Tax Insight: For Tax Year 2014 and Beyond, 3rd ed. Edition (2015)
Since 2004 I have been teaching people that they need a budget. They need to be aware. They need to plan and look ahead. They need to align their spending with their values and reach true financial contentment. Everything I teach encourages people to be forward focused.
When it comes to taxes, almost every one of us is facing backward. We look back and ask ourselves what we did last year to come up with what we pay. There is little to no planning.
We take our data, feed it into the black box (software, or those user-friendly IRS forms) and hope that what comes out on the other side is a “good” number. Hint: the only good number is the number you are legally obligated to pay—and not a penny more!
My awakening happened when Casey amended my 2008 business return and had me move a few things around only on paper that saved me more than $20,000 in taxes. I absolutely could not believe there was that much legitimate wiggle room inside the tax code. My savings had nothing to do with anything except how I reported my taxes. There was nothing fishy, gray, or shady in the way I revised my tax return. I simply sought and applied specialized knowledge to my specific situation—and it saved me a lot of money.
You have to be amused when people fret over the price of milk but turn a blind eye to their tax liability. With taxes, you’re talking about the single largest expense of your life. Being smart with your taxes is the biggest win in the Big Win category.
Tax Insight: For Tax Year 2012 is not necessarily meant to be read cover to cover. Read the first five chapters and then pick the strategies that apply to your situation. You’ll find it a fantastic reference going forward.