Understanding Tax Reduction Strategies
CPA’s are trained to look for the “red lights” in the tax code. “Red lights” tell us when we have to stop and pay taxes. After all your tax preparer does not get a bonus if he saves you taxes but he gets fired if you get a big tax surprise.
We are trained to look for the “green lights” in the tax code. “Green lights” give us permission not to pay a tax. That’s where the opportunity lies. Hire someone who is an expert in knowing “green lights.”
Here is a simple way of understanding how and where tax opportunities exist. The IRS says you have to do one of these three things:
1. Pay taxes on income and growth, or
2. Stimulate the economy (business expenses), or
3. Give money to charity
An unsophisticated view is that either of these three choices cost you the same. A more useful view is to look where, instead of paying taxes, stimulating the economy or charitable contributions can benefit you, more than anyone else.
Another area of opportunity is due to this tax fact: people who own things are taxed on their growth (with some exceptions); but people who control things are not required to pay taxes. Where could you benefit by giving up ownership to an entity that has a charitable intent in order to eliminate taxes; yet you maintain control of all your assets, so you get to invest and spend your money as you want without taxes? Many of the wealthiest people in America understand how to use this to slash taxes on outside income now and retire with zero taxes.
Since taxes are such a damaging destroyer of wealth, Heafner Financial will review the most appropriate tax reduction strategies with you.
We believe it is our job, not your CPA’s, to protect you from the big “tax-ectomy” by the IRS. To that end, Jim is an Ed Slott Master Elite IRA Advisor, a member of The Tax Planning Institute and Tax Law Solutions.
You may be a business owner who, after years of struggling and sacrifice, finally succeeds, earning the income you always wanted. Let’s say you’re now earning $1 million a year. Your plan is to spend $200,000 a year and save the rest because you only have ten years until retirement. Your retirement dreams are squashed when you realize the IRS wants $500,000 in income taxes each year.
Now, after spending $200,000 and paying the IRS $500,000, you can only save $300,000 per year, not $800,000! We know this situation well. The IRS tax code allows you to shield it all from retirement taxes — if you know the tax codes. We do!
What is “sequence of returns risk,” and why is it so dangerous?
Current research by Morningstar shows that in today’s market, a 50/50 stock/bond portfolio has a 90% chance of lasting 30 years if 2.8% is withdrawn each year.1
A 4% withdrawal rate gives you a 50/50 chance your money will last 30 years. Even a 10% average return doesn’t protect you from sequence of returns risk.
Once you retire and begin withdrawing assets from your accounts, a few bad years early in retirement, along with your withdrawal, can reduce your account value so severely that you can’t earn enough to recover.
However, if you avoid locking in losses, you can withdraw 5%, 6%, 7%, or even 8% per year from your portfolio and preserve it for a lifetime. How do you do this (see Advanced Strategies)?
1Study by Morningstar, Low Bond Yields & Safe Portfolio Withdrawal Rates
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