Right On! Write Off!! Power To The People!
Ah, kiddies, your old Aunt Acid remembers when those phrases first became popular back in the 1960’s. The young people then were becoming aware of all sorts of wonderful things…the power of music and art, of group efforts, of politics on a local and national level, and so many other things that make a difference to how things might otherwise go.
Some of us turned away from education and commerce, religion and other corporate or bureaucratic sponsored events. Some of us looked further and realized that those things are powerful tools, and tools are not evil or good; they are just tools. It is how the tools get used that brings about good or evil results. Now, who do you want in charge of how the tools get used? THEM…or us as well? I’ll tell you, toots, if decisions are being made as to where the money (or the poisonous waste) is going, I want to be in on the deciding part. “Now, now, deary, you just let US worry about that…” is condescending and controlling crapola meant to keep you uninformed and uninvolved. Don’t accept that kind of treatment from your medical caregivers, or from your educators…or from your government. And most CERTAINLY not from your accountant.
People do have power, but only when they use it themselves to make informed choices. If you give away your power, you give away many of your choices.
One choice that I’m very aware of right now has to do with economic freedom. Having money grants the ability to make use of a wider scope of choices. At Tax Time, we are told that we are legally required to pay taxes on income. Those who have chosen to be self employed, like artists, musicians, poets, or spokesmodels such as myself are taxed at a higher rate than those who work at McDonalds, or who own McDonalds/Douglas Aircraft. Some folks choose not to pay at all, or to misrepresent income so as to pay less. Some folks pay and then rant about government misspending.
Here’s what I’ve got to say about this. When the government sets up a way to give me a choice about how the tax money is spent, I’ll send them some even if I don’t owe any! Send it to the libraries, the schools, the hospitals that provide for children and the elderly or to feed hungry children right here at home. Until then, I will donate to charities of my choice, and make sure that I fill out every piece of paperwork that has to do with taxes in the most ethical, law abiding, truthful ways and pay ever cent I legally owe and on time too. I will educate myself on all the new tax information about small businesses. AND I will take advantage of every single opportunity to put my money to work right here in America, in my own state, in my own town, and in my own home. That means Small Businesses, kiddies-DO something. Set up a real live small business and Work It! Work it good…(to misquote DeVo).
Although the self employed are taxed at a higher rate (and have not qualified for the giveaway gimmicks of the current ruling administration’s previous “economic relief” packages that primarily help wealthy corporations) there are ways to avoid paying high taxes. Remember that tax burden is assessed on PROFITS…not on income itself. As any Hollywood or Wall Street Accountant knows, profits are not how much money comes in …eww no, that’s GROSS. Then come the expenses. Bring on the expenses! Catch them in the NET.
Keep track of all your expenses. If you spend $1.00 on stamps for a business mailing, write it off at the end of the accounting cycle. Never lie–lies and falsehoods ultimately hurt you more than they can ever help, especially with the IRS. Tell the truth! Claim every penny possible; don’t let Dick Cheney or any of the other dick politicians use it up for you. They have their own. Lots.
And make it possible to claim expenses by spending the money, toots, not just letting it sit and then handing it to the taxman. Spend it on your own business, or you risk giving it to the government to buy Embassy furnishings in war zones. Me, I’d rather pay another local business person for a business website or for cards being printed or to sponsor an art class for children. That’s better use than showing a profit with that money unspent and letting the Military Industrial Complex buy any more bombs. Didn’t anybody listen to Ike? And it is just as legal for me to do this as it is for any other company, like Dow Chemical. Research and Development! That’s the big money ticket, just ask the Pharmaceutical Industry accountants. Bet they wont tell you true like I do though-there’s too much at stake. “I cannot respond at this time” is a good ways towards being “irresponsible” now, isn’t it?
Do it legally. Spend money willfully and responsibly. And spend it locally too! And write off every allowable penny. Hire an accountant if you don’t understand all that stuff and ASK QUESTIONS. Then write off the cost under “professional expenses” on that ol’ Schedule C (Profit Or Loss From Business) 1040 Federal Tax Form next year.
The downside is that if you don’t show a big profit, you don’t get credit towards Social Security. Of course, if you believe that there will be any money coming back to you from that in 20-40 years, then that’s up to you, then by all means factor that into your decision.