“Real World” Personal Strategy Blog

This Is THE Week…

“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy.”

– Unknown

Yes, this is it. This week a couple things happen.

1) Monday is “Tax Freedom Day”. I hate to start on this downer note, but April 13th is the date pegged by the Tax Foundation as the date when you’ve finally worked to pay off your taxes. The rest of the year is “take home” pay. 🙁

The Tax Foundation is a non-partisan educational organization dedicated to informing US–the taxpayers–about the burdens of our tax liabilities, and according to the Foundation: Tax Freedom Day answers the basic question, “What price is the nation paying for government?” An official government figure for total tax collections is divided by the nation’s total income. The answer this year is that taxes will amount to 28.2 percent of our income, and the stretch of 103 days from January 1 to April 13 is 28.2 percent of the year.

The date varies year to year, and more information is here: http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/.

2) Wednesday is April 15th. You know what this is by now, I hope. Don’t get slammed by the deadline! Have you come to see us yet? Have your friends? If not, give us a call and come on in!

Moving on…there’s some nice news showing up these days. Our brave shipping captain was freed over the holiday weekend by the decisive action of our military…unexpected profit announcements are boosting the stock market (see here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stocks-surge-as-profits-at-apf-14891590.html ) … new jobless claims fell last week … mortgage rates were down (though looking to rise this week) … etc.

Could it be that things are looking up?

Personally, I take a “wait and see” approach on this stuff, but I’m also happy to point out bright spots. My primary reason for pointing this stuff out, however, is to continue to encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on that which will lift you UP and OUT of a sense of personal “malaise”. Even if your personal “books” aren’t looking so hot right now, use this week to take productive, empowering action to change your situation–and steer clear of the doom and gloom, ok?

That said, though I normally do try to avoid getting too “tax heavy” in these notes, this particular week necessitates a few last minute pieces of advice in my Strategy Note. Read on… (and don’t forget to call us soon!).

“Real World” Personal Strategy

Just In Case You Can’t Come In This Week…

Let’s clear some things up with some facts about getting an “extension”.

As you know, Wednesday, April 15 is the filing deadline for a federal tax return. If you need more time to get your paperwork complete, you need to file (or have us file on your behalf) Form 4868 (Automatic Extension of Time to File) with the IRS by the end of the day on the 15th. This gives you an automatic six-month (until October 15, 2009) extension of time to file.

Here’s the deal: An “Extension of Time to File” is not an “Extension of Time to Pay”, unfortunately. The Extension simply gives you an automatic six months of additional time to get your paperwork together and file that return. But, if you owe more than what you paid with your estimate, you’ll be accumulating penalties and interest on the difference–so PLEASE don’t take the entire six months to do this!

So, when filing your “Extension of Time to File”, you’ll need to estimate what you think you owe to the IRS. This should not be pulling numbers out of thin air (or other various body parts)! You’ll still need to go through your receipts and tax documents and get them “somewhat” organized.

From here, you can estimate both your income and your expenses, and then approximate what you owe Uncle Sam. Keep in mind that this is an ESTIMATE. And, you’ll have to pay what you estimate you owe at the time we file for the extension.

You can do this all electronically through our office, you can mail in the form WITH estimated payment (must be postmarked by the 15th), or you can call a specialized provider and pay by credit card. We can provide you with the appropriate number to call.

But it’s NOT TOO LATE! Just come by right away!

To more of your money in your wallet!

PS–If you’ve already filed your taxes with us, recommend us to a procrastinating friend. We’ll be grateful, and so will they!

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