Ask TaxMama Issue 560 – The Advocate Speaks

Happy Anniversary of the Public reading of the Declaration of Independence - July 8, 1776!

Dear Family,

This morning I started reading the Taxpayers Advocate’s (TAS) report to Congress and completely lost track of time. Does that happen with you, too?  For me, reading is a fully absorbing activity. Books are especially dangerous. Once I sit down with a book, I’m lost. I’ll stay up all night to finish it. In fact, I was telling a friend this week. Many years ago, I went to NYC on my own for the first time. The evening before my speaking engagement, I left the Hilton and started walking around Manhattan. It was after 10:00 pm and it was a beautiful night. Lots of people were out, so I wasn’t concerned about muggings or such nonsense. Well, something worse happened! The mugger could have stolen $20 from me. But the open bookstore snagged over $100!

I’ll be telling you more about the TAS report over the next week. In the meantime, you’ll have to opportunity to read it yourself and give me feedback, in IRS News.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to chat with the ShoeBoxed folks. Do you know about them? This is such a terrific solution for people who absolutely hate to do their own recordkeeping. Or, don’t exactly hate it, just…never seem to find time to do it. I keep hearing from people who have all these receipts and stuff around who don’t get around to organizing them or entering into their accounting system. So, they never get a deduction for those expenditures. And it adds up. Well, you’re going to love this.

You can send them that box of stuff, or plop the contents of your tax drawer in an envelope – or even an entire crate of records. Yes, you can. They’ll scan them all. Then, real people will organize all the scanned documents and make sure everything is in it’s proper place and is posted to the right columns for you. They’ll either return your stuff – or SHRED IT for you.

Or you can scan your stuff into their system and they’ll do all the organizing on your behalf.
What’s even better, you can use your cell phone to scan receipts on the spot, like at a restaurant, or from a parking valet, or any of the other receipts you typically lose. It will go straight into the system.

I’ve been hearing about this from people in the Internet Marketing community who have been using it. They are loving it!

Who should use this?
1) Expense Reports –  Anyone who never seems to get their data organized in time and is not getting fully reimbursed by their company as a result.
2) Business owners who lives out of their pockets or cars and never quite get all the receipts back to the office to their assistants.
3) Business travelers – you deal with all kinds of cash transactions and foreign currency. This is a good way to transmit the receipts and notes on the spot – you can figure it all out later – or have someone help you translate the currencies, etc. Hey, perhaps you can even have ShoeBoxed do it for you.
4) Catch-Up – someone who has a backlog of data to enter and needs help getting caught up for the year.
5) Time is Money –  Anyone whose time is too valuable to do all the record-keeping themselves. If you’re free to run a business, you can earn more and clear your head.
6) Tax Professionals – instead of hiring help to do the scanning and processing of lots of documents, let ShoeBoxed do this for you – and your review, organize and analyze the data.

EA Class News

People are taking and passing Part 1 this week. One wary student told me he finished the exam with 1 hour and 45 minutes still available – and it was easy. He was sure something was dreadfully wrong. But, no – he passed! Since each person’s exam contains a totally random set of questions, you never know how hard it’s going to be. So if you study the really hard areas, and the math problems, you’ll be ready in case your exam turns out to be a tougher version. John got lucky!

Upcoming Events

July 14, 2010  at various times.
IRS Phone Forum about Campus Correspondence Audit Process and Resolution,,id=158856,00.html#2
Learn about Tax Return Selection, Correspondence Examination’s Role,
The Campus Notice Process, Responding to Campus’ Notices,
Tax Professional’s Concerns
July 15, 2010 at 8:00 am – 9:00 am PT
The next Tax Roundtable is next month. Will you be joining us?
At the last meeting –  IRA to Roth conversions, the new Registered Tax Preparer program, S corporations, pending legislation…join us at the next TaxMama’s Tax Round Table discussion on

Upcoming on CPE LINK – with CPE for CPAs, EAs, and more

July 28 at 1:00pm PT
Homebuyers Credits for Tax Professionals
The specific laws related to your clients.
How to get it rigth the first time. What to watch out for.
And how to overcome IRS Rejections.

September 1 at 12:00pm PT
Doing Tax Research Online for Free
Identify reliable sources of tax information,
how to use them and understand them.
Other TaxMama News:

At Equifax this week, you learn how to deal with IRS debt. Ilyce Glink alerts you about the higher down payment you may need to make on a new home these days. Dan Solin tells you The Good, The Bad and the Ugly when it comes to annuities. Linda Rey tells you about Natural Disaster Insurance Claims: What To Do When A Natural Disaster Strikes. The Equifax experts explain Credit Trends: Debt Shrinking in the Face of the Recession
This week’s will be about the Taxpayers Advocate’s report. Drop by over the weekend.
In the meantime, read about a new audit report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It explores the vulernability of taxpayers’ personal data. The report suggests that Social Security numbers and tax return information is among the data that is at risk.
In Money Funnies this week, we learn how to administer the last rites to an accident victim.

In IRS News, The Taxpayers Advocate Speaks. The report is fascinating. I’ve been getting lost in all morning, which is why today’s Ask TaxMama is late. It addresses new areas that IRS will be responsible for addressing as a result of recent legislation. I can see where IRS will need to hire and train an entirely different type of work force to deal with the employee and health legislation.
In TaxQuips this week TaxMama looks at a couple of things you should be doing this month. William is getting married and filed BK just beforehand to clear up his debt. Will the BK also clear his tax debt? His BK attorney doesn’t know. Sheesh? And Taj is supporting his mother-in-law, but it’s taking forever to get identity papers so they can her a Social Security number. What can he do?
Do you know which of your employees qualify for the HIRE act? Or about the extenders bill in the House that will change the way your S Corporation operates? Or about the electronic filing mandate for all tax professionals? You would know all this and more – if you read the TaxQueries Blogs!

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.

07/15/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
08/02/2010 2nd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
08/02/2010 Employer’s Deposit Federal Unemployment (FUTA) 
08/02/2010 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500
08/02/2010 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ
08/02/2010 Employers File request for Extension filing Employee Benefits Plan Return
08/02/2010 2nd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher
08/16/2010 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
08/31/2010 Time for businesses to consider setting up retirement plans

From TaxMama® to You!

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Take TaxMama®’s 2010 EA Exam Review Class 

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This weekend we cover Business Income and Expenses

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