Welcome!

sweeter-cpa-welcome

My name is Helena Swyter and I’m here to help you with your tax and business consulting needs.

I’m passionate about financial literacy. I believe in demystifying the often-obscure tax code. Below, I will be sharing my knowledge.

Interested in more of my help? Take a look at the tax and business services I offer and see what others have to say about working with me. Contact me with any comments or questions.

Small Business Tax Advice on Business News Daily

Check out an interview with Barbara Anderson of FreshBooks, marketing consultant Kristel Yoneda, and me to learn:

  • The biggest tax mistakes small business owners make
  • If it is ever a good idea for small business owners to do their own taxes (and if they do, key things to remember!)
  • Tax code changes small business owners should know
  • Deductions small business owners most often overlook
  • What to do in 2014 to make next year’s filing easier

Read the full article here.

Taxes and Travel Bloggers

Occasionally, I write tax-related articles for other sites. Below is a preview of an interview I had with Susan of Travel Junkette. It can be tricky to find answers to common situations encountered by travel bloggers. Check out the interview for answers to questions on the following topics:

  • Residency
    • If a blogger is constantly on the move, how does he or she determine state of residency?
    • How does being away from the state of residency affect taxes?
    • Can he or she receive per diem deductions?
  • Income
    • What income does a travel blogger have to claim?
    • If a blogger received a complimentary hotel room or activity, do they have to claim it? How do they determine amount?
    • Most travel bloggers do freelance work on the side. Can all of this income be grouped under one sole proprietorship?
    • Should travel bloggers be paying quarterly estimated taxes on their income?
  • Deductions
    • Travel bloggers can deduct the normal business expenses that all bloggers or freelancers do — but are there any ones that would be particularly relevant for travel bloggers?
    • Are travel expenses deductible? What if a trip is personal and business-related?
    • Is travel gear and clothing deductible?
  • Tools & Tips
    • Should travel bloggers have separate business and personal bank accounts? What about credit cards?
    • What digital tools and resources do you recommend?
    • At what point should a travel blogger hire an accountant?

Read the full interview here.

Blogging + Tax Season: A Q&A

Occasionally, I write tax-related articles for other sites. Below is a preview of an interview I had with Victoria of The Well: The B Bar Blog. Check it out for answers to the following questions:

  1. As a blogger, how do you know when your blog is actually a business, and when will you have to declare income and pay taxes on it?
  2. What are some of the common items bloggers forget to count as income?
  3. If you don’t pay estimated (quarterly) taxes throughout the year, how will that affect your annual return? Will you be in “trouble” with the IRS?
  4. What are common items that bloggers can deduct from their tax return? Can you deduct these items even if you made less than $400 a year from the blog?
  5. What are the major tax forms bloggers should remember to fill out, if they made more than $400 in 2013 from their blog?
  6. Finally, just to clarify, why is it that brands/companies on’t send you a 1099-MISC until they’ve paid you $600 or more, but you have to report income of $400 or more for self-employment tax to the IRS? It’s so confusing!

Read the full article here (and don’t forget to check out the “cocktails” I mixed for The B Bar: Accounting for Bloggers, A Blogger’s Guide to Giveaways, and Reporting Income from Gifted Items. Remember, any drinks purchased from The B Bar are business expenses for bloggers!)