Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Types of tax pros

If a tax professional is appropriate,Come to where the flavor is then you must decide which type of pro to hire. There are different types with differing experience levels. Some meet stringent professional requirements; others have minimal accreditation. Below are some of the more common choices when hiring tax-filing help.Franchise tax service: National tax preparation chains, such as H&R Block andthe future is always color Jackson Hewitt, do a booming business. And for many, the companies are a good choice. The tax preparers get some training on the most common tax situations and use software that helps ensure major questions and situations are addressed. If your return is not thatAsk for more complicated, this could be an appropriate, and relatively inexpensive, tax pro choice.Enrolled Agent: An Enrolled Agent, or EA, must pass an IRS-administered exam. ManyIntelligence everywhere are former IRS employees. In addition to meeting a federal certification standard, an EA can represent you before the IRS if the agency has any questions about yourA diffirent moment return; attorneys and CPAs also are able to provide this service. The National Association of Enrolled Agents provides an online search tool at its Web site to help you find an EA in your area.
Certified public accountant: A certified public accountant, or CPA, must pass a state's qualifying exam for accounting. However, not all CPAs specialize in taxation, so double check before you hire one. If the CPA does, he or she can help you design a comprehensive tax plan, a service that's especially welcome if your financial and tax situations are more complex. As with an EA and attorney, a CPA can represent you before the IRS.Tax attorney: A tax attorney has received extensive training and is required to complete continuing education courses. This usually is the choice of taxpayers who have very complex tax considerations, such as business ownership, estate planning issues or who are interested in sheltering income. Many tax attorneys specialize in specific areas, so check to make sure the one you select addresses your tax issues. Also be prepared to pay substantially more for help from these tax pros.
Tax filing and planning is a unique exercise for each taxpayer. You have many options, so carefully assess your personal situation and consider just how much tax help you want or need in deciding which tax professional to hire.
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Open Thread: Game 9 (Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners)

Brett Anderson and the A's attempt kneel only to Godto further their red-hot start tonight as they face off against Doug Fister and the Seattle Mariners. Interestingly, we had this same pitching matchup five days ago in Oakland. Anderson emerged as the victor, scattering three hits over six innings. Fister was less successful, allowing two runs in his six innings, along with three walks put all this behind us
Former Oakland Athletic and apparent all-around good guy Mike Sweeney is in the lineup for the M's tonight. Adam Rosales is again filling in for 2B Mark Ellis, as Ellis is out for a couple days with a sore left hamstring. And fretShe is the love of my life not, those worrying about Eric Chavez's health. He's healthy and in the lineup tonight as the DH.You know what's great? As of this writing, the A's have the best it's your turnrecord in the American League. With a win tonight, they can pull ahead of Detroit (after their win earlier today, they're 6-2) and Minnesota (off today, already 6-2) to take sole possession of first place. And believe it or not, we already have a four game lead over both ALWork will save you West favorites, Seattle and Los Angeles.Brett Anderson and the A's attempt to further their red-hot start tonight as they face off against Doug Fister and the Seattle Mariners. Interestingly, we had this same pitching matchup five days ago in Oakland. Anderson emerged as the victor, scattering three hits over six innings. Fister was less successful, allowing two runs in his six innings, along with three walksFormer Oakland Athletic and apparent all-around good guy Mike Sweeney is in the lineup for the M's tonight. Adam Rosales is again filling in for 2B Mark Ellis, as Ellis is out for a couple days with a sore left hamstring. And fret not, those worrying about Eric Chavez's health. He's healthy and in the lineup tonight as the DH.


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CORE COMPETENCES? Lean Manufacturing: Pull Production Scheduling & Kanban, Pull Push Mixture Production, WIP and TPT Control, Total Proactive Maintenance, Lean Enterprise Implementation. ? Value Steam Management & Waste Elimination: Process analysis mapping, Production variety funnel, Supply chain response matrix, Quality filer mapping, Demand amplification, and Decision point analysis. cheap polo shirtscheap polo shirts
? Supply Chain Management: Purchasing and Procurement Management, Inventory Control (Demand Forecasting, Safety Stock, Order Quantity, ROP), MRP, DRP, Storage Selection, Location Planning, Transportation Strategy (Method Selection, Vehicle Routing), Supply Chain Control& Monitor, Supply Chain Performance Evaluation. ? Project Management: Project Initiation, Selection (DCF), Planning (WBS), Critical Path Seeking & Cost Minimization, Risk Management & Uncertainty. ? Facility Planning: Flow work Design, Space Allocation, Handling System Design, Bottleneck Identification, Capacity and Capitol Investment Planning, Cell Formation, Plant Layout? Six Sigma: Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified by Intel and Delphi, DMAIC for the existing process, DFSS for the new process, Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments, Total Quality Management and FMEA. ? Data Modeling & Mining: Regression Model, Sensitivity/discriminant Analysis, Multivariate Data Control, Decision Trees Analysis, Time Series Forecasting and Classification & Clustering Analysis.? Financial Analysis: balance sheets, income statement, cash flow and other financial reports reading and analysis? Risk Management: Mean & Variance Optimization (Efficient Frontier), Active Return Management & Risk Control? Computer Skills: SAP, Mathematica, Matlab, MS Office, Minitab, JMP, SQL, S-Plus. ? Languages: Fluency in English.
EDUCATION? PHD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Industrial Engineering, University of Washington, USA, 06/2005? MS (Master of Science) in Industrial Engineering, University of Washington, USA, 12/2003? Graduate Certificate in Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics, University of Washington, USA, 06/2004? ME (Master of Engineering) in Mechanical Manufacturing and Automation, Shanghai University, China, 07/2001
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Supply Chain Management: blog wedding dresses 2010Designed supply chain strategies. Forecasted the sales. Set up order quantities for different products. Determined inventory control policy. Planned the rawugg boots 2010 material requirements. ? Demand Forecasting & Pricing: Forecasted the future demand by Regression Model and EMA method. Priced the rate in the reference to the Asset Pricing Model and the theory of Shadow Price to maximize the utility. best clothes blog
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? Developed a Windows NT based CNC (Computer Numerical Controller) for an abrasive water jet cutter, including the human machine interface, G code auto generation, 3 axis step motor controller device driver, and PLC I/O.Sr. Research Associate, Production and Service Systems Laboratory, Seattle, WA 09/2001-01/2005Apply analytical tools, such as simulation (Arena) , mathematical programming ( linear, quadratic, network optimization) , and statistical tools ( 6 sigma,) to production process and service systems research, problems, and projects focusing on the following areas: 1) Supply Chain Design/Improvement 2) Facility Layout/Material Handling Systems Design 3) Logistics and Transportation Systems4) Performance Measurement PHD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Industrial Engineering, University of Washington, USA, 06/2005? MS (Master of Science) in Industrial Engineering, University of Washington, USA, 12/2003
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Army's Generous Pay, Benefits: Are Skyrocketing Costs Sustainable?

The military draft once chose young Americans for war. Now the Army attracts them with generous pay and benefits. But the heavy cost may be unsustainable.
Painful choices lie ahead: cutting the size of the Army, even as it is heavily engaged in combat, or cutting soldiers' pay and benefits, a step that has proved too politically poisonous even to mention aloud.
To get a fix on the problem, I spent some time at Fort Jackson, S.C., one of the Army's sprawling basic training bases where, over 10 weeks of very long days, drill sergeants transform gaggles of young men and women into disciplined ranks of soldiers.
There, I met Marlania Sermons, a 19-year-old single mom from Valdosta, Ga. Until recently, she was trying to hold down a job as a telephone sales solicitor, taking courses at a technical college and, at the end of a long day, taking care of her 1-year-old. She wasn't quite making it. Finally, exhausted, she went against her father's advice and enlisted in the Army.Get the new
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Daniel Herman was also trying to succeed in the civilian world. The 21-year-old was working two jobs in Owings Mills, Md., as a building manager and a sales associate at T-Mobile, plus taking courses at Coppin State University in Baltimore. "I was tired and stressed out 24/7,'' Herman told me. "It was hard paying my bills, and my GPA was going down.''
Randy Wright, 20, said he found work after high school assembling wiring harnesses in a factory in Redkey, Ind. But as the economy sagged, he was laid off. The Army looked like a good future.
"I wanted to live an adventurous life,'' Wright told me after he enlisted. "I wasn't making anything of my life in the civilian world. And with the economy going down, the Army will take care of you.''
Army Pvts. Sermons, Herman and Wright will complete basic training here in May and after additional training will graduate into a war-fighting Army, along with 154,000 other brand-new enlisted soldiers this year.
Of course, they enlist with mixed motives. Many are looking as much for adventure as for economic security. Many of them are seeking self-discipline and leadership skills. Many display a strong streak of altruism, proud of taking a practical and concrete step to serve their country.
They share two other common experiences: they found a lack of opportunity in the "outside'' civilian world, and they had to work past friends and family who tried to steer them away from the peril and hardship of a military life during wartime.
But as they have discovered, the Army pays its soldiers well. A first-year single soldier, boasting the insignia of a private first class, will earn $35,948.04 this year, with $3,355.43 of that tax-free. That's 10 grand more than the median income for 16-24-year-old civilian males, who will earn $24,596 this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
An Army captain with eight years of service, married with two children, gets $84,299.28 a year, of which at least $6,135.73 is tax-free. All pay in a combat zone is tax-free, as are all danger pay and other bonuses.
An active-duty soldier who has served 15 years and agrees to stay another five gets a $30,000 bonus.
Now factor in the Army's low-cost health insurance -- premiums haven't been raised in 15 years -- college tuition assistance that can top $80,000, and a pension system that will pay $8,000 a month to today's privates if they wait until they're 50 to retire.
The benefits sounded good to Elizabeth Valdes, a 20-year-old private who was working two jobs in Redwood City, Calif. "Before, I didn't have any security," she said. This'' -- indicating her Army surroundings -- "is security. I'm going to make this a career.''
The military's "all volunteer force'' concept, which replaced the draft in 1973, has been a resounding success, but at a resounding cost. In the past decade, the Army's personnel costs have more than doubled, from $27.7 billion in 2001 to a projected $59.1 billion for 2011 -- with an additional $11.9 billion in projected wartime personnel costs for next year.
Why? One reason is pay. Since 2002, military pay has risen 42 percent, while civilian pay grew by 32 percent. Last year Congress voted a 3.4 percent pay raise for the military, even as much of the country was reeling from the economic downturn and civilian wages were actually falling. This year the Pentagon has proposed a 1.4 percent pay increase, which Congress may also increase. Each pay raise adds billions to the budget and keeps accruing in future years in escalating pay and pension costs.
Soldiers also receive food and housing subsidies that are untaxed. Since 2002, housing allowances have risen 83 percent and the food allowance by 40 percent.
Health care costs are swelling at about 10 percent a year, not counting a massive expansion of physical and mental health services needed for troops returning from combat deployment. The health care costs alone "are eating us alive,'' Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last year.
But there's more. To attract and retain smart and ambitious soldiers, the Army has been quietly investing in an astonishing range of "quality of life'' programs far beyond pay, health benefits and pensions.
Army bases like Fort Jackson, and the towns near them, are a far cry from the squalid wooden barracks, tattoo parlors and strip joints of old. Instead they are model, crime-free communities of quiet streets and neatly trimmed lawns, with their own schools, day-carecenters, supermarkets, theaters, college classrooms, hotels, medical clinics and rec centers.
The Army offers free financial planning and family and marriage counseling, babysitting for families of deployed soldiers, and other services.
Just mentioning rising costs of all this seems in bad taste. Certainly, soldiers and other members of the armed forces risk their lives for a high ideal. Their service cannot be measured in dollars alone. Soldiers and Marines on hard combat tours contend that they are underpaid given the difficulty and risk, and I agree. Still, the overall cost is significant.
Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina and a reserve officer, touched on this the other day in a committee hearing: "Well, you know, I want to be generous and fair to all those who serve . . . but there's a cost containment problem'' in the personnel budget.
Speaking specifically of sharply rising costs for military health care, Graham said, "I don't see how we can sustain this forever.''
I recently asked John McHugh, the secretary of the Army, whether he thinks a time is fast approaching when its staggering personnel costs are going to force a retrenchment, either in the size of the Army or its pay and benefits.
"To a large extent personnel costs are out of our control -- they're in the control of Congress,'' said McHugh, a former nine-term Republican cngressman from upstate New York.
Pressed, he acknowledged that at some point, something will need to be done, and "the longer you wait, the harder the answer.''
But, he hastened to assure me, "we're not quite there yet.''here
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Caring for someone with dementia could cause dementia

Spouses who care for partners with dementia are six times more likely to develop the disorder too, compared to healthy elderly couples, according to a Utah study.
It's possible that the incredible stress of watching their partner deteriorate, as well as taking care of their physical and emotional needs, impairs the brain of the caring spouse, according to the study. There may also be something in the couple's shared environment -- their diet and exercise patterns, or chemical exposures -- that explains the shared disease.
Past studies have linked dementia caregiving to depression, physical and cognitive problems and death. This study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , is thought to be the first to look at the link with developing dementia.
Risk of dementia grows as people age --- it's up to 50 percent after age 85 -- and if they have a particular genetic mutation. Even after controlling for those factors, caregiving remained a risk, the study showed.
"You still have a separate, unique, independent association in its own right. It's not their age or their gender or their genes," said Maria Norton, the study's principal investigator and an associate professor at Utah State University's Department of Family Consumer and Human Development.
Researchers used data from the Cache County Study on Memory Health and Aging, an ongoing study started in 1995 of people age 65 and older in the
northern Utah county.
Of the 1,221 married couples included in the study, there were 195 cases of dementia in only the husband or wife, and 30 cases of dementia in both spouses.
Norton said the study is just a first step; she would like to see what made the difference between the caregivers who developed dementia and those who didn't.
Maybe they have different ways of coping with stress, different support systems or different underlying physical and mental health, she said.
Jack Jenks, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association's Utah Chapter, wasn't surprised to hear the study results; he's seen caregivers turn into patients.
He estimates there are 100,000 dementia caregivers in Utah, mainly spouses or children. The local chapter emphasizes help for them as much as the person with the disease, offering support groups and respite care.
And they need help: Jenks cites national statistics showing there is a one in four chance that a caregiver over age 65 will end up in the emergency room for their own health problems in any six-month period.
"There is more evidence than ever that caregivers are often dying before the person with dementia just because of the stress," he said. "We call it the 36-hour-day. You never get a break."
Rodent studies have found chronic stress damages the hippocampus, the region in the brain responsible for forming memories.
A dementia caregiver faces different challenges than a spouse caring for a loved one with a physical condition, Norton said.
"This is a continual, gradual decline," Norton said. "Eventually it gets to the point where they may not recognize you. You have this grief process too -- grieving the loss of the relationship."
The study was funded through the National Institute on Aging and included researchers from six other institutions. sunshine

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