Tax Strategy 101

Thanks to everyone who joined our first Onyx Wednesday session–and a special shout out to Kevin Ozenne for all the insights he shared in preparation for tax day! We hope this session was helpful; feel free to write back to me with any feedback or suggestions you have for going forward.

We’ve included the video (see below) and slides for anyone who wasn’t able to attend. But first, here’s a brief recap of my takeaways from the session:  

1. What does tax compliance look like?
✅   Submitting tax returns on time
✅   Filing as accurately as possible
✅   Timeliness- Pay on time, and if you can’t, then ask the IRS for a payment plan
✅   Retaining documentation

2. There are negative ramifications to not filing taxes properly.
When the government offered PPP loans during the early months of 2020, business owners who weren’t current with their tax filings and payments could not access those resources. The same principle applies *when trying to get contracts with government entities. Also, potential donors and board members may ask to see a nonprofit’s financial documentation to confirm their financial house is in order.

3. The difference between tax avoidance (which is legal) and evasion (which is illegal)
There are strategies people can use to lower their tax burden legally (e.g., homeowners can deduct mortgage interest, people with student loans can deduct the interest, and everyone can maximize their retirement account contributions). 

People cross the line into evasion when they do things like never filing taxes, making no attempt to pay or claiming dependents when they don’t have any.

4. It’s important to be aware of tax implications related to certain life events (e.g., having a child, buying a house, starting a business, incurring medical expenses, making charitable contributions, selling stock, and retiring)

5. Be proactive! If you haven’t filed in a few years, file now. Call and set up a payment plan if you owe money and can’t pay. Taking action on your own is better because once the IRS initiates the process, you’re forced to meet their deadlines rather than working on your own timeline.

6. Deciding on the best way to file taxes can be complicated. There are advantages and disadvantages to both electronic self-filing and using a tax professional. However, the more complicated your tax situation, the more likely you are to need outside help

We hope everyone has a great weekend, and look forward to seeing everyone on April 16th!

Kevin Ozenne

CEO/Founder: Still Waters Consulting LLC. A Management Consulting Practice


Previous Sessions

Tax Strategy 101

Thanks to everyone who joined our first Onyx Wednesday session–and a special shout out to Kevin Ozenne for all the

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