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The IRS is so lovely.  In what other county can you get “free money” from the government to spend any way you want?  Oh, I feel a song coming on…

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least the cash is free,

and I won’t forget what the government did so I can spend more funds on me,

and I proudly stand up and wave to you the receipt of my new TV,

I’m proud to be an American and stimulatin’ the economy!”

Sorry – I got a little patriotic there.  Anyway, I wanted to assist some of our readers about some of the basics of the IRS stimulus payment.  It’s going out soon, so you’ll want to run to your mailbox every day to see when it arrives.

1  If you checked the “direct deposit” box for the refund from your 2007 tax return (even if you weren’t due a refund), then your stimulus check will be deposited in to the same bank and account you listed then.

2  To get the payment, you have to have earned income of at least $3,000 (basically, there is a little more to it than that) OR at least some kind of tax liability, a valid SSN# and you can’t be claimed by someone else on their 2007 return.

3  If you have NO tax liability but still have some kind of earned income (again, of at least $3,000), then you’ll only get the BASIC payment, which is $300 for a single person and $600 for a married filing joint couple.  On top of this, they’ll add $300 per qualifying child that you are including on your return (but the kiddo must be under 17 years of age as of 12/31/07).

4  You have to have filed your 2007 return already in order to get your payment this early.  And if you extended your return to October 15th, then the IRS still estimates that you’ll get the stimulus payment before the end of the year.  The sooner you file the quicker you’ll get your big screen TV, I mean, stimulus payment.

5  If you don’t file a 2007 return (because you don’t have to), then you won’t get the check.  File the return, get the check.  No return, no check.

6  If you are single and your income is higher than $75k a year, then your stimulus payment will begin phasing out.  If you are filing married filing joint for 2007, then your stimulus payment begins to phase out at $150k.  The stimulus payment is phased out starting with 5% of everything over the threshold income amount.

7  Wondering if you get the stimulus payment?  Ask the all-seeing all-knowing Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator to see.  You’ll need your 2007 tax return in front of you to go through this exercise.

8  This stimulus payment won’t increase or lower your taxes or refund when you file your 2008 tax return.  The stimulus payment is simply a “pre-payment” on the refund you will be due when you file your 2008 taxes.  Those who don’t get it now will get it when they file their 2008 tax returns (as long as you are eligible for 2008).

9  If you already owe the IRS some money, then you probably won’t be getting your stimulus payment.

10  The payments are being processed according to the last two digits of your SSN#.  Check out the schedule from the IRS: 

 

Direct Deposit Payments

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your economic stimulus payment deposit should be transmitted to your bank account by:
00 – 20 May 2
21 – 75 May 9
76 – 99 May 16

Paper Check

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your check should be in the mail by:
00 – 09 May 16
10 – 18 May 23
19 – 25 May 30
26 – 38 June 6
39 – 51 June 13
52 – 63 June 20
64 – 75 June 27
76 – 87 July 4
88 – 99 July 11

Enjoy your new big screen TV.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer, CPA

Marketing is being discussed more and more these days.  My business clients, articles in the newspaper and the economy leads us to talk about how to market more effectively.

And future trends seem to be leading the way to niche marketing as a way to thrive (not survive).  Proper niche marketing allows for focused service, focused price-setting and a focused way of measuring your marketing results.

Check this quote out from Melanie Lindner in a recent Forbes writeup:  

Rather than trying to capture 1% to 2% of a giant global market, startups should aim to capture 25% to 40% of a niche market, advises John De Puy, chief executive of Oaktree Ventures, a San Diego-based venture capital firm. “Define and dominate,” he says. “That’s the secret sauce.”

It’s hard to win when “everyone” is your client.  How can you reach them all?  Which person will give you your next sell?  How do you know when you are best spending your advertising dollars?  It’s hard to know when you lose sight of your niche.

Check this quote out from marketing expert John Jantsch in a recent post on his site:

If you can become known by a very narrow target market for doing something very specifically unique in a way that your customers adore, you will no longer compete on price and no longer live at the mercies of the ups and downs beyond your control.

Why the change to niche marketing?  Because the world of business is changing.  Due to technology and the means by which we all do business, our world has become bigger.  That is, your customer base has become bigger.  You can do work, or become an expert, or consult with someone from anywhere in the world now. 

That allows you to narrow your focus, in an extreme way.  That allows you to focus on your best work, and make offerings to a smaller group of customers… located all over the world.

Try it.  Narrow your focus.  Become excellent at what you do.  Now charge people for it.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

Tax season officially ended this past Tuesday, and I have been out of commission since the beginning of January.

We have been busy…

1  doing a lot of business tax returns

2  doing a lot of individual tax returns

3  starting a management consulting engagement in Atlanta

4  assisting with an internationally-related internal embezzlement case

5  wrapping up another “two-partners-fighting” fraud case

6  hiring and firing three or four new people in our firm (and training)

We’ve definitely been busy, and I’m enjoying a break now (we are taking a few days off after tax season) with my family.  I’ve missed them.

Here is what’s coming up…

1  our Thriveal Business Success Series classes start in late May (brochures are coming out in the mail soon – email me at thriveal@gmail.com to receive one),

2  we are going to be focusing on our marketing campaigns a little more with our PR firm, and hiring a marketing intern for the summer,

3  we received a big box of books from John L. Herman “Herman” (entrepreneurial guru of hermanisms.com) and will be hopefully doing a blog interview post with Herman soon, and giving away some of his awesome books in a contest (stay tuned!) 

That’s about it (and that’s plenty).  I’m tired and I need a break.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

Just Tweeted by @JasonBlumer…

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