Ask TaxMama Issue 511 – Independence from Taxes

Happy 4th of July - Independence Day weekend
[Just a reminder…TaxQuips will be dark next week while we are at the IRS Tax Forum. Follow Your TaxMama® on Twitter. ]

Dear Family,

Fourth of July weekend is coming up. Many folks are already off for the holiday since it falls on a Saturday. In seems wisdom has it that when a holiday falls on a Saturday, you get Friday off. If it’s a Sunday, you get Monday off. That’s in direct contradiction to setting all holidays on Mondays, regardless of the real date (Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Martin Luther King Day…). Incidentally, have you ever noticed how hard it is to type words ending in ‘in’ without putting a ‘g’ at the end? My fingers always want to put that last ‘g’ there!

We all want to gain independence from taxation. Though, beware what you wish for. Those who are currenly unemployed may find some freedom from taxes – perhaps even some credits coming their way. But, under the circumstances, they’d rather be working and paying taxes.

Though, the fact is (and you already know this because you’ve been learning with me all along, all these years), you can keep your taxes quite low if you took the time to keep good records and do some planning to re-balance your tax budget at least twice a year. The summer is a good time to review your situation; and again before the end of the year. With all the rapid tax legislation changes taking place, there’s always something you should know that can help reduce your tax burden. Oh, of course, I’ll try to keep you up to date. But sometimes, an private appointment with your own tax pro, who knows (or gets to learn about) your personal situation – that can open new vistas in tax savings!

Speaking of amazing and wonderful discoveries…sometimes too late. I just got a new, small laptop from Tiger Direct. It’s an HP 2133 KS174UT Mini-Note PC. It’s cute, small, lightweight and has everything you need on it except a CD/DVD drive. (No sweat, you can get those as external drives to plug in when you need it. They’re cheap.) It was a great deal – under $350 with 2nd-day shipping.

Sounds good right? Well, I had to upgrade my Verizon broadband card to go along with the little laptop. No problem, it’s time to do that anyway. So I called Verizon and they told me they have a little thumb-drive-type thingy, with the program built right in so you don’t need a CD to install it, or to download the software (which you can’t do until you can connect to the Internet anyway). Wonderful! Someone’s using logic, how refreshing.

Then…uh oh! I discover that Verizon has an HP mini-laptop, very much like the one I just bought (except it only has an 80GB hard drive instead of my 120 GB). Verizon’s version has the broadband connection built right in! The HP mini is only $199.99 after a $50 rebate, with a 2-year broadband contract. Hey, that’s more than $100 less than the one I just bought – and I could have picked it up at a local Verizon outlet. Sheessh! (Of course, I have an extra 40 GB and perhaps some other more powerful features and speed…but…I would have bought this had I seen this first.)

Oh, you still have to pay for the monthly connect charges (starting at $39.99)…but you don’t need to worry about misplacing or breaking the card (stick, in this case). Of course, you don’t have the flexibility of the using the stick on any computer that’s handy. Actually, I like the USB stick for that very reason. You no longer have to worry about whether or not your computer has a compatible slot for the PCMCIA card or whatever device you have. So, I am really jazzed about the little stick, since we do have two (actually three, no kidding!) other laptops where it could be useful. In fact, I really do like my new little HP PC!

In IRS News this week, David and Mary Mellem, EAs tell us about the new Cash For Clunkers legislation. How you can turn in your old car and get $3500 – $4500 for a new one.

In today’s Money Funny – you will learn how to cut the medical budget.

In TaxQuips this week, we meet a remarkable young man who’s built a racing team; we clear up some nonsense about the expiration of the First Time Homebuyers Credit; the statutes of limitations to collect tax debt are explained; and we discuss our favorite bookkeeping software.

As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!

Please use the Comments link online.

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Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,

Eva Rosenberg, EA

Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.


07.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit

07.31.2009 2nd Quarterly Payroll Returns and Pay Taxes Due

07.31.2009 2nd Quarterly Sales Tax Returns and Pay Taxes Due



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