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February 06: SELF STORAGE UNITS ARE THE BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, AREN’T THEY?
- 02/06/2019 at 8:30 am
- 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
- SELF STORAGE UNITS ARE
THE BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS,
But when you use a self-storage area for your business, it seems like it’s something you should be able to write off on your business taxes. And the good news is that you can.
They come in handy to hold a wide variety of necessities, such as extra inventory, materials used to create your product, excess office supplies, parts and equipment that aren’t immediately needed in your repair shop, and old records and files that you’d prefer not to have cluttering up your work space, yet you know you should keep on hand for future reference.
HOW CAN I DEDUCT SELF STORAGE EXPENSES?
While you might initially consider the storage space your “home office,” especially if you visit there a lot for your business, you don’t want to classify the business deduction the same way you would your den or other dedicated work space, says Gary Blumenthal, CPA and vice president of Betro and Company in Foxboro, MA. Instead the storage space actually should be classified as “rent.”
That means the rental charge would be added to any other rental charges you might incur for leased space, such as for an office or factory, and deducted as a business expense as part of the rental category, says Mark H. Misselbeck, C.P.A., M.S.T. with Katz, Nannis + Solomon, P.C, in Waltham, MA.
Here’s exactly where you would include it on your taxes, according to Blumenthal:
· For sole proprietors and single-member LLCs: Include it on Schedule C—Line 20B
· For partnerships and multiple member LLCs: Add it to Form 1065—Line 13
· For C-Corporations: Include it on Form 1120—Line 16
· For S-Corporations: Include on Form 1120S—Line 11
WHAT IF THE SELF STORAGE IS “MIXED USE?
Got a few personal items included in there; say some out-of-season camping equipment on shelves off to the side from your main inventory area? It’s common for the entire unit not to be used solely for business purposes but doesn’t mean that you can’t take the deduction you’re owed, Blumenthal says.
“If you also use the units to store personal items, the cost of renting the space must be allocated between the business use and the personal use,” Misselbeck says. But to make sure you’re legally deducting what you should, you’ll want to figure out what percentage of the square footage is occupied by the business items compared to your personal property.
Blumenthal suggests that the easiest way to figure the business portion is by taking the percentage of square feet taken up by your business needs over the total square footage of the unit and multiply that by the total rental charge.
So let’s say your 10 x 10 storage unit runs $100 a month. You use 60 percent of it to store furniture that you have salvaged and intend to refinish and sell. The other 40 percent, well, it’s none of anyone’s dang business that you are holding on to Beanie Babies and a few other collectibles hoping for a resurgence, now, is it?
You’d take that $100 and allocate $60 of it for the tax deduction and $40 for the “other uses” that can’t be written off. If you have any questions about how to determine the appropriate ratio for tax purposes, be sure to consult with a trusted tax advisor.
But, if the greater part of the entire volume of space is devoted to one or the other use, Misselbeck suggests modifying the equation. “An allocation using cubic feet might be more appropriate to measure the allocation of the cost of renting the space and how much can be deducted,” he says.
Estimate to the best of your ability, but it can’t hurt to take photos for each tax year, says Blumenthal, in case you need to prove it in the event of an IRS or state tax audit.
Bottom line? Self-storage units can play an important role in keeping your business running smoothly, and you should make sure you enjoy the full tax deduction you legally deserve.
Article by: Cathie Ericson on June 15, 2018
March 04: Keeping Your Self-Storage Unit Organized Easily
- 03/04/2019 at 6:00 am
- 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
- Keeping Your Self-Storage Unit Organized EasilyIt is all too easy for a self-storage unit to end up looking like that closet you are afraid to open, or that corner of the garage you’ll tidy up some day. Protect your valuables and save yourself some stress by following just a few easy steps listed below for an organized self-storage unit.
? Make a List
Start out with a list of every item you are storing. This is helpful to do before you start filling your unit. Having it all laid out in front of you will help you plan where to place each item to maximize the amount of available space. The list can later hang inside the unit to remind you of which items you stored.
? Make a Map
Make a simple map of your storage unit as you pack it up. Three months from now when you are searching for your summer clothing or those tax papers from three years ago that map will save you the stress of having to tear apart the entire unit.
? Pack Properly
Plan ahead when you’re packing. You can save space by placing boxes on bookshelves or small items inside a washing machine or dryer. Organized just right, you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit inside your storage unit.
? Label Everything
While this step may seem obvious, it is often overlooked, especially if you are packing in a hurry. Even if you only have a few items to store now, it is still important to label each box accurately. You may add to your stored items later and those boxes could be easily mislaid if they aren’t labeled clearly.
? Protect Your Valuables
There are several ways to protect valuable items, including important papers, in your self-storage unit. The most important step is careful packing. Make sure you provide ample padding to breakable items and label delicate boxes.
If you are storing clothing, furniture, instruments, important documents, artwork or electronics you should consider renting a temperature-controlled storage unit to prevent damage from extreme temperatures or humidity.
? Use a Storage App
It seems there is an app for just about everything these days, and self-storage is no exception. There are a variety of apps that can help you stay organized. One example is called Moving Day. As you pack and load up each item you can easily categorize it with the app. Moving Day even lets you assign values to each item in case you have to make an insurance claim one day.
Check out this link for some others to choose from:
A quality self storage facility will have educated staff members available to assist you in choosing the best space for your needs and utilizing all the tips suggested here.
Call the experts at Overton Road Self Storage to learn more, 205-956-5522.
August 14: YOUR SELF-STORAGE ACCOUNT AND HOW IT WORKS
- 08/14/2019 at 8:30 am
- 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
YOUR SELF-STORAGE ACCOUNT AND HOW IT WORKS
How to avoid those dreaded late fees each month on the 6th and the 15th!
Invoices are sent to your email address as reminder a week in advance.
YOUR BILL - MANY WAYS TO PAY
Choose AutoPay and never worry about missing a payment. Once set up, we will automatically debit your bank account, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express when your bill is due each month. To pay online: Simply use your www.overtonroadselfstorage.com online account and click on the Pay online link.
PAYMENT TERMS AND DUE DATES
Your rent is due on the 1st of each month and late on 6th and 15th. It's best to pay your rent on time and in full each month to avoid being charged a late fee. No partial payments.
Send payment directly to Overton Road Self Storage, 5101 Overton Road, Birmingham, AL 35210. Please be sure to include your unit number on your check or money order ex: A186 or B149
Pay in person at Overton Road Self Storage —just provide your account number.
Call (205) 956-5552 for credit or debit card payments. During the call, you will be informed that the receipt will be sent via email.
VERY IMPORTANT - UPDATE CONTACT INFORMATION
Be sure to keep your contact information current — your home address, phone number and email address. That way, we can always pass along any current news and goings-on at Overton Road Self Storage, or, in case of any emergency.
Should you ever forget your password, you can click on forgot password and reset it.
RESERVE ADDITIONAL UNITS
Should you require more space, you can always reserve additional units.
Units are accessible any time 24/7.
WHO CAN USE MY UNIT?
You can decide how many people are allowed to use your unit. To ensure their unrestricted use of our property, please add the names of those with authorized access by visiting the office and leaving names and telephone numbers. You may also want to provide them with their own key code. We do keep a copy.
KEY TO YOUR UNIT
Units are secured with your own lock, and we do not keep a copy of the key. However, if your key is lost, please see your property manager for assistance with restoring access.
MOVING OUT-OR CHANGING UNITS
How to Change Unit Size
If at any time you decide that a smaller or larger unit better suits your needs, please contact your property manager/assistant. They are experts at helping find the perfect storage solution for your situation and can assist with this transition.
We prefer a 10- day notice of your intention to move out. We recommend calling the office, notifying your manager of your desired move-out date. If you later decide you need more time, you can always change the move-out date or even cancel the notice and continue storing with us.
On your scheduled move-out day, simply remove your lock and make sure the unit is emptied of all contents and swept out. Finally, please let your property manager know when this is completed for their quick inspection and records.
September 16: Is Your Self Storage Unit Ready for Fall?
- 09/16/2019 at 9:00 am
- 11/30/2019 at 5:30 pm
Before you know it, summer will be over and the cool, crisp feeling of fall will be upon us. If you already store with us, now is the perfect time of year to get into your self storage unit and give it a check-up to make sure it is ready for fall. If you are planning to start using self storage this fall, it’s a great time of year to move things into storage with the cooler temps and lower humidity.
Here a few steps we recommend you take to ensure that your valuables are in good shape after surviving the hot summer months, and while in storage during the fall and winter months.
After the heat and humidity of the summer, and, If you used a drive-up storage unit all summer long, you really need to get in there and check that everything is in good shape – especially if you rarely visited. No matter what type of storage unit you have, be it drive-up, inside access or temperature controlled, this is an important step to take when the seasons change.
Everyone knows the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” That can be the case quite often when using storage. Come visit your unit and re-familiarize yourself with is contents. If you haven’t visited in a while, it’s easy to forget what you have tucked away in there. Now is the time to replace the container of Damp-Rid you placed in there during the spring. This will help keep the moisture levels inside your storage unit as low as possible and help prevent mold or mildew. If you simply gathered free boxes from the grocery store to pack away your stuff and they are falling apart now, you may need to purchase some new ones. Overton Road Self Storage is fully stocked with packing and moving supplies, including a variety of boxes that resist crushing, will stack nicely and are specially treated to help prevent mold and mildew.
We suggest that you use a disc lock to provide the most efficient security for your unit. Disc Locks have been created specifically for the storage industry and will provide your valuables the most protection and keep your mind at ease.
Is your door bulging, drooping or squeaking when you open and close it? This is very unlikely, but if you do notice anything of this nature, please stop in the office and notify the property manager in our business office. We can then have our maintenance team take a look and keep everything in tip-top shape.
October 21: 4 Important Things to Consider When Renting a Moving Truck
- 10/21/2019 at 9:00 am
- 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
4 Important Things to Consider When Renting a Moving Truck
Looking for ways to cut costs when relocating? Consider a do-it-yourself move by renting a moving truck from a Penske truck from Overton Road Self Storage. A DIY move will not only save you a substantial amount of cash, but it will also give you the flexibility to decide when to begin and end your move.
Hiring a moving company, on the other hand, will almost certainly end up costing you a pretty penny. In fact, using a professional van line to relocate your entire things will mostly likely end up costing you somewhere in the thousands. One estimation found that the average cost of a local household is a pricey $2,300, when using four movers at a rate of $200 per hour. In addition to being expensive, hiring movers also grants you less control over your move as a whole and – if you hire a rogue moving company – could potentially open up the door for scams.
If you choose a DIY move you can simply move yourself by using a reliable truck rental service such as Penske. For those who’ve decided to roll up their sleeves and move themselves, we’ve included four helpful tips on renting the best moving truck to suit your needs. Good luck!
Choosing your truck
First, when determining what size moving truck you’ll need, make sure to check the company for details on all of the different sizes they offer. Before renting the truck, you’ll need to take into account the size of your home, the number of bedrooms and how much large furniture you plan to pack into the truck. Most moving companies offer everything from smaller 10-foot trucks for studio apartments to larger 26-foot trucks capable of holding over four bedrooms worth of belongings. When choosing a moving truck, don’t underestimate just how much stuff you have. Things always end up taking up more room than expected. When reserving a moving truck, make sure it has at least 10 percent more room than you think you’ll need. Trust us – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Moving truck companies will take into account the size of the truck you rent, as well as the distance and duration of the move when giving you a quote. However, be aware that insurance costs, additional fuel, moving supplies and add-on accessories may not be automatically rolled into the quote. In certain areas, one such expense that many people forget about are toll costs. If you’re setting out on a long-distance, highway-required drive, you’ll need to keep all toll costs in mind. Many people forget to take this into account when computing the cost of their move. If you’re planning to rent a very large moving truck – anything 10,000 pounds or more – you may need to stop in at several weight stations along the way. Make sure to check with the rental truck company for more information about where to find these stations on major highways.
Also, if you’re setting out on an interstate move and will have to drop the truck off at different lot from where you picked it up, the move will be more expensive. This is considered a “one-way move,” so make sure to ask about any additional fees associated with this type of move. Penske also accommodates local moves. If you’re making a local move, you should be able to pick up and drop off the truck at the same location.
Driving the truck
Driving a moving truck can be tricky – especially if you’ve never driven a large vehicle before.
- Before hitting the road, take a minute to familiarize yourself with the truck and all of its nuts and bolts. Adjust the mirrors, figure out the windshield wipers, and turn the lights on and off. You’ll want to make sure these are all working properly before getting on the highway.
- Keep in mind that most moving trucks do not have a backseat, so it’s best to keep the passenger count at two. A large moving truck may accommodate three people, however.
- When driving the truck, make sure that you’re prepared to make MUCH larger turns than you might normally make in your everyday car.
- Given the size of a moving truck, it’s not a good idea to drive down narrow, winding roads. Try your best to stay on main roads while driving a moving truck.
- Keep clearance top of mind by being aware of all bridges, underpasses and drive-thrus when driving your truck. Trust me – you don’t want to get stuck under a bridge or cause damage to the truck.
- Keep your distance from other cars. When you’re driving a monster moving truck, there’s NO reason to tailgate other cars.
- Drive the speed limit and obey traffic laws. This piece of advice really doesn’t warrant an explanation.
Moving Truck Insurance
If you’re planning to drive the moving truck a long distance, it may be a good idea to purchase some sort of supplemental moving truck insurance (in addition to whatever auto or homeowner’s insurance you already have) to cover possible damage.
Ask us for details.