I think it is safe to say that most of us are living in a state of uncertainty. Confusion abounds and we are starting to get a bit stir crazy. Our frustrations from not being able to do the activities that we enjoy or having a night on the town or even knowing when or if we will go back to work seem to pale in comparison to the feelings of helplessness. I fear being helpless. I do not like to sit back and simply let life happen to me, but I admit that is exactly what I have been lately. How about you?
I was reminded today of the importance of planning and preparing yourself for a situation rather than allowing it to play out. My children would be surprised to hear me admit I had lost sight of the most eyeroll-inducing quote of their childhood, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” (Sir Winston Churchill)
Life is messy, chaotic and unrelenting on a normal basis, throw in a global pandemic and we find ourselves feeling like there is nothing that we can control. Have you figured out where this is going yet? You are going to love this one.
How many of you are so sick of cooking three meals a day that you have given up and are eating cereal for two and ice cream for the third? Or are you more like me who loves to cook and plan meals and make something different almost every day? I am going to guess that I am in the minority and make this about taxes, because that is what I do.
One evening a week, I pour over my cookbooks and consult The Google for new recipe ideas and meals that my husband says are too complicated to cook. I make my grocery list and upload it into whichever delivery or pickup service I am using that week. This entire process takes me about two hours and the end results are typically a success with a few major misses along the way.
What if we applied this same approach to our taxes? I know, I know, you are ready to close the article, but hear me out.
Most of us have given up on our taxes and simply respond to the end results, like eating brussel sprouts every night for dinner. We do it because we think we have no choice and are not in control of the situation; but it does not have to be the case. As taxpayers we do have control over the amount of tax exposure that we have on an annual basis.
Within the tax code, there are some who can see large benefits from tax planning and some who do not have the same advantages for tax savings. Do you know which one you are? Have you ever wondered how the results were reached and if there was anything you could have done to change it?
Believe it or not, Sir Churchill’s wisdom can be applied to taxes in more ways than one. The first is obvious; call me, let’s review your tax situation before the end of the year so we can manage your tax exposure. The second is far more personal to each of us and requires only a simple civics lesson to understand, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum (no political comments, please. I am trying to simply state facts). When Congress introduces or passes a $3-trillion bill, whose money are they spending?
Ready to take a look at how much you are paying in taxes?
You know where to find me ~Amy