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        a home based business onlinehome business ideas

           IN THIS ISSUE

        1.  Welcome and Update from Elena
        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Travel Club
        3.  Feature Article - Taxing Times ... The Home Office
        4.  Tips from the Newbie Club
        5.  This Week's Subscriber Web Site Pick
        8.  Subscription Management
        10. Contact Information

        1.  Welcome and Update from Elena

        Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers who
        have joined us since the last issue!

        First off, I forgot to update the autoresponder address for last
        week's article, Running Your Own Race, as several kind souls
        have pointed out over the past week. 
        Second, three announcements about the new site.  The first will
        be good news for those of you who write your own articles and
        are always looking for new submission points.  Although editorial
        policy for the AHBBO ezine is that, as a general rule, I don't run
        guest articles, I am going to start accepting guest articles at the
        AHBBO website.  If you would like your article(s) considered for
        inclusion, please email them to AHBBO's marketing administrator,
        Jan Taylor at

        The second announcement is good news for those of you with
        a product, service or business opportunity to promote.  I will
        shortly be adding a free classified ads section to the AHBBO
        website.  All the rules and guidelines are set out for you there.  And NO,
        I won't be banning MLM ads.  And YES, I will be banning ads
        for pyramid schemes (so don't even THINK about trying to post
        those stupid send $5 to each of the ten names on this list type
        deals).  Also, if you'd care to write an article about your business
        opportunity send that in too and I'll link to it from your ad.  For
        MLM'ers, here's your chance to set the record straight.  Please
        note though, and this goes for everyone, that an article is NOT a
        sales letter.  An article is an informative piece highlighting the
        advantages and disadvantages of your *particular* business
        opportunity.  It must help the reader make an informed decision
        about your opportunity.  Preference will be given to those pieces
        that make an honest attempt to tell it like it is.

        Finally, I will shortly be adding discussion forums to the AHBBO
        website.  In addition to a general '"free for all" type of board, I
        also have in mind a few specialty boards for those of you
        in certain situations, in particular WAHPs (work-at-home parents),
        seniors and MLM'ers.  I would be interested in your feedback on
        this idea.  Any thoughts?  Any particular special interest groups
        you think should be added to this list? 
        OK, onto this week's issue.  This week sees the start of a new
        segment.  Since j.l. Scott's Pro-Motion column is now no longer
        in ezine syndication (you can still read it at the AHBBO website
        though at I've been
        looking for something to take its place.  Well, this week, I found it:
        Tips from the Newbie Club.  It's at segment 4.  Although this
        segment is targeted predominantly to those new to the internet,
        just because you're not a newbie, don't overlook it.  We can all
        do with getting back to basics every now and then.

        This week's article looks at the home office tax deduction, a
        subject a number of people have written to me about over the
        past few weeks.  Can you tell tax time is looming?  So, if you're
        running a business out of your home or thinking about it, this
        week's article is essential reading.

        As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's

        Remember, this ezine is for YOU! If you have comments
        or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
        or would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
        questions and stories to Contact By Email .

        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Travel Club

        Most Travel Clubs are organized on the premise of building a
        sizable membership capable of negotiating discounts with various
        travel providers.

        The Travel Club makes money earning a commission every time
        a member purchases airline tickets, books a hotel room, or goes
        on a cruise. Today, things have changed quite a bit.


        With a swelling membership basis it is difficult for travel clubs to
        ignore the profits of charging for membership, no matter how
        insignificant the amount. With 10,000 members, a travel club
        charging only $20 a year will earn $200,000 in membership dues.
        This revenue is over any commission the Club earns when a
        member travels.


        A Travel Club normally acts as a travel agent for the exclusive
        use of its members. As an "agency", it gets standard agent
        commissions from airlines, hotels and cruise lines. This can
        range anywhere between 10% and 18% of the purchase price.
        What travel clubs usually do is offer its members a rebate
        equivalent to 50% of its commission (meaning 5% to 9% of
        their purchase price). If the member spends $1,000, he/she
        gets back anywhere between $50 and $90. This is enough
        reason for people to join a travel club, especially if the
        membership dues are just $20 a year.


        As today's market shifts from the "all-in-one" and "do-it-all"
        service companies to that of "specialized" services, so do
        travel clubs. Based on industry statistics, the best area to
        specialize in is the Cruise business, the fastest-growing
        segment in Travel.


        Sell memberships to your All-Cruise Travel Club and offer rebates
        on all cruises and peripheral services the member books through
        the club. Find products or services that you can give as bonus for
        signing up for a year's membership.

        You may even want to seek distributors who will purchase
        membership cards in advance, at 15% of the retail price. This
        means that if the membership retails for $20, a distributor buys it
        from you for $3. If you sell 10,000 memberships this way, you've
        just earned $30,000. Then, add to this revenue from commissions
        when members take a cruise.


        There are many more ideas like this at the AHBBO Home
        Business Ideas page at free home based business ideas
        with more being added all the time.

        3.  Feature Article - Taxing Times ... The Home Office

        © 2017 Elena Fawkner

        Yay!  It's tax time again (or near enough).  I can't wait.  Just love
        this stuff.  Not!  OK, I know it's boring, I know your eyes glaze
        over at the mere thought of all those forms and paperwork but it
        has to be done so let's just bite the bullet and get on with it.

        Now let's start with the fact that there's no substitute for a
        qualified professional when it comes to this sort of stuff so I'm
        not going to attempt a comprehensive survey of everything you
        need to think about when it comes to tax and your home business. 
        What we're going to look at in this article is *one aspect* of home
        business taxation in the U.S.: the home office deduction.  By
        having a  working knowledge of this deduction BEFORE you hand
        everything over to your accountant will not only save both of you a
        lot of time (and therefore expense), you will be able to make sure
        you're keeping good records for everything you need to.  Although
        this article considers U.S. tax law, many other countries have
        enacted similar laws so if you're outside the U.S., check with your
        local tax office to see what comparable deductions may be available
        in your country.  I know, for example, that the Australian home
        office deduction is very similar.

        I figured a good place to start researching this article was the IRS
        itself.  Clever, no?  There's a pretty handy flowchart at the IRS site
        that sets out quite clearly the elements you need to satisfy in
        order to deduct the business use of home expenses, so we'll
        just follow that.  If you're interested in checking it out for
        yourself, it's at .

        WHAT IS A HOME?

        For the purposes of the home business deduction, a "home"
        means a house, apartment, condo, mobile home or boat as
        well as other structures on the property such as a garage,
        shed or barn.  It does not include property used exclusively
        as a hotel or an inn.


        If not, you can't deduct business use of home expenses.  Duh.
        Stop reading now.

        In order to satisfy the trade or business use test, you must use
        part of your home in connection with a trade or business.  So
        far so good.  But if you use your home for a profit-seeking activity
        that is not trade or business, you cannot claim a deduction for
        the business use of home expenses.  A good example given by
        the IRS is research you undertake for your own private
        stockmarket investments.  Although this is a profit-seeking
        activity, you are not involved in the trade or business of
        stockbroking or dealing and so you cannot claim the home
        business deduction.


        OK, this is where things get a little trickier.

        => The Exclusive Use Test

        To qualify under the exclusive use test, a specific area of your
        home must be used solely for your trade or business.  It can be
        a separate room or part of a room but it need not be marked off
        by any form of permanent partition.

        So, if you have an "L" shape living room/dining room area
        and the dining room area is hived off as your "office" and is used
        for no other purpose, then this satisfies the exclusive use test. 

        If, however, you clear the dining table of your papers every night
        so the family can use it for dinner, you don't meet the exclusive
        use test.  So confine family meals to the kitchen!  Easy.

        => Exceptions to the Exclusive Use Test

        The only exceptions to the exclusive use test are if you use
        part of your home for the storage of inventory or product
        samples or as a day-care facility.

        If you use part of your home for storage of inventory or product
        samples, although you don't have to satisfy the exclusive use
        test, you must meet all of the following tests instead:

        * you keep the inventory or product samples for use in trade or
        * your trade or business is the wholesale or retail selling of
        * your home is the only fixed location of your trade or business;
        * you use the storage space on a regular basis; and
        * the space you use is an "identifiably separate space" suitable
        for storage.

        Therefore, if you store your inventory of knitting wool for your
        internet business of selling wool, knitting patterns and knitting
        needles in your basement, then you will still be able to deduct
        your basement expenses (or part of your basement expenses)
        even though your basement is also used as a recreation or
        workshop area.

        => The Regular Use Test

        In addition to satisfying the exclusive use test, you must also
        satisfy the regular use test.

        This means that you must use the specific area of your home
        you use exclusively for business purposes on a continuing basis.
        This means more than occasional or incidental use.


        Your home will be your principal place of business if you use
        it exclusively and regularly for the administrative or management
        activities of your trade or business and you have no other fixed
        location where those activities are conducted.

        "Administrative or management activities" include activities
        such as billing customers, keeping books and records, ordering
        supplies, setting up appointments, forwarding orders or writing

        Furthermore, and this is a recent change in the law from 2017
        onwards, even if certain administrative or management activities
        are performed outside your home, you will not necessarily be
        disqualified from satisfying the principal place of business test. 
        You may, for example, engage third parties to conduct your
        administrative or management activities at other locations.  An
        outside bookkeeping service is one example.  You may also
        conduct some of your management or administrative activities
        from your car on your cellphone without disqualifying your home
        as your principal place of business.

        Alternatively, if you conduct your business at more than one
        location, whether your home can be considered your principal
        place of business depends on a consideration of the relative
        importance of the activities performed at each location.  If this
        is not determinative, you can then take into account the time
        spent at each respective location.

        If, after conducting this analysis, you home can be identified
        as your principal place of business then, provided you also
        satisfy the trade or business and exclusive and regular use
        tests, you can deduct home office expenses.


        Even if you can't meet the principal place of business test,
        if you use your home to meet with patients, clients or
        customers in the normal course of your business, you may
        still be able to claim the deduction. 

        You can deduct expenses for the part of your home used
        exclusively and regularly for business if you physically meet
        with patients, clients or customers in your home and their
        use of your home is "substantial and integral" to the conduct
        of your business.

        This means that the use of your home for occasional
        meetings and telephone calls is not sufficient as the use of
        your home is not substantial and integral to your business.


        You may deduct expenses for a separate free-standing structure
        such as a garage if you use it exclusively and regularly for your
        business.  It does not have to be your principal place of business
        or a place where you meet patients, clients or customers.

        For example, if you're an internet consultant whose principal place
        of business is at an office downtown, but you also use your garage
        exclusively and regularly as your home office for reviewing client
        websites and writing reports in relation thereto, you can claim the
        home office deduction for expenses associated with your garage.


        To summarize, then, to qualify to deduct expenses for the business
        use of your home, you must satisfy the following tests:

        1.  Your use of the business part of your home must be:

        (a) exclusive (unless the storage of inventory or day-care
             facility exceptions apply); AND
        (b) regular; AND
        (c) for trade or business


        2.  The business part of your home must be one of the

        (a) your principal place of business; OR
        (b) a place where you meet with patients, clients or customers
        as a substantial and integral part of your business; OR
        (c) a separate structure such as a detached garage you use in
        connection with your business.


        Calculating your business use of the area of your home that
        you are using exclusively and regularly for business purposes
        is not complicated.  First, calculate the percentage of the business
        area of your home as a proportion of your total home area.

        Next, add up your rent or mortgage interest, utilities, repairs and
        maintenance, insurance and property taxes.  Finally, multiply the
        total by the percentage you calculated above.  If you own your
        home, you can also include depreciation on the business
        portion of your home.

        Note though that you cannot deduct your home office if you have
        a loss from your business or if you would create a loss by
        claiming the deduction.  If you find yourself in this situation, never
        fear.  Any expenses you can't claim this year can be carried forward
        to future years.


        So, that's the home office deduction in a nutshell.  Not too
        difficult, is it?  Should you claim it?  Why or why not?

        To help you answer these questions, let's wrap up with a quick
        look at the pros and cons of claiming the home office deduction.

        First, the big con.  Claiming the home office deduction increases
        your chances of being audited.  So, be sure that your claim
        is legitimate before you claim it because the odds are relatively
        higher that the IRS will come knocking on your door.  Don't let
        that stop you if you have a legitimate claim that's worth claiming
        though as there are some significant advantages in claiming your
        home office even after you consider the fact that your mortgage
        interest and real estate taxes are already tax deductible.

        To begin with, deducting as business expenses what would
        otherwise be personal expenses reduces not only your income
        tax but also your self-employment tax.  Next, if you claim for a
        home office, you can deduct rent, utilities, insurance and
        depreciation which you couldn't otherwise take as expenses.
        Finally, a home office allows you to deduct more car expenses
        because it allows you to claim the miles you drive from home
        to your first business stop of the day and from your last stop
        of the day back home.  This would otherwise be undeductible
        commuting mileage.

        Tax law is not a favorite subject of many people, I hazard to
        guess.  But, dry and brain numbing as it is, strive to have at
        least a working knowledge of the fundamentals.  This can help
        you structure your business from the outset in a way that allows
        you to take maximum advantage of the tax laws that work in
        your favor and to minimize those that may work against you if
        you don't plan your tax affairs effectively.  A good accountant is
        your best ally when it comes to tax.  This article has hopefully
        given you a working knowledge of the fundamentals of the home
        office deduction but consult your accountant as to your own
        particular circumstances.


        use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
        and (2) you leave the resource box intact. To receive a copy
        of this article by autoresponder, just send a blank email to

        4.  Tips from the Newbie Club

        => Tip #1: How to get programs out of the startup folder

        Some programs tell Windows to launch them at start-up by
        placing a shortcut in the StartUp folder. To remove start-up
        programs, right-click on the Start button and select Open.
        Double-click on the Programs folder, then the StartUp folder.
        Delete shortcuts to programs you don't want to run at start-up.
        Or just drag the shortcut out to the Desktop to temporarily
        remove it from the StartUp folder. You can drag it back later
        or delete it.

        => Tip #2: How to quickly change items on your start menu

        An easy way to make a change to items you've placed in
        the Start menu is to right-click on the Start button and choose
        Explore. A dual-pane Explorer view will open, letting you
        navigate through the directory tree in the left pane and open
        the contents of the folder you want in the right pane. To
        produce the same view for a folder, you can either right-click
        on the folder and choose Explore, or hold down the Shift key
        and double-click.

        5.  This Week's Subscriber Web Site Pick - Equine-Online

        Gail Kingswell Trueman writes:

        "Hello Elena

        "I am a relatively new webmaster based in the UK. I have an
        equestrian information website which also has a members club.

        "Members can get a free email address, ask equine related
        questions, view and contribute to the funstuff, find information on
        horses and riding from beginner level to advanced, including
        professional horse sports, and receive the newsletter. I currently
        have about 100 members and receive about 30 hits a day. I
        haven抰 registered with any search engines yet, except for
        YAHOO and I am listed with Yahoo but only seem to appear on
        a search for the title of my site or something similar. I don't think
        Yahoo is generating any traffic for me at a result and my traffic is
        coming from offline UK horse magazine advertising. I would like
        to expand my visitor base to further afield and wonder what your
        advice would be.
        Gail Kingswell Trueman

        I found Gail's site striking for its technical "togetherness" and
        intelligent navigation.  It doesn't matter what page you're on, you
        can see very clearly, through clever use of color, where you are
        and where else there is to go.  This is an example of a very
        professionally designed site (whether created by a professional
        webdesigner or not, I don't know and it doesn't matter).  Notice
        the extensive, consistent use of alt-tags (the tag that comes up
        when the cursor is positioned over an object) and the use of
        color against the black background.  In my experience, the
        extensive use of black backgrounds all too often leaves a tacky
        impression, kind of like those paintings of Elvis on black velvet.
        This is one of the few sites I have seen that uses this dramatic
        background to good effect.

        As far as generating traffic, Gail is targeting a very specific,
        targeted audience.  This will always be a challenge for her in
        terms of generating large numbers of site visitors but, on the other
        hand, such an audience is generally a better one for advertisers
        than a more general, diluted pool of potential prospects.  This very
        narrow target audience should also work well for Gail in having her
        site listed high in the search engines.  She simply shouldn't have
        all that much competition provided she chooses her key words
        carefully.  Time would be well-spent carefully researching the kinds
        of keywords visitors interested in her site could be expected to

        Once submissions to the search engines are completed, Gail
        should then submit her site to all relevant directories she can
        find.  A good place to find a centralized listing of website directories
        is Virtual Promote at .  Finally,
        reciprocal linking with complementary but not competitive websites
        is another way for Gail to generate traffic to her site.

        Gail is already publishing a newsletter which is the other thing I
        would have suggested she do.

        Very nicely done, Gail.


        If you want your site seen by thousands, write and tell me
        about it!  But make sure it's one you've created yourself
        or have had created especially for you.  No self-replicating affiliate
        sites please. 


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