My first big year in business, I wrote a check for $34,000 to the IRS. I didn’t understand anything about Tax Deductions for Entrepreneurs, and I so vividly remember thinking that if I could have kept that money, I would have been able to hire a full-time employee!! What could have been possible with an extra set of hands, 40 whole hours a week?!! But instead, I handed it over to Uncle Sam. This went on, my CPA having no problem letting me send these massive checks until someone asked me if I’d heard of tax planning. Turns out, I was basically giving the IRS a BONUS…because I didn’t understand taxes (and had a very conservative and not up-to-date accountant), I didn’t know any better… Until I did!!
Ready to transform tax-time tension into financial finesse? This episode isn’t just about crunching numbers; it’s going to show you how optimizing the already there tax deductions for entrepreneurs can keep more of your profit, well, PROFIT, with Wendy, our tax sage.
I’m absolutely thrilled to dive into this one because I know just how POWERFUL it’s been for me! Joining me is Wendy, a tax expert extraordinaire. We’re going to take what might seem like a not-so-sexy topic – taxes and deductions – and turn it into something that actually feels empowering! After all, who wouldn’t want to KEEP more of their hard-earned money?
In this Interview: Meet our Tax Expert!
Wendy Barlin is more than an accountant. She is a Personal Business Manager and financial confidante. Her specialty is taking all the tedious financial chores off the shoulders of busy professionals and business owners so that they can focus on the areas where they excel. Her professional experience spans more than 10 years in industries as diverse as hospitality, entertainment, manufacturing and the retail industry. Together with her international background and understanding of foreign trade, she brings rich sources of information to her clients’ businesses.
She and her team provide a full range of accounting, bookkeeping and income tax services. Wendy is committed to her clients’ success. Whether establishing cost-cutting computer systems for them, negotiating with their banks or vendors, or analyzing their cash flow, she ensures that all financial decisions lead to greater profits.
This episode will help:
Self-employed freelancers uncover tax deductions that can save you THOUSANDS, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Home-Based Business Owners with insights into home office deductions and other tax-saving strategies that can benefit your bottom line.
Mompreneurs learn how to capitalize on tax deductions that help you and your kids!
Tax Strategies: Planning Ahead for Success
When it comes to tax strategies, it’s not just about the annual tax filing; it’s about planning for your financial future. Tax Deductions for Entrepreneurs are ourthere and available but you have to know where to look! Regularly consult with a tax professional, whether it’s a CPA (as long as they’re trained in Tax Deductions for Entrepreneurs), an enrolled agent (EA), or a tax planner/advisor. By maintaining this ongoing relationship, you can anticipate changes in your financial situation, making well-informed decisions throughout the year.
Choosing the Right Tax Professional
Understanding the roles of various tax professionals is crucial. I had a bookkeeper and an accountant, I thought that’s all I needed. NOPE! The real magic happened when I hired a tax planner who specialized in Tax Deductions for Entrepreneurs.
Don’t assume that every business owner needs a CPA. Your choice should align with your risk tolerance and specific needs. Find a tax professional who values education, answers your questions, and genuinely works in your best interest. If you’re ready to find a new CPA, don’t start the process until you’ve read this!
Home Office Deduction: A Favorite Tax Deduction
The home office deduction is a powerful tax benefit for small business owners. Contrary to common misconceptions, it doesn’t require a sterile workspace devoid of personal elements. The modern interpretation emphasizes having a primary office space, even if it contains some personal items.
Paying Your Kids from Your Business
Paying your children for their contributions to your business can be a tax-efficient strategy. It helps you avoid Social Security and Medicare taxes. Consider the option of channeling this money into a Roth IRA, offering tax-free growth.
As a self-employed mompreneur, hiring your kids can be a smart tax strategy. Here’s why it’s powerful:
- Tax-Free Earnings for Kids: When you pay your kids up to $12,000 a year, that money is often tax-free for them because it’s below their standard deduction amount—the portion of income not subject to federal income tax.
- Lower Taxable Income for You: The money you pay your kids is a business expense. And utilizing this tax deduction as an Entrepreneur doesn’t mean you can’t spend it. It does mean it reduces your business’s profits, which lowers your own taxable income.
- Family Savings: Instead of paying an outsider, you keep the money within your family, which can be used for your children’s needs or savings for things like college funds or for regular expenses like private lessons, sports, etc.
- Teaching Money Skills: It’s a chance to teach your kids about work ethic and money management.
Remember, the work your kids do must be legitimate for your business, and the pay must be a reasonable amount for the work they perform.
Balancing Deductions and Qualifying for a Home Loan
The delicate balance between maximizing deductions and securing a home loan is crucial. Always keep your long-term goals in mind, whether it’s purchasing a house, investing in additional properties, or achieving other financial objectives. Effective planning is the key to navigating these challenges successfully.
I hope you’ve gained valuable insights into tax strategies, deductions, and the importance of choosing the right tax professional. Tax planning need not be overwhelming, and you certainly don’t have to write a hefty check to the IRS. It’s about informed decision-making, uncovering deductions within your existing expenses, and partnering with a tax advisor who truly has your best interests at heart.
Remember, your financial journey is as unique as you are, so tailor your plans to align with your goals and seek opportunities like Tax Deductions for Entrepreneurs to save money where you can. Ultimately, it’s about empowering yourself to make the best financial choices for your business and your future. Thanks for tuning in, and until next time, keep thriving and conquering those financial challenges!
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[00:00:00] Leah: This is the Balancing Busy podcast and I am Leah Remillet here to help you do less but better. Now today we are talking about tax strategies and this idea of maybe having a tax planner or a CPA, someone who can help you to make sure you are paying the least amount that you need to be paying to the IRS.
[00:00:22] Leah: Now here is my take. I want to pay my portion, but I am not trying to give the IRS a bonus. And the sad truth is, for a few years, I was giving them a hefty, hefty bonus until I learned about tax planning. So this information has literally saved me More than six figures.
[00:00:48] Leah: Today I have Wendy Barlin joining me. She is more than an accountant. She is a personal business manager and financial confidant. Her specialty is in taking All of those tedious financial chores off the shoulders of busy professionals and business owners so that they can focus on the areas where they excel.
[00:01:04] Leah: Her professional experience spans more than 10 years across a diverse range of industries she and her team provide full range of accounting bookkeeping and income tax services Wendy is Absolutely committed to our client’s success, and you are going to feel that when you hear this conversation.
[00:01:23] Leah: So let’s jump in and let’s learn about tax deductions for small business owners, when and how to use them, even if you work from home.
[00:02:02] Leah: Wendy, thank you so much for joining me. This is maybe not the sexiest topic, but it’s so important. So I cannot wait to get into tax deductions, CPAs, all these things that can really save us money. So thank you for being here.
[00:02:21] Wendy: You’re most welcome. We’re going to make this as much fun as we possibly can. I
[00:02:26] Leah: believe we can do this.
[00:02:27] Leah: I think we have the power. So right off the bat, I want to talk about tax strategies. What does that mean? So for someone who is just very beginning and, and I will share, I’ve heard of wanting tax deductions, but I remember my very first year making a substantial amount of money and writing a giant check to the IRS.
[00:02:53] Leah: And I thought that was just required. I just thought you had to. And then I was talking with someone, and they just were flabbergasted. They’re like, wait, you, you paid how much? And that was when I learned that I absolutely want to pay my portion, but I do not want to give the IRS a bonus. And so will you talk us through What does this look like for, for a small business owner?
[00:03:21] Wendy: That’s exactly right. I think it’s easier to say what it’s not. So what it’s not is that you do not go and see your tax preparer once a year. Absolutely, categorically not. If there’s anybody listening to us today who sees their tax person once a year, In order to implement strategy, which sounds like a really scary, serious word, but really, it’s just planning.
[00:03:51] Wendy: It’s planning. You know, when you plan a wedding, you plan a year in advance or more. When you do your taxes, what do you do? Two weeks? You gather your documents and dump them at someone’s office and then expect a miraculous result? No. So when we talk about things that sound scary like tax planning or tax strategy, all we’re talking about is planning ahead of time.
[00:04:14] Wendy: Make sure that you are working with an advisor, an EA, a CPA, doesn’t matter to me, a tax professional who you see quarterly, if not quarterly, at a minimum once or twice a year. So that they can look at your numbers and plan ahead and say, what else do you plan for the year? Do you think you’re going to make more money or less money?
[00:04:38] Wendy: Are you buying equipment? Are you taking a trip? Are you buying a house? And then you can have discussions about what your taxes may be, and you can set the cash aside. That’s really what planning and strategy is all about. It’s not magic.
[00:04:54] Leah: That’s so good. And I want to take a step back because I remember the first time I heard of a tax planner or a tax strategist.
[00:05:02] Leah: So will you explain to us what is the difference between a bookkeeper, a CPA or an accountant? Those words are interchangeable and a tax planner or a tax strategist.
[00:05:13] Wendy: No, people use all these words, right? I know, just, just to make it more complicated. Everybody, everybody. So I think that, you know, I’m a CPA.
[00:05:25] Wendy: It’s a long, hard road to get that designation. Hours and hours of study, lots of insurance I have to carry. Not everybody needs to hire a CPA to do their taxes. There are enrolled agents. who have a much lesser onerous past. They are very well qualified. They take a very stringent exam with the IRS in order to be able to work with you on your taxes.
[00:05:48] Wendy: So, CPAs are the most expensive. You have enrolled agents. And then you also have tax advisors. And tax advisors are often not the people who actually sign the return. So, there could be a situation where you file your own tax return on TurboTax, but you meet with an advisor throughout the year who educates you, works on your numbers, comes up with strategies.
[00:06:17] Wendy: The world of taxes is changing, and for each one of you, it’s a different solution. But I want to take off the table that every business owner needs a CPA. It’s absolutely not true and it, and quite frankly, some of the CPAs are the worst offenders at just filing returns and not answering questions and educating their client.
[00:06:35] Wendy: So if you have any doubt at all that you are perhaps not with the person who is in your best interest, please reach out to me. I don’t charge for that information. I’m happy to have a conversation with you and make sure that you understand what kind of service provider you need and point you in the right direction.
[00:06:54] Wendy: So you’re not throwing money. It would be like having a sore toe and going to a dentist.
[00:07:00] Leah: So good. Okay. So what’s a general idea of CPA?
[00:07:08] Wendy: Right, that’s a great question. And just to circle back around about the bookkeeper, um, a bookkeeper is someone who helps you keep your records in order so that your tax planner can do their job. In order for me to talk with you about the kind of deductions you can take, or the kinds of strategies we can deploy, I need to know your numbers.
[00:07:30] Wendy: And if you come to me with a bag of receipts, there’s nothing I can do. I need to have proper bookkeeping. Please don’t hire your mom or your sister or your granny and say, here’s QuickBooks, it’s easy. It’s not easy. The dollars you spend on a professional will absolutely save you money on taxes. And I guarantee that.
[00:07:49] Wendy: I categorically guarantee that if you spend money on a professional bookkeeper, that money will Save you more taxes than if you didn’t pay that person. Uh, and then in terms of who needs a CPA, this is when you look in the mirror, if you are someone who wants to take risks, if you are someone who wants to play in the gray area, if you are someone who wants to learn and understand how to.
[00:08:19] Wendy: Make the very best of the tax law, then you should work with a CPA and a tax planner. If you are someone, when you look in the mirror, and you say to yourself, I don’t like that risk. I don’t want to play in the gray. I never want a letter from the IRS in the mail. If that means I overpay my taxes, that’s okay.
[00:08:40] Wendy: And it’s important to know who you are, because when people come to see me, that’s the very first question I ask them. Who are you? What’s your risk tolerance? Because if you have a very low risk tolerance, then using a software like TaxCut or TaxPro is perfect. Those companies spend billions of dollars perfecting those systems.
[00:09:01] Wendy: I recommend them for my friends, family, and neighbors. And so if you don’t want to take a risk, And you just want to file a clean, safe tax return, the question and answer series of those softwares will do you just fine. You want to learn more, you want to push the envelope, you want to play in the gray, that’s when you hire a professional so that we can banter some ideas back and forth.
[00:09:23] Wendy: Mm,
[00:09:24] Leah: that’s good. And I want to go into this deeper because that gray is so scary for so many of us. We’ve heard the horror stories of getting audited by the IRS, and that seems so, so incredibly terrifying that we’re, we’re willing to hand them thousands more dollars because it’s been made to be so scary.
[00:09:46] Leah: And I’m just going to say this, I have written the check for multi… Multi, multi thousands of dollars more than I needed to, okay? I have also not done that and guess what? When I wasn’t doing it, I got audited. Okay? So I’m just gonna put that one out there right now. When I was paying the extra, I managed to get audited.
[00:10:09] Leah: Now, it was a very, it was a naive, silly mistake. The reason I got audited was at the time we lived in Vancouver, Washington. Which borders to Portland, Oregon, okay? Oregon has no sales tax, Washington does have sales tax. Well, there, the closest Apple store to me was in Oregon. So when I was buying laptops, computers, all of these things for my company, I drove to Portland because I had to.
[00:10:38] Leah: That, that’s where the store was. I got audited because I was not paying Washington sales tax on those purchases. Now, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The lady was actually, I warmed up, I got her to warm up to me. She was, she started fierce, but I was like, so help me, you are going to like me. And you know, it wasn’t fun, but it also wasn’t the worst thing.
[00:10:58] Leah: Now, Once I made changes, once I learned and had people say, did you know there’s such thing as tax planners, as tax strategists, they’re going to sit down, look at your past returns, tell you, Hey, did you know if we implement a few strategies, you could save thousands and thousands of dollars. And it’s been amazing.
[00:11:16] Leah: And guess what? No audits have come. I’m seriously need to knock on some wood right now, just to, just to
[00:11:24] Wendy: get me safe. I think you’re exactly right. No one is coming to take you away in the middle of the night. There is, I have a lot of practitioners who live in fear that someone’s going to knock on the door, show a badge, and drag them off in the middle of the night like we see on the news, you know?
[00:11:38] Wendy: That’s not going to happen to us. Like, unless you’re Beyonce or Jay Z, that’s not happening to us. What the worst that can happen to you, the worst thing that can happen to you is you get a letter in the mail saying you have taken this deduction or you paid this tax, please answer these questions. We need help understanding why you’ve taken these deductions that you have.
[00:12:02] Wendy: And so that’s not fun. That’s not fun. I’ve received them too, but it’s a paperwork issue that when you are humble and kind, remember that the person you’re mailing with or the person you meet with is a human being to do their best job. And like you, I go in, not like a bull, and I don’t recommend that you hire bulls.
[00:12:26] Wendy: There are a lot of people out there who are like, Oh, minimize your taxes, these guys in a fancy suit. I have had the best luck. Being humble and kind and polite and sometimes I’ll even throw in a few compliments like, Oh, I really like your hair. That’s so great. Do you get it done locally or do you do it yourself?
[00:12:44] Wendy: And they’re like, Oh, sorry. We’re talking about taxes. Sorry. Sorry. Okay. Back to what we’re talking about. I’ve had clients cry. If need be, and the IRS auditors have gone as far as to make things go away, like go away because we said, I’m an honest taxpayer. This was a mistake. I’m doing the best I can do.
[00:13:05] Wendy: And I think, so I don’t want anyone to live in fear. Not fun, but it’s not nasty. You’re not going to jail. You’re not going to be taken away in the night and everything is up for negotiation. So if you have your receipts, if you have your receipts to prove your business purchases, not bank statements or credit cards, but receipts, if you have your receipts to show what you purchased, you will very likely get a clean audit if you don’t have your receipts.
[00:13:35] Wendy: They’ll deny some of it and negotiate out the rest. So all is not lost. I also would like to say that The tax law said i’m going to save you four years here four years of college Anything is deductible that’s ordinary and necessary for your business That’s what the law says. And so, when we’re talking about gray area, that’s what we’re talking about.
[00:14:02] Wendy: So, anytime you spend a dollar, I want you to say to yourself, could this expense. The ordinary and necessary for my business and that’s why working with an advisor is so critical because everybody’s business is a little different where you live in the country or the world is a little different.
[00:14:21] Wendy: So, there’s different situations, so I can give you parameters, like, yes, my cell phone is deductible, but what about my kids? What about my husband? What about my daughter? So, ordinary and necessary. Is what the law says. And depending how aggressive or conservative you want to be, is how you say to yourself, can I make a case for this being an ordinary and necessary business expense?
[00:14:44] Wendy: Mmm. Congratulations, you found a tax deduction.
[00:14:48] Leah: I love it. Okay, so let’s talk about what are some of those best pack a punch tax deductions that we can utilize.
[00:15:03] Wendy: My favorite by far is the home office deduction, and it is also the one that probably surrounds the biggest myth on a daily basis. I still have clients calling me going, my prior accountant says I can’t deduct a home office, I’m going to get audited.
[00:15:19] Wendy: So that was the case in 1997. In 1997, IRS agents would show up to your house with a badge and say, let me see your office. I better have a door, no bed, no television. But today, first of all, if you’ve ever called the IRS, there’s no one there, right? There’s no one there. They don’t have anybody to come, they don’t have anybody to come to your house.
[00:15:39] Wendy: There are over 19 million home office filers today. They cannot afford it, everybody, try as they might. And we all have televisions in our offices. I have a Peloton in my office. So, the law is now about primary office. And the reason I like a home office is you’re paying mortgage anyway. You’re paying rent anyway.
[00:16:05] Wendy: So, we’re not spending money to get a tax deduction, right? If you go out and buy a fancy new Apple computer, you are spending money to get a tax deduction. Your rent and your mortgage you’re paying anyway. Your utilities, your insurance, you’re paying anyway. So if we can deduct it, now we got a real wow.
[00:16:23] Wendy: That’s a big wow. But, the but is, it has to be your primary office. So I don’t want you to worry about the television on the wall, or the couch, or the peloton, or the dog bed. I want you to make sure this is your primary office and what does that mean? That means you can’t have another office for convenience.
[00:16:44] Wendy: So those people who, um, doctors, lawyers, and psychotherapists, there have been a lot of lawsuits with the IRS over the years because a doctor will say, well I see patients at the office all day and then I come home and I do email at home at night and return phone calls. And the IRS says that is not your primary office.
[00:17:07] Wendy: Okay. That makes so much sense. Where it gets tricky is co working spaces. So if you’re in a situation where you have a co working space, if you have a lease with the co working space that you have a designated office with the door and a lock and a key, then guess what? Your home is not your primary office.
[00:17:29] Wendy: If you have a co working space that only entitles you to conference room space or hotel space or whatever the cool. Phraseology is these days. Then in fact your home is your primary office, right? And so this is where before you sign a lease, please call your tax advisor. I love it when people call me and say, Wendy, I’m thinking of subleasing space with a friend of mine.
[00:17:53] Wendy: He’s got this cool studio. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no. I cannot risk you losing that home office deduction. We are talking about thousands. Of tax dollars. So please don’t poo poo it. It is a very valid deduction. If you are entitled to it, please make sure you’re taking it on your tax return.
[00:18:13] Leah: Oh, that’s good.
[00:18:13] Leah: Okay. . So what I love is I love these deductions that open up our mind from what most think of, which is, Oh, I’m gonna go buy things so that I can deduct them. I want to go away from that, and I want to go to the things you’re already You have to spend money on, that’s what we want to deduct, because that’s how you actually save money.
[00:18:36] Leah: So, can we talk quickly about our kids, and being able to, to pay them from our business. for things that they help with within our businesses. I mean, I can tell you my kids help all the time. I have them helping clean the office. I have them helping organize things. So being able to pay them into an account, and then that money I just turn around and use to buy, not normal basics, not like The, the normal things parents should buy, but those extra things, those expensive camps, those expensive private lessons, uh, those kind of things, I’m purchasing them through that account and then there’s, I believe it’s 12, 000, you’ll, you’ll tell me if I got that right.
[00:19:24] Leah: Yeah, it changes every year when it
[00:19:25] Wendy: goes up. Yes,
[00:19:27] Leah: for, for each child. So will you kind of break that one down better than I just
[00:19:31] Wendy: tried to? Yeah, no, no, I love it. That’s great. And, and it warms my heart. So I think the most important thing, 100 percent do not chase tax deductions by buying stuff. Truly at this point, what we like to do, this goes back to bookkeeping.
[00:19:46] Wendy: If you can bring me A list of every dollar you’ve spent in your entire life, both business and personal. I can go through there with a pencil and say to you, this could be a business expense. Let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about these salon expenses. Let’s talk about these wine gifts.
[00:20:05] Wendy: Are they for you, your mom, your clients? There’s a lot of wiggle room in what you are already spending. What you don’t want to do is be the person who calls me and says, Wendy, we’re going to buy a Cadillac SUV for 120, 000 so we can deduct it. Because my question is going to be. Do you need a Cadillac SUV at six dollars a gallon for gas?
[00:20:26] Wendy: No, no, but we need a tax deduction. No, you don’t. No, you don’t. So, I want to be very clear. We do not use green money to chase tax deductions. That is not smart. It will never be smart. So, to your point, uh, about the children, yes. The only piece I like to kind of be aware of is, as the children get older, so when you have children who are 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, we absolutely can pay them for work done, again, reasonable rates.
[00:20:58] Wendy: What you do, the real benefit of it, they avoid social security and Medicare tax. See, when I pay an employee, when I pay my team, I have to pay seven and half percent Social security and Medicare tax on behalf of my employees. And when you pay your children, the taxes are are avoided. In addition. You can use that money to pay living expenses, sure.
[00:21:25] Wendy: But another option is to put it straight into a Roth IRA, which is still a complicated investment tool, but it’s a great way for the kids to have tax free money moving forward, growing. There are a lot of strategies. Sometimes I’m a little careful with the kids and paying them, only because as they get closer to college years, things are kind of funky in the world of colleges and grants and loans.
[00:21:51] Wendy: So, you also want to bring into your team of professionals, someone who’s helping you with that piece. Because I never want to pay a child to get a tax deduction, only to find that then we’ve created a problem for them to be able to get Grants and funding from school because it looks like they have a job.
[00:22:08] Wendy: Um, so I’m just a little cognizant of that piece, but other than that, that’s certainly something to ask your accountant or tax person about if that applies to you. And this is another example of why it’s so personal. It is so personal. There are tax laws, and then there’s the real world.
[00:22:24] Leah: Right. And I want to just say this because I’ve thought this so many times throughout this conversation.
[00:22:29] Leah: If you are hearing all this and you’re thinking, wow, my accountant, my CPA, they, they’ve never talked to me about any of these things. It is right. Time for a new one. Okay. That’s that. I’m just going to say that. And I’m going to tell you. You absolutely have the right to go interview several people and find who fits you best.
[00:22:51] Leah: I remember when I first realized and figured that out, it was probably 15 years ago now, and I felt, I felt very intimidated. I felt like, well, who am I? You know, I’m, I’m like asking you to take time for me when no, I’m paying them to help me. And so I did some research. I found three that I was. Interested in.
[00:23:10] Leah: And then I went and, and I’m sure now we just do it all over Zoom. But back then I went to their office, right? And, and I spoke with each one. First of all, I could not believe how much I learned after those three different appointments. I was so much more educated. And second, I found someone, I actually, the person I found, she was a woman.
[00:23:28] Leah: She specialized in small businesses. She had some clients who were. Similar to me. And I went from a CPA that I had had that was very, very conservative, letting me give the IRS a giant bonus, to someone who was actually helping me. And you know, honestly, we’ve had to make changes again because as our circumstances have changed, we’ve realized we’ve needed even more support.
[00:23:50] Leah: And so that, that’s great. Um, but just, I just want people to know you have a choice and you get to pick the person you’re looking for. Who is right for you. And I just, I think that’s so important because I didn’t know that in the very beginning.
[00:24:04] Wendy: 100%. Much like a doctor, right? You know, today a doctor prescribes a pill and we don’t just pick it.
[00:24:10] Wendy: We go to the internet and we go, what is this they’re prescribing? And why are they prescribing it? Is this the right pill for me? We don’t do that anymore. And I would say two things. One, choose to work with someone who listens and doesn’t talk. So when you go in for those meetings that Leah’s recommending, and I totally agree, Go to several meetings, make sure that they are asking about you and not telling you about themselves.
[00:24:38] Wendy: The advisor, this is about you. And if someone says to you, don’t worry, I’ll get you big refunds. Don’t worry. Run, run as fast as you can. Refunds are the curse of death. All they’re doing is it’s a bad account of getting you your own money back. So be very clear that you want someone who’s going to be asking about you.
[00:24:56] Wendy: What do you want? How do you like to work with me? What, what kinds of things are important to you? Okay, that’s number one. The second thing is look for someone who doesn’t charge by the… hour. That is an opaque and ridiculous model. So when I say to you, tell me, how’s your business? What’s going on? All you’re thinking is, well, I got to talk fast.
[00:25:17] Wendy: It cost me 300. Like my lawyer, when my lawyer says to me, how was your vacation? I’m like, fine. Cause that’s the quickest way I can move on. Right? So there are accountants that will charge you flat fees, like a restaurant where they have a menu. You need this, you need this, you need this, and you choose and you pay for it.
[00:25:36] Wendy: Then, they can have conversations with you without the clock ticking. And that is invaluable as a business owner. So please, please make sure you’re looking for that. And if you need help finding someone, I’m happy to do it. I don’t actually prepare taxes myself anymore, so I refer people out to a host of other professionals just based on who you are and what kind of help you need.
[00:26:00] Leah: Mm, that is so good. Okay, my final question for you. This is one that we have tried to navigate ourselves, so I know we’re not the only ones. It is finding the balance between trying to utilize all of these deductions so that you can pay as little as possible to the IRS, and Also wanting to qualify for a house.
[00:26:23] Leah: Now, really quick for me to just explain if anybody’s a little unsure what I’m talking about. You’re trying to get deductions. Deductions are going to make it look like you made less money than you actually did. Let’s say I make a million. I’m able to get so many different deductions that it looks like I made 30, 000.
[00:26:38] Leah: I don’t know how you did that. Something went really wrong there, but let’s just pretend. Well, let’s do. Yeah. When I go to try to buy a house and they look at my income and I say, no, I make a million dollars. And they’re like, uh, no, your tax return says you make 30, 000. We are not giving you a loan. So as self employed…
[00:26:56] Leah: You’re employing us as a house, not a car. Yeah, you’re not getting anything. Yeah. So, so for those who are self employed and maybe this, well, I think it’s more a self employed, not a W 2 problem. Yeah, it is. For those who are self employed, we’re trying to find this balance between… I want to pay as little as possible at the end of the year, and I want to be able to buy a home, maybe additional homes, additional investment properties, where do we find that
[00:27:22] Wendy: balance?
[00:27:24] Wendy: This circles all the way back around to planning, because when you go and look for a loan, it’s about the season of life, okay? And so when you’re working with a tax advisor, One of my first questions, besides how risk averse are you, is what have you got planned in the short term, in the next year to two years?
[00:27:41] Wendy: What do you have planned in the next three to five years? Because if you’re gonna go and buy anything, commercial real estate, a home, a dog, whatever you need good credit and a good tax return for, I need two years of strong tax returns. So when you tell me that, Then for the next two years, we are not pushing through tax deductions.
[00:28:02] Wendy: We are working with the bankers on our team to make sure that your tax returns will qualify you. Once you get that house or that property and you say to me, Okay, Wendy, I’m good. We’ve got nothing planned for the next five years. Then for those five years, We roll with deductions, roll with deductions, pay as little tax as possible.
[00:28:21] Wendy: Then you raise your hand again and you say, Okay, now we’re going to buy a house on an island. Okay, now we switch our strategy again. And that’s why I completely agree that it is not always About finding more tax deductions. It’s about your season of life planning and strategy. What is going on? Because taxes never ever Lead never I am the last person you should be talking to you should be talking to your financial advisor You should be going to your lawyer.
[00:28:52] Wendy: What are you doing with your life? I mean, the other side of divorce, like, that’s the other piece, where people need to come and see me as soon as possible once they’ve made the decision with their therapist, then you go to the tax advisor and say, we’ve made this decision, now how do we plan for it in the smartest way, or get married, same thing, I mean, I need to know a year before you get married, we’ve got a lot of strategic work to do before you join money.
[00:29:15] Wendy: So, it’s all about planning and having time to make those choices. There are a few tricks. We have up our sleeve, uh, for people who haven’t had the time to make those choices. So, There are things we can do, um, but again, you need someone who’s willing to work with you and, and get you what you want, really.
[00:29:37] Wendy: Texts are a tool. Mm. So,
[00:29:39] Leah: so good. Okay. This has been amazing. Wendy, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us and just helping us have a little more confidence behind us when it comes to taking control and ownership of our own taxes and tax planning. Will you tell us how, how they can find you?
[00:30:00] Wendy: Absolutely. So you can find me at wendybarland. com, just like my name, wendybarland. com. There are a lot of free resources on my website, worksheets for home office deductions, worksheets for car expenses. And just know when we’re talking about minimizing our taxes, we are not talking about feeding anybody.
[00:30:16] Wendy: We’re not talking about stealing anybody. What we’re talking about is putting more money in your pocket so you can hire people and grow your community and that’s my passion, that’s what I’m wanting to do, I’m wanting to help you build your community through giving you more money rather than handing it over to the government.
[00:30:34] Wendy: So you can find lots more resources, reach out to me on my website, thank you.
[00:30:38] Leah: Perfect. And we’ll make sure we have everything linked in the show notes. So if you’re like, huh, I don’t have time to write it down. When you have a moment, go to balancingbusy. com, balancingbusypodcast. com, either one, and you’ll find the episode and you can grab all those links.
[00:30:52] Leah: Okay. Thank you,
[00:30:53] Wendy: Wendy. You’re welcome.
[00:30:55] Leah: I hope you got some major nuggets from this episode. Here are some of the biggest things. When I look back and think, I wish I had known this sooner. First of all, if your CPA isn’t supporting you, listening to you, really helping you, go find a different one. There are so many. So many out there find someone who is truly working for you that you can feel that.
[00:31:21] Leah: The second thing is I love that Wendy taught us that not everyone needs a CPA. I’ve never heard that before. I mean, it makes sense, but hearing that I’m like, okay, yeah, that’s good to know. And I want you to know that. There are some professionals who do it all and some who do different tasks. So, at different times throughout my business journey, I’ve had a bookkeeper, I’ve had a bookkeeper and a CPA, I’ve had a bookkeeper, a CPA and a tax planner.
[00:31:48] Leah: My current situation is that we have one company who is our tax planner, tax advisor, and we And our CPA so they are doing all the things we pay one lump sum once a year and then that is divided quarterly where we have meetings we have consultations we talk about our planning and then of course at the end of the year or you know coming up to April.
[00:32:12] Leah: All of it gets put together for us. So I hope that you have some great strategies that you are excited to try. And I just want to encourage you to try to learn and see this is one of those things that we kind of avoid because it feels so scary. But when you do get your feet wet, when you do start to take control, it is so empowering and When it saves you money, that feels really, really good.
[00:32:38] Leah: So here is to us feeling more confident about our tax plan. Thank you so much for being part of the Balancing Busy podcast where we learn how to do less but better so that you can live a life that lights you up without compromising your home, your health, or your happiness. Episodes are every Tuesday.
[00:32:56] Leah: Share this with a fellow entrepreneur who feels lost with taxes because that’s where we all start. And help her to feel more empowered. Have a conversation together because we know that that’s going to make you both better. I’ll see you next week.