Ask TaxMama Issue 551 – Happy Mothers Day Weekend

Dear Family,

This morning, as I was searching for a good Mother’s Day graphic on my site, I came across an EA Exam provider running ads using taxmama as a subdomain of his website’s name. Of course, on his Contact page, you really have to drill to find any way to contact him. And the About page on his site doesn’t say anything about who runs the site. But with a little work, I found out who he is. The jerk is an EA as well as CFP! He should know better. I had to waste precious time this morning sending him a cease and desist notice, and notifying IRS and Prometric about the ethics violation.

GRRRR…it’s one thing when utter strangers do something like this. But when you are one of a dozen suppliers in a small industry, word will get around. All I will say is that it is one of the companies on the Prometic list of EA Exam study materials. At least he’s on there for now…

I must ask, how can someone who teaches ethics (Part 3 of the EA Exam), so blatantly and deliberately violate someone else’s trademark? Oh sure, we all make mistakes sometimes and inadvertantly do things that might seem unethical to someone who doesn’t understand the underlying circumstances. But how can you EVER use someone else’s business name in your advertisements without requesting permission? THAT is not a mistake!

Well, that’s my morning. How is yours going?

The house is filled with boxes. Another half ton or so of materials are due to arrive on Monday and Tuesday. (Poor, poor UPS man!) We start shipping to our students next week.

Did you know that this worldwide TaxMama empire is run out of my tiny, little house? Yup. This house was THE perfect size for just the two of us, when we bought it in 1994. It’s cozy, with a decent-sized back yard, bordered by lots of trees, shrubs, flowers and filled with a variety of wildlife. We never quite planned to run a full-blown business with in-house staff, computers, copiers, and ENDLESS BOXES filling up the place. Although, at times, it can get a bit cramped and significantly messy, it’s been a great idea.

When you run your business out of the house, you instantly get off the grid as a polluter – no petroleum emissions when you don’t drive. You save at least an hour a day in round-trip commuting time. You can always walk back into your office for a quick moment to finish something up, without having to invest a whole hour or more to do it. Best of all?

The money you DON’T spend on rent can go towards paying off your mortgage! We will be paying off our 30 year mortgage in about 17 years.

Every time I see someone who’s started a business and bought the building the business is in, I have such admiration for their foresight. That tells me two positive things about the businessperson.

1) I can count on them. They intend to be in business for the long haul.
2) They are smart. They are building wealth, as well as a business.

If you have a business and you’re paying rent, perhaps it’s time to look around. Commercial real estate loans are starting to go into default. This is a good time to snap up a property, perhaps with a friend or two – and move your business(es) into it.

Speaking of homes, a couple of interesting questions came up this week about the Homebuyers Credits. As a result, the May TaxWatch column will be covering some interesting revelations about the Homebuyers Credit that I’ll bet you didn’t know. Stay tuned for the third week of May!
http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg
You will also find lots more useful tax information in the MarketWatch.com Tax Guide.
http://www.marketwatch.com/taxes

Since I had to research one of the issues in-depth, that became the topic of this week’s AccountingWeb.com blog. Do you want to learn how to do tax research online? Here are some tips.
AccountingWeb.com
http://www.accountingweb.com/blogs/taxmama/talk-taxmama/some-notes-research-materials-and-tips

Today’s Money Funny is in honor of Mom’s, for Mother’s Day, you get A Child’s-Eye View of Mothers.
http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/asktaxmama/money-funnies/

Other than IRS suspending people and bringing criminal actions against folks, there really isn’t anything new and exciting in the world of IRS News. Or do you want to know the nasty gossip? Never mind.

But there is one big piece of news! IRS is having another Open House to help you with your questions and problems. It’s on May 15th. These problem-solving days are terrific. If you go to one, bring as much detail about your issue as you can, including neatly a summarized overview of the problem, the steps you’ve taken to rememdy it, and what is keeping it from being resolved. Include dates and times of contacts with IRS staff – and names, if you have them. Note: this is just the first of three in May and June.
http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/asktaxmama/irs-news/

And a reminder, IRS is accepting applications for new members for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC)
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=222365,00.html

In TaxQuips this week we learn about how to maximize your benefits when you’re on unemployment; who is responsible for issuing 1099-MISCs or W-2s to maids when you use a maid service; if there are any special tax benefits when you move into one unit of your four-plex; and how to handle it when your corporation is in one state, but you live and work in another. In particular, read the questions Team TaxMama asks in the TaxQuips Forum to help clarify the issues. You can learn a lot from those questions.
http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/tax-quips/

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://taxmama.wpengine.com/asktaxmama/ask-taxmama-issue-551/

TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement year-round.
It helps attract the opposite sex!
Shop at www.taxnerd.net or http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*

Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*

Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama®  is watching…out for you.

www.TaxMama.com
www.snurl.com/homebiz-tax
www.TaxMama.com/TaxQuips
www.IRSExams.com
www.TaxNerd.net

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TAX CALENDAR
http://taxmama.wpengine.com/tax-calendar-2010/
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05/17/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
06/15/2010 Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 2nd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
06/15/2010 Corporations – 2nd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due 
06/15/2010 Estates & Trusts 2nd Estimated Tax Payment
06/15/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
06/15/2010 US Taxpayers Overseas Individual Personal Returns due 
06/15/2010 US Taxpayers Overseas Claim Foreign Earned Income
06/15/2010 US Individuals Overseas Personal Return Extensions due 
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From TaxMama® to You!
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http://snurl.com/taxcalendar

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The customizable tax calendar is here.
Add or Remove dates. Add your own reminders – get alerts.
http://snurl.com/itaxmamapro

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4 thoughts on “Ask TaxMama Issue 551 – Happy Mothers Day Weekend

  1. Pingback: Ask TaxMama Issue 551 – Happy Mothers Day Weekend « Accountants Directory

  2. TaxMama says:

    Hi Amy,

    You’re absolutely right. In areas where the cost to rent is significantly lower than the cost to buy, who needs the headaches?

    But keep an eye out. That’s not the case all over the country. When a business must have a facility where they have to pay rent, it’s worth running the numbers to see if buying is cheaper.

    I spent some time with a friend yesterday who’s been renting in the same spot for 30 years now. By this time, he’d have no mortgage payments, and very low property taxes.

    It’s worth thinking about.

    But I am glad you brought up the costs for rent v buy – AND the time and maintenance issues.

    Hugs
    Eva

  3. Amy McVay says:

    Eva –

    Sorry your morning was so crappy.

    I’m going express a differing opinion of buying real estate. (Hopefully politely.. *grin*)

    Real estate equity is not the only way to build wealth. There’s another method: POS (plain old savings). Right now in CA and in my neck of the woods its cheaper per month, in some cases, far cheaper to rent. The best way to accomplish wealth building when ownership vs. rental monthly payments are inverse of their traditional is to simply rent and put the savings in the bank. (Ownership costs should be lower per month as you must pay in large amounts to acquire the property, do the maintenance yourself, and it’s relatively illiquid. Renting is a service on top of ownership and in theory should demand a premium.)

    Actually, I’d argue that renting and saving is a much better way to accumulate wealth as the cash is easy to spend when you need it. Land rich and cash poor is wealth, but it’s not always the way to be. I’ve seen seniors live in and fret about their live savings when what they really needed was cash.

    Renting also has some serious advantages: known expenses (less hassle at tax time, that’s for sure), other people responsible for maintenance (saving time and money), and the freedom to move if conditions require it.

    I personally would never judge a business by whether or not they have chosen to rent or own, especially in today’s market conditions. It might very well be the smart choice to rent.

    Also I’d also suggest that there’s no need to hurry for real estate deals. Japan suggests that real estate can slide for 20 years. We’ve seen prices stabilize but I doubt they are headed back up again.

    Anyway, back to your morning. I hope the guy pulls his stuff soon. Don’t forget to take screen shots in case you need them. Google archives can help too. Good luck.

    Amy

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