Ask TaxMama Issue 650 – Hot Dog!

 Dear Family,

Can you believe it. This is the 650th issue. Ask TaxMama has been running for 12 ½ years. We’ve answered thousands of questions; solved innumerable tax problems; saved people millions of tax dollars over the years – and even improved the federal tax administration system and the tax profession a tiny bit.

The goal is to make even more improvements, to find even more ways to simplify the lives of both taxpayers and tax professionals – and to make the whole experience less frightening and a bit more fun.

Along the way, several people have stepped forward to answer questions, to correct or challenge TaxMama’s advice and to make the experience even more interesting for all involved. For that, I thank you all.

As I’ve told my students recently, the area of taxation is a vast, ever changing area, that feels like we’re standing in quicksand. Most of the time, there is no absolute answer to anything. In fact, trying to get IRS to provide a straight “yes” or “no” to even simple questions seems impossible. There’s always an exception. The laws are often murky, filled with legal-speak or even Newspeak (shades of George Orwell).

Frankly, I feel that if you want the average, everyday American to pay taxes and report their income or activities properly, you are obligated to make the process as clear and simple as possible. It should not have to be a game, trying to guess, did I handle this correctly? Will I be caught and fined because I misunderstood some obscurely defined rule? Will they take my assets away from me because I didn’t quite understand that the bank account my sainted grandmother in the old country opened up for my child makes my child a tax criminal? Really, friends. Some of the stuff that the average person must face is utterly ridiculous.

My goal is to try to make things as clear as possible – while at the same time, making sure that you protect yourselves from the system by getting competent professional when you need it. As of yet, the system is absurd – and you can’t find your way through this amazing maze alone. But, I am here to guide you and lead you to the prize – the legally lowest possible taxes.

On that note, let’s look at this week’s Money Funnies where we tell you about a time before tax forms – 1912. (Note: Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the first tax form – 1913. Wanna see it?)

Today, in IRS News IRS treats us to several reasons to visit their website. And TaxMama adds the links to help you take advantage of these tips. And since you may be searching for a new job, IRS tells you how to deduct your job search expenses. You’ll find more tips from TaxMama here at the Equifax Tax Blog.

Speaking of job searches, if you’re in the market for a job, or a new employee, please visit the new TaxMama Career center, partnered with JobTarget.com. For 15% off on any postings or orders, use the code: taxcareers

Incidentally, if you’re hiring please read this to see What an EA Can Do to Help Improve Your Accounting Practice – you can read all the details here.

We’ve been talking about IRS’s Clarification of the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program for Employers (VCSP). Family members can replay this event here; EA students can find it here in the Board.

This week’s Equifax Blog is about celebrities. Yes, even the very wealthy have tax problems. Celebrity Tax Hit List: Celebrities in Tax Trouble

Today’s ItsaWAHMThing article provides tips for you on how to deal with plethora of paperwork piled on your parquet (OK, enough with the silly Ps). Really, it’s about how to save yourself time and preserve your expense report reimbursements and keep your taxes low – by letting Shoeboxed.com take over your paperwork burden.

If you want to see all the TaxQuips from earlier in the week, drop by here. There are some interesting topics.

We have more classes coming up soon . Our next CPE Link class next week is about how to reduce your penalties and interest after an IRS assessment. It’s not over yet – there are things people often overlook in the rush of joy when it’s all over.

At TaxMama’s EA Exam Review Course we will have our fputh Final Review session tomorrow. FOUR HOURS! With students taking over the mike and explaining the answers to the exam questions. Students are loving the experience – kind of like a game show – a cross between Jeopardy ® and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? ®. Join the fun!

Incidentally, the following week, NAEA will be holding NTPI and the National Convention. The courses at NTPI are THE best training for tax representation there is. Perhaps even a little better than my own Tax Practice Series – because you’re there, in person, and have time to walk through cases, on the spot. Incidentally, you will also have the opportunity for a Special Enrollment Exam cram session for three days.

Remember to follow TaxMama®’s Tweets – http://twitter.com/TaxMama

Have you grabbed the TaxQuips Widget for your phone, social networking page, website, or…? You’ll get the TaxQuips as soon as they published – about an hour before they are distributed in by e-mail. It’s a fun gadget. Just pick up the code and paste into your site or phone app.

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

Let’s address a few tidbits of news – and go back to work!

Weekly Equifax blog is still going strong.
http://blog.equifax.com/tax/
Filing Taxes: Paperwork For Your Tax Professional
Avoid Paying Penalties on Estimated Taxes
Learning from Your Tax Filing Mistakes
After Filing Taxes: Responding to Letters from IRS
Tax Tips: How Long Should You Keep Records?
Using Standard Mileage Rate for Business Deductions
Making Estimated tax payments
Free Money Coming Your Way Due to Tax Mistakes
Using Your Home Renovation to Maximize Tax Benefits
Money Management: Explaining Paystubs to Your Teen
Harvesting Capital Gains Now—or Later
Celebrity Tax Hit List: Celebrities in Tax Trouble – NEW

MarketWatch
http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Eva_Rosenberg
Ruling poses tax issues for same-sex couples

BizFilings

What is the Best Entity for Your Business?
The Non-Profit as a Business Model
Tax Issues Regarding Copyrights and Trademarks
Business Licenses You Need and Trust
Now That You Have an LLC, it’s Time to Make Tax Decisions

ITS A WAHM THING

Home Based Business Accounting Software Options
Writing off your Family’s Vacation
TaxMama’s 10 Tips for Success
Writing off summertime parties.
Vehicle Deductions Driving You Crazy?
Are You Classifying Your Workers Properly? – New
(note – this links to TaxMama overview of Stakeholder liaison discussion)
http://taxmama.wpengine.com/?p=11430
The Ins and Outs of Shoeboxed.com

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

As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.

You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!

http://taxmama.wpengine.com/asktaxmama/ask-taxmama-issue-650

TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement year-round.

Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,

Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama® www.TaxMama.com

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TAX CALENDAR

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

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07/31/2012 2nd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
07/31/2012 Deposit FUTA tax if more than $500 was paid through June 30th
07/31/2012 Employer’s Deposit Federal Unemployment (FUTA)
07/31/2012 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500
07/31/2012 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ
07/31/2012 Employers File request for Extension filing Employee Benefits Plan Return
07/31/2012 2nd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher
08/15/2012 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
08/30/2012 Time for businesses to consider setting up retirement plans

—————————————– SPECIAL DEALS —————————————–

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What can I do if my spouse gets into debt – do I owe his/her debts?

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Get extra discounts for yourself and friends after you order.

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They do a gorgeous job. CHEAP!

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EA EXAM NEWS & SOLVING THE TAX PUZZLE

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Take TaxMama®’s 2011 EA Exam Review Class

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

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