Tips For Hiring A Tax Consultant

If you intend on hiring a tax consultant to assist with your returns this year, the IRS offers some advice to consider when selecting one. The right one can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong one or trying your hand with an unfamiliar online software program will not only waste your time and money, but result in the need to hire another professional, missed deductions, and valuable tax advice. If yours is simple in nature, you may consider skipping over the $200 per hour CPA and opting for a person who is lesser in demand. However, if you have a complex return involving multiple judgment calls and those tricky gray areas, hiring a professional is a smart idea. But, how do you know who is the best person for this job? Here is some advice when shopping around:


Most importantly, the IRS urges taxpayers to strictly use tax consultants who actually sign each return they prepare and who enter their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs). New regulations require all paid tax preparers to have a PTIN. Furthermore, you should find out if he/she has any affiliation with professional organizations and attends continuing education courses. In the near future, the IRS will make it a requirement for those preparers who are not a CPA, enrolled agent, or attorney to take a test in order to become a Registered Tax Return Preparer.


It is always a good idea to check the person’s history with the Better Business Bureau to ensure no disciplinary actions or licensing revocations have ever occurred. Additionally, you can check with the state bar for attorneys, as well as the IRS Office of Enrollment for enrolled agents.

Service Fees

If the person you select bases his or her fees on a percentage of your refund, it is probably best you search for someone else. It should also be understood that you ensure that all of your refunds will be deposited to your account and in your name.

IRS e-file

Over one billion individual tax returns have been securely processed since the introduction of electronic filing in 1990. Unless you opt for a paper copy, all paid preparers filing for over 10 customers are required to do so electronically.

Records & Receipts Request

Any reliable professional will request all backup information and ask you numerous questions to properly determine your deductions. You should also have full accessibility to the person you hire during and even after you have filed in the event any questions or concerns arise.

Lastly, it should be common knowledge that you should never sign a blank form. And before signing a completed one, ensure you understand everything on the form. Review it, ask questions, and confirm the accuracy of the data before signing the dotted line. One would assume that filing each year is very black and white, but a tax consultant proves to be worthy by having knowledge of the gray areas. Based on experience and education, they know best how to interpret IRS rulings.

Tips for Homeschoolers – Take a Break

Taking a break can be very important to a successful homeschool. I do not mean that you need to take a lengthy summer or Christmas break several times a year and I don’t mean that schooling year-round is bad. I mean, that you need to recognize when your kids, and YOU, need a break.

There are many ways to take a break so you can recharge and be ready to get back into the swing of things and your normal schedule.

  • Have an UNSCHOOL DAY – If you are a traditional homeschooler, and not an unschooler, you may wish to have an UNSCHOOl day to break from the norm. Tell your kids that you they can pick anything they want to work on and learn about today. See where the day takes you. (Don’t worry, one day won’t kill the schedule!) If you are an unschooler, maybe plan the day for the kids with worksheets and reading lists and see what happens.
  • Take an unplanned fieldtrip – Feeling like no one wants school today? Take an unplanned fieldtrip to a park, museum, library, even the shopping mall. Decide to walk around, talk about whatever you want to talk about, stop and relax (and don’t think of the schedule). Have a lunch out. Walk outside. Go to the dog park and name the types of dogs. Look at nature and talk about trees. Just get out of the house and away from the schedule for the day and see how much more focused everyone is the next day.
  • Let the kids teach – Tell the kids that today, they do not have to do school, but you need to learn. Have them teach you for the day. It’s silly but everyone will have fun and both you and the kids will be surprised how much you learn.
  • Have Game Day – Spend the entire day playing board games, cards games, and physical games. Have everyone play even if it’s a game for little ones or big ones. Help the little ones by working in pairs. Have big sister suffer through Candyland. Everyone will have fun playing games, taking turns picking what is next, and just spending time together.
  • Take Dad lunch – Need to take a break from the grind and get out of the house? Take dad lunch at work. Meet him in his lunchroom, at a park, or, if that’s not feasible, find a restaurant nearby and take him there. Enjoy talking to dad over lunch for a change. Maybe show the kids around his office. The kids will like to see dad and even dad will enjoy the break!
  • Don’t be afraid to have movie day – If you really need a total break. Head over to the library or local movie store and rent some movies. Make some popcorn and cuddle up for some movies. They can be a mix of educational and fun. Let each person in the family pick a movie. Movie day can be fun and educational.
  • Take it outside – Even in the winter months, you can take some time outside to enjoy the weather and take a break from school and chores. Got snow? Build a snowman or have a snowball fight (look at you sneaking in PE). Walk around the block and enjoy the beauty (name a few trees and you have Science). Just get out and breathe in that rejuvenating air.

How do you take a break in your school?

Recognizing Dogs: Learn Dependable Tips and Solution

The dog is an instinctive aggressive creature.

In nature, aggression was useful: dogs needed to attack fishing, defend themselves from other creatures. Defend resources such as food, a place to sleep, and several. Selective education over the centuries has minimized this quality, but no way around it. Dogs can cause serious harm (look only at those teeth!) Because that is how they survived and evolved.

Mother Nature is cunning, hard to counter the power of instinct! But that does not mean we as lovers and dog owners exist for dealing with our dogs. Many things we can do to prevent aggression from raising its ugly head. Even if prevention is not possible (for whatever reason), still steps we can take to recognize and administer.

Different aggression – The two most common are:

Aggression towards strangers – Aggression towards family members, maybe you wonder why we like to classify this. Aggression is aggression, and want to let it run now, don’t waste time with details, right? Well… not everything. This two different aggression come from different causes and need different treatment.

Aggression against strangers – What is that? Easy to recognize when a dog is nervous with strange people. He is nervous and alert; either he can not sit still and does not rest, jumps at the slightest noise, walks between bark and bark. Or is still unstable, sitting at a steady pace same a rock. Staring the point of his doubts (visitor, postman, someone approaching him on the street while being tied outside the store).

Why is this happening? There is an important reason dogs don’t appreciate strange people: it has no opportunity to get familiar with them. Remember that your dog trusts 100% in expanding his horizons. Avoid making many trips to see the world and achieve himself. Through, constant and positive experiences that the unknown does not mean sad news for him. How can he expect to relax in an unfamiliar location?

What can I do on it?

The approach of getting your dog used in the world called everything the people (and animals) that socialization has. This is a very important part of your dog’s education: difficult to stress how important. To socialize the dog means exposing from an early age (once vaccinated) to new experiences, new people, and new animals.

How do you avoid socializing strange aggression?

When he gets to learn his dog, he teaches him through experience, new images, sounds are fun and not alarmed. Not enough to expose an adult dog to a crowd of outsiders and say “Calm, Roxie, it’s okay”. Understand that it’s okay for him. He has to do it by dragging him to absorb the lesson. The more people and animals you know (children, young children, adolescents, older persons. Men, women, people in uniform, people wearing motorcycle helmets, people with umbrellas, etc.). Happy and safe with outsiders, will be.

Essential Preparation Tips During Natural Disasters

The changes in the ecological balance of the world affect the different phenomena in nature including natural catastrophes that are bombarding the contemporary world. Natural disasters are beyond your control and there is not much you can do about it but properly prepare yourself and your family whenever one happens. There are several kinds of natural hazards depending on your demographic location and other factors in the environment. For instance, if you are in a tropical country, you may experience excessive rainfall that eventually leads to flooding and landslides. Other places are more prone to earthquake because they are based in seismic locations, while others experience hurricanes, tidal waves and wild fire among others.

How do you prepare your homes?

Here are some of the most effective ways of making sure your home is prepared to combat and withstand any natural disasters that may inevitably affect the area where you live.

1. The first thing you need to do is to check the basic structural foundations of your home to ensure that it can withstand extreme natural conditions. You would need professional help in order to determine if there are structural problems in your property that needs immediate attention for repair and fixtures. A structural design engineer for instance can help you deal with this vital issue regarding your house. Strengthen some areas or structures in the property such as your roofs, wall sidings, decks, garage, porches and canopies among others.

2. Next is to ensure that all the necessary systems in your house are functioning well and in good condition. Natural disasters may impose danger and threats to your electrical, plumbing and other systems in the house. Do a regular inspection and check for possibilities of damage especially when an earthquake or flood strikes your place. Bear in mind that faulty electrical installations and loose wirings can further cause damage to your property when triggered during natural hazards.

3. Ensure building codes and by-laws for houses or properties in specific areas vis-à-vis common natural phenomena such as houses near forests or wooded areas which are prone to wild fire. Use fire resistant materials to lessen chances of your house getting burned down. You may also start with the basic by cleaning your roofs and gutters especially from dried leaves which are common causes of fire.

4. Install safety-oriented materials or items in your house such as your lighting, doors and windows. There are products for your house that help you with ensuring your safety in case natural phenomena happens. What you need to do is research for the right kinds of windows that are not prone to breakage or other damage when experiencing hazards of nature. You can also install door shutters especially when your place is prone to hurricanes and tornadoes. Go for LED lights which are more convenient in energy consumption.

One of the most brilliant ideas in investing is to make sure that your investment is free from damage and any danger whenever the inevitable happens such as natural disasters. Most importantly your life and that of your family is priceless hence do what is necessary before it is too late.