Category Archives: civics

How to check your Utah Income tax Refund status, for 2020 taxes?

  1. Go to https://tap.tax.utah.gov/taxexpress/
  2. Scroll down the page to “Refunds”
  3. Click on ‘Check your refund status’

Boom, that’s it.
And thank the fine folks at tax.utah.gov and incometax.utah.gov for all their hard work!! Disclaimer: i do not work for them nor do I know anyone that does. Just wanted to share the knowledge since I just learned it and am thinking others might need it.

Jackson Hewitt giving Turbo Tax, H&R Block, and Tax Hawk a run for their money??

2 second review: I don’t know all the details but I think so!
Check them out & use this popular coupon code (via cnet)
for Jackson Hewitt online to do both Federal & State for $20 with Support! (The regular price is $49.)

P.S. Need to go it alone for free? Might be just perfect for where you’re at. If so then check out the list of Free Filing choices:
(way more than what it used to be with Turbotax as the old most popular)
https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

P.P.S. Consider the cost though of filing with a live person face-to-face?!

Yes I am at least partially biased since that’s what I’m doing this tax season but I believe it really does save time in many cases!
Can save you frustration too. Maybe? 🙂

NOTE: The above IRS.gov link has free choice(s) even if your yearly income is higher. Very cool.

Federal Taxes deadline still April 15th? …

Short answer, yes! From one of many reports in the last few days; this one is Monday, Feb 22nd:

For now the typical deadlines apply: Taxpayers have until Thursday, April 15, 2021, to file their 2020 tax return and pay any tax owed. The IRS started accepting 2020 tax returns on February 12, two weeks later than originally anticipated (there were all those Round 2 stimulus payments to get out, plus reprogramming IRS systems for December tax law changes). Note: the IRS announced today that victims of the winter storms in Texas will have until June 15 to file returns and pay any taxes that would have been due on April 15 (or March 15 for businesses), which is routine with such local disasters.
source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2021/02/22/house-tax-committee-chides-irs-about-slow-start-to-tax-season-urges-tax-day-deadline-delay/

So get together your W-2‘s, your 1099-INT or 1099-R‘s or 1098-G‘s, any 1099-G‘s for Unemployment, and maybe any SSA-1099‘s for social security benefits!

P.S. Also get your 1095-A form from Healthcare.gov IF you didn’t have employer/school based health insurance, AND……
your 2 Stimulus payments details (1st one was last spring/summer 2020.
2nd one was just in the last few weeks (dec 31st 2020 – Feb 2021) — get them from IRS.gov by clicking on the Coronavirus button!!
NOTE: Good news, these 2 payments are NOT taxable!!!

P.P.S. Also, it can’t hurt to see what you’ve paid in Social Security taxes/withholdings over your lifetime at SSA.gov if you want to — but not required to file taxes!

Come in and see me at the Springville Walmart or call me at 801-356-1032 for in-person or remote tax prep / technical help on using an online free filing one. And if you can’t afford to pay for in-person sit-down tax prep, then i’ll refer you to places such as VITA.byu.edu. Tis excellent either way. #ibelieve! Happy Wednesday you all,

Roger B.

photo, Roger Brown, tuxedo at Holidays event

give back to your favorite free apps / Charitable programs / websites

For many organizations, and especially charitable non-profits, today is the last day of the year to give a gift that counts towards this year.

Think of the free apps/programs you use for free. A lot of work went into and still goes into maintaining it. They would definitely free gratitude if you took the time to throw even $1. For real, some of these software developers and volunteers receive no pay except for periodically a donation or they freel relief when they don’t have to worry about paying for the server(s) that the app/program is hosted on.

Some of the ones I would like to give to are:

  • Audacity music/audio player and editor; desktop app
  • Firefox browser people / volunteers (Mozilla organization)
  • Heavens-Above.com website / app
  • OneTab desktop browser extension; faster browsing and more self-focus while using any of the popular browsers
  • probably a few others that i love

On the charitable side i think it would be cool give through these org’s:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Philanthropies programs like clean water, wheelchairs, et cetera for sure.
  • Kiva who does micro-loans to those currently with smaller economic opportunities to start their own business. One of my bros has helped out a few people through them.
  • I’m sure i could find others. Take a moment to think about what software helps you for free OR which organizations inspire you / make you feel good.

P.S. On the officially charitable side please do use CharityNavigator to find ratings. NOTE: not all organizations can afford to be audited by them but those that do have really good info there on the % of money donated that goes to the actual program(s) vs administrative costs, etc.

That’s it. Good wishes for the last day of the year and the new year starting tomorrow. I want to have a moment of quiet and hope. The light is shining I believe.
Sincerely,
Roger

diversity of heart or thoughts?

Outward diversity vs. inward diversity? Can we be different on our outsides yet unified on our insides? Is diversity good when there are at least 5 different ways to add up two of the numbers from 1 to 9 in order to get 10 total? Is diversity of thought bad when we’re pulling in different directions?

Just some quick thoughts. I think I like the feeling of outward vs. inward. “The Lord looketh on the heart”. Somewhere in the historical record of the Old Testament. It really is true. Thank you ^^^

Conflict IS …

Conflict? Disagreement. Contention? Love?

Conflict: Can it be ok if hearts are right/honest? If you see something or need something can one say something, but not with overbearance, right? With patience in the heart not just in the mind. But it’s ok to try with the mind until your heart catches up, right?

Disagreement? Likewise.

Therefore, a honest difference of opinion does not have to equal contention.

Can equal understanding better.
Can equal finding common ground.
Can equal an unintentional building on shared beliefs. (everybody has beliefs no mater what your faith is in, whether a higher power / person(s) or things or ideas)

Love.

Pray for it. I must. May we all.

graphic by Tim Houlihan via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Watch out for vehicle history report scams :(

So I’m selling my car, and have it listed on a local classifieds website that is really popular in my state.
I have gotten so many scammers contacting me about it using different methods to trick me like doing a password reset which sends a PIN to my phone and them trying to get me to send the temporary PIN back to them! I don’t think so!

The latest is that they ask me to do a vehicle history report (or RV report or VIN check) at a link that they send me.

Beware, it’s either a scam or a ruse to get your personal information and then sell it. The most recent scammer this evening gave me historycheckreports.com but if you check the registration on that domain it did not even exist until 2 months ago.

So maybe they’re new in business? But wait! Take 1 minute to read this: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/10/steering-clear-vehicle-history-report-scams

And then notice that historycheckreports.com is NOT on the list of 8 approved providers:
https://vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/nmvtis_vehiclehistory

Busted!

Think of the people in China and Hong Kong, and …

If you haven’t heard of the Great Firewall of China then this is the latest news story on it.
Non-technical translation?!
It is now even crazy harder to look at sites outside of China. 🙁

So please send good thoughts the way of people in China. Citizens there suffer a lot. AND when they are here in the US you can tell them about the Tuidang movement where over 350 million former Chinese have made official declarations to quit the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Check it out @ tuidang.org

P.S. You can also tell them about technology to bypass the Great Firewall of China if they can safely let others know about it — see en.greatfire.org

P.P.S. NOT a Chinese citizen but want to do something about the CCP? Sign the petition to reject the Chinese Communist Party @ https://rejectccp.com/ !!!

Apple makes me sad, again…

The maker of Macs and iPhones — Apple — is suing the little guy, a small company because their logo is a pear looking like it’s hanging or been picked off a tree. Really Apple? This is not the first time, is it?! See this news story about it.

Additionally, Apple has sold a piece of their soul and probably will continue to do so to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) when they ask them to control what apps are in the app store like for Hong Kong residents. ‘Tis very sad.

I love their hardware and products but they are overpriced. I used to own a few Macs but ended up selling both of them. Will never buy one new again.

Lastly, it takes more mousing movement and keyboard strokes to get things done on macOS. Avoid Mac’s if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or another RSI(repetitive stress injury) in your wrists, hands, or arms. Will blog about it later showing a side by side table comparison of macOS vs Windows 10 vs XFCE or a similar Linux environment.

Tis a shame. Apple used to rock. Please stop it. Don’t sell your soul for a buck.