In many of these blogs, I can be straightforward. They often speak of definite numbers that you can look at and what steps can be taken to make them look how you want. For this week, though, I want to know, how do you feel?
Last week was Thanksgiving, and hopefully you got to spend some quality time with people that make you feel good. Last week also marked the big kickoff to the holiday shopping season, though, and for many that may not feel as good. If you did not plan well, making all the purchases you want before the holidays can seem like a daunting task. If you are in a place where you are confident and comfortable that you can navigate the season financially, however, that can feel great.
So how do you feel?
And no matter what the answer, is it possible to feel even better?
For this is also the time of year when you may start to think about your taxes as you prepare to start receiving end-of-year documents next month. Do you know what your return is going to look like once you get all that information? How does that make you feel?
My point with this is that the answer to what people should do in their financial situation is not the same for everyone. We are in different stages of life, we have different obligations, we make different amounts of money. No matter where we stand, though, there are things we can do better to take away some stresses and make us feel better about where we stand.
If you are struggling to see how you are going to meet your obligations from month to month, or even week to week, figuring out how to remove that stress is probably where to start.
If you are meeting your obligations, but don’t feel comfortable with your savings or your future, addressing that is probably where to start.
If you feel secure in your future, figuring out how to leverage the money you have to your best advantage may still be something you want to do.
No matter where we stand, we can always be better.
There is the urge to wait until the calendar turns to 2020 before deciding what new trails you will blaze in life. Nothing is going to actually work better by waiting, though. And the longer you wait to do anything, the further away is the finish line. A new year may feel like a big marker, but that’s just a psychological trick and there is nothing mystical about the date of January 1.
So why not start asking now, how do you feel?
Better yet, why not start asking now, how can I feel even better?
That second question may be trickier because you may not know the answers that will make your stress go away. So remember as always we are here to help you along the way and point you in an ever positive direction, no matter what time of year it is.
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No matter how many times we see it, we can’t help but smile at the failings of individuals when it comes to paying their taxes.
Last month, we’ve learned that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, as a Las Vegas man, King Isaac Umoren, the owner and operator of Universal Tax Services, was indicted on charges he not only fraudulently prepared tax returns for clients, he used his employees’ preparer tax identification numbers without their consent. He is facing up to two decades in prison if guilty and hefty fines.
Shakespeare mentions, in King Lear, “the first thing let’s do, is kill all the lawyers.” Now, no matter what you think about this, a Houston, Texas attorney thought he would make a killing by illegally transferring in 18 million dollars in untaxed incomes, despite knowing it had never been taxed. The U. S. government successfully proved in court the man had conspired to move the money into the United States for a 25% ownership stake and nearly 4.8 million dollars in payments.
We think it would have been easier to just pay the taxes!
It doesn’t take a lot to wonder about some of the news we see coming out of Florida any given day, and our next case is no different. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has permanently barred defendant Gladys Quiles from preparing federal tax returns for others.
The interesting thing about this case was that Quiles acted as a “ghost preparer” for individuals, helping them to overstate deductions and maximize their returns. Even stranger? She was not present to defend herself in the proceedings leading us to believe she might really be a ghost.
This case is intriguing because the IRS considers “ghost preparers” to be one of the top challenges to proper filing and this type of fraud is actually on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list for top tax problems. If you work with a tax preparer, make sure their name is on the preparer line or you will be the ONLY ONE on the hook if something goes south! If you paid for it, it is NOT "self prepared" and you should be aware that the person you paid is not working legally or in your best interest.
That is what I have for this today! Stay warm, friends,