Your Look At Things You Need To Know For 3/21/18

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

Cartoon by Tim Campbell - Another Day, Another Disaster

 Austin bombing suspect dies in standoff with police
The Austin bombing suspect, identified only as a 24-year-old white male, was killed early Wednesday in a standoff with police along Interstate 35 just north of the Texas capital, police said. The suspect killed himself by detonating a bomb inside his vehicle as police closed in. An officer fired a shot when the device exploded. Since March 2, five explosions have killed two people in Austin and injured five others, including one at a FedEx facility 60 miles away. Investigators tracked down the suspect using video and other clues he left when dropping off packages with FedEx. Police said an incendiary device that injured one person at a Goodwill store on Tuesday evening was unrelated to theserial bombings. [CBS News, Austin American-Statesman]




 Trump congratulates Putin on election victory against aides’ advice
President Trump on Tuesday congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for his re-election victory, but did not mention Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump also did not bring up the attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England with a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union. Trump said they did discuss “shared interests” such as North Korea and Ukraine. “We had a very good call,” Trump said. “We will probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) slammed Trump, saying, “An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.” Trump reportedly ignored aides’ advice not to congratulate Putin. [The New York TimesThe Washington Post]




 Disagreements delay spending deal to avoid year’s 3rd government shutdown
Congressional Republicans continued talks early Wednesday on a $1.2 trillion spending bill just days ahead of a deadline to avoid the year’s third government shutdown. Lawmakers were aiming to unveil a deal Tuesday night, but they remained stuck on disagreements over immigration, border security, tax breaks, and other policies. Both theHouse and Senate must pass the legislation, which would keep thegovernment open through September, by midnight Friday. Potentially complicating plans is a winter storm moving through the Washington, D.C., region; a snow day would give lawmakers even less time to review the bill. Still, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, expressed optimism about the bill’s passage: “No shutdowns,” he said Tuesday morning. “You heard it here first.” [Bloomberg, Politico]




 Maryland student dies in confrontation with officer after shooting 2 classmates
A 17-year-old student shot a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy at Great Mills High School in southern Maryland on Tuesday before being confronted by an armed school resource officer. Both fired shots and thegunman, identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, was hit and later died from his wound. Investigators could not immediately say whether he was shot by the officer or killed himself with his own Glock 9-millimeter gun. Police said Rollins appeared to have had a “prior relationship” with the girl, who was rushed to a hospital in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The injured 14-year-old boy was listed in good condition. [The Baltimore Sun]




 Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO over undercover video
Cambridge Analytica suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending a full investigation into an undercover video by Britain’s Channel 4 News in which he appeared to boast of the data firm’s success influencing elections in foreign countries, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Nix’s secretly recorded comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” the statement said. In the report, Nix and two other company executives talked about entrapping politicians with bribery offers and prostitution stings and using online voter profiling. A British parliamentary committee on Tuesday summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for questioning on Cambridge Analytica’s accessing of information on more than 50 million Facebook users. [CBS NewsThe Associated Press]




 Trump urges Saudi prince to purchase more U.S. weapons
President Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House on Tuesday on his first U.S. trip since becoming theheir apparent to the throne. Trump urged the 32-year-old prince to buy more U.S. military equipment, calling the $12.5 billion the country is spending “peanuts” for the oil-rich kingdom. “You should have increased it,” Trump said. Earlier, the prince met with congressional leaders, who raised concerns over the Saudi-led coalition’s role in thecivil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said lawmakers called for Saudi Arabia “to take strong corrective actions.” [TheWashington Post]




 Ex-Apprentice contestant’s Trump defamation suit moves forward
A Manhattan judge ruled Tuesday that President Trump must face a defamation lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s old reality TV show, The Apprentice. Zervos is suing Trump for calling her allegation that he groped her in 2007 “fiction,” and saying she had fabricated the account for “personal gain.” Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz had called for throwing out the case, or delaying it until Trump leaves the White House, arguing that presidents are shielded from civil cases in state courts. “Thomas Jefferson made clear that the president’s responsibilities are 24/7,” he said. Justice Jennifer Schecter disagreed. “No one is above the law,” she wrote in a 19-page decision. [New York Post]




 Minneapolis officer charged in July shooting death of Australian woman
Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was charged with murder and manslaughter on Tuesday for fatally shooting an Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, in July after she called to report a possible assault behind her house. Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were in their squad car, and Noor had cleared the call on their computer to indicate that they were safe after checking the scene. Harrity said he heard a voice and a thump behind him and was startled. Then he heard a popping sound and saw a flash, which turned out to be Noor firing his pistol past him out the window. He then looked out and saw Damond, who, the charges said, who had a gunshot wound in her abdomen, and said, “I’m dying” or “I’m dead.” [Star Tribune]




 Former Playboy model sues to break silence on claim of Trump affair
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit against thecompany that owns The National Enquirer, American Media, seeking to be released from a 2016 legal agreement so that she would be free to talk about her claim that she had an affair with President Trump. McDougal is the second woman to go to court to get out of deals with Trump allies silencing women who say they had extramarital sex with Trump more than a decade ago. McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media’s CEO, a friend of Trump’s. The other woman was adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, shortly before the 2016 presidential election. [The New York Times]




 Carson tells lawmakers his wife, staff handled $31,000 furniture purchase
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended himself Tuesday against pointed questions from a House appropriations subcommittee about the $31,000 furniture set purchased for his office. Carson said he “was not big into redecorating,” and that he asked his wife, Candy, to help by choosing something to replace furniture he said was so old it was dangerous. Carson also defended his wife’s role in thematter, saying, “She’s the most frugal person in the world.” Carson’s testimony, in a hearing that was supposed to focus on budget cuts in his department, contradicted the initial statements by a HUD spokesperson, who said last month that the Carsons “had no awareness that the table was being purchased.” [The New York Times, CNN]
The Week


Upcoming Important Tax Deadlines-

(411 on Business & Real Estate Taxes  )

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

April 17th (yes that’s correct):

      – Contributions to Health Savings Account – Deadline to contribute to your HSA and get a tax deduction for 2017. $3,400 for Singles and $6,750 for Married/Family.

 Contributions to Coverdell ‘College’ IRAs – Deadline to contribute to your child or grandchild’s College IRA for 2017. Up to $2,000 per child. (Article Below)

     – Individual Tax Returns Due – Due date for 2017 Personal Income Tax returns (Form 1040). An automatic six- month extension may be obtained by filing Form 4868.

 1st Quarter 2018 Estimated Tax Payment Due – If you are self-employed or have other first-quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, file your Form 1040-ES.

      Deadline to make a 2017 IRA Contribution – This includes your Roth IRA contribution as well.  HOWEVER, if you have a small business and file an Extension, you have until October 15th, 2018 to contribute to a SEP (and then roll it into a 401k later if you like)

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