Search found 393 matches

by Miakis
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts
Replies: 369
Views: 35067

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

I rarely advise my clients to prioritize paying back taxes to the IRS over other debt. The IRS has fairly reasonable payment terms and interest rates. If you agree to pay over 72 months, they will approve a payment plan. If you're over $50,000 they also want assurances that you will pay estimated ta...
by Miakis
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I Obligated To Pay Attorney Bill?
Replies: 85
Views: 6611

Re: Am I Obligated To Pay Attorney Bill?

Ah, my favorite type of client. Are you friends with this attorney? Are you his mother? Why wouldn't he bill you? Why did you call a professional on the phone to ask a legal opinion if you didn't expect to be billed? You think this attorney just accepts calls from strangers all day and gives out fre...
by Miakis
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Forgot to pay Kohl's bill for two months, consequences?
Replies: 36
Views: 2464

Re: Forgot to pay Kohl's bill for two months, consequences?

If suddenly there are unauthorized charges on your cards (card lost or stolen), you don't have enough money to cover the balance. It takes time to get the money back and you have to deal with bank for negative balance. I rather know it first than let the credit card companies messed up with my chec...
by Miakis
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent
Replies: 122
Views: 10835

Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

I would tell the seller's agent that you feel uncomfortable with dual representation and that you feel that there's a conflict of interest, since he's friends with the seller. Therefore, you'd like to use a different agent and have one who has been showing you homes. Tell him that you're unlikely to...
by Miakis
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crazy? S-corp renting your own property tax-free for 14 days?
Replies: 12
Views: 933

Re: Crazy? S-corp renting your own property tax-free for 14 days?

I've defended the scenario twice in audits. Both on tax returns that I didn't prepare. I found the scenarios kind of dodgy, but apparently they can fly. I don't necessarily endorse these. Scenario 1: Not quite a rental situation, but some similarities to what you discussed. Couple were big MLM'ers. ...
by Miakis
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?
Replies: 67
Views: 5597

Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Went through practically this exact thing. Young college girl rear ended me at a light, but car was driveable and damage was only a minor dent and paint. Her father asked me not to file a claim and to do it directly. But when I took it for an estimate, the body shop said the only way to fix the dent...
by Miakis
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Random Treasury Check
Replies: 4
Views: 622

Re: Random Treasury Check

Hello! I received a check from the U.S. Treasury for $6.85. It's made out to my wife and I but there was no letter enclosed and no number to call. We have never filed taxes from the address on the form. Why would I get this? Maybe I'm overthinking it but is this legit? I don't want to deposit it an...
by Miakis
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair
Replies: 30
Views: 2515

Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

I recently purchased two homes in this type of condition. I assumed one was a tear down and one was a renovation. It turns out the one I thought would be a simple reno had more problems than the one I thought was a tear down. On the tear down, I brought in two contractors and two foundation people -...
by Miakis
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work
Replies: 16
Views: 1555

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work

I ran an entire accounting firm out of my house and notified my insurance company. It did not cause any issues with umbrella insurance, and I had no special underwriting. It increased my premiums slightly. That was with Farm Bureau. I don't run the business out of my house and recently transferred m...
by Miakis
Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?
Replies: 56
Views: 3634

Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

I went to Guelph in Canada for my first two years of undergrad and transferred my credits to an American college without issue. So ultimately, if he tries it and dislikes it, he can just re-apply to US colleges and move. You want to make sure you're not transferring more than 50% of your total requi...
by Miakis
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse in the house
Replies: 46
Views: 4535

Re: Mouse in the house

Finding the entry points and blocking them is the most effective way. In our old house, the entry point was where the AC tubes came into the house. At our new house, which is rural, the entry point was a hole for some garage door wiring. The mice still get into our garage, so we keep some snap traps...
by Miakis
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich
Replies: 162
Views: 20546

Re: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich

I don't think the OP's MIL sounds nuts. If I were her age and with her assets, I would move into a $4000/mo community. As others have mentioned, trying to preserve assets to avoid Medicaid isn't a great decision. Most people in the MIL's asset range try to do the opposite: Get assets off the books s...
by Miakis
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Need a Real Estate Agent if Building a Home?
Replies: 14
Views: 1845

Re: Do I Need a Real Estate Agent if Building a Home?

When we built a home, we used a realtor to purchase the land (she took us around and showed us land that was on the market) But the realtor did not assist us with finding a builder and did not receive a commission for the house. Some builders own tracts of land that they can show you. In that case, ...
by Miakis
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you been doing better than your parents?
Replies: 30
Views: 2325

Re: Have you been doing better than your parents?

I am guessing that my income is about the same as my father's (me = owner of an accounting firm; him = PhD in Engineering, worked for the same mining company his entire career). But my financial stability/net worth is MUCH better than his was at any point in his life. He was a big spender and died w...
by Miakis
Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Failed to file S Corp Taxes on time, fined by the IRS
Replies: 23
Views: 3428

Re: Failed to file S Corp Taxes on time, fined by the IRS

It's hard to believe that a simple First Time Abatement could have turned into this mess. The CPA should have asked for a Form 2848, called the IRS, and abated the first penalty over the phone, then closed the S-Corp. There is, without a doubt, a solution to this problem without paying $5000 to some...
by Miakis
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - Accounting Ethics for Sharing Client Information
Replies: 10
Views: 795

Re: Taxes - Accounting Ethics for Sharing Client Information

The standards are fairly loose. Accountants are supposed to take reasonable measures to safeguard client data, but there is no specific guidelines for that means. Sharing data via email is sometimes discouraged by E&O insurance companies, but continues to be common in the industry. There is no rule ...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White collars- How much is your work downtime?
Replies: 203
Views: 17950

Re: White collars- How much is your work downtime?

Self Employed CPA. Downtime is about 25%, and entirely my fault. Since I'm self-employed, I could theoretically just work 25% less if I was more efficient, but I spend time chatting with employees, wasting time on the internet, etc. My downtime goes down substantially during my busiest season. When ...
by Miakis
Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard
Replies: 52
Views: 7111

Re: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard

I disagree about calling. I find that the squeaky wheel often gets the oil in these situations. Our neighbor's ATT line was running through our lawn (on the ground) and it sat there for months. They laid it back in February and claimed the ground was frozen. Meanwhile in July, it was still there. It...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping widowed mother with plan
Replies: 15
Views: 1374

Re: Helping widowed mother with plan

I'd consider a cash-out refinance on the rental property. Reduce that rental cash flow to 0 and let that rental property run at a tax loss. Hold it for the step up in basis upon death. That would give her a chunk of liquid cash without possible tax consequences of selling the 10-year rental property...
by Miakis
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Limits of HOA power - public streets
Replies: 25
Views: 2048

Re: Limits of HOA power - public streets

Probably. Read your HOA docs. Having just been elected to the board of an HOA, we came to realize that our HOA documents give the board almost unlimited power to do all sorts of ridiculous and non-ridiculous things. For instance, members of our board can borrow outrageous sums of money on behalf of ...
by Miakis
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 487
Views: 51946

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

What do you mean they about them "handing over the earnest money"? That was already in escrow, right? If the contract terms were clear, the escrow company should just have released that money to you. Our realtor told us that we didn't get the earnest money from escrow unless the buyer agreed to rel...
by Miakis
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - $300,000 Profit - Invest or Pay Cash For New House?
Replies: 58
Views: 5664

Re: Sold Home - $300,000 Profit - Invest or Pay Cash For New House?

We just got a mortgage quote for 3.5% on a 30 year fixed mortgage. It's hard to leave that kind of super low fixed rate on the table. I'm a debt-free kind of gal, but I can't deny that grabbing up a mortgage at that rate and letting it ride makes the most sense vs paying cash for the house. And, for...
by Miakis
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 487
Views: 51946

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Just wanted to come and say I sympathize. We recently put a house on the market - nice house, good shape. We had a multiple offer situation, and took the highest, but then started getting nitpicked by the buyer. The inspector put all sorts of wishy-washy things in the report: "Grading may or may not...
by Miakis
Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received letter from IRS saying I owe penalty charges from a foreign gift
Replies: 24
Views: 3102

Re: Received letter from IRS saying I owe penalty charges from a foreign gift

Call them up and ask if it qualifies for First Time Penalty Abatement. Monday, early mornings, are the best time to call the IRS.

Failure to File 3520 isn't specifically excluded from FTA, so it's probably eligible.
by Miakis
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?
Replies: 4
Views: 591

Re: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?

The double taxation issue is addressed by a credit for taxes paid to MO on your California return.
by Miakis
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist bill came 4-5 months later, is this unreasonable?
Replies: 28
Views: 2422

Re: Dentist bill came 4-5 months later, is this unreasonable?

I recently got one that was a year old for an "insurance correction." When I called, the dentist told me that my insurance company reserves the right to send corrections and demand payments back from them for up to 12 months. We had no real way of tracking down why any such correction occurred or if...
by Miakis
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delete
Replies: 119
Views: 12447

Re: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C

Tell them no and inform your realtor that you don't want to be contacted again. The house closed, it's done. They can then choose whether they would want to hire an attorney to sue you. The burden would be on them to show that you defauded them somehow AND that $10,000 was a reasonable amount to pay...
by Miakis
Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time victim of credit card fraud
Replies: 48
Views: 4317

Re: First-time victim of credit card fraud

It's often a nuisance, but there's not much to be done about it. Our most recent one was super annoying, because the fraudster linked the credit card to a Paypal account, and since it was then flagged for fraud and it was the same card on my husband's Paypal account, his account also got flagged for...
by Miakis
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 27753

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Had the option to sell some stock in a private company for 1.5 M. Submitted the paperwork and everything, but at the last minute, the majority owner convinced us not to. Two years later, the company was nearly worthless due to a regulation change. In another, unrelated investment, we agreed to co-si...
by Miakis
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?
Replies: 39
Views: 4164

Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Not cleaning will be extra disgusting with hardwood. There's nothing to catch dust and hair, so it just gathers on hard surface floors. A stiff breeze will cause all of that stuff to stir up and float around. Humidity may cause it to glue itself onto the wood. Your clothes and furniture will become ...
by Miakis
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep my financial advisor
Replies: 131
Views: 8638

Re: Should I keep my financial advisor

The problem with most of the people (or should I say, the most vociferous people) on this site is that they think that most people can DIY with just a little help. I've been doing it a while, and I can assure you that they cannot. Even with a Boglehead's help, the sheer volume of information that a...
by Miakis
Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?
Replies: 40
Views: 2795

Re: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?

I find it odd that you are considering profiting off of your daughter's injury.
by Miakis
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you save money on groceries?
Replies: 157
Views: 11357

Re: How do you save money on groceries?

Things we did when our grocery bill was shocking us: 1. We budgeted per meal. I bought a couple of books - $5 Dinner Mom and a few others that specifically focused on low-cost recipes. Once I realized that I could cook a dinner for $5, it became my goal. There were plenty of meals in my regular rota...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Retiring. 28 y.o. $5M in cash. Asking for advice for portfolio.
Replies: 79
Views: 14404

Re: Retiring. 28 y.o. $5M in cash. Asking for advice for portfolio.

I don't have investment advice for you, but my husband decided to retire permanently at age 32 after selling three businesses in a row. He modeled out his retirement and figured out what kind of spending allowed for a 99% success rate in simulations. As time has gone on (he's been retired for about ...
by Miakis
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SALT: IRS issues proposed regs for State Tax Credit for Donation
Replies: 62
Views: 6420

Re: SALT: IRS issues proposed regs for State Tax Credit for Donation

The attitude in the accounting community is that the tax credit for donation schemes will probably not work out, but do keep in mind that a Reg can be challenged in court. The 15% deminimis number is arbitrary. For this year, it's interesting that they've given folks 3 days to donate and still get a...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA/Account error - who's responsible?
Replies: 24
Views: 2209

Re: CPA/Account error - who's responsible?

Current: This year, accountant calls in Q1 and says they're slammed and will need to file and extension on our personal returns. People changes within their business and I'm sure the mad rush with tax changes really put them behind in filings. Over the past 4 months, part of their team has been wor...
by Miakis
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA/Account error - who's responsible?
Replies: 24
Views: 2209

Re: CPA/Account error - who's responsible?

Thank you. Great advice and greatly appreciated. We have a clean slate and have never filed for an extension. Curious though.....if anyone knows....would FTA for any reason flag a taxpayer for a higher chance of audit? Nothing to hide, just cringe at the thought of having to endure one. I've had 5 ...
by Miakis
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PCP Wants Full Charge Up Front [Primary Care Physician]
Replies: 108
Views: 7269

Re: PCP Wants Full Charge Up Front [Primary Care Physician]

My doctor stopped accepting insurance, as did my husband's. It sounds like yours should too, given their collections problems. I understand that the policy seems unfair to you, since you have a low copay, but they wouldn't be implementing this policy if the majority of their patients had low copays....
by Miakis
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 18058

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

CPA here - I do tax returns for many landlords. I'm sure it's highly regional, but most residential landlords are cash-flow positive around here, even those that utilize a management company. The ones that use a management company tend to be happier landlords, but their profits are lower. Every year...
by Miakis
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategies for Selling a Rental Property - Not Section 1031 Eligible
Replies: 11
Views: 975

Re: Tax Strategies for Selling a Rental Property - Not Section 1031 Eligible

It's probably not that bad. You just need someone to run a real tax projection for you based on last year's numbers, with 2018's tax changes. Depreciation recapture on $50,000, with a $50,000 passive activity loss carryover to offset it (or, more likely, offset higher bracket income). And the rest a...
by Miakis
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategies for Selling a Rental Property - Not Section 1031 Eligible
Replies: 11
Views: 975

Re: Tax Strategies for Selling a Rental Property - Not Section 1031 Eligible

Original Cost: 217,000 Minus Depreciation: -??? Will equal your basis. Selling cost minus basis will equal your gain. Gain will first be taxed at a 25% recapture rate up to the amount of your basis and then normal capital gain rates on the excess. Seperately, your passive activity loss carryover fro...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?
Replies: 61
Views: 6810

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

If the kid wants to do the ACT's again, why would you discourage her/him? I don't think I even told my mom when I decided to take the SATs for a scholarship. I just studied, registered, and went. As a parent, I just don't see this as a valuable thing to have a negative opinion about. The student has...
by Miakis
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 4916

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

If it's 35 minutes until boarding, I'd probably take a chance. But if it's 35 minutes to take off, I would not. Remember that gates usually close 15 minutes prior to take off. So that 35 minute window could be a 20 minute window.
by Miakis
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 62
Views: 9659

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

My CPA says we are his only client who insists on NOT writing checks with our tax returns but always paying online thru e-check or CCard. It just feels safer NOT to write both our full SS#s on the check as IT’S required. Sadly, the IRS is claiming we didn’t pay them even though we have a receipt fr...
by Miakis
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 62
Views: 9659

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

I wrote a check for girl scout cookies that got stolen out of the mother's car and went through the exact same thing as the OP's parents. It was super annoying to deal with. The lesson is to be wary of writing checks, I think. You can't really control their custody after you let them go. Writing che...
by Miakis
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to verify if seller is legally collecting sales tax (CA)
Replies: 11
Views: 1675

Re: How to verify if seller is legally collecting sales tax (CA)

You can't, really. There's no public record for checking to see if retailers are properly filing sales tax unless the state files a lien or forecloses on their business for being delinquent. As the consumer, your responsibility is to pay sales tax, or self-reported use tax if the seller doesn't char...
by Miakis
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 5014

Re: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement

If you'd asked me when I was 18 years old if I thought I was get an inheritance and where it would come from, I would have listed most of the sources in the article: Uncle, Grandfather, Father. They seemed affluent and I, like the young people surveyed, believed they would leave me something. Fast f...
by Miakis
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Girls and investing
Replies: 115
Views: 6683

Re: Girls and investing

If I had kids, I'd probably start them off by letting them choose shares of a company to buy each year for their birthday. I assume it would be companies that produce their favorite products. I'd then buy them an equal dollar amount of a total market mutual fund or maybe the S&P 500. Then each year ...
by Miakis
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ultrasonic pest repellent - do they work?
Replies: 6
Views: 841

Re: Ultrasonic pest repellent - do they work?

Mice kept taking up residence in the roof of my screened porch and were driving me nuts. I got one to plug in out there and it seems to have worked. The mouse noise went away after a couple of days. Or maybe the mouse just died?

Ant season has passed, so I can't tell if it works on them.
by Miakis
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which route for older adult with no retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 2667

Re: Which route for older adult with no retirement?

I have about 10 hairstylist tax clients - they are all self-employed individuals who rent booths. I highly suggest you consider this as an option. Most are able to contact their current regular clients and inform them of the change and the clients move with them. Some of them immediately make more i...