Dear Appreciated Followers,
I find it tough to write this message, but I am in a place in my life where I am both resentful and very frustrated and I need YOUR help as well as advice on this problem:
My CPA told my wife last year if she needed to use some of her retirement money that had been put into an IRA in our bank, to as he said, "Just use it."
She did use some, but not a lot. But when we filed our taxes, his numbers were that we owed the Fed's $11,000! We have been struggling to make those monthly payments, but the CPA, whom I have known since high school, gave us a Promissiary Offer Form to fill out for the I.R.S. which means we make an offer to them WHAT we can pay per month and if they agree, that is fine.
But we ran into some areas of this form that we did not know how to fill out and so our bank advised us to have the CPA fill it out.
This took him OVER one year to complete. And completed the last few pages in our presence. If that were not enough, he tried to re-file on the same money that we got stuck for with the Fed's, but my wife called his hand to it and he stopped.
Then he hit us with another mystery: He said that my wife owed $336.00 on her Marketplace insurance she had for most of last year and if we paid this entire amount, the IRS would look favorably on us, but (they might force her to sell her shop where she makes wreaths and flower arrangements), to pay it all off.
Now for the tough part.
It has take me at least FIVE years to build up a decent amount of money in my PayPal account from hubbing and if I take the money out of this account to help pay this to the IRS, I will have to stop writing for HubPages for these reasons: I am too sick, broken down, and mentally exhausted to start over. Plain and simple. For me to leave HubPages is equal to being shot or knifed by an assassin. I am totally serious. I LOVE all of my Dear Followers and the Hub staffers as well.
So someone in my following, "Please help me with some advice that will distinguish this burning worry and dread?"
Thank you and Love You All,
Kenneth, call this number (Legal Hotline 1-866-456-4995) and explain your situation, I am sure that they will help you. The IRS is not there to rip you off and I am sure your CPA must know this. I am not saying he is a crook, but you need Legal advice and someone to advocate for you, the Legal Hotline will help and don't give up your writing. As far as taking money from an IRA/retirement fund, if your wife in 59 and 1/2 she is entitled to take from her retirement fund, but she would have to pay taxes on it, If she is in trouble for that then so am I, because I withdrew from mine this year. This is not advice, it is what I would/will do if I am faced with this kind of situation. You are not alone.
Blessings and Hugs.
This is not only complicated, but senseless. She acted (last year) on the advice on this cpa who advised her to take FROM her IRA to use to buy items for her mother's house. Now we owe the FED's $11 G's, but we are making payments. Thanks for the Legal Hotline help. I needed it.
And you hit it on the head. I hate to have to leave HP for draining my PayPal account. Not that I love money, but I guess the fault is mine for not writing more-comical or serious hubs as others have done and made hundreds of bucks.
But leaving HP is the very last recourse I have, so do not cry yet.
This I don't understand. Why do you have to leave HP if you use up your PayPal balance? Most of us empty it the day we get paid
Your Paypal account won't close if it has a zero balance. And it is only a conduit for payment from HP. It is not linked to HP in any way.
Okay. I see what you are saying.
Now to answer your query as to why I "feel" like leaving HP: It took me five years of hard work, searching for topics, etc. like you and all of my followers do, so I am no different, but I cannot work this hard at my age to build it up to the balance, which is not that huge, but I am proud of it, again.
Before, I had not yet had congestive heart failure . . .
Before, my daughter had not passed away . . .
Before, my health was not good, but not as bad as it is now.
So I will think on what you said in above comment. Okay?
You say a prayer for me. I got a phone number this evening on this forum about a Legal Hotline for such problems as I have with the IRS, so I will call it Tuesday.
Your Friend for Life,
I understand what you are saying, Kenneth, but if you never wrote another hub, your balance would begin to build again. I haven't written a hub for a couple of years now (because every time I publish one, it gets stolen), but I reach payout most months. All I do is edit and tweak them - not much effort really.
Kenneth, you are not making any sense.
Once HubPages has paid your earnings into your Paypal account, they have NO IDEA what you do with that money. If you withdrew it the next day, they wouldn't know and wouldn't care.
So, suggesting that you'd have to leave HubPages if you withdrew the money makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It's your money, HubPages doesn't care what you do with it.
In fact, you are SUPPOSED to withdraw the money and put it in your own bank account, for security reasons. You can keep a separate bank account for that purpose if you like, but the main thing is that it is not a good idea to keep large amounts of money in Paypal because it's vulnerable to scammers.
I wish you success in sorting out your tax affairs.
Okay. Allow me to clear-up the fog on my thinking about "leaving" HP. All you said in this post is true. And I knew all of that info a long time ago.
What I meant by me "leaving" HP was I believe that it took me five years of writing, researching, looking for topics, photos, etc, to get a decent amount of money in PayPal.
I simply wanted to see if I could SAVE UP as much as possible. That is all. And if I withdraw the money for taxes, I do not see my having to start over immediately with rebuilding my PayPal amount for my health, mental state, and emotions are shot and mostly from my daughter passing away on Feb. 11 and it was unexpectedly.
I know. Life goes on. I am not the only dad to have his daughter go on to eternity, but I got to tell you how deep it hurts. And how that one event affects EVERY AREA of my life.
Thanks for your well-wishes.
I hope this puts my "leaving" HP in clear view.
In that case, you are not "leaving" HubPages, you are simply taking a break. Even if you do not visit HubPages, or write another Hub, your existing Hubs will still be sitting here when you feel able to get back.
For now. Okay? I will stay and see what develops. Thank you for your kind understanding. And being such a Special Friend. I mean that in a sincere, respectful way too.
Have a peaceful day, but next year, I have a feeling I may be buying TurboTax or TaxSlayer and save all of this human interaction with my taxes.
Good idea or not?
Your Friend for Life,
Kenneth, I don't know what type of retirement account you're referring to, but I can give you my experience with a 401K account I had. I withdrew all of it when I left the company I was with when I built it up. I was over 50 so I didn't have to pay a penalty, but it was subject to taxes because I'm not yet of retirement age. However, the check I received was the net after taxes were taken out. Over $10,000 was taken from the gross. I think I netted $37,000.
I did not roll it into an IRA. I flat out cashed it out and put it into my savings account. I would have been in a heap of trouble if the taxes had not been deducted at time of withdrawal.
Now, as far as leaving HP. Please don't - you would be sorely missed. On another note, HP has paid you enough to cover the taxes??????
Precious friend, thanks for your advice on my tax dilemma. Turns out, our CPA filled out a Promissory Document which is a form of paper negotiation with the I.R.S. where I offered them a lower monthly payment that I am paying now, and I received a letter from them yesterday and they said I would be contacted before August of this year.
And in the meantime, they, the IRS are studying my financial situation to make a judgement on this entire mess which was not my fault.
I am going to step-up my hubbing as to be so many ahead, so I can devote more time to my birdhouse business.
I will write some and not leave HP, but I am not able to do both and be considered a success.
Love you, dear bravewarrior.
I can relate, Kenneth. I've kinda stepped back myself. I comment more than I write because my priorities have changed. Your bird house business should take precedence. It makes you more money and pleases not only humans, but promotes environmental friendliness and co-habitation.
I will be totally honest with you. I love building and designing unusual birdhouses and sell them "for a song," they are not expensive at all, but followers SUCH AS YOURSELF make my time on HP better, more peaceful and exciting. I said it and I do not mean anything inappropriate either.
I understand you don't have to pay a penalty if you're 55. However, you always have to pay taxes - so it's best to never take it all out at once. Even then, it looks like you got walloped. You should have gotten no less than half. Can you check on that???
First of all, find another CPA! The one you have sounds incompetent, if not outright dishonest.
I used to work for H&R Block; they do taxes for small businesses as well as individuals. They're worth checking out.
Best of luck to you!
People complain about HR Block and the prices..they do seem high but when I had a problem with a return years ago, they were right there to help. So the big tax chains do offer protection on some level I guess.
Say Yes to Life,
Thanks to you too for taking time to lend advice to me.
And this, the "interaction" with the IRS would not make an average comical hub. That bites.
Say Yes to Life,
Update on Tax Problem:
Talked with a close buddy who works for a radio station in a nearby town and he and his wife were messed-up bad by their local H&R Block in making them pay for money that they had not spent. I do not understand that, but the Block man told him and the wife that he would charge $150.00 to file an Amended Return, thus making my buddy fume.
He advised me to use Turbo Tax or even TaxSlayer.
Right now, those are looking great.
So sorry to hear that! The office I worked in (Hilo) was a great one, but I heard of tax preparers in Kona who helped people file fraudulent returns for extra pay. They were caught and punished. I guess in a large corporation, there will always be bad guys.
Perhaps you can get a textbook that teaches you how to do small business taxes. I took such a course; it's not that hard.
Everyone should really do their own if you have a simple return with no credits or deductions.
Hi, Say Yes to Life,
I chatted briefly with a good friend of mine early this morning and he said that H&R Block did him and his wife the very same way--charging them for an error that THEY made. This is getting out of hand. (Billy/ Rob Lowe, St. Elmo's Fire). And I agree.
Thanks again for the following.
I agree with Say Yes to Life, Kenneth. I would get a second opinion, even though you have known your CPA since childhood. It would be a shame if you had to withdraw your HubPage funded PayPal funds and give up writing here. I would certainly recommend that as only the last resort.
Thanks, dear friend, for always making me feel alive. I suppose THE one thing that makes me feel the worst is after 5 years of writing, now the Fed's get the fruits of my labors. What is fair about that?
I would write more, but I am mentally and emotionally worn out.
Peace to you, dear friend.
Your accountant told you ahead of time that you needed to start making the required distributions. But AARP and your investment company usually reminds you also. The penalty for not having insurance was also highly publicized. I don't think this can be blamed on the accountant - he didn't make up the tax laws. It would help to get a second opinion when the amount is so high though so you can be sure, and to see if there are any deductions the accountant missed.
It is unfortunate that you owe so much in taxes, but I don't understand what it has to do with HubPages. When you earn money, it is acceptable to use it. You aren't "starting over" on earning, just on saving, which is something you would have to do no matter the source of the income.
By the way, I would recommend that you not use Paypal as a savings account. Transfer the money to a savings account where it can earn some interest.
I appreciate your time and advice.
I suppose that I am going to draw out most of the money we owe the IRS. And then, maybe, we can think about making other arrangements to get a new CPA or tax service, but a dear friend of mine who works in a radio station advised me to NOT use H&R Block. They messed he and his wife up terribly.
No I wouldn't recommend H&R Block either. Don't go to places that hire temporary workers to do taxes. Go to someone who knows what they are doing.
Hewlitt/Packard? How about them. I forgot how they spell their name. Or what about TaxSlayer or TurboTax?
I'm not familiar with the others, but Turbo Tax is a software program you can use to do your taxes. These software programs are great for doing simple returns (and even some more complicated returns). Since your situation is more complicated and you need advice, and not just a way to file your return, you need to talk to an tax accountant or tax attorney.
You may think that is too expensive, but H&R and other shops that hire temporary workers also charge crazy prices so a tax accountant may not be very expensive in comparison. They may even save you money when they give you good tax advice on how to save on taxes and avoid problems like the one you had.
My father was a CPA, and he did not recommend H&R Block or that individuals try to negotiate with the IRS themselves. It is typically too emotional for the taxpayer, and they do themselves more harm than good.
Most CPAs work for the IRS. By that I mean their bread is buttered by NOT exciting the IRS's interest in their client's returns. Therefore, many will overlook deductions that they are not sure about, either because the law has changed and they don't know how to interpret it, or because it is considered a "red flag" deduction, and while it is legitimate, they don't want clients to use it, and set off a series of red flags for them as the preparer.
I highly recommend that you find a CPA that has a reputation for negotiating with the IRS and finding deductions. The IRS is under no obligation to find deductions for you, however if your CPA proposes deductions that you did not take advantage of, the only thing the IRS will say is either okay or no to that deduction. Another CPA can play the white knight for you, explaining what a poor job his predecessor did, and hopefully get the agent to sympathize with your situation.
My father did that kind of work, and was able to refile and negotiate a tax bill of $100,000.00 down to $15,000.00. Just don't let the CPA bill outweigh the tax bill.
Find a word of mouth person or company in your area with solid references.
I agree with Shasta. How is it having to "start over" with hub pages?? You already have over a thousand hubs that will continue to earn money for you, even if you don't write any more! The fact that you have to use the hub money you've saved isn't so bad.... it is filling a need for you, which is what it was supposed to do. I would chalk it up to poor choices (CPA) and move forward with a new CPA and a positive attitude. With more quality hubs added to those you already have, you'll be making hub money at a faster rate, so keep writing!
(also I agree that keeping $$ in PayPal account is a bad idea)
Thanks to you too, for your great advice. Keeping my $ in PayPal was more of a psychological thing than just having the $. It gave me the feeling of accomplishment of being paid for what I love to do: Write.
But now, after talking with the IRS, they say my wife has to pay for something they called not fully invested.
Your wife, is being penalized for not being fully vested. Which means she took money out of her IRA before she turned 59 and 1/2 and will have to pay a penalty. You CPA was wrong not to tell her of the heavy penalty.
But the Legal Hotline for your state Hotline 1-866-456-4995 will refer you to someone who will help you and your wife. What about the people where your wife has the IRA, did they not advise her of the penalty before she withdrew her funds?
Kenneth, hi. I don't really recall if I'm one of your followers or not (under my other account) because it's been quite awhile since I was actively looking for new people to follow (or doing much of anything on that account), and I don't think I follow anyone from this account because I haven't done much on it until fairly recently. (So, sorry.... ). I do know I've read some of your Hubs.
But, I do read your forum posts when they show up because I know you've posted many about having serious health problems.
In order not to try not to either give you false hope or "advice" about a situation only you really know the details of, let me add here that I truly know "nothing about anything", particularly tax stuff beyond the "fairly basics".
Your post made me wonder about a couple of things, though. One is whether there's any free services in your area - maybe for retired people and/or disabled people; and whether you and/or your wife should start by looking for some kind of free legal services in your area. And, if there aren't any, whether your state's Bar Association (or someone else) may offer free legal advice over the phone. Maybe you and/or your wife have already done all that. If not, I'd think that asking for something like "legal help" or "legal advice" for retired (or disabled) married people with tax problems and health problems" might give someone on the phone the idea for where to start.
There are two things that occur to me (for whatever "occurring to me" is worth or not worth - and I'm thinking "zero", but anyway....)
One is whether the main issue is about whether, if you have the choice, you would have to commit all or most of future HubPages earnings to a payback plan. Since you have a "ton" of Hubs I'm assuming you may be getting a pay either monthly or fairly regularly from those already-written Hubs. I've tried to imagine what scenario would mean you had to start over with HubPages (other than if you mean wipe out your PayPal money and start over with money in it.
Because, if the already-written Hubs are bringing in even a little income adding to them (if you feel like it) wouldn't mean getting rid of them. So, I'm wondering if the thing is whether you're thinking about having to hand over your HP income from now on.
Here's what occurs to me to maybe ask a free lawyer or lawyer/tax-type person. Income from a revenue-sharing site is not like income from a part-time job. It's not stable. Even the person who has enjoyed x amount a month from a site like this (or several) can easily discover that all of a sudden something like Panda or other Internet "forces"/changes can mean dropping to zero.
Any income from a site like is either reported as "other income" (if it's low enough) or else on a self-employment "thing" (Form C) with the tax returns.
So, besides the instability of not knowing exactly what one can be certain he'll be getting each month, since you're the one who has been sick but has also written the Hubs, I'm wondering if your health problems are yet one more thing that would make your future HP income something too unreliable to factor in (or factor in more than a small amount) on a payment plan. Again, I don't pretend to know, but I think it's something that should be asked of someone who knows.
The other thing that occurred to me is whether your wife's shop is now a bigger portion of livelihood than it may have been in the past (since you're had the health problems goings on for so). That's something else that I think needs to be asked of the right person (one who knows but also one who knows enough to ask in the first place).
As I said I know nothing about anything, but one thing I do know about (and I'm not comparing it what someone with your kind of health issues must have to deal with); but I do know very well about dealing with a certain type of exhaustion over a long period of time; and I do know how someone dealing with it can just be too exhausted or overwhelmed at having to deal with stuff like making phone calls and trying to make one's way to find some kind of help somewhere. People with kids or married people may see if someone else can get the information for them, but that "someone else" may not even know, exactly, what questions they maybe should be raising.
If you've previously managed the taxes you've got the "sick thing" that someone needs to address and factor in. If your wife is now handling them she's got the thing that her income is more needed than maybe it was before. I don't know how old you and she are, but I think the main (or at least first) potential source of help or direction should, maybe, be someone who addresses the overall "help picture" for retired, close-to-retired, sick, or "fixed-income type" people. Regardless of your age, sometimes some of that kind of information/help is available to people (who aren't of "official" retirement age) through things like local senior centers (or a senior center or other "community-type" place in the nearest city).
I know there are people who will say "never try to handle tax stuff yourself", but sometimes if the situation isn't all that complicated a free lawyer will even tell you, "This is something you can handle yourself. Just call them." Sometimes, if nothing else, a lawyer can give you a reading on WHETHER it's something you should try to "just" handle yourself (with, say, the IRS) or whether it is not.
Even if your wife is now handling this stuff your sickness is something that's easy to prove (so it's not like you're trying to put something over on someone), and it's not like the instability and erratic/uncertain nature of online, revenue-sharing-site, earnings can't be proven/backed up either.
I hope all this hasn't been a useless pile of "blah-blah" (I'm guessing it probably has been.). My main point (in my own attempt to try to help sort out some of the worries) is that I don't think you should just listen to one "type of person's" advice on the matter, and I don't think you (or your wife, who probably has her own type of "exhaustion thing" at this point) should NECESSARILY take the advice of someone who either doesn't understand the whole picture and therefore over-simplifies things OR the advice of someone who just kind of automatically over-complicates things by kind of automatically thinking, "Tax problem? Let an accountant deal with it all." There's more to the picture you and/or your wife are looking at/living than just what shows up on your tax returns. There's more to the revenue-sharing-type income than anyone not involved with it may understand. There's more with your health stuff than someone not dealing with it them-self and/or someone not close enough to it, may be able to understand.
As for living with a long-lasting, fairly serious "exhaustion"/emotionally "beaten-down" thing, that, too, is something someone would have to live with long enough to understand (and one of things worth mentioning is that the person who can whip up any number of pieces of writing off the top of his head, and when he's having a good hour or good day, can appear - especially to someone who doesn't write - a heck of lot less exhausted, burned out, and/or physically 'less-than-great' than he really is. (In other words avoid judgmental people who don't understand the situation and who will exhaust you even more; because they're thinking (and saying), "If you can write Hubs then why is it you don't feel up to dealing with making phone calls and/or dealing with the tax stuff?") The other thing is watch out for anyone ("advice-givers") who, if you bring up things like your health/exhaustion thing, will say something like, "Nobody cares. All they care about is getting their money." Many people won't even try to see if someone will work with them because it's true: nobody really does care, and all anyone really wants is their money. BUT, most of the time people are willing to try to be a little reasonable and fair to someone with legitimate challenges/situations. (And if they're not then that's what lawyers are for. )
Ken I am very numerically challenged - my husband hires an accountant to do our taxes...Also, Dave is excellent with figures. My passion is writing, his is figures.
That being said it would be hard for me to give you advice.
But I plead with you to stay with the hubs.
You are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.
The advice offered here is excellent. People care, including me.
I have been very behind on the hubs because of a lot going on.
However, my one suggestion is that you take a few weeks to back away.
Get some sleep, that is VITAL. REST. PRAY. READ.
Ruminate on the advice given by your hub friends.
I know you will make the right decision, but no decision can be made when one is exhausted and emotionally drained.
I am sorry you are going through this, but you are a joy and a huge asset to Hub Pages.
Take a breather, make a decision and then start writing again.
I have a plaque that reads, "this too shall pass." All is well. All will work out. Believe it and God bless.
Hi Kenneth I am so sorry to hear of you and your wife's troubles with bad advise, it can happens to anyone these days, but never forget prayer covers everything even your financial concerns, I wish the best for you and your wife's future of better solutions to your concerns and problems, it's very wise of you to ask or seek good advise about your concerns , take care my friend.
Kenneth, I am not an expert on this matter but since it was on the advice of your CPA a professional and I am assuming that he gave his professional advice then I would think that he or she is morally responsible for the penalty. Also I would Hold that the funds were in a retirement Fund and therefore the fund was required to let your wife know, make her aware of any ramifications on her withdrawal. Could it not be have been made as a loan from the fund and then slowly paid back with a small interest. Just thinking,
I hope all comes out well. There is always go fund me.
Also, if your CPA has been doing a crappy job for a while now, the new CPA may be able to refile your taxes and get you refunds on previous years. That might help pay both bills.
Kenneth, I am so sorry. I don't have any good advice to add to what has already been said, just wanted to recognize that you are being hit with wave after wave right now. It never rains but it pours. Of course you feel exhausted. I am saying a prayer for you.
"Thank you so very much for your encouragement. That goes a long way with me." "I won't deny the fact that I am exhausted from mental to spiritual. But this too shall pass, as the adage goes. Thank you, my dear friend, for the prayers. God bless you richly."
Your Friend for Life,
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