Today is the first of May. For some, it’s an old holiday with roots in the return of spring, flowers, dancing and delight. For others, it’s a time of labor protest and riots. Personally, I prefer the celebration. For history buffs, you can learn more about May Day around the world by clicking on the graphic to today’s issue, above. (Incidentally, did you know that if you click on the graphic on each issue of Ask TaxMama you will find a link to something fun?)
Yesterday was Arbor Day in the USA. Other countries have their own celebrations, on their own dates.
There’s an actual non-profit organization associated with the holiday – and with the concept of planting and/or replanting trees. (Who knew?)
Growing up, I went to Hebrew school full-time. The Jewish National Fund would have the school pass out these coin holder albums. We would put our dimes into it. When we filled the album, it would be sent off to buy a tree in our names. At the time, most of the tiny country of Israel was a desert or a swamp. The dimes of little children planted the forests and trees in the country now. Not having any schoolchildren myself, I don’t know if the schools still do this anymore. It was an amazing way to help small children build rapport with a place far, far away; and to make the association be so personal.
I wonder how to use that kind of a concept to help children get more involved in the issues facing their own families and communities today? Perhaps something my friend Rita Veen, EA is doing will make a difference. She and her circle of friends, clients and family are starting to develop a series of children books (replete with illustrations, music and more fun things) to entertain children and to get them more in touch with today’s issues. It may take her years to get the project off the ground. But as they complete each book, they plan to distribute them to the schools. Well, with enough people involved, splitting the costs, it’s really possible to make a dream like that happen. I’m looking forward to reading the first book.
Speaking of children and parties and joyful things, I just ran across a fun resource for you. Pinatas.com has all kinds of neat pinatas and party supplies – colorful, fun stuff. They have a 10% discount for Cinqo de Mayo and Mothers Day if you use this link – and coupon code: MOTHERS10
I just got a note reminding me about the US Postal Service rate changes. The new basic rate will be 44 cents, effective May 11, 09. You can get the whole list of changes here
Incidentally, did you know that you can print your bar-coded mailing labels, complete with postage, right on the USPS site or via their Stamps.com software? In fact, you can even get proof of delivery built right into the label for no extra charge when you use Priority Mail. Using these services not only gets you Delivery Confirmation, it elminates the problem we used to have with Priority Mail – where it sometimes was not delivered for 3 – 6 weeks—across town! With this bar-coded label, the packages really do get delivered overnight or within two days. www.usps.com or Coupon code COUPON1 gets you $45 free postage.
So far, about 100 people have picked up the TaxMama Tax Calendar from the iphone shop.
Have you? You can find iTaxMama at www.TaxMama.com – it’s my gift to you.
Lots of people are calling about the EA Exam Review Class and the EA Exam itself. Due to other, pressing deadlines this week, we are a little behind getting the new site up. It will be up by Tuesday. Don’t worry, we you won’t miss anything. The live class will be starting at the end of May.
In the meantime, to get all your questions answered, please join me at a CSEA DigiTAX course on May 13th at 11:00 am – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the EA Exam
In IRS News this week, we have a special treat for you – the complete transcript of an IRS phone forum explaining all about cancelation of debt. In fact, go to IRS News, you can even listen to the presentation. You also get a chance to address the issues of what happens after you file your tax return – tracking down refunds, filing a change of address, correcting erroneous information…
You might be interested to know that the Small Business Administration has their own site devoted to the Recovery Act (ARRA) – http://www.sba.gov/recovery/index.html
Today’s Money Funny about shingles. As you may have noticed, I love humor involving language and communications. You’ll enjoy this one.
In TaxQuips this week, we learn how far back you can amend tax returns; how to get into deep, deep tax trouble by being too busy and distracted for too long to pay attention to your taxed – or errors on your tax return (talk about tax collection hell!); we get into an interesting discussion about whether or not a home provided by an employer should be taxed to the employee; and we end the week discussing hobby loss rules. I really want to thank everyone who participated in the discussion this week. Especially Jim Chapman, EA at H&R Block who offered to help Mark – if Mark gets in touch with him. (Clickin on his name in the comment will give you his e-mail address)
As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!
Please use the Comments link online.
Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
Eva Rosenberg, EA
Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.
TAX CALENDAR 2009
04.30.2009 1st Quarterly Payroll Returns and Pay Taxes Due
04.30.2009 1st Quarterly Sales Tax Returns and Pay Taxes Due
05.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
06.15.2009 2nd 2009 Estimated Payment – all entities Due
06.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
06.15.2009 Personal Tax Returns Due for US Taxpayers overseas Form 1040
06.15.2009 or File extensions for US Taxpayers overseas Form 4868
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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 :: Got shingles?
- IRS News :: What happens after you file? and All about cancelation of Debt
- Prepare your own tax return :: $19.95 includes IRS, State, e-filing and tech support
- The 100% Home-Based Business Tax Solution :: The evolving e-book and Tax MiniMiser