Social Security can be a tricky topic, and many people have many misunderstandings on how it actually works. When considering how to maximize Social Security Survivor Benefits for a spouse, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration. Kiplinger has a great article that explains in detail what you need to know if you need to maximize Social Security Survivor Benefits.
Class is cancelled for Wednesday, August 04, 2021, and will resume on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. We should be able to complete this course within the next few weeks. Keep up the good work, we are getting close!
Class meeting information, online via Zoom.
Steve Windham is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Accounting Systems
Time: 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 976 7398 5504
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Topic: Accounting Systems, Week 1
Time: 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
The virtual meeting will open at 5:45PM; class starts at 6:00PM and concludes at 9:00PM.
Study materials and information for the Accounting Systems class can be found below:
If you have not yet received your payment, all I can do is advise you to wait. I have no access to additional information, and the IRS does not have any additional information beyond what's available on their website. Unfortunately, many people have yet to receive their payments. There is nothing you can do at this point, but to wait.
The 2021 tax filing season for Tax Year 2020 does not open until February 12, 2021. As such, I am not meeting with individual clients for tax appointments before February 12, 2021. I am; however, meeting with corporate clients, bookkeeping clients, and other business clients now so that we can finalize whatever is necessary to complete and file your business tax returns on time. Should you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you!
All courses that I have taught since I left the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School can be authenticated online. Students will receive an email with a URL directing them to their online transcript / authentication page. This URL will also be printed on the certificate. Click the link below to view the transcript / authentication page for Joe Student.
The virtual meeting will open at 5:45PM; class starts at 6:00PM and concludes at 9:00PM. The first few weeks will be spent making sure that everyone is able to login and access the course, as well as a review of Accounting I and Accounting II.
Study materials and information for the Accounting III class can be found below:
An Enrolled Agent is a credential awarded by the US Treasury/Internal Revenue Service that allows the credential holder to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. The Enrolled Agent credential is the highest credential that the Internal Revenue Service Awards. For more information about the Enrolled Agent credential, please click here: https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agents
I strongly urge all of my accounting students to obtain their Enrolled Agent credentials. While the exam is rigorous, it is manageable. The exam is divided into three parts: 1) Individuals, 2) Businesses, and 3) Representation, Practices and Procedure. Section 2--Businesses, is by far the most difficult section.
My recommendation is to use the Gleim Enrolled Agent Review Course. This is the study course that I used for my Enrolled Agent exam, and I also plan to use Gleim for the CPA and CMA exams. Here is a link to the Gleim Enrolled Agent Review Courses: https://www.gleim.com/enrolled-agent-review/courses/
My recommendation is to purchase either the Traditional or Premium review systems. . .
Over the years, several of my students have inquired about degree completion programs. Many colleges and universities offer these types of programs.
My suggestion would be to go through California State University Sacramento. Sac State offers their degree completion programs through the College of Continuing Education, which while a part of the university, the College of Continuing Education has different admission requirements and fee structures. I have taken several courses at Sac State through the College of Continuing Education. Specifically, I cleared my Adult Education Teaching Credential through the Sac State College of Continuing Education, and I am working on my Certified Crime and Information Analyst Certification there as well.
Here is the link to the Sac State College of Continuing Education Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Studies Program (this degree provides the pathway to obtaining your Adult Education and Career Technical Education Teaching Credentials): https://www.cce.csus.edu/bscts
I plan on holding class this evening (Tuesday, August 18, 2020); however, there may be power interruptions due to the extreme weather that we are experiencing. PG&E has been experiencing numerous power outages throughout much of California, especially the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.
In the event that we lose power, class will be rescheduled if power is not restored within fifteen (15) minutes. While I do have a backup generator, I realize that many of my students probably do not. As such, we will reschedule the class meeting in the event of a power outage that lasts more than fifteen (15) minutes. If I suddenly go offline and you do not, that means that I am likely experiencing a power outage and you are not. (I am in Vacaville, and I believe that all of you are in the Fairfield/Suisun area.) Again, please wait fifteen (15) minutes before leaving.
Black Lives Matters is a cleverly trademarked phrase that has often been confused and diluted by well-intentioned people who are concerned over the plight of people of color, particularly black people, in the United States. The organization, Black Lives Matters, is not some benevolent organization that simply wants to help black people. Instead, the Black Lives Matter movement intends to disrupt the rule of law in our country, as can be evidenced by the links and videos below.
Two of their founders are "trained Marxists." (See video, below). Marxism is inconsistent with the US Constitution and the American way of life. We waged the Cold War to fight Communism, and I steadfastly refuse to support Communism, Marxism, and/or Socialism. While I acknowledge that our Republic and our Constitution do embrace some socialist concepts (e.g. progressive taxation, Social Security, etc.), there are several mechanisms in place to ensure a representative republic and a capitalistic economic framework. If standing in bread lines gets you off, move to China, Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela. If being jailed or killed for your religion makes you happy, again, move to China, Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela. Move there, but do not import a proven failure of a philosophical / political / economic system into the United States.
Black Lives Matters also aims to disrupt the traditional family structure. Not everyone has a family, so alternative family structures are absolutely a good thing. The problem is that this is not what Black Lives Matters aims to do. They want to distort what the vast majority of the people consider a traditional family and traditional family values.
Black Lives Matter also have embraced criminal activity, as demonstrated by their violence, rioting, and looting in several cities across the country. (See video, below.)
I am a California credentialed educator. In California, and many other states, teachers, administrators, professors, and certain other school staff are required to take an oath supporting the US Constitution, as well as the State Constitution in which the school is located.
Follow the link to search for the "Black Lives Matter" trademark.
BLM, What We Believe (website):
Taken directly from the BLM website:
"We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise)."
1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.
2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.
3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.
4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.
7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.
8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.
9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.
10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.
Whenever I come across a good resource for the US Constitution and US history, I like to share it with all who might be interested. Such is the case with the University of Chicago Press and Liberty Fund joint venture called “The Founders’ Constitution.”
These are unique times in which we live. The Coronavirus Crisis has had global repercussions. The costs are measured in lives lost, lives damaged, businesses lost, and so much more!
As a photographer, I have decided to document the Coronavirus Crisis. I plan to attend as many Coronavirus Crisis protests as I can, and I am going to be working on a series of Coronavirus Masks. While my personal opinion is that most masks are ineffective, I would be very interested in photographing you in your mask and hearing your input on the topic.
Unfortunately, our media often times cannot be trusted. During this time of the COVID-19 crisis, the media has been PANIC PEDDLING. This irresponsible journalism is nothing short of Yellow Journalism and propaganda!
This page that I have created will show that mathematics is pure and true; whereas, the media often times is manipulative. Please visit one of these interactive spreadsheets for more information.
In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is highly likely that the Accounting III class will be postponed. Because this is a fluid situation, it may be best not to commit to a start date just yet.
The alternative is to maintain the start date (the week of April 19, 2020), but to conduct the class online. This would be a live class, conducted using Google Hangouts. From speaking with many of you, it seems that the majority of you prefer in-person delivery. A possibility is that we could start the class with online delivery, and then move to in-person delivery when people feel comfortable doing so.
I would greatly appreciate your input, so please get in touch with me and let me know your preferences. In the meantime, stay safe!
Steve M. Windham
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that, as of March 21, 2020, the following tax deadlines have been extended:
The Federal income tax filing due date has been automatically extended to July 15, 2020.
The Federal income tax payment due date has also been deferred to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed by the taxpayer. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers, as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
The California Franchise Tax Board has announced that, due to the COVID-19 Crisis, tax deadlines have also been extended. These extended due dates are similar to the Federal extended due dates. Please review the following pages for more information:
DECEMBER 01, 2019 UPDATE:
The weather has changed from hot, dry, and windy to wet and cool. There have not been any PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events in my area for several weeks.
To reduce the likelihood that power outages will be an issue, I now have a backup power generator. To date, my cellular service has not been affected, which allows me to communicate via phone/text, email, and WhatsApp.
The best ways to contact me are:
1) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Phone/Text: 707.635.3325
3) WhatsApp: 707.635.3325
OCTOBER 21, 2019 UPDATE:
PG&E has announced there will likely be another Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for Solano County this week on Wednesday and Thursday (10/23 & 10/24). This means that I may be without power again. To date, this has not affected my cellular phone service, but a PSPS does have the potential to.
Much of Northern California is on the PG&E list of potential Public Safety Power Shutoff areas this week. The IRS provides tax relief for those affected by disaster situations. Whether or not a Public Power Power Shutoff because of severe weather would qualify remains to be seen; however, it would seem reasonable since California is the nation's most populous state with a population of approximately 40,000,000 people.
Constitution Day 2019 is Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
Celebrate what makes the United States special–the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. While the US Constitution should be one of the most cherished documents in the world, many US schools fail to even recognize Constitution Day and many, if not most, US citizens are unaware of Constitution Day. Below are links to the US Constitution and Constitution Day. Please pass this along.
So while these curious new forms are somewhat interesting, they have done little, if anything, to streamline tax filing. This seems to be another case of the government fixing something that is not broken, as the Form 1040 was a finely-honed and efficient form that did an exemplary job of reporting individual income to the Internal Revenue Service.
Like many people, I have an interest in cryptozoology. For those unfamiliar with the term, cryptozoology is the study of and search for cryptids, which are animals of folklore, such as Bigfoot, the Lock Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, and other unknown, mysterious creatures.
Cryptozoology is largely considered to be a pseudoscience because most adherents do not follow the scientific method. For those who need a refresher, the scientific method has six steps:
1) Purpose (What is the point of the research?)
2) Research (Conduct background research on the topic.)
3) Form a Hypothesis (Predict the outcome of the research.)
4) Experiment (Test to confirm or disprove the hypothesis.)
5) Analysis (Record and analyze–experiments are often conducted multiple times.) And,
6) Conclusion (Determine if the hypothesis was correct.)
Fortunately, there are some scientists who have applied the scientific method to cryptozoology. In 2012, Professor Bryan Sykes of Oxford University and Dr. Michel Sartori of Musee de Zoologie, Lausanne, created the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project. The stated purpose of the study was: “As part of a larger enquiry into the genetic relationship between our own species Homo sapiens and other hominids, we invite submissions of organic material from formally undescribed species, or ‘cryptids,’ for the purpose of their species identification by genetic means.”
While the study did not prove the existence of Bigfoot or other similar hominids, it did have some interesting findings: “Sequences derived from hair sample nos. 25025 and 25191 had a 100% match with DNA recovered from a Pleistocene fossil more than 40 000 BP of U. maritimus (polar bear)  but not to modern examples of the species. Hair sample no. 25025 came from an animal shot by an experienced hunter in Ladakh, India ca 40 years ago who reported that its behaviour was very different from a brown bear Ursus arctos with which he was very familiar. Hair sample no. 25191 was recovered from a high altitude (ca 3500 m) bamboo forest in Bhutan and was identified as a nest of a migyhur, the Bhutanese equivalent of the yeti. The Ladakh hairs (no. 25025) were golden-brown, whereas the hair from Bhutan (no. 25191) was reddish-brown in appearance. As the match is to a segment only 104 bp long, albeit in the very conserved 12S RNA gene, this result should be regarded as preliminary. Other than these data, nothing is currently known about the genetic affinity of Himalayan bears and although there are anecdotal reports of white bears in Central Asia and the Himalayas [13,14], it seems more likely that the two hairs reported here are from either a previously unrecognized bear species, colour variants of U. maritimus, or U. arctos/U. maritimus hybrids. Viable U. arctos/U. maritimus hybrids are known from the Admiralty, Barayanov and Chicagov (ABC) islands off the coast of Alaska though in the ABC hybrids the mitochondrial sequence homology is with modern rather than ancient polar bears . If they are hybrids, the Ladakh and Bhutan specimens are probably descended from a different hybridization event during the early stages of species divergence between U. arctos and U. maritimus. Genomic sequence data are needed to decide between these alternatives. If these bears are widely distributed in the Himalayas, they may well contribute to the biological foundation of the yeti legend, especially if, as reported by the hunter who shot the Ladakh specimen, they behave more aggressively towards humans than known indigenous bear species.
With the exception of these two samples, none of the submitted and analysed hairs samples returned a sequence that could not be matched with an extant mammalian species, often a domesticate. While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support. Rather than persisting in the view that they have been ‘rejected by science’, advocates in the cryptozoology community have more work to do in order to produce convincing evidence for anomalous primates and now have the means to do so. The techniques described here put an end to decades of ambiguity about species identification of anomalous primate samples and set a rigorous standard against which to judge any future claims.”
My advice is to: keep looking, use the scientific method, and maybe you will discover a new species. Be sure to document your findings, and remember that you will need a holotype to be placed in a museum or university to document your new species.
According to the police, Marvel Comics legend, Stan Lee, was a victim of elder abuse, including elder financial abuse. I am in the process of creating a course called “Elder Financial Abuse” for my Financial Crimes suite of classes that I am trying to get domiciled at a university. My “Elder Financial Abuse” class will provide students of financial crimes with tools, resources, and strategies to help detect, prevent, and stop financial elder abuse.
Over the years there have been numerous physical and procedural safeguards put in place to reduce loss prevention. Thirty-five years ago, the “ink tag” was introduced to retailers. The concept is genius–attach a device to a garment that, if tampered with, will release and indelible ink onto the garment; thereby, ruining any benefit of stealing the garment.
Since most people who shoplift do so for personal use or the economic benefit of selling the item(s) on the street, this “benefit denial” approach has been shown to be quite effective. These ink tags can be tied into the merchandise inventory alarm control system, so that if the thief tries to steal the garment so they can remove the ink tag elsewhere, the alarm will trigger.
Read more about the history and evolution of the ink tag at Loss Prevention Magazine here:
The Puppycide Database Project compiles and tracks police violence towards animals. According to the website, “[R]ecords are currently included involving cats, squirrels, birds, elephants, tigers, emu, apes and mountain lions, just to name a few.”
Obviously, sometimes it is necessary for the police to kill animals, such as when a viscous dog attacks or when dangerous animals escape from the zoo and pose an imminent threat to human life. Unfortunately, there are many instances of unwarranted and cowardly shootings of family pets by police. Many of us consider our pets to be part of the family, and it is important that police violence against animals, especially pets, is documented.
For many years, I have argued that police need to be licensed like most other professions. The reality of the situation is that they are not. The exceptions are for their Driver Licenses, and when applicable their FAA Pilot Licenses (a very small percentage of police officers fall into this category). There may be various obscure licensing requirements for specialized police officers, such as FCC Radio Licenses. There is no such thing as a Police Officer License.
My reasoning behind this is that professional licenses are generally open to public inspection. Go ahead, check my licenses--all of them are available for public inspection online except for my Enrolled Agent license with the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. They will gladly conduct a license check if you write the Office of Professional Responsibility.
Back to the police. They are not licensed. POST certification is not a license. It is a certification. While POST certification can be revoked, it is exceedingly rare. Professional licensing generally requires continuing education, accountability to a licensing authority, adherence to a code of ethics, public inspection of license, sometimes bonding and/or insurance requirement, and the ability of the licensing authority to discipline licensees. A professional license can be revoked or suspended; thereby, making it impossible to work in that profession.
The media has succeeded where the government has failed, insofar as they have created a database of police officers who have been disciplined. Unfortunately, this database does not cover all 50 states, but it is a tremendous tool that the government and the police have failed to implement on their own accord.
USA Today, along with several other media outlets, has investigated police misconduct nationwide and have released this report:
Transparency is a wonderful thing, and because of the First Amendment we have a (mostly) free press that can be critical of the government and provide transparency and accountability when the government tries to frustrate these basic tenants of a free society.
On Friday, February 15, 2019, I resigned my teaching position at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School. My resignation was accepted by the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Without going into details, I will say that this was not a decision that I took lightly. I will miss working with my amazing students and colleagues. I plan on teaching accounting and financial crimes at another school in the not too-distant future. For those trying to access my teacher page, it has been disabled by the administrators. I have migrated some of the information from my teacher page to this website.
I am updating the Financial Crimes survey course, and I am also trying to offer a new course called “Retail and Restaurant Loss Prevention.” As I have recently resigned my teaching position at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, I am looking for another school where I can domicile my Financial Crimes courses.
There is also more information for the Financial Crimes Survey course here:
Yesterday, I received a telephone call from a 305 area code (Miami). After listening to the message, I called them back. They claimed to be from the Internal Revenue Service and that I had owed a past due amount and that they were going to pursue criminal charges against me. Today, a client called me and informed me that she had received a similar call.
In both cases, these were phishing scams and not the Internal Revenue Service! I refused to give them any information, and when I informed them that they were not the IRS they hung up on me.
DO NOT give these people any information! The IRS does not call you if you owe them money. When you owe the IRS money, you will be sent numerous notices via USPS First Class Mail. It is very rare for the IRS to call a taxpayer! They nearly always use USPS First Class Mail to contact taxpayers, especially if this is an initial contact!
When in doubt, ask for their name, badge number, and a number where your accountant or attorney can call them back. Then hang up. Do not give them any personal information whatsoever over the phone–do not confirm any personal information! When in doubt about any collection proceedings from any tax authority, contact your tax professional.
Also, note that it is extremely rare (never to the best of my knowledge) for the IRS to use email when dealing with tax payers.
Google is presently working on an artificial intelligence drone project. The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) has sent an open letter to Google urging them to withdraw from Project Maven and to commit to not weaponizing it’s technology.
Last week, we had an ethics discussion in my Accounting II class about the rise of technology. While the discussion was primarily focused on MotoBot as representing the threat of the rise of robots and artificial intelligence that is designed to exceed human performance, we also discussed micro-chipping people and what incentives could be used, or misused, to encourage people to be micro-chipped. Aside from Christian religious arguments (Revelations 13) against micro-chipping people, there are numerous ethical obstacles that anyone contemplating this procedure should consider.
A recent study from John Hopkins University suggests that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The only two things that cause more deaths per year in the United States are heart disease and all cancers combined. What this means is that 9.5 percent of all deaths in the United States are caused by medical errors.
Consider the implications… Nearly one out of ten people in the United States who died, died because their medical professionals made an error. Why is this acceptable? Why is the cost of medical care so high, if the quality is often so low? What is being done to improve the medical system? How can consumers protect themselves?
In the SoundCloud podcast, one of the authors, Martin Makary, professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discusses how settlements often include gag orders that prohibit discussion of the details of the case. Professor Makary notes that in aviation when there is an airplane crash, the crash is investigated, and the analysis is published so that pilots can learn from the mistakes of others. He goes on to note that this is not the case in medicine, and the same mistakes are made over and over again.
Captain Schmutzler will be one of the guest speakers for my Financial Crimes class at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School this coming Fall Semester. He will be speaking primarily on counterfeiting, identity theft, and the crimes that have been occurring since the legalization of cannabis because of the large amounts of cash involved.
On a personal note, I would like to recognize Captain Schmutzler for his frank and open dialogue when it comes to local police issues, as well as his forward-thinking and progressive approach to proactive community policing. Captain Schmutzler is considerate of alternative viewpoints, and he is very much willing to “think outside of the box.” Captain Schmutzler sets a very high standard at the Vacaville Police Department.
Home Economics is an interdisciplinary field of study that covers various subjects such as: family studies, food/nutrition, clothing/textiles, and consumer economics/personal finance. In recent years the field of study that was once referred to as Home Economics has been re-branded to Family and Consumer Sciences.
Most high schools, adult schools, colleges, and universities offer some or many of the courses that one would find in a Family and Consumer Sciences program. In the local area the Greater San Francisco Bay Area / Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area, there has been significant changes in the course and degree offerings at the college and university levels.
This article is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of the colleges and universities in the area that offer courses and majors in Family and Consumer Science, but rather to demonstrate the trend in Home Economics / Family and Consumer Science in education. For those who are interested in Family and Consumer Sciences, there are various professional groups and organizations dedicated to Family and Consumer Sciences. Among these are:
Understanding the Accounting Equation (ALE) and the Expanded Accounting Equation (ALICE) is critical to your success in accounting. The image below is downloadable as a PDF (see link at bottom of post).
Though not a strict Accounting or Business ethical dilemma, an unconscious patient was brought into the emergency room with "Do Not Resuscitate" and his signature tattooed across his chest. What is the ethical thing to do? What would you do? How is this related to business and accounting? Risk management, mostly.