This is not the final four it’s the ONLY four. There are three primary colors, but endless works of art and colors. There are seven notes and endless songs from musical scores for movies, to rap, to pop etc. In reverse, there are 70,000+ pages of the tax code, but they all boil down to four basic strategies, so let me show you the foundation of the art and music we make with the tax code…
Shifting is the act of moving the flow of money from an entity or person to a different entity or person in an effort to reduce the tax paid by an entity or person. The most audited and most used business entity is the sole proprietor, and it’s the default filing position of the LLC. So it is the most “chosen” entity (not choosing is choosing the sole prop.) SHIFTING to a less audited and lower taxed entity is not shifty it’s smart. This is the most basic form of shifting, but there are many more.
You can’t time the market, but you can time the tax code. This was BIG news when the “fiscal cliff” was upon us, people were moving heaven and assets to avoid the massive tax changes. Most wasted time and money (but some hit home runs). This was not a one-time event, we still have the IRA and 401k! Yep, these are timing strategies. Think of money in three buckets, eggs or circles, basically three taxable events. A. Earnings B. Growth C. Distribution. You can’t skip taxes on all three but with timing you can choose to skip/time taxes on 2 out of 3. But be careful, you can choose to avoid 2 out of 3, but end up paying at the highest tax bracket.
This is not a secret code this is a written published code. It’s the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), it has the ancillary benefit of being the cure to insomnia, but for our discussion we will discuss the tax benefit. It allows us to take a tax write off for our swimming pool, we can rent our house to ourselves, we get a MUCH better write off for leasing a car and no write off for buying a car. None of it is logical, all of it is written painstakingly in to the Internal Revenue Code. So follow the code and save thousands of dollars, ignore it and waste thousands of dollars. The code is defaulted to the IRS so ignoring it automatically sends a staggering amount of YOUR money to a staggering amount of government waste. Choose life! A life of wealth and happiness. Well, at least a life of less taxes. Follow the CODE!
Most products fit into the above three, but it deserves its own place in the pantheon of tax planning because it has something none of the other strategies have; government lobbyist’s.
Allow me to illustrate, imagine that a bunch of Senators decide that the ROTH IRA is a bastion of evil wealthy people because it’s an election year (you know it could happen), so they change all the rules and now the shifting/timing/code strategy is rendered, with a stoke of the pen, inert. Your strategy was ruined, because it was an election year, senators don’t read bills and evil wealthy people don’t have a lobbying group. Now imagine that the populous senators decide that insurance was a bastion of ill-gotten wealth for the same evil rich people. I can assure you the insurance industry would rise up and prove with their vast wealth that insurance was a product of the working man and the senators would back down.