Last Minute Tax Prep?

Did you wait until the last minute to prepare your taxes this year?  You do have an extra three days, the deadline is April 18th.  Have questions?  Need to know about forms and deductions?  Try this article from the New York Times and if that doesn’t get you where you need to be,
give me a call!

Our Best Guidance for Filing Your Tax Return

Home Office Deductions

As we enter tax season, it’s time to examine a variety of deductions you may be eligible to take.  Home office deductions are a simple way to recoup money when using your home as an office space.   Those who are self-employed or part of an LLC have one form to complete this process, but S-Corp brings a new challenge.  Thank you to wilsonrogers.net for this detailed description of how to legally claim this important deduction.

S-Corp Home Office Deduction

Time to Un-Plug?

Empathy, intimacy, learning to read body language and understanding how to talk face-to-face are crucial parts of being human, but now that we spend hours in front of our tiny glowing smartphone screens, scientists fear we are losing our ability to communicate.  According to MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle, these hours devoted to Facebook, games and texts are hurting our capacity to be present with other humans.

When was the last time you chose a walk with a friend over a text or PM chat?

What are we teaching all the children who are playing on phones instead of interacting with those around them?

How Smartphones Are Killing Conversation

Work Hard, Be Nice

IMG_6606What is the key component to professional teams who work well together?  Turns out it’s the ability to ‘be nice’ and truly care for one another.  When co-workers like and trust each other, it creates the feeling of a supportive family.  One that each member is willing to work their hardest for.  This sounds like just the kind of advice that would come from the Disney Institute!

What’s The Secret To Successful Teamwork? Just Be Nice

Sharing the Gift of Sharing

Tis the season for giving…

FullSizeRender-27Want to help your teenager or younger child learn more about sharing what they have?  Ron Leiber for the New York Times has great recommendations for talking to children about your family’s legacy of both giving and receiving, a history of why you feel it is important to share what you have with others and he offers a simple plan for explaining exactly how you divide the money between various charities.

Six Ways to Give the Gift of Generosity to Children and Teenagers

Hidden Monopolies?

antique-monopoly-game-hdi0aidsThe attempted merger of AT&T and Time Warner has drawn a lot of attention lately.  So much that a Senate hearing was held last week to investigate the possibility of the combined companies forming a monopoly.  During the meeting of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, Mark Cuban, internet entrepreneur, made the comment that people should not be concerned with the waning phone business but internet giants, Google and Facebook.  Jonathan Taplin, Op-Ed contributor for the New York Times, investigates this further in, Forget AT&T. The Real Monopolies Are Google and Facebook.

Progressive and Evangelical?

lsIs it possible to have a church that both holds to the doctrine of scripture and is open to all?  Sounds like the kind of place we’d all like to attend.  A church where the doors are open for all, the sermons biblically based with a refreshing twist on the classic stories and no secret code of membership.  One church working toward this model is Hillhurst United Church in Calgary, Canada.  Check out the story in Christian Century, Biblical, evangelical—and progressive.  What do you think?  Are they headed in the right direction?

They’re Watching You

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https://disconnect.me The service recommended by this article.

We’re nearing the age envisioned in the movie Minority Report.  Of course, they were arresting people before they could commit  crimes, but remember all of the screens in the stores that would speak to John Anderton, or the directed advertising as he would walk past store windows and on his computer screen?

Companies are harvesting all kinds of information about you through the sites visited on your linked devices, and using it to send targeted advertising.  Ever noticed that the ads on your browser change based on your recent searches?  Brian X. Chen and Natasha Singer for the New York Times explore this phenomenon more closely in the article, Free Tools to Keep Those Creepy Online Ads From Watching You, as well as offering reviews of four tools that can help maintain your privacy.

It’s Tax Day, Hug Your CPA

Tax-FormToday is one of the most stressful dates for many Americans.  April 15th, Tax Day brings all kinds of worries for those who have waited to complete their tax forms and not sought the help of a CPA.  On the other hand, accountants are just coming to the end of an extremely busy work season.  Maureen Schwartz offers a humorous view of living with a CPA during this time and how best to care for them.  Happy tax season and raise a glass to your and all CPAs in the US this monumental day!  The 10 simple rules of caring for your CPA this busy season

April “Fools?”

chiquita-dm2-minion-jerry-tongueDid you get a minion mic drop in your inbox this April Fools?  Google’s famous elaborate April Fool’s pranks may have finally gone too far.  This year, the idea was that you could select the “Mic drop” button on Gmail and send a .gif of a minion dropping a realistic mic.  After sending, no other replies from that mail stream would come back to you.  Conversation over, the end.  What an amazing way to handle a never ending work email, right?  Turns out that the “Mic drop” button was a little too close to the send button, causing quite a few misfires to clients and bosses.  Oops.  After a myriad of complaints on their Google forum, the button was removed and an apology issued.

What do you think?  Did they go too far or do we all take ourselves just a little too seriously in this day and age of electronic communication?

April Fools’ Undo: Gmail Removes Its ‘Mic Drop’ Feature