More from: General Business

How to Get Prior-Year Tax Information

In email today from Oak Partners:

How to Get Prior-Year Tax Information*
Tax day 2018 has passed – and for American taxpayers, it was one of the last reminders of 2017. The IRS instructs filers to retain tax records and supporting documents for at least the 3 previous years.
Taxpayers who used tax-filing software for the first time and who don’t have copies of their returns may order tax transcripts of previous-year returns from the IRS. The transcripts provide a summary of a tax return.
Taxpayers seeking to obtain transcripts need to have the amount of their adjusted gross income to validate their identities. For more information, go to  Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.
The IRS advises taxpayers to first check with the provider of the tax software they used or their tax preparer before contacting the agency for the information. The IRS charges a fee for providing prior-year returns. The transcripts, however, are free.
It takes 5-10 days to get tax transcripts ordered online or by phone after the IRS receives the request. It takes about 30 days to get tax transcripts ordered by mail and about 75 days for tax returns.
Here are 3 ways to order transcripts:
  1. Go to Get Transcript on the agency’s website.
  2. Taxpayers may call 800-908-9946.
  3. Taxpayers may use Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ to order by mail.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.


April Indiana Employment Report

From Indiana in email today:

INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2018) – Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.2 percent for April and remains lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than four years. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 11,655 over the previous month. This was a result of a 737 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 10,918 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.33 million, and the state’s 64.0 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.8 percent.

In addition, Indiana’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows.

Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp.


Indiana Employment Data now available

From Indiana Department of Workforce Development today in email:

March Indiana County, City
& MSA Employment Report

INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2018) – Links to March 2018 employment data for Indiana counties, cities and MSA’s are listed below:

Employment Report (LAUS)
Labor Force Estimates for U.S., Indiana, MSAs, Counties, Cities

Ranking of Indiana Counties by Unemployment Rate
Indiana County Map with Unemployment Rates

Jobs Report (CES)
Seasonally-Adjusted Employment Table for Indiana
Non-Seasonally-Adjusted Employment Table for Indiana

Detail Employment Listing – Statewide & MSAs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sub-state level data are not seasonally adjusted due to sample size. For example, over the course of a year, the size of the labor force, employment and unemployment levels, and other measures of labor market undergo fluctuations due to seasonal events including changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Therefore, for more accurate comparisons, data should be compared to the same month from prior years, not the previous month, as to better account for non-economic factors.

The April 2018 Indiana Employment Report will be released on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) and the April 2018 Indiana County, City and MSA Employment Report will be released on Monday, May 21, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT).


Tax Information 2018

From email today from irs@service.govdelivery.com:

The busiest part of tax season begins this week, with millions of people planning to file. Through April 6, the IRS has processed more than 101 million tax returns and issued more than 79.1 million tax refunds totaling $226.6 billion. The average refund to date is $2,864.

Additional filing season numbers:

  • The IRS expects to receive about 14.9 million individual income tax returns for the week ending April 13, with about 13.1 million filed electronically.
  • On top of those 14.9 million tax returns, the IRS expects to receive another 17 million tax returns the following week.
  • Requests for extension are anticipated to exceed 11.6 million by next week, with the vast majority of those Forms 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, being filed electronically. Overall, this year, the IRS expects to receive more than 14 million extension requests from taxpayers.

Information about free e-file options, such as FreeFile, how to request an automatic six-month filing extension or fast and easy ways to pay any tax due using IRS Direct Pay are available online at IRS.gov. IN INDIANA you can access on-line software to file your Federal and Indiana State income taxes for free at https://www.in.gov/dor/5912.htm.


The “Data Center” of the Future

A visual model of the Data Center of the Future: Coffee Maker insides after years of use.

I just read through Network World’sHow a data center works, today and tomorrow” (see https://www.networkworld.com/article/3223692/data-center/how-a-data-center-works-today-and-tomorrow.html).

They feel ‘The future of data centers will rely on cloud, hyperconverged infrastructure and more powerful components’.

I partly agree, and partly disagree.

The IT business cycle is well known: IT starts as a centralized department, becomes a bottleneck, other departments set up their own IT for operational survival, the uncoordinated small IT becomes unmanageable, policy swings back to standardizing and centralizing IT, and the cycle repeats. So “Data Centers” will be centralized, then distributed, then centralized again … likely forever at the corporate level.

The controlling force will not be commercial dominance: no one company will succeed at becoming the global “Data Center Hegemon” – grass roots, open source, widely varied people driven interests will take over IN SPITE of corporate attempts to “own” the Data Center scene. The “Data Centers” inside large organizations will be a tiny part of the planetary Data Center.

Photo of a Nest Thermostat in The Bond Building. 20 June 2013, 11:54:32 by Amanitamano

I also disagree that the Data Center of the future will be composed mostly of more powerful things, rather I feel that it will be made up of far less powerful things, redundant, error correcting, in massive numbers, using cooperative computing protocols, to become a massive unified computing power. As each cell in a human body is little by itself, coordinated together all the cells form a much more significant and powerful organism: an organism that can loose many cells, survive, heal, and grow. No single corporation, or corporate alliance, can approach this potential because of management, legal, contractual, and financial encumbrances. The Data Center’s life blood is network connectivity and its future body will be shaped accordingly.

All technologies must eventually inter-operate, and those which do not will be relegated to irrelevance, but most of this will be from non-corporate innovation, not for profit initiatives. There will likely be government attempts initiated by corporate influence to eradicate all “unauthorized” software on some pretense: any software not sold by “authorized” programmers, such as that created by programmers not under corporate control and released for the public good without mandated government “back doors” or for profit motives may even be criminalized. Public software will not only survive but it will grow and the attempts to destroy it will drive it underground, improve it, increase its sophistication, and make it harder, not easier, to oppose.

And yes, I believe some large corporations will contribute to the process, which will eventually be overwhelmed and confiscated by massive grass roots factors, gently, slowly, imperceptibly until it is too late. The surviving Corporations will be the ones which recognize this from the start and design to work together with rather than oppose global communications.

There will always be “free public cloud” ( that is, network based file and app servers), sometimes  bootlegged inside ‘secure’ corporate systems, but there will be much more storage a kilobyte at a time from mundane and ignored things such as Mom’s pacemaker or Uncle Joe’s radio all coordinated by Harriot’s thermostat. IoT device security and control will improve accordingly. Remember BitCoin. In the future, my FitBit may be harboring 1% of your favorite vacation picture for you – but don’t worry, if I upgrade my watch Harry’s fish locator and Mary’s microwave have redundant copies just in case.

The idea that people in mass will keep their most private data on a server owned by some for profit entity that will turn everything over to secret government agencies or marketers at a whim is unworkable until people have absolute confidence that their private data will remain absolutely private NO MATTER WHAT. This can never happen with any ownership of centralized “Cloud” services because government can and will seize those centralized computers if they think it necessary.

Reading, gaming, sleeping… All in Kyiv subway by teteria sonnna from Obukhiv, Ukraine

There will probably be significant human influencers wearing rags and living in dilapidated buildings or on the streets as well as those wearing jeans or tuxedos and living in middle-class homes or skyscrapers. BOT nets will no longer be merely for mafia profits, ransomware,  and spam generators but will be a means to suborn “secure” private networks or effect communications kept temporarily private from “official” corporate or government eyes.

The “Data Center” of the future will not be one place but every place. It will be connected by multiple redundant means to circumvent corporate power to use government to silence profit syphoning opposition. It will not look like a ‘Max Headroom’ dystopia but free open source software will be critical in its reliable operation even though specific corporate proprietary software will also be present.

And the one thing we can count on is that it will be constantly changing all of the time. How can for profit corporate interests survive or thrive in this new world? Easy, simply make your corporation indispensable to the victors.