Your Look At Things You Need To Know For Your Thursday

As you face your day, Smile Often, Think Positively, Give Thanks, Laugh Loudly, Love Others ,Dream Big, Remember, Life is like a Camera, Focus on What’s  Important, Capture The Good Times, Develop From The Negative and If Things Don’t Work out, Take Another Shot. Difficult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations.

Many find that their anxiety levels will go up when they watch cable news, which causes many to avoid cable news or information that would otherwise help or hurt our society. ” The Government of the people, by the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” Abraham Lincoln.

Stay engaged in the business of OUR SOCIETY, take a break if you get overwhelmed. But equipped yourself with information so that you can make a educated decision that will impact OUR SOCIETY in a positive way. TAKE A BREAK, BUT,  Don’t Quit.

here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed

 Roy Moore challenges election result, claiming voter fraud
Roy Moore on Wednesday filed an election challenge alleging voter fraud, hoping to block Alabama from certifying the results of the vote he narrowly lost to Senator-elect Doug Jones. Moore, a Republican former state Supreme Court chief justice, has refused to concede even though Jones, a Democrat, won by more than 20,000 votes. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is expected to certify the result on Thursday, but the Moore campaign filed a last-minute complaint calling for a delay to allow a “thorough investigation” into possible fraud, including claims that people from other states were allowed to vote. Merrill has said it was “highly unlikely” anything would prevent Jones from being certified as the winner of the special election.

Source: NBC News

 Afghanistan bombings targeting Shiites kill at least 40
A flurry of bombings in Kabul killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens more on Thursday, Afghan authorities said. The attacks started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside a Shiite cultural center and religious school during a group succession. That attack accounted for most of the casualties. Two other explosions followed, one of them at the entrance to the Afghan Voice Agency news organization. A journalist there said one reporter had been killed. The Islamic State, which has previously targeted Shiite Muslims, claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Source: The New York Times

 4 North Korean defectors show possible radiation exposure
At least four North Korean defectors have shown signs of radiation exposure, South Korea said Wednesday. The four are among 30 defectors from the area near North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, although South Korean authorities could not immediately determine whether they were exposed through the country’s controversial nuclear weapons program. North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test since 2006 in September under the mountains of Punggye-ri. The last explosion was so large that it raised fears that Pyongyang had produced a hydrogen bomb that could have released radiation into the area. Another defector, a soldier, was found to have been exposed to anthrax, stoking concerns that Pyongyang is developing biological weapons in violation of international law.

Source: The HillUSA Today

 Fighting stops to allow biggest prisoner swap yet in Ukraine
The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists stopped shelling each other on Wednesday as they exchanged hundreds of prisoners. It was the biggest such swap since the start of the conflict in 2014, with the rebels releasing 73 Ukrainians and the nation’s government handing over more than 200 separatists. The exchange took place with no serious problems. Several days ago, the Trump administration agreed to provide weapons to Ukraine. Russia said that would only lead to an escalation in the fighting, which has killed 10,000 people. A wholesale prisoner release was a key element in a 2015 internationally brokered peace agreement.

Source: The New York Times

 Gallup: Obama beats out Trump as most-admired man
Former President Barack Obama is the man Americans admire most in the world, beating out President Trump, Gallup found in its annual survey. Hillary Clinton was the most-admired woman, edging out former first lady Michelle Obama. Gallup has asked Americans to name their most-admired man every year (except one) since 1946; in 58 of those 71 surveys, the incumbent president won top honors — putting Trump in a small group of presidents denied the honor. Former senator, first lady, secretary of state, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has won top honors among women 16 years in a row and 22 times overall, the most ever.

Source: GallupPolitico

 Myanmar judge extends detention of 2 Reutersjournalists
A judge in Myanmar extended the detention of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, as police continue an investigation into whether they violated the Official Secrets Act. The journalists were detained two weeks ago after working on Reuters‘ coverage on the exodus of 655,000 Rohingya Muslims from the western state of Rakhine. The refugees have been fleeing a military crackdown in the area following Rohingya rebel attacks. The Ministry of Information has said the journalists “illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media” in violation of the British colonial-era secrets law. They could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison under the law.

Source: Reuters

 Consumer confidence dips but remains strong
Consumer confidence dipped slightly this month but remained high during the holiday shopping season, the Conference Board said Wednesday. “Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018,” said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index edged down to 122.1 in December from 128.6 in November. The fall was slightly more than predicted. “This is an unexpected sign of weakness from the biggest driver of U.S. economic growth,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research report.

Source: The Associated Press

 IRS: Paying 2018 property taxes early to get deduction might not work
The Internal Revenue Service confirmed Wednesday that some taxpayers will be able to prepay their 2018 property taxes, before the newly passed GOP tax overhaul takes effect. The move will let them save on their 2017 income taxes. Only people who pay before the end of the year and who have already been notified by local tax authorities how much they will owe in property taxes will be able to take advantage of the strategy. State and local laws vary on tax assessments, so some of the many Americans rushing to prepay property taxes might not get the break.

Source: The Washington Post

 Russian hacker says he can prove Kremlin ordered DNC hack
In an interview with an independent Moscow-based television channel, jailed Russian computer hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky said he was ordered by the Kremlin to hack the Democratic National Committee computers during the 2016 presidential campaign, and he can prove it. Kozlovsky said he worked with the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and because he was worried his minders might turn on him, he left behind a “poison pill” during the DNC hack — his passport number and other personal information hidden in a .dat file. Kozlovsky was jailed earlier this year, accused of being part of a hacking group that stole more than $50 million from Russian bank accounts.

Source: McClatchy DC

 Frigid weather forecast to continue in Midwest and East through New Year’s Day
A series of waves of cold air will keep temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below normal in much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. through the weekend leading into New Year’s Day. Some parts of the central U.S. could get frigid weather with temperatures as much as 50 degrees colder than normal over the weekend. On the morning of New Year’s Day, average lows around the country could be around 10 degrees. A cold blast that spilled over the Great Lakes brought a record 65 inches of snow to Erie, Pennsylvania, and 62 inches to Oswego, New York.

Source: The Washington Post

The Week

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(411 on Business & Real Estate Taxes  )

Courtesy of Mark J Kohler, CPA, Attorney, and Mathew N. Sorensen, Attorney..

Important Year-End Deadlines AND Strategies- 
 

– ROTH Conversion Deadline…If you want to ‘convert’ some IRA money to ROTH you have to do it by Dec 31.

 

– Health Reimbursement Arrangement payment Deadline…If you had an HRA in 2017, you have to reimburse your employees/spouse or yourself before the December 31st if you want the write-off. The max contribution is 10k and if you need a refresher check out this article. 

 

– Pay your Kids…If you have children and they worked in the business this year, you need to move the money (but not payroll) before year-end. Watch this video. 

 

– Max Out Your ‘Itemized Deductions’…If you normally ‘itemize’ it may be wise to pre-pay any extra State and Local Taxes before December 31st (limited to 10k next year). This also includes charitable deductions, unreimbursed employee expenses, or even medical expenses. Run the numbers and realize that your tax rate could be lower next year as well!!

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