Archive for October, 2012

East Coast People Have Our Thoughts and Prayers

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

On behalf of myself and the people around me, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people on the Eastern seaboard who are in the process of getting their lives back together after Hurricane Sandy.

Remember that the basics come first, first make sure that you, yourself are okay, that your loved ones and then your neighbors. Make sure you have the basics in place. Food, water and shelter.

Please try to stay dry and be patient. When I heard that a local mayor was complaining that the National Guard was called last night and they still weren’t there yet. Patience! It takes time to mobilize units and remember, everybody was pissing and moaning about too much govt waste until people realized that govt is good for something. With water knocking out roads, bridges and air conditions not safe for air travel I am hopeful that by the time you are reading this (in the morning) that help is on the way if not there already.

To the National Guardsmen and women coming in to help, thank you and please take care of yourselves as well.

Thank you my fellow and sister Americans as well for rising to the situation and helping. A lot of West Coast aid teams are flying to the East to help with rescue and restoration processes. We really are one nation and it is sad that it takes a natural disaster to remind us of that.

Just remember that services and rebuilding cost money and we can get it but we need to have government services – and at the national level – to be able to use them as well as at the state level. The programs in place work, they just need to be set in motion and have patience.

Best of luck to us all for enduring through Hurricaine Sandy. Happy Birthday to Sharren and Sandy (my Sharren and her sister, Sandy) who had their birthdays yesterday as well!

Good health and happiness to us all!

10/20/12

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

East Coast People Have Our Thoughts and Prayers

Things We Need To Do Locally

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

With the election coming up, I wanted to touch on things we need to do locally that will help us all in the long run.

1. Take control of local government by getting involved in city councils. There are a lot of local elections going on now and it is the perfect time to get involved. Instead of complaining about what isn’t happening in your neighborhood, get involved and become part of the solution and not the problem (yeah that sounds trite but it’s true).

2. Get to know your neighbors. One of the things we need to do locally is knock on doors and get to know your neighbors. If there are some that are just too weird or up to felonious activities you might want to get to know some other neighbors so they can hip you up to what is going on. In the event of an earthquake or power failure it is good to know who can help you and who you can help. We make our own good vibes or karma, folks.

3. Shop locally and support local farms and businesses. Sure, you can avoid things that you can do locally by buying everything cheaper from China but what is the cost in the long run? Remember that eventually if everything goes overseas, you will have a long time to wait to get a plate of breakfast if the chickens are raised in Beijing. If that sounds extreme take a look at all the food that is delivered now and look at the packing boxes at places like Costco. You want to help local growth so try to help your neighbors.

4. Plan for disasters and get your neighbors to as well. In the event of a quake or power failure expect up to 72 hours till the various agencies can get up and running. Wouldn’t it be great if everybody in your neighborhood had backup generators and food for a week? Sure, that is the optimistic goal but at least help your friends and people close by get on the right track.

Be well and safe gang. Oh, and Happy Birthday Joey Pavlovitch!

Oct 17 2012

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Things We Need To Do Locally

Supporting tax documentation

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

People, there is no magic when the IRS or State of California want to see supporting tax documentation as proof of what you are doing when it is related to your business. You need to show the governing agencies that you have the correct documentation to prove your position.

If you are in retail, that means that you need to have ready your receipts as well as a spreadsheet of what your expenses are. If you are say in the t-shirt making business you can use what ever you are using for manufacturing shirts, costs of goods, machinery and anything else like a printer, etc. For items like a printer though, remember that you will have to depreciate the item and unless there is the special one item write off (or it may not be worth it) you may be better off having things not written all off at once.

You are in business to make money right? That is the position most govt taxing agencies are taking as well. If they see that you aren’t running the business correctly – and one of the things by that is keeping great records – then you run the risk of having everything disallowed. You may have your business deemed a hobby and if that is the case you can say bye bye to your expenses on your Schedule C.

One of the best ways to keep that from happening is to have great documentation. Make sure that for any meeting that doesn’t result in you taking money in that you at least have notes of the marketing presentations that you planned, the appropriate contact information in case the govt agencies want to verify things, and time involved.

It isn’t hard to keep track of expenses and documentation once you get started, the trick is to get started and develop that into a good habit.

Peace gang!

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Supporting tax documentation

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

For those of you who don’t know, this is Rett Syndrome Awareness month. Rett Syndrome is a disease that affects a girl born once every fifteen minutes. Boys born with the Rett gene generally die at birth.

There are many events to support Rett awareness this month and please donate when asked. Unlike a lot of the mainstream charities Rett tends to get underfunded. The research from Rett Syndrome helps other diseases and syndromes. Science, folks, is a wonderful thing when used for the benefit of people.

The Southern California Rett Syndrome picnic will be held Saturday, Oct 13 2012 and there will be a good time for all. There will be raffles for cool prizes as well as demonstrations of augmentation communication devices to help Rett girls communicate.

It will be a very special event this year as well because my daughter, Arianna, will be celebrating her sweet sixteen party as well as some of the other Rett girls. If you have never seen a Rett picnic, please come out and have some fun. There is food for sale (inexpensively) and the group is very friendly.

There will be vendors will special needs bicycles as well as the communication devices and you can see what is the cutting edge in getting people who have a hard time getting their voice heard, er, heard. Seriously there is a lot of cool stuff.

The venue is going to be at El Dorado Park at Willow Grove in Long Beach. It is a beautiful place and with any luck with weather will be less than 100 degrees F. There is a nice lake nearby so that should help keep people cool or at the very least make people think that they are cool. Parking is there – just make sure you can get there early.

We hope to see you at some of the events and thanks in advance for your help and support. The girls and their families REALLY appreciate it.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Watching for Tax Debtoggedden

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

What is worse than Carmeggdeon? Getting tax forms saying that you have debt issues. That isn’t profitable! i call that Debtoggedden.

If you are one of my clients who receive a Form 1099-A, Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property, or Form 1099-C,
Cancellation of Debt, you may have to report income on their tax return. Foreclosures and repossessions may be a delicate topic for some of you guys and gals. I try to be be sensitive to my client’s situation (that is part of the great service I provide).

You get a Form 1099-A, when a lender acquires an interest in property that is security for a debt, or they have reason to know that the property has been abandoned. A very common example is foreclosure of real property. When a client receives Form 1099-A for the repossession of a principal residence, it is treated as a sale of the home. To determine if the client has a gain, the Sale of Home Worksheets must be completed. It will help you also see if you are profitable or not.

If the client has a gain and the property was personal-use, it is reported on Schedule D. If it was business-use property, it is reported on Form 4797. The client may also have cancellation of debt income.
The three parts of the Sale of Home Worksheets are:
• Worksheet 1, Adjusted Basis of Home Sold
• Worksheet 2, Gain (or Loss), Exclusion, and Taxable Gain
• Worksheet 3, Reduced Exclusion Worksheet

Worksheet 1, Adjusted Basis of Home Sold
The adjusted basis of the home is calculated the same for a repossession as it is for a sale. The adjusted basis is generally the purchase price of the home plus any home improvements.

Worksheet 2, Taxable Gain on Sale of Home
The selling price is needed to calculate the gain (or loss) on the home. The selling price will usually be provided by the bank. If not, the selling price is determined from Form 1099-A.
If the client is personally responsible for the debt, the sales price is the lesser of box 2 or box 4 on Form 1099-A. If the client is not personally responsible, the sales price is the amount in box 2.
Part 1 of this worksheet determines whether or not there is a loss on the property. If line 5 of the worksheet is a negative number, the client has a loss. Do not complete line 6 through line 11. If line 5 is a positive number, complete Part II to determine the gain.

Worksheet 3, Reduced Maximum Exclusion
Since a repossession of a home is treated as a sale, the gain can often be excluded. The exclusion rules are the same as the exclusion rules for the sale of home. The worksheet is used to determine if the gain qualifies for an exclusion.

Form 1099-C
Form 1099-C is received when a client borrows money from a commercial lender and the lender later cancels or forgives the debt. The most common examples of cancelled debt are from credit cards and repossessions. There is a lot of that going around these days.
Cancellation of debt income is taxable unless the client is bankrupt or insolvent, or unless the debt is qualified property under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007
Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness is excluded from gross income. For purposes of the exclusion, qualified principal residence indebtedness is acquisition indebtedness (to buy, build, or improve the residence) up to $2 million ($1 million for MFS). The home must be owned and used as a principal residence (within the meaning of §121). The basis of the home must be reduced (but not below zero) by any debt forgiveness excluded under this provision.

If only a portion of the loan discharged is qualified indebtedness, the exclusion applies only to the amount of debt discharged that exceeds the amount of the loan that exceeds the nonqualified indebtedness.

If the debt was cancelled in Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy, box 1(a) on Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes due to Discharge of Indebtedness (and Section 1082 Basis Adjustment) must be checked.

Clear as smoked glass huh (I would have said mud but that is cliche).

Let me know if you have any questions.

That should help heal the wounds of Debtoggedden.

Oct 02 2012

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Watching for Tax Debtoggedden

Here goes precious materials

Monday, October 1st, 2012

It is a coin toss as to whether silver or gold will consolidate for a profitable bit and my money is that it will consolidate for a bit in the next few weeks. Opinion is my own and do your own due diligence.

The profitable question is – is it worth it to try and time the market, go out and wait till the chaos is over and there is a clear direction or ride things out?

The direction seems to be that the market is going to slow down in terms of everything and stall. This isn’t just in the United States but a perception for the world. Makes sense since there is a lot of rioting and overall yukiness across the globe especially in places where people aren’t getting enough food or suffering from economic changes that are pretty catastrophic to their daily life styles.

Will everybody turn to precious profitable metals to conduct business. I am not so sure because how will people make change for a gold coin worth say $1800? Will they say okay, I am good for my breakfast with you for the next 6 years because I am front paying it?

I think that if things fall apart, they fall apart and food, shelter and water will be important. If one is ill, medicinal supplies, the ever popular drugs and medical skills will be things of value. Let us hope that things don’t deteriorate that far here in the United States. One way to prevent that is to help your neighbor and tell your representatives and people with money that we need to get things straightened out.

So back to precious profitable metals, of course there is and will always be the allure, especially with the short term ability of the Fed to print more money. My opinion based on what I am seeing is that for the next few years commodities, especially food will be valuable.

Gonna be in the office Oct 1 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Any tax issues or questions for Oct0ber – remember the deadline is coming – you can shoot me a post and I will try to get back to y0u. I am listening to some techn0 music as I am composing this and I am getting into the mo0d to be hyper pr0ductive.

So – house music and tax preparation away!

If you have been following the climate chaos that has been going on you may well be wondering what is up with the weather. My suggestion would be to make sure that your house is insulated from cold and heat and you can get ventilation by opening windows or have a decent air conditioning system.

There may not be tax credits or anything profitable for adding some of these improvements but you will want them in your house or apartment to stay comfortable. Today for example in California it is 109 degrees and that qualifies as major yikes for October.

For any ghosts planning to come by for Halloween haunting they will have to wear bathing suits and plenty of sun block.

If you are looking to add solar power to your house, make sure that if you go with one of the 15 year company contracts that are out there that you realize you will be paying off on the equipment and make sure that you see if you actually own the stuff at the end of the time period. For a lot of deals you are only leasing.

I would also check with the track record of some of the firms for repairing things. When things start to go out 4-5 years down the line will the provider be able to get out quickly and fix things for you while you are on the hook for the payments? I am just saying. It may be profitable for them to do the contract but maybe not for you. Also remember that in a lot of places you only get credit for electricity credits and nothing for water or solid waste. Costs for water and solid waste have been going up dramatically over the last few years (at least here in Los Angeles).

I am going to get my sunblock number 50 – remember anything over that is a waste and can’t protect your skin. Or at least that is what I have read.

Talk with you later, gang.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Gonna be in the office Oct 1 2012

Hocktober 1 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

People have been h0cking there goods (taking them to pawn shops) for years but with the economy lousy for m0st of us, there are people who are hocking a lot of things. For some profitable shopping you may want to visit some pawn shops for bargains but note that the prices are not cheap. Places like local freecycle and recycler and Craig’s list are good sp0ts to go to as well.

I’ve had this conversation before with you and I know the watch words these days are turning things you own into cash to pay bills, lighten your debt, lower your clutter or have holiday cash.

As long as you aren’t going to car loan places or going deeper into debt with your credit card or payday advance loans you are believe it or not at least holding your own. Pat yourselves on the back for all of that now please.

There are tons of places to get free things. Locally there are what are called free markets which basically are places where people have donated their old but clean and gently used items and people can come and take them as long as they drop off something of their own.

From a tax point of view, if this is salvage to salvage junk there should be a taxable transaction but the items are generally worth nothing so there isn’t anything you can tax on old valueless clothing.

Keep that in mind when you are donating to charity or Goodwill and you are trying to get $1000 for that shirt you bought 20 years ago and it is worth a buck at best if you were to have it at a yard sale. By the way, income generated from a yard sale is taxable at the Fed level and if you live in California, at the State level. The state isn’t getting profitable off of you – don’t worry. They also know that most people don’t declare their yard sale income though they should.

They tend to go after the people who are professional yard sellers and you can see them every week throwing crap out on their lawns and having all sorts of electronic devices from who knows where.

Kim Isaac Greenblatt

Hocktober 1 2012