Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 1999 /8 Teves, 5760
DEAR B.C.: I could not endorse either. You have made some mistakes, but to give up what you have earned and take the easy way out would be a big one. Have you considered working two jobs or taking a part-time job? In my view, the easy way is the least desirable, and I would be uncomfortable with either of the choices you outlined. The tough way to go is to earn the extra money, which is what a well-adjusted adult would choose.
DEAR BRUCE: We have been approached by some folks who are willing to set up a home business for us. They claim there are legal tax deductions associated with home offices that will reduce our income tax. They ask for a monthly fee to handle all the necessary paperwork, representation in case of an audit, etc. What do you think? -- J.G., Topeka, Kan.
DEAR J.G.: I am weary with the various schemes people come up with to increase deductions to save a small amount of money. If you want a home business, why not establish one that is profitable? Even then, you will pay taxes, but you will have a lot more at the end of the year for yourself. Why mess around with these charades?
DEAR BRUCE: In one of your columns, you said that if a gift certificate expires, the issuer must remit the amount to the state. I cannot find any information about this on the Internet. I would like to persuade my golf course to honor some certificates I won, which expired several weeks ago. Can you help? -- J.R., via e-mail
DEAR J.B.: Call the escheat division of your state (every state has one). This is the branch of the government that takes custody of unclaimed bank accounts, insurance policies, etc. It is the obligation of the issuer of the certificate, if it is not redeemed, to turn this money over to the state, as this money does not belong to them. If you probe your state stature and show it to the manager of the golf course, letting him know what he has to do, I suspect he would rather let you spend your money at his establishment than give the money to the government as he's required to do. If he has already turned the money over to the state, you may make a claim to have it returned. You will receive no interest, but if you can prove that the money was from a gift certificate that was given to you, the division will give you a
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