Ask TaxMama Issue 552 – Don’t Give Up

Happy Birthday Frank L. Baum - May 15, 1856Happy Birthday Frank L. Baum - May 15, 1856 

Dear Family,

As you read this, I will be on the train to San Diego for a legal hearing. My friends in the area haven’t been contacted, since I have to turn right around and return the same day. What a shame. It would have been such a pleasure to stay for the weekend. Unfortunately, this week was so chock full of time demands, I must return to finish up the Small Business Taxes Made Easy book and turn it over to McGraw-Hill to work their magic on it. About four weeks late. Sigh. (Of course, I must have been out of my mind to agree to an April 16th deadline in the first place. What was I thinking?!)

I am learning interesting things in planning this brief trip. It’s a cinch to get to Union Station in downtown LA from here by MetroLink (or Metrorail, or…) in time to catch the train. Coming back – that’s another matter.

1) Metrolink doesn’t run that late.
2) For less than $20, I could return via MetroRail and two buses, late at night, which makes me feel safe and secure. And I am certain to make all my connections. Uh huh!
3) Super Shuttle wants $90 for the one-way trip.
4) Yellow Cab computes it at $115!
5) Ooooh my! I JUST found an Amtrak bus that runs that late – directly to my station for only $14.
And this nice Sasha lady is telling me it’s a GUARANTEED connection. i.e. they will wait for me if my train is running late. WOW!!!

It pays not to give up! Amtrak really IS a terrific value.
Incidentally, for just a few extra bucks you can travel first class, in comfort and with additional amenities. It’s well worth the extra fee. You can even find a seat with a table where you can spread out with your computer and work – or with your book and snack and relax. Heck, on trains, you can even get up and walk around without being sardined in, the way you are on airplanes these days. I love trains. They’re such fun.

Speaking of not giving up, people will try anything for a good tax deduction. This year, Intuit heard from some of its accountant customers about the strangest deductions clients requested in TY09, which include trying to write off an Armani suit and a hired psychic. Here are some of the most common “strange” deductions that were requested.  

  • Pets – to be written off as pest control or security small business
  • Beauty/Cosmetics – including, fake eyelashes, haircuts, spa treatments and a purchased blow dryer to prepare for a meeting
  • Recreation Activities – fishing gear, golfing expenses and horses

Even more bizarre things are happening in the world of Homebuyers Credits. I am waiting to get some answers from IRS about the goings on. The May TaxWatch column will be covering some interesting revelations about the Homebuyers Credit that I’ll bet you didn’t know. Stay tuned for the third week of May!
You will also find lots more useful tax information in the Tax Guide.

In this week, you’ll learn about one state’s Fear factor – using intimidating print, TV ads to promote their amnesty program. Such wisdom.

Today’s Money Funny you meet the bartender robot with an IQ fetish.

In IRS News, we learn about some nifty audio resources IRS has on a special website. And about extended deadlines for various disaster areas.

Don’t forget, IRS is holding their Open Houses around the country this week. Please, please, if you’re having a problem, take advantage of this opportunity.

IRS is accepting applications for new members for the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC),,id=222365,00.html

In TaxQuips this week we learn about how to use the IRS Open House opporunity most effectively; how to get your tax issues on IRS Priority list; about the filing deadline for exempt organization tax returns; and whether or not you can collect unemployment if your ‘job’ was caring for a foster child.

As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
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Your TaxMama®  is watching…out for you.


05/17/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
06/15/2010 Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 2nd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
06/15/2010 Corporations – 2nd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due 
06/15/2010 Estates & Trusts 2nd Estimated Tax Payment
06/15/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
06/15/2010 US Taxpayers Overseas Individual Personal Returns due 
06/15/2010 US Taxpayers Overseas Claim Foreign Earned Income
06/15/2010 US Individuals Overseas Personal Return Extensions due 
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