Bees are buzzing on rooftops at 7 San Francisco hotels

beeSan Francisco (AP) – At the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, there are more than 370 rooms inside and 100,000 bees buzzing above in rooftop hives outside.

Yes, honeybees.

Aware of the well-publicized environmental threats to honey bees that have reduced numbers worldwide, 7 San Francisco hotels have built hives on the rooftops. The sustainability efforts also benefits the hotels as the bees produce honey for cocktails, food and spa treatments. It’s the latest in a series of environmental programs at hotels that includes low-flow toilets and aggressive recycling programs.

“This is not about making money, it’s really about raising awareness about sustainability”, said Melissa Farrar, spokesman at the Fairmont in San Francisco. “There’s not one solution so we wanted to do our part to help. It’s part of the bigger effort for helping the planet.” Farrar said the four hives on the rooftop garden support about 250,000 bees and produce about 1,000 pounds of honey each year.

Kristin J. Bender

IRS to hire up to 700 enforcement workers

BN-NK579_0405ta_M_20160405191302The Internal Revenue Service is hiring up to 700 employees for tax enforcement in what Commissioner John Koskinen calls the agency’s “first significant enforcement hiring in more than five years.”

In a memo to employees Tuesday, Mr. Koskinen said the IRS found money for the hiring—despite budget constraints—because of retirements, other departures and unspecified “efficiencies.” The first wave of hiring will begin in a few weeks and will be concentrated in the IRS department that monitors small businesses and the self-employed.

“While adding 600 to 700 new enforcement hires will not replace those who have left, it will help fill key gaps in our enforcement workforce created by Continue reading

Number of tax refunds nearly doubles compared to last year


It’s early in the 2015 tax season but Americans are already getting refunds — lots of them.

Nancy Vanden Houten of Stone & McCarthy Research went through the Internal Revenue Service data and notes 7.6 million refunds were issued through Jan. 30, almost double the number of refunds sent out through the end of January last year. getting refunds — lots of them.

But don’t take that as an indication that there are huge numbers of refunds on the way, she cautions.

“At this stage of the tax season, we still view the volume of refund issuance as a timing issue,” she wrote in a research note Tuesday, “rather than an indication that substantially more refunds will go out this year compared to last year.”

Tax returns were accepted starting Jan. 20 this year, compared to Jan. 30 last year. The later date in 2014 was due to  Continue reading

Say What?


surprise surprise

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted amnesty under President Obama’s executive actions will be able to get retroactive tax refunds.

Illegal immigrants will be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is actually a government grant of up to $5,000 to working families.

Illegal immigrants affected by the president’s edict will not only be eligible for those tax credits going forward, but three years retroactively, so they’ll be able to collect quite a bit of money from the treasury.

One of the promises Obama made during the passing of ObamaCare was that illegal immigrants would not be eligible for subsidies.

The question of what government benefits, if any, that illegal immigrants should be eligible for has been a pretty hot question for a while. And now, under the president’s edict, they’re definitely eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit and something called the Additional Child Tax Credit, going back for three years.

2014 Standard Business Mileage Rates Increase

IR-2013-95, Dec. 6, 2013

Night Traffic

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs. Continue reading

Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes; Ruling Provides Certainty, Benefits and Protections Under Federal Tax Law for Same-Sex Married Couples

same-sex-marriage11Note: On Sept. 23, 2013 IRS issued Notice 2013-61 providing guidance for employers and employees to claim refunds or adjust overpayments of FICA taxes and employment taxes with respect to certain benefits and remunerations provided to same-sex spouses.

IR-2013-72, Aug. 29, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
[read more]

TVC Welcomes Citivest

TVC want’s to officially welcome Citivest Financial to the fold. We’re so excited to be working with you all. We see a long and fruitful relationship in the coming years.

Thanks again Citivest!