Category Archives: Resources

I’m Being Audited – What Should I Do?

Being audited can be intimidating, but the truth is it’s often innocent mistakes that landed you in this situation—that doesn’t make it any less convenient. If it’s your first time being audited, you’re likely confused about next financial steps. There are measures you can take to make the process as painless as possible. Read on for tips on what to do if you’re being audited.

Get Professional Help

First and foremost, get professional tax audit help. As much as you think you know about doing your taxes, something you did got you into this situation in the first place! As this Entrepreneur.com article notes, “A pro will have a much better understanding of tax law and the audit process and can coach you on what to say and do.” The money you spend on this person will be well worth it—especially if the IRS is claiming you owe many thousands of dollars.

Hold Off on Your Tax Return During an Audit

If you get notice of the audit when you’re about to file a new tax return, hold off on that and instead ask for an extension. If you don’t, the audit could expand to include new information, which could work against you in the long run.

Get Hard Copies

Whereas the trend in just about everything else is to go paperless, in this instance you’ll need a paper trail. Print out all statements as they become available, as the IRS doesn’t deal with electronic files during an audit. Nail down exactly what is being audited. As this article from FoxBusiness.com notes, “If you are being audited because you wrote off 100% of your car usage as a business expense, get your mileage log and other evidence that the car was used only for business purposes all in one place.” In the event you don’t have the proper documentation, the article notes that there some instances in which a third party can verify the accuracy of the claim. Again, your tax pro can help you navigate circumstances like this.

Learn How to Interact with the IRS Agent

As much as you might be tempted to tell an agent off, this will only make things worse. Be kind, courteous, and helpful. At the same time, don’t offer information that hasn’t been requested, as each bit of documentation your offer is another chance for them to reveal more errors

Do Your Due Diligence

Read up on this subject as much as possible, even if you do have a professional helping you. The IRS website has particularly helpful resources that will not only help you with your current audit, but will teach you how to avoid them in the future. Trust us—when you’re done with this one, you’ll want to avoid another at all costs! According to this article from NerdWallet.com, the seven most common reasons you’ll get audited are as follows: math errors, failing to report all of your income, claiming an excess of charitable donations, reporting too many losses on what’s known as a Schedule C, claiming too many expenses for your business, being too loose with your claim of a home office deduction, and using numbers that come out far too “nice” and “neat”. In addition, your annual income becomes a bit of a Catch 22, as the more you make, the more likely you are to be audited. As president of Surevest Wealth Management notes via the FoxBusiness.com article, “There is an overall 1% chance of getting audited.” This same article goes on to note that “for those bringing home more than $200,000 in 2013, their chances jump to 3.26% and 10.85% for those making more than a $1 million.”

So, you’ve been audited. Don’t panic! This is a marathon—not a sprint. Be patient, get help, follow these tips, and it will all be over soon enough.

 

Personalized Gift Ideas For Your Best Friend

When it comes time to give a gift to your bestie, you want to knock it out of the park. Whether you grew up together or you’re relatively new friends, you don’t want to phone it in gift-wise. A present for someone you care about should have meaning behind it, so a customized gift is always a good idea. Need some guidance in your decision making? Read on for personalized gift ideas for your best friend.

A Photo Gift Full of Fun Memories

 

When it comes to photo gifts, the possibilities are as endless as the good times you and your BFF have shared. Compile your favorite memories into a photo album that she will treasure for years to come. Of course, anything and everything can be customized with photos these days. Get her a birthday cake with a photo of you two together on it. Create a canvas with your favorite pics. You can even fashion a photo pillow! She will be touched that you took the time to personalize a present with pictures from your past.

Say it With Jewelry

 

Jewelry is an automatic win for just about any woman but it’s particularly touching if you can personalize it for your friend. If she is a mother , consider getting her a charm necklace or bracelet with her children’s names on them. A name necklace and/or stackable rings are always great options, too. You could even get a matching infinity necklace or another piece of jewelry that is sentimental to both of you. Or think about going relatively old school with a locket that holds a picture that’s near and dear to both of your hearts.

 

Pretty Personalized Apparel

 

Clothes are another win for most women when it comes to gifts, but if you can figure out a way to personalize them, that’s even better. Just like with photo gifts, just about any apparel can be personalized. Get her a tee from her home state (like these Ohio shirts), or gear from her favorite sports team or alma mater. And if you’ve got a friend who is over the moon for her pet, she’ll be tickled pink if you buy her a tee or bathing suit (yes, it’s true!) with her beloved fur baby on it.

 

Personalized Mug For the Caffeinated Companion

 

If your friend’s second home is Starbucks, consider getting her a personalized mug with a bag of her favorite coffee inside. Whether it’s a mug with a photo of you both on there, a mug with a cheeky saying that she’s known for, or a mug that has her name or initials on it, she’ll love that you had in mind her java obsession. If you really want to go the extra mile, include some super cute customized coasters with her name or “Mom” on them!

 

Statement Wall Art FTW

 

These days, nearly everything comes with a cheeky saying on it. From pillows and door mats to wall art and even placemats, gifts for your sarcastic friend abound. She’ll love that you either found (or created) a piece of framed art with her favorite saying or poem on it, and she’ll think of you every time she sees it. A personalized wooden framed family tree is another give that goes and above and beyond anything mundane.

 

Killer Her With the Kindness of Quilts

 

Unless you’ve been caught under a rock, you’ve likely noticed the rising popularity of quilts that are made from personalized items. Not only can quilts and blankets be made with personalized photos that would certainly make her pleased as punch, but they can also be made with t-shirts. If your BFF has run a bunch of races and has a drawer filled with race tees that are gathering dust, find a way to get to them and have them made into a quilt. She’ll literally be draped in some of her favorite memories and it will all be thanks to you.

Any gift you give your best friend will mean the world to her, but a personalized present shows that you put time and effort into the process.

 

 

 

 

Natural Ways to Improve Your Health This Fall

Trying to figure out ways to improve your health can feel like walking on a tightrope—you don’t know which step will take you forward and which will send you plummeting. From specially formulated energy drinks to expensive wellness treatments, there are a lot of options out there that may not be all that good for you in the long run. It can be stressful and frustrating to figure out what works for you, especially if you are trying to stick to a budget, but there are several natural ways that you can improve your health this fall—without breaking the bank.

Catch up on some ZZZ’s

Sleep really does make all the difference, from your skin complexion to your concentration and energy. Many experts say that quality sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health, as the lack of it has been linked to higher stress levels, obesity, immunity issues and blood sugar imbalances—just to name a few. Of course, getting enough sleep is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to try to improve that area of your life. Consider making the last hour before bedtime a no-technology hour. This means that you have to put your Smartphone down and turn off your television, as the blue light emanating from these devices can mess with your sleep patterns. Though many tablets and Smartphones now have nighttime settings meant to combat this, using tech items still engage your mind in a way that is not conducive to sleep.

Invest in Some Arnica Montana

If you have never heard of Arnica Montana, you are seriously missing out. Incredibly beneficial, Arnica is a plant from the daisy family—it is also known as wolf’s bane and fall herb—and is used to treat everything from bruising and muscle soreness to swelling and arthritis pain. Taken orally or topically, Arnica has tons of uses in your everyday life and can seriously make things a little easier to deal with. It is even a natural pain reliever, because it works to stimulate your body’s healing process and is great for treating pain resulting from a fall or inflammation.

Start an Exercise Routine

It is widely known that exercising leads to the release of endorphins, which are the brain’s very own answer to feeling good. Working to give your mood an instant boost, exercise can be pretty magical for your overall health—aside from the obvious physical benefits like weight loss and muscle gain. You do not have to get a pricey gym membership to begin your exercise journey though, because it can be as easy as going for a walk on your lunch break. Plus, being outside is another way to boost your health, as being in nature can reduce symptoms of depression. If you are looking to take advantage of a gym setup, consider an inexpensive membership to a place like Chuze Fitness.

 

Drink All the Water You Can Get Your Hands On

Okay, obviously, you cannot drink all of the water, but including water into your daily diet is incredibly important. Not only is it great for your skin, drinking water also helps to flush toxins from your body and will work wonders with your complexion. It’s a good idea to grab a large refillable bottle from HydroFlask and set a goal to drink three of them a day. There are also tons of Smartphone apps out there that can help you to remember.

Practice Meditation

Calming your mind through meditation—even if it is just for five minutes—can have a pretty big impact on your overall health. Meditation works to reduce stress levels, improve the immune system, balance your mind, reduce pain, improve memory function, lower blood pressure, encourage creativity, help with sleep patterns and improve the heart rate. These benefits are certainly nothing to sneeze at, so think about practicing some mindfulness. Who knows, it may be the answer to all of your health needs.