Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tax Management

I haven't done the best job of record keeping the last nine years but I think I  have done a pretty good job of tax management.  I raised these questions in the Cafe yesterday:

"Does tax management drive you a little crazy? A little insane? I am thankful we didn't have to file until April 15 this year, that's the latest we've filed in a long time.   This year there were government problems relating to 1040-F and associated documents and the deadline for filing for farmers was extended to April 15.

I can tell you we were one happy couple walking out of WTS Tax Services today. All of our laboring over last year's record amount of records resulted in what I consider a fair tax though it's still a hefty tax. I don't think I've ever worked so hard on taxes in one year. Have you?

I know farmers who make buying and selling decisions largely based on tax consequences. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that too much either though they always enter into my decision to buy or sell.

The one thing I have noticed is my daily log is my lifesaver. I got compliments from our tax lady and from my wife. That log shows where I went, who I talked to and what I pretty much spent that day. I got into the habit of doing that as an ag teacher in 1971 to justify my existence to the school board and it has served me well over these many years.

What is the one best thing you have done for tax management? It can drive you nuts or you just pay the tax. It shouldn't rule your life, but in America you've got to have good records to pay your fair share of taxes by law.  What do you think?"

I got some good replies, I will post the one from my friend Eddie in Missouri:  "each year it gets easier once you get a template to follow so you can just fill in the blanks. Start about a month ahead of year end and you can get yourself real close to where you want to be, My dad does ours, works very hard at it, is a very meticulous person, frets over it the last month and always comes out very close to the max number in the tax bracket he wants to be in. It takes work."

It DOES take work.  Is it worth it?  Wouldn't we be better off with a flat tax?  I don't think its worth talking about since everyone who ran for office or brought it up has been shot down.  How would we lay off all those poor federal workers?

One fourth of 2013 taxes are in the record book already!  What can we do today to make things easier come this time next year?  I need a little more time in the woods this year.

A little daily record keeping is essential to my mess.  How about yours?

Thanks,

Ed

9 comments:

  1. Taxes and the accompanying paperwork are a part of the reason that I gave up self-employment. When I quit, there 17 taxes, fees, permits, licenses, etc that I had to pay, file, collect or find some legal way to avoid for my one-man operation. They were talking of passing two more at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is it still that bad? I have to deal with my CCA which I don't need to farm but it's handy. I do have to deal with my pesticide license and that paperwork, FSA, bank, crop insurance, real estate taxes, rental agreements etc. Maybe it's more than 17 but that sounds like a lot, Gorges.

    What is coming down the road with new fertilizer and other proposals matches your last statement, though. I need to write a blog about this new Ohio Fertilizer Law proposed.

    Ed

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