Sailors want a fair shake

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by on September 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Tax Planning Never Goes Out of Style!

If there is one common trait we all share it is in taxation. There’s rarely a movement “by the people… for the people” to increase taxes. We occasionally feel cheated and wronged. We voice our outrage when we discover officials trusted with our hard earned tax dollars have squandered them away. We stand dumbfounded when businesses responsible for catastrophic economic downturns are fronted billions… of which they hand out bonuses.

We’re okay with a “fair share”

In my experience, mariners are generally content in paying taxes. Most see it as a civic duty. I’m not saying they run into my office dancing for joy at the possibility of owing Uncle Sam another mortgage payment. Only that they accept it as a part of citizenship. But we also share another common trait. No one wants to pay more than their fair share.

Missing a $6,000 State credit has given many a tax client horrible acid indigestion. Cashing in a retirement plan thinking they would be little to no consequences has ended marriages. Clients so often feel cheated and wronged having missed deductions that they were entitled to. When you reach out to a professional, you expect the best service available. But these discoveries are happy ones from my perspective. I’m able to quickly right a wrong and put my new client on the road to better tax planning. It’s the other type of new client who feels cheated that keeps me up at night.

“But they said I could do it!”

Unfortunately a common statement. Folks trust their accounting to a professional who for whatever reason believes that knowingly pushing the envelope while you’re unaware is common practice. They tend to play the odds, knowing there will probably only be a small percentage of audited returns given the IRS workload. They consider that collateral damage a cost of how they do business. Many of their clients never see an audit or know that they are putting themselves in jeapordy. The unfortunate truth is that isn’t the case for all.

“They never returned my calls”

There’s a good reason they didn’t. Because they know. A conversation would only give you the opportunity to corner them. To ask them flat out why they never told you that these were risky, if not fraudulent positions they were putting you in. And be assured, you signed the return, you’re on the hook with Uncle Sam.

It’s a marathon…

Sometimes, preparers are so focused on providing the quick buck that structured planning is overlooked. An extra few hundred dollars on a questionable position doesn’t compare to 10?s of thousands overlooked in long term strategy planning.

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