Lower Your Taxes - Big Time! : Wealth-Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider

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Overview

Strategies from an IRS insider for slashing taxes, maximizing legal deductions, avoiding audits, and more

Through his years as an IRS tax attorney, Sandy Botkin discovered that most Americans could legally­­ and dramatically­­ cut their tax bills by establishing themselves as independent contractors or businesspersons. In Lower Your Taxes—­­Big Time!, Botkin explains how, outlining a straightforward program for writing off everything from family vacations to movies and plays, ...

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Lower Your Taxes - Big Time!

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Overview

Strategies from an IRS insider for slashing taxes, maximizing legal deductions, avoiding audits, and more

Through his years as an IRS tax attorney, Sandy Botkin discovered that most Americans could legally­­ and dramatically­­ cut their tax bills by establishing themselves as independent contractors or businesspersons. In Lower Your Taxes—­­Big Time!, Botkin explains how, outlining a straightforward program for writing off everything from family vacations to movies and plays, and receiving a subsidy of $5,000 or more from the IRS each and every year.

From tips for launching a business to strategies for audit-proofing a return, Lower Your Taxes­­—Big Time! is a gold mine of information for every frustrated taxpayer. Tax-cutting strategies include:

  • How, why, and when to incorporate
  • Fail-safe methods for deducting a home office and family car
  • Simple but essential record-keeping tips
  • Tax advantages of being a consultant,independent contractor, or independent businessperson
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071408073
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Lower Your Taxesâ?"Big Time!

Wealth-Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider


By Sandy Botkin

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright © 2003Sandy Botkin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-07-142079-2


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Why You Would Be Brain Dead Not to Start a Home-Based Business (If You Don't Already Have One)


Chapter Overview

• You will never get rich until you learn to get your taxes down to the legal minimum.

• There are two tax systems in this country—one for salaried employees, one for small/home-based business owners.

• A home-based business will make you better off than a second income.

• Traditional job security has declined over the years and will continue to do so, making home businesses more attractive.

• You will probably save $2,000-10,000 per year by starting your own part-time business.


There are really two sets of tax laws in this country. One is for employees; it allows deductions for normal employee items, such as individual retirement accounts, 401(k)s (if you have one set up by your company), interest and property taxes on your home, and charity. Then there are the laws for small and home-based business people who conduct their business either full or part time. In addition to the tax deductions employees can get, small business people can deduct, with proper documentation, their house, their spouses (by hiring them), their business vacations, their cars, and food with colleagues. They can also set up a pension plan that makes any government plan seem paltry by comparison and deduct most of their "vacation" trips if they combine them with an appropriate amount of business. (See the discussion in Chapter 3.)

The example below shows how a woman named Lori, who earned a $15,000 salary, took home only $1,156 after she deducted all her work-related expenses. Yet she could have netted the entire $15,000 had she earned it in a home-based business. This is an increase of almost 13 times her take-home pay as an employee.

It illustrates why having more than one job in a family does not produce any major effect on most people's bank accounts because of the tax laws. This was well illustrated by Jane Bryant Quinn in a Woman's Day article on "How to Live on One Salary."

Quinn assumed that the husband earned $40,000 per year and his wife (I'm calling her Lori) wasn't working. They had more month than money. (Sound familiar?) Lori subsequently got an administrative job for $15,000 per year. When Quinn examined the economics of getting this extra income for the family, the results were startling!

Lori had to pay federal and state taxes on her new income. Since they filed jointly, the family's combined income was what established their tax bracket. She paid $4,500 in new federal and state taxes, most of which were nondeductible.

Lori had Social Security withheld from her paycheck at the rate of 7.65%, which amounted to an additional nondeductible amount of $1,148 being extracted from her. She also has to commute to work 10 miles a day round trip, which is probably conservative for most people. This results in nondeductible commuting costs (in 1995) of $696.

Lori also had child care expenses that give a partial tax credit. Quinn figured that the amount spent over and beyond the tax credit was $4,250 per year.

Lori also ate out each day with colleagues, spending an average of $5 per day for lunch, five days per week. This results in a nondeductible expense of $1,250 a year. (I would love to know where she ate for only $5!)

Now that Lori has a job, she has to have better clothing and much more dry cleaning. Quinn assumed that Lori's increased expenses here were an extra $1,000 per year, nondeductible, of course.

Finally, with both spouses working, Lori wasn't in the mood to cook, somewhat akin to my own life. Thus, there were more convenience foods and more eating out. This resulted in increased food costs of a nondeductible $1,000 per year at the minimum.

Add it all up and Lori's take-home pay was a paltry $1,156 a year, for which she had to put up with the commute and the boss and the corporate hassles. (See the following summary of all these numbers, so you can do the math yourself.)

No wonder more and more people are starting up home-based and consulting businesses. In fact, according to author David D'Arcangelo, there are currently an estimated 37 million people working from their home, "representing a 20-fold increase over the last 10 years. What's more is that number is expected to grow by 15% annually and keep on growing!" This has become and will continue to become one of the greatest mass movements in the U.S.

If Lori started a home-based business, she would not be spending dramatically more money then she is currently spending. She would eat out anyway, go on trips, and have the same car expenses for repairs, gas, and insurance as she did before. If she has a home-based and/or consulting business, however, many of her expenses become deductible. This concept is known as "redirecting expenses." With a home-based or consulting business, she can now deduct some of the expenses that she is incurring anyway.


More Reasons to Start a Home-Based Business

In recent years, the era of large corporate profits and economic growth came to an end. Moreover, many economists believe things won't be getting better any time soon.

Remember the American Dream? You worked hard for one employer, saved your money, and retired with dignity and security. Today, young and middle-aged alike are realizing that their dream of having a job with a company forever is an illusion. Just pick up any national paper and you will see companies downsizing, rightsizing, and capsizing. (Remember Enron and WorldCom.)

Finally, if this isn't bad enough, under recent tax laws, employees are shafted more than ever with limits and thresholds for their employee deductions and higher Social Security tax limits. This results in more couples working than ever before and, on many occasions, working at more than one job. It is now almost impossible to have only one job in the family and make ends meet!

Finally, with both spouses away from the home most of the day, we have more children fending for themselves until their parents get home and less discipline in the home. (I wonder if some of the shootings that occur in school today aren't caused, in part, because many parents aren't home to take care of their children and supervise them properly.)

The reasons so many people are going into a home-based business or becoming consultants rather than joining a traditional business are many. There is no commute (unless you have a really big home), no boss, little if any chance of lawsuits, much less overhead, and no employees or very few employees. It is for these reasons, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, that 95% of the home- based businesses succeed in their first year and achieve an average income of $50,250 per year, with many earning much more.

I should note that, in addition to all the benefits noted above, Congress will subsidize you while you're growing your small business. If your business produces a loss in the first year or so, you can use that loss against any other income that you have. It can be used against wages earned as an employee, dividends, pensions, or interest income, or against your spouse's earnings if you filed a joint return. If the tax loss exceeds all your and your spouse's income for the year, no problem. You can carry back the loss two years and get a refund from the IRS (and from some states) for up to the last two years of income taxes paid or you can carry over the loss 20 years. You read it right: you can offset up to 20 years of income!

Example: Mike earns $50,000 in a job with the government. If he starts a home-based business
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Lower Your Taxesâ?"Big Time! by Sandy Botkin. Copyright © 2003 by Sandy Botkin. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rich or Poor--Your Choice ix
Part 1. Wealth-Building Tax Secrets for Small and Home-Based Business Owners 1
Chapter 1. Why You Would Be Brain Dead Not to Start a Home-Based Business (if You Don't Already Have One) 3
Chapter 2. How to Deduct Your Fun 9
Chapter 3. How to Turn Your Vacation into a Tax-Deductible Write-Off 24
Chapter 4. Income Shifting and Income Splitting: One of the Greatest Single Wealth-Building Secrets 41
Chapter 5. How to Turn Your Car into a Tax-Deductible Goldmine 58
Chapter 6. Home Office: The Misunderstood Key to Saving $15,000 Every Five Years 83
Chapter 7. Beating the Dreaded IRS Audit 104
Chapter 8. How to Shield Yourself from the IRS Weapon of Classifying a Business as a Hobby 119
Part 2. How to Incorporate to Shelter Your Wealth 131
Chapter 9. Finding the Best Corporate Entity for Your Business 133
Chapter 10. Forming a Nevada Corporation or a Limited Liability Corporation in Nevada 156
Chapter 11. How to Eliminate up to 40% of Your Social Security and Medicare Tax with an S Corporation 162
Chapter 12. How to Get Assets and Money into a Corporation Tax-Free 166
Part 3. Every Fringe Benefit Available to Small and Home-Based Businesses 173
Chapter 13. Fringe Benefits You Will Love 179
Chapter 14. Fringe Benefits You Will Love, Part 2 210
Part 4. Miscellaneous Tax Strategies 231
Chapter 15. The Four Most Overlooked Real Estate Tax Deductions in America 233
Chapter 16. The Top 10 Tax Questions 247
Appendix A Self-Insured Medical Reimbursement Plan 257
Appendix B 2002 Tax Rates 261
Index 263
About the Author 272
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    HELP!

    Move to sander res one thru eight! Autumnpaw is locked out! Hurry!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    To BrightClaw-Only, BrightClaw-

    A dark, shadowy figure tipped around Her, grinning. Around BrightClaw, darkness. Parched, dry grass, and charred, limp trees. Only a malicious glow. "I'm Snake." Slowly, the dark figure stepped foreward into a ray of dull light. Darkness swirled around His paws, and His snake-like fangs glinted. "Do You ever want to feel apprechiated? Like You matter to this Place?" He snicked shortly. "Join Me, and I will teach You all I know." [Yes. I'm Snake. The Pact Clan's DF Leader.]

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Thistlepath- Dusk Patrol

    "Dashingwind, Brightclaw and I will patrol the SandClan border," he says and waited for the rest of the patrol. (It's the janet evans animals result with the dinosaur on the cover :P don't remember the title)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Dashing

    Ur welcome. Padded to res six

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Lightkit

    Mews to blackfire, can i go into the forest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Darkflare

    He padded in.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Blackfire

    She woke up and walked around.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    SandClan Warriors Den

    ~Duststar

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Awesome

    She has got me hooked now I must hae this book every year.....money meet experience. ?.yez

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    Taxes are not a threat - they are an opportunity

    Botkins writes with intriqing flare and accuracy. His ideas and experience are really practical. I know him as a person and he is a great, honest guy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    The book is awesome, a lot of great reminders and many things that I forgot about.

    Sandy's Book, Lower You Taxes-Big Time, is the best, step-by-step tax strategy book that tells you exactly what to do, how to do it and backs it all up by the IRS code! Most books on the subject are too complicated and leave out details to actually implement the strategies or too simple and give no real input, Lower Your Taxes-Big Time, is a rare combination of great tax strategies plus ALL the steps to implement! Plus it is easy to understand. I would recommend buying an extra book for your accountant and tell them all the strategies you want implemented immediately! Make sure they are on the same page as you. Also, if you want to give yourself a raise, this book is for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    This may be the standard for all future tax and financial books

    WOW: As a working mom, I like to read finsncial books to help my family. This is clearly the best tax planning book that I have ever read. It is clear, concise, simply written, and chuck full of financial and tax planning strategies. It is even humorous,which is amazing for a tax book. There is an especially good tax section on incorporating, where to incorporate, and and a great comprehensive list on Fringe benefits. The flow charts are a nice touch too. There are also many things that I didn't know despite my constant reading on taxes and finance. For example, I didn't know that I could deduct all my dry cleaning and laundry expenses after a business trip. The discussion on deducting my entertainment and golf was particularly interesting. I have read many financial books including the Rich Dad/ Poor Dad series and "The Millionaire Next Door" by Stanley, and this book blows them all out of the water. Trust me: This book is one of the better kept financial secrets. If there is any one financial or tax book that you should read, this one is it!

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