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Archive for December, 2007

PostHeaderIcon Alternative Minimum Fuss

Like many, I’ve heard of the AMT – the Alternative Minimum Tax – but since it did not affect me I haven’t paid much attention to it. Apparently this particular tax was made into law in the late 60’s as a way to target a particular group of ultra-wealthy people who were using deductions to avoid to pay any income tax at all. The tax has not been adjusted over time and has gone from affecting the intended target to an ever-growing percentage of the American public at large.
Congress intended to take action on this issue this year, but was apparently delayed. A short term fix was created, a one year freeze on the growth of the AMT, but the forms for people who pay this tax were printed in November. Orginal reports indicated that updated versions of the 5 affected forms would not be available to taxpayers until February 11, 2008, putting a damper on some people’s desire to file early. As in January early.
The AMT affected about 13.5 million American taxpayers when filing their 2006 taxes. Of those, an estimated 3-4 million are traditional early filers, the people who will be affected by the delay.
For more details on the changes and a list of affected forms, check out the AP article here and the IRS’s information page here.
The IRS did recommend electronic filing as a way to increase the speed of refund processing for those affected.

PostHeaderIcon Windows Home Server Flaw

Hello all, Candy just saw this little tidbit online so we thought we’d pass it along to you:

Microsoft’s Windows Home Server corrupts files

Apparently it only happens on the Home Server version of Windows. And also only when you are trying to edit a backup of a file and not the real file. So if you have Windows Home Server, be careful of which files you are opening and changing.

Just a side note: The OffAssist Quickbook Server is NOT on a “Home Server”, so this flaw will have no affect on any of our operations.

PostHeaderIcon New Form 990 for 2008

Form 990 is the tax return that charities and tax-exempt organizations are required to file each year.

The IRS drafted a tentative new form in 2007 and accepted public input from the non-profit sector to make the form both more functional and easier to use.
For all the pertinent details, check out the information page about the new form on the IRS website, here.

When tax exempt organizations file their taxes in 2008, for the 2007 tax year, they will be using the old form. The new form will be used in 2009 when filing 2008 taxes.

PostHeaderIcon Toot Toot!

Candy won’t toot her own horn, so I guess I have to.

Anchor Advisors, a small business consulting firm, recently quoted Candy in their article Budget for Success in the New Year.

PostHeaderIcon The Next Generation

Want to work from home?

Sure! Who wouldn’t? But as anyone who has ever wasted days on the Internet looking can tell you, legitimate work at home jobs are hard to find. Now imagine being a teenager…

Yea.

One enterprising teen, not unsurprisingly the daughter of a virtual assistant, has decided to make legitimate work at home opportunities a reality for teens and college students.

Her press release about the site’s launch is here.

Or, go straight to the source, workinmyroom.com – a site dedicated to offering pre-screened, legitimate work at home opportunities to the next generation.

PostHeaderIcon A challenge for you work at home types…

You all know I work at home and I was sitting here today (yeah, on a Sunday) catching up on some paperwork, when I see some squirrels outside. They are out there quite often, and like the birds in the Spring/Summer, I really look forward to them, watching them run up and down the tree, I’ve even caught them playing a couple of times. Or fighting. Well, I’ll pretend they were playing…

Anyway… I wanna see – what do you see at your desk? Just a screen? A pretty picture? What defines your day, what do you see just off to the side of your monitor? Show me!

I managed to grab a few shots today… My monitor sits a foot or so away from a window and the area between the screen and window frame, I can see this beautiful tree – and also when my kids are home from school and playing, I can watch them on the playscape… anyway…

So, here’s one of my little buddies…

squirrel

You can see on the left the dark area there is actually the edge of the window frame, oops!
squirrel 3

He’s a little out of focus, but at least you can see him up there… he perches there to store his loot and stare around waiting for a blade of grass to move so he can scurry away. Jittery little guys!
squirrel 2

PostHeaderIcon Big Money

A gentleman in South Carolina recently tried to open a new bank account with a $1, 000,000 dollar bill. Yes, that number has exactly as many zeros as it should.

It was, obviously, a fake. The article I read, from accountingweb, mentioned the largest denominations of (legitimate) U.S. currency ever made and I got curious.

For more information on REAL high dollar value currency, generally only used to transfer money from one Federal Reserve Bank to another and not in circulation, check out the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

the largest U.S. currency ever printed

The genius “millionaire” was charged with forgery – since there is no such thing as a million dollar note they were unable to charge him with counterfeiting, which carries a bigger penalty.

PostHeaderIcon Money for Miles

The IRS has updated standard mileage rates for 2008. The new rates, effective for mileage incurred on or after January 1, 2008 are:

(1) Business 50.5 cents per mile
(2) Charitable contribution 14 cents per mile
(3) Medical and moving 19 cents per mile

That’s on page 2 of the excruciatingly long and grossly detailed IRS document on the subject–found HERE. You have to skim to the end, page 29 (of 30) to find the effective date. Look at all the reading time I just saved you!