Pike County Outreach Council of Churches Prepares For Moving To New Location

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

The Pike Council Outreach Council of Churches is planning to move their Operation Center to a new location as early as the end of this February. They are currently located at 107 West Second Street in Waverly.

The new location will be in the former Heritage Nazarene Church at 306 Bridge Street in Waverly, according to Executive Director Techia Potter, who spoke with Litter Media’s Mike Smith on Monday (January 31st).

The Outreach Council started their food pantry in 1968, assisting needy Pike County residents. Their co-ed homeless shelter will be observing their 25th year of operation this March.

According to their Facebook page, “From 1968, the Outreach Council had worked from donated space, which frequently changed. In 1997, we acquired a run-down home, which was converted to a pleasant homeless shelter — (Bridgehaven, 109 W. 2nd St., Waverly, OH.)In 2002, the two-story building next door (107 W. 2nd St.) became available. For the first time ever, we were able to dispense food and other services from a single location. The Outreach Council is funded through its Friends and Supporters, regional church bodies, local congregations, organizations, companies, the CROP walk, volunteers and grants.”

Potter says the new outreach center location will enable the Outreach Council to expand the operation in order to help more people, create more supply storage, and comply with standards established by the Americans with Disability Act.

However, with that larger facility and outreach, it will also require more volunteers to help the operation.

If you would like to become involved as a volunteer or donate to their community work, call the Pike County Outreach Council at (740) 947-7151.

How To Use SNAP Online In Ohio

Presented By McDonald’s

The Center For Community Solutions and Ohio Association of Foodbanks are passing along information to help those on SNAP/EBT to use their Ohio Direction Card to buy groceries online.

Ohio has expanded online shopping for SNAP/EBT in response to COVID-19, although at this time, SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay for fees. You must pay fees with another form of payment, like a credit card or gift card.

The following retailers in Ohio are currently accepting online SNAP/EBT benefits:

Aldi’s, Amazon Fresh, BJ’s, Earth Fare, Giant Eagle, and Walmart Grocery.

Amazon offers delivery only; you do not need a Prime account to shop from Amazon. Aldi and Earth Fare offer delivery and curbside pick-up through InstaCart only.

Giant Eagle and Walmart offer delivery and curbside pick-up.

BJ’s Wholesale Club requires a membership; BJ’s offers delivery and curbside or in-store pick-up.

Kroger does not currently support online shopping, but you can use your SNAP/EBT to pay at curbside pick-up.

Throughout the pandemic, retailers have promoted one-time discounts and special offers for remote shopping, including covering delivery fees. Check with your retailer of choice to find out more.

To find your community food bank, CLICK ON THIS LINK:


Tax Tips For Small Businesses

Presented By Classic Brands

If you own a small business, one of the easiest ways to boost your profits is to make sure you are taking all the deductions you are entitled to on your tax return. This can lower your taxable income and allow you to hold on to more working capital for your business.

But U.S tax code for small businesses can be complicated, and some laws are changing for the tax year 2021. If you’re not fully aware of the long list of deductions you can claim, follow our guide to tax write-offs for small businesses below. 

What Are Small Business Tax Deductions? Small business tax deductions (or “write-offs”) are business-related expenses that you can subtract from your taxable income. And, according to the IRS, business expenses must be both ordinary and necessary to be considered deductible. An expense is “ordinary” if it’s common and accepted in your trade or business. An expense is “necessary” if it’s helpful and appropriate to your business. An expense generally doesn’t have to be indispensable, however, in order to be considered necessary. 

How Do Small Business Tax Deductions Work? Virtually all businesses have to file a tax return but how much you’ll pay in taxes generally depends on how much your business has earned after qualified expenses have been deducted. 

A small business tax deduction is an expense that you can deduct from your income to reduce your federal and state tax bill. If your business brought in $150,000 in revenue, for example; but you had $50,000 in tax deductible business expenses, you would then only be taxed on $100,000 of revenue which could save you many thousands of dollars compared to what you’d owe on $150,000.

A 100 percent tax deduction is a business expense of which you can claim the entire cost on your income taxes. In some cases, however, you may only be able to claim a portion of the expense on your tax return.

Here are 19 tips from lanterncredit.com

1. Advertising and Promotion- The cost of advertising and promoting your business is typically 100 percent deductible. This can include costs related to hiring someone to design a business logo, launching your website, buying ad space in print or online media, running a social media marketing campaign, or sponsoring an event.
2. Car Expenses– If you use your car for business activities, such as driving to see a client or going to the store to buy office supplies, the costs may be tax-deductible as long as you keep track of the mileage. The deductible mileage rate for 2021 is $.56 per mile.  If you have only one vehicle and use it for both personal and business needs, you will likely need to separate the mileage in order for car expenses to be considered a self-employed tax deduction.
3. Bad Debt– If you loaned money to an employee, client, or supplier and it wasn’t paid back; or, if you made credit sales to customers that were never paid, you may be able to claim the outstanding debt as a business tax deduction.  Typically, you need to have proof that it was indeed a business debt and not a personal loan to write off these debts.
4. Business Meals– Do you take clients (or potential clients) out for meals to discuss business? If so, these costs may be 50 percent tax-deductible. The snacks and meals you buy for your employees are also typically 50 percent deductible. Food provided at company parties is generally 100 percent deductible.  In order to be eligible, food costs typically need to be reasonable — extravagant meals likely won’t qualify.
5. Business Insurance– You likely have at least one type of insurance coverage for your company and/or your staff. That might be workers’ compensation, liability, property, or data breach insurance. If the insurance policy is considered ordinary and necessary, you can typically write off 100 percent of your premiums.
6. Business Loan Interest- If you’ve taken out loans for business purposes including lines of credit and mortgages on business real estate, or if you’ve used business credit cards, the interest you pay on those loans may be 100 percent tax-deductible.
7. Contractors and Freelancers– If you hire freelancers or independent contractors to help in your business, you may be able to deduct their fees as a business expense. You may also want to keep in mind that if you pay a contractor $600 or more during the tax year, the IRS typically requires you to submit a Form 1099-NEC to both the IRS and the contractor.
8. Education– If you invest in furthering your knowledge and expertise to give you a leg up in the market or provide your employees with educational benefits, you may be able to write these costs off as business expenses. Tax-deductible education expenses can include classes and workshops intended to improve skills in your field, subscriptions to professional publications, attending industry seminars and webinars, and getting business certifications.
9. Equipment Depreciation– Depreciation is a way of spreading the cost of business equipment or assets over time. It essentially measures how much an asset’s value has been used up or exhausted during the year. 
Items that can be depreciated by small businesses typically include computers and other office equipment, machinery, office furniture, and business vehicles.
10. Gifts– If you give clients and prospects gifts as part of your business, the IRS generally permits you to deduct up to $25 per person per year. Any amount you spend over the $25 limit is not deductible. A gift given to a member of a client’s family is also typically looked at as a gift to the client unless you have a personal connection to the family member. 
11. Home Office– Do you run your business out of your home? If so, you may be able to deduct expenses tied to creating and maintaining that workspace. To qualify for the home-office deduction, you generally must utilize part of your home regularly and exclusively for business. The office does not need to be in a separate room but it must be in a space solely designated to work and business operations. You can typically deduct home office expenses in one of two ways: simplified (in which you multiply a specified rate by the square footage you use for your business) and regular (which involves you itemizing expenses for home office use, including mortgage interest, rent, insurance, utilities, and depreciation). 
12. Legal Fees– If your business has incurred legal expenses such as hiring a business lawyer or going to court you are generally able to deduct them as a business expense. Even if you go to court and do not win the case, those legal fees will likely qualify for the deduction.
The legal expenses incurred, however, typically must be considered ordinary and necessary to the business in order to be considered a tax write-off.
13. Office Supplies– Every pen, sheet of paper, and toner cartridge you purchase for your business can typically be written off on your taxes. For supplies to be deductible, they generally need to be considered essential to running and maintaining a functional office. It can be a good idea to keep receipts and categorize these small business expenses as you go. This can make it easier to file your taxes at the end of the year.
14. Professional Fees– This category includes expenses incurred hiring professionals like bookkeepers, accountants, and tax preparers for your business. Professional fees may also include any expenses related to obtaining or maintaining professional licenses or memberships in an industry organization.
15. Rent– If you pay rent for an office, warehouse, retail space, or another type of business property that monthly rent expense may be fully tax-deductible. If you deduct rent as a business expense, you will typically not be able to take the home office deduction as well.
16. Salaries and Employee Benefits– As long as they’re not for you or other business partners, employee salaries and benefits are generally considered “write-offs” for small businesses. This category typically includes employee’s wages, paid time off, commissions, and bonuses, as well as employer-sponsored life insurance or retirement account contributions.
17. Startup Expenses– If you started your business in the latest tax year, you may be able to write off up to $5,000 of the expenses you invested in launching. Startup expenses generally include any costs incurred to create or buy the business, such as expenses related to marketing, travel, training, forming a corporation or partnership, and renovating a commercial space.
18. Phone and Internet– Generally, what you spend to provide your business with internet and phone service can be written off to lower tax liability. If you use the phone and internet for a mix of work and personal reasons; however, you can typically only write off the percentage of the cost that goes toward your business use.
19. Travel– If you travel for work, such as to visit clients or attend industry events, your travel expenses may be considered business tax write-offs. This can include transportation (flight, rental car, train, parking, and tolls), hotel stays, and meals.

The Takeaway One of the simplest ways to reduce your income tax bill is to ensure you’re claiming all of the tax deductions available to your small business. Understanding which business expenses qualify can help you avoid overpaying come tax time, and also help guide your business decisions throughout the year.