Michael on March 17th, 2010
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Detroit or LA?
You: For basketball?

Back in the day, sure. Today? Not so much.
You: Then for what? Beaches?
I don’t think the shores of Lake Erie compete with the Pacific.
You: Cost of living?
I think the $8,000 house in Detroit buys you about one square foot in LA.
You: Then what?
TV. I was on TV in both Detroit and [...]

Continue reading about On TV – Total Candor Tax Prep Deals

Michael on March 11th, 2010
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We continue to receive accolades (and new clients) for our tax preparation service which features a 30 minute consultation with me about anything on your financial mind.  We’ve saved our clients thousands of dollars and seemingly routinely amend their prior year returns (those prepared by themselves or by another tax preparer) saving them money on [...]

Continue reading about Last weekend for early bird filing discount

Over at the Retirement Planning site at About.com, I just posted an article about the best kind of tax deductions: those that come from saving.
Think about it. Most tax deductions require you to spend money in order to obtain the deduction.  In my practice, the most common and largest deductions are:

state and local income taxes
mortgage [...]

Continue reading about The best kind of tax deduction – a deduction for saving

Schedules L & M are now available at the IRS web site, and post offices and libraries near you.  You’ve never filed these forms before.
You: How do you know?
Schedules L and M didn’t exist before this filing season.
You: Correct.
You: What are these schedules?
You don’t know?
You: Of course I don’t know! I don’t get paid to [...]

Continue reading about Schedules L & M Will Help Millions of Taxpayers This Year – Will They Help You?

Approximately half of all people cash out their retirement plan when they switch jobs.
You: Well, I wasn’t going to leave my retirement plan at my old company either.  My boss was a real jerk.
I don’t know your boss, but –
You: He was a jerk. I jut told you that. Pay attention.
We’ve all had bosses who–
You: [...]

Continue reading about Just because you’re running doesn’t mean you should take the money

Due to the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 signed into law on Nov. 6, 2009, the rules surrounding the first time home buyer tax credit have changed again. However, these rules only apply to homes purchased after November 6, 2009.
You: What if I  purchased a home before November 6, 2009?
When did you [...]

Continue reading about Why does the government hate people who purchased homes between June 30, 2005 and April 9, 2008?

On November 6, the first time home buyer tax credit was enhanced and updated.  Here are the changes to the 2009 version of the first time home buyer tax credit resulting from the new legislation:

Deadline extended: Now you have until April 30, 2010 to establish a contract to purchase a home and June 30, 2010 [...]

Continue reading about The new, enhanced, home buyer tax credit – not just for first time home buyers anymore

Not so long ago, I wrote of some of the humorous parts of the tax code.   Recently, I became aware that the federal government is now subsidizing the purchase of golf carts and I don’t find that funny at all.
You: Really?  They’re subsidizing golf carts?
You: How so?
Like any other subsidy, part of the cost is [...]

Continue reading about Golf cart subsidies – Why the government is subsidizing golf carts

You: You’re watching pre-season basketball?
No.  Honestly, I might even watch golf first.
You: What’s wrong with watching golf?
I find it more boring than the prospect of playing it.
You: Wow.  So what’s with the “fourth quarter” reference then?
I’m talking about the fourth quarter of the year, which begins today.  For better or worse, many companies – especially [...]

Continue reading about Welcome to the fourth quarter: Five suggested tasks before New Year’s

Michael on September 25th, 2009
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You: Wait a second. This is a personal finance blog. Why are you weighing in on health care reform?
First, I’m not actually weigh in on what plan should be followed.  Rather, I am reporting some observations about our behavior. Second, health care reform is very much a financial planning topic.
You: How so?
In several ways. Here [...]

Continue reading about Health care reform and rude behavior