SeinfeldWriteOff

Get Paid $13,400 For A Baby


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Like Kramer & Jerry, a lot of folks don’t really know what a write-off is.  It’s a tax deduction, but a lot of folks think it is a tax credit.  The difference is HUGE.  A tax credit lowers the amount you owe in taxes, dollar for dollar.  That’s pretty sweet.  A tax deduction is basically a discount equal to your tax bracket.

If you are in the 25% tax bracket, and you spend $1,000 on something that you can write-off your income taxes as a tax deduction, you will save $250 in taxes.  But a $1,000 tax credit chops $1,000 off what you owe in taxes, no matter which bracket.

So where do I gets me some of them tax credits?

–   Adopt at $13,400 a pop!
–   Buy a Chevy Volt and get $7,500.
–   If you’ve been fixin’ to get a propeller on a stick, go solar or geothermal, get 30% of the cost.

Maybe that’s why Brangelina adopted so many babies.  It was a profit deal!  The tax credit for adoption starts to phase out when your modified adjusted gross income is $201,010, and it is completely gone at

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Cletus

Stupid Tax Tip #1


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CletusAccording to my mailbox, it’s tax time.  “The Running of the 1099s”, if you will.  I got a note from Discover Bank Savings saying that I was not going to get a 1099.  That’s right.  They sent me something saying they weren’t going to send me something.  I betcha if they do something that isn’t on their “To Do” list, they go back, write it on the list, then cross it off.

Why no 1099?  Although Discover Bank’s Savings pays a pretty nice rate of .95%, I had my dough elsewhere in 2015.

I didn’t earn $10 in interest at Discover.  That is the cut-off point.  Banks don’t have to send you a 1099 if you made less than a sawbuck.

Stupid Tax Tip #1: Open 1,000 accounts. Put $100 in each. Don’t report interest (…but you should report it).

Artwork: LeeRobert (I added the “$” icing – pretty sweet, huh?)

AmazonPrimeFreeTrialBlack

Amazon Prime Free 30 Day Trial


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Through Sunday, you can get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime by clicking here.

Amazon Prime is more than just free two-day shipping.  It’s also a desert topping.  No, wait, that’s Shimmer.

Amazon Prime is kinda like a lot of things.  It’s kinda like NetFlix in that “Prime Instant Video” streams thousands of movies and TV shows to hundreds of compatible devices and TVs.  As I wrote in 257 Channels and Nothing On, it may not be worth $1,000 a year to watch Honey Boo Boo and your Duck Dynasty via cable or satellite when these handy-dandy inexpensive program options are out there.

I just started watching Amazon’s original program The Man In The High Castle and will check out Emmy winner Transparent.  I have also added a few movies to my Watch List.

It’s kinda like FedEx, UPS, and The U.S. Post Office in that “Prime Shipping” sends lots of stuff to you in two days.  But the shipping of “prime” stuff is free.  The free shipping is pretty handy at Christmas.  Instead of flying across the country with Legos and skillets, I buy stuff for my kin on Amazon and have them ship it free to my family back east.

It’s also kinda like the library and iTunes with access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and over a million songs in Prime Music.

Click here for the free 30 day trial to help you decide if it’s for you. Amazon Prime costs $99/year.

Sprinkler Boug

It’s Not Water, It’s H2O


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Do you have lawn sprinklers? It’s November. That means it’s time for my annual post about turning off your sprinklers.  Woo-Hoo!!  That’s right.  “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” also applies to money tips.

For Los Angelenos, the reason you should do that is really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was only $15.46. It had been TEN TIMES as high – as much as $155.55 until I wised up.

I will tell you the answer first, because the explanation could put you in REM 3. If you have automatic sprinklers and you live in an area that charges you a sewer usage charge based upon water you use – you might wanna shut them off until spring time. I live in the warm and sunny, drought-riddled Los Angeles “Valley”. I turn off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.

To be clear, the savings I just mentioned was not money I banked from bill to bill by cutting back on the water itself, that I used to soak my lawn.  That was additional savings in the “Water” portion of the bill.  I’m talking about a separate part of the bill under “Sanitation Charges” called the Sewer Service Charge.   See below.

I started doing this a few years ago and my lawn, in full sun, has not suffered a bit. Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball.

Serve your environmentalist side with your “green” stance on water conservation while currying favor with your inner capitalist by keeping “green” in your wallet.

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TDAmer 100 100 Square

Updated 5% Cash Back Categories (+$100 Bonus on TWO Cards)


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If you’re going to purchase something you need, and someone is willing to pay you tax-free cash for doing so – I say let them!

Check out these cash back cards. Right now, Chase and Citi sweetened the deal with $100 bonuses!

Here’s the scoop: Chase, Citi and Discover have credit cards that never have an annual fee and always give 5% cash back in certain categories.  The categories change every three months.  We can use these cards to get up to $900 cash back every year – without changing our spending habits.  That cash back money is tax free.  It adds up!

Instead of using cash, use these cards, get 5% cash back, and then pay off your bill with the cash you were going to spend in the first place.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more.  Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.

Here are the new categories:

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Nfl Sunday Ticket Box

Get NFL Sunday Ticket for FREE


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(UPDATED 8/18/15) I’ve gotten NFL Sunday Ticket for free – FOUR years in a row!  That’s a nice little run.

Here are a few ways you can get it free (Tweet it):

A) You could steal it. But, it’s probably best to not spend the 7th day resting while simultaneously shattering one of The Commandments.

B) You can get it free if you are a new customer to DirecTV, and sign a two-year contract with the “Choice” package or higher.  If you apply via this link, I get a taste from them.  It’s the same deal for you, but I get a li’l sumthin’, and isn’t that what life’s all about?

DirecTV_Refer_Friend-smOr… if you are going to be a new customer to DirecTV, you can also get $100 off if you are referred by someone who has it. The referrer also gets $100 in statement credits. Order online at directv.com/refer or by calling 1-800-507-4045. Please give them my account number 15929124 when asked who referred you – so we can both get rich. Rich, I tell you. RICH!

C) If you are already a DirecTV subscriber and eschew thievery, here’s the first step I took to getting it free. I called DirecTV. I told the robot that I wanted to “disconnect service”. This got me a human in “Customer Retention”.  If you aren’t going to utter the words…

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House Money

How To Lower Your Property Taxes


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When you owe more on something than it’s worth, you are “upside-down”.  If this describes your home, fear not.  There’s an upside to being “upside-down”.

Get the Tax Man to reassess your property’s value and thereby lower your tax bill.

My buddy JT had his home’s value reviewed.  The Assessor came back with an even lower value than what JT hoped.  He saved over $1,000 in property taxes.  Remember, that is after-tax money.  In his case, that was more like what is left after paying taxes on income of $1,500.

I dunno what goes on in your parts, but here is information about the appeal process in Los Angeles, where property owners are allowed to appeal their value between July 2 – Nov. 30.

Contact your local assessor and turn those lemons into a half full glass of lemonade!

Get $225 By Spending $500


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225 dollarsWould you spend $500 to get $225 tax-free cash back?  For a limited time – you can!  Chase just increased the sign-up bonus on their Freedom card from $100 to $200 cash back.  They also sweetened the pot with an extra $25 if you add an authorized user.

The card has 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  See details below.

This is the Visa that I carry in my wallet.  It never has an annual fee.  You always get 1% cash back on everything.  You get 5% cash back on various categories that change every every 3 months like Gas Stations, Restaurants, Movies and Groceries.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website and then “Cash Back”.  Email me if you have any questions!

To get the bonus, you need to meet the $500 spending requirement in the first three months your account is open.  That might be pretty easy to do by just paying your phone, internet and cable bills.  $500 in three months is an average of only $5.55 per day.  Like I said, it’s pretty easy to achieve.  Read my post 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement for some helpful ideas.

Remember, you don’t have to give a card to an authorized user.  You just have to give a name that gets printed on a card for the authorized user to use.  Maybe you get one for Pampero Firpo or Ivan the Terrible.  Ha ha.  As you know, they are the same person.

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