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Zen Mensch Accounting

Making A Living As An Artist
(Starvation is NOT an Option)

Q: I’ve never made a dime even though my art hangs in all the major museums. Now I am told the tax people could reclassify my activity as a hobby? –P. Picasso, penniless in Paris A: Well monsieur, I cannot speak for how the socialist French tax their artists. In the United States there is
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Deaden the Debt

The Holidays are coming (Oh No!) so this seemed a good time to discuss the hangover – debt. This guest article is reprinted by permission from Larson Gunness’ groundbreaking book, Peace, Love and Financial Planning; an illustrated guide to money Larson is a local financial advisor and creative entrepreneur — click here to see what
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Zen Mensch Accounting

“But Officer…” The Hazards Of Late Filing

Call it the miracle of compound interest. Or the government’s interest in collecting taxes. However you cut it, your household or sole proprietor business can easily rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in late fees even if you are just a few months tardy. Q: “But Rich, I filed an extension.” –Over-extended, Milwaukee A:
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Breaking Up is Hard, Says Jew
How to Dissolve Your Marriage,
Not Your Financial Security

Divorce can be traumatizing.  Not always, but even in the most amicable situations separation is a nuisance. Yes, this is how I spent my summer vacation. Think you’re done once you’ve had her beheaded, Henry (VIII)? Review the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts. Do you still want your ex on them? You might. Be sure to rummage through your
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Back to School Edition
(Get Schooled By The Zen Mensch)

Q: How can I save for Molly’s college AND my retirement ? –Yale Mary, No Haven, CT A: Most of us cannot. It helps if you marry young, have two stellar jobs with pensions, produce 1.7 genetically modified children with perfect grades, and have an inheritance from Granny. Even then, it’s virtually impossible to guarantee
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Zen Mensch Accounting

A Midsummer Night’s Mensch
(Much Ado About Some Things)

Q: I file the IRS 990 information return for my non-profit.  Why does it ask me if my organization offers indoor tanning services? –Sunshine on my Mind, Anchorage A: It’s Obamacare, silly.  Section 10907 of the Affordable Care Act imposes a 10% penalty on indoor tanning services offered by for-profits or non-profits. (You didn’t notice all the
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Not For Prophet:
Protect Your Mission With Best Practices

I love non-profits: the missions, dedication and eagerness to be of service.  Now you didn’t sign up as Executive Director to practice your accounting or legal skills, but without basic structure and controls the fruits of your labor can be washed away quickly.  The names and details have been changed in these examples: Years ago
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Stay In Your Groove (Keeping Records Without Going Off Track )

How long should I keep tax records? B. Madoff, investor   In general it’s advisable to save documentation supporting your tax return for seven years. The IRS generally has three years from the date of filing to audit your return, but up to seven if it suspects you under-reported your income.  If you didn’t file
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Zen Mensch Accounting

OM VEY! Q AND A WITH THE ZEN MENSCH CPA
(MINDFUL ANSWERS, WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?)

I’m aqua-phobic and I always pay my taxes on April 15, unless it’s raining. Wait a month and I ALWAYS receive a penalty notice from the IRS.  Why is my CPA screwing up and why haven’t I switched?  Your tax return is due April 15, but taxes must be paid throughout the year, whether you are paid
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1604 Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island