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The Master Archive!

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How Women are Changing the FIRE Community and the World

By Keith Taxguy / December 3, 2019 /

The challenges facing women are far from complete. It is hard to balance the pay scale when we don’t have control. It is hard to balance the pay scale when women are different than men. Maternity leave is a major contributor to the pay gap. Mothers definitely are paid less than male and non-parent female counterparts. And neither you nor I can fix that problem in whole.

But there is an issue women do have control over. Sunday The Motley Fool had an article by Maurie Backman on the gap in male and female retirement savings. The difference is incredible, or “astounding”, using Backman’s word for the gap. While the same issues are in play — maternity leave, medical issues and family time — there is at least some control women can take to close this gap. 

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Ethical Criminal Behavior

By Keith Taxguy / November 28, 2019 /

Time had run out. It is bittersweet to find the answer to a serious problem after it is too late. Her digits are better, but internal organs need time to heal and time is up. The increasing weight didn’t continue. If only I had more time. If only there was a way to give Heather’s body more time to heal before time ran out.

And that is where one last piece of research came in. I knew of this solution for some time, but it will require me commit a serious crime. And it has me thinking about ethical criminal behavior.

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When Should You Kick Your Kids Out of the House?

By Keith Taxguy / November 25, 2019 /

Yes, you will miss the kids when they move out, but you will adjust to your new freedom. And odds are they will come back often, seeking your advice and for companionship.

However, you must insist the kids move out at a certain point or you will harm them, perhaps irreparably. They can’t truly grow up until they are on their own.

You bounce better when you are young. Struggle is a natural part of growing up, moving out and finding your way in the world. There will be scars. That is the natural order of things.

It hurts. Life hurts! You fought through the difficulties when you were young. It is how you got where you are. A bird never learns to fly sitting around in the nest.

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Get $100,000 Tax-Free Annually in Retirement

By Keith Taxguy / November 18, 2019 /

Some tax strategies are so common most people know about them. Why is it then almost nobody is using the strategy?

A large part of my tax practice is consulting. There isn’t much room for more tax preparation clients. However, I love helping people reduce their taxes, so I spend considerable time outside tax season working with good people designing strategies tailored to their personal needs.

The past several months I have repeated the tax break in question countless times. It is missed nearly 100% of the time. Of my regular tax clients, the ones using this strategy did so at my encouragement. 

It started earlier this year when I published this post on traditional retirement accounts and how they have an implied interest rate on the tax savings. Before that I published this post because I was seeing consulting clients who had rather large retirement accounts at a young age.

It is to be expected in a community of savers and investors to have large retirement accounts at an early age. My lament was about how big those accounts were going to get and the loss of control over tax issues in the future as a result. 

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It Might be Time to Give up on the S Corporation

By Keith Taxguy / November 11, 2019 /

Numerous benefits available tax-free to employees do not apply to 2% shareholders of an S corporation. With the C corporation tax rate at a low 21% and dividends likely qualified (taxed on the personal return at the long-term capital gains (LTCG) rate), double taxes may no longer be the issue it once was. 

For some individuals, the LTCG tax rate can be 0%. This stops double taxation of dividends in its tracks. Even if dividends are taxed it is at the lower LTCG rate rather than at ordinary income rates. The top LTCG rate is currently 20%, however, there is a small (on percentage terms) additional tax on higher incomes that could push the effective LTCG rate to 23.9%.

But the benefits are the real prize. How many fringe benefits you give the owners will determine if the C corporation is better for you. Some of these benefits are massive, allowing for 5-figure deductions. Something you can’t do with an S corporation.

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Redefining Frugality

By Keith Taxguy / November 4, 2019 /

Why do I or should you care about frugality? Does it really matter if we don’t count the freebies of life in our frugal measurements?

Actually it does if you consider your impact on the climate and the world at large. The impact on the environment is your concern as it does affect quality of life. If you dump pollutants into the air with reckless abandon you by default give permission to others to do the same. When the herd of lemmings run off the cliff in synchronized fashion it makes a splatter spot at the foot of the cliff noticeable to all. 

Keeping spending low by pushing the cost on somebody else is a bit rude, but acceptable in our modern world. The spending shift is sometimes by design of those doing the paying; those without any real frugality concerns. These gifts are nothing more than inducements to get you—or others in your sphere of influence—to take up the additional consumption.

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Cashing in at Camp Accountant

By Keith Taxguy / October 31, 2019 /

Camp Accountant is officially in the books and there was money to be made and taxes to be cut. There were lots of smiling faces and new friends made. It goes to prove you do not have to be a tax professional to enjoy this stuff. (Anything that keeps money in your pocket automatically generates…

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Financial Horror Stories II

By Keith Taxguy / October 28, 2019 /

Letters from the IRS scare the bejesus out of taxpayers. Unless you can see a check through the envelope window it is doubtful it is good news.

Office policy is straightforward. When a client comes in with the nasty-gram from the IRS (or state taxing authority) we immediately get a power of attorney (POA). Once the POA is signed we contact the taxing authority to get what they have and determine what they are looking for.

Income tax audits are most feared. However, the real audits that require a fresh Depends are the state sales tax audits. Sales tax has so many moving parts and is so complex it is virtually impossible in many states to avoid running afoul of the rules. Wisconsin is one of those states.

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