Before we begin, I want to give a quick shoutout to @Taxstone. Although his journey hasn’t been the most perfect, his impact on our culture in recent years has been enormous. When his name comes to mind, the extremely funny things he has said and done are instantly remembered, but within those words and actions are actual statements that many young men in our neighborhoods need to hear. He may not have been the model citizen his entire life, but he has taken the lessons learned from his sins and tried to create a positive outlet to shape, and reshape the minds of young men so that they may stray away from making the same mistakes he made. This one’s for you, I’m sure if this was your realm, you’d have an episode about this one too. To Brooklyn's own, Tax, Innocent until proven Guilty. #FreeTax
It’s Tax Season. The time of year when we get refunded the money the government borrowed from us for free back without interest. Ironically, many of us leave money on the table every single year. So today we’re going to play the tax game differently, we’re going to play it like the rich. Here are some commandments to follow to get the most out of your taxes this year.
1. DO NOT USE FREE ONLINE APPS TO FILE YOUR TAXES!
Turbotax, H&R block apps, all that crap. DO NOT USE IT. This is hands down the worst thing you can do. Get yourself a tax professional, if possible find an accountant, or a tax lawyer. If you can, try to find both in one person (those are the true savages). Using online services is the number 1 reason why millions of people are missing out on tax credits that the governments you to take advantage of. Millions of Americans missed out on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) simply because they used one of these apps and didn’t know they were eligible for the credit. Law No. 40 in the 48 laws of power says “despise the free lunch”. And these apps, are the very free lunch you should despise. If you think I’m lying, the IRS said it themselves dawg.
2. Be Organized.
Be sure to have all of your documents ready to go. All of your w-2’s, 1099s, Student loan tax sheets, investments, property, kids, other people’s kids (I’m kidding, stop claiming other people’s kids please), just make sure you have your manila folders, or binders ready. The more organized you are the much better you will be in finding places you can take advantage.
3. Know your advantages before you reach your tax professional.
If you have an LLC, be sure to go in with the mindset of taking full advantage of that, do your homework before you even reach your professional. The more ideas you bring to your professional the more creative they can be. If you have student loans, or went to school this year, make sure you go with the mindset that you’re going to take receipts of all books you purchased for your education (Notice how I said all books for your education).
4. Ask 9 Million Questions: Annoy your tax professional. Trust me, they like it. Taxes are usually a boring subject and tax professionals aren’t usually regarded as rockstars, so they really appreciate sharing their knowledge when they can. Unsure of which questions to ask? You can start with this set.
What Business Expenses can I deduct?
Did any Tax regulation change this year? How is my business affected?
Can I deduct the cost of my health insurance? 401k? Retirement?
If I didn’t sell my stock this year, do I still have to pay capital gains?
What legal structure is the most advantageous for me and/or my business?
What receipts and other paperwork should I keep throughout the year?
How do I save even more on taxes next year?
I plan on doing x, y, or z this year, how will this affect my taxes? Is there a way for me to avoid some costs ahead of time?
What income tax credits do most people miss? Am I eligible for them?
I gave money away to charity, gofundme, kickstarter, etc. can I claim that on taxes? If so, how do I go about that?
5. Create a list of big things that happened this year and check to see if you have proof of costs for those.
Did you move this year? Can you prove that you did, do you have any receipts for your moving expenses? GET THAT.
Did you get a new job this year? Did you pay to search for that job? Bought new clothes for the job? Bought a Metrocard to get there? Do you have the receipts? GET THAT
Did you have a child? Do you have child care expenses? GET THAT!
Did you get sick this year? Did you have to purchase medicine? Did you go to the hospital? Did you come out of pocket for any medical expenses? GET THAT!!!!!
Did you buy LED light bulbs or any energy saving devices for your home? Do you have the receipt? GET THAT!
Bring the entire bag when it comes to your tax professional. The tax code is enormous and there are write-off possibilities everywhere. You’re looking at the kid who wrote off all of his books, then sold the same books in college to the book store essentially getting all of the costs of books back in total by the end of year.
The game is here for y’all to take advantage of. If you don’t take advantage of it, it will take advantage of you. If you have any questions, you know where to find me…. @cjoeblack anywhere and everywhere or simply reply to this email.
Next week we will cover what you can do with your Tax return money!
Keep stacking your paper y’all,