December, 2013

Donations and Documentation

Scurrying to make those donations deductible in 2013?

You’ll need some documentation to deduct charitable donations.

The level of documentation depends on what you’re donating, and the total amount donated. The two categories of donations are “cash” and “non-cash”—cash includes actual folding money, checks, credit card payments, payroll deductions, etc.

For cash, with an individual donation amount under $250, you’ll need to keep a copy of the cancelled check, credit card statement, or a letter from the charity. If you donate $250 or more, you must have a written acknowledgement from the charity – and the IRS has made it clear you need that letter in hand BEFORE we can take the deduction. For a payroll deduction, you need the Pledge Card and W-2 paystubs.

For non-cash with an individual donation of amounts under $250, you’ll need a written acknowledgement or “other record” – if you get a blank receipt FILL IT OUT! If you send me a blank receipt with your other tax documents, the deduction is $0. Maybe take a picture of what you’re donating so you remember? If your non-cash donations total $500 or more, I need to fill out the form with details, so please collect all those receipts.

For a non-cash donation of $250-under $500, you need a written acknowledgement. For a non-cash donation of $500 but under $5,000, you need the written acknowledgement, plus I need to fill out Form 8283 with details about what you donated, when you got it, the value when you acquired it, and the value when donated, etc. For donations of $5,000 or more, call me. For more information, see Did I mention if your non-cash donations total $500 or more, I need to fill out the form with details, so please collect all those receipts.

Donated cars carry a special form the charity should provide you with.

Due Dates: 1099s

1099s and W-2s are due out by January 31st. Don’t wait to collect the information we’ll need to send out the 1099s. I have my blank forms; if you want to send your own out, you can order blank forms for no additional cost at:

You’ll want the 2013 forms to report payments made in 2013.

The IRS currently says the earliest we can efile an individual tax return will be January 31. Business returns will be accepted starting January 13, 2014.

I will be out of the office Thursday January 2nd through Wednesday January 8th, and Monday February 10th through Friday February 14th.

Classes – IRS Education Provider, Basic Payroll, Schedule C

Here’s a link to the seminars page on my website:

I’m an official Education Provider. You can find my name (Tax Buddha) listed at the IRS website: where you’ll see I’m qualified to provide federal tax update and federal tax classes for EA’s and RTRP’s. (I just knew I should have used the name AAAAA Tax Buddha!)

Basic Payroll
In conjunction with the IRS and EDD, I’m 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:

San Francisco at the SBA office 455 Market Street, 6th floor (I take BART to Embarcadero or Montgomery Street)
Tuesday, February 4, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Register by going to and find your favorite location.

These seminars have proven to be very popular for business owners and bookkeepers, plus they’re free.

How to Prepare your Own Schedule C
Get ready for next year and filing your own Schedule C for last year. Review what the IRS wants to know from you and how to report it 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.

I will be at the US SBA office in San Francisco at 455 Market Street, 6th Floor.
Tuesday, February 18, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Eightfold Path to Pay Less Tax and Avoid an Audit

Eight basic things business owners want to know printed in a booklet in “executive summary” form. This is ten years of working with the IRS Tax Code distilled down so it doesn’t take YOU ten years.

Just another way we’re trying to simplify your life. And the purchase is tax deductible!

You can order from Here’s the link to Amazon: 

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

Little Box of Inc: Incorporations Made Easy published on Kindle

The book with tips about how the S Corporation works is now published to Amazon’s Kindle, updated with additional information about S Corporations, and can be found by searching for Andrew S Rogers as author, and click on “Kindle.” Here’s the blurb:

Considering incorporating as an S Corporation? This booklet will help you understand how the S Corporation works, what you need to do to become incorporated and what you need to do once you have a corporation to stay out of trouble. The structure and the requirements are reviewed, as well as helpful tips to use your corporation to reduce your tax liability and retain your status as an S Corporation. I’ve worked with S Corporations for many years, and as a tax preparer, I can choose the kind of entity I have for my business: I choose the S Corporation myself, and I’ve convinced many of my fellow tax preparers to incorporate as well. I’ve divided the information into clear, easy-to-understand topics, and cross-referenced sections when it might be helpful.

After you’ve read this material, you can view on-line videos via for free to access more advanced information about S Corporations. You may also be interested in my “Choice of Entity” class – see below.

Tax Buddha Messenger Bags

Want to be the first person in your tax bracket to sport the fabulous Tax Buddha Messenger Bag? I’ve now got a “shop” on Café Press at in case you’d like to order your own Tax Buddha logo items. The messenger bag came out particularly well, not quite “saffron,” but easy to find in an airport.

Phone and Fax Numbers

Our northern California occasional in Alameda:
1516 Oak Street, Suite 109
Alameda CA 94501
Phone numbers are:
Phone (510) 332-0401
Fax (925) 478-2726

“You too can be enlightened about tax” — Tax Buddha