how to get your biggest tax return legally

Filing your personal taxes can be easier than it used to be. Unfortunately, what you could claim last year may not be the same this year. I have compiled a list of the common personal tax laws that have changed since last tax season on my website. I have also provided several tips that can help you get the biggest return possible without manipulating your tax forms. You can learn how to get the biggest return while following the IRS guidelines so you do not have to worry about tax audits or getting a penalty letter a few years after getting your check.

Getting That Old Fountain Pen To Write Again

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You've caught up with the technology age and spend more time typing and texting than writing with a pen. There are still times when the personal touch of a handwritten note is desired. Your favorite fountain pen from a place like Norfolk Stationery Co has been in your desk drawer for months, unused. It's time to clean it up to be ready to write birthday cards, thank you notes and the occasional love note to your partner. These tips will get your pen working like new again.

Doing a Basic Cleaning

Hopefully your pen just needs a light cleaning to start writing again. Piston, cartridge and converter pens can be cleaned the same way. Remove the ink supply and rinse the nib under the faucet in cool water for several minutes. If you see ink come out, continue rinsing until you see no more ink. Then place the nib in a cup of cool water over night to dissolve any dried ink in the nib or in the feeder body on which the nib is attached.

The next day, remove the pen from the cup and rinse in cool water again. Using a paper towel, wipe off the pen and hold the nib against the paper to allow water to wick out. Let the pen dry for several hours. Put in a fresh supply of ink and try writing. If the pen won't write or it skips, move on to a heavier type of cleaning.

Getting Rid of Clogs and Skipping

Ink is likely caked in the nib or the feeder. The feeder is the black section on which the nib is attached. The series of slits, called combs, in the feeder hold ink as you're writing and dried ink can block the ink flow there. The feed tube going from the ink supply into the feeder can become blocked with dried ink, as well.

Repeat the basic cleaning procedure, but this time, after soaking the pen overnight, put the nib in a solution of one part household ammonia and two parts water. Allow the pen to sit in this for a few minutes then rinse again in cool water. With a soft toothbrush, scrub the pen gently starting at the tip of the nib. Remove any dried ink in the slit without widening the slit. Midway up the slit, most quality pens, such as Cross pens, have a small breather hole which provides air to help the ink flow through the slits. Clean any caked ink from this hole.

Scrub gently under the nib where it connects with the feeder. Scrub ink from any of the combs that you can reach with the brush. Be gentle when cleaning the fountain pen so you don't change the shape of the nib in the process. Rinse the pen in cool water again and set on a paper towel to dry.

Checking the Nib

Once the pen is dry, hold the nib against a white piece of paper and look down on it. The tiny slit should be open from the breather hole to the tip. The tines, the metal part of the nib on either side of the slit, should be lined up with each other so one side is not higher than the other. The metal at the tip of the pen should also be aligned. One side should not be longer that the other. If all of these components look correct, put the pen back together with fresh ink and try writing.

If the pen still doesn't write, skips or the nib scratches the paper as you write, it will need to be cleaned by a fountain pen specialist. The nib will need to be completely removed from the feeder and both parts cleaned. This requires professional attention to readjust the nib so the pen works correctly after the cleaning.

Once your pen writes freely again, you'll enjoy creating your own handwritten notes. Surprise your friends with written notes once in awhile so they'll know what they've been missing when they only see email and text messages.


20 January 2015