Next week brings us the most quintessentially American of all holidays. It’s the one we wait for all year, the one that truly captures those ideals that bind us together as a nation, and the one that bridges the cultural and political gaps that threaten to tear us apart. We’re talking, of course, about Black Friday, that glorious bacchanalia of year-end binge-buying. If Thanksgiving is a chilled glass of dry white wine, and Christmas is a flute of sparkling champagne, then Black Friday is the Jager Bomb that gets the party rolling!
The whole thing started off so innocently, too. Miles Standish and William Bradford pushed themselves back from the first Thanksgiving table and invited Massasoit to join them as they sharpened a pair of axes. The pilgrims found themselves showing off their tools, as men do, and the next day they agreed to swap an axe, a pot, and a bellows for a stack of beaver pelts. Today, we honor that original bargain by skipping Grandma’s secret-recipe pumpkin pie so we can line up for three hours in the cold to save $50 on a flat-screen TV.
(Don’t feel too sorry for Grandma. She spends so much time on Facebook sharing pics of the grandkids that she stopped baking the pie years ago. Now she just buys it at Costco and sneaks it into her old glass baking dish. She can’t wait to get home, either. She’s getting up in years, so she can’t hack the 5:00 AM crowds. But Grandma’s no dummy . . . she knows she can get the same deals online with free two-day shipping!)
Here’s a little-known fact they didn’t teach you in school. The original “Black Friday” got that name because black was the color the pilgrims were wearing when they made that first trade. Today, though, it’s come to mean they day when the stores go from losing money (“in the red”) to making it (“in the black”). Online retailers would have you believe “Cyber Monday” is where the real action happens. But where’s the dopamine rush in clicking “Buy Now” when you could be out snatching the last robot vacuum off the shelf instead?
Naturally, the bargain shoppers at the IRS love Black Friday. Stores that don’t make any profits don’t pay taxes. In 2018, US retailers feasted on $60 billion in sales for the weekend, harvesting around $1,000 from the average shopper and generating profits all the way up and down the supply chain. That means billions for federal, state, and local tax collectors.
Black Friday works because Americans love a bargain. So . . . if they’re willing to risk the first flu of the season to load up the sleigh with even more presents, imagine what they’d do to save some real wampum on their taxes? It’s sad, but true, that most Americans spend more time planning their holiday shopping than their taxes. But with April 15 costing even more than Black Friday, that can be an expensive mistake!
What would you do if the IRS had a sale? What if the IRS let you discount your taxes by thousands of dollars, this year and every year to come? And what if they let you do it from the comfort of your home or your office, without lining up in the November pre-dawn chill or risking an elbow in the face from a bargain-crazed neighbor? Would you give thanks for a sale like that?
You don’t have to wait for the IRS to throw open their doors to do exactly that. You just need a plan that identifies every opportunity to pay less. That’s where we come in. The more complicated your taxes get, the more opportunities we have to find legal “green lights” to pay less. Now all you have to do is decide what to do with the savings!