Taxes

Uncle Sam’s Hand Is Now Extended

Yes, I hate to remind everyone that a week from tomorrow our taxes are due–the IRS is patiently waiting for our money! It seems that the beautiful spring weather of April is always shadowed by the call of the Federal Government for our hard-earned money. A truly depressing way to kick-off the season of flowers blooming, trees sprouting their leaves, and cool breezes. While I’ve always been the eternal optimist, trying so often to look at the bright side of things; I can’t come up with the bright side of writing a check to the “Internal Revenue Service.”

I recently spoke with a very good friend of mine who like myself is self-employed. Our discussion was about how many months of each year we work to pay the IRS. It was a rather disturbing conversation, since we know that the more money we make the more money we pay the IRS. In many ways it seems that the Federal Government doesn’t give anyone the incentive to work for themselves and strive to be successful. If you think about it, why in the world would you want to increase your income if it just means that you will have to write a much larger check to the IRS?

Don’t get me wrong, anyone who works for themselves will give you a list of the advantages of doing so. You’ll hear the standard replies like, “I like being my own boss”, “I like being able to set my own hours”, and “I like controlling my own destiny”. What we rarely hear are the many down-sides to owning your own business. However, during the month of April you will hear the cries of many self-employed as they mail those tax returns!

While the anxiety levels of the self-employed tend to rise this month, there are many resources to assist those looking for answers. One of the questions I often get from my clients is, “what do I do if I get audited?” My first answer is “always cooperate with the IRS”, and my second answer is “always cooperate with the IRS.” The worst thing you can do is appear evasive when confronted by an IRS Agent. Hopefully, small-business owners have a good CPA and a knowledgeable Attorney to assist them through the process should it arise.

Recently, I read a great article written by Karen Klein of Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “How to Handle a Tax Audit.” This article contained some extremely valuable information on how to deal with the IRS if you’re being audited. I would encourage you to read this–not only does it offer great advise on how to handle an audit, but there are some great tips for business owners.

Let me be clear when I say that American’s do need to pay their fair share to keep the country running. We all know that our Troops need to be paid, our mail needs to keep coming, and Congress must function. What I do not believe is that our government is running as efficiently as it could, and much of our tax dollars continue to be spent on waste, fraud, and abuse. I would imagine that many of us would feel better about writing the check to the IRS if we knew our money was being spent wisely, and that we had real budget hawks looking out for our best interests. Today, this isn’t the case and on April 18th, Uncle Sam will have his hand extended; show me the money!

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Sunday, April 10th, 2011 Government No Comments

Death Tax Set To Kill Americans

As 2010 begins to tick down and we get closer to the new year–so does the American tax burden. If you haven’t heard yet, the Bush tax cuts along with the moratorium on the Death Tax will expire on December 31, 2010. During an election year when governments out of control spending has been highlighted by so many candidates–this tax will certainly be on the minds of many voters this coming November.

Just to give you an idea of what will happen beginning on January 1, 2011, if your family has an estate valued at more than $1 million dollars you may see a levy of up to 55%. I know, this is some pretty shocking stuff, but it’s our reality! Pretty sad to think that wealthy Americans that die before the end of this year will be dancing in their graves for saving their family members so much money!

A notable American that died this year was New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner–who has an estate estimated to be over $1 billion dollars. While his family, friends, and many fans were sad to see him go…his death in 2010 saved his estate hundreds of millions of dollars.

Republicans have been talking for years about the negative effects of the tax and spend liberals. In today’s society we are seeing the ramifications of out of control government spending. Instead of tightening their belts in Washington, D.C., they just want more of our hard earned money! Yes, Washington, D.C. wants more of our money so they can pay their bills and spend more of our money…pretty sick I say!

Last month columnists J.D. Longstreet of The Silent Majority wrote this: “…yes, the wealthiest still have money. Maybe not as much as they did before the recession hit us so hard, but they still have an ample supply. But they are not spending it on plant expansions, new operations, purchasing new equipment, building up their inventory, etc., etc. When that money they are sitting on is static, when it is not working, then it is not creating jobs As a result Americans can’t find work.”

This commentary makes my point that we shouldn’t cut off the hand that feeds us. Inherently, big companies who get hammered with taxes and regulations have the benefit of expensive lawyers, accountants, and strategists. The first thing many of these companies do is find out where they can cut in order to minimize the negative impact on their bottom-line. Often this results in downsizing, or in other terms LAYOFFS.

I hope that Congress decides to act before the end of this year to not only preserve the estates of the Americans who have been successful, but keep in place the tax cuts that are allowing companies to employ so many of our citizens. We can’t afford to have government increasing the tax burden–this will only add to our unemployment roles and run business and industry out of our nation. If we truly want to see our economy grow, we must offer incentives to businesses who stay here and hire our people. Hitting them with more taxes and increased regulations will only contribute to our demise!

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Thursday, October 7th, 2010 Government No Comments

GOP Assemblyman Goicoechea WRONG On Tax Increase

Let me first say that it truly pains me to have to write a criticism of one of my fellow Republicans. Especially, considering the fact that I respect Mr. Goicoechea’s position as an elected Nevada State Assemblyman.

However, when I read the article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal titled “Republican Legislative Leader Suggests Sales Tax On Food”, I just about fell out of my chair! So, I then started reading and came across the Assemblyman’s quote, “I believe that we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food on the ballot this fall,” Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said on KRNV-TV’s Nevada Newsmakers. I guess you can see why I would be so shocked–you mean to tell me that we have a Republican in the Assembly that’s proposing one of the most regressive tax increases our citizenry could face!

I called Assemblyman Goicoechea after reading the article and said that I wanted to respectfully disagree with his idea of adding a 2% tax on food. We had a very frank and respectful discussion on this, and we decided that we would just have to agree to disagree on this. I’ll also say that as Republicans and citizens we need to be having more of these types of discussions–I don’t know anyone that has all the answers to our problems, but we need to talk about them and work toward meaningful solutions.

During the discussion with Assemblyman Goicoechea, I made it very clear that this kind of tax would hurt the middle and lower-income families in our state. I also informed him that during a time when we are seeing record unemployment, inflation, and costs of basic services on the rise; a tax like this is destructive. Families throughout the state of Nevada, and more specifically in cities like Las Vegas and Reno are experiencing “Depression” like effects of this current economy–a tax on food would just add to their pain!

Let me say that the Assemblyman listened to my concerns and while we disagreed, I appreciated his time in allowing me to discuss my feelings. Assemblyman Goicoechea is a nice-enough guy, and I don’t have any issues with him personally. All I can say is that we need to be talking about how we are going to diversify our local economy, fix our education system, continue implementing cuts on state services that will NOT impact low-income families, the disabled, and our veterans. It is true that we may not be able to cut $3 billion dollars out of the state budget–however, we need to offer solutions that will not hurt Nevada families. Taxing our food is just a bad idea and I can’t support it.

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Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 Politics No Comments

Why Nevada Needs Taxes Low

It’s no secret that after this years legislative session in Carson City, fees and taxes increased. Some of those increases were a direct result of a state budget shortfall that threatened to all but dismantle crucial public services. While issues regarding some of the taxes and fee increases continue to be debated, one fact remains–Nevada needs to keep taxes low. › Continue reading

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 Nevada No Comments

Another Missed Opportunity for Governor Gibbons

I keep crossing my fingers hoping that one day, Governor Gibbons will walk into his office at the State Capital and realize that his “no new taxes” pledge is getting old and it’s getting old really fast! › Continue reading

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Thursday, April 30th, 2009 Government Comments Off on Another Missed Opportunity for Governor Gibbons

Leave My Subway Fare Alone, by Nathan Taylor

Ok, so I lived in Manhattan for a couple of years and I used to take the subways and buses all the time. As a Las Vegas native, it was a serious culture shock, taking the long, very long escalators so many feet underground. At first, I had these visions of getting mugged in the subway, because I had seen so much of that on movies and television over the years. Then I got used to it, and realized just how awesome mass transit was in New York City! › Continue reading

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Saturday, March 28th, 2009 Human Interest Comments Off on Leave My Subway Fare Alone, by Nathan Taylor
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