Why this blog helps you with your taxes and your business
A look at the direction this blog is taking.
The mission of this site is stated in the header: “Taxes stink! Let’s clear the air. Finding solutions to lower your taxes.” The thing is, I really don’t know how best to do that. Only you can tell me. So, my goal is to find out from you what you need to know, how I can help, and what’s the best way for you to make use of what I can give you.
See, here’s the deal. I know a lot of stuff. I know how to prepare taxes and how the rules the IRS sets work. I can go on and on with little tidbits of knowledge and high-falutin’ explanations.
The thing is, all that does is show how much I know. It doesn’t help you lower your taxes.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in business or simply an employed person, you have to pay taxes. But there is no reason you should pay too much. Here’s the catch, in order to reduce your tax bill you have to have your finances–business and personal–set up in such a way that you will pay the least amount. It’s not a matter of saying, “Mike, I don’t want to pay as much this year. Please cut my tax bill.” I know that it may seem too complicated to do a bunch of stuff that only has impact once a year. But you pay for every complication you don’t take advantage of.
I also understand that for many the tax return is quite simple, a couple of W2s, maybe some 1099Rs. (I assume you know what those are.) In short, not much there to deal with. And the rules keep working to make that true for more and more people. With current low interest rates, more and more families don’t even need to worry about the mortgage interest deduction simply because the standard deduction has gotten so hig If that’s true for you, then “Great” you don’t have a lot to do, except file your simple tax return.
Sorry, but there is no IRS equivalent of the insurance company’s “Name Your Own Price” tool. Actually, the insurance company makes you give up coverage to lower your premium, or maybe add additional insurance policies to reduce the price on one. No, the only way to name your own tax is to change the way you receive your money, spend your money or save your money. Oh, and you can always save taxes by adding to your family size. And that also requires you to plan ahead. But if you have become accustomed to that simple, file it yourself tax return you must be careful if your situation changes. What happens when you turn 59 and a half? Does it impact you? What about your retirement? How much of it is taxable?
So, even if you are not currently involved with a complicated tax return, will that be true forever? And when should you begin to prepare for your graduation to the complex return?
You must intentionally plan your finances–business and personal–now, this year, to lower your tax bill next year. You can’t wait to listen to the “advice” you get from TV or the news which suddenly appears in December and January to reduce your taxes in April. You can, however, do things this December and January, as well as every other month next year to control your tax bill in 2017. And that’s exactly what I strive to do for you.
How do I do it? Well, first, when I prepare your taxes each year I advise you about things you should do or watch out for as the year progresses. What, you don’t remember that? Well, it really isn’t surprising because we all try try to put taxes out of our minds as quickly as possible. If you get a big refund, you are happy about it and don’t want to buckle down and pay attention. If you get a tax bill, you are mad (maybe even at me) and you just want it to go away. That’s why this after-filing consultation has so little impact.
Secondly, each year in the middle of the summer I send out the word that you should review your income and spending situation. I do this via email and sometimes snail mail. I do this so you can have an opportunity to make changes that can still have some effect before the end of the year.
And next, I send out an almost weekly email newsletter with some news that can have an impact on taxes–sometimes directly on your taxes.
But here’s the point, I need to know what you want to know more about. I want this info to be useful, not trivia. Are you using TurboTax to do your taxes? Do intend to set up a business and need to know how to set it up, set up the books, and file the mid-year tax returns? Maybe you wonder how your kids will impact your taxes even after they’ve left college and moved away.
This blog is an extension of my tax practice, but it’s also a foundation. The stuff I share here is to help you know why I do your taxes the way I do. It also helps you better understand the need for a business of your own, and how to do that business better. The more you know, the better.
So, as I said before, leave a comment and let me know your number one concern about taxes.