Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joe the Plumber Gets More Tax Breaks Than Me

So, in talking with my favorite tax professional, Dean Brand of Comprehensive Business Services (Delaware), I found out that Joe the Plumber isn't hurting all that much. Did you know that small businesses are eligible for nearly 1600 federal tax deductions, while an individual has less than 100 deductions that they might be able to take? Seems a little unfair to me.

Here's what I found out: you know, that cupcake business you have on the side, or those little crafts you make and sell for some extra spending money? Well, you aren't taking advantage of all that the federal government offers you unless you are incorporated - not operating as a sole proprietor. A sole proprietor has to pay taxes on that extra income - no matter how small it is; and you can only take up to 100 deductions, most of which are related to being a homeowner.

Whereas, if you spend a couple hundred dollars or less to incorporate you can possibly be eligible for hundreds more. Do the math. Makes sense to me, which is why I have already incorporated Bastille Marketing. Not that I am doing much business on a freelance basis, but for even what little I do, I want to be sure that I maximize every penny. Would you walk away from a free $100 or more?? I wouldn't. But if you aren't taking full advantage of the tax deductions out there, then you are.

What's the best part? Dean makes the incorporation process as painless as possible, you get a super organized notebook back with all of your incorporation documentation (I love organization) along with a seal of your company's name (!), straight talk for the average person (not a bunch of tax geek mumbo jumbo, or financial latin that you need to pay a translator to understand) and when its time - Comprehensive Business Services will do your taxes too!!!! That's my favorite part. If you have payroll to deal with or other sorts of book-keeping, they do that as well. Basically, I dig this company because its totally turn-key.

Full disclosure: Dean is also my fiance, although, having had the pleasure of working out of their offices last Friday, I can certify that I didn't get special treatment - this is how they treat all of their clients!! What are you waiting for? The tax year ends in only two months...

Dear Comcast - I'd Like to Unsubscribe from Political Ads...

While I am a marketer at heart, I have to say that the political ads have gotten to me.  They are in heavy rotation which means a substantial ad money = TONS of money being spent to annoy the hell out of me.  What particularly irritates me is the negativity and falsified "facts."  First you see Obama's campaign slamming McCain on taxes.  Within 30-60 seconds you see McCain on the TV talking about Obama's affiliation with Ayers.  Or how we're about to elect the "least experienced person ever" to the Oval Office.  What's a girl to believe?  Not these ads, for sure.  The back and forth is like watching a tennis match and my neck is getting sore!  Unsubscribe please!!

So, in looking for an alternative solution, I've come up with this - political ads should be opt-in.  You notify your cable company whether or not you want these ads and if so, which party or both.  At anytime, you can opt-out.  The political campaigns would only pay for the ads run.  Seems like it would save a TON of money in campaign spending.  Money that could be better served in charitable works or in some way "giving back."  Seems like a good solution to me.

"Hello Comcast?  Please unsubscribe me from the political ads right away.  Yep, ALL of them.  Thanks. See ya, Bye!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen...We have a winner!! Nostalgia Cupcakes & MollieCakes Win!

Despite a rainy, traffic-laden September evening in the District, the Cupcake Contest was a huge success!  A huge crowd fought the weather and the traffic (which was far worse than the weather) to mingle, meet and make new friends while cocktailing and cupcaking at the Washington Club.  The contestants rose to the occasion and provided the crowd with sweets to delight!  

And, without any further adieu the winners were:

Professional -
It was a tough race between MallowDrama and Nostalgia Cupcakes, but in the end - despite a late arrival... Nostalgia Cupcakes inched out MallowDrama.  I would highly recommend either of them.  Look for Nostalgia to open its storefront soon in Annapolis.  And, MallowDrama is already hard at work in nearby Reston, VA.

Amateur -
Miss Mollie O., of the recently launched Molliecakes, won among the amateur contestants - who went all out to present a tasty and delectable-looking cupcake spread.  A big round of applause to all the amateurs for such a serious competition!

A few more thanks to go around - particularly to the fantastic staff and members at the Washington Club.  The Washington Club is one of the most elegant and regal venues in the city - perfect for hosting DC's 1st Annual Cupcake Contest.  The Club Manager, Mr. Henrotte, and his delightful assistant, Amelia, were terrific to work with - and you can too!  Not only is the Club accepting memberships, but the venue is available for renting if you should want to host your own DC contest, wedding, or charity event.  Two other key players in pulling the event together were Mrs. Zigler and Mrs. Elliot, thanks to you ladies for all of your support!

And, now, please take a moment of silence and reverence to remember our wonderful judges, including our judge-at-large selected from the audience.  I believe each of them has just now begun to emerge from their cupcake coma!  After tasting nearly 30 cupcakes each, these ladies are my true heroes!  They were professional and serious, but also a very fun-loving crew.  You can expect more from them on the cupcake front in the future!
  • Stephanie Aspinwall of Ayr Hill Events (Wedding Planning)
  • Amy Cavanaugh, Food Blogger & Washington Blade contributor
  • Sarah Meyer Walsh, The District Domestic
  • Danielle Buckley of Delleicious DC
  • Tracey Schroeder, Professional Cupcake Taster and Co-founder of Uncorked DC
  • Audience Member Judge, the lovely lady from SOME - So Others Might Eat
To see the additional coverage of this event, please take a moment to peruse these postings:
Delleicious, Death by Cupcake and Pictures!
Ayr Hill Events: Cupcakes, The Day After
Greg's List: Pictures!