March, 2009

You may notice we're back to the prior format having resolved the e-mail issues we had last month. Thanks for your patience while we try out new things that don't always work.

Extension Deadline Friday March 13th

The deadline for submitting the majority of your individual tax return materials to Tax Buddha is Friday March 13th to avoid the 25% extension fee. The final deadline for the rest of your materials is March 31st. After these dates, your return will be put on extension and we’ll add the fee to your bill.

“Why so harsh, it’s just a simple form, right?” Well, no. The extension is an extension to file, not an extension to pay. If we make a last second guess based on incomplete information, the IRS may invalidate the extension and assess penalties and interest for filing late. If you don’t have all the money to pay, we should still report what we expect you’ll owe.

We spend a lot of time tracking down people and their missing info. Once we ‘loose the vector’ on your return, it takes extra time to review the file again and check to see if we have all the items we need yet. It just plain old takes more time to put a return on extension.

Please note – this policy is if you miss the deadline. If you meet the deadline but we ask to extend your return due to our workload, the extension fee will not apply.

Vacation March 16-20

The office will be closed and I’ll be on a small vacation in LA in the middle of March. OK, I’m actually going to give a six hour speech on Payroll Taxes in Irwindale (See Below) but otherwise, I plan on relaxing a bit after getting all the corporate tax returns in over the week-end so I can come back refreshed to finish up individual tax returns.

Don’t be offended if I don’t call or e-mail you back during this week. Do send in any remaining tax materials to the PMB Box in Berkeley – I’ll get them when I return and you’ll be first in line.

The Eightfold Path to Pay Less Tax and Avoid an Audit

Eight basic things all business owners need to be masters of is printed in booklet form. Think of this as ten years of working with the IRS Tax Code distilled down into about 32 pages.

Just another way we’re trying to simplify your life and save you money. It’s much less expensive to ‘follow the instructions’ in this booklet than to have to explain those $30 checks to the parking authority (hint: parking tickets are not deductible).

You can order directly from us at Tax Buddha, or you can order from (search for Author Andrew S Rogers).

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.

$7500 for new home buyers

As part of the Economic Stimulus Package of ’08, Congress created a refundable “credit” for first time home buyers of $7,500 (a refundable credit: that means that even if you don’t owe tax, you can get the money! Its not just a tax offset.) I’ve put quotation marks around the word credit, because it’s really a no interest LOAN that they expect to be repaid over the next 15 years. They’re talking about making it not-a-loan, but as of today, nothing has changed.

One of my early filing clients who was eligible for this has already received her ‘credit’ funds and is using them to replace a sewer line to her new house.

You must have purchased between April 9 2008 and June 30, 2009, so there’s still time. And it’s not really $7,500, but that’s the maximum credit if your home cost $75,000 or more (you get 10%). And you have to purchase within the United States. If you owned a home in the three years prior, you don’t qualify. Repayments of $500 (for the max loan amount) will be added to your tax starting 2010 and continue until 2024. More details may be had at,,id=187935,00.html.

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 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.

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.
March 25th and again April 29th.

Basic Payroll in Oakland at Elihu M. Harris State Building,1515 Clay Street, Room 2, Second Floor, 9 am – 3 pm.
May 7th and again June 3rd.

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.
July 29th

Register by going to and find your favorite location

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 presenting a slightly abbreviated version of this seminar in San Francisco on March 5th at 1637 Ocean Avenue 10 am – noon for the Portola Neighborhood Steering Committee.

Andy will be at the US Small Business Administration offices in San Francisco at 455 Market Street, 6th Floor May 11, 6-8:30 pm. This class will be free. To register check out the SBA website, or just show up.

Andy will also be at the US Small Business Administration San Jose Entrepreneur Center at 84 W. Santa Clara St, Suite 100 in San Jose on June 11, 10 am – 12:30, and the class will still be free. to register

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

For relaxation and Clear Thinking: On The Spot

To carry you through the stressful tax season, we recommend meditation and that you check out On The Spot Massage at to help you relax. A relaxed mind is a clear thinking mind. We have some discount cards for $5 off at the Alameda Natural Grocery location on Park Street, open daily 11 am – 7 pm. Ask us for one!

Phone and Fax Numbers

Our northern California office is shared commercial space in Alameda (the Berkeley mailing address is still good for all deliveries, it is a Private Mail Box). 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