WVRC on WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY -
Do the numbers 18 or 9 mean
anything special to you? If you are challenged by stairs, 9 is half way
and 18 is the top…Thought everyone should know this! Moving right
along, we began with TONY DERYAN leading the Pledge. Two of our PP’s,
DOWNIE and DAY, combined on the song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Next up was another PP, BOB WESSLING, who provided an Invocation given
during the years when Bishop Mel Wheatley was presiding at Westwood
United Methodist. Many of us who belonged during that period can almost
repeat it from memory, and the ending perhaps summarizes it best –
“Become now the daily companion of our lives, for all this interval
between the miracle of our origin and the mystery of our destiny, that
we may claim your light to guide us, your strength to uphold us, and
your love to unite us to each other here and now, but much more even
than that, your love to unite us to all whom we love, wherever they may
be, this day and through eternity.” Wonderful words, BOB.
PDG ANDY ANDERSON being unable to
come up with any Visiting Rotarians, PP HOMER NEWMAN was quick to
introduce his wife of over three years, SALLY Whateverherlastnamewas.
Also present with a guest was ED JACKSON, who brought along Barron
Avery. Barron is still in school, but still finds time to coordinate
the activities of those students who belong to the Sisco Society.
Barron’s particular emphasis is on the Media and its many areas of
specialization. And while this coordination is part of the school
curriculum, the contracts that come from it can earn some cash! We wish
ED and Barron well in this endeavor. SUSAN ALLEN again brought Yoshio
Umazawa as her guest – she has completed her time as an Ambassadorial
Scholar, and is still working toward her PhD at UCLA.
The Sweetheart Brunch at Shanghai
Reds was a big success last Saturday. There were sixty members and
guests there, and we all had a great time. These events don’t just
happen – those who helped put it together include KEVIN KOMATSU and PP
RALPH WOODWORTH , MARIAN TSENG for her Invitation card, PAT ANDERSON,
ELOISE SISKEL and SHIRLEY MORE for the Center Pieces, PP JIM DOWNIE – as
usual – for the music, and LEO TSENG who hosted the Quiz Show. DON
NELSON kept track of the reservations, and SHIRLEY MORE along with SHANE
WAARBROEK were the paparazzi. We can’t fail to mention that the two
ladies who met their future spouses at the earliest ages were LENORE
MULRYAN, who knew JOE when she was six, and MARGE DOWNIE, who knew JIM
by the time she was eight!
LEE DUNAYER came forward to plug
the Hobby Day, which will be March 4th. The display area
will be in our anteroom (except for the cars, which have to stay in the
Parking Lot). and several of the hobbyists will be talking about what
they do and how they do it. LEE gave us fair warning – if he has to
call you to find out what you might like to show, he might then start to
ask if your stock portfolio is performing as you expect! The only sure
way to avoid this is to call him first, obviously.
Pres. PETER next provided a visual
history of Westwood and UCLA, in the form of a number of black and white
photos, accompanied by some banjo music and singing. There was a lot of
vacant land beyond Beverly Hills prior to 1927, when construction
started at UCLA. The first four buildings were Royce Hall, the Powell
Library, and the Physics and Chemistry buildings. The famous Gully was
there, of course, and the whole area almost wasn’t recognizable. It was
a great overview, supplemented by some recent aerials taken by PETER –
he wanted it understood that the earlier B&Ws were NOT shot by him! As
a part of these scenics, SANDY SANDERSON has put together a great
History of the area. This is available for ten dollars, and there are
only ten copies – the income going to our Foundation, so get your copy
while they last. SEAN McMILLAN spoke briefly about the 75th
Celebration, and urged us to sign us soon, PLUS inviting others whom we
may know. Extra Invitations are available – they’re even stamped!
Pres. PETER reminded us that only
two things in life are certain – and our three tax experts will tell
us why Taxes are the least of the two. PP CHRIS GAYNOR came forward with
a quick overview of what they would be presenting, noting that these
subjects were near and dear to our three CPAs – and hoping that we would
soon agree that their topics would be near and dear to us, also. CHRIS
first pointed out that almost everyone he counsels doesn’t seem to be
fully prepared financially for retirement, and he tries to emphasize
this with every client. There will be unexpected costs – perhaps college
costs are still ahead – and only advance planning can assure you of a
carefree retirement. He noted that more clients than ever are falling
into the Alternative Minimum Tax bracket, and so he asked GORDON FELL to
explain that unfortunate phenomenon.
GORDON started by asking what Tax
Form we are currently submitting – and the answer, of course, was 1040.
However, this can easily drop you into 6251, the Alternative Minimum
Tax, and that can have serious consequences. The original purpose was
to assure that everyone paid SOME tax, but the application has had some
surprising and unfortunate results. When your 1040 is completed,
the computer then decides if you should be under 6251 – and if so,
everything is refigured. Many supposed deductions do not qualify,
and the result almost always is an increase in what tax you pay. For
those in the higher income brackets, the AMT (6251, that is) can provide
some nasty surprises. Remember that the maximum tax was 70% not too
long ago, and it has consistently been reduced, recently to 38.5% and
today, 35%. However, if your previous deductions don’t count, the new
tax owed can be a shocker. The only good news in all this is that an
overpayment carries forward. And note that you cannot avoid being
considered as a candidate for 6251 – the computer makes that decision.
For those who do their taxes by hand, they can theoretically avoid being
placed into 6251 – and that’s a sure way to get into serious tax
PP STEVE DAY spoke about Capital
Gains. There is some excellent software that can alert you to your
status, and remember you must deal with Capital Gains during the year
they occur, NOT later. Essentially, Capital Gains are assets that have
been held over time – one year minimum – and the current tax is 15%.
However, just to get your attention, artwork, for instance, is taxed at
28% - and rental property at 25%. Dividend-producing stock is taxed at
15%, which is an advantage.
Capital losses do not qualify,
while capital gains do. Note that you can get the $500K tax credit on
your primary residence and after that, get it again on rental property
you occupy – do you get the impression that you may need help in
untangling some of these rules?
CHRIS noted that there is a huge
disparity between the federal and state tax rate – 8.6% is the
California rate. PP STEVE SCHERER asked what are the chances of a tax
audit, and what items will flag an audit. While the present rate of
audits is only 0.5 %, this will increase since they are hiring more IRS
agents all the time. Your Schedule C (Sole Propietaryship) is the area
that will get first attention, so you should be sure it makes some
sense, rather than relying on what was OK before.
Another target is the S
Corporation. Non filers, of course, are a real tempting target.
At this point, you will not be
surprised that PP ERIC LOBERG rose to his feet with the suggestion that
we should all hold hands and sing Silent Night. Failing this, we
Guys, you did a good job of
scaring the hell out of some of us. I suppose this could be called
business promotion, but in any case, what we did learn was certainly
YOE, Ernie Wolfe