Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to calculate tax refund in US

Most of us are very happy to see the fat tax refund check or refund in bank account from IRS....surely HDTVs,laptop,tablets might be going through the minds of many,but in reality we are loosing some money for that.

The reason why we get a huge refund is mostly due to the fact that we were paying the government too much as tax on our income throughout the year.A withholding tax allowance is simply a number that you can claim on your W4 form that will change the amount of your income that your employer will withhold from you throughout the year. The number of allowances can vary, but is most likely 0, 1, 2 or 6. The higher the allowance number, the less tax will be withheld from you with each paycheck. A W4 is filled out by an employee when they start employment. Allowances on a W4 can be updated at any time by filling out a new one. Most employers will allow you to do this whenever you desire  and your withholding tax amounts should take effect in your next full pay period (normaly next month).

So imagine if you were not paying government more than required tax and were investing that for high return. That's what my point is. You were loosing this high return..... 

There are numerous website to calculate tax allowances.Some are listed below.You may consult a tax professional if you are still unclear..

IRS Withholding Calculator
H & R Block withholding calculator

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To Make Virgin Coconut Oil At Home

Last week I was buying some coconuts from the local grocery store. The cashier was curios to see the number of coconuts I was buying and she asked me what I am going to do with that. I explained that I use those for making virgin coconut oil. She was amazed to know that we can make that at home because she  used to spend a lot of money to buy the bottled ones from market.I have learned this from my grandmother because I am from Gods Own Country-Kerala which is the southern most state of India and there we use virgin coconut oil a lot.... in curries,dishes,as hair oil, for body massage,as baby oil, to make bath soap and in lot of Ayurvedic medicines
Its easy to make virgin coconut oil at home. Follow the below simple steps and watch the video.
  1. Get ripe coconuts.
  2. Trim off the brown off the coconut.
  3. Break the coconut into two part.(you may collect the coconut water and drink it.Its good).
  4. Shred the coconut.
  5. Use your hands to squeeze maximum milk out of the shredded coconut.
  6. Add  enough water to the squeeze shredded coconut residue to squeeze out the remaining milk.
  7. Strain the milk to a saucepan and set the stove to medium heat.
  8. Keep on stirring the milk.
  9. After sometimes the milk starts curdling and oil starts to get separated.
  10. Boil until the residue becomes golden brown and the oil somewhat stops to bubble.
  11. Now take the saucepan off the stove and place the saucepan in a slanting position so that the oil settles down and gets separated from residue.
  12. After the oil cools off,carefully scoop the oil off the pan to a dry container
  13. Your home made virigin coconut oil is ready for use. :)