J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax is America’s bestselling tax guide. Celebrating its 75th year, it was first written by Jacob Kay Lasser and was so successful that it led to the establishment of The J.K. Lasser Institute, publisher of a wide range of tax, financial, and business books and newsletters. Today, the J.K. Lasser Institute lives on within John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the leading global business publisher. Composed of a team of tax and personal finance specialists led by attorney Elliott Eiss, the Institute is known for independent, easy-to-use tax and personal finance advice. Over 39,000,000 taxpayers have saved money using J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax.
The Institute also publishes an array of popular personal finance books, the J.K. Lasser’s Monthly Tax Newsletter, and hosts the consumer tax Web site, jklasser.com. J.K. Lasser Institute spokespeople are regularly sought after media tax experts. They are frequent guests on major broadcast programs as well as contributors to leading newspapers, magazines, and Web sites.
Barbara Weltman is an attorney, a nationally recognized expert on tax and small business, and a member of the J.K. Lasser Institute Team of Editors & Writers. Barbara has written dozens of top-selling business books, including J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line, J.K. Lasser’s 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks: Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting an eBay Business, and The Rational Guide to Building Small Business Credit.
Barbara is the publisher of Big Ideas for Small Businessë, a free monthly e-newsletter providing entrepreneurs with the information on issues and concerns that matter most to the small-business community, and Idea of the Dayë. She is also a contributing editor of New York Enterprise Report, guest columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and a blogger for American Express OPEN, AOL Small Business, My Venture Pad, and Business.gov.
Barbara serves as Staples.com’s Small Business Tax Expert. She is a member of the Small Business Advocate Brain Trust and serves on the advisory boards for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council, WE-Inc., My Venture Pad, and Boardroom’s Bottom Line/Personal. She is an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College, where she teaches Principles of Entrepreneurship.
A popular speaker on small business topics, she has participated at both local and national conferences, including the DOL/SBA’s Women Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century, SCORE’s Westchester Small Business Conference, American Family’s Business Accelerator Program, and eBay Live!
Barbara hosts her own weekly radio show, Build Your Business, and is a sought-after media commentator who has appeared as a tax and small business expert on CNN, CNBC, The Today Show, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, numerous radio stations nationwide, and podcasts for Smart Money, Forbes, and Inc.com.
She is the New York Enterprise Report’s Small Business Awards Advocate of the Year 2010.
She is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a member of the New York Bar.
Elliott Eiss is an attorney who has been writing J.K. Lasser tax publications for over 30 years. He writes and edits the best-selling annual tax guide, J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax, as well as J.K. Lasser’s Monthly Tax Letter and the Professional Edition of J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax.
David Pugh, C.P.A., is an associate publisher with John Wiley & Sons. He has been working with the J.K. Lasser Institute for over six years. Prior to joining Wiley, David worked at LEXIS Publishing overseeing several tax treatises. His public accounting work was with BDO Seidman, LLC, where he focused on corporate and individual taxation.
Americans travel quite a lot for business. The costs of travel, including transportation, lodging, and meals, that are related to business may be fully or partially tax deductible if certain conditions are met.
Whether you are self-employed or an employee whose company-related travel costs are not covered by an accountable plan, business travel is a deductible expense. As an employee, it can be deducted to the extent miscellaneous itemized expenses exceed 2 percent of adjusted gross income. An accountable plan is a reimbursement arrangement under which you are required to account for your expenses to your employer within a set time and refund to your employer any excess advances or reimbursements.
If, however, your employer has an accountable plan that reimburses you for travel expenses, you are not taxed on the reimbursements so you do not get to deduct the expenses (your employer claims the deduction).
If you are self-employed, the deduction for business expenses is not limited by 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. These costs are fully deductible to the extent otherwise allowed. There is no overall dollar limit on what you can deduct.
In the government’s fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, more than 146 million individual income tax returns were filed. More than $1.3 trillion in taxes were paid, which accounted for more than 54% of all the federal revenue collected. Tax refunds to individuals totaled more than $322 billion.
Source: 2012 Data BookView all factoids