Dangerous and Illegal

What is dangerous and illegal?

TikTok posts giving illegal tax advice.

Posts are going viral.

Millennials, GenZ, and Gen Alpha
All major demographics on TikTok
They are told to select “exempt.”
(On form W-4)

They’ll pay zero-dollars in tax witholdings.

What do the TikTok posters imply?
No tax withheld = not having to pay taxes

That is FALSE

Be careful!

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Technology, Interstate Migration, and Taxes


We talked before about how employees love to use AI at work.
The reason is simple:
It makes their job much easier

BUT (you knew there was a “but” coming, right? 🙂 AI can also get them in trouble

Washington Post wrote about a lawyer who used AI to file documents with a court in Colorado.
The trouble?
Some of the case citations were fake.

The lawyer apologized but that didn’t save him.
He was fired from the law firm.

Now the legal community is struggling with IF and WHEN to use AI

Keep that in mind if you need to hire an attorney.

* * * * *


Millions of Americans move from one state to another — every year.
Available data (including IRS tax records) gives us insights on what states are best for work.
And for raising up a family

States that lost the most to interstate migration are California and New York
Winners include Idaho, Texas, and Florida

* * * * *


IRS has hired extra manpower.
So make sure you keep your receipts organized
This way you’ll be able to document your expenses
And protect yourself if the IRS comes over for an audit.

Important: take all the deductions available to you

Some studies found that business owners overpaid more than $3,000 in taxes
Be informed
Don’t miss out on any money-savings deductions and credits.

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Tax season is here.
And some of you, business owners, worry about raising red flags with IRS.

What can increase your chances of getting audited?

Having business losses — for three straight years — can put you on IRS’ radar.
And you run the risk of having your business reclassified as a hobby.

IRS says “someone operates the business to make a profit.”
According to them businesses should be making profit three out of five years.
(Or two out of seven if your business is training, showing, breeding horses.)

When you keep having losses, it will attract IRS’ attention.
(Those red flags we mentioned earlier.)

Does this mean the IRS will automatically reclassify your business as a hobby?

* Keep good records.

* Prove to the IRS that you run the operations in a business-like manner.

* Have a business plan — showing you fully expect to make a profit (soon).

Wishing you success in all you do.

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Many of our problems would be solved – if only intelligence came with integrity…

Few years back I was in New York, visiting with friends.
During my stay there, some of their friends and co-workers would drop by.

Since one of my friends worked at the hospital, their living room was often full of doctors.
One evening the conversation moved from one subject to another, but all related to health.
And drugs.
Including the latest strategies used by pharmaceutical representatives to get doctors familiar with their newest medications.
The ultimate goal being to prescribe it to their patients.

The irony of the whole situation didn’t escape me.
When I used to work for a temporary agency (accounting) I refused an assignment in a hospital (even though it paid almost double).
And I believe, as a nation, we are taking far too many drugs.

In spite of my prejudices I found the discussion really interesting.
The consensus across the room was that the latest medication should be used only if it provided a substantial benefit for the patient.

It was good to hear them say that.
It was good to see the two traits together: integrity and intelligence.
Many problems we now have would be solved if only intelligence came with integrity.
As Warren Buffet said:

“In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.
… if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”


/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

American business issues – here and across the pond

In a New York Times article, Adam Davidson writes about “…an economic mystery” he is struggling to understand.
He cites Lee Pinkowitz, a professor at Georgetown, and other finance economists;
they have studied what they call the “cash hoarding puzzle, or paradox” of American business.

The highlights of the article
By some estimates $1.9 trillion in cash is held collectively by American businesses.
In Mergers and Acquisition, that kind of cash greatly helps to negotiate for the best price/terms.

There is also the intimidation factor – hardly any competitor can match their vast resources.
And have the upper hand when competing for new talent.

They can get the best the brightest.

Across the pond more tax problems for U.S. firms
“Tax efficiency” of multinational corporations may explain, at least partially, the puzzle described by Davidson.
More tax deals are being investigated by the European Union officials.

This time they want to investigate Googles tax deal with the British government.
Apple and Amazon are also in the limelight.

Things are serious enough that a top U.S. official was “dispatched” to meet with the EU antitrust team.
(Would this belong in the “lobbying effort” category?)

A new and improved tax system across EU
The EU Commission tries its best to close down the main tax loopholes used by multinational companies to lower their tax bills.
It’s an interesting “balancing act”. On one hand they want a uniform set of rules across EU;
yet member states would still be able to set their own tax rates.

When/if they succeed they may have a system somewhat similar to the federal/state tax system we have here in the U.S.

(Hope reading this can help you keep your tax problems in perspective : )


/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

A healthier, happier, and more successful YOU

How did you do in this first week of 2016?
Hope your goals are on track and the “New Year, New You” is in full swing.

Whatever your goals are for this year:
You’ll greatly improve your chances of achieving them when you treat the process as a marathon.
Realize it takes effort. And prepare accordingly.

There will be times when you’ll take one step forward and two backwards.
But your willingness to do the work will put you back on track and get you the results you desire.

2016 can be the year
when you are ready
to try out your wings.

And become a healthier,
and a more successful

Make this the year
to soar to heights
you can only have imagined
in your wildest dreams.


/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

Talk health, happiness, and prosperity

Someone once said that each one of us is the average
of the five people we spend the most time with.

Imagine that!
Think of the five people closest to you.
Are they supportive of you?
Do they want you to succeed?

That doesn’t mean to have “yes” people around you.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you.
People who bring out the best in you.
And create a positive, supportive atmosphere for you to succeed.

Those of you familiar with Optimist International know
they always end their meetings on a high note:
with the Optimist Creed.
It speaks of bringing out the best in each other.

Here are some excerpts from it:

Promise Yourself

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that
there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best,
to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success
of others as you are about your own.


/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

Compete with yourself – and achieve more success than you thought possible

“She has a bigger house, in a better neighborhood;
her business is much more successful than mine.”

Those were my words, about three years after starting my business.
I was comparing myself with another business woman.

Why was I so bent on comparing myself with her?
She was born in the same Eastern European country as I was.
And she came to the States approximately at the same time as I did.
Yet she was so far ahead of me… so I felt miserable.

Not exactly how you measure success
Luckily I had a good friend that had a lot more smarts than I did.
My friend kindly told me,
“You need to look at this in a different way.
How many things you can acquire it’s not exactly the best way of measuring success.
As for her business being more successful: she has a lot more business experience than you do.

You are comparing yourself with someone that left the home country while you were in the elementary school.
Someone that operated several businesses in another country before moving to the States.
Someone that is 30 years older than you are. “

My friend was right, of course.
My “nemesis” and I had few things in common: the birth place and that we moved to the States in the same year.
Yet, we were so different in many aspects, including business experience.

A good life lesson to learn
Measure success by what’s truly important to you.
Your life journey is unique, don’t compare yourself to others.

Yes, friendly competition is a good thing.
It can bring out the best in all involved.
In the long run, however, competing with yourself will get you far more benefits.

Compete with yourself not with others.
Discover what’s important to you and stay true to it.
Everyday challenge yourself to be and do better than the day before.

That’s how you can achieve more success then you ever dreamed.

What about you?
Do you compete with yourself or others?


/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

Being Happy at Work

How do you feel about your work?
Numerous studies have shown that how we feel at work has
a great impact on productivity. As well as our health.

And if feeling positive, happy at work, clearly benefits us,
is there a “secret” formula to achieve this?

Yes, and it’s simple:
Do what you like (and have the skills to do it well).
Have a good balance between work and personal life.
Do work that has meaning to you, and gives you a sense
of accomplishment.

John Ruskin said it better:

In order that people may be happy in their work,
these three things are needed:
1) They must be fit for it;
2) They must not do too much of it;
3) And they must have a sense of success in it.

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/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru

Trust. It has made all the difference in my life – Steve Jobs

Trust, an interesting dichotomy:
You may think that trusting will make you lose control.
When it’s actually the opposite.
You regain control of your life when you trust.

As Steve Jobs said,

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward;
you can only connect them looking backwards.

So you have to trust
that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny,
life, karma, whatever.

This approach has never let me down,
and it has made all the difference in my life.”

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/Comments/in Time Money Success/by Mariana Fieraru