Monday, December 9, 2013

The Leapfrog Project for rebuilding the Philippines...


This is a good time of the year to start making adjustments to your accounting
systems before the end of the calendar tax year.

For that reason it is good to give to worthy organizations before the end of the year.

This leads me to why I am writing this blog. Recently, I heard from Lira Luis, a good friend and collaborator.  We spoke about the recent Haiyan Typhoon catastrophe in the Philippines.  She asked me to help and join her in her efforts of putting together the Leapfrog project for rebuilding the Philippines.

LeapFrog Project Video

“The devastation prompted the international community to mobilize and join hands in helping the affected communities rebuild and make people rise to regain lost lives.” This project, initiated by ALLL where Lira is Chief Collaboration Architect, is a response to a direct call for assistance from representatives of the Philippine Government. 

LeapFrog Project Website

Donate here with Paypal

Philippines Devastation Relief
In the first phase, The Leapfrog project is a multinational effort to fund

a workshop and the architecture realization of the program to bring together  built environment experts from the US, the UK and the Philippines to collaborate with the Philippine locals to reach a solution with the forward thinking solutions to the devastated areas while boosting the local
economy.

We all know Lira Luis from our collaborative efforts to spread good business and good accounting practices video series.

Lira Luis Video Interview.

Lira Luis had formed a team of experts for this Leapfrog Project.

I was approached for my experience as an IRS Enrolled Agent and for working with multiple nonprofit organizations in the US and also my experience with businesses all over the United States of
America.

I am proud to join forces with Lira Luis and bring OREM TaxAccounting LLC and OREM foundation Inc. experience to the table and collaborate with such a good project.

I’m proud to share with you that we have started securing sponsorships from corporations in the first phase.

We will be launching a crowd funding campaign soon where you can feel free to join efforts with us and donate.

Donate here
In the second phase, the conclusions from this Leapfrog Project Workshop will be shared to the public and translated to an architecture installation in devastated areas of the Philippines.

This phase is critical to help in the rebuilding efforts while ensuring the local economy improves as a direct result from this effort.

 Regarding the final phase, The Leapfrog project will construct a specific building type as a direct result of this developed collaborative effort. The main goal is to help rebuild the devastated areas while engaging the locals with rebuilding and at the same time allow the project to empower local economic activities.

For this final phase our goal is to raise an amount that would allow us to fund the construction of a structure that will be determined based on the on-ground needs of the locality that will help improve the life of the locals in the devastated areas.


Please donate any amount will make a huge difference


Here are some of the pool of experts that include. It’s not a complete list but I will be updating this list as the project develops:

USA:

US Philippines Society – Washington DC.

American institute of Architects (Diversity & Inclusion) – Washington DC.

ALLL (Atelier Lira Luis LLC) – Chicago IL.

OREM Accounting Taxation Representation LLC – Beverly Hills, CA.

OREM Foundation Inc. – Beverly Hills, CA.

International:

Bionic City – London, England.

Social Project. PH – Manila, Philippines.


Local to the Philippines:

United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Quezon City.

National Housing Authority (NHA), Quezon City.

University of the Philippines College of Architecture, UP Diliman and UP Mindanao.

University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), Tacloban.


WorkLand M&E Institute, Inc., Quezon City.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November the busy month before tax season...


Finally   November is here. This is the month when usually clients start to rush over accounting records and start to get ready for tax season.

In my case I start to get ready for tax season by making sure everything is in place, current tax software, bank products up to date, tax preparers ready, advertisement ready, and this year the new affordable care act or Obamacare in place I have an extra work by helping clients to sign up.

Also, by getting this new Real Estate license made my half year more interesting than usual; I’m glad to share that I passed all 3 college classes required, and I’m ready to take the California state examination, too bad they told me it’ll take about a month and half to schedule it. Now I’ll be forced to keep all the information fresh for the next weeks instead on moving on to the next challenge like I planned.

I’m very excited to share that this coming 2014 tax season that at OREM tax services we’ll have more agents helping us to further our services in different states,

This year I wonder what license are we getting in 2014? Because I obtained all the important licenses we planned and need. I guess it is time to start to get thing easy and just enjoy while networking everywhere we go.

I have the idea of teaching business accounting, tax write offs, on different cities and states. That is a request that I get often when talking to some people all the time.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October government shutdown and Obamacare start...



As of today October 10, 2013, we are still facing the government shutdown and the beginning of Obamacare.

The same day of the shutdown as millions of American I tried to create an account with the Health Care Reform Act or Obamacare, and I obtained an error message when I was transferred to Cover California (CA healthcare open market.) I waited for a few days to see if I would be able to create my account. However, I still got an error message.
Some of my clients were affected by the shutdown because some late income tax filers submitted their tax forms expecting a refund.  However,  instead some of them got a letter telling them because the shutdown will delay their tax refunds. The IRS is only processing income tax forms that have payment attached to them

Other clients that  have filed late  for prior years and expecting some tax refunds are in stand by.

Other clients are worried that their federal unemployment extension would cut any minute since they come from federal funds.

Some other clients with big retirement funds are really concerned that the default in place will definitely impact negatively.

Other wealthy clients with real estate and stock investments are concerned with the value of their investments that are going down every day that this shutdown is in place.

I can only imagine that my undocumented clients are also concerned because this political game will delay the approval of an immigration reform, which also worries me a little bit since that is income that I will lose if I don’t have new clients to process.

Going back to Obamacare, last night I was able to finely complete my account. I was able to log on and
now I only have to research for the best health care plan that suits best my needs.

What really surprises me is the fact that the political game affects the life of my clients.

For instance the states that have Republican governors reject the stimulus money or the Obama money as commonly referred. These states don’t have the nearly two year unemployment extension like California does, and they have the regular six month UI benefits.

The new health care is another example; In California the healthcare can be free for a single individual with 24K income, or only $24/ month for somebody who earns $33K.

Of course that I understand all this money won’t be forever but just long enough to help people to deal with the still weak economy.

Having drinks in Dallas TX with Hal and ex Boss KC
In my specific case I can tell you that due to the stroke I suffered last year in September 2012, I’m considered to have a pre existing condition. Last year when I called one of this health care companies I was told that my pre existing condition and that my only choice is to sign for Obamacare when it is available, I think is great that it is available now for me and for other people that needs it.

And as for the Texas exploring markets experience last month, it went well.

I think I will end up travelling a lot in the near future teaching basic accounting for individuals and taxes for small businesses all over the place in America.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Obamacare will be here soon, are you ready for it?...



We are in September 2013 and in less than 30 day all Americans will be able to enter the open market for healthcare, or Obamacare, the individuals that have healthcare throughout a job have nothing to worry about. But the one that doesn’t will have to get healthcare in order to avoid the Penalty fee.

OPEN MARKET
Open enrollment starts on October 1st 2013 and ends on March 31st 2014, and coverage starts on January1st, 2014.

Open enrollment means that you will be able to find healthcare insurance coverage at a lower price than in regular season.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
 If you’re like me and have a pre-existing condition, you won’t be turn down if you happen to have a pre-existing condition, health insurance companies cannot refuse to sell you with health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition.

COVERAGE
Then depending on your individual situation, single, married, with or without children, etc the cost can range from  cero to a couple of hundreds. Also depends on the type of coverage you want, bronze, silver, gold or platinum. The higher the income and the coverage the more expensive it gets.

CALIFORNIA
For example in the golden state of California for single individuals that are below the line of poverty  let’s say $18,000 a year there will be a $124.00 monthly fee that is covered entirely by the state and you’ll pay CERO with the basic coverage. But is you chose the fancy platinum coverage you’ll end up paying about $106.00/ month.

This is informational prices only, and is not my intention to provide with any specific quotes because the final prices are not available yet.

You can go to the healthcare website and play with the options to seek for the coverage you would need to avoid the penalty.

PENALTY FEE
If you don’t get a healthcare plan the penalty is 1% of you yearly income or $95.00 whichever is higher.
If you end up going to the emergency room and you don’t have health insurance then you’ll be bill the entire hospital bill and the penalty fee on top of that.

FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
If you happen to be a business owner then you have some options too. If you are a business owner without any full time employees or only part time employees who are pay with a 1099 then you qualify as an individual

IF UNEMPLOYED
If you’re unemployed you could qualify for Madicaid, keep in mind that your options depends on your income, and it could be free if your income is low.

WHERE TO GO ?
First you need to go to the government website to find out who runs the healthcare in your state of residence. So, first go to  www.healthcare.gov then from the drop down menu check your state and find out who runs the market in your state.

if you have more questions feel free to contact me...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The OREM east coast tour in 5 major cities...



The Berkshires is so green and pretty
This experience was amazing. I never imagined that the east coast to be so green, like an infinite forest, like a permanent spring, lakes everywhere, the air is so clean, and the sky so blue. It makes me think of the blue sky in the highlands of Peru. What surprised me the most was the friendly people.  I am used to being ignored by the people in Los Angeles. People in the east coast simply say, "hello" to strangers everywhere.

Our first stop was Chicago Illinois. We landed in what was supposed to be a 27 minute stop, but it turned out to be a six and half hour stop. I would not mind the wait if American Airlines would have been honest from the beginning and let us know that we would be waiting for over six  hours for our next flight. They landed 20 minutes after our connection to Connecticut already left. This is the last time I  will use  American Airlines.

This stop in Chicago was great because we had the chance to see our dear friend Lira Luis in her home town. You probably remember her from our prior videos on social media, green building, sustainability, etc. and I couldn’t resist  to shoot a brief video at the airport having Lira sharing some thoughts on Social Media and global work.


Me in the Berkshires so green
 think I was the only Latino in this part of the country hundred miles away too.

I was visiting friends in the Berkshires Massachusetts, which was a pretty nice experience.

I was eager to see the Boston Tea Party museum because as an IRS Enrolled Agent I believe that here is where the foundation on the IRS spirit was born. Early Americans decided to stop paying taxes to the British crown and to build their own country, with self taxing.

Boston is full of pretty nice old buildings everywhere. To my surprise the building styles are so different from the ones I grew up in Peru, where Spanish colonial is the norm. I try to picture the early individuals living in this city, their works, their lives, and buildings can tell a lot, from the multifamily buildings to the rich doctors and lawyer's mansions

I was in shock to be able to see one of the original wooden tea party boxes that were thrown out of the ship back in time.

Boston central station
There are two things that I want to do in my next trip to Boston, see and touch the USS Constitution the very first war ship made in America, and taste an authentic Boston Lobster.

I was amazed by some crazy drivers in Boston, they can be ruthless! Don't get me wrong we have those in Los Angeles too. However, I never got honk to making a left turn in the indicated area before
Everything is still so green around this area.

Philadelphia was the next stop on our east coast tour, another pretty early American city, full of historic and old buildings, the first congress was here, the liberty bell that cracked before it could go on use, what a bummer!

Walking up stairs of the Philadelphian Art Museum like Rocky Balboa did was a thrill.

I found the general Philadelphian environment so mellow and easy going.

Original tea party wooden box
And this is the moment of the truth, when I was to taste an authentic Philly Cheese Steak ! WOW it was delicious like never I have taste before.

I was very surprised by the names Pennsylvanians named their freeways too. The Turnpike freeway ? it was a bit confusing at first, I’m used to 405 freeway, 101 freeway, the 10 freeway, but nothing prepared me for a Turnpike !

But what I found most confusing was the way east coasters charged their tolls. When you get in the freeway they give you a ticket to which you are supposed to give away in the next toll and they tell you how much to pay. My guess is that they charge you by the distance. I have to admit some times this was free of charge, and they only take cash.

In Los Angeles, in California in general all freeways are free, except those bridges in the Bay area near San Francisco, but when you use a toll in California you can pay with credit cards too, or you can buy a fob that can do it automatically for you without even stopping in the toll. I know someone would say spoiled Californians!
Boston old church

We’re heading to the next and last major city in our east coast tour New York. Traffic was a bit hectic when we passed it by in our way to Philadelphia. So I was a bit apprehensive about not being able to make it on time. I also found the freeways to be a bit narrow unlike the ones in Los Angeles that can have eight lines each way. 

Weird, but sometimes I swear people drove too fast, and sometimes I found exactly the opposite.
WOW I can feel the excitement going through my body by just seeing the skyscrapers in the distance, going under the Atlantic ocean in that tunnel in my way to Manhattan was a thrill. Finally, at the other side of the city. My GPS went crazy a few times because it couldn't get the satellite signal. Then, we were so close to 7th st where my only $24 per day parking was waiting for me.

But then OMFG 7th st is closed! Repairs on Sunday morning! This is pretty difficult because streets in Mahattan are only one way most of the time, so overcrowded with cars and people that DON'T RESPECT THE SIGNALS! In one instance I have people crossing the street while I waited for them to go when a taxi driver kept on honking on me, once I crossed he made a total illegal turn and passed me.
Boston Art Museum
Boston
OH well, this is the New York experience. Finally, we found an alternative parking structure and BOY it was expensive! $ 57 for a day! And all because major Bloomberg decided to do improvements on 7th Street that day.

Once in Times Square, I was just bombarded with all the New York Experience, solicitors trying to make me buy a bus tour, hundreds of people walking in every direction, I felt like people didn't even care if they touch you when you are walking in the other direction.

And the city smell like pee.

It was a hot day and we were just waiting for our private tour guide arrival. Later the same day we learned it was the hottest day in New York in years. I felt like baking both sides from the sun and from the concrete reflection from above.
Philadelphia first Congress room

This was a unique walking, subway private tour that I recommend to everybody, very authentic tour. Rockefeller center caught my attention, built in the 1930s still have its unique personality. Good morning America is broadcasted from there every day. SNL is recorded from there too. The view from the top of the Rock is just breath taking

I cannot believe I was there at Fox news Corporation headquarters, the GOP seem happy in there.
The NY subway was neat, always on time. I recommend it for the ones that can follow maps and are  good with directions.

Next stop was Central Park, and the building where John Lennon used to live, and where he was shot in 1981. I heard a history that Madonna try to buy a condo in that building and she was turned down. I heard the same thing about the make up pioneer lady Helena Rubinstein, who try to buy a condo in the center of Manhattan and she was also turned down, but this savvy lady purchased the whole building and end up living there anyway

Philadelphia liberty bell
The John Lennon memorial is there in Central Park, this experience is amazing, the carriages with the horses, the people, the joggers, the street sellers, and the heat. 

Then to our way to the Staten Island Ferry, thanks god for the air conditioned stations!

WOW, the ferry experience is awesome, the Brooklyn bridge is right there.

While we get farther away from the island I can see the new World Trade Center, which is the tallest building in America, it does show from the ocean.

And there she is, Miss Liberty, I can just imagine the experience to the millions of immigrants back in the 1800s, new lives, new jobs.

Old Philadelphia at night
I was able to see the Jersey shore from there too, this is a definitely to do in my next trip to New York. I would live to see Snooky and her whereabouts too.

Back in land we walked towards Wall Street, on the way we saw the original Standard Oil Company headquarters. Can you imagine this was the biggest oil company in the world before it was forced to divide in to smaller companies.

It is hard to believe that people had been building sky crappers since the 1800s, and I was able to see some of those early buildings, Cathedrals everywhere in Manhattan, subway stations and people walking up and down the streets everywhere.

The New York Stock Exchange was impressive, it was displaying a company logo on its front, it is said that the NYSE does it when a new company is going to start trading stocks here. Some day OREM will display its logo here too.

Rocky Balboa at the Phi. Art museum
The 911 Memorial was just blocks away, and the new World Trade Center, which is the tallest building in America is here too. The 911 Memorial was built in a way that shows water falls that resembled infinite tears for this tragedy. Among this memorial there is a tree, the only living individual that survived 911. You can see the burnt skin on it and the new branched that grew from it.

Just steps away we could see the hurricane Sandy water markings, it is surreal to think that this whole area was under water during hurricane Sandy.

Our last stop in Manhattan was Grand Central Station that just celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Here is where I met my friend and clients Luis who happens to be a film editor that nowadays is working in a new project in New York.

On our way back to the car we met with another of my good friends Chriss who happens to work in Manhattan.

Times Square
Then we went to our last New York Experience, a dinner in Little Italy, I want to try the authentic New York Pizza, I heard so many good thing about how different and good it tastes. Yes, New York Pizza is a total different thing than what I’m used to in Los Angeles.

What surprised me a lot this time is the fact that all the Italians are gone from little Italy in New York, I’ve seen a lot of Turks, Moroccans, Bulgarians, but not Italians.

This tour was amazing and I met a lot of new friendly people that can help our OREM group to grow in this area, we still have to go to some more details before making the announcement. Of course I would love to have OREM east coast up and running, we’ll get more good news soon.

In the interim of writing this East Coast Blog I got confirmation news that I will be going to Dallas Texas and
On top of Rockefeller Center
who know a Texas tour, more to come soon.

Central Park



Miss Liberty

Hurricane Sandy water marks

Some day OREM at the NYSE too
With my New York friends

Grand Central Station - 100 years
911 Memorial
The new World trade center