Ask TaxMama Issue 505 – CCARD and More

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

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Remembering those who died for our freedoms


Dear Family,

This is Memorial Day weekend. Our offices will be closed on Monday. Will yours?

It’s a holiday to remember, and to appreciate. Unlike Veteran’s Day, which is a holiday to honor the living, Memorial Day is a time to honor the dead. And let’s face it, with all those good people who stood up to protect us and to fight for our rights since the early 18th century, Americans would not have had over 2 centuries of freedom and prosperity.

OK, prosperity is a little thin right now. But if you’re an optimist, you’ll find a way to turn your present misfortune into opportunities. We all need to make changes in our lives. To re-focus our priorities. To spend more time taking care of bodies/health – and more time with the people we love. Perhaps the job loss, or home loss – while utterly horrible experiences – might just serve as a catalyst to allow you to start doing work you dearly love, instead of the job you hated, but paid the bills. This disaster may allow you to move to a smaller, less expensive community, where the stresses are lower, and there’s more time to go outside and smell the neighbors (oops…flowers). This is a great time to leave crowded, smoggy cities and move to someplace like Willoughby. OK, maybe not exactly like Willoughby, because you want Internet access, after all. Let’s face it, in today’s world,you can work or run a business from anywhere on this planet, as long as you have Internet access.

With networking and conferencing capabilities as inexpensive as they are, you can work for a company from your own home, leave the conference window open all day, with a camera turned on in your office and theirs, and it’s as if you were right there. You could work on your own, or speak with others (or mumble to yourself like you usually do) or interact with people in the ‘next room’, just as if you were there. You can forward calls to each other, send documents back and forth, even collaborate on open documents and share desktops and files. Or you can use the conference room to hold meetings, teach and make a living.
Try out HotConference Yourself!

I bring this up because a friend of mine was recently considered for a management position in England. It would mean leaving his family here for 6 months to a year. It just seemed to me that he might be able to go there, set things up, and return periodically. But with a tool like this, he’d be able to work here in California and with a camera (or cameras) in the corporate offices, he can watch the bullpen, speak to staff, etc. just as if his office were right next to theirs. Isn’t life interesting? (Incidentally, computer cameras are really inexpensive – even the the good ones. There’s even one that comes with Logitec’s wireless keyboard and mouse.)

This week’s Intuit Community webinar was QuickBooks basics – The Top 15 Bookkeeping Errors Small Businessowners Make. The overall assessment was “Awesome!” If you’re doing your own books, or you have clients who are – have them download this webinar. There’s no cost. It will be available in the Intuit Community library in about a week. Bug them if it doesn’t show up.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CCARD) passed this week. Great news for folks who run up balances and pay interest. Not such great news for folks who always pay their bills on time, or who take advantage of the the 0% interest rates. Expect annual fees. The companies want to make money on you.

However, CCARD does include protections against sudden and arbitrary increases in your interest rate. And it prevents credit card companies from billing for back interest, on the previous month. If you cancel your card and have a balance due, the interest rate gets frozen. They can’t raise your interest rate once you cancel. Be sure to cancel in writing to prove the date of your cancellation.

Overlimit fees will be discouraged. I don’t understand them anyway. How can you be overlimit if the credit card company has to approve all charges? Why would they approve a charge if it’s over your limit, anyway?

Aaaah…no interest on fees, like late fees, etc. Charging interest on the fees is kind of like a double penalty. No one does that right? Uh…no…the IRS does. So does your state. Shouldn’t that be changed too?
Anyway, you have some more protections. Read the CCARD bill summary. It’s only three pages.

TaxMama’s MarketWatch column this week covers things you can do if you’re in tax trouble – and you disagree with IRS’s assessments against you. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. But TaxMama says you can fight back! Look for the article later today.
http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg

In IRS News this week, we learn about President Obama’s proposed overhaul to the estate and gift tax laws.
http://taxquips.com/index.php?cat=IRSNews

Today’s Money Funny teaches us about perspective. Sometimes, a depression is not a depression.

http://taxquips.com/index.php?cat=MoneyFunnies

In TaxQuips this week, we learn about traveling sports teams; brokerages who don’t handle Roth IRA dividend reinvestments properly; getting paid for participating in clinical trials; and running a business with clients in other states.
http://taxquips.com/index.php?cat=TaxQuips

As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!

Please use the Comments link online.
http://taxquips.com/index.php?id=1226

TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement during tax season.
Shop at www.taxnerd.net or http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*

Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,

Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.

www.TaxMama.com
www.TaxQuips.com
www.IRSExam.com

www.taxnerd.net
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TAX CALENDAR 2009
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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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Feel free to share this link with your friends, your clients and your mailing list.
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Get extra discounts for yourself and friends after you order.

WOW DEAL! Embroidery

Wouldn’t you love to get your logo or family crest, or picture or whatever, EMBROIDERED on hats and T-Shirts?

Well, it costs a heck of a lot less than you think.
And there’s always a sale!

At the Queensboro Shirt Company

(They have a lot more than shirts – and all sizes)
They do a gorgeous job.

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