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April 15, 2011

Craziest Tax Deductions for 2011

For those off us procrastinators who still haven't filed. A little levity for a change.

Amplify’d from www.foxbusiness.com

10 Craziest Tax Deductions for 2011

Behold Bankrate's sixth installment of the year's craziest, laughably outrageous, utterly true tax deduction tales, culled from the seasonally imbalanced minds of certified (if not certifiable) public accountants from across the land, some of whom requested anonymity.

And if The Fridge Breaks, I'd Starve to Death!

Ah, the evergreen home security system ploy. We've seen legitimate home businesses try to claim their dogs and even cats as a security expense. Me-ow! But the Hunter Group in Fair Lawn, N.J., reports that one client had a personal stake in her home security system.

"One client tried to write off the cost of her home security system. Rationale? If the client's home was burglarized and she was killed, she could no longer pay taxes."

Does it Count if I Wrote the Checks in There?

Home office deductions continue to entice would-be tax evaders. The rule: Improvements to the office portion itself are deductible; improvements to the rest of the house may be reimbursed based on the percentage of total square feet devoted to the office.

"The most troubling return was a lady that was self-employed who demanded that she get to deduct more than $30,000 she had paid in remodeling her home," says Sibley. "The only trouble was, the area that was remodeled did not include her actual home office."

Read more at www.foxbusiness.com
 

April 14, 2011

Trouble @Twitter>

Maybe this is why I haven't hit 10,000 followers yet. It's certainly not the fact that I tweet in fits and spurts or my bone-dry wit.

Amplify’d from tech.fortune.cnn.com

Trouble @Twitter

Boardroom power plays, disgruntled founders, and CEO switcheroos are clipping the wings of this tech high flier.

There's no shortage of drama at Twitter these days: Besides the CEO shuffles, there are secret board meetings, executive power struggles, a plethora of coaches and consultants, and disgruntled founders. (Like Williams. The day after Dorsey announced his return to the company -- via tweet, naturally -- Williams quit his day-to-day duties at the company, although he remains a board member and Twitter's largest shareholder, with an estimated 30% to 35% stake.) These theatrics, which go well beyond the usual angst at a new venture, have contributed to a growing perception that innovation has stalled and management is in turmoil at one of Silicon Valley's most promising startups, which some 20 million active users rely on each month for updates on everything from subway delays to election results -- and which a growing number of companies, big and small, seek to use to market themselves and track customers.

Just two years ago Twitter was the hottest thing on the web. But in the past year U.S. traffic at Twitter.com, the site users visit to read and broadcast 140-character messages, has leveled off. Nearly half the people who have Twitter accounts are no longer active on the network, according to an ExactTarget report from January 2011. It has been months -- an eternity in Silicon Valley -- since the company rolled out a new product that excited consumers. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg used to watch developments at Twitter obsessively; now he pays much less attention to the rival service. Meanwhile companies are hungry to advertise, but Twitter hasn't been able to provide marketers with enough opportunities. Last year the company pulled in a mere $45 million in ad revenue, according to research firm eMarketer. Facebook brought in $1.86 billion.

See more at tech.fortune.cnn.com
 

April 13, 2011

Autism Researcher Poul Thorsen indicted

Poul Thorsen indicted for allegedly concocting a scheme to steal more than $1 million in autism research money from the CDC

Amplify’d from www.bizjournals.com

Dane indicted for defrauding CDC

A Danish man was indicted Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly concocting a scheme to steal more than $1 million in autism research money from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The indictment charges Poul Thorsen, 49, with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and the money laundering counts each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, Thorsen worked in the 1990s as a visiting scientist at the CDC Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, when the CDC was soliciting grant applications for research related to infant disabilities.

Thorsen promoted the idea of awarding the grant to Denmark and provided input and guidance for the research. From 2000 to 2009, the CDC awarded more than $11 million to two governmental agencies in Denmark to study the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines, between cerebral palsy and infection during pregnancy and between childhood development and fetal alcohol exposure.

Read more at www.bizjournals.com
 

April 12, 2011

Will a gluten-free diet improve your health?

A #GF diet can improve your health if you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant or are allergic to wheat/gluten. It may also benefit those on the autism spectrum, but it's a way of life, not a diet. It's difficult to go gluten free, it can be very expensive and it requires careful monitoring of proteins, vitamins and fiber that you would otherwise get from whole grain breads.



I have two children on the spectrum, one is allergic to wheat and has been gluten and casein free since birth, he also stims if he gets even a tiny dose of wheat. My teenage daughter can eat all the gluten she wants without any side effects or worsening of her #ASD symptoms.



In short, gluten free is not for everyone.

Amplify’d from www.cnn.com

Will a gluten-free diet improve your health?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (and countless food products like pasta that contain those grains).

Experts now think of gluten intolerance as a spectrum of conditions, with celiac disease on one end and, on the other, what's been called a "no man's land" of gluten-related gastrointestinal problems that may or may not overlap.

Leffler estimates, for instance, that half of the approximately 60 million people in the U.S. who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are probably sensitive to gluten. (Gluten allergies, which are similar to other food allergies, also fall on the spectrum but affect only about 0.1 percent of the population.)

Gluten-free doesn't equal healthy

If you suspect your body can't tolerate gluten, the first thing you should do is get tested for celiac disease. If the test comes back negative, try a gluten-free diet for a week to see if you feel better, Leffler says.

Cutting out gluten is the most reliable way to determine if you are, in fact, sensitive to the protein -- and if you are sensitive, it's the only treatment.

However, Leffler stresses that you should get help from a dietitian to make sure that you avoid hidden sources of gluten (like soy sauce and salad dressing), and that you don't miss out on the vitamins that wheat products provide.

Even though celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow have reportedly cut out gluten to "detox," there's nothing inherently healthier about a gluten-free diet.

"It can be very healthy, or it can be junk food," says Dee Sandquist, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Read more at www.cnn.com