Ask TaxMama Issue 588 – Presidents Weekend

Dear Family,

Before we get started, take a quick look at the clock. If the time is anywhere between 9 am and 11 am Pacific, you may just be able to call me and ask me questions. At that time I will be in the CBS studios, at KFWB 980 on Money 101 with Bob McCormick and Ken Jeffries. Feel free to call in and ask questions. Or just click on the LISTEN NOW icon.
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/01/04/kfwb-980-on-air-schedule/

(Really, we DO welcome your calls!)

Speaking of being on live, call-in radio for two hours, have you seen The King’s Speech? As you know, it has been nominated for lots of awards. Well yesterday, we took the afternoon off and went to see it. Oh my. It brought back vivid memories of all my old terrors of speaking in front of anyone, even a small group in a class. Imagine me tomorrow, with an audience of a million or so!

And the speech therapy. Wow. Teachers in not one, but two totally unrelated schools felt compelled to recommend me for speech therapy. I must have spent four or five years going through that. It seems all speech therapists are big on “thistle sticks”. Mine liked “Six thick thistle sticks.” Say that six times swiftly. They were wonderful ladies. I can see why, at the end of the movie, it says that King George VI remained close friends with Lionel Logue. There is a very special relationship that does develop. In junior high, Mrs. Marks not only prepared me to make the Salutatorian’s graduation speech, she even let me borrow her daughter, Jody’s, lace dress, so I had something to wear under that big, black robe. (Good thing she did! I didn’t realize we had to give them back that night – I had not planned to wear anything under that robe.)

If you are faced with speech impediments, or the terror of public speaking, don’t resist speech therapy. It is a wonderful experience. Frustrating, embarrassing, funny – but what a release! I could never do what I do today, without Mrs. Marks and Mrs. Rosenberg (no relationship). If you’re out there – thank you.

IRS issued their budget proposal this week. They need to raise money as quickly as possible. Where can they get it? One way is to go after people with offshore accounts who haven’t ‘fessed up. They’re giving us until August to report it ourselves.

This is also a big issue for President Obama. He wants to go after Americans with offshore money. However, Americans who live overseas full-time are getting hit with some nasty fallout. Because of the more stringent banking reporting and regulations, American banks and brokerages are closing the accounts of Americans who live overseas. American Citizens Abroad is taking their case to President Obama, IRS, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and anyone else willing to listen. Let’s face it, this is really disruptive to people just minding their own business, outside the borders of the United States.

Of course, they are also looking more closely at unreported income by businesses, examining merchant credit records and “third party” receipts. Now, that’s a wide-open area.  That could mean vendors, customers, or any number of other folks or businesses that touch yours.

Getting stressed? Work it off. AccountingWeb.com started their annual Daily Fitness program. You’ll find their daily exercises all on this page.  There are at least 30 choices. Surely, at least one of them will suit you! I will start next week and try to catch up.

There’s a lot of news and activity these days about taxes (celebrities in trouble), government corruption (like the City Managers and Council in Bell, California), and business ideas.  Some things are also just pure fun. Tune in via Twitter – www.twitter.com/taxmama .

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.

Last week, I told you about  Lourdes Martin-Rosa, who is a top expert on getting government contracts for small businesses – especially women. The first two articles about how to follow here guidance are in my editor’s hands at Suze Orman’s MoneyMindedMoms.com.  The first should be ready for you next week. In the course of writing the article, I am going through the recommended steps – and telling you about the obstacles I am facing – and how to overcome them.

Meanwhile, don’t hesitate 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.

From everything I am seeing, it is a good idea for you to use Small Business Taxes Made Easy to help you get your business set up properly, so you can win those government contracts.

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

 IRS will be releasing the new, lower-priced Enrolled Agent applications and renewals next week. Instead of $125, expect the price to be around $50.

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 about how to handle employee business expenses.  The issues I’ve raised are things that have come up in audits over and over and over again, year-after-year. IRS is looking for money these days. Expect them to run more audits on tax returns that look like good prospects to generate money. I’ve spent decades helping people who have botched their own audits – or whose accountants have messed it up for them. And I have seen IRS generate $5,000 – $10,000 in tax assessments in this area, alone. http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg

In this week’s Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney Tax Blog,  I teach you how to commit Homebuyer Credit Tax Fraud for Fun and Profit . Bill Bischoff asks the burning question, do you Think You’re Estate-Tax Exempt? Maybe Not.  He also thinks it’s  A Bad IRS Idea: Your Tax Forms Are Not in the Mail . Jennifer Merritt outlines Obama: Overhaul the Corporate Tax Code.

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

Have you won 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, TaxMama walks you through an example of how the FreeFile Alliance works on a free tax return. Liz turns your Kids into Chief Financial Officers.  Trish helps you get terrific Birthday Party Presents on a Budget. Jen Shares The Love Of Reading: Read A Book, Give A Book. Doreen gives you Simple Tips for Cutting Your Electric Bill.

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

At Equifax this week, TaxMama tells you how to file your tax returns online for free.  Ilyce Glink helps you set up your real estate investment business.  Roger Wohlner gives you four very important tips, if you’re loaning money to family members. Linda Rey asks Teenage Drivers: In the Case of an Accident, Will a Claim Be Covered? The Equifax Credit Experts tell you How to Pay Off Your Debt: Prioritize Your Spending Needs and Your Debt Payments

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

This week, one of the main stories on AccountingWeb.com is about IRS’ annual budget report. Read the details to see if you are an IRS target this year.

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, IRS tells you about important tax law changes for 2010 and all about the various volunteer programs designed to help you. CCH identifies 10 deductions that can help you reduce your taxes – even if you don’t itemize.

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

In Money Funnies we teach you how to make your case. TaxMama’s mantra is “documentation, documentation, documentation”. It’s not just for tax audits, you know.

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

In TaxQuips this week, we start the week with Lucy who bought a business on the installment plan. Does she give the seller a 1099 for the loan payments?

John just got a promotion and a raise. But is his boss about to get into tax trouble for giving him a tax-free commuting reimbursement?

Mark is doing so well that he wants to buy a cabin cruiser. But, can he deduct the interest on that loan as if this were a vacation home?

We end the week with John, who recently graduated from college and gotten a good job. He wants to help other students, too – without making it too costly for his employer. Don’t you love that spirit? 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-588  

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TAX CALENDAR

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/tax-calendar-2011/

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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

03/15/2011 S-Corp Election Decision Due (if Applicable) 

03/15/2011 S Corporate Returns Due / Calendar Year

03/15/2011 Issue K-1’s S Corporate Returns / Calendar Year

03/15/2011 Corporate Returns Due / Calendar Year

03/15/2011 Corporate Returns/S Corp Extensions Due / Calendar Year

03/15/2011 Foreign Persons US Income subject to withholdings

03/15/2011 Annual Tax Return of US Income subject to withholdings of Foreign Persons 

03/15/2011 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

03/15/2011 Electing Large Partnerships – Issue K-1s to partners – even if you’re on extension 

03/31/2011 Electronic filing of W-3’s with Social Security Admin including issued W-2’s

03/31/2011 Electronic filing of US transmittal of US information Returns

04/18/2011 Last Day to set up and fund IRAs and Roth IRAs for previous year

04/18/2011 Individual Personal Returns due 

04/18/2011 Personal Returns due – Nonresident, US income, etc.

04/18/2011 Personal Returns due – Easy Form Return

04/18/2011 Personal Returns due – Not Itemizing Return Form

04/18/2011 Personal Return – Extensions due 

04/18/2011 US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return

04/18/2011 US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return Extension Due

04/18/2011 Partnership Returns due 

04/18/2011 Issue K-1’s with Partnership Returns

04/18/2011 Electing Large Partnership Returns due 

04/18/2011 Estate & Trusts Returns are due; Bankruptcy fillings use the same form

04/18/2011 Partnership, Estate & Trusts Returns – Extensions due 

04/18/2011 Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 1st Quarter Estimated Tax Payment

04/18/2011 Corporations – 1st Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due 

04/18/2011 Estates & Trusts 1st Estimated Tax Payment

04/18/2011 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

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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.

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EA EXAM NEWS & SOLVING THE TAX PUZZLE

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