Category Archives: Running the business

Critical IRS Deadlines in the Year 2014 – June through December

300X250 Focus Blurb AdNow is a good time for you to do a mid-year health check on your record keeping and tax status.

Give us a call at 619-589-8680 and let’s set up a time for you to come in.

June 2, 2014

Deadline for financial institutions to send out Form 5498 to report balances in an individual retirement account for the year 2013.

June 16, 2014

2nd quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2014 tax year. (The normal deadline is June 15th, which falls on a Sunday, so the deadline is pushed to the next business day.)

Deadline for US citizens living abroad to file individual tax returns and to pay any tax due. You can request an additional 4-month extension (Form 4868). (You can request an automatic extension by April 15th instead if you want to.) Two tax breaks important for Americans working abroad are the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit, .

June 30, 2014

Deadline to file Foreign Bank Account Report for the year 2013. This report is required if you have over $10,000 (in aggregate) held in foreign bank accounts. Foreign Bank Account Reports have a new form number (FinCEN Form 114) and must be filed electronically. Extensions of time to file are not available.

September 15, 2014

3rd quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2014 tax year.

Final deadline to file corporate tax returns for the year 2013 if an extension was requested. (Forms 1120, 1120A, 1120S).

Final deadline to file trust income tax returns (Form 1041) for the year 2013 if an extension was requested.

Final deadline to file partnership tax returns (Form 1065) for the year 2013 if an extension was requested.

October 1, 2014

Final deadline for self-employed persons or small employers to establish a SIMPLE-IRA for the year 2014.

October 15, 2014

Final deadline to file individual tax returns (with extension). (Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ.)

Last day the IRS will accept an electronically filed tax return for the year 2013. If filing after October 15th, you’ll need to mail in your tax return for processing.

Final deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2013 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file.

November 2014

Start planning any year-end tax moves.

December 1, 2014

If you are covered by an HSA-compatible health insurance policy as of December 1st, you’ll be eligible to contribute the full amount to a Health Savings Account for the year.

December 31, 2014

Last day to make any tax moves for the year 2014. Last day to set up a solo 401(k) for self-employed persons.

Marital status on this date determines your marital status for the whole year.

Source: Income Tax Deadlines; Critical IRS Deadlines in the Year 2014

How To Handle Custody Disputes Involving Children In Your Care

Tom Copeland Podcast: Custody Disputes

Tom Copeland has a great post on how to handle custody dispute issues that you might be confronted with.  Read the following situations, and then go to his blog see Tom’s words of advice.  How should you handle the following three situations?300X250 Focus Blurb Ad V2 Bigger Print


First – A mother calls you up and says, “My husband and I are starting divorce proceedings and I don’t want him to pick up our child anymore.”

Second – At the time of enrollment the mother tells you that she is separated, but not divorced, from the father. One day a man shows up at your home saying he is the father and is there to pick up his child. The child runs to him, saying “daddy, daddy!” You’ve never seen this man before.

Third – Parents have joint physical custody and the father picks up the child on Fridays. The father tells you his new girlfriend will be picking up the child next Friday. The mother finds out and says she doesn’t want girlfriends picking up her child.


Ready… Set… Prepare! Disaster Activity Book For Children

Ready...Set...Prepare! FEMA Disaster Preparedness Activity BookReady… Set… Prepare! Disaster Activity Book For Children

Activity Book That Teaches Children Gently…

We came across this book, Ready… Set… Prepare! Disaster Activity Book For Children that is published by FEMA and can serve as a wonderful aid for educating our small children about emergency situations they’ll need to learn… young.

It is a 36 page glossy paper book that delivers the “need to know” lessons as gently as possible.

They start with words and their meaning: Aftershock, Authorities, Dangerous, Disaster, Emergency and so on.

There are B&W templates that you can cut out and copy, such as  “My Family Communication Plan”, “Taking Care of Pets” and a “clue” game that gives a scenario and asks “what is this called” or asks what other actions should the child take if they are in a situation.

To find out more about this publication, you can send an email to: or call 1-800-480-2520.

Other sites for information:
FEMA for Kids
Are You Ready?  www.fema/gov/areyouready
American Red Cross




Promoting Home Childcare Business – Tips and Strategies #1

Baby Only Facing Right5 Ways to Promote Your Home Childcare Business

Child Care Tax Specialists isn’t just about taxes We write about, and share, best practices for the business owner to help them tackle their administrative tasks that they make time for every day, every week, every month.  We aren’t seasonal.  We work with our child care clients throughout the year, including our bi-annual YMCA Tax & Recordkeeping Seminars and Audit Workshops.

In this series, we will share some of the best “how to’s” out there beginning with this article by Rachel Carpenter.

Did you just recently start a home child care business? Do you have several openings to fill? Are you looking for places on where to advertise your child care services? Here are a few advertising options to consider.

Where to Advertise a Home Day Care Tip #1: Advertise Through Friends (Word-of-Mouth)    One of the cheapest ways to get the news out about your business is through word-of-mouth. Tell your friends that you are starting a home child care business and that you have openings. Your friend will then pass the information along to anyone they know that needs child care.

Do you have Facebook, MySpace or Twitter? Make a status update or tweet saying “I’ve started a home child care business! I’m exciting about caring for children and helping families. If you know of anyone needing child care, please refer me!” You might also tell your friends through e-mail, or just give them a call to let them know. You might also share with your friends at church, your neighbors and any groups that you are part of.

This advertising method is perhaps one of the most effective ways to advertise because it comes with a reference. If people know that you are a reputable, caring person, they are more likely to consider your services.

Where to Advertise a Home Day Care Tip #2: Advertise Online

The next inexpensive way to advertise your home day care is online. You might start with the website Search for a local online mom’s group in your area. Join the group and introduce yourself, and share the news about your business. Some Cafemom groups will have a section just for advertising, and you can advertise there.

You might also advertise on in the “child care” section. Additionally, you can also check to see if there is a local Facebook group for moms, and you might mention there. Do not spam people on Cafemom or Facebook, as that it will only hurt your business.

Where to Advertise a Home Day Care Tip #3: Advertise Through Flyers

A third low-cost way to advertise your child care business is through Flyers. Create eye-catching, adorable fliers. Be sure that they are professional looking. (Don’t just write a hand-written note saying “Home Day Center Has Openings. Call XXX”) Be sure to include your qualifications, if you are CPR and First Aid Certified, and that you have references available. It is best to make the flyers colorful, if possible.

Post these fliers wherever parents might go. Try putting them in grocery stores, gyms, coffee shops, college and other locations that have bulletin boards available. You might also try to advertise in teacher’s lounges at local schools – it doesn’t hurt to stop by the school and ask. You can also try placing the flyers in child-related businesses such as clothing stores, dance studios, etc.

Where to Advertise a Home Day Care Tip #4: Advertise in Newspapers

If none of the options above work, remember you can always advertise in local newspapers. If there is a Thrifty Nickel in your area, try advertising there. You might also try running a classified ad in a local family magazine or community newspaper. And, don’t forget you can advertise in your town or city’s newspaper as well. Be sure to have references available for anyone who calls.

Where to Advertise a Home Day Care Tip #5: Advertise at Local Community Health Fairs    A fifth option is to rent a booth at a local community health fair. This is a great way to meet parents in person and promote your business. Be sure to have business card and flyers handy to share with prospective clients. And, of course, have a list of references available for anyone who asks. It doesn’t hurt to have resume handy as well.

These are just five ways to promote your home childcare business! As home day centers are in demand in most areas, you should have several children to care for in no time at all. Good Luck and Happy Working!

Your Special Rule for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents

Baby Only Facing RightHow should you handle parents who are divorced or separated when it comes to providing receipts?

As a good practice, we advocate our child care providers issue receipts whenever they are paid.  Do you have to do this?  No, it just makes your record keeping easier.

The question here is when you have a child in your care, whose parents are separated or divorced, which parent do you give the receipt to?  The short answer : you only give a receipt to the person who actually paid you. Make it one of your business rules, and let parents know (and include in your program materials).

But what do you do if you find yourself in a situation where one of the parents comes to you and says they have been paying the other parent for your child care services… and they need the receipt to declare it.  Advise the parent that they will have to speak to the other parent because you only issue receipts to someone who has directly paid you and they will have to speak to the other parent if they are planning to claim a child care tax credit.

What happens if both parents, separated or divorced, have paid you.  If you have kept a register of who paid when, then add it up and give each parent a receipt for the amount they paid.  If you didn’t keep it separate, then, according to Tom Copeland, “give each of them the same receipt and mark “Duplicate” on each receipt”.

For more information about on this read Child and Dependent Care Expenses,

Free Childcare Forms Promote Best Practices

Practicing good communications includes good forms!

During our last seminar series for the YMCA Childcare Resource Services, our attendees expressed an interest in best practices and tools.  We always reference Tom Copeland as an excellent source of information, and we are pleased to turn you on to another valuable site that has free forms that you can easily download and customize for your childcare business.

To begin, how would you rate your communication skills?  We know you have to be effective working and caring for children – but how about communicating with the parents?  Do you routinely sit and talk with the parents?  Do you have a printed handbook that discusses your business policies, rules, and other practices?

ccl-logoThe Child Care Lounge  has all the materials to help you assemble a professional handbook with the type of information exclusively for childcare providers.

First you will see Printable Contracts, and they include:

Then scroll down to the Printable Parent Letters and Forms.  There you will find, in PDF and word format:

And then on to Progress Reports, Employee Forms, Promotional Signs, etc.

Remember this – when you have a *handbook* you are communicating how you conduct and handle your business.  Your clients will value your professionalism and attention to detail.  You and your employees will benefit by establishing levels of expectation in performance and practices.  Think of it as a foundation.  Don’t forget to check out our Checklists, Mileage Logs and other forms .

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For more than 30 years R. Patrick Michael has been preparing tax returns for individuals, small businesses, cottage industries and in-home child care providers. Pat is a recognized child care provider tax expert, and has been providing educational seminars for child care providers in San Diego County for the YMCA Child Resource Services for more than 18 years.  Pat and his team have built a following that is comprised of long-term clients, new relationships and word-of-mouth referrals. Child Care Tax Specialists take care of their clients year-round with tax preparation, business entity creation and support, as well as tax planning for retirement, and estate planning.

NEED HELP?  CALL (619) 589-8680 TODAY!




Are You Depreciating Your Household Items Correctly?

Depreciating  household items can represent a significant tax savings!

Tax Refund Ahead SignWe always meet with our new child care provider clients to check their past deductions because many times they have not properly depreciated the day-to-day materials, furniture, and household items they use in the daily operation of their business.

We want to know about these items – even if they were purchased before the business was started. These can result in considerable tax savings for you.

It’s true!  You are entitled to claim depreciation on household items that you purchased BEFORE your business was even started.  In fact, you should depreciate all the items based on the lower end of the purchase price (your tax preparer will guide you) or the of the item(s) when they were first used in your business.

The list can include: beds, linens, towels, tables, chairs, desks, refrigerator, freezer, washer/dryer … are you getting the picture.  Any of the items that you are using in support of your child care business is a legitimate deduction.  This includes little stuff too, like pictures on the wall, garden hose, tools (for use outside).

The IRS Child Care Provider Audit Technique Guide states, “For many providers, when they start their business many items that were personal use only are used in the business.  They are entitled to depreciate the business use portion of those assets.”


For more than 30 years R. Patrick Michael has been preparing tax returns for individuals, small businesses, cottage industries and in-home child care providers. Pat is a recognized child care provider tax expert, and has been providing educational seminars for child care providers in San Diego County for the YMCA Child Resource Services for more than 18 years.  Pat and his team have built a following that is comprised of long-term clients, new relationships and word-of-mouth referrals. Child Care Tax Specialists take care of their clients year-round with tax preparation, business entity creation and support, as well as tax planning for retirement, and estate planning.

NEED HELP?  CALL (619) 589-8680 TODAY!

Communicating Your Child Care Business Policies


Baby with Blue ShoesIt is your responsibility to communicate your policies in your business.  Clients will appreciate the information, and creates a basis of communication between you and the client.  It establishes how you conduct your business, and gives parents an “inside look” of what to expect in your performance.  It also lets them know what is expected of them. Continue reading


Does talking about rate increases with your client make you uncomfortable?

Child Care Tax SpecialistsYou’re not alone.  Many child care providers feel awkward talking about rates and fee increases with their clients.  However, just as many of your clients get annual reviews and increases in their job-related compensation, it isn’t unreasonable for you to need to adjust your rates if only to meet inflation.

If you prefer not to increase your rates across the board, maybe just one of your specialty services might be appropriate, such as infant care.  Those clients who rely on you to care for their infant, understand the demands are greater with infants, and are more likely to understand paying more for it.

So what is a reasonable increase?

I always stress in my Taxes & Recordkeeping Seminars for the San Diego Chapter of the YMCA Child Resource Services, that child care providers cannot discuss their rates with other child care providers.  It’s against the law.  If you need guidance in determining what is a fair rate based on your regional market, consult with Child Resource Services in your area.  In San Diego, you would contact Child Resource Services, YMCA of San Diego County.

You will want to consider how often you should raise your rates.  Best practices says to not raise them more than once a year, but refrain from locking yourself into that by not putting any rate limiting information in a contract.  Things change, and you want to stay as flexible as possible.

How to Deduct Expenses at the NAFCC Conference in Orlando, Florida

Follow IRS rules about business travel and deductions and enjoy the trip!

Are you planning to attend the National Association for Family Child Care Conference in Orlando, Florida on July 11-12, 2014?

NAFCC2014_Poster_webThe program guide  gives you all the details about workshops and seminars that will be taking place, including valuable business practices for record keeping and general business administration of your child care business.

  • You will have the opportunity to meet keynote speakers, like Tom Copeland, who will be conducting several workshops.
  • Interface with other child care providers from around the country and see what they are doing for their business.