Golden Tax Relief - November 2018

32850 US-43 STE. B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784 844-229-8936 GOLDENTAXRELIEF.COM G o l d e n G a z e t t e NOVEMBER 2018

G iving T hanks

Chances are my Thanksgivings are a lot like your own. Every year, we have a big family get-together, with turkey, mashed potatoes, and plenty of cornbread stuffing. But more than the food and the football on TV, the day is really about appreciating how blessed we are and creating new

We didn't go up to my grandma’s a whole lot, so those Thanksgiving memories were special. Being surrounded by 15–20 relatives of all ages made for plenty of laughs and good memories. Before the whole family sat down for dinner, we’d sing a joyous hymn in celebration of faith and togetherness.

105 people, so we save that get-together until we can make it out to the Golden's Christmas. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how nice it is to have a holiday focused on being grateful for all we have in our lives. During the daily grind, it can be easy to lose sight of the relationships, blessings, and good fortune we have. I’m incredibly thankful for my family and the time I get to spend with them. I’m grateful to be able to support them while helping people overcome their challenges with the IRS and secure their own financial futures. And as a man of faith, I’m eternally grateful for all that was given up for our salvation on this good Earth.

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how nice it is to have a holiday focused on being grateful for all we have in our lives.”

memories with our loved ones. When I was young, my family spent Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house in North Alabama. She was a loving woman but held down the kitchen with an iron fist. While the feast was cooking, she’d always set out chips and other finger foods for us to enjoy — only she expected you to eat them with silverware. If you went to grab some with your hands, you’d get swatted away. As a growing boy, it felt like entrapment.

My grandmother passed away in 1998, but the family still gathers every Thanksgiving. These days, my wife and I usually go to my mother-in-law's home. My wife helps with most of the cooking. A life of studying accounting and tax law doesn't exactly prepare you to be a culinary master, after all. We normally spend Thanksgiving with my wife's side of the family and Christmas with my side of the family, which makes things manageable. My dad's side has roughly

From my family to yours, here’s wishing you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Cheers,

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The Most Underrated Thanksgiving Foods

When you think of Thanksgiving food, the first dishes that pop into your mind are probably turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. They’re a part of nearly every Thanksgiving meal. And while these delicious foods are something you don’t want to skip, there are dishes your table is sorely missing — dishes that don’t get the respect they truly deserve. This Thanksgiving, why not take a look at a few other options? Soup This is one dish that rarely hits the Thanksgiving table. But try a butternut squash or broccoli cheddar soup and you’ll be surprised just how “at home” it feels among the rest of your spread. It’s perfect to serve ahead of the main course, as the final touches are put on the turkey, or when the green bean casserole needs a few more minutes in the oven.

but with the right accompaniment, they can make for an extremely tasty and nutritious dish. For example, try roasting halved Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and bacon, drizzled with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Sausage Put a creative spin on your traditional Thanksgiving dishes and try using sausage in the stuffing. An Italian sausage, for instance, adds a kick of flavor to any stuffing, homemade or from the box. You can also experiment with other kinds of sausage to find the flavors that best complement your stuffing. Use a sweet sausage when you need something to pair with a stuffing that incorporates apples. Cranberry sauce This Thanksgiving staple rarely gets the attention it deserves. While it’s easy to buy a can of cranberry sauce, you do your guests a culinary disservice by going

this route. Instead, make your own cranberry sauce. There are many recipes online, and all you need are some fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, and sugar to make the best cranberry sauce of your life.

Brussels sprouts These tiny greens often get overlooked during Thanksgiving,

4 Tips for Protecting Your Financial Information

In these days of data breaches, identity theft, and all sorts of malicious hacking, everyone should invest in their data security, be it through time, knowledge, or money. The same thing goes for protecting your financial information. For most individuals, this is the information at the highest risk of being stolen or compromised. There is no need to go to extreme measures, but these steps for protecting your information will help a lot. They are also easy to implement. 1. Change and Improve Your Passwords So many people talk about how passwords are not safe unless they are 30 characters long and contain a bunch of peculiarities. It’s true that the longer the password, the safer it becomes, but it doesn’t have to be too long. Complexity is the key. A password that contains a few special symbols and nonsense words can be just as secure as a simpler, longer password. 2. BeWary of Phishing Scams These are becoming more common, and they are getting even more sophisticated. You have to be careful of phishing scams. Yes, I’m sure you never click any suspicious links, but some scams are more complicated than that. They come from reputable companies — or at least they look like they do. It’s sometimes hard to guess if the link or email is coming from a company you know.

Be careful with each message, especially those that look like they’re coming from your bank. If you’re not sure it’s from them, call the bank and check. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to educate yourself on phishing. 3. Shop Safe and Smart Don’t buy things online from sites you don’t know or sites that are not secure enough. One of the easiest ways to check a website’s security is to look at the link. If it starts with https instead of a simple http, all the information on the site is private and secure because it is encrypted. 4. Deal With Your Taxes The United States has an overly complicated tax system that can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you know how all of it works, you’ll have an easy time, but most people don’t because of how complicated it is. Educate yourself on the tax laws that apply to you, and reach out to us for help.

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CELEBRITY TAX EVASIONS The Missing Tax Returns From ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’

Readers can find the often-tumultuous lives of various TV stars constantly plastered across the tops of newspapers and magazines, but given the nature of reality TV, stars’ lack of privacy isn’t all that surprisingly. In the last decade, one particular celebrity couple has made their fair share of headlines. Despite the old Hollywood saying that “no press is bad press,” Joe and Teresa Giudice, stars of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” might feel differently. The couple had just squared away the recent foreclosure threat on their Montville Township mansion when the IRS slapped them with a tax lien of $555,563. The lien was filed through the Morris County Clerk’s office on Oct. 21, 2018, and it revealed that the couple hadn’t paid their tax bills for nine years between 2000 and 2013. Unfortunately for Joe and Teresa, this run-in with the IRS wasn't their first.

to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count indictment. The indictment also charged Joe with failure to file tax returns for the years 2004–2008, during which he allegedly earned nearly $1 million. Both Joe and Teresa initially pleaded not guilty in federal court to financial fraud charges, but on March 4, 2014, they entered a guilty plea to 41 counts of fraud, following a deal struck with federal prosecutors. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison; Joe was sentenced to 41 months, followed by potential deportation to Italy. While Joe will start his sentence next year, Teresa has been in prison since January. Since then, she has inked a deal for a tell-all memoir that is set to be released four days after her prison sentence formally ends in February 2019. The TV network Bravo also recently

aired a three-part “Real Housewives” special called “Teresa Checks In.” According to an agreement with the U.S. Attorney, Teresa will allow the government to garnish 25 percent of her wages from Bravo to help pay restitution to Wells Fargo. The Giudices’ crazy story just goes to show that even the most popular of celebrities can’t hide from the IRS.

On July 29, 2013, the Giudices were charged with conspiracy

SPICY, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES

SUDOKU

Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they’re often the blandest thing on the table. Luckily that’s not the case with this recipe, which features Thai spices and coconut milk.

Ingredients

• • •

5 pounds sweet potatoes 1 cup canned coconut milk

• • •

1/2 cup dark brown sugar 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. 2. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. 3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt, half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes. 4. 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.

Inspired by The New York Times

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INSIDE

page 1 What I’m Grateful For

page 2 Thanksgiving Dishes Your Table Is Missing 4 Tips for Protecting Your Financial Information

page 3 Tax Evasion and Reality TV Spicy, Creamy Sweet Potatoes

page 4 How Thanksgiving Became an Official Holiday!

How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday S arah H ale

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays celebrated throughout the United States. One of the first documented Thanksgiving celebrations took place in 1621 when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast together. But the banquet, which celebrated the colonists’ first successful harvest, wasn’t just one large meal, nor did it last for only one day; in fact, the feast lasted for three days. In later years, Thanksgiving also lasted for longer than a single meal. During the time of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress chose several days throughout the year to celebrate giving thanks. Then, in 1789, George Washington made the U.S. national government’s first Thanksgiving proclamation. He used this to speak to his fellow American citizens about

the Revolution’s satisfactory conclusion and encouraged them to show their thanks for the freedoms they gained. Thanksgiving became a national holiday more than 200 years after its first celebration. It gained this status largely due to the persistence of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale was a successful magazine editor, prolific writer of novels and poems, and author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which was first published in her 1830 collection entitled “Poems for Our Children.” In 1827, Hale began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. For the next 36 years, she wrote numerous editorials and countless letters to state and federal officials expressing her desire that it gain official status. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War,

President Abraham Lincoln finally declared it a national holiday, hoping that it would help heal the wounds of the country. Lincoln decided that the holiday would take place on the last Thursday of November. It was celebrated on that day until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving a week earlier in the hopes of increasing retail sales during the Great Depression. However, this plan was very unpopular, and in 1941, the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Without the efforts of Sarah Hale, we might not have the pleasure of the Thanksgiving feast we know and love to this day. This year, give thanks for family, good food, and the resolve of one woman who recognized the importance of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

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