Small-business owners will have a chance next week to hear from a tax expert on the importance of year-end tax preparation and planning, along with tips on tax savings.

Thomas Ochsenschlager, vice president of Taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, will host this month's Small Business Administration web chat on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST.

Participants can post questions for Ochsenschlager before the chat by visiting http://app1.sba.gov/liveMeeting/dec07/ and can join in the live chat by going to www.sba.gov and clicking "Online Business Chat."

Virtual Phones, Real Results

Small and home-based businesses can create the façade of a big-business office with a new virtual business phone system from Phone.com.

The Virtual Office IP-based communications service consists of plans starting at $9.88 a month and offers features such as an auto attendant, one centralized phone number, and phone extensions -- even when a physical business headquarters doesn't exist.

Business owners can also utilize the "Follow Me Calling" feature to decrease the odds of missing a call. It enables users to forward incoming calls to four different numbers, with each line ringing for a set time until the call is answered.

For more information, visit www.phone.com.

Host Your Apps With Coghead

As the market for web-based applications continues to grow, more and more entrepreneurs are getting into the game.

Now, with the Coghead Affiliate Program, entrepreneurs and small and midsized businesses can use the Coghead infrastructure to build, sell, and host their applications at a low cost. Coghead also handles payment processing when the app begins selling.

Go to www.coghead.com/affiliates to learn more or to sign up.