Tax Tips For BC Yoga Studios

It’s safe to assume that Vancouverites LOVE their Yoga. There is no shortage of studios in this city and a most of the time they are filled to the brim with people gaining strength and learning to control their breath. Even though we have a large community of Yoga lovers in the city you can’t ignore the fact that competition is fierce and if you want to remain in the game you have to stay innovative and manage your business well.

Here are our top tips for staying zen and remaining profitable

Outsource Your Payroll  

I know that it seems like we are trying to trick you because we are a bookkeeping company but we can confidently say even if we were in the jump rope industry this would be our advice.

Many studios make the mistake of getting the reception team to take care of duties such as payroll and bookkeeping. Your reception teams number one focus should be providing exceptional customer service so that your customers have a great experience.

Constant distractions and inexperience can lead to costly mistakes by creating the ideal environment for data entry errors. By outsourcing your payroll to a reputable provider you can ensure that you are deducting the correct amounts from your employees AND remitting the correct amounts to the government.

Reputable providers take responsibility for any errors and therefore are much more thorough with their entries. They also know the tax laws inside and out, protecting you from unnecessary penalties.

 

Ensure Your Sales Are Recorded Correctly

This may seem like an obvious simple step but you would be surprised how often businesses set up their sales software and tax amounts incorrectly. Ensure that all your sales (from all sources) are recorded in Mindbody (or whatever software you are using) correctly. Have a professional double check your set up to ensure that you are charging the correct taxes and that the money that goes into your bank is properly recorded as income.

The last thing you want to do is discover after several months of taking payments that you aren’t charging your clients correctly or recording your payments effectively. This can lead to significant losses, especially if you end up having to pay additional taxes from your own pocket.

Pay Your Taxes On Time

One of the easiest ways to avoid unnecessary expenses is to pay your bills on time, taxes included. Ensure that all your PST/GST returns and payroll taxes are filed and paid on time to avoid late filing penalties. If you find deadlines difficult to manage in-house then hire a professional bookkeeper to manage this element of your business. The CRA won’t tell you if you’re early or have overpaid but they will be quick to seriously penalize you for being late.

Save Your Pennies

Businesses tend to ebb and flow. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your fixed costs and create and maintain a monthly cash flow budget so that you can avoid stress during slower periods.

In addition to offering your services create passive income when possible, rent out your space to other professionals and community groups during your down times to maintain your income.

During our time offering bookkeeping services to Yoga studios around Vancouver, we have seen all the common mistakes that Yoga studios make and the great ideas that work. If you have a yoga business and need help with your bookkeeping don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What Can Vancouver Retailer Do About Rising Land Taxes?

If you are a Vancouver based business with a retail location then you are no stranger to the unpredictable and seemingly unfair taxation system that is forcing many businesses, some iconic staples in our community, to close down. With land taxes in some areas doubling annually to reflect soaring residential property valuations the mom and pop shops that are loved across the city risk being phased out and replaced by chains.

Unlike residential properties, commercial properties in Vancouver are taxed at a rate that is 5 times higher, are assessed based on the potential use of the property and not the actual use/business revenue of the property and the taxes are not paid by the property owner and instead, are passed onto the tenant. This puts a huge burden on small business owners and can limit growth opportunities and cost people jobs.

So the golden question is – what can be done?

While there isn’t a huge amount that can be done from a tax and bookkeeping perspective, here are some avenues that small business owners can take to voice their concerns about this growing issue.

 

Contact Your Local Councillor

Small businesses account for roughly 95 percent of Vancouver’s enterprises. With such a significant amount of revenue, jobs, and services at stake city council members are starting to take the issue of land tax seriously.

Here is the list of Vancouver’s city councilors and their contact details. George Affleck has been calling for a review of the cities current policies in an attempt to protect small businesses.

Appeal Your Bill

According to Chris Jobe, manager of the property tax division at the real-estate consulting firm Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. in Halifax, small business owners can appeal their tax bill if they can prove that the property has been overvalued during the assessment.

While the City of Vancouver website states that successful appeals are rare if you want to try your luck you can find more information here!

Band Together

As we mentioned earlier small business owners make up roughly 95 percent of enterprises in Vancouver and there is strength in numbers. Trying to change the current situation is not going to be easy but by coming together and drawing attention to the issues small business owners are facing is one option that will give our retailers a fighting chance. Join your local business association and work to make this issue a focus. Educate your community and talk to the press.

If the city doesn’t do something about this growing crisis more and more small business are going to close, sell or move. This will dramatically impact the level of choice available to residents and the overall appeal of our city.

Let’s hope that the increased attention on this issue can help create some change.

Avoid Disputed Invoices On Your Next Construction Job

Let’s be honest coming in under budget on a renovation or build is not as common as going over. Things happen that are often out of the control of the company that causes the client’s budget to be blown. Going over budget without properly managing your client’s expectations and understanding can leave you with disappointed clients, loss of revenue, reputation management issues, and in some cases legal issues. We see it all the time in the news where construction companies are under fire and bills are being disputed.

All of this can be mitigated and at most times avoided if you follow these three simple rules of thumb.

1) Communication Is Key

Be honest with your clients from the start. Set their expectations from day one. Let them know that you will do your best to stay within their budget but there are times when budgets are exceeded due to ABC. Give examples of past clients who have exceeded their budget and explain why so it’s really clear that this may happen to them.

Continue this open line of communication with your clients throughout the process. Let them know how things are going and prepare them for budget issues. They will be much more understanding when increases arise if you take this approach.

 

2) Get Everything In Writing

Whenever you make an order change make sure you do so in writing and the client signs off on the change. Articulate that you are doing this at their request to accommodate their needs and remind them that the change is likely to increase the cost of the project.

This will give you a legal advantage if the client tries to dispute the bill. It will also add to the clients understanding of the cost increase.

3) Know your numbers

At times going over budget is the fault of the construction company. If you don’t manage your numbers and keep your spending up to date you won’t know you are about to exceed the budget until it’s too late. This can lead to disputes with your client and ultimately to lost profits if they refuse to pay the excess.

Use a spreadsheet or bookkeeping software to manage your expenses. Update it regularly and ensure the client receives sufficient warning and communication if the build is costing more than expected.

If you need help managing the numbers on your next construction project contact Homeroom today.