It’s tax time again and it never ceases to amaze me how many people I speak with who are all excited and in a tizzy because they are getting a tax refund. Tax refunds are only for the financially uneducated and can easily be avoided with a little tax planning.
Let me say that again.
You are probably thinking, “What’s this guy talking about?
Why wouldn’t I want a tax refund?”.
Author’s Note: This post is ONLY for people that want to be financially enlightened and educated and have an open mind. All others will be purposefully offended and called stupid multiple times in this post in an effort to wake them up. So, if you don’t want to be financially enlightened, stop reading now and go melt your brain with some good ole fashioned mind numbing television. I am sure you can find a game show or some “reality” TV to help continue the frontal lobotomy and keep you financially enslaved.
If, on the other hand, you truly want a better life and want to make more money, read on…..
So, what am I talking about?
Here’s the deal, if we are speaking in terms of a tax refund and not a tax credit, it means that you are being refunded money that you OVERPAID and let the IRS have for a year at 0% interest and then you had to pay someone to prepare your tax return to prove that you stupidly overpaid them. Not too smart is it?
Put another way, what if your investment advisor told you that he had a great investment where you could invest your money for a year and when that year was up, you could pay a consultant to prepare a form so you could get your investment back with a whopping 0% return? (Author’s Note: It is actually a minimum of a negative 4% return due to inflation and the erosion of the buying power of the dollar, so you actually lost money).
If your investment advisor told you something that stupid, you would look at him like he was nuts and probably run from his office. At least I hope you would. If you knew someone that took his advice and made that bad investment, you would probably call them stupid. I am not sure there is another word for it. If you are reading this at your office or in a restaurant or crowded place, look left, then look right. You are surrounded by people who subscribe to the bad investment advisor’s “advice”. They are everywhere just waiting for someone like you to help them.
You have heard the term, “adding insult to injury”?
That’s what happens when you pay someone to prepare your tax return so you can get a refund. You are paying them to prove to you and the IRS how financially stupid you really are. I don’t like to pay people to prove that I am financially stupid. I like to pay people to make me more financially educated.
The sad and painful reality is that most of you unknowingly talk to that investment advisor every year and end up investing in that 0% return investment INSTEAD of an investment that actually pays a return OR instead of increasing your monthly cash flow so you could lighten your debt load and stress. The truth is, you could have YOUR money EVERY month instead of paying it to the IRS.
And please don’t be one of those people that tells me, “But I like getting a refund back every year. It is like a forced savings account”. Only stupid, financially undisciplined people think this way. But that’s not you, is it?
And if it is, we are going to work to change that so you can have a better life.
Before we go on, if you are getting a tax refund this year, don’t feel too bad. I used to get them, too. Yes, it is true. I used to be just like you. But then, through large amounts of reading, I became financially educated and enlightened. And that is why I want to share this knowledge with you.
Most people focus on making more money. That’s not a bad thing. The reality is that if you want to have a better quality of life, in addition to focusing on making more money, you have to do what financially educated millionaires and billionaires do. They not only focus on making more money, they also focus on keeping more of the money they make. And you should, too. Financially educated people focus on opportunities to make more money and they educate themselves on how to pay less taxes on the money they make. This is what you have to do also.
Unfortunately, our education system doesn’t teach truly important topics like financial planning, budgeting, how to balance a checkbook, how to minimize taxes, how to start your own company, how to buy a home, how to negotiate, how to buy a car, etc. It is such a shame that what many people believe to be the greatest educational system on the planet doesn’t prepare its students for real life. As a result, many people live lives of quiet desperation as they meander through life living paycheck to paycheck when wealth and abundance is so readily available for the taking.
So, to stop the financial bloodletting, here’s what you need to do:
- Get with your tax advisor. If they haven’t yet shared this information with you yet, fire them quickly and find another one.
- Since it is tax time, it is a great time because you will have all of your documentation and you will have to have someone prepare your returns. Sit down and explain to them that in 2010 you want to adjust your W-4 withholdings so that next year you don’t get a tax refund. Your CPA, tax attorney or tax preparer, with your income and tax documentation in hand, can do a quick calculation to zero out your return. You want this done by your tax preparer because if you aren’t careful, you can end up owing money at the end of the year, and that’s not fun. So, don’t adjust this on your own. Have your tax preparer do it for you.
Here’s the end result:
Once you file your new adjusted W-4 with your employer, you will immediately begin experiencing more money in your take home pay once your company internally processes the form through their payroll provider.
So, right now, you can get a double whammy. You can get your refund from last year AND you can start getting more money in your paycheck. Not a bad deal.
This example obviously uses the assumption that you are getting a refund and that your withholdings have not been maximized to net zero at the end of the year.
Sound illegal? Sound like a violation of IRS tax code? Sound like the IRS boogeymen will come get you if you do this?
For you non-believers, you can check it out for yourself directly on the IRS website. What you are looking for is IRS PUB 919, “How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding?”
Now, as always when I post information on taxes, federal law requires that I inform you that this post is for illustrative purposes only, that I am NOT a CPA or tax attorney (and I don’t want to be) , that I am not dispensing tax advice without a license and you should ALWAYS consult a qualified tax professional as it relates to your personal tax situation. With more than 90,000 pages in the current IRS code, only a fool does his own taxes.
If you have questions, please use the comment box below and I will answer them.
Oh, and if you love your friends, family members and co-workers, you need to Tweet or forward this information to them as well so they can begin experiencing more money monthly. You can use the reTweet button at the top of this post or the Share This button at the bottom.
Next up, I am going to show you how to increase your take home pay by $200-$1,000, legally, using a tax strategy usually reserved for home owners with mortgages.