Articles

Zen Mensch Accounting

Don’t Be A Fool, Pay On Time!
Your I.O.U. Due In Two

Hey — I have until October 15, right? I just file that handy-dandy extension while I get my paperwork in order, build up my stash of cash and then file and pay in the fall. No worries, right? Not exactly. If you are getting a refund, you can enjoy the procrastination and the government holding
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Extra $300 From Rhode Island
(if you qualify)

Every year many low-income Rhode Islanders leave money on the table.  Up to $300 can be yours if your household income is $30,000 or less. It’s not even that complicated (well, at least for a CPA). The Rhode Island Property Tax Relief Claim is available to both owners and renters who are current on their
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Pas de D’oh*
Avoiding Business Missteps with Friends

Hip, Hop and Henry have a brilliant business idea: multi-lingual ballet shoes that guide the dancer in Russian, French and English. They do well, then a disgruntled Hop announces he is  skipping out to start a similar enterprise, and wants his money and equipment back.  The new business has no cash and  their records on
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Is Sex Therapy Tax Deductible?
The Medical Deductions Quiz

I get asked this a lot. Actually,  yes — as long it is doctor-prescribed. (The lodging is on your own.) Clarinet lessons — Deductible “if advised by dentist for treatment of tooth defects”. (But tooth whitening to reverse discoloration — nope, this is cosmetic.) Wigs — Yes, “if doctor has advised as essential to mental
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Fashion, Charity And Death
Your Tax Questions Answered

YOUR FAQ: Can I deduct volunteer time as a charitable expense? No. Charitable contributions must be tangible and measurable — money, securities, art, real estate.  You can deduct mileage and unreimbursed expenses under some circumstances.  Read more here: Okay, I build boats for a living and this guy named Gilligan jumped ship and stiffed me. 
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Zen Mensch Accounting

(Easy) Obamacare Money
For You Business or Non-Profit

Don’t leave money on the table.  Lost in the hubbub about the error-plagued website roll-out:  There have been lucrative tax credits available to very small businesses and non-profits since 2010.  And they are about to get more lucrative. How lucrative?  For 2013, up to 35% of the premiums you paid for your employees.  For 2014,
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Zen Mensch Accounting

The Shoebox Files
What Your Accountant Needs at Year End

Some years back I was sitting with a couple, routinely preparing their return when Charles matter of factly mentioned,  “Oh, we didn’t tell you we’re divorced?.” Okay, You do not have to tell us everything. But there are some things your tax preparer needs to know. Clients often forget to bring the following information: When
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Alternative Financing for Your Business

You want to buy a building for your business but the banks want collateral first. Or they can dispense with collateral but you have to go through the arduous process of being rejected by a bank first. You only need $20,000 — chump change for the banks. Are there alternatives? YES,  more and more of
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Zen Mensch Accounting

Leverage Your Child!

Did you know that there are tax credits for Junior’s video immersion day camp and Hilda’s after-school Sanskrit lessons until  they turn 13 years young? The “Child and Dependent Care Credit” is available for those activities as well as for preschool and babysitting services. You can save up to $2,100  per year on $6,000 of
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Crowd Funding

The Price of Success:
Crowdfunding and Taxes

CROWDFUNDING IS ALL THE RAGE! Banks (still) aren’t lending, the government is broke (or broken) and venture capital is highly competitive. How then to start a business in 2013? Crowdfunding says “Ask my friends (and their friends).” It goes against everything we are taught to believe in a hyper capitalist society. We give only when
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