Early this morning, while working on today’s issue, I was sitting here, exchanging notes with my EA Exam instructor in Portugal, Roger B. Adams, while we finish updating the new site and the 2009 course schedule. Yes, you’re bored, we’ve been working on this for weeks. Everytime we think we’re nearly done, we find about another 100 links or responders that need to ve updated. Who knew there was so much information in this site (before we even get to the class materials)?
Anyway, in Roger’s note, he told me about his good day yesterday. He saved someone over $27,000 – by simply asking a lot of questions – and being really, really familiar with U.S. tax treaties and the laws related to Americans who live outside the country. I think, speaking to a client like this woman, I might have been able to do something similar – or at least, I’d have thought there was a chance to use the strategy he did. But, I would have had to check with Roger to see if it would be correct. And the ONLY reason I might have thought of this option is that I often get the privilege of proof-reading his articles or speeches. Otherwise, I’d have entirely missed this loophole. (Even so, without spending time listening to the woman, I’d not have learned the information he gleaned after many conversations.)
Why do I bring up such an obscure issue as tax law for American expatriates (or non-Americans who used to work here, or have investments here)? Because the USA is composed of millions of immigrants, with families overseas, or Americans who make their fortune (however small) and move offshore because life is much cheaper – and you can actually live on your meager Social Security check in some other countries.
You’ve probably heard President Obama talk about how to tax corporations for their offshore profits and so forth this week. If the President and the IRS thinks there’s money in it, they’ll start looking for money from American individuals overseas, too. I can guarantee you that either they misunderstand the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (you still have to pay tax on investment income and pensions) or they are not even filing tax returns, when they should be.
Hey, what do think of having Roger do a webinar on this? Would you come if it cost $50? I’ll ask him if you’re interested. Let me know.
Incidentally, speaking of audits and tax collections, IRS is on a hiring spree. So if you want a job, that’s great news. There are about 8,000 openings nationwide, of which about 5,000 are in the examination area (LOTS MORE NEW AUDITS), and about 400 positions in Appeals (though they generally try to hire experienced IRS staff from within). Want a job – apply here: http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9trirs.asp
Jim Chapman, EA from the H&R Block office in Virginia brought this to my attention. He seems to think that this is a good time for tax professionals to become proficient in dealing with audits. Tax representation is definitely a recession-proof industry. We get flooded with new problems, while 1,000s of people are being laid off. That’s not fair! But this IS a good opportunity for folks out of work to learn a new profession – to become an enrolled agent.
As it happens, we are FINALLY starting to accept registrations. But, before going to the new site – sign up for EA Exam News to get the coupon code for the discount. (Someone registered yesterday without the discount and I voided her payment so she could use the coupon code for the discount. Once registration starts, I won’t have time to do that again. Fair warning!)
if you have questions about what it means to be an Enrolled Agent, how to become one, what you can earn and so forth… Ta Daaa! Next week, I will tell all. Please join me at a CSEA DigiTAXcourse on May 13th at 11:00 am – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the EA Exam. It’s a terrific presentation. I’ve already seen it. Wow!
Also new this coming week – another change in our lives. The US Postal Service rates are going up. The new basic rate will be 44 cents, effective May 11, 09. Last week, I gave you the page that has the current rates. However, today, Barbara Weltman’s tells us about a webinar by Endicia to help you understand what the postal changes mean for you and your business. The webinar today is 9 am to 10 am PT; there’s another one on Tuesday from 8 am to 9 am PT
If you are not getting Barbara’s Idea of the Day, you should be. It’s just one brief tidbit or tip. Generally very useful.
People are downloading the TaxMama Tax Calendar from the iphone shop like crazy. I’d tell you how many, but…Andrew’s not here to tell me. You can find iTaxMama at www.TaxMama.com – it’s my gift to you.
Oh yes, I forgot to tell you – on May 20, 2009 at 1 pm PST, I will be teaching a webinar for the QuickBooks folks again. There’s no charge. But space is limited, so please sign up now.
Topic: QuickBooks Basics – The Top 10 Things People Do Wrong
And one last – no-charge course this coming week. Tax Talk Today® will be teaching their last live class –
Specialty Taxes: Estate and Gift, and Employment Taxes – Tuesday, May 12, 2009 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET
In IRS News this week, we learn that there IS a deadline in May that I’ve missed. The one for small exempt (non-profit) organizations to file their annual e-postcard. Read the details. This might affect you.
Remember, there are openings on the IRS’s Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) applications
If you want to do more than complain about taxes, this is your opportunity to be part of the solution. Your ideas and advice WILL be heard! Apply for the position.
Today’s Money Funny are all one liners – tax jokes and groaners. You just have to laugh. Feel free to add your own!
In TaxQuips this week, we learn how to deal with late estimated payments; what to do if you find an uncashed check to the IRS; What will happen if you’re on food stamps and start working part time; and a discussion about the ethics of poverty – and the choices. (You’ll find a personal note in the detailed summaries below)
Happy Mother’s Day to you Moms, and to our moms! We all owe a deep debt to our Moms (and even our Dads) that should be acknowledged more often than just once a year.
As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!
Please use the Comments link online.
Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
Eva Rosenberg, EA
Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.
TAX CALENDAR 2009
04.30.2009 1st Quarterly Payroll Returns and Pay Taxes Due
04.30.2009 1st Quarterly Sales Tax Returns and Pay Taxes Due
05.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
05.15.2009 Exempt organization must file e-postcards
06.15.2009 2nd 2009 Estimated Payment – all entities Due
06.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
06.15.2009 Personal Tax Returns Due for US Taxpayers overseas Form 1040
06.15.2009 or File extensions for US Taxpayers overseas Form 4868
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- Ask TaxMama :: Where taxes are fun and answers are free
- www.TaxQuips.com :: The number ONE free tax podcast online
- Money Funnies & Inspiration :: Tax jokes and Groaners
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