Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy Tax Time!

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas had a merry one! And those of you who celebrate other holidays at this time of year, I hope they were joyous and special.

We had a hectic but interesting holiday, since we drove eight hours on Christmas Eve day to visit my dad, then turned around and drove eight hours home on Christmas. But he would have been alone otherwise, so it was a good way to spend the holiday. Helped keep my mind off the fact that this was the first Christmas we've spent without our children (and grandchildren).

As we move forward into 2006, I know many of you will be thinking/worrying about doing your taxes. One thing that always bothers me is wondering if I've taken all the deductions I'm entitled to. The tax forms are so dang complicated! I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, but I'm never quite sure I'm doing it right.

Fortunately, there are experts out there who DO know how it's done. Julian Block is one such expert. And the best thing about his books are, they're written in easy-to-understand language for the layman. Here's the info on one you might want to pick up this tax season:

TAX TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Savvy Ways For Writers, Photographers, Artists And Other Freelancers To Trim Taxes To The Legal Minimum
“One of the best tax books, an excellent source of information. Julian Block writes in such a lively clear style that a reader might never guess that he is a tax lawyer.” --- New York Times
“One of the best personal-finance books…a handy general treatment of personal income taxes…clearly written and both wide and deep in its coverage.” --- Money
Most freelancers and other owners of small businesses lose more than necessary to the tax collectors. Individuals who have their own businesses can learn ways to make the continually changing tax laws work for them. And business owners can learn the steps they should take to reduce taxes for this year and even get a head start for future years. Tax Tips For Small Businesses is an indispensable reference that offers clear, concise, uncomplicated and immediately useful advice on how to sidestep pitfalls and take maximum advantage of frequently missed, perfectly legal opportunities that can save many thousands of dollars.
No other book for consumers is as detailed and helpful as Tax Tips For Small Businesses. In fact, publications for attorneys, accountants and financial planners are not as detailed.
Julian Block is a nationally recognized expert, syndicated columnist, former IRS special agent (criminal investigator) and attorney, and a member, and former officer, of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the preeminent organization of nonfiction writers. He has been praised by the New York Times as a "leading tax professional" and by the Wall Street Journal as "an accomplished writer on taxes."
Reading about taxes can be just about as unpleasant as paying them. Tax Tips For Small Businesses is a welcome exception. To order a copy, send $19.95 for a postpaid copy to J. Block, 3 Washington Sq., #1-G, Larchmont, NY 10538.


So, pick it up if you want to be sure you take every exemption you're entitled to.

And to all, a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Winter Time, Little Bear

When I was a kid, one of my favorite stories was about a little bear who didn't want to go hibernate. He wanted to play in the leaves, watch the bugs, roll around and have fun. His mother kept saying to him, "But it's winter time, Little Bear." That became a saying in our house...and now that I'm in New Hampshire, I think I'll be saying it a lot!

That said, I'm still waiting for the first real snow of the season. Well, the second...we did have a lovely snowfall on Thanksgiving, so it was a terrific white Thanksgiving day. And luckily enough, I was cooking all day and didn't have to drive in it. I like watching the snow, and walking in it, but NOT driving in it. I'm also looking forward to building a nice, cozy fire in our woodburning stove--as soon as my hubby cleans it out and checks the flue.

Winter, of course, also brings Christmas and other December holidays, and I am NEVER ready for them. This year is no exception. Well, Christmas will be skimpy anyway, since our house back in Kansas hasn't sold yet. (sigh) But I haven't even thought about cards, let alone the few presents I plan to purchase, or putting up the tree.

How about you? Are you one of those people who's so organized, your decorations are up the day after Thanksgiving, and you've bought all your Christmas presents, wrapped them, and addressed all the cards that same weekend? Or are you one of those like me who has great ambitions to be efficient *this* year, but somehow it never seems to happen?

Oh man, I have to get going on that shopping...baking those Christmas cookies...addressing those cards. My work is cut out for me.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!