Search found 284 matches

by Miakis
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does IRS have equivalent of credit freeze?
Replies: 20
Views: 1406

Re: Does IRS have equivalent of credit freeze?

Curious how tax-filing fraud is ever possible? The impostor not only needs your identify info, but also W-2, dividend, capital gain/loss, mortgage payment, etc., etc? You are overestimating the IRS' technology. Fraudsters generally file false returns in January, before most info is reported and bef...
by Miakis
Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you want your receipt?
Replies: 99
Views: 7412

Re: Do you want your receipt?

I take my meals receipts only if it's a business expense. If it is, I document the business purpose on the receipt and put it in my big manila envelope of business meals. I do not spend time checking any receipts against my credit card statements. If something seemed out of line during routine scans...
by Miakis
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity: can no longer use first initial, middle name
Replies: 30
Views: 2510

Re: Fidelity: can no longer use first initial, middle name

I have a client whose first name is just one letter.

It's not short for anything. His legal first name is a letter.

I've never had to jump through so many hoops to get a name to "fit" into forms.
by Miakis
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: accounting software for churches?
Replies: 22
Views: 1373

Re: accounting software for churches?

Is your church audited regularly by an outside accounting firm? If so, you should ask them what they prefer. If not, then I'd recommend Quickbooks Online. You can purchase an upgraded version that allows for various non-profit accounting functions, but start with the lowest version of the software t...
by Miakis
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2225

Re: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?

A few years ago, we spent $25,000 on a screened deck. In our case, we completely replaced an existing deck and extended the roof to cover the new one, plus used composite wood so that it wouldn't degrade quickly. I love my deck! Sometimes during the hot, humid Summer, it's still too hot to sit out t...
by Miakis
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my elderly mother deduct the entire cost of memory care from her taxes?
Replies: 11
Views: 1266

Re: Can my elderly mother deduct the entire cost of memory care from her taxes?

If she was kept in a memory care unit against her will, there must be some documentation of her impairment. Did she not have a doctor during this time? Wouldn't she be under the supervision of a doctor while in the memory care unit? That doctor should provide the medical records necessary to establi...
by Miakis
Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 63
Views: 4879

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

You could put $100 cash in a small ziplock and then stash it in a Hiding Can masquerading as a soup can or WD-40 or water bottle. There are a large selection on assorted hiding cans on Amazon (search for "hiding can"). It's still possible that someone will find it - but if they do, then your risk of...
by Miakis
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you get to see business financial data by being an accountant?
Replies: 18
Views: 1401

Re: Will you get to see business financial data by being an accountant?

I'm a small business CPA (most of my clients own businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue). I see all of the nitty gritty details of their finances because I generally do bookkeeping + payroll + tax returns. But for analyzing business deals - selling or buying businesses is really as far as tha...
by Miakis
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant liable for penalties?
Replies: 33
Views: 3424

Re: Accountant liable for penalties?

The accountant is likely not liable, since they notified you that they "couldn't look at" the return until after tax season. Without looking at the return, there's no real way to tell you what is owed so you can pay with the extension. Would it have been nice for him to tell you that maybe you shoul...
by Miakis
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-profit treasurer - tools for accepting money (Venmo, Paypal, etc.)
Replies: 10
Views: 1097

Re: Non-profit treasurer - tools for accepting money (Venmo, Paypal, etc.)

I am the treasurer for an organization that uses Paypal. The Paypal account itself is easy to authorize the new treasurer for. The old treasurer just calls and authorizes the new one. Transfers to the bank happen in 1-2 business days. Fees are the usual Paypal fees. It integrates well with our websi...
by Miakis
Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Future Accountant Seeking Advice
Replies: 10
Views: 991

Re: Future Accountant Seeking Advice

What do you want to do in your career? I would not consider Big 4 if, for example, your intention is to become a sole-proprietor tax professional who serves individuals and small businesses. You just won't get the experience you're needing. Is Summer the right time for an internship? There are fewer...
by Miakis
Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! How do I choose a FA (I have to...)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1541

Re: Help! How do I choose a FA (I have to...)?

It's an unfair restriction to force you into using a FA in a specific location. What if they all suck? This is an important decision - it's not like trying a new downtown restaurant where the stakes aren't very high if the food sucks. You should ask around for referrals. Start with the local county ...
by Miakis
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: emerald ash borer disaster
Replies: 35
Views: 2319

Re: emerald ash borer disaster

retiredbuthappy wrote:Wondering if there are some advances in insecticide research that might make the treatments better and cheaper in the future.
Probably not. Most of the research seems focused on breeding resistant elms or elm hybrids, rather than saving the current crop of susceptible elms.
by Miakis
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Siblings in disagreement over mom's house.
Replies: 241
Views: 20235

Re: Siblings in disagreement over mom's house.

I would give the siblings 60 days to come up with the money to buy me out and tell them if they don't meet the deadline, I will force a partition sale. I'd set my asking price at a slight discount, but not an extreme discount. Then I'd have an attorney ready to file the motion immediately upon the e...
by Miakis
Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Wife is having our 5th child. What is an appropriately extravagant push gift?
Replies: 90
Views: 8038

Re: My Wife is having our 5th child. What is an appropriately extravagant push gift?

I think it's a nice idea! It's a recognition that while the baby is the ultimate gift, the mother did a little more of the heavy lifting in regards to bringing that gift to their family and her partner appreciates and respects that effort. And though the terminology "push gift" might be cringe induc...
by Miakis
Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit charge I didn't make ...
Replies: 20
Views: 2389

Re: Debit charge I didn't make ...

I have a client who had it happen on her debit card. I caught it while doing bookkeeping for her. That fraud happened simultaneously with an identity theft situation for her, which seemed a bit too coincidental. She soon found out that there were fraudulent lines of credit in her maiden name. She us...
by Miakis
Mon May 15, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scolded by my adviser at F******* ! [Fidelity]
Replies: 23
Views: 4212

Re: Scolded by my adviser at F******* !

It's best to assume that all surveys are Net Promoter surveys which are designed to reflect on the agent who dealt with you. They have virtually nothing to do with actually improving the product you're dealing with and everything to do with ensuring that agents act in a certain way. If survey statis...
by Miakis
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...
Replies: 65
Views: 7664

Re: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...

Most people with high incomes like yours end up owing even by marking themselves as Single with 0 exemptions.

You could start there. Then, if it continues to concern you that you owe, you can increase your "extra withholding" number on your W-4 until it's right.
by Miakis
Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax] software asks driver license number
Replies: 15
Views: 1580

Re: [Tax] software asks driver license number

Some states are delaying refunds if we don't provide driver's license info. There are a couple of states not accepting E-file without the ID.
by Miakis
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 21112

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

there's a lightbulb up on the vaulted ceilings The worst was that vaulted living room ceiling. Not only was there a light bulb way up there, but also a fire/smoke detector. I forgot about our smoke detector on the vaulted ceiling because we smashed it off the ceiling with a broomstick (while balanc...
by Miakis
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So someone drained $13k from my checking account...
Replies: 144
Views: 22880

Re: So someone drained $13k from my checking account...

Our bank recently had us close our account and start a new one after a check was stolen. Just about everyone I talked to said their bank would just stop payment on the check and leave it at that, but our bank decided it was too high risk. With the routing number, account name, bank name, they had ev...
by Miakis
Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 21112

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

I might be in the minority here, but I actually like my jetted tub and still use it after 13 years. We also use our gas fireplace daily in cold weather. The most annoying thing in my house: there's a lightbulb up on the vaulted ceilings that needs a special extra-high contractor grade ladder to reac...
by Miakis
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5889

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

We bought a house that was 1 year old. The builder lived in it for a year, which conveniently means he didn't have to offer a warranty. It took about 3 years to work the kinks out. In that first 5 years we had to fix the roof multiple times, fix the gutters, replace the sump pump, repair every toil...
by Miakis
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5889

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

We bought a house that was 1 year old. The builder lived in it for a year, which conveniently means he didn't have to offer a warranty. It took about 3 years to work the kinks out. In that first 5 years we had to fix the roof multiple times, fix the gutters, replace the sump pump, repair every toile...
by Miakis
Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?
Replies: 51
Views: 6444

Re: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?

A few years ago, I was employed by an accounting firm that did audits for large non-profits. We frequently had to confirm that their banks had insurance to cover the entity's cash balance over $250,000. They all did. We never encountered a bank that was unable to produce proof of this type of insur...
by Miakis
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?
Replies: 51
Views: 6444

Re: Do many banks "secretly" have private deposit insurance covering excess above $250,000?

A few years ago, I was employed by an accounting firm that did audits for large non-profits. We frequently had to confirm that their banks had insurance to cover the entity's cash balance over $250,000. They all did. We never encountered a bank that was unable to produce proof of this type of insura...
by Miakis
Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (Success! at least mostly)
Replies: 47
Views: 4799

Re: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (no idea where)

Why don't you pull a Wage and Income transcript from the IRS for the last couple of years. It'll let you know all of the income that's been reported to her SSN, including dividends, interest from banks, 1099-Rs, 1099-Bs, etc.
by Miakis
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sole prop. - mileage deductions with no "main job" site
Replies: 21
Views: 1406

Re: sole prop. - mileage deductions with no "main job" site

If your office in your home is your primary location for performing the administration tasks relating to your business, then that's a qualifier for the home office deduction. You don't have to actually see clients in the home office.
by Miakis
Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of tax preparation
Replies: 43
Views: 3924

Re: Cost of tax preparation

I'm a CPA/tax preparer and there's no way to tell you if it's reasonable or not. Your wife has a dozen 1099s. Does she just hand them a dozen 1099s? Is there a Quickbooks file? Does the accountant have to create an income statement for her? What about expenses? Does she track her mileage? So many qu...
by Miakis
Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banks that will allow export to Excel or csv file of tx history
Replies: 3
Views: 554

Re: Banks that will allow export to Excel or csv file of tx history

Hi, I'm new to this board but I think I'm in the right place. My question is: any recommendations for financial institutions that will allow me to export my checking and credit card history to Excel or csv file, besides Wells Fargo? Or a workaround to get from Quicken to a usable Excel format? As a...
by Miakis
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?
Replies: 36
Views: 5849

Re: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?

oregontrail wrote:
abonder wrote:Pickle Soup


We ate this for dinner last night. It was great! I might have thrown in some extra pickles.
by Miakis
Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents as dependents on tax return
Replies: 54
Views: 3430

Re: Parents as dependents on tax return

If your dependent files a tax return, then they must be sure to check the option that says YES to "Are you a dependent of another person?" - that way they don't claim their own exemption. Then, you can file the tax return with their W-2 info on it and potentially get a refund for any withh...
by Miakis
Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?
Replies: 36
Views: 5849

Re: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?

I got mine on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and at first was a little concerned I had wasted my money. We don't eat meat, so the usual meat-related recipes don't really do it for us. But I'm a convert over the following: 1. Vegetable stock - previously I slow-cooked veggie scraps for 12 hours. It made t...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cruise around the world
Replies: 16
Views: 1949

Re: cruise around the world

We did a transatlantic and met several older ladies who cruise permanently. We had lunch with one in particular who said that she compared it to the cost of a nice old age home - except the food and companionship was better on a ship and she got see more things. She said that she got to know the reg...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S Corp payroll co for single owner/employee?
Replies: 31
Views: 2911

Re: S Corp payroll co for single owner/employee?

You could probably just post a job on Upwork and clearly indicate that you want an independent payroll provider who understands and has the capacity to do 2% shareholder health and HSA contributions. Even if they say they understand, you'd still want to review with them what it looks like and make s...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?
Replies: 49
Views: 4357

Re: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?

If each chose a degree with similar earning potential, sure. However, if an accountant marries an elementary teacher, why wouldn't the accountant insist on a prenup? Because the accountant thinks that both spouses in the marriage are entitled to an equal share in the financial benefits of the marri...
by Miakis
Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of mice
Replies: 94
Views: 6420

Re: Getting rid of mice

We hired a pest control company to do a mouse exclusion and that ended our mouse problem. Out cats were useless. Despite their barn cat genetics, they have become spoiled and indolent. One cat did figure out how to open the live traps to let the mice out, because she thought it was way more entertai...
by Miakis
Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?
Replies: 49
Views: 4357

Re: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?

Proposing a prenup to your intended can often cause you to receive a frosty reception, but one needs to do what one feels is best. Who cares? This probably won't be the last time a matter comes up that receives a frosty reception from the spouse. Do people really think it's healthy to avoid having ...
by Miakis
Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal House as LLC
Replies: 10
Views: 1174

Re: Personal House as LLC

The situation in question, if done properly, is a self rental - which has zero benefit. A self rental looks like this: I pay $10,000 in rent I have $25,000 of personal house expenses The IRS lets me deduct $10,000 of those expenses against my rental "income", but disallows the rest. The en...
by Miakis
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 4944

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

The first class that I taught was in one of the "worst" public schools in the city. And I put that in quotation marks because we're not talking about an area with high crime or danger - just poorer, with lower grade scores, and a higher proportion of immigrants. Were the immigrants from S...
by Miakis
Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 4944

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

I used to think it didn't really matter, but then I volunteered to teach a brief financial program to Grade 5 students. It was a set program, so every class theoretically got the same content. Except that they didn't. The first class that I taught was in one of the "worst" public schools i...
by Miakis
Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2085

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

Interesting that Japan taxes worldwide income. I though that distinction belonged only to the US and Eritrea. The US and Eritrea have the distinction of taxing citizens on worldwide income even when they're non-residents. Everywhere else generally taxes worldwide income only when you're a resident....
by Miakis
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got an unexpected tax collections notice...
Replies: 24
Views: 4176

Re: Got an unexpected tax collections notice...

As a CPA, if one of my clients came to me with this problem, I would endeavor to contact the city tax department and ask them if they have a record of the city tax return from 2012, and ask for a record of any adjustments that were made to that return. Is the problem that they couldn't match your wi...
by Miakis
Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan
Replies: 25
Views: 2877

Re: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan

You can file a POA (Form 2848) with you as the representative. Remember to attach your lawyer's POA and mark the box to retain it so that you don't cancel it by submitting a new 2848. That will let you speak with the IRS on behalf of your mother so that if you want to get information from the IRS, y...
by Miakis
Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance without knowing income
Replies: 31
Views: 3107

Re: Health Insurance without knowing income

If I estimate our income at $40k and it turns out to be $90k, I will just have to pay back the subsidy we received when we file our 2017 tax return? No harm, no foul? It's even better than that. Take a look at Table 5 in Form 8962 instructions - if your income is under 400% of the poverty line, you...
by Miakis
Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch biz to LLC for tax purposes?
Replies: 44
Views: 1943

Re: Switch biz to LLC for tax purposes?

What you seem to be saying is that you'd like to time the release of income and not pay any income tax until it's released. The problem that you have is as follows: An S-Corp, disregarded entity, sole proprietor, and partnership all flow through to the individual's tax return in the year that the in...
by Miakis
Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?
Replies: 53
Views: 5304

Re: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?

I once had a boss that everyone was frustrated with. After a discussion about the survey, all of my coworkers seemed to agree that we should be honest in the survey. The survey was anonymous. I wrote detailed comments in mine. I did attempt constructive criticism. Shortly thereafter, my boss called ...
by Miakis
Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State tax situation if residing in WA and working remotely for MA-based employer
Replies: 9
Views: 1169

Re: State tax situation if residing in WA and working remotely for MA-based employer

State tax is based on where you are physically located when you perform the services. It can generally be calculated as a percentage or by number of days in each location. Does your employer have an HR or payroll department? You should talk to them about withholding and how you should report number ...
by Miakis
Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3959
Views: 1052616

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

I love this thread. Every time my husband is worried about the stock market, I say, "Let's go see if the Bogleheads have bumped the Freefall thread." And there it is. Calms him down every time.
by Miakis
Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to talk with a housekeeper?
Replies: 49
Views: 5792

Re: How to talk with a housekeeper?

A lady who comes to your house every other week is like ly not your household employee - she is an independent contractor, therefore, you don't have an employment tax requirement. Not sure about your broad statement that the housekeeper is not an "employee": m I didn't make a broad statem...