When Are Estimated Tax Payments Due in 2013?

If you’re a business owner in the United States, most likely you pay estimated tax payments 4 times a year. Here are the days when the payments are due this year:

Fourth Quarter

Tuesday, January 15

First Quarter

Monday, April 15

Second Quarter

Monday, June 17 (The usual day when this payment is due is June 15, but that happens to fall on a Saturday this year. In that case, the deadline is extended to the following business day, which is Monday, June 17.)

Third Quarter

Monday, September 16 (The usual day when this payment is due is September 15, but that happens to fall on a Sunday this year. In that case, the deadline is extended to the following business day, which is Monday, September 16.)

These dates indicate the day by which the estimated tax payment needs to be mailed (postmarked), so it’s okay to mail on the day that it’s due (provided you do so in time to get a postmark from that day).

If the day when the payment is due falls on a weekend or an official holiday, then you can mail the payment the following business day, and it will still be counted as being on time.

By the way, that tax payment in January is actually for the last quarter in 2012, in case you were wondering.

SnagIt: Make Video Tutorials With a Screen Capture Tool

I have been using SnagIt for the past month or so, and now I’m having trouble imagining life without it.

SnagIt is a screen capture tool that allows you to capture images, create videos, and capture text. It came highly recommended to me from a client who uses it all the time.

Since one of the main things I love to do is teach, I’ve found this tool to be invaluable. Have you ever tried describing how to do something even remotely technical to someone?

No matter how detailed you get, it’s never the perfect teaching method because everything depends on the willingness of the person you’re teaching to read through all of your instructions and go through your steps one by one.

There are a lot of people in the world who just don’t learn very well with written instructions. Especially if you’re teaching them how to do something online, it’s really much better to show them.

Today I was trying to help a person who needed to enable IMAP on her gmail account, and even with the written instructions she was having trouble.

So, I decided to try out the video part of SnagIt. I just took a video of my computer screen as I went through the steps of enabling IMAP. I did one shoot without audio (sometimes you don’t need audio when you’re showing someone how to do something online). Then I tried another with audio and I gave verbal instructions of what I was doing on the screen.

Now, anytime a customer asks me how to enable IMAP, I’ll be able to show them how easy it is.

After I made the video, I uploaded it to YouTube so I could easily share it.

Here’s the video tutorial created with SnagIt:

SnagIt is a software that you buy one time, and then you download it on your computer. It’s available for Mac and Windows, and it currently costs about $50. They have a 30 day free trial, so you can get a feel for it before making a commitment.

I’ve only been using SnagIt for a few weeks, so I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with it. There are so many other things that it can do, like drawing and editing. I can’t wait to use this tool more and learn the intricacies of it.

Creating video tutorials is not only great for sharing with customers/clients who have technical questions about how to do stuff online, but it’s also a great addition to your business procedure manual. Now, you can add a video to demonstrate how to do a particular task, rather than just writing out the various steps.

My Top 5 Favorite Food Gifts To Give

Instead of buying something predictable like a scarf of gift card to some place, consider buying a food gift for the whole family (or even for one person).

Food is something that both kids and adults get excited about, and I’d like to share 5 of my favorite food gifts to give to folks:

Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Croissants

There is nothing like a freshly baked croissant, but unless you live in France, you probably don’t get to have fresh croissants very often. I first found out about these croissants by Galaxy Desserts (sold at Williams-Sonoma) from Oprah Winfrey–she had these on her “favorite things” list.

Watch this video to see how they’re made and what happens when they arrive at your house:

They come to you frozen, unbaked. The night before you want to eat them, you put them on a piece of parchment in a pan and let them sit on the counter to thaw overnight.

In the morning, voila–they’ll be fully risen, and you just need to put them in the oven. When it comes out of the oven, you have a perfect fresh croissant.

I have received these croissants as a gift and I’ve also given them as gifts–they are truly special. There are 15 in the box, so depending on how many people you share them with in your household, you can enjoy them over a long period of time.

Hotel Chocolat

That’s a great name for a chocolate company (or a hotel), isn’t it? They started as a UK business and have expanded to the US (the link above is to their US website). They have all sorts of exotic and handmade chocolate, perfect for the chocolate lover on your wish list. Their chocolates are made without preservatives, so there is an expiration date within a few months, but most households don’t have any problems finishing off chocolate.

I have given this as gift and also received it as a gift as well. The packaging is gorgeous and will make your gift recipient feel really special.

Harry & David

This one is an oldie but a goodie. Who would imagine that eating a pear would be decadent? The absolute “must buy” from this place is the Royal Riviera pears, which are so delectable and juicy you’ll want to eat them with a spoon. If you have any fruit lovers on your gift list, they would love some pears from Harry & David. They also sell all sorts of other food gifts.

Edible Arrangements

When you see a delivery person on your front doorstep holding an Edible Arrangement, you will catch your breath! I never thought I would get excited over fruit, but this is so artfully arranged that it makes you want to eat it!

I had several kids over at my house one time and we had an edible arrangement on the counter. I actually heard young boys going to their mother and asking “Mom, can I have some more fruit?”

I think their mother almost fainted.

Gourmet Coffee by Fullcupflavor

I know very few people unable to enjoy a cup of rich taste coffee. Many do not imagine a morning without a cup of fresh coffee. Preparing it using freshly roasted coffee beans (roasted less than 24 hours prior to mailing) is a special delight to coffee lovers. Remember those old fashioned coffee grinning machines and open-fire coffee pots? Full Cup Flavor offers a never-loosing gift idea for most of your friends and relatives as well as for someone you may hardly know.

One thing to remember–if you’re sending a food gift, be sure to contact the person you’re giving it to and confirm that they will be in town (and at home) when the delivery will be made.