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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 4, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Moil., Mar., 4, 1974 Recent Rulings on Business Expenses By Sylvia Porter NEW YORK If you paid a fee (o a job-counseling organiza- tion for helping you to find a job, a 1973 lax. court decision will permit you to deduct the expenses even though you failed to get the job. Sixth of a Series While the treasury still insisl on disallowing the cost of seek ing employment that doesn't ac tually result in producing a job with this strong tax court sup port, you may want to claim th deduction anyway and fight the treasury checks your return Carrying Tools If you are an employe am you drive your car to work will bulky or heavy tools or equip- ment, the supreme court gavi you bad news in 1973. Althougl the cost of driving to and from work is a non-deductible com routing expense, some of the lower appellate courts had al lowed the employe to dedue that portion of his driving ex penses allocable to carrying the equipment or tools. The supreme court put an enc to this by ruling that non-deduc- Syivta Porter tible auto expenses of commut- ing to work don't become deduc- tible even in part just because you, the employe, carry along the tools or equipment for your job, you incur additional ex- penses because of transporting your job-required tools and equipment, though, some alloca- ble portion of your driving ex- penses may be deductible. First, Last Trips If you are an employe .per- forming your job at various lo- cations during the day a salesman, solicitor, etc. you can deduct your transportation expenses in going between your various locations. But you can't deduct your commuting ex- penses. 'According to IRS rules, this means that when a salesman or similar employe travels directly from home to his first customer and travels directly home from his last customer at the end of the d.ay, these first and last trips are non-deductible com- muting expenses. Only your travels between your first and last customers are deductible. Also, if you must report in to your employer's office at the start and end of your day's work, your first trip from home lo the office and last trip from the office to your home are non- deductible commuting expenses. Office at Home.. Last year, the tax court had the case of a salesman who maintained an office-at-home in a suburb near his employer's of- fice in the city. He drove direct- ly from home to his first cus- tomer and directly home from his last customer. The question was the deduc- :ion of his first and last trips on the basis that they were trips to and from his place of work (of- The tax court said that having an office at home didn't make that first and ast trip deductible unless the iffice-at-home was really his jrincipal office. For instance, if 'ou had your office at home >ecause your employer has no office hi the area, the cost of your first and last trips might be deductible. Bull this vasn't so in this case. Mileage If you are a traveling em- iloye and you are paid a per- lem allowance of up'to a for' board. and lodging, and a fixed mileage allowance of up o 15 cents per travel mile, you on't 'generally have to report ither the reimbursement or the xpenses on your tax return. Tius, when you file your return, ou don't show on it the various ravel expense deductions that ften lead to' an audit which may require you to furnish IRS fith proof, evidence, etc. In 1973, the IRS ruled that an mploye couldn't use the er-diem for board and lodging as a reason for not reporting reimbursements and expenses il he also used the IRS approved optional mileage deduction of 12 etuis and 9 cents a travel mile to claim a deduction for his own auto expenses. Most likely to use the IRS op- tional mileage deduction are employes who get the per-diem allowance but no travel or a small travcTinileage allowance from their employers. Statement Needed That 1973 ruling says you can't use the optional 12-Sc mile- age allowance unless you attach a statement to your return which shows the various ex- penses for board and; lodging that were covered by your per-i diem allowance. If you want to use the 12-Sc mileage deduction, you must give up the non-reporting bene- fit of your pcr-diem allow- ance. So in filiag your return, if your employer's fixed mileage allowance is less than the IBS l2-9c optional mileage deduction (or he paid you no mileage al- lowance at consider not taking the l2-9c mileage deduc- tion and thereby avoid having to report the details of the ex- penses covered by your per diem allowances. A final note: If you have to drive to a union hall to get your day's assignment and then drive !o your job, the tax court agreed with the IRS that none of the car expenses maybe deductible as business expenses. Next: Sick pay. For Belter Health Proper Hair Treatment Requires Shampooing, Trimming, Brushing By Dr. S.I. Andelmau T o d a y let's discuss i "crowning glory" that hair on the top of our heads. Call it vanity, but we are all concerned about how our hair looks. Some even every day. prefer it waved; others want it straight. Some like it blond; others prefer it dark. Every year Americans spend several lillion on preparations ind treatments for the hair. In spite of what tho .ads tell is, hair care is quite simple, 'roper hair treatment -requires 10 more than regular shampoo- ng, trimming; brushing and combing. Hair should be sham- pooed as often as needed once a week or more often. Peo- ple with oily hair, those exposed to city dirt or those who arc ac- tive physically may shampoo their hair several limes a week, Natural 011 Excessive shampooing won't cause baldness but it may re- move too much natural oil, causing hair to become dry and break off. Nothing will happen if you don't wash your hair at all, except that it will get dirty, your head may itch and the ac- cumulated oils may give off an unpleasant odor. Before shampooing, brush your hair free of all tangles. This also removes surface dirt Next, wet the hair thoroughly and use enough shampoo tor gents instead of soap. However, if you use 0 soap shampoo in fairly hard water, use a weak acid rinse such as vinegar or lemon juice to remove wy soap scum. You.may want to try one of the posl-shampoo Imlr rinses and conditioners lo improve the appearance, manageability and texture of your hair. Don't ex- pect miracles. They won't re- liuce Hie tlrasllc changes that plcntv of lather. Massage tto'ladi-ertlsing may suggest, such rather than as stickiiig split ends back to- gether. And one last advice: scalp" with fingertip the nails. If your hair is very oily or dirty, rinse it and shampoo as sin. Then rinse it carefully, removing all traces of suds. Blot it dry to prevent tangles. If you dry your hair under a dryer, regulate it carefully.......... Owrhsating will make your your hair no more hair dry, brittle and easy to damage with a comb or brush. Lemon Juice Fortunately, most of today's shampoos are wholly or partly composed of synthetic deter- Forget about tho lime-honored 100 strokes a day. As rule 20 to 30 strokes are enough to dis- tribute the oil along tho hair shafts, remove tangles and whisk away loose dirt and than you need to in order lo keep it neat and attractive. 20 YEARS AGO Yager's clothing store was sold to Albert F. Kieck. I he: jnvestor's Quide By Sam Shulsky Q Please send me a list of stocks, that are now undervalued and- selling for less than 10 times earnings. A The ratio of market price to earnings per share is now carried in many large pub- lications' stoqk market listings. Qn the day your letter arrived, running your finger down the list would reveal that ACF In- dustries was selling for 13 times earnings, Allegheny Power, E times; American Telephone anrj Telegraph, 10 times and so on and on ah1 the way to Zurn In- Sam Shulslcy dustries, selling at 11 times earnings. All these ratios, of course, can and often do change daily. And if the publication you read does not include a p-e column in its stock market listings ail you need do is divide the latest market price by the latest 12- month (or 1973) earnings per share available in any stock manual-, and thus arrive at the p-e ratio yourself. In any case, it is clearly im- possible for me to print any p-e list that would be good for more than one day's market. So much for arriving at p-e ratios. Where does that leave you? idea. I haven't the goggiest There is absolutely no basis for anyone saying that just any stock selling at below ten times earnings is "undervalued" or will enjoy a recovery when the market improves. Many stocks which sold at nine times earn- ings a few months ago are now selling at seven and even six times earnings and, who I knows, may recede to five times earnings. Price-earnings ratios are use-: ful. In essence, they indicate the; amount of hope the stock mar-: ket community places on chances of making a profit in a stock. If it sells at 22 times; earnings, for example, you can assume that those paying that price feel earnings progress will be such as to make this stock an excellent growth vehicle. If it sells at five or four times earnings, you can assume that the market doesn't have too much hope that the stock will double in price over the next three months, or so. I repeat the p-e ratio is a useful tool for analysts and technicians. It is not a sure- thing indication that a stock will rise or fall. Nothing is. Q You've menriQne_d_cofl- vertible debentures as having special risks. Ail I can think of is the possibility of the corpora- tion going broke. The market price of a high-quality straight (non-con- vertible) bond will be affected by the going rate for money which affects both its current yield and its yield to maturity. The convertible debenture has an added factor (which may represent risks or pluses ac- cording to the particular situa- tion) in the form of the price of the common stock into which the debenture is convertible. In a falling stock market, this factor leaves the convertible de- benture especially vulnerable since, normally, a convertible does not carry as high a coupon as a straight bond. In other words its price depends, to some extent, on the price of the common stock. Q We have just retired. Ihould we hold some utility stock we bought at 21, now selling at 19? A I don't see why you shouldn't continue to hold it. You bought an old-line utility company which has paid divi- dends for decades without inter- ruption. Rising interest rates lave brought down its market >rice as they have the prices of many other high-yield utili- "es. But nothing has happened vhich would impair its ability to do the job you originally asked of it: provide a generous in- come from a well-protected div- dend. Mr. Shuliky welcomes wrlllon questions. Hit he will be able to provide answers only through the column. Por lists ol growth and dividend stocks, please include Address your rcqi care ol The Gaieli lucsts to Sam Shuli OS: DR.CRAVEN DENTIST PRACTICE UMITEBTO DENTURE WORK 113 Dll Molnel Molon ini-Calculator Just add to your present Savings Account or open a new s one at Merchants National Bank. The 6-Digit, battery operated Mini- Calculator adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides. Use it for balancing your checkbook, figuring taxes, helping the kids with math problems And because it's small enough to fit into a purse l or a coat pocket, you can use it for comparison shopping. Stop by your nearest Merchants National office soon and open a new Savings Account or add to your present account. 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