Ask TaxMama Issue 623 – Lots of Happy Birthdays

  

It’s birthday time. You see the greeting to Dame Judi Dench – easily one of my all-time favorite actors. But it’s also Lulu’s birthday, and David’s and  Barbara’s and Harlan’s and Tony and Tracy and Alicia and lots of other great people this first half of December. So happy birthday to you all! 

Sometime last weekend, the TaxMama site was so swamped with visitors (thank you!) , that it strained the server. You may have noticed some odd glitches in the site in the last few days, like missing posts or answers in the TaxQuips forum. Yup. You’re not crazy. That really did happen. 

We spent the week quietly moving the site to a bigger, better hosting system. The wonderful thing about our webhost service, HostGator, is that they do it for us – and work with us until everything is back working properly.  That, and Andrew stays on top of it and fixes the little missing pieces that make it all work magically together. (Shhh don’t tell anyone. He is accepting a limited number of new clients.) 

Speaking of customer service. Have you ever gotten a smog check on your car? Here in California, we must do it at least every other year. What a pain! Right?  [chuckle] Well, sometimes it’s an utter joy! This place, Simply Smog, opened up here a few years ago. (a good business model, folks. Think about this!) They treat you like royalty. Welcome you in. Provide comfortable places to sit – inside, where it’s quiet; or outside where you can see them working on your car. You can watch TV, read, use their exercise bike. They even provide snacks (junk food, fruit, etc), and all kinds of beverages (like cider, hot chocolate, tea, juices). Not only do they take care of the whole thing for you, when we finished, he even went online and took care of renewing my DMV registration. SECRET. I don’t know how much I paid. I didn’t even care. Oh no! Now, that’s good salesmanship!  

More customer service? Earlier this week, I told you how excited I was about Rob Nance’s new project iShade. That they were going to give me a special tour, when I return from vacation in January. Well, some of you have asked to join me on that tour. When I told Lisa Benson, she said, she’ll just set it up as a webinar (no charge) so everyone can join us. I’ll give you the link next week, when I have it! See, people are SO nice! 

Oh yes, still going on – Intuit is still hiring Ask a Tax Experts (they give you a computer to use! Cool).  CPE Link still has discounts until next Friday on my Getting Ready for Tax Season.  And keep an eye on the Zazzle TaxNerd site. Zazzle keeps offering overnight discounts on stuff. You can get TaxNerd stuff for bumpers and puppies, too. 

In IRS News this week, we learn that IRS has not been able to deliver about $153 million worth of refund checks. Are you missing a refund? We also learn more about IRS’s tough rules for folks overseas.  

In today’s Money Funnies & Inspiration, sometimes it’s hard to get answers to your customer service questions. Watch as Sarah finds a better way

A Week of TaxMama’s TaxQuips

Student Loan Waived  – Today TaxMama hears from James in the TaxQuips Forum with a disturbing problem. His fiancée got a bill from IRS for a student loan that was cancelled because she had excellent grades. Why is that taxable?  Read the full article → 

Red Flag on Business – Today TaxMama hears from RW in the TaxQuips Forum who is concerned about the new 1099-K reporting. “I am faced with either closing my e-commerce accounts or getting a tax ID number. I have no problem getting the number and making my business legitimate. But will this send up a red flag to the IRS. Read the full article →

Fish for a Day – Today TaxMama managed to crash the TaxQuips Forum. We’ll get it back up this morning. In the meantime, let’s talk about some of the issues that keep cropping up in the questions that I’ve seen these past few weeks. Read the full article →

Cannot Get Refund – Today TaxMama hears from Geoff in the TaxQuips Forum who is frustrated. To make a long story short (you can read the long story here), Geoff didn’t file his tax return on time because he couldn’t afford to pay for the preparation fees. When he filed, more than three years later, IRS denied… Read the full article →
Small Business Taxes Made Easy

The new, award-winning Small Business Taxes Made Easy is getting lots of attention.  Andrew collected some of the reviews and awardsgenerated by this book.      

I give your book to all my clients. They love it. When they have questions, I just tell them to read the book. The answers are in there. And it also gives them a better idea of what questions to bring to me.  Rita Veen

This week’s question for you – How can you avoid ever being audited?

Read Chapter 10 of Small Business Taxes Made Easy to learn the secret.

TaxMama’s Registered Tax Return Preparer Exam Review Class  

 

TaxMama has an 8-hour course designed to help you pass this exam if you feel you need one. I just took the course – and you WILL need help. It’s harder than I expected.

 

You can find the next session on CPE Link  – Starts Feb 1 and 2 – 8:00 am – noon 

TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Class  

Do you want to know more about the IRS Special Enrollment Examination? Please replay Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about the EA Exam.

The Live course  is now over. Students are busily taking – and passing – their exams.

We will continue to meet twice monthly to help all students (Live and Self-Study) finish passing the exam before the testing window closes on February 29, 2012

Learn more about Taxmama’s EA Exam Review Course

Here’s what one student just said about this class:

“I passed Part 3 of EA exam, will be sitting for Part 1 next month. What a great feeling.  Thank you for your help.”  Debi O 

There is still time to sign up for TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Course – AND PASS.   There is a Family Member discount of 10%. 

CPE-Link – Lots of courses coming up – and some money-saving bundles    

 http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama  New classes coming soon:  

Feb 1, 2012   8:00am-10:00am (Pacific)   Registered Tax Return Preparer Course:Pt 1

Feb 2, 2012   8:00am-10:00am (Pacific)   Registered Tax Return Preparer Course:Pt 2 

Dec 14   9:00am-11:00am (Pacific)     Top 10 Tax Changes for 2011 Filing

Jan 13, 12  9:00am-11:00am (Pacific) Top 10 Tax Changes for 2011 Filing

Jan 13, 2012   9:00am-11:00am (Pacific)     Top 10 Tax Changes for 2011 Filing 

Incidentally, if there is anything else you’d like to learn more about, please let me know. We’ll develop the classes for you. 

TaxMama Interviews

American Bar Association Journal – by Susan A. Berson –
Tax Target: Yes, the IRS Wants You, So Get Organized and Be Nice

There is another quote in Liz Weston’s MSN.com Money column
http://money.msn.com/home-loans/should-you-rent-out-a-room-weston.aspx 

TaxMama on the Radio –  coming up!

December 30, 2011 –  Bob McCormick’s Money 101 show on KFWB. TaxMama will join Ken Jeffies on Friday morning, while Bob is on vacation
2-hours. Call us 888-KFWB-980 (888-539-2980)

Atlanta Real Estate Forum with Carol Flammer in December
http://www.atlantarealestateforum.com/category/radio/
I don’t know when it will air – recording today.

Ilyce Glink’s Radio Show – Dec 18
http://www.wsbradio.com/news/entertainment/personalities/ilyce-glink-bio/nFtn/
(recording Dec 15th)

TaxMama Writing:

This week’s Equifax article is  –  Documenting Your Donations for Tax Deductions

It’s a Wahm Thing! Tax Articles

Also on AccountingWeb Blog is In For a Pound – a review of a fun new book by Donald Korn.

You can find daily TaxQuips into YouTube videos
http://www.youtube.com/taxmama1#p/u

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-623         

TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement year-round.

Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,

http://www.zazzle.com/taxmama*

 Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama®  www.TaxMama.com  

www.TaxMama.com

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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  • 11/30/2011 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
  • 12/15/2011 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
  • 12/15/2011 Corporations – 4th Quarter Estimate Due
  • 12/31/2011 Last Day to Open KEOGH account for 2010 deposits
  • 01/17/2012 Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 4th Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
  • 01/17/2012 Estates & Trusts 4th Estimated Tax Payment
  • 01/17/2012 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.

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

 

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SPECIAL DEALS

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NOLO answers the question –

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(disclosure – TaxMama receives a commission)

 

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Great for promotions – and to gear up for tax season!

 

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Get extra discounts for yourself and friends after you order.

 

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Always a sale at the Queensboro Shirt Company

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(They have clothes and novelties – and all sizes)

 

They do a gorgeous job.

 

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EA EXAM NEWS & SOLVING THE TAX PUZZLE

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Take TaxMama®’s 2011 EA Exam Review Class

http://irsexams.com/  

 

I’m geting notes from people who are passing their exams. How exciting!

 

There is still time to sign up for TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Course.  

 

Replay the session –

Everything You Wanted to Know About the EA Exam

 

 

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