June 13, 2017
I still remember the first summer after turning 16. The thrill of freedom experienced by being able to drive on my own was tinged by the responsibility of vehicle ownership. Insurance, gas, and maintenance were both time consuming and costly. Not watching the fuel gauge means you're walking to the nearest gas station; not keeping the wheels aligned means a bumpy ride and shorter tire lifespan. When that summer came to a close and school resumed, I had learned a life lesson about car ownership.
Alignment of your schedule is also necessary in the summer, and the state of Alabama learned that particular life lesson with the timing of its Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. Set for the first weekend in August for many years, it allowed parents and students to reap some savings by shopping free of sales tax on clothing, computers, supplies, and more. But many school systems in Alabama moved their start dates to the first week in August, meaning the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday frequently fell after the start of school. This led to decreased interest and utilization of the weekend by shoppers.
The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday in Alabama is July 21-23, 2017
Thankfully, this spring, Senator Tim Melson proposed moving up the holiday to third full weekend in July. For 2017, that means July 21-23. Parents, circle your calendars! The average shopper saves $50 in sales taxes, plus many stores have special deals to further entice spending.
Clothing ($100 or less per item) – includes shirts, pants, coats, shoes, shorts, socks, underwear,
Computers, software & accessories ($750 or less per item) – includes computers, printers, tablets
Supplies ($50 or less per item) – includes binders, backpacks, calculators, crayons, folders, lunch boxes,
notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, scissors, maps/globes, textbooks
Books ($30 or less per item) – includes all bound books
Perhaps with the realignment of dates for the holiday weekend, parents and students can once again enjoy saving on their back-to-school shopping. This summer, students can hopefully learn some important life lessons, and parents can hopefully save some dough with the realigned sales tax holiday.
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For many business owners, September tends to bring a bit of a slowdown. The chaos of getting kids prepared for going back to school has passed, and a focus on saving money tends to kick in as people prepare for the coming holiday spend. Combined, this can often translate into a lull for business owners.
This is a friendly reminder that the Q3 tax estimate payment deadline is coming up fast. Be sure to make your payment by September 15, 2018 to avoid penalties. Currently, penalties for late or no payment average about 4 percent. And wouldn’t you rather keep that money in your pocket?
According to new rules from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, meals and entertainment tax-deductible expenses for businesses have undergone considerable reform. Because the explanations of new deduction guidelines can be confusing, we’ve created this brief outline for you. A visit with your accounting professional to ensure your Chart of Accounts is correct may also be beneficial.