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The U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg)
The U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg)

Small Business Briefing

U.S. small-business owners labelled tax cheats Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by theReport on Small Businessteam. Follow us on Twitter@GlobeSmallBiz.

Where the money’s at

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer advocate Nina Olson says small-business owners are the top tax cheats in the United States, as they are much more likely than others to underpay. As this story on Small Business Trends points out, the IRS reported that in 2006, the U.S. Treasury was owed $122 billion (U.S.) in “unreported business income on individual income tax returns.”

But the findings come with a caveat: “Small business owners aren’t less honest than the rest of us,” the SmallBizTrends.com story reads. “They are just better able to get away with cheating on their taxes.”

Employers have to report the salaries of their employees to the IRS. Sole proprietors provide their own figures, and the organization says it believes more than half of cash receipts are not provided. Luckily for business owners, the IRS doesn’t have time to track you all down, so it focuses a much higher percentage of its auditing efforts on corporations.

Herjavec gets off track

Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec was bumped from behind in a race Friday at the Daytona International Speedway, International Business Times reports. He was treated and released on site, and took to Twitter to provide an update, posting “thx everyone 4 your concern-medical released me-rammed from behind- frustrated but OK-car should be OK for race (hash) 2 tmrow.” Mr. Herjavec, who owns a race team, had been participating in the first Ferrari Challenge, in a vehicle decorated with shark teeth.

Automation innovation

Economics and human resources are playing a major role in changes to the steel fabrication industry. “You don’t recognize the equipment ... Now it’s all lasers, robots, computers,” Zoran Radonich, president of Pittsburgh Steel Group of Mississauga, Ont., told Daily Commercial News. Skilled labour is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and much of the innovation is designed to replace workers. The “technological boom,” as the story puts it, has also resulted in increased demand for those with computer skills. Automated welding is said to be the ultimate innovation, though the timeline for its introduction is uncertain.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Nominate the best in social media

The Shorty Awards honour the best in social media, recognizing people and organizations producing strong content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare and the rest of the social web. From the award website you can nominate anyone who has a Twitter account for their body of work. Nominations close Feb. 10, and the process culminates in an event in New York on April 8.

Canada-India relationship

TiE Institute is hosting a panel discussion in downtown Toronto entitled Road to Entrepreneurship, focused on female entrepreneurs, on Jan. 31. Participants will outline how they launched, were mentored, financed, grew, and handled work-life balance. Their determination to chart their own path should prove inspirational and informative to aspiring entrepreneurs.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Pity the poor fitness clubs

Fifty two per cent of Canadians break their New Year’s resolutions in the first month, says a study from 2012. So what does this mean for companies – especially in the health or career industries – whose customers have fallen off the wagon? What strategies do they implement to turn their fair-weather clientele into loyal customers once February rolls around?

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

How to choose your year end

If you have just incorporated your business, you have to decide on a year-end date within the first 12 months of incorporating. It doesn’t have to coincide with the anniversary of your incorporation date, nor does it need to coincide with the end of the calendar year. Your ideal year-end really has more to do with your business cycles, which vary from business to business.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us atsmallbusiness@globeandmail.com.

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Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh

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