August 10, 2016 Showing Up Woody Allen said half of life is just showing up. Mike Piazza, the award-winning catcher on the Mets roster, is living proof. He was the 1390th pick of the 1988 draft and is the lowest drafted player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The player drafted right before Piazza never even played a major league game. Piazza never gave up and gave his all each and every time he showed up. Convention Thoughts Republican Ordinarily, children are a reflection of their parents. Their behavior, mannerisms, and poise usually show how they were raised. The three older Trump children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, whose parents are Donald and Ivana, were poised, polished and extremely well spoken and confident. They appear to be children that any parent could be proud of. I think they were the surprise of the convention. What I do not understand is how they became this way considering the erratic, and often childish behavior of their father who appears to speak in a stream of consciousness fashion. Could it be that Ivana is the parent responsible for the children’s behavior or is it that Donald Trump is acting in an over the top fashion for the camera in order to dominate the news cycle? I wonder. Democrat Where was the Press? Hillary claims to represent women. Where was the proof other than she is a woman? Not mentioned by either the Press or Republicans is the fact that Bill Clinton was the HONORARY CHAIRMAN of GEMS, a Dubai based organization from 2005 – 2014 during which time he personally collected $5.6 MILLION IN FEES which was deposited in Bill and Hillary’s joint checking account. The purpose of the organization is to create and spread schools which teach and propagate Muslim education and Shariah Law, the law which Muslims are bound to follow. Bill’s role as honorary chairman was to meet with monarchs of countries in the Middle East in order to convince them to set up the schools there. Shariah law states women have NO RIGHTS. They cannot protect themselves against ABUSIVE HUSBANDS. They CANNOT DIVORCE their husbands; they can be DIVORCED FROM THEIR HUSBANDS at the drop of a hat; they have NO MONEY and NO PROPERTY. They must cover themselves from head to toe except for a small mesh in front of their face. Because the school is based upon Shariah law, the budget is Shariah compliant which means one-eighth of its revenue goes to funding JIHADIST activities around the world. The rest goes to tens of thousands of students in 170 countries around the world. This activity was not mentioned. It was not mentioned if this role was proper for a former President of the United States. It was not mentioned if this role was proper for the husband of the Secretary of State, much less a potential President of the United States. It was not mentioned if this was a proper role for the husband of so prominent a person who portrays herself as a feminist representing women. Outrageously Low The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed at 1.36% on Friday7/8/16, the lowest closing yield ever. 10-year notes have been traded in the USA since 1790. US Treasury Department. Security on Taxes Faulted Nearly half of the firms that have agreements with the IRS to provide online tax preparation and filing services are failing to protect customers’ privacy and security according to an audit by the Online Trust Alliance. They found that 1040.com, 1040Now.net, FileYourTaxes.com. Free1040TaxReturn.com, Jackson Hewitt Online, and Online Taxes at OLT.com did not provide adequate security against cyber criminals. Seven firms including eSmart Tax, ezTaxReturn.com, FreeTaxUSA, H&R Block Free File, TaxAct, TaxSlayer and TurboTax Free file were praised for their practices. The IRS also stated that hackers gained access to 700,000 taxpayer accounts at the IRS and attempted to break into an additional 575,000. The hackers targeted “Get Transcript,” an IRS application that allowed taxpayers to obtain tax return information for prior years. Wall Street journal 2/28/16 p. B7. So, lets see – your information contained at the IRS is not secure from cyber criminals and if you work for the IRS or any other federal agency your personnel records are in the hands of the Chinese who hacked the federal personnel files. I am sure glad Obama said the government will keep our medical files private! IRAs Needed 26% of Hispanic families had a retirement plan or IRA compared to 41% of African American families and 65% of white families. What are you waiting for? Start one now! Benefit Pro.com August 2016 p. 4. Taxing Olympic Gold After our Olympians step down from the medal podium and the ceremonies have closed, they are welcomed home by the U.S. Olympic Committee with prize awards in the amount of $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, and $10,000 for a bronze medal. Under the tax laws of the Internal Revenue Code, this prize money is considered ordinary income, and taxed in the same way, at the same tax rates, as those of other citizens. The United States taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, which means that the prize money is taxed in the U.S. even though the Olympics are held in Brazil. Similar to Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida, proposing the Olympic Tax Elimination Act in 2012, Senator John Thune introduced a bill in the Senate in March 2016, which would provide relief from taxation on Olympic medals. The bill passed unanimously in July 2016 and is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. At a time when the country is in need of tax reform, we believe the politicians should focus on the bigger picture, rather than adding yet another loophole to the tax law. If this bill were passed, would it have cost the U.S. government any tax revenue? Probably not. A good certified public accountant would ensure that the Olympian was advised well in advance of the Games to keep detailed records of the expenses incurred to participate in the Olympic Games. These expenses, which include travel, meals, coaching costs, equipment, uniforms, training, and lodging would offset the prize money and potentially reduce the taxable income to zero. As always, if you have any questions about these or any other matters, do not hesitate to call us. Remember, We're Here For You!