It's been quite some time since that fool Leona Helmsley (pictured) muttered those famous words. Unfortunately, those words have tainted honest, hard working successful people since then.
Just look at some excerpts taken from recent articles:
"How Rich Do You Have to Be to not Pay Taxes?"
"some six-in-ten Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that “some wealthy people” and “some corporations” don’t pay their fair share."
"The rich are paying more in taxes, but not as much as they used to"
Why do people think that rich people pay no taxes? While it's true that the top income tax rate is not the 90% it was in the earlier part of the 20th century, It would be a bit of a reach to say that they're not paying their "fair share."
By the way, ever notice how the word "fair" means different things to different people?
This whole argument drives me a bit crazy. However, despite how annoying it can be, it's really not something I focus on. I prefer to help clients and readers maximize your potential. I focus on your world. Not the global or even national economy. How would focusing on all of that help us?
And besides, as you expect of someone in my profession, I know plenty of higher income/higher net worth people and their tax bills would make the average person gag! You can't tell me they pay no taxes:).
With that said, it's February 2017 and it is time to focus on our own taxes - not just paying them but learning from what we did in 2016 to make 2017 more successful.
And for those of you who know that I push the concept of 80/20, How can we do things that can reduce our effort 80% but still yield great results? or how can we get more from what we are currently doing?
The key to success here is information - how you organize it and how you use it.
Taxes, Organization & Planning
Organization is the key to smart tax planning for 2017. It's also the key to smart planning in many areas. But we don't often think of organization - the neat desk, organized files and lack of annoying multitasking as being a sign of success.
The image of the genius with the messy desk is cute. It makes people think that the prude accountant in the finance department is the loser while the creative and brilliant inventor is the star.
Though we can pluck snippets of wisdom from this image, the truth is that being a disorganized mess is not the path to success. Take Steve Jobs for example Jobs was an organized thinker. All you have to do is listen to one of his talks to see that he could visualize and organize an idea down to its simplest elements. Here's a great Jobs quote:
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Sometimes people don't want to tell you the hard stuff - they'd rather tell you either what you want to hear or what won't make you mad at them. That's not MY style.
These aren't random questions. There are tools to help you get yourself together this year.
- What if you could be 100% organized (I can help with that)?
- What if you have a "10" level of confidence (1-10) that you were making smart financial decisions? And in terms of this discussion, on your 2017 tax planning?
- What if success happened on schedule in a systemized, trackable manner?
- What if small adjustments could yield big benefits (see how the angle of your head reading that smartphone increases stress to your next by as much as 400% below).
Resources to Help You Optimize Your Decisions
In the next two months I will be speaking a lot about how to maximize what we're doing financially. I'll be speaking on expected tax law changes under the new president and for the retired crowd, how to maximize social security and Medicare even if you have a good income and good net worth.
I also have some resources for you here that can help you get organized:
A recent article I wrote on being organized HERE
A video addendum to my organization article HERE
A PDF guide to what you should organize in a digital document backup system: Download the PDF from my site HERE
And some resources to help you make 2017 a tax smart year
My 2016 Top 5 IRA Law Changes
MileIQ review with CPA Denise Yelvington - my latest 80/20 tool I recommend (for people who deduct miles)
I will put out some more tax stuff soon. By the way, If you need a checklist to help you gather your necessary tax documents, reply to this email and ask me and I'll send you one.
I want to REALLY help you get organized. I hope this email helps. Thanks for reading.
P.S. Don't forget to drop by my upcoming talks. My next one is March 1 at 7Pm at the Winchester Library. I will post the others up soon.