Landmark Ledger The Adventures of Benjamin Blue™ Our Son Turned 3 and Inspired a Side Project
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In 2016, my wife Hanna and I anxiously awaited Tax Day. Like most people, we focused on filing
Benjamin’s curiosity and my foray into parenthood even inspired a side project. Once Benjamin was born, we started singing nursery rhymes and reading lots of books to him. Soon, I began creating my own rhymes to help him stop crying when he was upset, and I took to writing down the little stories I came up with. Eventually, I decided to take this prose and turn it into a book about Benjamin. At the time, Benjamin was trying various fruits. So in August of 2018, “Cherries, Cherries Everywhere™” became the first installment in “The Adventures of Benjamin Blue™” children’s book series. The story follows a little boy named Benjamin Blue as he tries new juicy and sweet fruits. Like most children’s books, it follows a cadence and rhythm that’s easy for young readers and listeners to understand, and the artist I partnered with did a great job turning my visions for Benjamin Blue into fun, lifelike renderings of our cute son. I have plans to continue the series as Benjamin keeps exploring. But the project was really just about finding a creative outlet to relieve some stress. Helping people find solutions to their back taxes can be emotionally and mentally exhausting at times, and to be able to relax by writing up fun adventures about my son provides a lighter perspective for me. I’ve already begun on the second book in the series, but I’m sure I’ll add more to the story as our family grows. I’m happy that Benjamin can see his explorations documented in a book, especially as he continues to get older.
our taxes on time, but we counted down the days until April 15, 2016, for a whole different reason. It was actually our first child’s due date! You can imagine how ironic it was for a former IRS agent and back-tax expert to be anticipating his first child to arrive on Tax Day.
But our baby had different plans.
He just couldn’t wait a moment longer. So three years ago, on April 11th, Hanna and I welcomed our son Benjamin into the world. Since then, we’ve watched him grow into the boisterous, energetic little boy he is today. As he grows more curious about the world around him, I love taking Benjamin with me to Landmark Tax Group’s office and answering all the questions he comes up with. Benjamin is also excited to become a big brother to his new little sister in August — yes, it’s a girl! — and he’s been so inquisitive about the situation. After we became aware of the pregnancy, we sat him down and let him know that Mommy has a baby in her belly. Rather than jump, scream, or cry, Benjamin paused thoughtfully then looked down Mommy’s shirt saying he wanted to see the baby. Watching him learn more and inquire about the world like this has been truly amazing for us. “I’m happy that Benjamin can see his explorations documented in a book, especially as he continues to get older.”
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Have a wonderful 3rd birthday, Benjamin! I can’t wait to see what you’ll discover next.
If you are interested in exploring with Benjamin or learning more about “The Adventures of Benjamin Blue™,” visit BenjaminBlueBooks.com or search for it on Amazon.
–Michael Raanan, MBA, EA
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Peanuts and Cracker Jacks Baseball’s opening day has been an American holiday of sorts since the Cincinnati Red Stockings threw out the first major league pitch in 1869. To celebrate the start of the 150th season of professional baseball, here are three of the best opening days in baseball history. A New Beginning The Best Opening Days in Baseball History
Lou, Combs, and Babe — Oh My!
Considered one of the best teams in baseball history, the 1927 New York Yankees started their historic run and 25th season by dismantling the Philadelphia Athletics with a score of 8–3. The slugfest was true to form for the 1927 Yankees, whose players would go on to make up baseball’s famous “Murderers’ Row.” With sluggers like Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Babe Ruth, Mark Koenig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri, it’s no wonder this team went on to win its fifth championship that year. The Hammer Ties Bambino For decades, no one could match George Herman Ruth. The Great Bambino’s all-time home run record seemed like an impossible feat of strength — that is, until Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron came along. On opening day, April 4, 1974, Aaron smashed his 714th homer, tying Babe Ruth for the most home runs ever hit and extending the Atlanta Braves’ shutout lead over the Cincinnati Reds. A few weeks later, Aaron surpassed Ruth’s record, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.
On April 15, 1947, an opening-day game changed the course of Major League Baseball. On this day, Jackie Robinson started for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American player to start for a major league baseball team. Robinson’s historic showing was lackluster, going 0-for-3 at the plate and making a solid showing on the infield at first base, but his mere presence in a Dodgers uniform had already broken history. Despite his nationally- recognized skills — Robinson was
named MVP of the MLB farm team league in 1946 — the backlash that followed his rise to the pros, both from fans and teammates, was palpable. Still, as well-known sportscaster Howard Cosell said, “Suddenly, it was a new beginning.”
ATTORNEY Au dits: ‘How the IRS Audits Attorneys’
If you’re an attorney, you have experience fighting for others and their rights. But when you’re facing an audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you may find yourself in the unfamiliar situation of fighting for yourself. This happens more than you may realize. Attorneys are actually the most audited professionals by the IRS. This isn’t because the IRS has a grudge against legal professionals, but because the extenuating circumstances that most lawyers have make their tax situation difficult and unique. Attorneys may be at a higher risk of committing fraud — whether unintentionally or not — since a large number of attorneys are self-employed and work for contingency fees. Some lawyers, such as immigration experts, also commonly accept cash payments, which may lead to an even more complex tax scenario. Unfortunately, preparing for an audit can be exhausting and time-consuming, and as an attorney, we know you like to be prepared for your fight. That’s why we’ve compiled a report on what you can expect should you face an audit from the IRS. Former IRS agent and Landmark Tax Group founder Michael Raanan compiles his expertise, experience, and advice into this report specifically for attorneys.
The report, “How the IRS Audits Attorneys,” highlights actions you can take before, during, and after an audit to make the process go smoothly; describes how to keep your penalties low; and shows you how to complete the process unscathed. Attorneys will learn various organizational tips for monitoring and recording their finances throughout the year and can dive into a step-by-step guide of what to expect during an audit. Additionally, this report features common issues that crop up during an audit and example cases, allowing attorneys to gather more information on their own. The time to prepare for an audit is not when you get a letter from the IRS. Visit LandmarkTaxGroup.com/Attorney to receive this free report and prepare for a potential audit. If you or someone you know is struggling with back taxes, our experts at Landmark Tax Group can help. Learn more by visiting LandmarkTaxGroup.com or calling (949) 260-4770.
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Taking Action When You Owe the IRS After Tax Day
Take a deep breath. Tax season is almost over!
created the IRS Fresh Start program. It offers more solutions to your back-tax debt, including setting up payment plans for up
Unfortunately for some taxpayers, the end of the season can bring additional stress as they struggle to make payments or face back-tax debt. If you still owe money to the IRS after April 15, 2019, you have options. Read on to learn more, and check out the link below for free resources.
to six years and $50,000 worth of debt, streamlining compromises, and expanding the minimum total of debt it takes for the IRS to file a tax lien.
Know Your Rights
The best thing you can do is take action now. Over time, penalties and interest on tax debt accrue, which means the longer you wait, the more you will have to pay. The day after Tax Day, begin by making arrangements to establish a resolution to your back taxes by consulting with a professional — even if you are facing financial hardship. Remember, you are in control. Prevent the situation from escalating by seeking help as soon as possible.
Yes, the IRS has power, but taxpayers have options. For example, did you know that you can set up an affordable payment plan with the IRS or that filing your taxes when you can’t pay them can help you avoid fines and penalties? Additionally, your case could end up in court, but the IRS does all it can to avoid a trial. We would know; our experts used to work there! Learn more about your options and rights when you owe money to the IRS — visit LandmarkTaxGroup.com/FreeHelp or call (949) 260-4770 .
Get a Fresh Start
Believe it or not, the IRS wants you to succeed. To make paying back the IRS a little simpler and more affordable, the government has
“Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.” –Plato “Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form.” –Laurence J. Peter, Author
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Inside This Issue The Adventures of Benjamin Blue 1
Sudoku Answer Key
Great Opening Days in Baseball Obtain a Free Report 2 What Happens When I Still Owe the IRS? Tax Quotes 3 3 Travel Myths Debunked 4
Paris on a Budget? Traveling has many social and educational benefits, but some people have hesitations that prevent them from jetting off on new adventures. Below are three debunked travel myths to give you some ease as you plan your summer vacation! 3 Travel Myths You Should Stop Believing
you feel comfortable in, and do your research by reading travel blogs, websites, and books to find places that have been vetted by others. Traveling in groups can also be a great way to lower your risk of danger. As long as you plan ahead, you will have a safe trip. Myth: Jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep. Fact: While jet lag can make you sleepy, it’s actually caused by a disruption in your circadian rhythm. Our bodies are cyclical, and the circadian rhythm is set by both a natural need for your body to reset and outside forces, such as your job, time zone, and diet. Travel can disrupt this rhythm and routine, which leaves you lethargic during and after your vacation. Sticking to water before and during your flights and staying physically active during and after traveling are great ways to fight jet lag and get back into your normal rhythm. Don’t let these travel myths keep you from seeing the world. Set a budget, go with your gut, and prepare for a shifting rhythm to make your next adventure the best one yet.
Myth: Vacations are expensive. Fact: You can travel anywhere on a budget. Tracking flights to score the best deal, setting spending limits, and packing meals are a few ways to save money. Hostels and Airbnbs are great alternatives to spendy hotel stays. Additionally, you don’t have to cross the country to have a great trip. Every state has museums, unique roadside attractions, historical sites, and a booming nightlife. When you know your price limits and what you want to do, traveling can be a fun and inexpensive venture. Myth: Traveling is dangerous. Fact: If you’re smart about what you do and where you go, traveling can be safe. Go with your gut and only stay somewhere that is approved by travel guides. Visit places
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