Every year the process of completing tax returns uncovers unpleasant surprises for business and investment property owners. Unexpected revenue, generally a good thing, drives up the tax bill. Or expenses were not properly documented and could not be fully deducted. Most critically, assets were sold without proper pre-planning, and taxes on the asset’s appreciation ate up half or more of the net profit!
- Tax shock hits!
- Anger at the government boils over!
- Promises are made never to let yourself get caught unprepared again!
Two weeks later, though, the tax shock has worn off and you are back to business, working with clients or tenants, managing your affairs. Tax planning gets put on the back burner. Again.
This will set you up nicely for another tax shock next April. I recommend you resist falling back into this pattern because it will cost you money in wastefully paid taxes you can easily avoid.
Late April and early May are the “Tax Shock” season. You need to use that angry feeling to drive yourself to adopt a proactive approach toward reducing your taxes.
- If you own commercial properties, you need to manage your properties as a portfolio. You use cost segregation techniques to accelerate depreciation and capture more tax benefit and tax-advantaged income. You share expenses across individual properties to minimize taxes each year.
- If at any time in the next 3-5 years you think you might want to sell your business, or a property you own, begin now to investigate your options in how best to sell, reduce the tax bite and maximize your profits. So many tax benefits are buried in the tax code that can minimize the tax bill when the sale closes
Most owners never tap the full range of tax benefits Congress has created for them. This is for two reasons:
- They don’t take the time to discuss their plans in detail with their CPA and financial advisor.
- They don’t add a proactive tax planner to their advisory team.
CPAs are your first line of defense against unreasonable tax bills. And they focus on defense and keeping you in compliance with federal, state and local tax law. They need to spend a lot of time spotting and filling paperwork gaps, and steering you away from “pushing the envelope” on deductions. They are also your best friend if the IRS ever decides to audit you!
Great CPAs, though, have hundreds of clients and do not have time to go on the offense by diving into the 70,000-page tax code to find you the tax benefits that are waiting to be used. Knowing this, they hire the offense: They partner with a proactively trained tax planner who takes that task on. That tax professional is a tax situation analyst and spends his days finding tax breaks!
That’s what we do. For this recently completed tax season, for instance, we saved tens of thousands of dollars of taxes for several different business owners simply by:
- Examining their last three years of tax returns
- Spotting missed planning opportunities and identifying taxes wastefully being paid
- Demonstrating to the clients and their CPAs how they were able to lawfully keep the money instead of needlessly giving it to the government
Their CPAs brought us in because they suspected there were hidden tax benefits that could be cashed in on, and they knew that we understood how to capture those benefits for their clients. Together, each CPA and I made the “shock” of tax season a very positive experience.
Take action now. Make next April less shocking!
Use the motivation of this year’s tax shock to motivate you to act. Let’s look at the last three years of your tax returns (which I do free of charge) to see which tax benefits you missed. If you are self-employed or a business owner, it is not unusual that we can pinpoint at least $5,000 in taxes or more that you may have paid unnecessarily.
Put us to the test! We stand ready to help you make next April the most pleasant month of the year!
About the Author…
Bruce Jones got his start in financial services in 1970 and has taught the subjects of tax management and financial strategy planning since 1974. He is President and CEO of TaxWealth®, a tax analysis and solutions research firm which provides comprehensive income, capital gains and estate tax remedies for owners of real estate, privately-owned businesses and other capital assets. He also supports CPAs, attorneys, financial advisors and real estate and business brokerage professionals, helping to solve their clients’ tax problems.
TaxWealth works with clients and professional partners nationally from its home office in Newport Beach, California. Visit their web site at www.taxwealth.com or call Mr. Jones toll-free at (800) 300-4723 to discuss your tax concerns.