Friday, February 3, 2017

6 Tips for Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

While taxpayers are allowed to represent themselves before the IRS, many discover that dealing with the IRS can be frustrating, time-consuming, intimidating or all of the above. Often, they will make the decision to hire professional tax help (specialized tax attorney, tax resolution firm, etc.) to negotiate with the IRS on their behalf.

An experienced tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) who specializes in providing tax relief to individuals and businesses can help resolve tax problems at both the state and federal level. Before you hire a tax resolution professional, check out these top tips for choosing a good tax relief expert to help you resolve your IRS problems.

Understand the cost of going solo. There are many advantages to hiring an income tax attorney or CTRS, but the greatest advantage is peace of mind and knowing that you are not taking unnecessary risks with your personal and financial freedom. Going in front of the IRS without a tax attorney is like defending yourself in a murder trial. You’ll get creamed.

To paraphrase the wise old saying, “He who acts as his own tax attorney has a fool for a client.” Even if you can’t afford to pay your back taxes or have years of delinquent returns, a tax professional can help you settle your IRS debt by increasing your chances of resolving your back taxes and helping you qualify for a settlement where you only pay back only a fraction of what you owe.

Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish. Even when you know you need a tax attorney, it can still be a difficult decision to make when faced with their fees. However, know that not getting professional tax help can be even more costly. You need to leverage the specialized knowledge that only an expert tax resolution professional can provide. In many instances, retaining professional services will often result in more affordable IRS payment plans and lesser tax penalties.

However, when you owe back taxes and you need a tax attorney’s help to get the tax relief you want, the issue at stake is more than just what is on your balance sheet. Issues with back taxes and other IRS problems can be both financially and personally crippling ‘” so you will want to resolve them swiftly and permanently.

Understand your tax settlement options. Your tax attorney or CTRS should help you understand the process for resolving tax debt so that you have realistic expectations for solving your specific issue. Because the IRS has very strict guidelines governing eligibility for tax settlement, your tax relief professional needs to let you know up front what options are viable for resolving your specific IRS problems.

Know that every tax relief case is different. To get the tax relief you need, you will need personalized attention rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to tax resolutions. Beyond being able to leverage the specialized knowledge only an income tax attorney or CTRS can provide, you will want to choose a firm with extensive experience and an exceptional track record for success to help ensure your unique case is in good hands.

Look for a firm that offers transparency. It’s unfortunate that there are some firms out there that will “lowball” their initial fees ‘” without letting taxpayers know about additional fees that may be involved further down the road. This is a popular tactic that is used to secure a client. They start the process by quoting entry-level fees – intentionally leaving out the fact that the Offer in Compromise process can take up to 6-7 months.

Because a high percentage of offers are rejected by the IRS, these cases often have to go to the appellate level ‘” at which point these firms will then turn around and hit the client with additional appellate representation fees. You will want to choose a firm that will help you understand exactly what’s involved with achieving a settlement for your specific IRS problem.

A tax attorney will keep you out of future IRS trouble. Hiring professional tax resolution services can not only help you resolve IRS problems from the past, but it can also help you achieve permanent tax relief, making sure you don’t run into problems in the future.

Hiring a good CTRS or tax attorney can help significantly increase your chances of securing offer in compromise settlements, IRS payment plans, penalty abatement, innocent spouse relief, release of liens or levies, non-filer issues and many other tax settlements.

Labels: 6 Tips for Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

5 Reasons Why You Will Enjoy a Bed and Breakfast

Taking a weekend trip here are five top reasons why you will enjoy a bed and breakfast. When visiting a city for a while, accommodations are one of the first things on the schedule of things to do. Wonderful home cooked food is a major reason for staying at a bed and breakfast. Delicious meals cooked by the owners who are usually themselves excellent cooks, afternoon beverages on the patio while you are treated to delicious baked goods.

The comfort of the establishment is unsurpassed by the most luxurious hotels. If you ever want to know what being royalty feels like, you must spend a few days at a bed and breakfast. Drive through picturesque landscapes you would usually miss going to a hotel on the Boulevard and get to spend time in a neighbour hood with the people of the vicinity if you choose. The scenery is beautiful. Most vacations you pack up and go looking for scenery but with a bed and breakfast in certain areas such as in Exmoor, just sit in your room which generally has open doors to a patio with a beautiful garden or some other spectacular view is practically guaranteed.

The care given to the bedding amenities in the room and the little extras like waiting for you to get there if you are a little late or lost. The one on one relationship with people who care about their surrounding and they are welcoming you there. Money is not the only factor; some hotels get paid and do a lot less.

Five top reasons you will enjoy a bed and breakfast, beautiful fireplaces, large televisions and soothing showers. Some are equipped with a Jacuzzi. The quiet offered by staying at a Bed and Breakfast is difficult to match; they are located in some of the loveliest places. When you start your vacation planning give this type of accommodation serious consideration before moving on to the larger and much busier hotel chains.

The rooms at bed and breakfast Exmoor are decorated quite beautifully and with a personal care not found in a chain establishment. They are by far some of the best properties in the world to stay in no matter where you travel. A home away from home you might call them. There are listings for bed and breakfast in every community around the world online. Many people who travel all of the time love the personal accommodations they get at bed and breakfast Exmoor.

Labels: 5 Reasons Why You Will Enjoy a Bed and Breakfast

25 Ways to Say I Love You

After 10 years of marriage you run out of ways to say I Love You. But just because you have told your special someone those three special words what seems like hundreds or thousands of times, it never gets old. And you can never say it too much! Everyone wants to know they are loved, so spread the love in these typical, fun and unique ways!

1. Say It. Whisper it in their ear. Shout it from the rooftops!

2. Leave Post-Its throughout the house or in the car

3. Write it on the mirror with lipstick or eye liner

4. Buy cards for no reason other than to say I Love You.

5. Send balloons to their workplace.

6. Pick them flowers.

7. Make them a present with found objects for a meaningful way to say I Love You.

8. Post it on Facebook and show you aren’t ashamed to say it!

9. Remember their Birthdays. Remember their parents’ birthdays.

10. Offer to help when no help is warranted.

11. Hug often.

12. Do things around the house you hate so they don’t have to.

13. Write them a love poem. Even a bad one!

14. Put their picture on your desktop. It’s the little things.

15. Take out the trash.

16. Never go to bed, hang up the phone, or leave the house without saying I Love You.

17. Arrange a surprise day off with their boss and take them to all their favorite places.

18. Let them pick what movie to see.

19. Show interest in their interests.

20. Invite them with you when you hang out with your friends.

21. Get to know their friends.

22. Make an extra effort to do something before they ask (especially for you married folks!)

23. Tell their Mom she did a wonderful job raising them.

24. Call. Text. Email. Let them know you’re thinking about them when they aren’t around!

25. Show It. Saying I Love You isn’t the only way to express it. There are so many little ways to show how much you care.

Labels: 25 Ways to Say I Love You

8 Tips to Master an Awkward Conversation with Your Teen

So, you’re a parent, and if this is your first kid, you probably feel like the glory days are over with. Now for all you know there’s this human being, which you think was once your son or daughter that wouldn’t leave your side, living in some area of your house, eating your food, and losing a battle with a little gremlin called puberty.

And now they have questions. Adult questions, if you would believe it. No more which Power Ranger is better than the other, or if Elmo is the appropriate birthday gift compared to the Cookie Monster. Nope, now they’re thinking about stuff maybe even you think about. Sex, drugs, alcohol, pornography, it all crosses the mind of most every teenager in this world. Whether they fall into the temptation is up to them, but the responsibility is very much yours as a parent to make sure they do the right thing.

So, here’s where the hard parts in. The talk. One of the most dreaded parent-child meetings in creation. But, the argument can be made that a child simply isn’t best equipped to battle certain temptations without a proper foundation. It’s time for you to take a stand, and build that foundation for them. Here are eight surefire ways to make it happen.

1. Be prepared.

Don’t walk into the room with your child blindly. Just like you wouldn’t want to walk into a job interview without anticipating the questions that are going to be asked, you don’t want to walk into a room with your kid and not have any clever ideas about the reasons to avoid pornography, sex, etc..

2. Treat them like a peer.

You know, the way you talk with your friends. More specifically, the way you talked to your friends in high school or college. Don’t overdo it, though. Please, do not try to use the “hip” generation’s lingo. Stay within your normal vocabulary, but keep in mind that your kid isn’t six anymore. They’re maturing into adults. And, while it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever grow up from where they are right now, they will. The best way for that is to talk to them as if they were an adult, starting now.

3. Try to relate.

Try to remember at least one story about your childhood that you can relate very specifically to what your child is going through at that particular time. Don’t speak in parables. If you start trying to relate your kid’s racing hormone levels to a farmer in a field, your teen will immediately crop you and what you have to say out of their mind.

4. Look them in the eyes, and make them look back.

You’ve heard a million times in your life, I’m sure, that looking someone in the eyes while you speak to them is a sign of respect. What you want to do here is show that you respect your child, and what you have to say to them is of the utmost importance. However, in this case, make sure you don’t let their eyes wonder off to a wall too often. You want their attention on you. As long as their eyes are focused on your pupils, there is a great chance they’re clued in on your every word. Once their eyes wonder off in the distance, they may lose their focus, and their hormones may take them in the direction you’re trying to talk them out of at that very moment. Besides, many people experience an easier time speaking on tough subjects when mutual respect is given. So, while you’re trying to muster the courage inside to speak to your kid about this sensitive issue, demand their respect, and I bet you’ll find things coming a little easier.

5. Don’t be around the bush.

Teens generally don’t like it when they notice an issue being danced around. Don’t be afraid to hurt their feelings momentarily. When you know what you want to say, which you should have down pat after you’ve prepared, make sure you say it. Cut to the chase, in other words. Don’t take a shot at having them on the edge of their seat, because trust me, the one thing on their mind while you’re spending the whole night tip-toeing around what you’re really trying to say is when the conversation is going to end.

6. Don’t be the best friend, but don’t be the preacher.

Sure, tell them you’ll be there for them whenever they have problems. But don’t tell them that they absolutely can’t ever get into any trouble, otherwise you’ll disown them. Do not even hint at that. They have nothing to be made feel guilty about. Every teen goes through puberty, and every teen is experiencing the same thoughts they are. They’re going to make mistakes. That’s not to say you tell them that no matter what they do, you’re still going to give them their allowance. That’s called being an enabler. On the contrary, let them know there will be a consequence, but that it won’t last forever.

7. Give them a reason.
Just like we evaluate risk-reward situations, in the long run your teen is going to evaluate whether they fall to a particular temptation based on a type of risk-reward system. Their choice to have sex may be altered if they know they may lose something near and dear in their life. And no, this doesn’t mean that you threaten them with taking away their cell phone for a year. Take away something they don’t have. Give them something to work for by promising them some sort of gift or reward in the future, as long as they remain honest with you. You may be thinking “Oh, so what you’re saying is to give my kid a cookie when they don’t have sex.” No. Your kid may mess up along the way, and that sadly is almost expected of them. Once they know how worried they would be if you found out about their slip-up, they may not be so inclined to slip-up in the first place. Be creative with the “reward”.

8. Ask questions.

As an extension of showing your respect for your child, be interested in what they’re thinking. Demand their interaction in the conversation. Do not relegate them to being an audience. Make sure they’re talking too. Not just a simple “Yes ma’am” or “Yes sir”, but full sentences, with a paragraph thrown in here and there. This will be very uncomfortable for most teens, but that can be a good thing. Once their uncomfortable, you have their attention, and they’re ready to fix that uncomfortable feeling. That’s what you’re there for.

These eight guidelines are strictly that, guidelines. They can be followed by the book, or you can follow a number of them but not the other. However, you can feel a great deal more confident on talking to your teen or tween about sex, drugs, pornography, or what have you, as long as you remember this one bit of advice: mutual respect, and mutual participation in the conversation. After all, a conversation is only a lecture if only one of you is talking.

Labels: 8 Tips to Master an Awkward Conversation with Your Teen

A Blueprint for a Disaster Backup Recovery Plan for Your Computer Systems

Most businesses depend on their computer systems to process and generate their business information and the data involved is usually essential to keep the businesses running. In most cases especially in the medical fields and banking the information that their computer systems process and generate are highly critical. Disasters can occur from any number of sources. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, power outages, and fires and floods whether accidental or sabotage can occur. Another threat to a computer system that many overlook is the computer virus. A Disaster Backup plan is needed to recover from all of these actions if they ever occur.

A Disaster Backup Recovery Plan is a plan to restore critical systems back to their original state before a disaster struck in a quick and efficient manner. There are several conditions or steps in the preparation of the Disaster backup Recovery plan

The first step is planning and research to find out what will you need and what personnel will you need in a disaster. Planning on what equipment you will need to restore the systems and what personnel will help in this important task. Create a checklist of all servers and PCs and the specifications to run the systems and applications. This will come in handy when you have to create a mirror backup site for restoring the systems.

The next steps are to find out what are the critical functions of your computer systems and to find out how to get your systems backed up. You will also need to have a backup storage facility which should be as far away as possible from your current location. This is where you will probably restore your systems back from your backups. Once you know what are the critical systems of your business you will need to back up your data and get the latest backups to your storage building. At this building you should have everything to bring your critical systems up and running.

The next steps are training the personnel to use the backup plan and for the testing of the Disaster Backup Recovery Plan. You will need to run a mock disaster to test the plan. You use the personnel who can restore the backups for your systems and applications and get the systems online. There is a need for a list of all personnel that will be included in this plan and this includes their addresses, all phone numbers and pager numbers. The personnel list is critical for the communications lines to be open when a disaster occurs.

The last step is to maintain the Disaster backup Recovery plan by keeping it updated and fully tested each year. Some businesses do this every six months. This is the general blueprint of a Disaster Backup Recovery Plan in which a business can recover its systems and applications within a period of 24 to 48 hours.

Labels: A Blueprint for a Disaster Backup Recovery Plan for Your Computer Systems

5 Home Remedies for Sunburn Treatment

I’m spending a few days on the Gulf, where the sugar-white sands work with the sun to create a scorching combination for unprotected skin. Sunburn occurs more quickly than some vacationers realize. When we go out at night so many beat red faces stare back at us. Adults and children walk gingerly to try and protect their tender sunburned skin, as they scour the aisles of stores looking for the best remedy.

I was surprised to discover that sometimes what I have considered a good sunburn treatment isn’t good for the sunburn or my skin at all. I set out to find home remedies for sunburn treatment.

I hope you use plenty of sunscreen and don’t have to resort to using any of these home remedies for sunburn treatment, but if you do they should help ease the pain.

Home remedies for sunburn treatment: cool your skin
First and most obviously, stay out of the sun. It is important to cool the skin. This can be done by soaking in a cool bath or covering sunburned skin with a wet, cold. Don’t take an ice cold bath, and it is best to use tepid water on children to keep them from becoming chilled.

Baking soda, added to a cool or tepid bath water, is said to further promote sunburn relief.

Do not use bath salts, oils, or perfumes that may further aggravate your sunburn. Do not shave or scrub your skin either. It is counterproductive to your efforts at sunburn relief.

Home remedies for sunburn treatment: Gentle home remedy mix
Sunburn relief may require more than just cool water. Wet a compress using equal parts water and milk. This is a good mixture for pain relief and sunburn treatment.

A cool oatmeal bath or oatmeal compress is soothing to sunburned skin.

Chamomile may provide sunburn relief from a soaked compress or in a cool bath.

Home remedies for sunburn treatment: Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is the most widely recognized sunburn treatment. Aloe is a natural soothing, anti-inflammatory. When I was young, aloe was not readily available in so many over-the-counter lotions and gels.

The very best sunburn treatment is to break open the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant and spread the jelly-like substance directly on your skin. It is completely safe to use Aloe Vera gel directly from the plant for sunburn relief.

If you don’t have an Aloe Vera plant try an over-the-counter lotion which contains Aloe Vera.

Home remedies for sunburn treatment: Hydrate your body
Sunburn is often accompanied by fever or headache. Often, these are signs of dehydration. The best prevention is to stay hydrated throughout the day in the sun. Drink plenty of fluids when you suffer from sunburn to combat dehydration. This is extremely important, as dehydration can lead to a host of more complex physical problems.

Compliment your home remedy for sunburn relief
Sometimes sunburn is so painful that it may be necessary to supplement sunburn treatment with mild over-the-counter medications.

Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen help alleviate sunburn pain. Do not give aspirin to children.

A mild over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can promote sunburn pain and swelling relief.

“Sunburn First Aid,” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
“Sunburn Home Treatment,” Webmd
“Sunburn Treatment, Self Care at Home,” emedicinehealth: Practical Guide to Health

Labels: 5 Home Remedies for Sunburn Treatment

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