"The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax."
--- Albert Einstein
Yes, here we are again. We are back in tax season. Ah, what a lovely time of year… not! It is not that paying taxes is a bad thing. It started out as a good thing: paying for roads, utilities, sewage systems, water supply, and so on. Unfortunately, when the tax revenue is being managed by the government, who has never really took to managing money very well, it gets harder every year to pay taxes.
I truly believe we all want to do our part in making America great again and keeping her that way, but just knowing that tax money isn't managed very well just makes paying taxes painful. Now, with the current tax changes and more on the way, it is becoming more difficult to even try to understand the tax system.
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
--- Ronald Reagan
As business leaders, our priority should be to hire a professional to handle our taxes for us. We have enough to do in our own businesses to even contemplate learning an additional one. We should focus on making profits and leave the understanding of the tax code to a good Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
"A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it."
--- Alexis de Tocqueville
This doesn't mean that we should close our eyes to tax changes and tax updates. Of course we should rely on the tax professional we hire to suggest legal means for avoiding paying too much in taxes and to keep us informed of major changes in the tax code, but we can also take steps to protect our businesses and find ways to get more tax breaks.
"There is no such thing as a good tax."
--- Winston Churchill
One thing we can do is order all of the free information the US government offers online for small businesses. There is a great deal of information available that are quick reads and that can offer valuable information regarding when to make major purchases, what can be deducted, what forms we need to file, etc. We don't have to spend a lot of time on the material, but we should be informed and be able to speak intelligently to our CPAs at tax time.
"What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin."
--- Mark Twain
Another thing that is available to us is free seminars put on by local Chambers of Commerce, tax attorneys, county governments, federal government, and community colleges. These sessions provide great information that is easily digested and quick to implement. These are not programs that you need to attend on a regular basis, but usually once or twice per year just to stay on top of things.
The tax man is waiting for us and expects his due from some of us within the next couple of months. We shouldn't fear him, but we should be ready for him. Hire someone smarter than you in this area, but brush up on it just the same.
"We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?"
--- Will Rogers
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Outside of an Irish Pub:
"Soup of the Day: Whiskey!"
As seen on a Jiffy Lube sign in MA:
"Weapons of Mass Lubrication"
On the property line of a rancher somewhere out West:
"Prayer is the Best Way to Meet the Lord. Trespassing is Faster."
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