Friday, November 16, 2018

VOLUME ONE - NUMBER NINE


A TIME TO CELEBRATE – BUT THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE.

November 7th was truly a day of great celebration. The Democrats now control the House!

I certainly felt much, much better on the morning of November 7, 2018 than I did on the morning of November 9th of 2016!

It was a day to celebrate not because the programs and policies of the Democratic Party are superior to those of the Republican Party – although in most cases, since today’s Republican Party has truly become the Party of Trump, this is true - or that liberalism is superior to conservatism - although Trump, and the Party he now dominates, is certainly not conservative.

It was a day to celebrate because it is, hopefully, the beginning of the end of worthless piece of garbage Donald T Rump and our national nightmare. The arrogant idiot will finally begin to be properly investigated and held accountable for his unacceptable, indefensible, unethical, illegal and un-American actions and behavior.

Trump himself said, correctly for once in his life, that this election was about him (of course he did, because everything with Trump MUST be about him). Trump lost!

It is disappointing that the Democrats lost some ground in the Senate. But there were gains in Democratic governors. And the Democratic victories resulted in more diversity.

A message has been sent to the Republicans in Washington that their despicable and deplorable acceptance and defense of Trump and his behavior has consequences.

It is proof that there are more intelligent Americans with a conscience than there are ignorant and racist Americans like Trump himself.  

And now we work toward the day when America finally says to Trump, "You're fired"!

However, while the overall results of the midterm election were good for the country, it also indicated some disturbing news. Despite my celebration of the results, I am still concerned.

Exit polls indicated that 31% of voters strongly support arrogant asshole Donald T Rump. This is not a surprise, it represents his core cult of deplorable racists. What is disturbing is that 14% of voters “somewhat support” Trump. This number must include some otherwise intelligent people – and it is still inconceivable to me that anyone with intelligence could even “somewhat” support Trump as President. About 46% of voters choose Republican candidates.  Clearly to these people the Republican and perceived, often wrongly, conservative policies that Trump allegedly supports are more important than the real danger that Trump is, and that Party is truly more important than Country.

What is also disturbing is that only 54% thought America is going in the wrong direction – following the same line as support of Trump.

While the election results prove that there is true hope for the future of America, it also proves that much more work needs to be done to get rid of the worst and most dangerous President in the history of the United States. We must show America, especially true conservatives and Republicans, that Donald Trump’s continuation as President, and his continued control of the Republican Party, is truly worse than ANY other alternative. America will never be great again with Trump in the White House.




There has been a long-standing tradition of making successful television shows out of popular Broadway plays and theatrical movies, from THE NAKED CITY, TOPPER and MR LUCKY to MASH, THE ODD COUPLE, and ALICE.   

The first tv series based on a play and/or movie was MAMA, based on the 1944 play and 1948 movie I REMEMBER MAMA.  The show ran on CBS from July 1, 1949 to July 27, 1956.  The cast included a young Dick Van Patten of EIGHT IS ENOUGH.

The second series taken from a play and/or movie was THE FRONT PAGE, starring real life journalist John Daly (who would later become famous at the host of WHAT’S MY LINE) as newspaper editor Walter Burns.  It had a brief run from September 29, 1949, to January 26, 1950.

The third movie turned into a television series was THE LIFE OF RILEY, a successful radio comedy that was made into a movie in 1948.  Both the radio show and the movie starred William Bendix as Chester A Riley. 

While most of my generation will always think of William Bendix as Chester A Riley, television’s first Mr. Riley was actually Jackie Gleason.  William Bendix was supposed to have starred in the initial television version, but Bendix's RKO Radio Pictures movie contract prevented him from appearing. 

The first series was telecast from October 4, 1949 to March 28, 1950.  It won television's first Emmy, for "Best Film Made For and Shown on Television".  It came to an end because the producer and the sponsor, Pabst Brewing Company, reached an impasse on extending the series for a full 39-week season.

The show returned on January 2, 1953, with a totally new cast that now included William Bendix as Chester A and Marjorie Reynolds as Mrs. Riley, and lasted for 6 seasons.  I remember watching it as a child.



BOBSERVATIONS:
EVERYBODY SAYS DON’T

Well at least I do.   

Question:  When should you use your debit card to make an online purchase? 

Answer:  NEVER.

A debit card allows you access to the available cash in your checking account to make purchases.  A credit card allows you to borrow money to make purchases.  With a debit card you cannot spend more than you have.

There is an important difference between debit and credit cards, which is why it is important to have credit cards.   

Whenever I had a problem with a credit card charge, I would notify the card provider and, on my say-so, alone the charge would be automatically removed from my account.  On the other side of the aisle, I have heard horror stories from business clients regarding credit card payments for their goods and services being reversed by clients and customers “after the fact”. 

A client who provided escorted rail travel told me about one of his customers who charged a trip to her credit card.  The customer went on the trip and received everything promised in the trip itinerary.  However, for some reason the customer did not enjoy the trip as much as expected and told her credit card company to reverse the charge for the fee, which it did.  My client was out his fee for the trip after laying out all the costs of travel and accommodations for the unhappy customer.  He had to fight long and hard with the credit card company to get his money back.

I had a problem with a debit card charge years ago and my bank was not as accommodating as credit card providers had been.  It would not automatically remove the debit to my account.  I was told I had to resolve the matter with the vendor.  I had to fight long and hard with the bank to get my money back.

In the case of a credit card charge the customer receives the benefit of the doubt and the merchant or vendor must prove that the charge was valid, as it should be.  With a debit card charge the merchant or vendor receives the benefit of the doubt and the bank customer who was cheated or shorted must prove the charge was invalid.

The bottom line - it is much easier to dispute a charge on a credit card than on a debit card.  A credit card issuer will remove the charge until a resolution is made, but a debit card charge will not be removed without dealing directly with the merchant.

The reason for the different treatment is because credit card charges are covered under federal and state consumer protection laws, while debit card charges, like ATM activity, are covered under banking laws that pertain to the electronic transfer of funds.

A debit card, which is basically a cash card, should only be used in lieu of cash – at restaurants, local supermarkets, stores and theatres, and hotels and motels - in instances where you are actually receiving the product or service “in hand” at the point of purchase. A credit card should be used in all cases when you are making a payment in advance, both online and offline, for products or services to be delivered in the future.  This way if the product or service is not received as promised it will be much easier to get your money back.

Another consideration is identity theft and fraud.  Here it is also easier to fix a problem arising from a credit card than one from a debit card.  And if someone steals your debit card number your entire bank account balance is vulnerable.

So now, when should you use your debit card to make an online purchase?



SURFIN’ USA


Enter your date of birth, or any other date from 1800 to 2002, and receive an “On This Day In History…” time capsule report with the top headlines of the week, top songs for the year. Academy Award winners, other people born on November 18th. favorite tv shows, toys and books of the year, prices for such items as bread, milk, eggs and gas, the average annual income, minimum wage, and the Dow Jones average. 

On the day I was born – November 18, 1953, gas was 29 cents per gallon, a stamp was 3 cents, the average annual income was $4,706, and the Dow Jones average was 281.  The hot new toy for 1953 was plastic army men.  And others born on November 18th, before me, included actresses Brenda Vaccaro and Linda Evans. 



I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Stan “The Man” Lee.  He was truly a big part of my youth, and the youth of millions of others of my generation, and his creations continue to fascinate new generations today.

Few people in the history of the world have created as many culturally iconic and enduring fictional characters as Stan Lee.

The Marvel Universe, along with the DC and Star Trek Universes, are truly the mythology of the modern world.

Stan turned comic books into literature, making them intelligent and educational.  And he used his platform and his comics to speak out via “Stan’s Soapbox”.  Here is one example from 1968 - 

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them — to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater — one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen — people he’s never known — with equal intensity — with equal venom.
“Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race — to despise an entire nation — to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God ― a God who calls us ALL ― His children.
“Pax et Justitia, Stan.
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I have found an excellent way to teach children how to become good, decent and honorable human beings.

All you have to do is teach them about the words, actions and lives of two Americans:

John McCain – to learn what to do, and

Donald Trump – to learn what NOT to do.


Sunday Today with Willie Geist, which I watch most Sunday mornings, began its weekly "Highs and Lows" feature when the show first appeared with actual news stories.

But it had to change the focus when NBC realized that EVERY low of EVERY week would be about Donald T Rump.

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Does this sound like anyone we all know?

"A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends."

- US VP Henry Wallace

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A belated message for all the veterans reading this – thank you for your service and NEVER FORGET!



THE JOY OF AVOIDING TAXES:
LIAR LIAR

No, this column is not about Donald T Rump.

Over the years I have heard and read the strangest things said and written about taxes, from a multitude of sources.  Here are a dozen true “urban tax myths” -

1. Receiving a Form 1099 increases your audit risk.

The mere receipt of a Form 1099 does not in any way affect your audit profile.  However, if you don’t report the income from a Form 1099 on your 1040 you will eventually receive a bill from Uncle Sam for additional tax and accrued penalties and interest.

2. You only have to claim the income for which you receive a Form 1099.

All income from self-employment, and most interest and dividends, is taxable — whether or not you receive a Form 1099.

3. Filing late means you're less likely to be audited.

Just because you file late in the season, near the April 15th deadline, does not mean you have decreased your audit risk. Also requesting an extension, and filing your return close to Oct. 15, doesn't decrease your audit risk either. You get audited based on what is on your return, not when you filed it.

4. If the IRS didn't audit your returns, the deduction you’ve been taking all these years must be legal. 

It just means you weren’t caught ... yet.

5. Claiming a home office deduction automatically triggers an audit.

Before the rules were clarified in the '90s, the home office deduction was considered an audit “red flag.” Not anymore. In my 40+ tax seasons of preparing 1040s, none of my clients have ever been questioned or audited by the IRS for claiming a home office deduction.

6. Working taxpayers older than 65 don't have to pay Social Security tax.

Salaries and wages are subject to FICA (Social Security and Medicare) Tax, whether you’re 3 or 101 years old, and regardless of whether or not you are already collecting Social Security. I actually had an employee at one of my business clients tell me decades ago that since she was 70 I do not have to withhold Social Security tax from her paycheck anymore. Of course, she was wrong. This myth stems from the fact that at one time retirees 72 or older did not have to reduce or repay Social Security benefits due to excess earned income.

7. You can deduct the cost of your car and all its operating expenses, or mileage, as a business expense if you put advertising on the car.

IRS Publication 463 states the facts: “Putting display material that advertises your business on your car does not change the use of your car from personal use to business use.”

8. You can claim a tax deduction for making a gift of up to $15,000 to your son or daughter.

You can never deduct a gift to an individual on your income tax return. This applies only to the federal “Gift Tax” — you can currently make a gift of $15,000 per person per year without having to pay Gift Tax (this number is adjusted periodically for inflation).

9. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is only for high-income taxpayers.

The AMT was originally intended to make sure high-income individuals did not use tax shelters and loopholes to avoid paying their share of federal income tax.  But that is no longer the case under current law. My millionaire clients never pay AMT — but many in the middle and upper-middle class have become victims of this dreaded alternate tax system.

Thankfully, as a result of the GOP Tax Act, the dreaded AMT is no longer an issue for most taxpayers.

10. "What do you mean it's wrong? I used Turbo Tax!"

The Tax Court has on several occasions rejected the "Turbo Tax Defense" when a taxpayer attempted to blame tax preparation software for errors made on a tax return.  If you rely on a “box” to prepare your tax returns remember – garbage in, garbage out. 

11. You can settle your outstanding IRS tax debt for "pennies on the dollar”.

Don’t believe the ads for companies that make such a claim. It sounds too good to be true, and it is! These ads are referring to an IRS program known as “Offer In Compromise,” but no matter what they say, the IRS isn’t going to let you pay $100 to settle a $50,000 tax debt.  If you use one of these companies you will pay a sizable fee — after all, how do you think they afford to advertise on TV? Several of the companies promising to settle IRS debt for “pennies on the dollar” have gotten into legal trouble for taking advantage of their customers and have been shut down.

12. CPAs are 1040 tax experts.

The initials “CPA” have nothing whatsoever to do with one’s knowledge of, experience with, or ability to prepare 1040s. All they mean is that the person can certify financial statements. A CPA passed a very difficult test on accounting issues, perhaps dozens of years ago, with minimal, if any, questions on 1040 taxation. CPAs must maintain minimal annual continuing professional education (CPE) credits — but there is nothing that says any of their CPE must be in 1040 taxation. There are many CPAs who are also 1040 tax experts, but it has absolutely nothing to do with their “initials.”  The only “initials” that have any bearing on a person’s competence and currency with federal individual income tax law is “EA”, for Enrolled Agent, “ATP”, for Accredited Tax Preparer, and “ATA”, for Accredited Tax Advisor.


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Your thoughts and comments on THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING are always welcomed.  You can post a comment below or email me at rdftaxpro@yahoo.com(with LAKE REGION SOMETHING COMMENT in the subject line).

TTYL













Thursday, November 1, 2018

VOLUME ONE - NUMBER EIGHT



VOTE AS IF AMERICA'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT - BECAUSE IT DOES!

It is absolutely vital for the future of America and the world that Americans vote on November 6th AGAINST all Republican candidates for Congress.  No election in recent history has been more important.

A vote FOR Republicans is a vote of support and defense for the Presidency of Donald Trump.  The Republicans in Congress have irresponsibly chosen to blindly support and defend indefensible Donald Trump.  Trump is a delusional, ignorant, immature, incompetent, totally self-absorbed and self-important mentally unstable narcissist and sociopath.  His Presidency emboldens and empowers bigotry, racism, and misogyny.  Every day he is in office Trump demeans and degrades American democracy, values and credibility and the office of the President of the United States.   

A vote AGAINST Republicans is a vote for a Congress that will oppose and denounce Donald Trump, work to minimize the damage of his Presidency, and hold him accountable for his many unethical and illegal behaviors.

The list of reasons to oppose and denounce Trump is almost endless.   What is most troubling, dangerous, inappropriate, indefensible and unacceptable is the proven fact that every single thing he says, “tweets” and does is based SOLELY on his self-interests and his delusional self-importance.  His need to feed his undeservedly enormous ego and maintain his perception of perfection and infallibility is his ONLY motivating factor. What is good for America, Americans, the Republican Party, and the world NEVER enters into any of his thinking and action.

This is not about voting for Democratic candidates because Democratic and liberal politics and policies are better than traditional Republican and conservative politics and policies.  It is about defending America, Americans and the world from the most dangerous and unfit person ever to occupy the White House.

Before the 2016 Presidential election America WAS great.  But under the Presidency of Donald Trump, and the irresponsible and hypocritical blind support of the Republican controlled Congress, America is NO LONGER great.  
To truly make America great again we must remove control of Congress from the Republican Party and ultimately remove Donald Trump from the White House.




THE FIRST MRS KRAMDEN

Audrey Meadows, who became famous as Alice Kramden on the iconic HONEYMOONERS tv show, was not the first actress to portray Alice on tv.  The original Alice Kramden, to Jackie Gleason’s Ralph when “the Honeymooners” first appeared as a regular series of skits on the DuMont Network's "Cavalcade of Stars" was Pert Kelton.

If you don’t know who Pert Kelton is, she is most famous for her Broadway role as Mrs. Paroo, the Irish mother of the town librarian Marian Paroo, in Meredith Willson's Broadway musical THE MUSIC MAN, a role she reprised in the 1962 film version of the show.

Kelton appeared in the original 10 to 20-minute sketches.  She was abruptly replaced by Audrey Meadows as a result of blacklisting - the practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other American entertainment professionals during the mid-20th century because they were accused of having Communist ties or sympathies, a practice that grew out of Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunt.  Instead of acknowledging she was being blacklisted, the producers explained that her departure was based on heart problems.

FYI – Broadway legend Elaine Stritch played Trixie, the burlesque dancer wife of Ed Norton, for one sketch before being replaced by Joyce Randolph.



BOBSERVATIONS:
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN

While I may look “svelte” in my current pictures I once weighed over 250 lbs.  A few years ago I lost 90 pounds in 9 months (exactly 10 pounds per month).

In July of 2015, at age 61, after a trip to the emergency room at the local hospital, I was diagnosed with diabetes.  As a result, I had to completely change my eating habits, go on a diet, and start to exercise.  At the hospital I had weighed 247, although I had at that time already lost at least 10 or more pounds as a result of the symptoms that lead to the diagnosis.  Nine months later the bathroom scale I had purchased (the first one I ever bought) indicated I was 157 pounds.

So, what did I do?

I gave up bread, as well as desserts (except for “lite” vanilla ice cream at home), cheeseburgers, and pizza.  I replaced skim milk with 1% milk, and regular soda with club soda.  I avoided rice, and when I did have potatoes I had half a baked potato, with limited margarine and no longer swimming in butter, or mashed sweet potatoes.  If I had spaghetti it was always with meatballs.  For the first time in my life I actually looked at labels, checking for calories and sugar content. 

Instead of two cocktails at dinner I had either club soda or one glass of dry red wine – Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet, which I learned is good for blood sugar.  And I replaced creamy Italian dressing with balsamic dressing on my salads, also good for blood sugar.  I started to eat fish more often, as well as trying a variety of new vegetables, for the first time asparagus and even brussels sprouts.  

Prior to the diagnosis I had irregular daytime eating habits.  I usually had a big breakfast out, often as late as 10 AM, and a minimal lunch, sometimes just cookies and milk.  I now had to keep a regular schedule of 3 complete meals a day – breakfast at 7AM, lunch at noon-ish, and dinner at 5-ish.  The usual breakfast of French toast or pancakes or ham and cheese omelet was replaced with half a banana and one measured cup of cereal – either Bran Flakes with raisins instead of actual Raisin Bran, Special K, Wheaties, or Total – with 1% milk.

I eat out almost every night – I don’t cook.  Now when I dined out I would eat half of the meal I ordered, and take half home for lunch on the following day.  Not having two cocktails or dessert with my dinner reduced my evening’s check substantially, and I no longer had to purchase lunch, so I actually saved money by eating healthily!

In the process I found that I actually liked much of the new healthier foods I was now eating, food that I never would have considered trying before.

In terms of exercise, I did not join a gym or purchase any expensive home exercise equipment.  I just walked.  Prior to my diagnosis I would drive everywhere.  My building has three levels – I live on the 3rd floor and the laundry room in on the 1st level.  I would actually drive from the 2nd level to the 1st level to do my laundry.  I now walked up and down the 2 steep flights of stairs carrying my laundry basket.

I started small.  In the past I would always park as close as possible to the entrance of wherever I was going.  Now I parked as far away as possible – at the far end of any parking lot – and walked to the entrance.  I work out of a home office and I use a Post Office box as my business mailing address.  Instead of driving I would walk the 5 blocks to the Post Office and back each day.

After a while I would extend my PO walk up and down side streets to extend the trip, eventually making it about a mile.  I would back and forth across the Observation Deck at Lake Wallenpaupack, and eventually to the Visitor Center and back.  I would alternate this walk with a round-trip of the local River Walk.  When driving into NJ for a bi-weekly client payroll I would leave early and walk the length of a nearby outdoor mall and back before going to the client.

I had known for years that I needed to lose weight, and began countless times to give up bread and desserts and to walk more – but I never followed through.  I truly needed something like diabetes to motivate me to change my ways.

When I hit 157 lbs. my research indicated that I had perhaps gone too far.  I began to eat more, including whole wheat bread, “regular” vanilla ice cream when eating out, and full instead of half dinners.  I got my weight up to the mid-170s, where I wanted to be, and had maintained at that level for some time.  However recently I have wandered into the low 190s, resulting from a combination of the good food and large portions at The Ridge Italian Grille and Bar in downtown Hawley and not being able to walk as much due to the weird weather conditions.  I need to lose around 10 lbs.  Wish me luck.



History will record the legacy of the Trump Presidency as the emboldening and empowerment of racists and bigots to openly and aggressively act out their hatred, racism and bigotry.
 
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I am actually enjoying the recent reboots of MAGNUM PI - the new lead, while good, is no Tom Selleck, but I do like making Higgins a woman, as there would be no possible comparable male replacement for John Hillerman – and CHARMED.

Attempts to reboot iconic tv shows of the past have almost always failed miserably, except for the more recent ones on CBS.

Successfully re-doing MAGNUM is truly a monumental task.  Thankfully it is being done by the same person that brought back HAWAII FIVE-0 and MACGYVER - Peter Lenkov.  What makes these reboots work is that, while preserving varying degrees of the original concepts, each show could successfully stand alone on its own individual merits.  They are not exact remakes - HAWAII FIVE-0 is the least like the original and MAGNUM PI is the most.  And there is the excellent chemistry of the ensembles – the stand-out being the relationship of the new McGarrett and Williams.  It will take some time, however, to get used to the recast MAGNUM trio of military friends.

As for the new CHARMED, how wonderful and appropriate that Donald T Rump's presidency is identified as one of the three signs of the Apocalypse – “when the weakest of men reaches ill-gotten glory”, which the “White Lighter” tells the sisters “suffice to say it’s your current President”.  In another episode the sisters are warned to be on the look-out for strange potential pre-Apocalyptic occurrences like “Presidential tweets”.  I love it!

If you haven’t watched the new MAGNUM PI or CHARMED yet check them out.

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I don’t hate Republicans. I have voted for Republican candidates in the past. I hate what the Republican Party has become by embracing and defending Donald T Rump.

I don’t hate Trump. He is totally worthless and definitely not worth my emotion. I hate what he is doing to America, its values and to democracy. And I hate that the Republican Party, by embracing and defending him, is complicit in the damage he is doing.

I don’t hate conservatives. Donald Trump, and the current Republican Party, is most certainly not conservative. He, and it, has totally abandoned true conservative philosophy.




As the bartender of a holiday party you would have no problem if a guest requests a “Screwdriver” or a “7 and 7”.  But what if someone asks for “A Kick In The Bollocks”? 

IDRINK is the premier mixed drink recipe website.  You can go to this site and search the data-base of tens of thousands of non-alcoholic, alcoholic, cocktail, bartending, shot and shooter drink recipes.   

“A Kick In The Bollocks” is ½ oz Coconut Cream, 1 oz Double Cream, 1 oz orange juice, 1 oz Peach Schnappes, and 1 oz Dark Rum shaken and strained into a 5 oz cocktail glass and garnished with two melon balls marinated in the rum. 

Have you ever had a “Purple Smurf”, a “Snowball’s Chance in Hell”, or a “Hairy Mexican Cobb”?

My former “usual” cocktail was a “Stinger”, and when I lived in NJ I had to teach many bartenders how to properly make it.  I did a search for “Stinger” at iDRINK and came up with many variations.  My drink is the “Brandy Stinger”, which, as I thought, is 3 parts Brandy and 1 part While Crème de Menthe - shaken, not stirred.

At iDRINK you can enter the ingredients that you have around the house, bar, party, etc., and discover what drinks you can make and how to make them.

Bottoms up!



THE JOY OF AVOIDING TAXES:
STUFF AND SUCH

* Fall is time for open enrollment for employer-sponsored dependent care and health care “flexible spending accounts” (FSA). If your employer offers an FSA you should consider participating – you can realize substantial tax savings from such a plan.

Participants in dependent care and health care FSAs can set aside a specific dollar amount of their salary each year to pay for qualifying child-care or medical expenses during the year.

Monies set aside in an FSA are considered “pre-tax” for both federal income tax and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax purposes.  $5,000 set aside in an FSA will reduce the taxable Wages, tips and other compensation, Social Security wages and Medicare wages reported on your W-2 and could save about $1,500 or more (depending on your marginal tax rate) in total income and payroll taxes.

A dependent care FSA can provide a greater tax savings than claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

* Trump recently said the Republicans will pass a 10% tax cut for the middle class by the mid-term elections.  This is an obvious lie.  As Howard Glickman of TAX VOX tells us -

This episode is perfectly consistent with the president’s MO: Make grandiose, attention-getting promises that never get fulfilled.” 

Both houses of Congress are currently in recess, and will not return until after the elections.  And Republican lawmakers have said they have no such tax-cut legislation in the works.

There is NO pending 10% tax cut for the middle class.

* Did you change your name due to marriage or divorce, or for any other reason, this year?  If you did it is very important that you report the change to the Social Security Administration.

The IRS is very picky about matching names to Social Security numbers. If a Social Security number and name reported on a tax return does not match exactly the name in the files of the Social Security Administration the IRS could remove the personal exemption of that person and automatically recalculate the tax liability as Head of Household, Married Filing Separately or Single, substantially reducing the refund or increasing the balance due.  At the very least the processing of the return and any refund will be delayed.

You must get a corrected Social Security card.  You cannot apply for a card online.   Fill out and print an application for a Social Security card and take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free.

You should also get a corrected card for any dependent children whose names may change as a result of marriage or divorce.

* Usually you are given the option of having IRA administrative, custodial or management fees deducted from the account balance or paying them directly by personal check.  You should pay these fees directly by sending the trustee a check.

By doing this you increase the tax-deferred accumulation within the account, so more money is available at retirement.

A reminder – investment expenses like IRA administrative, custodial or management fees are no longer deductible on Schedule A.   

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Your thoughts and comments on THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING are always welcomed.  You can post a comment below or email me at rdftaxpro@yahoo.com(with LAKE REGION SOMETHING COMMENT in the subject line).

TTYL