Gambling: They call it Lady Luck

Thanks to the Lotto and scratch cards and online casinos, more women than ever before are developing a gambling problem.

According to government figures, 60% of adults in the UK spend up to £50 per month gambling at the betting shop or on Lotto. As the result of changes coming shortly, the amount spent in this country per year is expected to go up from the current £42 billion to £60 billion.

30 million people regularly buy UK Lotto tickets in the second largest of the 192 lotteries across the world. And despite official figures telling us that a mere 1% of these have developed out of control gambling habits, Gamblers Anonymous are finding that they’ve had an increase of 17% in calls for help. GamCare has also seen an increase in requests for their counseling service.

Women have always dominated the Bingo scene, where they outnumber men, 70% to 30%. The average age is under 50 and the average spend for a night (including food and drinks) is £20.

Women tend not to visit casinos and betting shops, and favour on-line gambling instead where they have the perception of its being safer, less intimidating, more fun, more tempting and where they can remain anonymous.

As they are seduced by the escapism of on-line shopping, developing an internet gambling addiction, as they are encouraged by the on-line sites to create alternative realities: a different identity; and play along with the fantasy that it’s not real money they’re playing with.

There are something like 1700 gambling websites, including casinos, bingo halls, lotteries. Something to meet everyone’s tastes. And of course, they’re open 24 hours a day.

As says Lysette Offley of Sounds Positive in Henley on Thames, where hypnotherapy for gambling addiction is used: We’re fast approaching a time when the number of people in the UK with broadband access to the internet will overtake those still on dial-up, so access and availability to on-line gambling is increasing. Not surprisingly, problems are expected to increase.”

So what can a person do about it if they feel their habit’s getting out of control?

“Get help now. Don’t let it go on and on,” says Lysette. “There is plenty of professional help available and many ways to stop gambling. I see people regularly who are able to turn their lives around and with just a little help learn how to stop gambling. And of course there are self-help products too which can help enormously. Why would you play the victim of your habit when you really can do something about it?”

Sounds Positive specialises in fully downloadable self-help hypnotherapy products, incorporating other psychology techniques such as NLP and EFT. Stop Gambling is available from their website.

Paying the Taxman – Estimated Tax Payments For the Self Employed

If you’re self-employed or earn income that is not subject to tax withholding such as rents, prizes, awards, interest, or alimony, or if you don’t have enough tax withheld from your salary or pension, you will need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year or face a hefty penalty at tax time.Self-employed individuals will also need to pay an extra self-employment tax on top of their regular income taxes. Estimating your tax payments isn’t too complicated. The IRS has worksheets you can use to calculate your quarterly payments. In general, if you anticipate owing over $1000 after subtracting your credits and current withholding, you should pay estimated tax payments. This number is adjusted by the IRS periodically.Estimated tax payment requirements vary for individuals, sole proprietors, corporations, and farmers and fishermen. Check with the IRS for guidance.For the self-employed, use Form 1040-ES from the IRS to make your calculations. Use your previous year’s tax return as a guide. This will come in handy when doing rough calculations as far as your deductions, expected income, and so forth. Take into account any expected changes both in your own situation as well as tax laws.The worksheet includes a tax rate schedule that you will need to refer to once you’ve come up with a figure of taxable income. In addition, you will need to pay self-employment tax on top of the regular income tax. Pay attention to the instructions for calculating this tax as there are different rates once you pass a certain self-employment income threshold.In addition, only 92.35% of your self-employment income is currently subject to the tax so you will first need to multiply you self-employment income times.9235 to get the amount that is subject to the extra self-employment tax. For example, if you expect to earn $30,000 as a self-employed individual, $27,705 will be subject to the additional self-employment tax. At the current rate of 15.3%, the self-employment tax would be $4239. It’s important to realize that this is in addition to regular income tax.As you work through the worksheet, you will have your final figure representing your estimated taxes for the year. If you will owe over $1000, you will then divide that number by four. You will then be responsible for making four quarterly estimated tax payments for that amount according to a schedule set up by the IRS. Depending on the calendar, the payment due dates vary from year to year. However in general, the first payment is due in mid-April, the second is due in mid-June, the third is due in mid-September, and the final payment in due in mid-January of the following year. Payment vouchers are included on the 1040-ES worksheet.As the year progresses, your estimated income may fluctuate. You can use the worksheet to recalculate your estimated taxes and amend your remaining estimated payments. Doing this will ensure that you won’t be left owing more than you anticipated should you earn more money than you thought. It also ensures that you aren’t overpaying the taxes either.Because you will need to pay these taxes one way or the other, it makes sense to be aware of the taxes with every check you cash. Figure out what percentage of every dollar you earn needs to be put aside for taxes and sock that money away immediately into an account specifically designated for your taxes.

Cognitivism