Palm Sunday

PrinceofPeace

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass before Passover, it was to symbolize He was coming in peace and God’s people recognized who He was and rejoiced.  This marked the beginning of His Passion as Christ was obedient even unto death and knew what He was chosen to do.  Just like in modern times evil does not like sharing the spotlight, especially with God.  This angered the religious leaders of the day because in their hearts they knew exactly who He was.

Matthew 21:

7. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon.

8. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying “Hosanna to the son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”

10. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying “Who is this?”

11. And the multitude said “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”

 

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Daily Prompt: Failure to File and Possible Consequenses

April 15th is fast approaching and failure to file can be a serious issue.  If you are liable to file, you will need to do this sooner or later so no sense ever putting it off just because you are unable to pay your tax.  The main reasons why some fail to file is they think they are not liable or they are unable to pay the tax so they think the IRS will not notice them if they don’t send it in.

(I am trying to keep my tax posts shorter so they will be easier to understand, more to come!)

There has been online free filing available for the average middle or lower income brackets for many years now if you are a W-2 employee and under a specified dollar amount each year.  For the self employed or small business owner, you will need to find a trustworthy tax preparer if you are not able to file the return yourself.  There are some areas that will help you file if you are a senior or low income as well.

Those that don’t have the money to pay their tax and think they can go undetected need to know that the IRS receives the same 1099 and W-2 information that you receive from your employers each year.  Thanks to computers the IRS has a real good idea of who is liable to file so not having the taxes to pay because of insufficient withholding or non-payment of your self-employment or estimated tax during the year is no excuse.  Others just don’t want to pay and have some delusion that they can get away with it.  Some may think they are not liable, but actually are or the IRS thinks they are.

For the wage earner, W-2 employee, you can quickly figure out if you are liable by comparing your gross income less your deductions, exemptions and any other credits you are entitled to.  If the income is more than the total of your deductions, exemptions and credits, you may not be liable.  In other words you either would not be owing tax or you may actually be entitled to a refund.  The IRS will not file for you in the case of a missing return due a refund.  You would just risk never getting the refund for that year if you waited longer than the refund statute of limitations of three years.

Example, you failed to file for three or more years even though you were owed a refund each year.  If you finally decide to file one of the returns for the refund, the IRS will insist you become compliant, or up to date with all of them from the last 6 years before they will give you the refund for that one year just in case you end up owing for any of the other delinquent years.  Keep in mind that the IRS has no idea what your credits or deductions are, even exemptions because they can’t be sure how many people you are claiming and why for each year as well as what you are writing off.  Important!  Sometimes the IRS thinks you are liable to file and owe money when in fact if you filed with all your correct information, you would be due a refund.  Once you file all the returns, you will only be sent the last three years refunds even if you qualified for the last five missing years they finally received due to that statute of limitations on refunds.  Never let them keep your money because of laziness or lack of knowledge.

Important reason to know why you need to file timely even if you cannot pay your tax is that the IRS will penalize you for both non-filing and non-paying separately.  Failure to file as well as your failure to pay the tax timely.  If you file timely but don’t pay, you will be spared the failure to file penalty, but you will be paying the failure to pay penalty unless you can arrange something with them by perhaps making installment payments if you have no other way of securing the funds.  This is another reason not to fudge your W-4 at work.  You want to be sure they are withholding the correct amount so you do not end up with a tax deficiency by year end.

The IRS can and does file a substitute return, ASFR, for taxpayers that do not file and are liable to file and have taxes due.  Sometimes they don’t get around to doing this for years so don’t think you’re forgotten if they don’t send you anything for quite a while.  Once they do file for you, depending on how late it is, you will receive additional fines and penalties accordingly.

For help with Affordable Care Act questions when filing.

Anxiety and Shocking Medical Decisions

There are a lot of titles being thrown around lately regarding Angelina Jolie’s decision to continue having parts of her body surgically removed in attempt to prevent cancer.  Courageous and brave are not words that come to my mind. I feel bad that she has such anxiety about the same risks most of us face.  It is frightening when almost every family member that has passed on has done so from cancer.  You can’t help but worry and think every twinge or odd feeling is a sure sign that you have developed the same thing yourself and that’s not to say you haven’t.

I do not feel that Angelina is grounded in anything but fear and anxiety and I was shocked to hear her quoted as saying now that she has had both tubes and ovaries removed that her children will never say that “mom died from ovarian cancer” as her mother had done.  We can’t and shouldn’t remove every part of our body as a preemptive measure in the hopes of warding off our imminent demise.  Doing something like this could actually exacerbate the thing we wish to prevent by Doctor error, infection or cause you to have to take medication such as artificial hormones which are far worse on your body than if you had just left one of the ovaries in for the next 10 years or so.

I say this as someone who knows.

I am a person who is very private.  Not a great candidate for a blog.  I am always amazed at those unafraid to share their deepest fears and darkest secrets with anyone who will listen.  I have never been that person.  I was upset with my husband for sharing things I did not want mentioned.  I don’t know if I posted anything about my surgery before but I became ill in my mid-twenties and with the help of a skillful surgeon was able to raise both of my babies to adulthood.  My Doctor was apologetic because previous testing appeared to show I had fibroid tumors, but this turned out not to be the case.  I was told that they had left one tube and one ovary in because they were clean and she did not want me to have to take the artificial hormones for the twenty or more years I would need to be on them to prevent premature menopause.

I am very thankful for this decision because other than my six month biopsies which followed, I only needed one additional surgery on that ovary 10 years later and it continued to do its job until one day, around the age of fifty, it gave up and menopause hit me like a ton of bricks! I am concerned with the fact that Angelina, being a celebrity, will influence others to do things that may not really be in their best interest just because she did it.  I don’t believe that anyone should undergo any type of surgery or even invasive tests unless it is absolutely necessary.  They all carry risks that are needless if the tests and surgery are needless.

It’s one thing to wear a seatbelt, eat healthy and exercise and not engage in risky activities such as texting and driving, which is one of the most insane things anyone can do.  These are things we can all do to give ourselves a decent chance in life.  Just use common sense and go to the Doctor if you are experiencing any changes in your health that don’t appear normal.  If you do this right away you should catch most things in time.  Other than that, don’t worry, try to be happy in all things and you will stay healthier in your life.

God bless you all!

PetoskySunset

Is The IRS Messing With You?

Tax time is coming fast but most of you have hopefully already filed if you are liable to file.  I know those expecting refunds are usually the first to file every year.  I know I was.  The years I owed I waited until April 14th because I did not want to be one of those cramming the mailboxes with my return.  You want to keep your money as long as you can naturally.

Usually if you have your withholding or form W-4 filled out correctly with your employer, you will not owe at the end of the year and should get a small refund back depending on any credits and the amount of your deductions for the year.  Few are exempt from withholding.  You should never be getting a huge refund back or owe a lot unless there were extenuating circumstances for that tax year.  If the IRS finds that you are using them as a bank during the year by low-balling your exemptions thereby more money is being withheld during the year that will only need to be returned back to you next year.  The IRS does not like refunding for any reason unless they have to but you shouldn’t have any problems if it’s one or two exemptions lower or you file zero and you are single.  If you claim zero but have 5 people in your family and expect many thousands of dollars in a refund you may get a form letter in the mail asking you to make the proper adjustment to your W-4 at work.

If you are on the other end of the scale, and input a false number for your exemptions so you can take home most if not all of your withholding during the year and you end up owing, you better be able to pay it off entirely by April 15th or you could end up the many that the IRS will send a memo to your employer requesting maximum withholding for a specified period of time as your “punishment.”

Tax fraud is at an all time high and you must be vigilant to protect yourself.  There are phishing and downright scams going on all the time with people trying to prey on others.  Please click on HELP if you wish to get more information on these subjects and how to respond appropriately.

There are also those that file false returns under other people’s identity.  Click on HELP for information on how to resolve any type of tax identity fraud.

As long as you follow the basic rules of what the IRS expects from you, you shouldn’t have problems with them.  If you have a hard time following instructions or the law or are deliberately trying to pull something, then expect to hear from them and depending on what the issue is, they can come down on people very hard with penalties and interest that accrue like crazy!  If you ever find yourself with collection issues, please contact the IRS right away BUT….This is very important….NEVER CONTACT SOMEONE IF YOU THINK IT IS FRAUD!!  Just refer to the above help links with the IRS for procedures or you could risk a virus to your computer or worse.  If you are expecting to hear from the IRS about back tax or something else, then just verify the address and phone number with their website if you want to play it safe, and then call them.  They almost never send emails!

Don’t Mess With The IRS An Unauthorized Customer Service Guide to Resolving Your ACS Collection Issues” will be available on Amazon.com by April 15th!

Daily Prompt: Saint Patrick’s Day? Ha Ha Ha

shamrockAnother Saint Patrick’s Day has passed and since I don’t drink, no pesky hangover this morning.  I no longer own any green apparel.  The only green things I have, besides my houseplants,  are two items given to me many years ago.  One from a co-worker and one from a student of mine that I’ve combined and wear if I leave the house that one day a year, March 17th.  I hear rumors I am part Irish, but only know about my Scottish roots for sure.  I do not partake in celebrating this day myself.  I’m more a Christmas person as far as Christian holidays go.

To my recollection, Saint Patrick was a Catholic Saint that established the first Christian Church in Ireland.  There were several rumors as to his driving out of all the snakes in Ireland and of giving a sermon using the “three-leaf” shamrock to explain the holy trinity.  I think the snakes were eating too many of the shamrocks.  Not sure of the authenticity to either of these stories.

After Saint Patrick’s death in 461 BC they declared the day he died a Christian holiday in which the people’s were allowed to eat meat and drink during the Lenten holiday.  Hence all the binge drinking the entire day for some and the celebratory parades in honor of Saint Patrick.  When I was young I just took it for granted that people celebrated holidays in the manner of the person they were celebrating and hence this saint must have hit the sauce pretty hard in his day.  Not the case at all.

Where am I going with this post?  I am still trying to figure out how gay pride parades have anything to do with a Christian Saint.  But then what does binge drinking have to do with him as well?  It is a confusing world that will only become more so as people decide to do whatever they wish without regard for others.  This is why Jesus preached about the Golden Rule.  Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.  This is the only way our world will survive.  Doing God’s will.

Get out of lent free

Does this look funny to you?