Landmark Tax Group - July 2019

Landmark Ledger Reflections on a Better Life What Independence Day Means to My Family

(949) 260-4770 Professional | Experienced | Licensed Expert IRS & State Tax Relief

July 2019

With everything that goes on in the world, we’d like to take

with my loved ones. However, this year, things are a little bit different. My wife and I have a little girl on the way this fall, and my wife’s sister is expecting as well. It looks like the party is about to get a little bit bigger come this time next year. As we both come from entrepreneurial families, this also serves as an interesting time to meet up and talk about our various business ventures. Between my brother-in-law being a chiropractor, my uncle being in the audio/video industry, and my mother-in-law being a music teacher, we certainly never run out of interesting things to talk about. Every time we dive into these conversations, I couldn’t be prouder to fill them in on what’s new with Landmark Tax Group. I truly believe our company makes a tangible difference in our client’s lives, and I look forward to furthering every new relationship I make here. At the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier to take a moment to reflect on these good times. Our gifts can sometimes take the back burner to the more troubling problems in our lives, which is why I think it’s so important to enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones. This country truly is a beautiful thing, and with every new chapter in our lives, I thank my lucky stars for being in a place that has made my dreams a reality. This summer is the perfect time to take the reins of your life again and enjoy all our great country has to offer, without worrying about always looking over your shoulder for the taxman. For all your tax-related needs, feel free to reach out to us any time to see how we can help. Visit our website anytime at or give us a call at (949) 260-4770.

the time to truly appreciate how special our country is. The Fourth of July is upon us, a time of year where we come together as a country and celebrate how good we have it. Although we’re not a perfect land, there is genuinely something special to be said about having pride in the place you call home. Here at Landmark Tax Group, we’re no different. This holiday is always a special time for my family and me. Both my parents came to the United States from Iran, escaping the political turmoil with my grandparents with little more than the clothes on their backs and a few dollars. If ever there was a place to start anew, this would be it. The unique opportunities we’re afforded in this country are something that we take for granted all too often. Today, I am feeling especially proud to call this place home. In my family, we have a tradition where we all get together with one another and enjoy a full day enjoying the fruits of our labor. While we’re all different, we’ve always had each other, and that’s why we’re so grateful to take time and enjoy each other’s company. As you grow older, life starts getting in the way of old pastimes. There isn’t as much time to simply sit around, eat a hot meal, and talk about what’s new, so we take every chance we get. Typically, we will all meet at a family member’s house and spend a day soaking up the sun. Whether it’s taking a dip in the pool, grilling out, or simply having a chat, we try to make the most of our time. We do our best to unplug and enjoy the freedoms we’ve worked so hard to enjoy. Between the immediate family, a slew of cousins, and a posse of friends, it can quickly turn into a day to remember. Most of us have taken up completely different careers, but our work ethic remains the same, and it’s important for us to take a serious breather in each other’s company. No matter how much I love what I do, it’s a nice change of pace to have a day in the sun

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Now if only the IRS would give us a break, I think we’d have it even better. Don’t you think?

–Michael Raanan, MBA, EA, Former IRS Agent


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Hiking With Your Kids Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike.

Watch Their World Expand With Every Step

option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look.

Keep Safety in Mind

Encourage Their Curiosity

While you’re out on the trail, it’s essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important

One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves.

to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of your local hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. You can watch their excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries.

Bring Along Some Tools of Discovery

Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you. Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another


Getting a notice from the IRS can be a shocking ordeal, but there’s no need to worry. Panicking isn’t going to get you anywhere. Let’s take a look at some reasons why the IRS might send you a notice and how to correct it if you do get one. The IRS has many different reasons for sending notices. There are many reasons why the IRS sends correspondence. If you receive an IRS notice, it will typically cover a specific issue about your account or tax return. Notices may require payment, inform you of changes to your account, or ask you to provide more information. So, it’s not always bad news. There could be several other more reasonable explanations for their correspondence with you. You can disagree with a correction. If you agree with the corrections to your account, then there is really no reason to reply unless a payment is due or the notice directs otherwise. If you do not agree with the correction the IRS has made, it is important that you respond as requested, and you should also include a written explanation of why you disagree. Make sure to include any information and documents you want the IRS to consider

with your response. When it comes to mailing, make sure you ship it with the bottom tear-off portion of the IRS letter to the address shown in the upper left-hand corner of the notice. Your response won’t arrive overnight, so make sure to allow for at least 30 days. They’re usually easy to resolve. The simple truth is that you should be able to resolve most notices without calling or visiting an IRS office. If you do have questions, call the telephone number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. When you call, make sure to have a copy of your tax return and notice at your disposal. This will help the IRS answer your inquiries and better assist you in closing the matter. Once it’s done, file the notice away and keep it for your records just in case.

For all your tax-related questions, feel free to reach out to your friends at Landmark Tax Group. Together we will see to it that the IRS isn’t overstepping their bounds, and we will get you the easiest resolution to your tax problems.


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A Word From the Wise Tips for Your Teenage Taxpayers Regarding Their Summer Jobs

Like most of us did when we were growing up, a lot of our kids will now be getting to an age when they’ll be starting their first summer jobs. The important thing they need to keep in mind with this extra pocket change is that it’s not all 100% free money. The IRS is, as always, going to want a piece of their earnings — no matter what kind of position they’ve decided to take up. Let’s take a look at some of the more important factors they should keep in mind about how their taxes are going to work. Withholding Funds If you’ve never had a job, you likely wouldn’t realize that employers withhold taxes from employees’ paychecks. Even if teens get into the entrepreneurial spirit and work for

themselves, they will still need to pay estimated taxes directly to the IRS on certain dates throughout the year. In our country, this is how our pay-as-you-go tax system works. Taxing Tips A lot of job titles available for teenagers give them the unique opportunity to make tips. While this can be a blessing — extra cash every day, larger income than previously thought possible, big paydays on mundane jobs — they should also realize that they need to report any tips of $20 or more in a given month. Then, when it comes time for their yearly tax return, they need to report all of these tips. Make sure they keep track of how much they’re earning. Typically, their employer will do this for them! Special Circumstances The truth is that your kids may not even be earning enough money to have to worry about filing a tax return. If they’re running a lawn-mowing business in your neighborhood for some of your family friends, then they likely aren’t making enough to need to worry about the IRS chasing them down. Just make sure they remember that if their employer withholds taxes, they need to file a return. This is why it’s so important to meet with a certified tax specialist to make sure all your kids’ tax affairs are in order.


“This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher.” (When asked about completing his income tax form.) –Albert Einstein “I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes.” –Mark Twain


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Inside This Issue A Look at What Makes Our Nation Great 1 Hiking With Your Kids What to do About IRS Tax Notices 2 Tax Paying Tips When Working a Summer Job Tax Quotes 3 Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool 4

Sudoku Answer Key

Chill Out As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 degrees F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve. Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away Relax in These Cool Destinations This Summer

from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 degrees F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 degrees F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.


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