Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show

Required IRS reports for homeschool groups

Did you know that your homeschool group should be filing some reports every year with the IRS?

In this episode of the Dollars and Sense Show, host Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA, explains what forms homeschool groups should be filing with the IRS.

She’ll answer common questions such as:

  • We were told if our income is under $25,000 a year, we don’t have to file anything with the IRS. Is that true?
  • What changed? We never had to file anything with the IRS before!
  • But we’re not a 501c3 organizations (or don’t want to be), so why do we need to file anything with the IRS?
  • We don’t like government intervention. Why do we need to have anything to do with the IRS?
  • Our homeschool group doesn’t make any profit, so why do we have to file a tax return?
  • We’ve never filed anything with the IRS? We didn’t know we had to! Now what? Will be owe back taxes?

For help understanding your required IRS filings, visit Carol Topp’s website, HomeschoolCPA.com

Here’s a helpful FAQ page explaining the IRS Form 990-N.

How to get added to the IRS database to file the Form 990-N.


Carol is also willing to arrange a phone consultation with your homeschool leaders. Contact her here.



Business Tips for Writers Part 1. Dollars and Sense Show # 34

If you’re a writer, author or blogger you are a business owner!
This podcast by Carol Topp, CPA will help you understand the business side of writing.

This podcast was recorded at the International Business of Writing Summit in Louisville, Kentucky in 2014.

Topics covered in this podcast include:

  • Business structures, especially LLC status for your business
  • Hobby  writing
  • Start up expenses and how to deduct them
  • Using a Doing Business As (DBA) fictitious name

Here’s a handout of the slides.

Podcast host Carol Topp mentions her book, Business Tips and Taxes for Writers. Get a copy here.


In the next episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast, Carol will finish this workshop on business tips for writers and share tips on record keeping, taxes, and software.





Marketing and Customer Profiles in a Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show # 33


Joining host Carol Topp are Carol Sue and Phillip Priddy from FamilyBusinessGreenhouse.com in this edition of the Dollars and Sense podcast. They will share their expertise on creating a marketing plan and a customer profile for your micro business.

Philip and Carroll Sue decided to homeschool before they even had children, and decided early that they wanted to teach their children how to open and run their own businesses from an early age. In their homeschool, each child starts his or her first business at 8 years old, does a product addition at 10 years old and starts a second business at 12 years old, and so on. Each child is responsible to negotiate with vendors, maintain records of costs, income and expenditures, maintain inventory, etc. This has honed writing, math, inter-personal skills and has proven to be a fertile ground for teaching ethics and character.

This is how the Priddy’s describe their passion:

“We want to share how family business draws a family together, in effort, intention and attention. We set goals as a family, and achieve them together. We are able to see the strengths of our children more clearly, because we are working side-by-side. We are able to also see their areas of need, because we are working side-by-side! This leads to teaching and discipleship and is individualized and immediate.”

In the podcast we discussed:

Family Business Greenhouse.com a series of webinars offering training to families interested in launching a business together. New sessions starting in February 2015. Purchase and listen to the pre-recorded sessions at http://familybusinessgreenhouse.com/startyourbusiness/

  • Getting and serving customers
  • What is a customer profile
  • How a customer profile helps in marketing
  • How can a micro business owner have more success and fewer mistakes in marketing?
  • How does a business owner know when to persist in a marketing campaign and when to give up and move on?


HorizontalAd_MBFT_3 books

Is your teenager interested in starting a micro business of their own? Micro Business for Teens will get them started. But it also helps adults wishing to start a micro business!


If you enjoyed this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

Easy Fundraisers for Homeschool Groups. Dollars and Sense Show # 30


Does your homeschool organization need some ideas for raising money? Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, shares ideas for easy fundraising in this episode of the Dollars And Sense Show.

Easy fundraisers show notes:

Coupon and reward programs
Box Tops. Need 501c3 status
Shopping reward like Kroger Plus program
E Scrip

Food as a fundraiser
Pizza sales, bake sales to members
Candy, popcorn sales to public could impose a reporting to you state’s AG office
Restaurant (Chik-Fil-A) give a percent of proceeds from one night to your organization
Dinners as fundraisers

Via email, website, crowd funding, etc
Read-a-thon or walk-a-thon
Car washes and bake sales

Sell products
Ideas at TopSchoolFundraisers.com
Used curriculum sale. Charge an entrance fee, or a table fee to the sellers (or both!)

Reporting the Fundraiser income:
The IRS considers fundraisers to be unrelated to your nonprofit purpose and therefore, subject to taxation. Exceptions to the Unrelated Business Income tax:

  • Under $1,000 income from fundraisers in a year
  • All volunteer labor (no hired help to run the fundraiser)
  • Not regularly carried on
  • Selling donated items

State may require reporting to their attorney General if you sell to the public or solicit donations from the public. Usual exceptions are: only sales to members, a  dollar threshold ($25,000 is common), all volunteer labor, but these vary by state.

Warning: No Individual fundraising accounts!
See http://homeschoolcpa.com/scouts-dont-allow-individual-fundraising-account-and-neither-should-you/

More information:
Money Mgmt HS OrgCover

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization book

Blog posts  on fundraising: http://homeschoolcpa.com/tag/fund-raising/

Article “Easy Fundraisers for Homeschool Groups” at http://homeschoolcpa.com/leader-tools/articles/


If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

Tips from parents of teen entrepreneurs. Dollars and Sense Show # 29


Are you trying to raise an entrepreneur?

Does your child have ideas on how to make money?

Join Dollars and Sense Show podcast host Carol Topp as she interviews 3 parents of teen entrepreneurs.

In the podcast, Bob, Suzanne and Jennifer, shared how they encouraged their entrepreneurial teenagers. They discussed:

  • Their role as a parent
  • How to school work fit into their students’ lives?
  • What was most difficult for their child?
  • When should a parent step in?
  • How do you encourage entrepreneurship?

Some of their advice:

  • Don’t let school get in the way of your eduction (paraphrasing Mark Twain)
  • Arrange to get schoolwork done first. Balance schedule and manage time.
  • HALT-Never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired
  • Encourage, knock down obstacles.
  • Work with school to make changes in start time.
  • Find resources, field ideas with your student
  • Encourage. Recognize milestones and achievements. Get advisers.

If you have a teenager who want to make money, visit Micro Business for Teens.com and check out the Micro Business for Teens books and videos.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

Advice from Experienced Homeschoolers. Dollars and Sense Show #28

Join Carol Topp as she interviews experienced homeschoolers at the recent HSLDA National Homeschool Leaders Conference. They discuss

  • Why they became a homeschool leader
  • What they wish they had know
  • What advice they have to offer you

(I apologize for some of the poor audio! I’m improving, but I’m still learning about recording with lively background noise)

Are you a homeschool leader? Need help running your homeschool organization? feeling overwhelmed or have questions?

Carol Topp, CPA, the HomeschoolCPA is here to help. Visit HomeschoolCPA.com for helpful resources, books, podcasts and blog posts with questions from leaders like you.


If you find this podcast helpful, please share it (below!) and leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

How to leave a review on iTunes

Thank you!


Debt Free Homeschooling. Dollars and Sense Show # 26

DollarsSenseShow#26 Debt free

Join host, Carol Topp, and her guest Stacy Lane who successfully became debt free (including her mortgage) when her oldest child was a freshman in high school. She met Dave Ramsey, the debt-free guru, and got to do the famous “We’re debt free! ” yell on his radio show.

Could your homeschool family ever become debt free like Stacy did?

Listen as she discusses the sacrifices and tough decisions she and her entire family made to be free of debt. Stacy is honest and admits there are not 3 easy steps to be debt free.  But she does offer advice, hope and the right attitude to have when homeschooling and struggling to be debt free.

Stacy blogs about life in its many layers at LayeredSoul.com

Listen to Carol’s other podcasts on teaching kids about managing money, Episodes #7-#10

Teach preschoolers about money
Teach kids about money
Teach pre-teens about money
Teach teenagers about money

Start a Micro Business Without Debt


Career Exploration Part 4. Picking a college. Episode 22


This is the last part of a four part series on career exploration for high school students. Host Carol Topp offers advice and tips on choosing a college and a major to prepare for your chose career.

The 4 Step Career Exploration Process

1. Investigate: Discover your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities.
2. Match possible careers to your personality.
3. Research potential careers to see if there is a fit.
4. Prepare a plan to pursue your career choice.

Episode 22: Career Exploration Part 4: Picking a college

Some students apply everywhere and then visit colleges where they have been admitted. Some visit colleges first and then only apply where they want to go.

Ask friends: Why this school? What was 2nd and 3rd choice college? Start building a list of potential colleges.

College Review sites: take the negative criticism with a grain of salt.



Ratemyprofessor.com and Ratemycollege.com

CollegeBoard.com gives details on admission SAT scores, size,etc. You can filter on tons of criteria.

College course guides and student handbook. Look at the Statement of Faith if the college is a Christian school.Read the student newspaper

College visits. Stay overnight in the dorm.

Listen to Hal and Melanie Young’s podcast on college visits. Making Biblical Life Practical Making College Visits Count


I hope you enjoyed this podcast series on career exploration.

Carol Topp, CPA

Career Exploration Part 3. Researching possible careers. Episode 21


This is the  third part of a four part series on career exploration for high school students

The 4 Step Career Exploration Process

1. Investigate: Discover your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities.
2. Match possible careers to your personality.
3. Research potential careers to see if there is a fit.
4. Prepare a plan to pursue your career choice.

Episode 21: Career Exploration Part 3: Researching career choices

Visit the Bureau Labor Statistics website at stats.bls.gov/ooh. Record information about possible careers including the education required, prospects, and earnings.

Professional organizations. Google the words “careers in __your chosen career_”. Such as “Careers in dentistry.” When I did that, I found the American Dental Association (the ADA). On their website you can read about becoming a dentist and watch a video on the dentistry career.

Library. Section 331.702 will be helpful.

Camps and classes. Attend a summer camp based on a potential career. Search the internet on “camps for future _your career choice_”. You’ll find camps for future, nurses, lawyers, musicians, etc. Many local colleges sponsor these types of camps. You may even get to live in a college dorm while you attend the camp!

Employment or self-employment Get a job, volunteer your time or a start micro business to test a future career. Micro Business for Teens can help

College course guides. Go online to several colleges and look at their course guides. Do the classes interest you?

Job shadow a worker in your possible career choice for 2-4 hours. Just observe. Ask questions about their day, the variety, what they like and what they don’t like. Ask why they chose this career and what advice they have for you.


Listen in to Career Exploration Part 4, Episode 22 of the Dollars and Sense  Show when I discuss how to find a college.

Carol Topp, CPA

Career Exploration Part 2. Personality Tests. Episode 20


 This is the second part of a four part series on career exploration for high school students

The 4 Step Career Exploration Process

1. Investigate: Discover your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities.
2. Match possible careers to your personality.
3. Research potential careers to see if there is a fit.
4. Prepare a plan to pursue your career choice.

Step 1 is to investigate your personality, abilities, skills, and priorities. Start by  List skills, interests, talents, and what do you spend time doing.

Also ask your friends and parents to list your strengths and talents.

Personality Tests

There are several online personality tests that can be helpful and fun.
At www.humanmetrics.com —Take the Jung Typology Test. It is free and should take you about 10 minutes.

My tests show I am an ISTJ and some of the careers listed include: Engineering and Accounting! Amazing! Those have been my two major careers!

http://www.keirsey.com/ This website offers another type of personality test. It classifies people into one of four temperaments.

Click on “Take the KTS-II!” in the upper right corner. It asks for an email address. After you determine your temperament, read about it and good jobs for you.
www.careerkey.org—This is a fantastic personality test related to occupations. There is a fee involved of approximately $10, but it is well worth the small fee!
I mention ebook

I also recommend Career Direct  from Crown Financial Ministries. It is much more in depth than the others listed above and also considers your personal values and Christian occupations. Cost $80 without a consultant or more if you desire to work with a consultant.


Listen in to Career Exploration Part 3, Episode 21 of the Dollars and Sense  Show as I discuss how to research possible careers.

Carol Topp, CPA