February, 2009

We're trying a new system this month to manage our contact list. We hope this newsletter meets with both our and your standards. Thanks!

Know Your Tax Preparer

I had a client send a photo of their family with the tax materials they sent—I like this as I haven’t met some of my clients in person, and it allows me to tell my wife who I work for. If you send me a photo of your family, I’ll send you a photo of my family. Deal?

The Eightfold Path to Pay Less Tax and Avoid an Audit

Eight basic things all business owners need to be masters of is ready and printed in booklet form. You can order directly from us at Tax Buddha, or you can order from Amazon.com (search for Author Andrew S Rogers). Order copies for your friends who are in business! Order copies for your sales team! Order copies for independent contractors you care about! Here’s the link to Amazon:

The booklet also contains a sections on how returns are selected for audit, when to seek professional help, and how long to keep your tax records.

Andy is also available for speaking engagements on this topic.

Giant Pool of Money

I heard a rebroadcast of a good radio show on “This American Life” describing how the mortgage crisis occurred—which tied into and reinforced what I had already figured out, but is very understandable and includes crying marines, remorseless mortgage ‘bundlers’ and the French word “tranche’ which translates to slice.

The Giant Pool of Money -- We listen back to a special program about the housing crisis produced in collaboration with NPR News. This program originally aired in May, 2008. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the giant pool of money.


If you follow the link, you can ‘listen now’ to the show named The Giant Pool of Money—I would have named it differently, but they didn’t ask me.

Classes – Basic Payroll and Schedule C

In conjunction with the IRS and EDD, Andy's going to be doing some Basic Payroll seminars coming up in the near future.

Basic Payroll: Seminar runs 9 am – 3 pm with an hour for lunch

The next seminar will be
Basic Payroll in Oakland at Elihu M. Harris State Building,1515 Clay Street, Room 2, Second Floor, 9 am – 3 pm.
February 26th http://www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Tax_Seminars/Reserve_Space.asp?SemID=3732

Basic Payroll in San Rafael is presented at 120 North Redwood Drive, 2nd floor, Redwood Room East Wing, Room E-212 9 am – 3 pm.
February 4th http://www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Tax_Seminars/Reserve_Space.asp?SemID=3729

Basic Payroll in San Francisco is presented at the SBA office 455 Market Street, 6th floor (I take BART to Montgomery Street) 9 am – 3 pm.
February 18th http://www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_Tax_Seminars/Reserve_Space.asp?SemID=3730

Basic Payroll in Irwindale (that’s in LA) is presented at WorkSource/LA Works Center 5200 Irwindale Ave., Ste. C Irwindale, CA 91706 9 am – 3 pm.
March 18th, link not yet available.

These seminars have proven to be very popular, plus they’re free.

How to Prepare your Own Schedule C
Prepare your business taxes for ’08 and get ready for ‘09. Review what the IRS wants to know from you and how to report it on the Schedule C for your business. This is a class for business owners who need a basic understanding of their 1040 Schedule C tax forms. We’ll also talk about what to do with the numbers once you have them. We can’t guarantee you won’t get audited, but this class will make it less likely.

Andy will be at the US Small Business Administration offices in San Francisco at 455 Market Street, 6th Floor February 25, 6-8:30 pm. This class will be free. To register: http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaID=172942

I went to a class on QuickBooks given by Kim Woodrum. If you’re in the market for QuickBooks training in a classroom setting, I recommend her. She teaches a two day QuickBooks seminar and travels a great deal. Her website is http://www.manibusinessservices.com/.

1099s, W-2s and Tax Returns

You’ll need to send out 1099s, W-2s and their matching transmittal coversheets, the 1096 and W-3. The originals were due February 2nd to the people who got paid, and the next set is due to the government at the end of February (Really, March 2nd). If you need help with any of these, please contact us.

Retirement Plan Contributions from an S Corporation

Andy wrote an article for the East Bay Association of Enrolled Agents -- a professional group for tax preparers like Andy. In the article, Andy discusses the way both a 401(k) or a SEP contribution gets reported by a shareholder-owner. There was some controversy among Enrolled Agents about the proper way to report these transactions, and the instructions the IRS provides are far from clear. Although the IRS would say you don't need a professional administrator to operate a 401(k), Andy still recommends it. If you need a referral to someone, we can provide one, but we do not do this kind of work (we're trying to focus on the S Corporation, of all things!).

For relaxation and Clear Thinking: On The Spot

To carry you through the summer, we recommend meditation and that you check out On The Spot Massage at http://www.onthespotmassage.com/corporate.html to help you relax. A relaxed mind is a clear thinking mind. Makes an excellent gift for your tax preparer or other important person in your life.

Phone and Fax Numbers

Our northern California office is shared commercial space in Alameda (the Berkeley mailing address is still good for deliveries, it is a PMB). Phone numbers are:
Phone (510) 522-2300
Fax (510) 522-2307

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” — Albert Einstein, physicist