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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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Zen Mensch Accounting

Incorpo-Right!
(Don’t Flub Your Business Structure)

You launched Herman’s Hermetically-Sealed Hermits last year.  Now your CPA is telling you it was set up all wrong. Triple H was set-up as a C-corporation, but it probably should have been an S, or maybe even a “single-member LLC.” Huh? My company, ALSD, incorporates businesses and organizes LLC’s. This year Triple Hcame to me for tax preparation, but  first
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Co-Ops, Collaboration And Crowdfunding:
Working Together In The New Economy 

A few weeks ago I was detailing the perils of self-employment tax to college students. Combined with the other hard costs of living independently it was enough to dissuade anyone from starting a business or even doing serious freelance (“1099″) work.”I need something positive,” said a woman in the front row. I started to panic —
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Intelligent Divorce
A Practical Peace

You have been fighting for years and he is evasive about money. Of course you ARE right – he cannot be trusted. But that does not mean there is a treasure of gold in his beat-up pick-up truck. She did NOT declare those yard sale earnings on her 1992 tax return. Because she under-reported her income, does that
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Excuse Me? Your Hand Is In My Pocket
Embezzlement Made Easy

  You are a busy dentist and your bookkeeper signs the checks. You are president of a non-profit; the treasurer is supposed to co-sign large checks with the ED. But the treasurer  is out of town, and you trust the ED. Your Quickbooks password hasn’t been changed in seven years (Oh, you don’t have one.) The cash part of the business? It’s
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Retirement Carpentry
Making Sure Your Package Is Built To Last

It’s daunting.  You can barely pay the bills, fret about keeping your job, and your triplets will be in college at the same time.  (And then your accountant congratulates you on your increased income, but you didn’t realize your taxes go up and your credits go down — more on this soon!). So when Suzie Orman suggests
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1604 Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island