Ask TaxMama Issue 587 – Historic Events

Dear Family, 

Just as I was getting ready to finish up today’s issue, the announcement came in about President Mubarak of Eqypt stepping down. He turned over the authority for running the country to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces. This is utterly earth-shaking news on so many levels. 1) A quiet, peaceful rebellion by the citizens of a country has over-turned the government. 2) During the entire protest, the military exercised incredible restraint, acting as peacekeepers, not as a source of violent retaliation. 3) Apparently, social media was used to organize this protest, in the person of a Google employee.

What this means for the Egyptian people, for Israel and for America remains to be seen. But the historic nature of this event is overwhelming. How many other countries will do that? When will angry Americans do something like this to straighten out the tax system? Or to press for more jobs, or…Just how powerful IS social media?

This morning brought news about President Obama’s new Housing Initative. While I cannot find anything about it on the White House’s website or press briefing room, this overview at OpposingViews.com looks like a reliable outline of the plan. It’s designed to help several million homeowners who are unemployed and over their heads on their current mortgage.

One of the interesting features is that it’s designed to help people who could have afforded their mortgage payments before losing their jobs. In other words, it’s not designed to help people who should never have bought that home or taken on a mortgage that was never affordable in the first place. It’s not designed to help the folks who were the backbone of the mortgage and real estate market collapse. I’d still like to find the details and post them for you. When I do, I’ll let you know via Twitter – www.twitter.com/taxmama .

 In other news this week, a bittersweet announcement from IRS about another amnesty program for people with money offshore. The good part about it is, IRS is offering reduced penalties to people who did come forward during the first amnesty in 2009. The bad news is, the penalties for not having reported the existence of the account are still a percentage of the contents of the overseas accounts. On the other hand, the taxes and penalties for not reporting the income can be reduced by the taxes paid in the country where the money is located – if those folks paid taxes on the money there. Did they? Anyway, read today’s IRS News for the details of the amnesty.

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

You will find the highlights of this week’s articles, below, along with this week’s features – IRS News, Money Funnies, AccountingWeb Blog, and more.

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. You can even use your phone to post questions to the TaxQuips Forums.

I met the most exciting person this week. Lourdes Martin-Rosa, who is a top expert on getting government contracts for small businesses – especially women. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to explain to you how to use the information she has provided via American Express Open so you can start getting some serious money that the government has already set aside for small businesses, in particular, for women. You will find the series of articles, starting next week, in my Suze Orman column at MoneyMindedMoms.com.  

As she was describing some of the things you need to do to present your business, it sounded as if she was describing the contents of the first two chapters of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Having a good administrative foundation and business plan will make all the difference.

You can pick up your own  copy of Small Business Taxes Made Easy inexpensively at Amazon.com.  There’s even an ebook version out there for your Kindle or ebook reader.

CPE Link Classes

We’ll be back after tax season.  There will be five more sessions, Level Two of The Tax Practice Series.  Meanwhile, use the recorded classes as resources.

http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama 

Even in the middle of tax season, you sometimes need to learn something  – or look up a procedure, quickly. One of the best ways to do that is with one of CPE Link classes. Look through the topics on the self-study classes or resources. Each course will include the handouts – with the reference material you need. 

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

 EA Class News

We’re coming to the end of the 2010/2011 testing season. Students are finishing up their studies, taking the last exams – mostly Part 2 and Part 3.

Both Graduates and those still studying are using the material in TaxMama’s EA Exam review library to work with their clients during this tax season. There’s such a wealth of material to help you do your job AND to build your practice.
Looking for this year’s schedule. It’s coming. I promise. I expect to have the 2011 schedule and early-bird pricing up by mid-to-late February. With early bird discounts.

You might have time to study for and pass one exam before the testing window closes on February  28th. But it’s cutting it close. At this point – wait until the 2011 exam starts in May.   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/

Other TaxMama News and Tax Articles:

This week’s MarketWatch column is all about things to watch out for when you file for your homebuyers credit. You want to get it right the first time.

http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg

In this week’s Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney Tax Blog,  Rachel Rosenthal tells you about the tax trial of  filmmaker Wendy Weiner Runge, about celebrity tax dodgers and about Dilbert’s 4 ways to tax the rich. (She’s very busy this week.) Alyssa Abkowitz talks about the price – and value of last minute tax advice. Jonnelle Marte explains the complexities of computing a tax cost basis. Bill Bischoff explains the tax hassles for rental owners who must now file 1099s. Look for more of my articles each week.

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.
  • Suze introduces her Protection Portfolio, a very inexpensive way to store all those important financial documents and others that you need all in one place during an emergency.

 

You’ll find TaxMama’s columns there each week, along with a dozen delightful women. This week, Vicky tells you how change can change your life. Sabrina tells you how to get cheap heating oil. Jen points out how business travel can eat your wallet. Liz helps you use role playing to improve your social skills. (I can SO identify with her article!) Doreen tells how to save lots of money on your enjoyment of life, by simply joining the ‘club.’

http://www.moneymindedmoms.com/articles/

 

At Equifax this week, TaxMama tells you how to know if you should prepare your own tax return or not.  Ilyce Glink helps you set up your real estate investment business.  Dan Solin gives you four very important tips, if you’re loaning money to family members. Linda Rey tells you how to check the fine print on your insurance policy to learn how to avoid voiding it. The Equifax Credit Experts tell you about say the economy is improving – based on credit patterns.

http://www.equifax.com/blog/tax/en_ff

This week’s AccountingWeb.com blog talks about how and why to commit tax preparer fraud.

Daily Fitness – This is THE place to come to find easy ways for us desk-slaves to take a real health break. New fitness ideas and exercises each day.

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

http://www.accountingweb.com/blogs/accountingweb/talk-taxmama

In IRS News, we tell you about and IRS Tax Amnesty for folks with money offshore. You learn about a temporary waiver of penalties by the State of California. And Kay Bell explains about how breast pumps and related equipment can be deducted as a medical expense and used for FSA reimbursements.

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

In Money Funnies there’s an amusing tale of a resourceful nun, who inadvertently may be attracting converts. You can apply the same principals, yes? 

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/asktaxmama/money-funnies/

In TaxQuips this week, we start the week with Wilson who wants to know how to get his Energy Star credits from IRS. Seth needs to understand how energy credits work.  Rick wants to know if he can deduct his wedding expenses? We end the week with TaxDaughter who just discovered the world of Use Tax in California. What gives?   http://taxmama.wpengine.com/category/tax-quips/

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

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-587

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Your TaxMama®  is watching…out for you.

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www.TaxMama.com/TaxQuips

www.IRSExams.com 

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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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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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