Well now that we have seen the future and are living the Orwellian nightmare of Big Brother how do we protect our business' and finances from the tax attack coming?
In the financial services arena, 99% of all of us who help people protect their assets for the future use very similar methods based on previous methods that were effective in their day. That tried and true methodology based on the current taxation system was designed to get people to diversify their investments in stocks and bonds and the older you get the more you moved from stocks to bonds to provide surety and income to your portfolio.
Small business owners like myself were provided tax incentives and government support to help build and grow the economy, providing employment and taxes that funded local, state and the fed with income.
That was then this is now and the Obama government has designs on controlling all of it.
This government cannot let any amount of tax income slip thru their fingers because with the tax comes control!
So now that the real face of your enemy is clear and intentions are known how do you protect yourself?
We have until 2011 before the Bush tax cuts end and we need to take advantage of every single one of them.
1. The cap for Roth IRA participation limiting the amount of money you can make to qualify for this is lifted for the year 2010. If you are not familiar with a Roth IRA it allows you to not pay taxes when you start taking the money for retirement.(and alot of other advantages to it)
This is especially important to small business owners for them to create a retirement nest egg outside of their business value and the sale or transfer of that business as a cash-equity holding.
2. There are excellent deferred annuities in the market that allow you to defer paying taxes until distribution and then only pay taxes on the gains, this is with non-qualified money (money you have already paid income taxes on). If you transfer qualified money ( money from your 401K etc.) you still defer or offset paying the taxes until you start taking distribution of those funds.
These annuities can be used for any type of retirement bucket that best meets your needs.
3. Use of non-traditional funds now to offset your market or business losses and restructuring your business to take advantage of corporate tax law. Find a great CPA like my friend Ron Schultz (http://www.northfloridacpa.com/) and a good tax/corp attorney who knows corporate law and change or restructure your business. If LLP may be time to consider LLC status, if sole proprietor, time to become an S class or maybe even a C class corp.,
4. Real estate right now if not part of your portfolio should be, if you rent as a business owner now really is a great time to be shopping for a better priced lease or maybe even purchasing your location. ( the tax benefits right now are excellent offsets and are better than giving the money to the IRS ) My friends Terry & Debra Martin-Back (http://www.martinback.com/) have been a great help.
5. Non-traditional investing in the form of angel or start-up investing for new or existing small business' in need of capital infusions to grow. Here in Gainesville there are alot of spin-off technology and ideas that are ripe for growth. And if it is not the profit giant you expect, it is still a better place to lose money than pay to a government bent on destroying our free market.
6. Non-taxable assets that are only taxable when sold such as fine art, collectors items, automobiles, guns, whatever your passion turn into a collection. And do not forget precious metals especially in the form of jewelry (the significant other will love you for it).
Until sold these assets are important to make sure that you are spread out enough to minimize risk and reduce your taxable gains until you not the IRS are ready for the taxes to be paid.
7. Play the Market at your own risk not your advisors! You not your advisor should be dictating how and where to put your money based on your risk profile and Do NOT MACHO UP for that person. And if your advisor is not profiling you at least every other year FIRE THEM!
Too many people have lost too much money because of fear. Afraid to let a client know things are bad and getting worse and clients afraid to demand what you are paying for and that is SERVICE$!
My wife and I got out of this mess in October of 2007 after we and several very smart people(Especially my wife) did our homework and saw that it was not a trend but a calamity and there was no clear reason for it other than cyclical market movement which was not correlative to market indicators. ( in plain English something bad was happening and there was no clear reason behind it ) of course later the Government mortgage market meltdown that was shoved down their throats!
8. Use your market losses from your investments for the tax right offs for as long as you can. If you are not aware of the IRS rules see Ron or your CPA. Do not let them punish you twice for their mistakes.
9. Become the voice of un-reason and get in the face of your elected officials and become politically active not just every 2 or 4 years but every day!
We are the ones who are at fault we let them lull us into a LIE and then when they kept on LYING to our faces, WE DID NOTHING!
Shame on us; as my mother said "you have made your bed now you must lie in it!" Mom your boy screwed up big. I did not support this usurper occupying the White House but I did nothing to help others to stop this treachery. We cannot allow any government official who does not represent the majority of this country to continue destroying the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH!
Dr. Keith C. Westbrook Ph.D.
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