Tax Secrets: Government bailout, our country’s financial crisis and the future
Published 10/28/2008 at 4:46 p.m.
This article was written while “burning the midnight oil”… Why? Because about 95 percent of this column’s readers who call me — just to ask a question or who actually become clients — have a significant portion of their wealth ...
Tax Secrets: Estate and state taxes may be your spoilers
Published 10/22/2008 at 3:36 p.m.
There is little in the tax law to make you smile. The higher your tax bracket, the worse it gets. Just to show you how much fun the tax law is not, let’s crunch some numbers.
Tax secrets: Do you want to retire your business?
Published 10/14/2008 at 5:54 p.m.
Most successful business owners (let’s call our guy Joe) have two loves in their life: Their family and their business. With rare exceptions, it’s family first.
TAX SECRETS: Multiple owners, multiple problems?
Published 10/07/2008 at 1:14 p.m.
Now the hard part. Actually, when dad and/or mom want to transfer the family business to one or more of the kids, some challenging problems arise. But, in practice, the parent-to-kid business transfer is a piece of cake when compared ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Go for the second opinion
Published 09/30/2008 at 12:16 p.m.
For years, I have been preaching that your estate plan is not done unless you pass the “final test.” What is the final test? You must answer “Yes” to these two questions: (1) Does my estate plan transfer all — ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Guides for the presidential candidates
Published 09/22/2008 at 9:24 p.m.
Politicians — the Washington gang, including the House, Senate and president — are forever talking about raising or lowering the income tax rate. It’s election time. Really, the silly season for floating “what’s-best-for-the-country-income tax rate ideas.” And once in a ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Annual gifts, an old reliable way and now “improved” way to beat the tax collector
Published 09/15/2008 at 12:09 p.m.
“Improved” is a common addition to the labels of many store-bought products. Well, this time the “product” is annual gifts and improved is the perfect word.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: To be or not to be... an S corporation
Published 09/08/2008 at 4:51 p.m.
A reader (Joe) of this column, who had a mammoth tax problem (both income tax and estate tax) called me. I listened. Both problems would be solved — easily — by electing S corporation status. Joe agreed.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: A second opinion saves a family a ton of taxes
Published 08/31/2008 at 7:06 p.m.
This is a war story. We chatted for a while. Then I asked Joe, age 62 and the owner of a successful family business (Success Co.) in Kansas, a simple question: “What are your goals?”
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Learn the secrets — and use them too
Published 08/24/2008 at 7:39 p.m.
The tax law — especially the estate tax law — can rip a family’s wealth to shreds in a heartbeat. But the really wealthy — worth $20 million, $200 million (more or less) — have known for decades how to ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Can a computer help you manage your finances?
Published 08/19/2008 at 11:28 p.m.
Are your funds working for you as hard as you worked for them? Unhappy with your rate of return? Read on! You are about to be delighted… whether you are still active in the business world or retired.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Supreme Court deals — blow to most 401(k) plans
Published 08/11/2008 at 7:56 p.m.
Do you own all or part of a business that sponsors a 401(k) plan for your employees? If so, this column is a must. You won’t like the liability position the Supreme Court has hung over your head. But, as ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Slash your life insurance costs while increasing the benefits
Published 07/30/2008 at 10:56 p.m.
The economic downturn has heightened the concern of readers of this column, when they already have existing life insurance, but their ability to continue premium payments is difficult. The same concern (high premium costs) confronts readers who need (or want) ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Easy to do winning tax combinations — part 1
Published 07/16/2008 at 9:59 p.m.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the collapse of the American economy has been greatly exaggerated. A few — very few readers of this column — are enjoying increased sales and profits. Most are flat or down a bit. An alarming number ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Your tax questions — my answers
Published 07/09/2008 at 7:43 p.m.
This was the subject of a recent seminar I gave. The right answer to this question is important to your economic health. Your family’s economic health. And your business’s economic health.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Two or more kids? Tax victory in the horizon
Published 07/02/2008 at midnight
Starting in the mid-1970’s, we have been telling readers of this column and our clients to transfer their businesses to their kids during life. Waiting until you die to complete the transfer is an unnecessary and expensive waste of tax ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Turn your home into an investment profit center
Published 06/23/2008 at 10:47 p.m.
The key to successful tax planning is learning how to select the best tax-saving strategies to accomplish your specific goals. My job is easy: pick the right strategies. Your job is tougher: Pick your goals.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: A tax saving system — step by step
Published 06/16/2008 at 5:06 p.m.
It was two minutes to 4:30 p.m., and my 3 1/2 hour seminar — on how to transfer all of your wealth to your family — was almost over. “Okay, just one more question,” I said into the microphone, letting ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Qualified plans that turn into tax traps
Published 06/08/2008 at 7:09 p.m.
Do you have a significant amount of money ($400,000 or more) in one or more qualified plans (Plan)? For example, an IRA, profit-sharing plan, 401(k.) This is a bittersweet subject. Bitter if you don’t know how to legally avoid the ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Retire by not selling business
Published 06/02/2008 at 4:55 p.m.
You’ll love this war story. It’s true. A reader (Joe) of this column recently called me with a typical request: “Irv, I want to retire. Will you value my business so I know how much to sell it for?”
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Control your wealth — kill the estate tax monster
Published 05/25/2008 at midnight
Almost all consulting clients we work with have two common objectives: (1) keep control of their business and other assets for as long as they live and (2) don’t lose any of their wealth to the IRS. Typically, they think ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Tax disasters waiting to happen
Published 05/19/2008 at 10:25 p.m.
Sooner or later, as the years spin by, the message becomes crystal clear: You must transfer your business (Success Co.) And if you’re typical, the transfer will be made to one or more of your children. What’s the most common ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Enjoy becoming a big winner
Published 05/12/2008 at 4:37 p.m.
Gather ‘round. This is must reading. If what you are about to read can’t help you save taxes or help you increase your personal tax wealth, it will certainly help someone you know.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Turn thousands into tax-free millions
Published 05/06/2008 at 12:59 p.m.
Tax planning is an indoor sport, usually only played by adults. This particular tax game is played for the benefit of younger family members. Most are about 4 years old or younger… 50 is good, but the younger the better. ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: A potpourri of little-known tax miracles
Published 04/29/2008 at 12:13 p.m.
It’s easy to lose — big dollars — to the IRS… almost always unnecessarily. Following are some easy-to-do (tax-saving and wealth-building) strategies that we have done hundreds of times, yet are little known. Why? Because most professional advisors don’t know ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Don’t lose family wealth to IRS
Published 04/21/2008 at 4:48 p.m.
It’s almost 100 percent guaranteed. What? That half of the family wealth will be lost to the IRS when the following words are spoken to me by a closely held business owner who is talking about transferring his business to ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Leveraged gifts, a big tax break for the entire family
Published 04/13/2008 at 11:02 p.m.
Want to win the estate tax game? Think gifts. Leveraged gifts. Lifetime gifts to your family represent a major tax-planning strategy. Gifts are an easy way to move assets within the family unit, remove future income from your estate, and ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Curing the estate tax disease
Published 04/06/2008 at 9:57 p.m.
A dreaded disease is spreading — like wildfire — in the United States. It debilitates most successful business owners… then, ravages some or all of their kids and eventually hurts the grandkids. Known by various names, the most common name ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Turbocharge your lifetime tax planning
Published 03/31/2008 at 8:33 p.m.
Most estate tax plans are really death plans. You do the documents (typically, a will and revocable trust for him and the same for her). Put them away for safe keeping. Then, forget about them. Someday you die and the ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: You can’t beat death but ...
Published 03/25/2008 at 10:15 a.m.
The typical reader of this column (we’ll call him Joe) who calls me for estate planning help has two basic characteristics: (1) he has been successful at accumulating wealth (almost always in a business he started or was created by ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: A doom and a boom
Published 03/18/2008 at 11:32 a.m.
It’s true: Real-life is stranger than fiction. Here are two true-client tax stories — with almost identical facts — involving transferring a family business to the kids. One caused a financial-tax train wreck; the second a tax-free victory.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: The great 401(k) rip-off
Published 03/10/2008 at noon
Raise your hand if your company has a qualified retirement plan (QRP)? Your QRP can be a 401(k), profit-sharing plan, SEP-IRA, pension plan or any one of the many other QRPs.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Industrial strength succession planning
Published 03/03/2008 at 1:39 p.m.
Raise your hand if you are the owner (or part owner) of a successful family business, and someday you want your kids to step into your shoes [as the new owner(s)].
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Family business savings
Published 02/25/2008 at 2:30 p.m.
Most closely held/family businesses are S corporations. Good! Almost all profitable small businesses should be an S corporation (pays no tax), as opposed to a tax-paying C corporation.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Results are in ... 2007 test report
Published 02/18/2008 at 1:26 p.m.
The annual-readers-test article is always fun for me. The test prevents millions of dollars from being lost to the IRS (by you, the column readers) and gives me enough material for many more articles. The year 2007 was a banner ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: The best tax-free investment for the conservative investor
Published 02/11/2008 at 7:50 p.m.
Never thought there were so many truly conservative investors. What makes me think so? Well, the last time I wrote about the specific subject covered in this article, it was followed by a blizzard of responses: phone, fax and mail. ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: You’ll love this new investment, darling ...
Published 02/04/2008 at 1:25 p.m.
Chances are you have never heard of a proven, easy way to average 15.83 percent per year without market risk. What is this investment? Senior settlements (SS) — more often called life settlements (LS). A SS and a LS are ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: How to legally beat the estate tax
Published 01/28/2008 at 5:46 p.m.
Webster’s Dictionary defines guarantee, “an assurance that something will be done as specified.” Let’s try an example: Can a commercial airline guarantee that you will get from city A to city B safely? Well, almost.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: The 10 best do-or-don’t strategies
Published 01/15/2008 at 1:56 p.m.
This article fulfills a promise I made at a recent seminar (titled “Tax Secrets of the Wealthy”). One of the business owners — also an avid reader of this column — in my audience jokingly asked me, “Irv, do you ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Watch out! The Baby Boomers are coming
Published 01/07/2008 at 4:24 p.m.
The baby boomers have created a new set of tax problems. And opportunities. It seems like successful business owners are getting younger. So are first time grandmas and grandpas.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: The sooner the better — wealth transfer shouldn’t wait
Published 01/02/2008 at midnight
Maybe I’m getting’ older, but the audiences at my tax-saving seminars seem to be getting younger. Here’s an often asked question. “Irv, when should I start my estate (or wealth transfer) planning?”
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Give fortune to your kids — including comfortable retirement
Published 12/21/2007 at 5:59 p.m.
We train clients to call us when a tax opportunity arises or a tax problem raises its ugly head. This article is about one of the best tax opportunities in all the books — even in the best tax books.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: You can eliminate your estate tax liability
Published 12/17/2007 at 10:26 a.m.
Typically, closely held business owners have an estate plan that is designed to reduce their estate tax burden, rather than eliminate it. Why? Because their professional estate tax planners tell them estate tax reduction is the best they can hope ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Beware of tax scams
Published 12/11/2007 at 11:15 a.m.
The tax law is complicated. Very complicated. We have never met (nor heard of) even one tax practitioner who claims to know it all.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Real estate incorporated — think twice or pay twice
Published 12/04/2007 at 11:22 a.m.
The first commandment in my bible of taxation is, “Thou shall not put real estate into a corporation.” We see this tax-expensive real estate mistake at least a dozen times a year.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Enrich your family instead of the IRS
Published 11/20/2007 at 12:28 p.m.
I’m frustrated. It’s a good bet many of the readers of this column are frustrated too. And for the same reason. Actually, we have the same goals: eliminate the estate tax.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Turn a tax tragedy into a tax victory
Published 11/13/2007 at 12:25 p.m.
This is an exciting tax story. If you have $250,000 or more in a qualified plan (IRA, 401(k), profit sharing or other plan), read every word of this article. You’ll save a ton of taxes, while your family will inherit ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Second opinion eliminates a mountain of estate taxes
Published 11/05/2007 at 2:15 p.m.
This is a true, sad, tax-war story. A reader of this column (let’s call him Joe), has just completed his estate plan, and his plan to transfer his business to his kids. He used competent lawyers, accountants, and insurance consultants, ...
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: Succession and transfer planning — The new hot tax topic
Published 10/29/2007 at 3:29 p.m.
The stock market is volatile. “Uncertain,” most analysts say. Getting a bank to finance growth or a business acquisition is tough.
Tax Secrets of the Wealthy: The tax subjects you value the most
Published 10/22/2007 at 8:34 p.m.
A reader of this column recently attended one of our tax-planning seminars sponsored by his trade association. He asked an interesting question, "How do you determine what subjects to write about in your tax columns?"