An odd thing happened earlier this morning when I was goofing around on Pogo.com, playing one of the solitaire games. I learned something. They have a chat function, alongside the game, which I usually ignore. This morning, it was very busy. Turns out, this woman’s husband had broken a lightbulb, while it was still in the socket. Do you know how to remove the left-over lightbulb?
This other woman instantly had a solution. She said to take a potato and jam it into the socket, and turn it. It will unscrew the base of the lightbulb. Don’t peel the potato, so it doesn’t get slippery. If you need to get in deeper, just cut the end of the potato so it fits deeper. Now, isn’t that a great idea? Of course, make sure the power is turned off before you do this. That’s your life tip of the day!
As we said last week, we’re still waiting for that Stimulus Package. They’re almost ready – expect a final bill on Monday or Tuesday. Follow me on Twitter and I’ll let you know as soon as I learn about it. http://twitter.com/TaxMama
Changes in the bill move quickly. For instance, Andrea Coombes attended a press briefing with CCH this week about the Stimulus Package. Before she finished writing up the summary of tax provisions, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, had already announced changes to the information in the CCH briefing.
Last week’s KTTV interview is here – about overlooked sources of income, inspired by all the Cabinet and White House nominees who need a little help. (Perhaps I’ll be back next week to talk about the Stimulus Package?)
TaxMama®’s MarketWatch.com article this week is the Online Filing issue. This year, we dropped a company off the list because they are still aggressively marketing the RALs (refund anticipation loans). The 5 companies still on the list don’t even offer RALs anymore. IRS and the Taxpayers Advocate and TaxMama® really feel that’s a rip-off. (No doubt, there will be tax pros who will unsubscribe at this point.) But the primary benefit of a RAL is to fatten a service’s bank account. It’s only in rare instances that you really need your refund right NOW – and can’t wait for 8-10 days.
Incidentally, www.1040.com/taxmama offers the 2nd lowest price for online filing IRS and unlimited states – $19.95.
TaxSlayer – www.taxslayer.com offers the lowest price for the same service – $14.95.
This week’s AccountingWeb.com blog grouses about someone with a really unrealist attitude about requesting an Offer in Compromise from IRS. Unfortunately, her attitude is more common than you might think. And it explains why IRS rejects so many offers. (Or perhaps, with lack of sleep, I was just in a foul mood?)
In IRS News today, you learn about how to offset those high education costs. And you learn a bit about the inner workings of IRS’s Automated Collection System (ACS), the folks who contact you when you have a balance due. You’ll learn what’s wrong with it – and some fixes IRS is planning to implement.
Incidentally, IRS is looking for new members for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). The committed provides guidance on the future of electronic filing.
Today’s Money Funny is a repeat – and update – of an insprational concept we ran many years ago. You’re going to learn how to value your assets properly.
In TaxQuips this week, we learn about amended returns, medical expenses, teen tax issues, taking Social Security early, limits on earnings when you do tax SS benefits early, and not to deduct loan principal payments.
Today’s Job Advice of the Week teaches you how to get a job by not looking for one. Interesting concept.
As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!
Please use the Comments link online.
TaxNerd gear makes a bold statement during tax season.
Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
Eva Rosenberg, EA
Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.
TAX CALENDAR 2009
02.13.2009 File new W-4 with Employer if you claimed exempt last year
02.17.2009 Furnish 1099/1098s to recipients
02.17.2009 Get Corp Data to me if you want to file without extension
03.02.2009 Mortgage Interest file Form 1098s with IRS
03.02.2009 File W-2’s with Social Security Admin
03.02.2009 File 1099’s with IRS
03.02.2009 File City of L.A. Business License/Tax Form
03.02.2009 Farmers & Fisherman – file and pay taxes due for 2007 and pay all tax due if estimated payments not made on 01.15.2009.
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- Ask TaxMama :: Where taxes are fun and answers are free
www.TaxQuips.com :: The number ONE free tax podcast online
- Money Funnies & Inspiration :: Learn to Value Your Assets
- IRS News :: Education benefits – and what's wrong with IRS' automated collections system
- Job Advice of the Week :: Stop looking and ye shall find it
- The 100% Home-Based Business Tax Solution :: The evolving e-book and Tax MiniMiser
Prepare your own tax return :: $19.95 includes IRS, State, e-filing and tech support