It's getting to be that time of year again when business owners and others try to finalize tax planning strategies. It's commonly known as trying to avoid or delay paying taxes. On the other hand, my accountant tells me it's great to pay taxes. A lot of taxes. He says I should be glad when I'm paying taxes because it means I'm making money.
Well, that's not how I look at it, and I doubt you do either.
Even so, here's twenty-one ways you should not be using to try to avoid/delay paying taxes. It's the list put out by the IRS as part of this year's amnesty program. If you used one of these shelters and come clean, then the IRS will give you a break on the fines and penalties. That's assuming, of course, you first pay the back taxes due, plus interest. According to the New York Times, last year's amnesty program netted some $3.7 billion in extra taxes. The IRS figures taxpayers would rather pay than go through an audit, and they're right . I won't tell you how my accountant describes audit, but it has something to do with getting your pants pulled down.
There are a lot of options when it comes to paying taxes. Usually, not paying taxes is an unwise option, but it's typically as a consequence of making money, so it's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just sometimes a little painful. According to Rush Limbaugh, the top fifty percent of wage earners pay 96% of all taxes.
On the other hand, if the government spent less money, then we'd supposedly pay less taxes. That's about as likely as the IRS sending you back all the taxes you paid last year.
Whatever you decide to pay (or not pay), just remember resolving your differences is typically better than the tax court, where lawyers like me argue with the IRS in front of judges who don't like to pay taxes either, but then again typically don't have the kind of income that generates taxes at that level.