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A Cure for the Worst Tax Procrastination: Free Tax Extensions

Published: April 1, 2018

A Cure for the Worst Tax Procrastination: Free Tax Extensions

Now even chronic procrastinators have no excuse for giving the IRS more money than absolutely required.

Last year, more than 10 million taxpayers applied for a tax extension on filing their returns – thus, not only sparing themselves from having to fork over a monthly 5 percent penalty for missing the IRS’ dreaded deadline, but also potentially avoiding making costly mistakes in a mad dash to comply.

“Rushing can cause last-minute filers to forget necessary paperwork and miss out on claiming key tax credits and deductions,” says Elaine Smith, master tax advisor at H&R Block, the giant tax preparation firm.

So with this year’s April 17 filing deadline looming, it’s a big deal that participating offices at H&R Block will be offering free tax-extension filing from April 1 right through to D-Day for taxpayers. An extension buys an extra six months – until October 15 – to get those returns in.

Ah, but don’t completely stop sweating just yet.

Just because you file for an automatic extension doesn’t mean the IRS calls a time-out on any taxes due. (The U.S. national debt is $15 trillion-and-counting, and the money’s got to come from somewhere.) Those who fail to pay up at the same time they submit Form 4868 face being hit with both late payment fees and interest on what’s owed.

“It’s definitely not a way to keep more of your own money in your pocket,” says Smith.

With the tax code having gotten so complex over the years, it’s easy to see why the extra six months would be needed. How many parents of special-needs children know, for instance, that the money they pay for their kid’s supplementary classes or programs is considered a deductible expense if recommended by a doctor? Or that unemployment benefits must be reported as taxable income?

That’s why it helps to consult a professional like those at H&R Block, which offers guaranteed in-person services at its retail offices nationwide as well as the only face-to-face online tax preparation through Block LiveSM.

One last thing: For those wondering why this year’s filing deadline is April 17, that’s because the normal cut-off date – April 15 – falls on a Sunday, and that Monday is Emancipation Day in the nation’s capital.

How to Spend This Summer With Your Elderly Parents

Published: April 1, 2018 by Shauaiba Ahammed

How To Spend This Summer With Your Elderly Parents


Summer is on its way and often we will visit with family and friends and more than likely we may spend time with our elderly parents. We may not see our parents on a daily basis so small and slight changes that we may have missed maybe more noticeable.

These changes could be in their personality or appearance, the tidiness or cleanliness of the house isn’t as it used to be, there may be out of date food in the fridge or cupboards if this happens to you what you should do to approach this. They may be becoming more reclusive and not want to socialize with others.

Maybe they may need someone to pop in to see them on a daily basis, in home care ideal for these situations, someone to visit and to help them with the upkeep of the home, helping with small little tasks without taking away their independents.

A career can help get them out of the house to do some shopping or to go for a walk or even to the local community center, to help them out of their homes and back to socializing like they used to, helping them to remain active.

One challenge that people have is how to approach this with their parents, because it may be a gradual thing for them they may not realize how noticeable it is to others. The other challenge is that your parents may have a problem of staying independent and not wanting help.

The grass still needs cutting, food needs cooking so the help each parent needs will be different and individual, they must have a say in what care they need and who they will let into their home. In home care is not someone who takes over and controls the situation they can be an extra pair of hands, companionship, and someone to talk to.

It's important for them to be able to make a choice of who helps them rather than be told who they will have. You can provide them with a selection, some companies provides short videos of their staff, like a video CV which you can watch in the comforts of you own home before you invite them in to meet with you. You will be able to see their personality hear their ideas and experiences.

A service like this can be very beneficial for your parents will assist them and aid them in their own homes, it will help them to be independent and live life to the full with dignity and respect.

Having home carers and live in support is a good alternative to residential care, there is no commitment and they still have the opportunity to do what's best for them. It’s a fantastic opportunity, keeping independent whilst being helped with small everyday activities.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article that summer is near and with the summer comes the sun. please be aware of taking elderly parents out and about that they have hats and sunscreen so that they are protected. Loose long sleeve clothes will help protect them from those harmful UV rays.

Try to avoid staying out in direct sunlight between 11 and 3 and ensure there is plenty of shade around. Even if you love sitting in the sun it might not be right for the elderly. It's common sense but ensure you have plenty of water with you at all times so everyone can hydrate often

Atttitude of Gratitude: 5 Facts to Be Grateful For

Published: April 1, 2018 by Debbie Toomey

Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Facts to Be Grateful For


Has your fast paced life and heavy workload kept you from enjoying what's around you?

When was the last time you had a good night sleep without having to take anything for it?

Do you recall the last time you took a few minutes just to savor the things that made you happy?

Here's a simple way to add more richness, relaxation, and rejuvenation into your busy work-life schedule. Try incorporating a regular dose of "Attitude of Gratitude" into your day. That's right: gratitude. This technique takes less than 1 minute to do and can boost your health and happiness with persistent practice.

First of all, let's get clear on, "what is gratitude?" Gratitude, according to Cicero, is the mother of all virtues. He said that within this simple gracious self-affirming act comes a cascade of many wonderful inner human qualities. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines gratitude as: a feeling of appreciation or thanks. Scientists since the late 1990's have studied this human quality and have found many health and happiness benefits with the constant practice of it.

Gratitude, according to Robert Emmons, the world's leading researcher in the science of gratitude, explains that gratitude has two parts. According to him, "First it's an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we've received." Second, he states that it is "a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we've been supported and affirmed by other people."

Here are some interesting facts about the practice of gratitude:

1. It leads to increasing levels of optimism and other positive emotions, which will eventually help you live a longer and happier life (R. Emmons and Sonja Lyubomirsky).

2. It's nearly impossible to be grateful and feel envious at the same time. The positive emotion of gratitude cancels out negative emotions (R. Emmons).

3. Grateful people sleep better (Wong Wing-Sze, et al).

4. Grateful people tend to exercise more than those who don't practice gratitude (R. Emmons).

5. Gratitude is an immune booster (R. Emmons and M. McCullough).

Are YOU ready to start applying this powerful technique into your life?

Here are 3 simple ways for you to choose from to begin your "attitude of gratitude" practice:

1. Do the 3 Blessings exercise, created by Robert Emmons, where you list the 3 things, big or small, that you consider being a positive experience.

2. Say more Thank You's to people around you --- especially when they seem to be correcting you. (A technique I learned from one of my Acupressure Shiatsu teacher, Caroline, over 10 years ago.) This made me feel less inadequate for making a mistake but appreciative for the potential for being better in my practice.

3. Just like the old saying, "Stop and smell the roses!" Literally stop and smell the beautiful scents of nature around you whether you are in your kitchen cooking up a quick meal or outside on your way to your car for an errand. Stop for 30 seconds and take in all the good around you.

Reaching Inner Peace Through Inspirational Books and Quotes

Published: April 1, 2018 by Nada Ljubinovic

Reaching Inner Peace Through Inspirational Books and Quotes

Most of us seek peace, happiness , harmony and sanctuary in our lives. Unfortunately there are those days when it appears that nothing seems to be going right and that happiness is nowhere to be found. Its at these times that inspirational quotes and books can be real handy, they not only provide inspiration, but also give a different view of situations and can be a great source of reflection. The tips below outline ways in which you can use these resources to take away the most meaningful messages and help reach the goal of inner peace. 

Overall Growth Will Occur: Reading inspiration books and quotes allows you to reflect on your own life, and as many psychologists and counselors will tell you, that self reflection is the key element to personal development and growth. Inspirational quotes and books can provide a valuable framework to help you to make easy and adaptable changes in your life to achieve your overall and desired gal of true happiness. To get the most out of these resources, it is advised and is helpful to analyze each peace of information and determine if this is the right piece of information for you, and if so, why and what is the personal benefit that you will have from this. It's imperative that you read a lot of material, try to find just the quote for you and ensure that it is the one that will lead you and help you achieve happiness. A framework and personal growth can not be built on one inspirational quote, or based on a few pages of a book, research is vital for change and development. 

Positive Influences Bring About Good Feelings: Surrounding yourself with positive things, this does not necessarily mean inspirational quotes and books, it can be any item that brings a person joy, is said to have the most profound and positive affect on a person's well being and emotional health. Along with setting up a positive environment it is crucial that the inner, and emotional growth continues through positive and inspirational readings, this ensure that a continued positive outlook is maintained. When you find yourself feeling down and needing to feel better, turn to positive inspiration. You'd be surprised at how reading a few uplifting words will bring about good feelings and a sense of happiness.

You Will Learn How To Deal With The Negative: Everyone deals with negative and unpleasant situations, it is just a part of life, however it is what you do with that situation and/or how you grow from the experience that separates positive and negative people, and it can be said, happy from unhappy persons. If we aren't careful, negativity can creep into our inner being and bring out a lot of negativity that is detrimental both internally and externally, this gradually and unfortunately can become a habit, so one looses control over the negativity and negative outlooks. Even in negative situations, sad situations or when given negative news, if you have inner peace, if you feel that you are emotionally fulfilled, you are much better equipped to deal with these situations and perhaps help others around you, or at least be there to as someone who is not only willing, but is able to listen. Even though you might feel that you are in a god emotional place during these times, it is important to never the less turn to your tools (inspirational quotes and books) to ensure that you take care of yourself and continue on the positive path. 

In summary, there are many benefits to reading inspirational quotes and books so that you can find inner peace, happiness and sanctuary. By utilizing the above tips you can not only continue to have the inner peace, but also perhaps be able to pass on your tools and knowledgeably to assist others around you to reach their goal of happiness

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