Archive for March 2011
In order to work most effectively, you must be efficient in what you do. Unfortunately, there is a lot of time wasted due to behavioral problems in the workplace. I am specifically talking about aggressiveness or passive-aggressive behavior. These types of behaviors lead to all sorts of unproductive activities such as misunderstandings, dealing with hurt feelings, bullying and emotional outbursts.
Aggressive behavior is a “my way or the highway approach” or a “me-win you lose” philosophy. Passive aggressive behavior is saying yes but sabotaging through inaction or uncooperativeness due to the inability to share true feelings. In the end, this is not a way to run a business or your personal life.
Assertive behavior on the other hand looks for a win-win approach. It is standing up for your beliefs or opinions while not disrespecting the other viewpoint in a non emotional manner. Assertive behavior looks for solutions to problems and is not about keeping score of the winners and losers. It cuts to the chase to negotiate the best result for all parties. In my blog posted on February 7, 2011 I was using songs to describe my life and one the songs I chose was People Are Strange. I think passive-aggressive, aggressive and other dysfunctional behaviors are what I had in mind when talking about dealing with irrational and illogical people. Why can’t people be assertive without hidden agendas so we can get to the business of Turning Things On End To Achieve Results?
There is good news. If you act in an assertive manner you alone can diffuse the aggressive person and calm him or her down and get them working towards a win-win. In the same way, you can also take the person who is shy and unwilling to express their feelings and assure them through your non-confrontational approach that you will respect their opinion which will make them more likely to contribute to the solution.
This week, let’s all work on being assertive and focus on a win-win solution.
Today I am going to have fun dreaming about what I would do if I won a million dollars. Before I spend it, let’s assume that the state, local and the federal tax rate amounts to 40% or $400,000. Let’s ignore Social Security and Medicare taxes and all other taxes to keep it simple and start with $600,000.
After tax amount 600,000
First, I would give 10% to churches and religious/charitable organizations (100,000)
Second I would save 10% in a retirement plan (100,000)
Third pay of all debts – use 100,000 for example (100,000)
Wow, already down to $300k
Prepay funeral for my wife and myself – estimate (12,000)
Set aside funds in “lockbox” for daughter’s wedding (40,000)
Buy new diamond ring for Mrs. Paceline (15,000)
Add extra for daughter’s wedding after wife thinks I skimped (10,000)
Hmm… that’s already looking pretty small before I get to the frivolous stuff.
Better give my relatives kids college money – 13 @$10k each (130,000)
Get hit up by neighbors, old school buddies and people I barely know (8,300)
Get new carpeting, chandelier in dining room and stainless steel refrigerator (9,432)
New Hardwood floors in foyer, hallway and kitchen (5,287)
Buy area rugs to cover aforementioned hardwood floors (2,200)
Security system and fencing to protect new wealth (25,000)
Pay wealth management adviser fees (4,500)
Join country club to be with like minded, rich folks (10,000)
Pay bill for bottles of expensive champagne for celebrating new wealth (1,000)
Down payment on Escalade like all the others have at the country club (15,000)
Psychiatrist bills for dealing with pressures of country club life (2,500)
New Miniature Chihuahua and Mink coat for miniature Chihuahua (2,750)
Hire pet Psychologist to treat Chihuahua for feelings of un-fulfillment (1,850)
Pay first bill from Country Club (3,181)
Hire lifestyle specialist to rein in spending (1,995)
Buy value meal at McDonalds (4.98)
Ending balance .02
With my last 2 cents I would give it you and tell you that a million dollars isn’t as much as it used to be and money can’t buy happiness.
Have a great week being happy with what you have.
Before I begin today’s topic, I wanted to mention the unfolding tragedy in Japan after the Tsunami. I have a hard time believing what I see when looking at the footage of the force of the water as it pummels the coast of Japan. Another concern is the Nuclear power plants. We can only hope they get those under control or contained as soon as possible.
Just as I cautioned during the Haiti earthquake, if you plan to donate to the relief effort, I advise it is best to give to established charities that know how to mobilize and that have the lowest administrative costs so that the highest percentage of your donations go to the relief effort.
A word about potential scams. When tragedy strikes like this there are always dishonest people that try to take advantage of the situation. Be very careful that you give to an organization that is credible and established. If there are ANY doubts do not give to the organization. Also, be aware of scams over the phone or the internet. Do not give personal information such as your bank account or social security number to anyone no matter how “real” the scheme may appear.
Now for today’s topic…
Daylight savings time has begun, spring will arrive next week and March madness is about to begin tomorrow. I don’t know what that means to you but to me that makes me think of tax time. Corporate tax returns are due tomorrow unless an extension is filed and partnerships and individual return are due on April 18th this year due to the Emancipation day holiday in the District of Columbia.
So, what are you going to do about your business taxes? It is a very difficult question but let me advise you to take care of them on time and by paying the legal minimum. It is the CPA’s responsibility to file a tax return so that the tax due on the return is the legal minimum. I would recommend you get a CPA to prepare your tax return if you are not already doing so.
In addition to the income tax return for your business are you certain that you are in compliance with all other filing obligations? Are you current with your payroll taxes? Are you collecting sales tax and remitting it to the state on a timely basis?
As a result of tight budgets that states are encountering, many states are focusing on use tax compliance. If you are not filing a use tax return for purchases that are made out of state and brought in to your state, you are in trouble. Companies who are not filing a use tax return are the first place the State auditor’s will look. The second place they will look is for unusually low amounts of use tax paid on filed returns for possible underreporting of use tax. You are the low hanging fruit in their quest for more revenues to balance their budget. Get in compliance today.
For information on Ohio’s voluntary disclosure program, click here.
Crain’s Cleveland Business had a good article on this a few weeks ago. Click here to read more.
To access Pennsylvania’s Use Tax Voluntary Compliance Program, click here to read more.
If you have any questions, please seek the advice of your CPA or contact me and I will be happy to assist you. Have a great week.
Last week’s surprising treat of getting a Ford Mustang as a rental car made me think about cars and cars I have owned or driven over the years.
Below is my list with some brief memories about my “rides”:
- 1943 Willy’s Jeep (CJ2 or CJ3 model) – Top speed was about 45 and could get about 18 mpg if you were easy on the gas pedal. It had no heater and was a rag top that was ordered from the JC Whitney catalog.
- 1969 Chrysler New Yorker – had a 440 cubic inch engine and a 4 barrel carburetor. It was a massive gas hog. It was the first car that I drove over 100 MPH. I don’t think I have done that since. You do get wiser with age.
- 1979 Ford LTD Station Wagon – This car took me to the prom my Senior year
- 1986 Dodge Reliant (K Car) Station Wagon – a company car I drove this 50,000 miles in one year.
- 1980 Ford Fairmont – My first car I actually owned after I got out college. Your grandfather would have been jealous of the maroon vinyl top and red vinyl seats.
- 1983 Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon – A great car for hauling my bicycle to various races. It was a 5 speed that got good gas mileage.
- 1992 Chevy Cavalier Coupe – My first brand new car. I took out my first loan and bought it with no money in my pocket when I signed the papers. It had fold down rear seats that were handy for hauling that bicycle around to races.
- 1994 Dodge Intrepid – I bought this car used with about 15,000 miles on it. I loved this car. It had more electronics on it than the Apollo 13 rocket – or so said the salesman when he tried to sell me an extended warranty. I declined and had little or no trouble with the car until it hit 150,000 miles.
- 1995 Chevy S-10 Extended cab - I bought this truck used right after I got married and forgot to tell me wife what I was doing. I guess I forgot I was married. This was a great truck that hauled my bike and everything else I could fit in it. I sold it with 135,000 miles on it for $1,600 and the guy who bought it drove it for 3 or 4 more years.
- 2003 Chevy S-10 – I bought this new after I sold the ’95 S-10. I called it “PJ” since it was a plain Jane. The only thing it had was a CD player and air conditioning. It was a 5 speed that got good gas mileage. I sold it to my brother when it had about 55,000 miles on it. He drove it for about 3 years and got almost as much as he paid for it. Good resale value.
- 2002 Chevy Impala Sedan – I got this car from a company I used to work for. I drove it for 2 years and sold it to my other brother for about what I paid for it. I really liked this car, it was very roomy. I would buy it back from my brother if he would sell it.
- 2009 Chevy Malibu Sedan – This is the car I drive now. I bought it at the height of the credit crisis when no cars were selling. I got a really good deal on it. I like this car but it is smaller than the Impala and I miss the roominess.
Do you have any stories about the vehicles in your past? I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane. Have a great week.