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1.  Want to know if you made a good hire recently, and if your employees are committed to you for the long-term?  Offer your new employee $1,000 to leave after 30 days.  Interesting.  The company Zappos does it (and I’ve heard they are upping the anti soon, if not already) – GoSee

2.  How to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogging to boost your business (cool, I’m using all four at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and, of course, our Blog)  – GoSee

3.  Is Google Cuil?  Cuil is pronounced “cool” for those of you un-cuil people that didn’t know that, and it’s the latest search engine out there (created by a bunch of Google defectors).  They claim it’s bigger and better than Google and that it guards privacy better.  It’s definitely a prettier search engine than Google (it lays out searches in a more desirable format, I think), and has raised some $33 million in VC – GoSee

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

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Dr. Piggy

Dr. Piggy

Need to fund your HSA (Health Savings Account)?  It’s a good idea.  And now, the IRS lets you make a one-time contribution to begin this funding from your Regular IRA or your Roth IRA.

Normally, if you’re pulling dough out of your IRA, it’s because you “need” a Lexus, and you’ll get hit with a 10% penalty for that.  But pulling money out of your IRA to fund your HSA is S.W.A. (Some What Amazing) because you won’t get slapped with that yucky penalty.  Pretty cool.

When going through with this, keep these points in mind:

  1. It’s supposedly a one-time life transfer (but you might be able to get around this if you have an HSA when you were single earlier in the year, then get married and go get an HSA for the family toward the end of the year).
  2. You can’t transfer more than the law allows you to contribute to your HSA in any one year, which is $5,800 for families and $2,900 for the single folk.
  3. The amount you transfer comes out of the deductible contributions made to the IRA first, if it’s a deductible IRA.  That means the transfer is not going to lower the earned monies in the IRA, and that future payouts from your IRA will be tax-free.
  4. The transfers have to come from a Regular IRA or Roth IRA, nothing else.
  5. There are some examples of how this works at the end of the IRS’s wonderfully clear write-up on the matter here.

Make sure you tell your friends that “the pro-rata basis recovery rules under § 72, for purposes of determining the basis in any amount remaining in an IRA or Roth IRA following a qualified HSA funding distribution, the qualified HSA funding distribution is treated as included in gross income to the extent that such amount does not exceed the aggregate amount which would have been so included if there were a total distribution from the IRA or Roth IRA owner’s accounts.”  (I couldn’t make this stuff up).

Your so-called friends will beat you up, but you’ll sound smart.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that (i) any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) any such tax advice is written in connection with the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed; and (iii) if you are not the original addressee of this communication, you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

it’s only when the tide goes out that you find out who was really swimming naked

Warren Buffett

1.  You don’t have to talk to people you don’t want to talk to anymore.  Slydial let’s you bypass a “live” phone call and go directly to their voicemail.  Wow.  There are many applications for this (you can be a coward now and break up with your girlfriend without having to talk to her!).  Just call the Slydial number and the service will forward you to the voicemail of your choice.  Maybe you’ll find it makes you more efficient (as opposed to a coward) – GoSee

2.  There is an interesting summary of an old economic development strategy at one of my fav blogs.  It’s called Economic Gardening and the premise behind the strategy makes a lot of sense.  Basically, economic development should shift from going out and finding the big businesses and offering tons of tax-free incentives, to building the local small businesses in the community.  After all, as reported, small business creates 70 to 80% of all net new US private sector jobs in the US.  Makes sense to me (let me know what you think) – GoSee

3.  The Back-to-School Tax holidays are coming up for many states.  Here is a blog post with a chart that shows the states that offer the sales tax holidays, and what is exempt from the tax – GoSee

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

Uncle Sam's hat fell over - guess what's inside?
Uncle Sam’s hat fell over – guess what’s inside?

Our clients, and other non-nerdy people, often talk about their “income” being taxable.  They use “income” in a general sense.  Grass-cutting money, your whopping paycheck and the credit card debt you defaulted on last month are all considered income by the IRS.  A lot of people may mistakenly think you multiply your “income” by your tax rate.

However, us nerdy CPAs speak in terms of “taxable income.”  Income is everything you got paid or constructively earned (i.e., you might not have gotten it, but its gonna’ get taxed anyway because it’s considered income by the IRS).  And from this “income,” you deduct allowable deductions (itemized or standard) and your exemptions.  THEN, you multiply your tax rate by your “taxable income” to determine what you owe Sam (that’s kinda’ how it works).
So, remember, you may be talking about “income”, but your CPA (don’t have a CPA? – I know a good one) is probably talking about “taxable income,” which is totally different.
Now, go do stuff with all of those smarts you have – you owe it to America.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that (i) any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) any such tax advice is written in connection with the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed; and (iii) if you are not the original addressee of this communication, you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

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