Golden Tax Relief - December 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 DECEMBER 2018

R eturning to the F arm A Time for Reflection

To all our readers, I hope you’re having a happy start to the holiday season. Long-time readers of our newsletter will recall that my family has a tradition

I was expected to work. Before I new it, I was driving the tractor, Bush Hogging, and helping with the livestock. With hard work came plenty of memories and

Smarting pretty bad, the bull settled down in a hurry. After having that experience as a 12 year old, the IRS has never seemed all that scary. Of course, right after the incident, my father had to explain to me he’d been joking, and he urged me to jump out of the way next time. Whoops. Having this sort of rustic upbringing meant I took a lot of the skills I picked up for granted. When I moved to San Francisco, I was flabbergasted at how many of my friends and coworkers didn’t know how to change a tire or put up a fence! I was glad for these skills and the work ethic I’d garnered along with them. It’s the only way I could have held two jobs while simultaneously going through grad school.

“We moved onto the property when I was about 8 years old, and from that time on, I was expected to work.”

come Christmas time, where we all head to my dad’s cattle farm. We’ll all take plenty of hay-bale rides, sing carols, and enjoy each other's company. In the brief moments between the merriment, I’ll also be sure to take the time to pause and admire the place that shaped me growing up. My dad’s farm has come up several times in these cover letters, whether talking about the holidays, my father, or my summer work when I was young. So I figured that a place that played such a large part in my life probably warrants some reflection.

valuable life lessons. I’ll never forget the day I had to face down a 2,000-pound Simmental at the age of 12. We’d just gotten the bull from Auburn University, and boy was he temperamental. While we were getting him situated, my dad handed me an ax handle and told me to guard the gate. “If you don’t deal with that bull,” he instructed, “you’ll have to deal with me.” Sure enough, the horned beast decided to try his luck charging me. As afraid as I was, watching that bull barrel toward me, I was honestly more afraid of my dad. So I stood my ground, raised the wooden handle, and gave the animal a few stern licks to the nose.

We moved onto the property when I was about 8 years old, and from that time on,



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Is Love at First Sight Real?

The idea of love at first sight is wonderfully romantic. Two strangers see each other across a crowded room. There's an instant, magnetic attraction, and suddenly they've found their match for all of eternity. In a world in which dating often requires a lot of work — work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal. But can it actually happen? Can your eyes tell you anything about love? The connection between the eyes and love has been described in poetry and prose since time immemorial — it’s the stuff of heroic epics and fanciful fairy tales. And evidence has increasingly shown that the human brain is hard-wired to both display and notice visual cues when gazing at a potential love interest. Enlarged pupils are one such cue. When you survey a person or object you are interested in, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a

to a person with sizable pupils because it could indicate a partner’s attraction to them. Likewise, researchers have reported that men seek out women with dilated pupils due to the association of larger pupils with youth and longevity. The connection between the eyes and enthrallment has inspired some of Shakespeare’s most iconic sonnets, and the science behind our eyes validates some of the Bard’s romantic claims. But does this connection between larger pupils and attraction corroborate the idea of love at first sight? If you believe that attraction equates to true love, then absolutely. But if your definition of love requires a little more depth, then you may have to toss aside the idea of love at first sight and instead view your partner’s eyes as mere “windows” to their soul.

chemical that controls the brain's reward and pleasure centers — which causes your pupils to dilate. In this sense, beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.” In the last decade, researchers have determined that from a romantic and reproductive standpoint, both men and women are attracted to partners with bigger pupils. Studies demonstrate that when women are at their peak fertility, they might subconsciously be more attracted

Payroll Problems?

All businesses with employees are required by federal law to hold back a portion of their employees' pay for use in individual federal income taxes. Additional amounts are withheld for Social

The penalties range in both amounts and types. The most frequent penalties are failure to file tax forms, failure to pay taxes on time, and failure to deposit the taxes correctly. These penalties can be as high as 62 percent. This

Security, unemployment insurance, and Medicare. Companies are required to hand this money over to the IRS and state government agencies. When this money is not handed over to the IRS, or if it is only partially handed over, it is considered to be unlawful retention. This unlawful retention is the basis for the payroll penalty. In addition to the penalty, the company may also be liable for paying interest on the unlawfully retained amounts.

means that if you have $1,000 in payroll taxes you must submit, but do not do everything properly, then you may have to pay $1,620. We encourage all companies to take payroll and payroll taxes very seriously. If you are not experienced with payroll, you should get a separate company to prepare all forms and remit all taxes for you. You should also always double- check your in-house bookkeeper. If you do payroll in-house, you should

If the IRS can prove that an employer willfully failed to file payroll withholding taxes, then responsible parties in the business can be legally prosecuted. Responsible parties may include the bookkeeper, accountant, or executives in charge. The IRS is not limited to assessing blame to a single individual in a company. They can assess the penalty and prosecute as many people as can be proven to be responsible.

always make sure that the taxes are being taken out of your bank account. These days, the IRS wants you to send the payments to them via electronic debit.

If your company has payroll penalties and would like to see if they can be removed, please feel free to give us a call.

32850 US-43 STE. B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784



A Bad Situation

SUDOKU With the help of their accountant, the two men took steps to actively defraud the IRS, taking payments in cash, splitting up deposits to avoid Things are not looking good for The Situation. Back in 2014, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino of “Jersey Shore” fame landed in hot water with the IRS after it became increasingly clear he was underreporting his taxes. After a four-year investigation, the reality TV star was sentenced to eight months in prison starting in January. The trouble began in 2010 as Sorrentino capitalized on his MTV fame. With the help of his brother Marc, he organized endorsements, appearances, a comic book series, and other money-making ventures, pulling in a cool $8.9 million over two years. While a little gaudy, there’s nothing inherently wrong with celebrities leveraging their fame in this way. The problems arose when the Sorrentino brothers decided they weren’t going to play by the rules.

reporting requirements, and straight up failing to file a 2011 tax return. After the IRS got wise and subpoenaed documents from the Sorrentino brothers, Marc made things even worse for himself by attempting to alter the paperwork. Some of the celebrities we’ve covered in this segment, whether truthful or not, have been able to plausibly claim that their tax evasion was a misunderstanding or that they were misled by poor tax advice. But in this case, their intentions are clear. Both Sorrentino brothers knew what they were doing and took deliberate action to deceive the IRS and American taxpayers — even after they came under investigation. Both brothers and their accountant plead guilty, and each will be serving jail time. On top of his sentence, The Situation will be forced to pay $123,913 in restitution and an additional $10,000 in

criminal fines. The court was merciful enough to grant the reality star a delay on serving his sentence in order to allow him to get married this month. Honeymoon plans, however, will have to be delayed.


Whether or not you have an open fire, you can easily roast some chestnuts using this simple, delicious recipe.


• • • •

2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled

• •

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2–3 sprigs rosemary

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste


1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.

6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.

Inspired by Bon Appétit






page 1 Returning to the Farm

page 2 What Your Eyes Can Tell You About Love The 62 Percent Problem

page 3 ‘Jersey Shore’ Star Sent to Prison Buttery Roasted Chestnuts

page 4 What Do My Symptoms Mean?

Know What to Look For Before They Attack 4 W inter I llnesses Y ou ’ d R ather A void

Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. The Common Cold Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. Bronchiolitis Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the

one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. Influenza The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine.

signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.

Strep Throat A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are


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