Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Integrate Financial and Non-financial Records into Your Dynamic Business Plan

Sloppy books and jumbled records can point to a hobby. In one case the Tax Court said, “The record . . . is vague and confusing. There is no clear picture of the exact nature of [the taxpayer]'s recording activities. Nor is there a clear picture of how and when, if ever, these activities are going to result in a profit.” The court goes on to say:

…the record was incomplete, without evidence of an organized, businesslike attempt by [the taxpayer] to engage in an activity for profit. [He] did not introduce evidence of long-range planning or of organized recordkeeping. Nor did he introduce evidence to prove that he had regular customers and receipts— normal attributes of a profit-making enterprise.
Moreover, in many instances the evidence which appears in the record tends to indicate that [the taxpayer]'s activities were motivated by pleasure rather than by a desire to make a profit. At no time through the end of the taxable year in question did [taxpayer] hold himself out to the general public as being engaged in business. Indeed, [the taxpayer] did not even carry on his recording activities during the year in question.
So be certain that your records—financial and non-financial—present a clear picture and the exact nature of your expression activity. Integrate financial and non-financial records into your dynamic business plan.

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