Web 2 Point Dough: Cupcake Business, Laid-Off Websites, and SXSW Panel

Mardi Gras Cupcake Meetup

Thinking about running a cupcake business?! Read this Mainstreet article first.

Mashable has a great list of 30 websites to look at while you are laid off.

Yay! I know when and where is the panel that I am speaking at South by Southwest Interactive. It’s Monday, March 16 at 10 am.  I am so happy to be on the panel with Mint.com‘s Aaron Patzer, SmartyPig.com‘s Michael Ferrari, Murali Subbarao of Billeo, and Stessa Cohen.

Save $50 A Day and COBRA Subsidy In Stimulus Package

Kiplinger has a great article about saving $50/day and feel no pain.  There are some great tips, but I want to point out the quick and easy one, which it to “stay in-network, nix ATM  bank charges”: Each time you use an out-of-network ATM, you pay an average of $3.43.

Good news from Washington, DC. The newly passed stimulus bill includes a COBRA subsidy. From CNN’s Money:

The bill includes provisions to help eligible jobless workers pay for health insurance under Cobra. Cobra coverage allows newly unemployed workers to keep health insurance provided by their former employers for a period of time. For workers who have been laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, the government will subsidize 65% of their premiums under Cobra for up to 9 months. Those people laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and the day the stimulus law goes into effect, and who did not sign up for Cobra, will get an additional 60 days to do so and receive the subsidy. The subsidy will be limited to those whose income for the year is $125,000 or less ($250,000 for couples filing jointly).

Web 2 Point Dough: Cheap Tax Review and Schedule C Simply

HR Block offers Second Look Review for only $29.  Second Look Review is a service that H&R will review your 2008, 2007 or 2006 tax returns to see if there are errors or deductions that could be taken. They will review your returns even if you did them with TurboTax. This is great so you have another pair eyes looking at your returns, and it is way cheaper than a CPA.

Speaking of taxes, most freelancers and microbusiness owners like have to complete a Schedule C with a 1040 to show deductible business expenses. A great way to keep track of those expenses is to use Outright.com, a new online financial application. Outright was founded by two former Intuit employees and aims to become an easy, simple resource for self-employed people, sole proprietors,  micro-businesses — anyone that files a Schedule C tax return.

Lastly if you are in New York City, I am doing a seminar on Wednesday, February 18 at New Work City.  It is called “Bookkeeping for Start-ups and Freelancers“.

Tax Tips For Freelancers

It’s February. By now you should have all your 1099s from your clients. If not, contact them immediately so you can get your taxes done.

First,  look at how much you made. Review the amounts on your 1099s. Then look at how you can deduct expenses to reduce your taxable income.

Freelance Switch has a good list of tax deductions.  Don’t forget that you can deduct income taxes paid in 2007.

Also, there’s  more taxes tips for freelancers on Mint.com’s blog.

Lastly, check out the IRS’ 1040 Central for news on Earned Income Tax Credit and eFiling.