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Sandy Botkin

Sandy’s “Puppy” Thoughts

For my thought for the week, I wanted to post one of my favorite stories. I will let you form your own moral since I believe there are many lessons that can be gleaned from this story: A shop owner placed a sign above his door that said: ‘Puppies For Sale.’ Signs like this always...Read More

Scammers Don’t Take Summer Vacations

Summertime may be approaching, and you will probably take a vacation. Sadly, scammers don’t take vacations. In fact, they work even harder in the summer as IRS has now issued a new warning about a new scam: As taxpayers become more aware of scams, the bad guys are switching gears, too. Many taxpayers are aware...Read More

News You Can Use

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has warned taxpayers to beware of phony emails claiming to be from the “IRS.” The IRS says scam artists are sending emails to random people, telling them they are due for a refund or under investigation. The message directs people to a fake web site that asks for personal data....Read More

There Is No Free Meal

“Sandy, I received an invitation for a free meal at an investment seminar. Is this taxable, if I go with my wife?” Answer: No, it isn’t taxable. As a recipient of the meal, you don’t owe any income tax on this benefit no matter how lavish the meal. HOWEVER, there is no such thing as...Read More

Sandy’s “Now” Thoughts

My mom and dad never traveled outside the US until they retired. They always believed that they had a lot of work to do and couldn’t get away. Their attitude was that they could see the world later in life. Sadly, after taking only one short trip, my mom died of cancer and never traveled...Read More

No Good Deed Goes Untaxed: Part Two

In Part One, I noted that you can deduct out of pocket expenses for charitable activities. I included some of these expenses, but here is a continuation of more items that can be overlooked but are deductible: Home Entertainment If you host a fund raiser or board meeting, you can deduct the entire cost of...Read More

Sandy’s “Black & White” Thoughts

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter. He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the...Read More

No Good Deed Goes Untaxed: Part One

I will be posting a two part series on receiving a charitable deduction for “good deeds.” The problem is that you can’t deduct the cost of your time and effort that you spend on behalf of a charity; however, this doesn’t mean that your good deeds go for naught. Key: Track your out of pocket...Read More