Ask TaxMama Issue 585 – Our Own Image

Dear Family,

Our Money Funny today will inspire you, actually. We never really know how other people see us. We usually look at ourselves in the harshest, most critical light. Years ago, I dated a fellow who was good friends with one of the Charley’s Angels. Naturally, all those women are gorgeous and talented. He told that she had a terrible self-image. Another man also shocked me. He was one of the smartest, best looking, most athletic, and popular fellows I knew in high school. He was nice, too. In a private conversation, he lamented that he wanted to propose to this particular woman, but felt he had nothing to offer her. Do you ever feel that way?

Boy, do WE need to re-evaluate our own images!

This week, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union message. This administration is very technically savvy and incorporated electronic communications with constituents, with the President taking time to answer questions via a live YouTube broadcast. I love the skills his team brings, don’t you.  Of course, it’s up to us to stay tuned and take advantage of the opportunities to communicate.

As to the speech, we are most interested in what he had to say about taxes, right? You can read the transcript, yourself, if you missed the speech. Taxes were not a big topic this time. He talked about simplifying the tax code (wouldn’t we ALL love to see that!), not extending the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans (read Bar Stool Economics for a reality check)

I’ve read some people’s summaries that include information about eliminating the punitive 1099 filings that will start in 2012. Laudable as that goal is, it’s simply not in the speech. It may be happening…and, most likely that requirement will be watered down to something real people can manage.

Speaking of politics, I seem to have won a political battle – a battle that turns out to have been completely unnecessary. As you may know, if you’ve been following some of my notes and discussions here and there, one of my favorite sources of tax information is the CSEA Breakfast Meeting we’ve been having for over 20 years. It’s been a safe place to ask dumb questions and get practical information about how we, as tax professionals, can handle issues that we don’t understand, or are very complex, or…where there are gray areas…or…I started out there, years ago as a nervous neophyte. Today, I am one of the discussion leaders. (Yeah, we all know, Eva just never shuts up…yeah, yeah.)

The battle raged around the fact that our little band of merry tax pros was getting CPE – especially without having to pay for it. Someone started lighting a fire under our state society and chapter’s Board, trying to eliminate the little education perk. The claim was that IRS would not accept this as legitimate continuing education.

Several of us put in precious hours to sort this out. We finally were pointed in the direction of a specific person at IRS who was responsible for our dilemma. Well, I finally spoke to that ‘evil’ person yesterday. It turns out she NEVER said that about roundtable discussions. In fact, she also sees it as one of the few ways tax professionals can get specific training on the ‘how to’s’ of complex issues.  I’ll be getting an email from her soon, outling the specific steps we need to follow to qualify (which we are already doing).

It’s nice to win. But it would have been nicer never to have wasted time on this non-issue in the first place.

Why am I bringing this to your attention? Because in all industries, not just tax, this form of discussion is an excellent way to learn your own profession or trade. If you don’t already have something like this set up within your skill area, consider doing so. Not only will it qualify for your professional education (get the admin work done properly), but it’s an excellent way to make contacts in your industry – and even to get jobs. It’s a terrific way to build your skills and confidence.

Besides, it’s a LOT of fun.

Remember, we will be using Twitter more and more often, to get quick notes and updates out to you – www.twitter.com/taxmama . You don’t need to subscribe to Twitter if you’re on Facebook. Just friend me there. The posts will appear there, as well.

The Tax Calendar is up and accessible from any phone at all (that accesses the web). In fact, you can reach our site and view the entire TaxMama site via your phone. Yay!

Oh my! I just read an amazing review of my book by Jim Blankenship, on his Ducks in a Row blog.  It starts out with…

This book was a surprise to me – I did not expect to find such a thorough guidebook on the process of starting up a small business, but that’s what Small Business Taxes Made Easy is.  Author Eva Rosenberg, (“TaxMama” to her devotees) has not only the experience, but also the in-depth understanding of both the small business and the small business-person to lead you through this process and help you to succeed, quite possibly in spite of yourself.

The book is very inexpensive at Amazon.com – or at your local bookstore.  There’s an ebook version out there for your Kindle or ebook reader. And once you have the book, you will have access to a special site where you can download all the TO DO LISTs so you can customize them for your own use, print them out and fill them. This book is specifically designed to be your business’ operating manual – or Your Business Bible …as in www.YourBusinessBible.com .

CPE Link Classes

We’ll be back after tax season.  Meanwhile, use the recorded classes as resources.

http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama 

 Someone asked me where she could learn about handling the accounting for a non-profit organization that just appointed her as Treasurer.  I found an inexpensive class for her, right here!

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/earn-cpe-without-leaving-the-office/

 EA Class News

 We had a terrific session last night. Interestingly enough, only a few questions were about the exam. Most questions were about client issues. OK, friends. That’s not part of the class. But…I help you because I want you to do it right – and take good care of your clients. Boy is that worth the price of the class.

Reminder –  I expect to have the 2011 schedule and early-bird pricing up by mid-to-late February.

You still have time to study for and pass one exam before the testing window closes on February  28th.

http://irsexams.com/registration/  

Remember, you get a 10% discount on the EA Class if you register for TaxMama’s Family first.

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/membership/family-membership/

The discount code can be found in the Family Look-Ups resource.

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/family-member-resources/

I am getting questions about the schedule for this year’s TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Class. Folks, have some patience. It’s tax season. Let us get settled.  I will post the 2011 schedule by mid-February. You’ll get early-bird discounts then.

Other TaxMama News and Tax Articles:

This week’s MarketWatch column is an overview of your online tax preparation options. The top five online tax vendors are outlined with some of the better features of each. http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg

 In this week’s Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney Tax Blog,  you will find my column about Five Things to Consider on Your 2010 Return . Jennifer Merritt gives us Geithner’s Take on Corporate Tax Reform .Bill Bischoff talks about how Health Care Law Brings Tax Changes . Colleen DeBaise explains how to  Guard Your Small Business From an IRS Audit . . Rachel Rosenthal tells us about IRS App Brings Tax Info To Your Smartphone

Keep an eye on this page for daily updateshttp://blogs.smartmoney.com/tax/   

Win a chat with Suze Orman! You might be the lucky person each month to win that prize, and some other goodies. 

Just visit Suze Orman’s new MoneyMindedMoms.com site. You will find lots of practical money-saving tips – and ideas to help folks struggling with time, money, conflicts and more.  

  • You can ask Suze questions in the forum – Suze is actually dropping by an answering your questions, just as I do here. Join us and speak to Suze.  

You’ll find TaxMama’s columns there each week, along with a dozen delightful women. This week, Doreen tells you how to cut your heating bill without cutting your comfort level. Jen helps you teach children the value of money.  Sabrina is on Step 5 of her series on Stretching the Dollar. Vicky tells you why to use cash, not credit. Liz tells you why to buy now. http://www.moneymindedmoms.com/articles/

 At Equifax this week, TaxMama tells you 6 Things You Can Do All Year Long to Save Money on Your Tax Bill. Ilyce Glink explains about Home-Selling Nightmare Never-Ending for Some Homeowners . Dan Solin reveals His Clients’ Top Three Investing and Retirement Fears.  Linda Rey wants us to ask ourselves – Do I Need Long Term Care Insurance?  The Equifax Credit Experts tell you about credit trends in 2011 and things to watch for.   http://www.equifax.com/blog/tax/en_ff

 This week’s AccountingWeb.com blog discusses a disturbing trend I am seeing – people who set up their small business without a clue how to operate them. The blog post is a plea to tax professionals to reach out to you and to save you from yourselves.

Have you seen AccountingWeb’s new small business publication? Going Concern – focusing on keeping the profits flowing.  http://goingconcern.com/subscribe/

 In IRS News, we tell you about IRS’s new iPhone and Android application. It’s got lots of nice goodies. In fact, you can learn why TaxMama thinks this is cool by listening to her conversation with MarketWatch’s Alisa Parenti. California residents also get some bad news from the Franchise Tax Board about some of the things are different on our California tax returns. Check with your state. They may not have conformed with IRS, either.

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/asktaxmama/irs-news/

In  Money Funnies we get inspired by a teacher’s class exercise. It’s one we should all try. Really. It’s going to make you feel so much better. http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/asktaxmama/money-funnies/

 In TaxQuips this week, We start the week with Sethu, who is very annoyed with Congress for taking away valuable tax benefits for seniors and lower-income folks. Property Tax For NonItemizers  Lindsay has a new baby and wants to change her withholding. What’s the best way to do that? New Baby New W-4 Christine has an IRA with really dismal returns. What will it cost her to cash it out? Are there other alternatives? Cashing Part of IRA . We end the week with Seth, who took out a first and second mortgage to buy his home. May he deduct the interest on both? Two Mortgages   http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/tax-quips/

Note: You can view them all on YouTube, too Daily TaxQuips from TaxMama® – taxmama1’s channel.

TaxMama’s Tax Roundtable – January 2011 Session

This month’s Tax Roundtable covered lots of things. If you join us, you can bring your questions to the table, too. That’s what the meetings are for!

January’s topics included:
–- IRA to Charity update
–-  PTIN
–-  Doctors getting 1099s that are not correct
-–  Mechanics of working with client on OIC – and reasonable fees.
-–  FTC rules about retainers
-–  Moving expenses when you move to another country
-–  Helping clients get a refund
– EA exam testing questions

* And more

 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-585

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,

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Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama®

www.TaxMama.com

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-2011/

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01/31/2011 File Tax Return for Wagers (Accepting Wagers, Pool, Lottery for Profit)
01/31/2011 Furnish W-2s recipients
01/31/2011 Furnish 1099 MISC to recipients 
01/31/2011 Furnish 1099 Interest to recipients 
01/31/2011 Furnish 1099 Dividends to recipients 
01/31/2011 Furnish 1098s to borrowers – Mortgage interest
01/31/2011 File 4th, Quarter Payroll Reports
01/31/2011 File Employers Annual Payroll Reports
01/31/2011 File Annual Payroll for Agricultural employees
01/31/2011 Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return
01/31/2011 Individuals who missed 4th estimated pmt – May file & pay taxes now
02/15/2011 Employees to File new W-4 with Employer
02/15/2011 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
02/28/2011 File Paper copy W-3’s with Social Security Admin including copies of W-2’s
02/28/2011 File paper copy of US transmittal of US information Returns
02/28/2011 Farmers & Fisherman – Use Personal Income Tax Return – Sole Proprietor

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From TaxMama® to You!

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Follow TaxMama®’s Tweets – http://twitter.com/TaxMama  

You are invited to put a TaxQuips Widget on your phone, social networking page, website, or… You’ll get the TaxQuips as soon as they published – long before they are distributed in by e-mail. It’s a nifty gadget. Just pick up the code and paste into your site or application.

http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/taxmamas-taxquips-daily-tax-podcasts

Download TaxMama’s 2010 iphone Tax Calendar. My gift to you.

http://snurl.com/taxcalendar

Never miss a tax deadline again!

The customizable tax calendar is here.

Add or Remove dates. Add your own reminders – get alerts.

http://snurl.com/itaxmamapro

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EA EXAM NEWS & SOLVING THE TAX PUZZLE

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Take TaxMama®’s 2010 EA Exam Review Class

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All done!

Now, it’s all about self-study and hand-holding everyone until you’re all done!

– sign up now – and join the FUN!

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A flood of Tax Professionals are interested in

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dandy totes to hold all your books, notes and discs.

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Read the ebook –  Everything You Wanted to Know About the EA Exam

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One thought on “Ask TaxMama Issue 585 – Our Own Image

  1. Pingback: Ask TaxMama Issue 586 – Happy Valentines Weekend | taxmama

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