Ask TaxMama Issue 549 – Greening and Swapping

Happy Earth Day, Arbor Day and all

Dear Family,

It’s nice to get a few days off, isn’t it? In honor of Earth Day, Arbor Day and all that, we went camping in the desert to see the spring blooms before they burn out. Coincidentally, it turns out that National Park System is offering free admissions this week – through tomorrow. So we got into Joshua Tree National Forest at no charge; but had to pay a few bucks for a camp spot.

Have you ever seen an ocotillo in bloom? I’ve seen them as dry, thorny sticks in the past. Had no idea how stunning they are in full color. They are like dozens of tall, green, tentacles reaching for the sky, topped with blazing blossoms. I tried to find you a good picture on Google. But nothing online compares to the fields of blooming ocotillos we saw. This is a mild version of what we saw.

What a great place for rock-climbing! They have campsites right under the funniest rock formations. There were lots of people climbing together to reach peaks of rocks placed by giants at the oddest angles.

Of course, before leaving for the week, I had to frantically finish two columns for Equifax and will do two more this week, for the launch of the new resource next month. You’re going to love the new team Ilyce Glink has put together. In fact, you might even find her new book helpful, to get you through the quicksand of the new credit laws that were (cough,cough) designed to protect us.

We had our second Tax RoundTable this week. What fun! One of the issues brought up by Suzan Ali is directly related to an article in Readers Digest. Dan Diffenderfer found us the Readers Digest article we were looking for. You’ll find the information and a couple of other swap sites here:

This is a great time for a bit of a breather for your tax professionals. Many of them are off to recuperate from the 15-20 hours days, frantic final returns and extensions. Of course, here at, we are working like crazy to get everything up-to-date on this site; to add improvements and work with developers to fix odd kinks in the software; getting the site ready for this year’s class; find ever better conferencing tools that work smoothly – for the 10 hours of class each week; keep an eye on new tax legislation; understand new legislation; file the last few million (it seems) homebuyer credit tax returns; to update the 100% Home-Based Business Tax Solution e-book with all the new laws – and to finish writing the new version of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. All of this needs to be ready in the next few weeks. Whew!

And to top it all off, I have jury duty next week. Hopefully, they will permit laptops and Internet use while we are waiting to be called. I’ve got a lot of writing to do. Keep your fingers crossed. I really wish that someday, I would have the time to do jury duty and to be free to fully indulge. After all, some of my favorite books and films are mysteries. Wouldn’t it be fun to do re-enact Twelve Angry Men, on a smaller scale? You’ve never seen it? One of the great classic films about thinking, analysis, and open minds.

Reminder – the federal homebuyers credits end on April 30th. If you’re going to claim that free $8,000, be sure to open escrow (or your local equivalent), or sign an offer to buy, no later than April 30th. You have until June 30th to complete the purchase.

Californians – open escrow by April 30th – do not close escrow before May 1st – to claim either the first-time homebuyer credit or the new home buyer credit. There’s a pool of $100 million for each credit.

Do you love statistics? CPA Trendlines gives you the oveview of the Top Issues this tax season. Of course, as you might guess, the economy tops the list.

Upcoming workshop you should know about:

CCH is holding an online workshop about the new law on Friday, April 23rd – TAX ASPECTS OF HEALTH CARE REFORM: What You Need to Know Now About the Patient Protection Act. Get the details here:

APRIL SPECIAL – Tax Professionals interested in taking the EA Exam. The first 50 people to sign up before May 3rd will get free TaxMama FAMILY MEMBERSHIPS. You will also be getting this handy dandy tote to hold all your books, notes and discs. Remember – the Family Membership upgrade benefit will be pulled after May 3rd! tells you about Pamela Anderson’s tax woes.

This week TaxMama is taking a break from MarketWatch.
But you’ll find lots of useful tax information in the Tax Guide.

In today’s Money Funny you find out how to squeeze the last penny out of someone.

In IRS News today you will learn about IRS notices and pending legislation – in your favor.

There were no TaxQuips this week – TaxMama was on vacation.

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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Your TaxMama® is watching…out for you.


04/30/2010 1st Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
04/30/2010 1st Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher
05/17/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

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