Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants

  • Jan 30

    There’s something that happens to your soul when you cut a big check to someone in need.

    You signal to those very fears and desires which so often control your unconscious thoughts: “Money doesn’t rule me. I have more than enough, so much more than enough that I’m giving it away.”

    Charity is irrational. Nevertheless, you give money away not because it is rational, but because it is right. It is part of the fabric of the American way of life. Some mistakenly believe that the United States leads the world in charitable giving because it is the also the wealthiest. In reality, charitable giving contributes to wealth creation. According to Daniel Lapin in his book “Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money,” it is far more likely that the U.S. evolved into a power house of wealth creation because of its deeply ingrained cultural habit of giving.

    This seems to be irrational. Wouldn’t it be easier to build wealth if we held onto every dollar instead of giving some of it away? Yet it is sound advice.

    People are naturally suspicious of doing business with people who seem desperate. Remember the time you found yourself at the hands of a rookie car salesman that came across as overly anxious to close the deal. Your antennae shot up, red flags started waving and you began hearing “danger Will Robinson, danger” in the back of your head. Desperate people make others uncomfortable.

    One of the best ways of overcoming that appearance of desperate eagerness is to make yourself feel rich. If you were rich, Lapin reminds us, then another deal would be nice but not crucial.

    One of the popular ways to accomplish this is spending money on others. This is why purchasing gifts for others is such a popular activity. Many people express the idea that buying presents for friends and family is their favorite part of the Christmas season. For most, buying gifts for others is actually more satisfying than buying for themselves.

    Giving some of your money away makes you feel like a better person, enabling you to come across as a better person.

    In laying out a path to prosperity, Lapin tells us: “Giving away money is also one of the most powerful and effective ways of increasing your own income. More than a few business lunches are scheduled as a result of chance encounters during charitable support work. Rest assured that in very little time, you will be involved in transactions, partnerships, or collaborations that grew from your association with your charitable group.”

    The preeminent Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides ranked various acts of charitable giving. The highest rank is putting the recipient in business for himself, so that he is no longer living by relying upon others.  The next highest rank is giving money to someone who needs it in such a way that neither the donor nor the recipient knows the other’s identity. By associating with a charitable organization you know which groups of people your organization has chosen to help but you don’t know the identity of the specific recipients.

    That’s why I’m associated with the Women’s Business Center. By associated I mean I invest both my time and money. I’m helping the next generation of southern Alabama women who want to achieve the dream of self sufficiency through small business ownership.

    The Women’s Business Center has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration for nearly two decades. Every dollar contributed to the support of the Women’s Business Center brings two federal dollars that are being used for hand ups, not hand outs in our area. The training, counseling, mentoring, and coaching the Center provides directly impacts the creation and strengthening of for-profit, tax paying, job creating, diverse local businesses.
    The Women’s Business Center’s clients are a diverse group, including women and men from every socio-economic level, with education ranging from GEDs to PhDs. They come to the WBC seeking someone to listen to their ideas and dreams for the future… seeking help to understand how to get the funds to start or expand their business idea… looking to the Center for expert advice or just a word of encouragement.

     

    Women’s Business Center gave me the encouragement and assistance I needed. They supplied me with business loan options and the steps necessary to open a business. Moreover, it was the confidence that this business could be more than a dream on paper.

    Dr. Nikoleta Alexander, Chiropractor

     

    The Women’s Business Center has been extremely influential and helpful with the success of Marchand Landscape Designs. The support and advice I’ve received from the WBC has proven to be instrumental with the growth of my business and myself as a businesswoman.

    Elizabeth Marchand, Marchand Landscaping

     

    If you’re like me, you received 17 “Consider including _____________ in your holiday giving plans” requests over the last couple of months. And that’s why I intentionally waited until after the others suggested you needed to hurry up and get your tax deductions in. Because it’s not about whether you get a tax deduction or not… and yes you do, by the way… it’s about helping someone else help themselves.

    Get involved with me at the Women’s Business Center by calling the Center at 251-660-2725 or support our efforts to support entrepreneurs by going to their website at www.womenbiz.biz.

  • Jan 13

    Did you know that 80 percent of new jobs are created by small businesses?  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration there are approximately 69,200 businesses in Alabama with less than 20 employees.  According to the federal government, small businesses account for about 97 percent of all private employers in the state, and they employ almost half of the state’s private-sector work force.  So it’s easy to understand why Governor Bentley recently stated, “Small businesses are the backbone of the Alabama economy.”

    One might remember a few years ago, when Alabama approved $400 million worth of tax incentives to encourage a ThyssenKrupp steel mill to the state.  The steelmaker promised to bring 2,700 jobs once it was fully operational and approximately another 29,000 temporary positions during the building process.  What if I was to tell you, that this new tax credit for small businesses could potentially create more jobs for the state of Alabama and be cheaper for our government?

    Alabama’s Full Employment Act of 2011 is designed for small businesses in Alabama who have 50 or fewer employees.  These small businesses could receive a one-time income tax credit equal to $1,000 per new job paying more than $10 per hour.  This credit will be available for the tax year during which the employee has completed twelve months of consecutive employment and can begin on or after January 1, 2011.

    How might this tax credit be better than the ThyssenKrupp tax incentive?  Rosemary Elebash, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, illustrated it this way:

    “If only 5 percent of those (69,200) businesses hire one person at a qualifying wage — we’re looking at 3,460 new jobs across the state.  That’s a lot more than ThyssenKrupp promised to hire, and remember, ThyssenKrupp’s tax incentives were valued at $400 million.

    If 3,460 small businesses qualify for incentives under the governor’s Full Employment Act, we’re talking about only $3.5 million.

    That seems like a small price to pay to put 3,460 people back to work — 3,460 people who would, in turn, have money to spend at other businesses in their communities.”

    Through this new tax credit, I hope small businesses will not only see the benefit for their small business, but also for the people of Alabama and our economy.  To help determine if your small business is eligible for this income tax credit, Abroms and Associates of Florence, AL, and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP created a flowchart which can be found at: http://www.ascpa.org/Content/39513.aspx.