Happy Thursday

Hey there!

It’s Thursday and that means the weekend is getting closer and so is the end of tax season.

I have been too busy to post updates more often but I definitely been doing my best to stick to my workouts (even if that means a 4am alarm clock)  Especially since it’s the main thing that keeps me sane during tax season.  You can check out my training calendar which I have kept updated with my workouts.

This morning I did two quick Yasso 800s with some jogging in-between since I was only able to fit in 6 of them on Tuesday and I needed 8 this week.  It was a great warm-up to spinning class.  Yay!  How I have missed spinning classes. 

(sorry not my class this morning, forgot to snap a picture)

Spinning is such a great workout a good way to give your joints a break from impact if you are a runner.  We have had some interesting wind and thunderstorm weather rolling in and since 2 full walls of the spin class studio are floor to ceiling windows it was also neat to watch the lightening.  A workout and a show to start the day.

Once I got to work, I made some oatmeal with 1/2 of a banana and filled up my big water bottle.  Need to hydrate after all the sweating in spin class. sweet potato oatmeal - USE

Due to the weather, I have back on the treadmill this week but hope to run outside on Saturday and Sunday.  Last Sunday I had my first long run outside in months.  It was tough!  I was fine for the first 10-12 miles then I seemed to hit the wall.  I think it was mainly due to my hydration and nutrition (and the wind – boo).  I was very used to my intake during my long runs on the treadmill and they were very easy to keep track of.  So I just need to listen to myself more when to fuel up, when to take water, when to take a quick walk break (since I’m doing them now on the TM) and also very importantly wear sunscreen.  The back of my neck, nose and forehead were fried.  Yikes!  It was the most beautiful day and I totally thought about putting on sunscreen but didn’t.  Live and learn!

I’m looking forward to Friday night, a movie and a huge bowl of popcorn to relax after this busy week.

Question of the day:

Any fun weekend plans you are looking forward too?

Thanks for reading!

Sheena

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Tax Tidbits Thursday 2/28

Hi there!

It’s Thursday and I woke up happy but felt rushed and behind, two of my biggest pet peeves.  I wanted to get up earlier for my 13 mile run today but somehow just kept hitting snooze.  Well I’m putting a stop to that tonight.  I’m going to try putting my phone (alarm) across the room so I have to get up.  I just can’t oversleep when I have things to do because unfortunately it makes me very crabby and I only have myself to blame.

But first things first……I should have made a countdown until March 15th because that is the corporate return deadline that is getting very close.  Yikes!  Still have a lot to do for that too.

Like I said, I wanted to run 13 miles this morning but due-to starting later than planned I got to 12 miles before I had to get ready for work.  Ran at an overall pace of 9:35 so slower than planned too but getting in the miles and at least staying close to marathon goal pace.12 miles - USEThat’s not bad at all since most people haven’t even had coffee by the time they get to work but for me, it was not my goal.  I am going to add a couple of miles to my run tomorrow (pyramid tempo) with a longer warm up.  So it’s okay :)

Sweet potato, banana and oatmeal for breakfast

oatmeal - USE

Salad and salmon for lunch Salad - USE

Yogurt and trail mix (not pictured) for a snack Yogurt - USE

Jimmy John’s “Unwich” a sandwich with lettuce instead of bread.  I love it!! Dinner - USE

Well that’s all I have for today, no major tax tips besides don’t forget to file!  Have a good night!

Thanks for reading!

Sheena

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Tax Tidbits Thursday 2/20

Hey there!

The all important countdown!

I received an email yesterday that really got my blood boiling.  This time of year is a very busy and stressful time for us tax accountants.  We work long hours, are up against lots of deadlines and everyone wants their stuff done yesterday…..piles of work - USE

I’m not complaining just stating some facts.  So don’t mess me until April 15th, got it!! Just kidding, well sorta, not really so let’s just say you have been warned.

The comment I received yesterday that really bothered me was “what that’s all I’m getting back for a refund?!?!?! I should have gone to H & R Block because they promise to help you get your billion dollars back!”  Now as a CPA those commercials drive me crazy.  I have nothing against the company just their advertisements are misleading.  Yes, people who file their tax return can miss certain credits or deductions that are out there but you are capable of filing your own return AND you do have to pay taxes!  Trust me you will not get everything withheld from your W-2 back!  So stop believing those commercials. death and taxes - USE

You should know some basics so that you are not just blindly signing your return (if you do have someone else prepare it) or preparing it incorrectly yourself.  This brings me to the IRS website.  It has a ton of information if you decide to file your own return or just want to have a better understanding of taxes in a pretty easy format.  Trust me I didn’t give you links to hundreds of pages of tax code.

I have listed several great links below including an app for checking on your refund status.  I prepare returns for a living and I didn’t even know about the app until today while doing some research and apparently it’s version 4.0.  Wow do I feel behind the times.  Anyways, check out these resources

PS. The app is pretty cool! Check it out.

I have survived them before, I can survive this one!

survivor - USE

Questions of the Day:

Do you e-file your return?

Do you wait until the last minute to file?

Thanks for reading!

Sheena

 

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Tax Tidbits Thursday 2/13

Wow it’s Tax Tidbits Thursday already!  Let’s start off with the important part.  The countdown until tax season is over!

It’s so far away and I’m already working around 12 hour days.  I can make it, I can make it!  After all this is my 7th tax season!  The first few weeks are always hard transitioning to the longer hours but I’m getting better.  Before I get to my tax tidbits…..

Yesterday morning I ran sprints, only could squeeze in 18 minutes (not 20 minutes) since I was a little late getting to the gym.  Luckily I stopped on the treadmill when I did because body pump class started very promptly at 5:30am which is unusual but fine with me.

Work was a long one but very productive so I am feeling good about staying caught up with my work.  That is not usually the case when it comes to tax season at all but I will enjoy it will I can!

After I got home, we watched Nashville, it was a rerun but I hadn’t seen it yet.  The show sure sucked me in.  I really want to go to Nashville too since I love country music and it’s only a 6 hour drive from where I live.  Speaking of, they have a Rock n’ Roll Marathon that I would love to do.  I am definitely keeping it on my radar!  There are a couple other races that I am looking at too.  It’s seems like that weekend has so many great choices it’s hard to choose.

This morning was a little weird, I think I was stressing a bit about oversleeping and not having enough time for my 13 mile run so I had some crazy dreams.  I woke up at 12:45am and jumped out of bed thinking I missed my alarm and the dogs followed me out of bed.  Now usually if I get up in the middle of the night for water or something they don’t stir at all so I “knew” I was already late.  I started to get my running clothes on, then double checked the clock to see just how “late” I was.  Only to see that it wasn’t even 1am!  What a relief!  Back to bed for me and I wasn’t late for my run either.  Silly dogs, if they would have stayed in bed I’m pretty sure I would have realized the actual time sooner.  Better early then late is my motto though. Ha!

Once my alarm did go off, I was tired and this time had a hard time getting up.  So glad I got everything ready last night.

Supplies and entertainment since there isn’t much on TV at 4:45am.  TomTom, Orange Accelerade, dates, iPad and headphones.Running supplies - USE

Pre-run breakfast, english muffin, peanut butter, 1/2 banana and coffee.  Got to fuel up!  Pre-run fuel - USE

Ran 13 miles in 2 hours 4 minutes for an overall pace of 9:32.  13 Miles - USEMy goal was a 9:09 pace per my running calendar.  I really hoped to be closer to my goal although I believe my problem was worrying about my time frame (for getting to work) so I didn’t have much of a warm up and ran much slower in the beginning.  Must start earlier next week!

When I got home, I thought Steve was still home in bed so I told the dogs to go find “daddy.”  He had already left for the day and they knew it…..Dogs looking for daddy - USEAfter I got to work I drank more water than made a mid-morning snack because my stomach was growling after that run.  So I grabbed some more coffee and whipped up some of my sweet potato and banana “oatmeal.”  I also had a yogurt a little bit later.  Mid morning snack - USELunch was a salad and some leftover chicken noodle soup (forgot to take a picture).  Another busy day at work and it sure flew by.  Yay that means tomorrow is Friday!  Before I say good night though, I can’t forget about my tax tidbit.  I have been trying to think of a tip that is useful and relatable to most people which has me stumped because all I have been working on is large corporate returns this past week.

Then I got to thinking about something that everyone should be thinking about in some way, shape or form and that is saving.  I’m sure many of you have a 401k plan or something similar through your work and you should be putting the most you can every paycheck or at minimum contributing the max that your employer will match.  There are many options beyond the 401k though and most save you from paying more taxes.  The two I would like to discuss today is the Traditional and Roth IRAs.

1) Traditional IRA – Contributions are tax deductible on both federal and state returns for the year you the make the contribution.  The withdrawals are taxed at ordinary income rates in retirement.  You have until April 15, 2014 to make a deductible contribution towards your 2013 tax year so there is still time to contribute and save!

2) Roth IRA – Contributions do not provide any immediate benefit but earnings and withdrawals are usually tax-free.

The overall concept is that with Traditional IRAs you avoid taxes when you put the money in and with Roth IRAs you avoid taxes when you take it out in retirement.  Both have great benefits and with some planning either can save you money, now or later depending on your goals and needs.  There are limits on what you can contribute to both of types of IRAs depending on income so make sure you check on those.

Lastly, I did want to mention the Saver’s Credit which can be up to 50%, 20% or 10% of your retirement plan or IRA contributions up to $2,000 ($4,000 if married filing jointly).  There are income limits so make sure to refer to the link but it’s another great option!

I hope these tips have been helpful and have inspired you to save more and use some of these options to save on taxes and save for your retirement!  No wants to be working when we are older because we all would much rather be on a beach somewhere…. retirement - USE

 

 

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