Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates
Volume 4 Edition Please email comments to email@example.com Apr 2008
Major Tax Deadlines
For April 2008
April 1 - Deadline for taking your first
required IRA distribution if you turned 70-1/2 in 2007. Unless you're still
working, this deadline also applies to your other retirement accounts (except for Roth IRAs).
April 15 - Individual income tax returns for 2007 are due.
April 15 - 2007 calendar-year partnership returns are due.
April 15 - 2007 annual gift tax returns are due.
April 15 - 2007 income tax returns for calendar-year trusts and estates are due.
April 15 - Deadline for making 2007 IRA contributions.
April 15 - Deadline for employers to make contributions to certain retirement plans.
April 15 - First installment of 2008 individual estimated tax is due.
April 15 - Deadline for amending 2004 individual tax returns (unless the 2004 return had a filing extension).
April 15 - Deadline for original filing of 2004 individual income tax return to claim a refund of taxes. Each year some
taxpayers have tax refunds due them for prior years, and unless a return is filed to claim the refund by the three-year
statute of limitations, the refund is lost forever.
NOTE: Businesses are required to make federal tax deposits on dates determined by various factors that differ from
business to business.
Payroll tax deposits: Employers generally must deposit Form 941 payroll taxes (income tax withheld from employees' pay
and both the employer's and employees' share of social security taxes) on either a monthly or semiweekly deposit
schedule. There are exceptions if you owe $100,000 or more on any day during a deposit period, if you owe $2,500 or
less for the calendar quarter, or if your estimated annual liability is $1,000 or less.
* Monthly depositors are required to deposit payroll taxes accumulated within a calendar month by the fifteenth of the
* Semiweekly depositors generally must deposit payroll taxes on Wednesdays or Fridays, depending on when wages are
For more information on tax deadlines that apply to your business, contact our office.
What's New in Taxes
Filing a 2007 tax return is required to get
Next month, the IRS will begin sending out the tax rebate checks authorized by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. The
only way to receive a stimulus payment in 2008 is to file a 2007 tax return. The IRS says the majority of taxpayers do
not have to take any additional steps to receive their checks besides the routine filing of their 2007 tax return. No
other action, extra form, or call is necessary.
However, some taxpayers would not normally be required to file a 2007 tax return (for example, low-income workers,
social security recipients, and those receiving veterans' disability benefits). These individuals may still be eligible
to receive checks of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income.
Qualifying income includes social security benefits, certain railroad retirement benefits, certain veterans' benefits,
and earned income (i.e., wages, salaries, tips, or self-employment income).
The IRS is recommending Form 1040A to be used by these individuals to claim their tax rebate checks. They suggest
writing "Stimulus Payment" across the top of the form. The IRS Web site (www.irs.gov) has this very brief form
available, along with instructions for completing the form.
If you have family members whose income normally would not require filing a 2007 return, you may want to pass this
information along to them. For any questions you have or filing assistance you need, please call our office.
Act fast or you'll lose your refund
If you didn't file a tax return for the year 2004, you're not necessarily in trouble. In fact, you could be about to
lose out on a nice refund check. The IRS reports that it is holding an astonishing $1.2 billion in refunds from the
year 2004. Here's how the situation arose.
Approximately 1.3 million filers, many of them students and retirees, had taxes withheld from their earnings that year
but didn't bother to file a return. That was quite legal if they didn't earn enough to reach the minimum income for
required filing. And in many cases they forgot that taxes had been withheld and that they were eligible for a refund.
For example, a student might have worked at a summer job, gone back to school in the fall, and not given taxes a second
If you think you are due a refund for 2004, it's worth filing a return. The IRS estimates that around half those who
are eligible would receive refunds of just over $500. In some cases, you could find you're eligible for even more than
the refund. If you were a low-income worker that year, you might also have qualified for the earned income tax credit.
But you'll need to act fast. Unless you file a year-2004 return by April 15, 2008, the statute of limitations will have
run and you'll be too late to claim your refund.
Be aware that the IRS won't issue a 2004 refund check unless you've also filed returns for years 2005 and 2006. And if
you owe taxes for those years, they'll deduct that from the amount of the 2004 refund.
Worried about late-filing penalties? Here's good news: They're typically not assessed if you file a return showing a
According to the IRS, over a million people are eligible to claim refunds for tax year 2004. If you're one of them, or
if you haven't filed returns for other years, give us a call. Acting now can save your already-paid-in tax dollars.
Sleepy workers are a business problem
The nonprofit National Sleep Foundation recently conducted a survey that reveals many American workers suffer from lack
of sleep. Almost a third of employees surveyed said they had become very sleepy or actually fallen asleep on the job
during the past month. 12% of those surveyed said they came to work late in the past month. 36% said they have nodded
off or fallen asleep while driving, with 26% reporting driving drowsy on the job.
Factors that apparently contribute to sleepy employees include longer work hours and technology that keeps people "on
the job" even beyond the regular work day. According to the survey, 63% of workers just accept being sleepy, 32% use
caffeinated drinks to try to cut sleepiness, and 54% try to catch up on sleep on weekends.
For more information revealed in the survey, go to www.sleepfoundation.org.
Turn employees into productive team players
Do you wish your employees were more motivated and focused on driving productivity and profits for your company? Are
there ways to improve participation and tap into the unused creativity and drive of your team? Here are a few
suggestions that might help in that process.
* Give employees the big picture. Make sure each employee understands the company's goals and how their role
contributes to achieving them. They need to know they don't operate alone, that they are part of a broader team.
* Lead by example. If you want to inspire your employees to excel, you'll need to demonstrate your commitment and
passion to the process.
* Identify your key measures. Remember that you can't effectively change what you don't measure. Educate your team on
what's important and why and how you'll track your progress. Is it sales per customer, gross profit percentage, monthly
sales level, or some other measurable factor?
* Start small and build on an early success. Pick an area ripe for improvement and involve your best people. Then build
on that early success with generous praise and credit.
* Make it highly visible. Track your measurements with colorful graphs where everyone can see them. Let the winners and
achievers stand out.
* Be tolerant of mistakes. Treat them as a learning experience for your team and the entire organization.
* Change perspective. Have your team view the world from the perspective of your customers. Role playing can highlight
what's working and what's not working. Both are opportunities to improve performance and profitability.
* Learn what motivates your team members. Tailor your incentives to what drives your team members. Is it money,
recognition, promotion, or time off?
Taking steps to increase the emotional and creative involvement of your employees is likely to result in a more
What's New in Finances
Check your deposit insurance
The recent failure of Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank in the U.S., may have you wondering about the
health of the banking system in general. Indeed, you may be wondering if your bank accounts are safe. Here's a quick
review of deposit insurance that may help put your mind at ease.
The sign at your savings and loan states that your accounts are insured up to $100,000. Knowing the rules of the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can help you extend your protection beyond this amount.
Generally, the FDIC insures only $100,000 per person per institution. Thus, if you have more than one account in a
single bank, only $100,000 of the aggregate of your accounts is protected. Amounts over that are uninsured.
To increase your protection, you can simply spread your accounts over a number of different banks. Remember, however,
that accounts in different branches of the same bank will be aggregated.
Because joint accounts are insured apart from separate accounts, you can increase your protection by placing some funds
into a joint account. If you and your spouse have a joint account and each of you has a separate account, the three
accounts can be insured to a total of $400,000. As with personal accounts, however, all joint accounts held by the same
persons will be aggregated.
Different types of accounts are also aggregated. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), however, are separately insured
to $250,000 if the underlying investments are insured.
For more information on deposit insurance, go to www.fdic.gov. You may also want to review your accounts with your
banker to be sure you have the protection you need.
Do a financial review at tax time
As long as your tax and financial records are out for filing your 2007 tax return, why not take one more step and do
something positive for your financial well-being? This is the ideal time to review your financial affairs and make any
Here are some suggestions on how to get started.
Hold a discussion with your family. Spouses and children need to share and prioritize their financial aspirations.
* Write down your financial goals. How much money will you need to meet each goal? When will you need the money, and
how will you get it?
* Do a net worth statement (a list of your assets and debts), and compare it to last year's statement. Are you gaining
or losing ground?
* With your goals (and the effects of inflation) in mind, review the performance of your investments.
Take steps to protect what you already have. Goals may become instantly unobtainable if you lose your present assets or
your income potential.
* Do you have adequate disability insurance coverage to replace take-home pay if you become incapacitated?
* Do you have enough life insurance if you or your spouse should die?
* Do you have replacement value property insurance on your home?
* Do you have adequate insurance for calamities such as automobile accidents or lawsuits?
Note: Make sure that you need all of the insurance that you have. Do not duplicate employer-provided coverage. Review
your coverage annually; do not just automatically renew policies.
Review your will and your estate plan. Has your situation changed recently (marriage, divorce, births, deaths, move to
another state, for example)? If so, make appropriate changes to your will and estate plan.
Review your credit use. Keep your credit card bills current. If you're finding that hard to do, it's probably time to
cut up some of those credit cards and get your debt under control.
Organize your records. If you had trouble assembling data for your financial review, you need a better system. Set one
For help with any aspect of your review, call us. We're here to assist you in any way we can.
Take a Break
Tease your brain
Can you solve this word riddle: What nine-letter word in the English language is still a word when each of the nine
letters is removed one by one?
The word is "startling".
Remove the "l" and the word becomes "starting".
Remove the second "t" and you have "staring".
Drop the "a" to get "string".
Drop the "r" for "sting".
Drop the "t" for "sing".
Drop the "g" for "sin".
Remove the "s" to get "in".
Finally, drop the "n" to get "I".
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The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information on anything in ONLINE ADVISOR, or for assistance with any of your tax, business, or financial strategy concerns, contact our office.
Timothy W. Tuttle & Associates