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					          SCHOELLES                                                                                         Volume 2, Issue 2
          & ASSOCIATES, INC.
                                                    (850) 973-4353                                               Spring 2006




   Dollars & Sense
                              Tax Software—What’s Really in the Box.
                                  Like boxed American breakfast cereals, do-        parer discovered that the taxpayer’s employer
                              it-yourself tax software claims convenience,          had erroneously taken withholding out for the
                              time-savings, and implies healthy long-term re-       taxpayer. The taxpayer had just assumed the
                              sults. But does tax software really deliver on        employer had done the accounting correctly and
                              those claims? Or is do-it-yourself tax software       never questioned it; however the tax preparer
                              often sugar-coated, time-consuming, and less-         knew the law and spotted the error. (This type of
                              than-the-healthiest choice in the long-run? Here      error is more common than many people think.)
                              is some food for thought.                                  Using software for a fairly simple tax re-
                              Let’s start with some facts…                          turn, a married Pennsylvania taxpayer filed as
                                  Fact One: The Internal Revenue Service            married filing separately and came up with a
                              (IRS) statistics reveal that taxpayers using do-it-   $285 refund [it appeared to come out better than
 Pam A. Schoelles, E.A.       yourself tax software, spent an average of 6 to       married filing jointly (MFJ)]. When the taxpayer
                              10.3 hours longer preparing their tax returns         did the same for her spouse, she was horrified to
    Each year more and        (depending on the number of worksheets and            discover that he owed $969. Had they filed as
more taxpayers decide         schedules) than taxpayers who did manual calcu-       MFJ, they would have received an $847 refund.
to brave the seas of          lations and 10 to over 20 hours longer than a tax     The result? An amended return and taxpayers
changing tax laws on          preparer!                                             who will use a tax preparer from now on.
their own with tax soft-          Fact two: Complexities of lengthy tax bills           After a visit with a tax preparer to review his
                              cause taxpayers to suffer and cause                                 self-prepared return, a retiree liv-
ware.
                              those in the tax preparation field to                               ing in New York learned that New
    This is a risky ven-      study year-round so they can under-      Tax preparers              York would allow his military
ture that could end up        stand the law and help their clients.
costing you a lot more           Tax software attempts to make tax         study                  pension to be excluded from his
                                                                                                  adjusted gross income for state tax
                              filing easier for taxpayers; however
than a preparer’s fee.
                              costly mistakes and frustration can
                                                                        year-round                purposes. The adjustment saved
    Take a look at some                                                                           him several hundred dollars which
of the common situations
                              also accompany tax software. The
                              most common errors result from not
                                                                        so they can               more than made up for the tax pre-
                                                                                                  parer’s fee for 2004 and for the
that occur when using
tax software and if any
                              understanding the questions asked by      understand                next ten years.
                              the software program, from entering
of them sound familiar,       amounts in the wrong places or not          the law.                    With software, sometimes the
                                                                                                  box is empty when it comes to
you might want to have        entering some amounts at all, and
                                                                                                  customer service. Last year, a soft-
a tax preparer double–        from not knowing if the software is
                              indeed calculating correctly or capturing all of      ware providers’ customer service agent made
check your work.                                                                    the following statement to a taxpayer who had
                              the information to give the taxpayer the correct
                              outcome. Says Thomas Rains, a tax preparer            questions: “We sell software; we don’t give tax
                              from Pulaski, Tennessee, “Calculations are            advice.” So where do software users turn for
   Attention                  based on the answers [taxpayers give] to the          advice? Some end up using their best guess. The
                                                                                    wise ones end up seeking out a tax professional.
Procrastinators:              online questions. This doesn’t make the tax re-
                                                                                        These are but a few of many experiences,
                              turn accurate – only the calculations!”
    If you absolutely have       Now let’s consider some real-life situations       some of them too lengthy and complicated to
to wait until the last min-   encountered by taxpayers using tax software           recount, of taxpayer frustration which led to
                              programs to file their income taxes, as observed      them consulting a tax professional. Misinterpre-
ute, you can now obtain a
                              by tax preparers from the National Association        tations can be costly in the long-run. Terri
one-time extension of 6                                                             Zurcher, a tax preparer from Middleton, Idaho
                              of Tax Professionals (NATP) at the end of the
months to file your tax                                                             probably summed up the results best: “Just buy-
                              2004 tax season.
return by October 16,             When a now-retired taxpayer brought in his        ing a software program doesn’t make you a tax
2006. The Form 4868           prior year self-prepared forms to a tax preparer      preparer anymore than buying a word process-
(Application for Exten-       for a consultation and tax advice, the tax pre-       ing program makes you an author.”
sion) must mailed by
April 17, 2006.                             Excerpted from National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) Appleton, WI
Page 2            Dollars & Sense                                                           Volume 2, Issue 2



                  Meet the Team
                                                 We are happy to introduce you to our newest team member!
                                               Aileen Schwartz began working with us this January and we are
                                               thrilled! Her experience in many different fields—everything from
                                               being a mom to driving a truck—has given her the ability to adapt to
                                               whatever we throw at her. Currently she is in charge of reception,
                                               scheduling, and data entry. Aileen really loves working with people
                                               and her helpful spirit along with a ready smile make her a key figure
                                               as the face of our company.
                                                 Outside of work when she isn’t spending time with her four chil-
                                               dren and grandchildren she loves scrapbooking, arts and crafts, and
                                               caring for animals. On her “Things-to-do in Life” checklist, Aileen
                                               wants to learn how to hand-quilt and play a musical instrument—
                       Aileen Schwartz         but not necessarily at the same time! ☺


                  Referral Game
                  Referrals are so important to our business that
   “Give a card   we thought you should be rewarded for your
    to anyone     efforts in promoting our firm.
                  The game is simple:
    who might     Write your name in the “Given By” blank (in
                                                                    439 SW Range Ave • PO Box 569 • Madison FL 32340

  need monthly    the card pictured right), make as many copies        FIRST CONSULTATION FREE
  bookkeeping     as you would like, and give a card to anyone
                  who might need monthly bookkeeping ser-
                                                                                 Maximum of one hour

    services.”    vices.                                                            Given By:

                  We will send you a $50.00 check for every
                  referral that signs a one-year engagement.              850-973-4353 • www.schoellestax.com




                  Ask Pam                                           Just for Fun...
                  Q: How long can I expect to wait for my              Why did Carin paint her face?
                  tax refund?                                            Send funny scenarios to us by email:
                  A: If you file a paper tax return, your check               moml@schoellestax.com
                  should be issued in about 4 to 6 weeks from
                  the date IRS receives your return. File elec-
                  tronically and your refund should be issued
                  in about half the time.
                      You can have your refund mailed to you or
                  you may have it electronically deposited into
                  your bank account. Direct deposit is faster
                  and more secure because there is no check to
                  get lost. Some banks do not allow a refnud
                  from a joint return to be
                  direct deposited into an
                  individual account, so
                  check with your bank
                  ahead of time to make
                  sure they will accept your
                  direct deposit.
                  Submit Questions to:                               We’ll tell you the real story and what
                  schoelles@schoellestax.com                          everyone guessed in the next issue!
Dollars & Sense                                                        Volume 2, Issue 2                     Page 3



Business Spotlight
   Cutthroat Clams, LLC is a family-run clam farm located
on Pine Island in southwest Florida. When the 1995 Net Ban
took effect, Tony and Tammie Heeb took the State of Flor-
ida up on their offer of a retraining program for displaced
commercial fishermen and their families. They dove into the
world of Aquaculture and have been clam farming for about
a decade. The family leases six acres of "bottom land" from
the State so their farm is under ten to twelve feet of water in
Pine Island Sound, just north of Sanibel. All of the "farming"
is done by divers, specifically Tony and his two older sons,
Tyler and Tobias. They work amidst sharks and manatees in
the summer and have to dive daily in the winter months, no
matter how cold or rough the seas. But they enjoy working
together and the younger children, Tristan and Tegan, work
as deckhands and in bagging up the harvest and getting the
clams ready for deliveries. Twice a week they supply fresh
clams to local seafood wholesalers, restaurants, and farmers
markets around the Fort Myers and Cape Coral area.
   Why the name "Cutthroat Clams" you may ask? Everyone
kept telling the family that the seafood industry was so cut-
throat that they couldn't possibly break into it, so they de-                                        “You could
cided to have some fun and go with a pirate theme. In fact, if
you visit the Cape Coral Farmers' Market on a Saturday                                                 sail the
morning, you may hear an "Arrrrr!" and catch a glimpse of a                                          seven seas,
piratey eye-patch before hearing a salty voice explain, "You
could sail the seven seas, and never find fresher than these!"                                     and never find
   So, why choose Cutthroat Clams? Because "They're
Swashbuckling Good!"
                                                                                                    fresher than
  Pictured Top: Tony and Tobias are busy counting clams.                                               these!”
 Middle: Feast your eyes on those mouth-watering beauties!
    Bottom: Tristan, Tegan, Tobias and Grandma Sharon
              guard the booth at Mango Mania.


Welcome One Eleven Grill!
   Patrick and Pam O’Toole are the        The O’Tooles are no strangers to the area. In addi-
proud owners of Madison’s newest tion to their family ties, they have frequented our town
destination dining venue and catering over the past 15 years or so. After tiring of the crowded
service.                              monotony of larger cities, they saw that Madison’s
                                      quaint personality suited them just fine and decided to
                                      pursue their dream of owning a restaurant.
                                          Newly renovated and centrally located in our his-
                                      toric business district, One Eleven Grill boasts an ex-
                                      tensive and constantly changing menu of delicious sea-
                                      sonal fare. Everything is made fresh daily from the best
                                      ingredients available. When asked what their primary
                                      goal is Patrick, without hesitation said, “To serve a ter-
                                      rific meal at a reasonable price.” The restaurant is
                                      equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen and has an at-
                                      mosphere that Pam, chef/owner, has dubbed
                                      “Happy Retro Eclectic.” When dining there, you can’t
                                      help but notice how comfortable their guests feel. Eve-
                                      ryone is smiling, laughing, and mingling around the
                                      dining room; making the One Eleven experience much
                                      more than just cramming a hurried sandwich down the
           One Eleven Grill           hatch before heading off to work.
             850-973-4115                 We are delighted to have them and can’t wait to see
 307 SW Pinckney Street—Madison, FL what they’ll cook up next!
PO BOX 569
MADISON, FL 32341




 SCHOELLES




                              WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING...                                           OOPS…
439 SW Range Avenue          Seeing my business’ progress on a graph has really
Madison, FL 32340            been good for me, and I like your newsletters.                       There’s a Typo!
                             —Martha Whigham, Hair Unlimited
Phone: 850-973-4353                                                                                We have hidden
Fax: 850-973-8668
schoelles@schoellestax.com
                             The staff at Schoelles & Associates gives us a lot of special at-      a typo in our
                             tention. I enjoy the feeling that what I deal with matters to           newsletter.
                                        them. Anything that comes up is always done in a
                                        timely manner.—Lydia Coody, Madison Plumbing

 We’re on the Web!                        Would You Like us to Feature
                                                                                                  Be the first to find it
                                                                                                  and call our office at
www.schoellestax.com             Your Name and Business in our Newsletter?                         (850) 973-4353
                             Email moml@schoellestax.com or call 850-973-4353 with your
                             comments on a service you are receiving from our firm. We will
                             highlight up to two clients in each upcoming issue.                 You will WIN $10

                                          THOUGHT OF THE QUARTER...
                                 Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best            (Congratulations to
                                                                                                 Samantha Phillips who
                                              speech you'll ever regret.                         spotted the typo in last
                                           Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)                       quarter’s newsletter!)

				
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