Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I woke up in a cold sweat last night, certain that the grim reaper had descended upon me to ferry me away to the white light. It’s a dream I have every year, just before April 15th. I’ve spoken with my analyst about the dream and learned, to no great surprise, that the grim reaper is not death at all, but rather symbolizes the headless, blood-thirsty organization know as the Internal Revenue Service. Like many Americans, I do not look forward to April 15th, since I usually find myself speeding toward the airport mail drop at 11:50PM, hoping I make the 12AM tax filing deadline. I know I shouldn’t procrastinate; yet I do…every year. It’s a Winston family tradition. This year, I am hoping to break with tradition and get my taxes to the post office by April 14th. My analyst says taking baby steps toward a difficult goal is the best way to ensure success. Since I know I am not the only American shivering in his figurative boots from now until April 15th, I thought I’d share a few tax tips to help fellow procrastinators take a baby step as well. I’m no expert; so make sure you check with a certified tax preparer to make sure these tips will work for you.

Did you know?

1. While you can write off charitable deductions (if you itemize), you cannot write off contributions to individuals, nor can you deduct the value of your time spent volunteering or services you provided the group at no cost.

2. If you moved to start a new job, or to seek work in a new city, you may be able to deduct the cost of your moving expenses from your income. If you’ve been looking for a job in the same line of work you’re currently in, many of your expenses like phone calls, the costs of preparing and copying your resume, and career counseling are deductible.

3. You don’t need to report worker’s compensation, child support payments, military allowances, veteran’s benefits, welfare benefits and cash rebates from a car purchase—they are not considered taxable income.

Since your clients are probably looking forward to tax time as much as you are, show them you understand by giving them a gift that helps ease the pain…fashionably. The iCalc-Calculator has a circular keypad designed after the ipod and comes in pink, blue, black or silver. Simply add your logo and you have the perfect promotional product to ease your client’s into tax time and help them remember you when they receive a big refund.

I’m off to play golf—it’s the only thing I do that is more frustrating than preparing my tax return. Remember, “People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.”