Ask TaxMama Issue 537 – Life is Electric

Read

Happy International Gourmet Coffee Month

Dear Family,

It’s been pouring all morning. Last night, working here in front of the patio window, it suddenly got a bit frightening. Can you be struck by lightening inside your own house? There were flashes so close to me that I had to back away from the computer, the the things on the desk, and anything else that might conduct electricity. Of course, that’s silly. But…

This has been an odd week, with little time to keep up with tax news. Have you also been buried in your work? We have probably never worked so much or so intensely – and that’s even without phones. Our phones are still not working. It seems the phone company has more important calls to take than ours. Yet, I do know that the woman running the repair center really IS trying to get someone here. But then, even if they do come, what can they do with wiring in the rain? The problem is in the wires and the way they get shorted out every time it rains. Well…at least the Internet still works.
(oh YAY! The phone guy is here!!)

Back to tax news. I’ve been getting mail about President Obama’s push to cut off money to government contractors who haven’t paid their taxes. Someone is trying to generate sympathy, saying the President is being too harsh on small businesses. Here are the details:

Huh?

From what I have seen, most government contractors are getting paid very well. Those contracts tend to charge much more to the government than they could ever charge civilians. There is no excuse for them to take taxpayer monies, then not pay their own taxes. There is over $5 BILLION owed!

Oh, and you think you have tax troubles. Did you want to see a list of celebrities and their tax sins?

You’ll get to know the tax woes of folks like Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicholas Cage – and others.
http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/tax/2009-recap-celebrities-tax-woes

You’ll find more news about Brooke Sheilds, Nicholas Cage (again) and others here.
http://snurl.com/celebrity_tax_cheats

What is interesting about some the problems people have run into is that some of these problems were caused by the very folks whose job it is to take care of these celebrities. People who are generally on the road, or working long hours on odd schedules, farm out their financial management to professional firms. It’s their job to see that the bills are paid, tax returns filed, estimated taxes paid, etc.

I’ve worked on problems like this before. Often, you learn that the celebrity getting the bad press really did make a good faith effort to do it all properly. Suddenly, they find they owe taxes they didn’t know about – and whopping penalties and interest that should never have been generated – if only the people they trusted were actually working, instead of just getting paid. You can see that Nicholas Cage is suing his manager for $20 million.

On the other hand, you find the problems result from IRS (or tax agency) errors. Brooke Shields says IRS posted their payments to the wrong account. You can understand that problem, right? But taxes don’t go to lien without IRS sending several letters of warning. If someone on Sheilds’ team had only called IRS and asked them to put a hold on collections until the problem was solved, there would have been no lien. She can’t blame that on the IRS, can she? Or did IRS jump the gun, just to be able to get some cheap press?

Really though, their problems are no different from yours. What do I always say to do when you get a tax bill you don’t understand or think is correct? Call IRS and have them put a hold on collections until you can investigate further. You don’t need to hire anyone to do this. Just call the phone number on the notice.

What is the number one error taxpayers make when it comes to getting into tax trouble?

They don’t open the letters from IRS!
Truly. People simply do not open the letters.
Opening the envelope is the firs step to solving the problem!

The second mistake?
They do nothing.
The problem doesn’t go away. It just gets bigger.
If you do nothing else – call the phone number and ask for time.
That’s all. It’s a free call.

Enough spanking. Let’s be helpful.

Have you read Tahiera Monique Brown’s story of how she survived during times of poverty? These ideas can work for you, too.

Please add ONE helpful tip to WeFoundASolution.com this week.
http://wefoundasolution.com/

This week TaxMama’s TaxWatch gives you the overview and news about the online filing sites. Next week, we’ll cover the FreeFile Alliance sites.
http://www.marketwatch.com/taxes

In today’s Money Funny we get into the mind of a 6th grader. Are you smarter than…?
http://taxquips.com/index.php?cat=MoneyFunnies

This week’s IRS News tells you how you can get a copy of IRS’s information on your account, copies or transcripts of your tax returns and more. You will also learn more about the educational tax credits available to you and your family. Incidentally, did you know that you can find other valuable IRS-related links below>
http://taxquips.com/index.php?cat=IRSNews

Incidentally, one more bit of IRS News – You have the option of deducting your 2010 donations to Haiti Earthquake charities on your 2009 tax return, if you like.
Senate Finance Committee

This week, you will find TaxMama in building the new website and getting ready for the media tour.
On January 27th, tune up your radios. TaxMama is doing a nationwide radio tour for Office Depot. From the comfort of my own office, I will visit dozens of radio stations, offering a variety of tax tips. Listen in Raleigh-Durham, Tampa-St. Pete, Boston, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Missouri, Omaha and Atlanta. More stations are being added daily.

In TaxQuips this week we learn what to do when your ex-spouse forges your name on a tax return. Tom Blair, EA explains how fighting this works in real life. Believe him. He’s done this. We learn that a child living in Mexico or Canada may still qualify for the Child Tax Credit – and the Additional Child Tax Credit. Are gifts refundable? Can you demand that your children return monetary gifts you paid them? What about that big down payment on your car lease? Can you write that off all in one shot?
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=1470

TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement year-round. And it helps attract the opposite sex!
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.IRSExams.com
www.taxnerd.net
————————————————————-

TAX CALENDAR 2009
————————————————————-

01.15.2010 4th Estimated Payment for 2009 Due
01.15.2010 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
02.01.2010 File Heavy Highway Vehicles Form 2290
02.01.2010 File Tax Return for Wagers (Accepting Wagers, Pool, Lottery for Profit)
02.01.2010 Furnish W-2s to recipients
02.01.2010 Furnish 1099 MISC to recipients
02.01.2010 Furnish 1099 Interest to recipients
02.01.2010 Furnish 1099 Dividends to recipients
02.01.2010 Furnish 1098s to borrowers – Mortgage interest
02.01.2010 File 4th, Quarter Payroll Reports
02.01.2010 File Employers Annual Payroll Reports
02.01.2010 File Annual Payroll for Agricultural employees
02.01.2010 Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return
02.01.2010 Individuals who missed estimated pmt – File & pay taxes
02.16.2010 Employees to File new W-4 with Employer
02.16.2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
————————————————————-

SPECIAL GIFTS FROM TAXMAMA – FREE – REALLY!
————————————————————-

Keep your Resolutions:
Here’s a well-thought-out e-book to help you start the
year off properly. It contains a place for you to
list your promises to yourself – and lots of tools to
help you achieve your goals.

Download the book here (just use your e-mail address in this e-mail, so you can avoid subscribing to my newsletters twice.)

Feel free to share this link with your friends, your clients and your mailing list.
Explore Simpleology 101 – It includes set of step-by-step daily missions for you to follow to get more focused and become more successful this year.
You can check them off as you go.

Audio and Video Training
Is 2010 the year you learn to put use audio and video
on your websites or online? Here are some excellent
no-cost training opportunities. All you need is time.
Join David at AudioAcrobat.com

Join SuccessNet.org for free and learn the 10 Essential Success Keys You Need to Know for You
And Your Business to Grow
————————————————————-

GIFT IDEAS
————————————————————-

ThinkGeek has some wonderful, unusual stuff, including something very like a Dick Tracy watch – a touchscreen cell phone PDA watch. They also have the USB Memory watch that holds 2GB of data.

Open your own Zazzle account and create personalized
gifts to your family and friends.
You don’t need to use my designs – use your own photos and artwork.
http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*
————————————————————-

SPECIAL DEALS
————————————————————-

Need a Corp, LLC, Registered Agent

Incorp Services Inc. in Nevada – DISCOUNT
20% off on formation services.
Similar discounts on Registered Agent services.
Call 800.2.INCORP – use coupon code – TAXMAMA – or
http://go.asktaxmama.com/incorp
(no code needed)

Customised Personal or Businesswear – 3 Choices:

Zazzle – Cafe Press – Queensboro

It costs much less than you think to be creative, and to develop your own look and identity.

Use your art or others – and customize it

Zazzle your Imagination. Are you a TaxNerd?
Tell everyone – proudly!
http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*

Create your own customized Zazzle Apparel, bags or more.

Get volume discounts on orders of 2 or more.

Get extra discounts for yourself and friends after you order.

Stuff for business, travel and fun

Cafe Press is the home of TaxMama’s shops
http://www.cafepress.com/taxmama

But you can upload your own art and graphics and unify your family – even your pets.
http://www.cafepress.com/

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.

Leave a Reply