Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Celebrity Tax Issue: Britney Spears

Wesley Snipes isn’t the only celebrity dealing with tax problems. Everyone’s favorite fallen pop star has also gotten into some tax trouble, but with the state of California. According to Access Hollywood, the state tax board has put a lien on one of Ms. Spears’ businesses, Britney On Line Inc. According to reports the company owes almost $24,000 in back taxes from the 2004 tax year.

Wesley Snipes Gets Maximum Sentence

As many of you have probably already heard, yesterday actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to serve three years behind bards for not paying his federal tax liabilities. The case against Snipes has gained a lot of media attention in this country, and when he was acquitted of the felony charges facing him many people assumed he was receiving the “celebrity treatment” from the courts. However, this strict sentence sends out a clear message: you must pay your taxes or face jail time.

"We think it sends a real message," claimed U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill. "Again, you have to pay your taxes. If you dispute the taxes you owe, contact the IRS and go through the formal process. To continually just say, 'I don't owe taxes, you must show me why I owe taxes,' it seemed his position was ludicrous."

I agree with Mr. O’Neill’s statement 100%. All Americans must be compliant with the IRS, or you can face serious penalties including incarceration. Just sitting around pretending the IRS does not exist is a crime. If you cannot afford to pay your taxes you can negotiate a settlement with the IRS, but you cannot ignore them. Fortunately, it seems Mr. Snipes learned his lesson.

"I asked this court to show me mercy and the opportunity to set things right," Snipes said after the trial. "This will never happen again. I am very sorry for my mistakes or my errors."

Top 10 Things to do in Hawaii

As some of you may already know, I “heart” Hawaii. However, like most other people working in the tax industry I have not been able to get away since tax season begun. So to help all the tax professionals and accounts that are planning their post-tax season vacation, I compiled the following list of the top 10 things to do in Hawaii.

However, just because you do not work in the tax industry do not think this article does not apply to you. May is just a few days away, and that means the IRS is going to begin sending economic stimulus checks shortly. If you are wondering what to do with this “free money,” or if you have not yet spent your tax refund, then consider taking a relaxing vacation to one of the most relaxing places in the world.

1. Go Surfing
It is probably no surprise to anyone who has seen my Halloween costume that I love surfing! Hawaii is the perfect place to surf as all of the islands get decent waves and some can be as large as 30 feet.

2. Relax on a Beach
Hawaii is known around the world for it’s beautiful sandy beaches and sapphire water. Although some of the beaches may get crowded during peak seasons, if you do a little hunting then you can probably find a quite place to relax on the beach.

3. Attend a Polynesian Luau
No trip to Hawaii is complete without attending an authentic Polynesian luau. Even if you do not like kālua pork, a luau is still an exciting experience as they often feature music and dancing in addition to a wide variety of authentic foods.

4. Go Snorkeling
When planning your trip to Hawaii, make sure you bring your snorkel and fins! Molokini is considered the most popular snorkeling site in Hawaii as it has clear water with swarms of beautiful fish. However, there are dozens of other good snorkeling sites if your prefer something more exclusive.

5. Play Golf
Hawaii is known all over the world for their top-notch golf courses. There are nearly 100 different courses on the Hawaiian Islands, with locations ranging from deep in the rainforest to coral sea cliffs.

6. Go Volcano Watching
The Hawaiian Islands are filled with both dormant and active volcanoes that are beautiful see and exciting to visit. The Volcanoes National Park is located on the Big Island and features the most active volcanoes and dozens of tour opportunities.

7. Take a Helicopter Tour
By taking a helicopter tour of one of the islands you will be able to experience it in an all-new way, from hundreds of feet above. You will be overwhelmed by the beautiful the scenery is and how much of the island you can see in a relatively short amount of time.

8. Visit Pearl Harbor
Honoring the lives of those who were lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor is a must for any one who visits the Hawaiian Islands. You can view the USS Arizona in her final resting place by visiting the museum and monument that allows you to look through the glass floor to view the sunken ship.

9. Dolphin Convocation
During the first week of May each year, large amounts of dolphins gather near Oahu Island, swimming in a gigantic wheel or spiral pattern. No one knows exactly why this happens. You can join Hawaiian marine biologists this spring as they venture out to observe and research this strange phenomenon.

10. Take a Bike Ride
There are plenty of good bike trails throughout the Hawaiian Islands and places you can easily rent a bike for a few hours. But always remember to pack ample water and diluted juices as the heat and physical activity can easily dehydrate the novice biker.

For more information, check out Go

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Today is Tax Freedom Day

Although Tax Day was over a week ago, today is this year’s Tax Freedom Day. What is the difference, you ask? Well, as we all know Tax Day is the deadline for filing your tax returns. However, Tax Freedom Day is the date that the average American has earned enough wages to pay their federal, state, and local taxes for the year. Since today is Tax Freedom Day, it means that Americans work for nearly a third of the year just to cover their tax liabilities.

For more information on tax freedom day, and the methodology used to calculate it, check out The Tax Foundation’s website.

Or, just watch this entertaining video celebrating Tax Freedom Day:

McCain Tax Cuts Would Bloat Deficit Or Take Huge Spending Curbs

The Wall Street Journal had added this interesting article on the disadvantages of McCain’s tax plan. Below is picture that summarizes his plan, but you can check out the full article by clicking here.

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Is big business getting bigger by cheating?

If we're special, can we ignore taxes and user fees?

Taxpayer must file joint return to get innocent spouse relief

Who gets a "negative inheritance" and why?

IRS solicits recommendation for 2008-2009 guidance priority list

IRS launches political activity compliance initiative for 2008 election

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Latest Good Reads

Celebrity tax scandals.

IRS disciplined 2.3% of its 100,000 employees in 2007.

Presidential candidate John McCain finally unveils his tax plan.

Quiz: English "Legalese" vs. "Plain English."

The dual subsidy theory of charitable deductions.

Random thoughts about the Euro-Yen currency pair.

Debt consolidation advice.

Tax Season is Over

Yes, today is April 16, and that means that tax season is now over! Today is a day of celebration for Roni Lynn Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation and the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ corporate headquarters, as I am sure it is for anyone else working in the tax industry.

But even though tax season is over, do not just wait until next January to think about taxes again. Below are a few tips you can keep in mind over the next year to make next tax season less stressful next year:

Review your return one last time. You might have accidentally overlooked a valuable credit or deduction. If so you can always file an amended return to make the changes.

Keep all your documents. Just because you mailed in your return does not mean you can shred all your tax documents and receipts. You will need all of these in case you are ever audited.

Start saving your receipts and documents in a safe place. If you are one of the people who ran around trying to gather all your receipts at the last minute then consider saving them all in a designated location over the next year. That way they will be easily accessible next year.

Educate yourself on taxes. If you read a book on taxes, or even attend a local tax school, then you will be better prepared for next tax season.

I am also happy to announce that earlier this morning Stan Ciemiecki was randomly selected as the winner of our 12 Days of Taxes contest. His answer to his favorite thing about tax season was: “After the taxes are done and submitted it is like the feeling after exams and you know you aced them.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Celebrate Tax Season with the 12 Days Of Taxes!

Happy tax day everyone! In case you have forgotten today is your last day to enter the 12DaysOfTaxes $500 gift card give away! Make sure to remind you friends and family to enter, if they have not already.

To celebrate the end of tax season most people will go out and blow all of their refund on something wasteful like a new car or television. But before you do, consider the following 12 smart ways to use your tax refund.

1. Pay down your credit card debt
2. Save it for a rainy day
3. Make an extra mortgage payment
4. Open an IRA
5. Invest in the market
6. Prepay major bills
7. Upgrade faulty appliances
8. Open a college fund
9. Service your car
10. Invest in yourself
11. Prepay a future vacation
12. Donate it to charity

To see more information check out

Monday, April 14, 2008

Money for Breakfast Video

Earlier today I appeared on FOX Business Channel’s Money for Breakfast again. This time I was interviewed by Alexis Glick, and we talked mostly about IRS audits. Please enjoy the streaming video below.

The interview host, Alexis Glick, even posted this entry about me on her personal blog.

40 Hours to Freedom

To help all those “last minute filers” out there, the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ will all stay open for extended hours today and tomorrow. Some participating locations will even stay open all night as part of our “40 Hours to Freedom” program. Check out the locations page on our website to find a location near you. If you do still need to file it is probably a good idea to call and make an appointment so that you are guaranteed a spot.

I cannot stress the point enough. Do not let tax day go by without either filing your return or filing an extension. If you ignore the tax deadline then you will be hit with interest and penalties that can very quickly add up to a decent amount of money. Additionally, this year it is especially important to file so that you can get your economic stimulus check this summer. Now, if you know you cannot file on time or you are not confident that you have all of the information to accurately prepare and file your return, then make sure you file for an extension. Check out for more information on extensions.

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IRS audits of big companies fall to all-time low

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If you think your taxes are unjust, just think again

Top 5 tax paper downloads

IRS moves Audit Pressure from the Largest Companies to Individual Taxpayers

The IRS's scrutiny of the biggest U.S. companies is running at a 20-year low, according to a study conducted by a research group affiliated with Syracuse University. The study, made public Sunday, points to "a historic collapse in audits." It found that major corporations - defined as those with assets of at least $250 million – have about a one in four chance of being audited, down from about three in four almost 20 years ago.

That makes me wonder where the IRS is placing its extra audit scrutiny. Well, according to the research group – the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC – individuals have about a 10 percent chance of being audited, more than double the odds in 2000. However, the IRS claims it is more focused on partnerships and other “opaque [business] entities.”

For the International Herald Tribune’s full article, click here.

On the eleventh day of taxes the government gave to me…

Tomorrow is the last day of taxes, but as tax season ends it is still important to think about your finances all year long. Especially in the weakening economy, it is more important then ever to make sure and plan for your retirement. Below is a list of 11 common retirement planning methods, for more information including their tax advantages check out

1. 401(k)
2. Roth IRA
3. Roth 401(k)
4. Traditional IRA
5. Simple IRA
6. Social Security
7. 403(b)
8. 457 Plan
9. Thrift Savings Plan
10. Veteran's Pension
11. Old Fashion Savings

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ten 1040 EZs

Tax day is less than 48 hours away, but do not worry if you have no filed your tax return yet. With e-filing and federal tax extensions you are not late. However, if you wait until after April 15 to take any action, then you will likely face penalties and fees. Follow these top 10 ways to make your last minute filing adventures a little more EZ.

1. Gather all your important documents
2. Use last year’s tax return as a guide
3. Practice on paper
4. Do not rush, you will make mistakes
5. Visit a local CPA or tax preparation office
6. Do not just take the EZ route
7. Do not short-change yourself
8. Hold onto your receipts
9. File an extension
10. Prepare for next year

Saturday, April 12, 2008

On the ninth day of taxes the government gave to me…

Today is the ninth day of taxes and to celebrate we are reminding everyone to include all available tax credits on your tax return. Below is a list of the nine most common tax credits, for more information check out

1. Earned Income Tax Credit
2. Lifetime Learning Credit
3. Saver's tax credit
4. Environmental Credits
5. Child and Dependent Care Credit
6. Child Tax Credit
7. Additional Child Tax Credit
8. Hope Credit
9. Adoption Tax Credit

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tax Day Countdown

As many of you are well aware tax day is less than a week away, which means you only have a few days left to file your tax returns without being assessed additional penalties or fees. But do not worry if you have not yet filed, you still have time to do something. The worse thing you can do is just ignore the problem, because it will not go away. If you still need to file your return consider the following options:
  • File on your own – there are dozens of software programs and websites that walk you through the steps of filing your return. However, be sure not to rush the process as you will not have a professional to review the return.
  • Visit a CPA or tax preparation office – you can have experts prepare and file your returns so that you know it will be done correctly. Many tax preparation offices are even open extended hours in the lead up to tax day.
  • Call the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ – call the tax professionals at the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ by dialing 800-230-1083, and they can prepare your return over the phone or schedule an appointment at a local office.
  • File an extension – if you absolutely cannot file your returns on time then you should at least file for an extension. However, this does not extend your time to pay the IRS. So if you are likely to owe money then you should probably include some type of payment.

Money for Breakfast… Again

I am happy to announce that I will once again be a guest on the FOX Business Channel’s Money for Breakfast on Monday, April 14. The show airs on the East Coast from 7 to 9 am, and unfortunately I do not know the exact time I will be on. Fortunately I will post the streaming video here as soon as it becomes available.

The topic of the episode is Mood on Main Street. The show is going to focus on the countries poor economic state, and I am going to discuss why people need to be more thorough with their taxes in this poor economic state.

Eight e-filers filing, seven short-sales selling…

On the eighth day of taxes the government gave to me… eight e-filers filing! With modern technology and the government’s e-file program filing your tax returns has never been easier! Below are the op 8 reasons to e-file this tax season.

1. Convenience
2. Speed
3. Less IRS Employees
4. Security
5. Faster Money
6. Delayed Payment
7. IRS Confirmation
8. State Returns

Seven short-sales selling, six gift deductions, five gross incomes…

Today is the seventh day of taxes, and to help families dealing with financial trouble because of the housing market slump we have put together the follow list of tips to help lower your property taxes.

1. Understand Your Local Tax System
2. Review Tax Property Card
3. Think Twice About Remodeling
4. Limit Curb Appeal
5. Walk with the Assessor
6. File an Appeal
7. Move to a Lower Taxed Area

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Six Gift Deductions

The 12 days of taxes is almost half way over, but do not worry you still have 6 more days to enter our contest for $500 in gift cards. Just check out and tell us what is your favorite thing about tax season.

Today’s featured article discusses 8 different crazy taxes that are levied upon citizens of this country. The 8 taxes are listed below, but for a full explanation check out
1) Illegal Drug Possession
2) Profit from Illegal Drug Dealing
3) Utah Nudity Tax
4) Money received from bribes
5) Jock Taxes
6) Stolen Property Taxes
7) Alabama Card Tax
8) Maine Blueberry Tax

On the fifth day of taxes the government gave to me…

Tax day 2008 is just one week away! If you are stressed about tax season then take a deep breath and head over to You can enter to win $500 in gift cards, and enjoy our videos and articles. Today’s featured article is “5 Legal Ways to Lower Your Adjusted Gross Income.” Below are the 5 different tips, but to check out the full version head over to

1) Take all available deductions
2) Make charitable contributions
3) Pay extra into your 401(k)
4) Defer income until next year
5) Use your credit card for year-end expenses

Monday, April 07, 2008

Money for Breakfast

On Friday morning I was interviewed on the television program “Money for Breakfast,” which airs on the Fox Business channel. During the segment we spoke about preparing for tax day, and how taxpayers can avoid getting into debt with the IRS. In case you missed the show, below are the embedded videos of my two-part appearance.

Top 50 Charitable Americans has compiled a list of the top 50 charitable Americans for 2007. The article lists the 50 people who gave the most to charity last year, and includes the amount they have committed to donating. Those who made the list include: William Barron Hilton, Michael R. Bloomberg, Oprah Winfrey, and 47 other. Check out the full list at

Latest Good Reads

Obama releases tax returns from 2000-2006.

Citizens for Tax Justice find the House’s budget plan better than the Senate’s.

The complications of business taxes for partnerships.

Credit repair – exactly how important is it?

13 different characters that almost all corporations have. Which one are you?

IRS examines less than 1% of exempt organizations each year.

Combat Pay Can Count toward Economic Stimulus Payment Eligibility

We all Make Mistakes – Even the Government

Today is the fourth day of taxes, and the featured topic on 12DaysOfTaxes is the covered the top 10 mistakes people make on their tax returns.

Below is a list of the top 10 mistakes, to check out the summary of each mistake head over to

1. Math Errors
2. Sign and Date Your Return
3. Attach Forms
4. Social Security Number
5. Check Subject
6. Verify Check Amount
7. List all Dependents
8. File Form 8606
9. Save Copies
10. File on Time

Sunday, April 06, 2008

On the Third Day of Taxes…

The government gave to me… Three French returns, two W-2’s, and a partial payment in a money tree! Today is the third tax of taxes, and the featured video surrounds the idea that taxes are not just something we have in the United States.

Today’s featured article is titled “Average Tax Rates of 70 Countries around the World,” and includes the average personal and business income tax rates of 70 different countries. Check out the full table by clicking here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Two W-2’s, and a Partial Payment in a Money Tree…

Today is the second day of taxes, and the featured article at is titled, “9 Ways to Cut Down on Paper Usage this Tax Season.” Below is a summary of the article, but be sure to check out for the full version along with details on how you can win $500 in gift cards!

1) Keep all important documents and tax forms in a designated file, drawer, or even box.

2) E-file your state and federal income returns.

3) E-file quarterly tax payments.

4) Save copies of online purchases on CD-R and thumb drives instead of printing them out.

5) Use software or electronic payments for payroll taxes.

6) Use a virtual fax instead of a fax machine that prints out on paper.

7) If you intend to buy a new car, consider making the purchase online.

8) Paper has two-sides: use both!

9) Print preview before every print.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Celebrate Tax Season with the 12 Days Of Taxes!

No, not the 12 days of Christmas… The 12 Days Of Taxes! Today, April 4th, begins our 12 day countdown to tax day 2008. It always surprises me how many people fear tax day, when statistics show that over ¾ of the people who file a return actually get a refund.

The employees of the Roni Deutch Tax Center™, and myself, do not fear tax season. We celebrate it! And to encourage taxpayers across the country to join in on the celebration we have launched a new site,

Every day leading up to April 15th a new “day of taxes” will be unveiled at exactly 12:00am. The days will feature videos of Roni Deutch Tax Center™ employees singing and dancing to the 12 Days Of Taxes paired with interesting tax articles. Additionally, we are also sponsoring a contest with a $500 gift card package for the winner. All you need to do to enter is go to and tell us what is your favorite part about tax season. So go check out the site, enter the contest, and tell every one you know about it!

Today, the first “day of taxes” features RDTC Inc. employee Sue Ann Wilkes singing the phrase, “on the first day of taxes the government gave to me, a partial payment in a money tree.” The associated article is titled “12 Different Ways Americans are Taxed,” and describes the following 12 different ways to Americans pay the government:

1) Income Taxes
2) Business Taxes
3) Payroll Taxes
4) Capital Gains Taxes
5) Inheritance Taxes
6) Sales Taxes
7) Property Taxes
8) Excise Taxes
9) Gift Taxes
10) Retirement Taxes
11) Tariffs
12) Tolls

To read the full article, and see the first video installment please check out

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