High Tide Aquatics

Tax Return Use... Help me

The time of year has come again and tax season will be right around the corner. I usally get some back and was thinking about putting some into the tank.


1)The new Reefkeeper Lite 3 looks like a great deal and would be a great addition to my tank. Yes or No, input..

2)A Vortec MP40 w/ batteryback setup. Would this be to much for my 60g, currently running 2xK3 and 1XK1

3)A calcium reactor. Where to start? German built better? Cirrently does Kalk and 2-part, really would like to be a able to set it forget about it for more than a day.

I am just putting this out there to here peoples feedback on the items listed. If you have a better idea or products please let me know I am here to learn.
The best use of your tax return refund is to get it back during the year and not give Uncle Sam and the state of California a interest free loan. Heck California this year may be issuing IOU's so if you are supposed to get a refund you may not get it as soon as you think.

End tax accountant rant.

That said, I would go with #1 or #2 probably #1. You could pick up some dosing pumps cheap and run them with your controller to dose 2-part.
Yes IOU's ::)

I work for the state and hear all the rumors. Luckly we have a good Union and they cant give them to us. Already went to court and won that last time.

I agree I should claim more so I get less back at the end of the year.
[quote author=seminolecpa link=topic=6005.msg75959#msg75959 date=1232487567]
The best use of your tax return refund is to get it back during the year and not give Uncle Sam and the state of California a interest free loan. Heck California this year may be issuing IOU's so if you are supposed to get a refund you may not get it as soon as you think.

Please rant on, haha! I'm in need of tax return info as well. If you can believe it, my now ex-CPA changed my marital status with my knowledge or permission. What is the difference between M1 and M2 marital status?
I work for the state too... but the way my withholdings are, I almost always owe money unless I end up buying something that gives me a sizable rebate (Like with my Prius)

Alright here's my run down of your options
#1 - Its not even out yet is it? My experience with a ReefKeeper is to wait until it's been out a bit so they can iron out bugs. Aquacontroller Jr. is another option as a "lite" controller

#2 - Depending upon the dimensions of your 60 I think this could replace all the pumps in that tank.

#3 - You can automate a 2-part solution really easily and most likely cheaper than a calcium reactor setup. Definitely is on the same cost level as the upkeep of a Ca reactor too especially if you make your own 2-part.
The payroll tax tables are usless. They were designed a long time ago assuming you take the standard deduction and you only have a single working member in the household (i.e. husband works and the wife stays at home). Thus just because you are married and have a spouse you both can't necessarily claim M-1 and still come out right. Therfore you need to massage the system in order to correctly identify what is the right withholding level for you. The worksheet of the W-4 is somewhat helpful in helping you but still is not totally accurate but is probably your best tool to determining what you should use to withhold. The W-4 in most cases goes to your employer typically by you and must also usually be signed by you before your withholding can be changed. You can find it on the irs website at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf?portlet=3

Another useful publication (though long) is http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf

This website is helpful for calculating exactly what your withholding will be based on various status and income levels


Also just as a disclaimer. I am no longer in public practice. I do partnership and corporate returns for a living. The above is just from my own personal research for my own return. You should consult a professional for better advice.
For the average non-home owner without any odd circumstances, is it worth paying for a tax professional vs a program like turbotax?
It really depends on how much work you want to do. For me it is easy to say that those types of returns are a piece of cake as I deal with taxes for a living. Typically if you read the forms instructions and follow along on a program like turbo tax you can get by fine. They are succeptable to errors. The old garbage in garbage out principal.

Some people have their returns done by professional because they just don't want to take the time to do it themselves (i.e. there time is more valuable then the time they spend on there own). Just remember there is usually a big difference between a CPA and an enrolled agent. One spends many years at college and takes a special exam and is licensed by the state, the other takes a class and gets some sort of certification from the IRS that lets them sign returns.
I used TurboTax last year and it was pretty rough. I got married the year before, so filing jointly for the first time ever may have made it complicated for me as well.

Also, and I don't mean to put you in the spot Bryan, but I dropped my current CPA because he basically cost me over a grand in late taxes and penalties. He told me to start up an IRA during the 2006 tax period to garner some tax shelter. I did so, but ended up getting a fat bill late last year because the CPA missed the fact that I had a 401K. I showed him the records of everything I gave him, including the highlighted 401K statement, and told him that he made an error and should own up to it, i.e. pay for the late tax and penalties.

The CPA promptly told me that though he made an error, he is not responsible for what I do with my money. When I pressed the issue, he had the gall to tell me "you accepted my advice, so accept the consequences as well". How in the world can you keep someone like that accountable?
Lets get back on track.

Tank is 48x13x18 should a mp40 cover it?

I like the idea of just dosing 2 part and kalk with dosing pumps, which brand pump can do the 2 part and kalk. Litermeter?
The koralias are doing there job, but I think that the options with the vortech would be great. As I am going to stepping up to a SPS dominated tank.
You don't HAVE TO spend your tax refund. You could use it for so many other things, including saving it "just in case".

Having said that I'd love a LiterMeter 3 with all the trimmings!

I won't be getting a refund, though putting it towards the principle of my mortgage sounds pretty good. With stocks/bonds/cd's etc having such crappy performance it makes sense to toss it against debt. I figure that throwing $100 at a loan with a 10% interest rate (for example) is about as good as getting a 10% rate of return on an investment of that $100, except that the money is no longer liquid) (ie' in a 10% investment, I can take that money out and spend it, if I pay down a loan with it, that money can't really be easily extraced again)