The light boxes you can find here in a kit
And the ProPrompTer App can be found here
C. Spencer Reynolds