Archive for April, 2013


Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with Boston

When there are no words left, there is still hope.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’

To this day, especially in time of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

– Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

Thank you to all the brave helpers in Boston yesterday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected by this tragedy.

Hope, Love, & Courage

Project Management Can Help You Pay Only Your Share of Taxes

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

It is 2013, and the number of pages in the US Federal Tax Code is 73954 pages.   States, counties and towns are also becoming more aggressive in their collection of taxes – raising property tax, income tax and sales tax rates and increasing fees, licenses, registrations for doing any type of activity in their jurisdictions.   I run a small business and the time and effort (cost) we put into tax strategies and tax compliance is astounding.  It takes close to 7% of our gross receipts to pay for all the tax compliance services we require. This is NOT including the taxes we pay.   Besides the large chunk of change we are required to pay the federal government in income taxes, payroll taxes, medicare and social security taxes, we are also required to file taxes in every state, county and city where we hold classes.  And when any of these governments want to audit our books, that requires we hire a tax attorney to work with their tax professionals.   Anyone of these tax agencies can audit us at any time.  They can also require we pay exorbitant registration fees in the tens of thousands of dollars for the privileges of holding classes in their jurisdictions.  Despite this massive oversight effort and the costs these government agencies incur for this activity,  they have never once found us in any way deficient in how our licensed professionals comply with their tens of thousands of pages of compliance documentation.

The saving source for each and every audit we have experienced is our record keeping.   We have a phenomenal Vice President of Operations who is a stickler for setting up and following our internal information management systems.    We recently retained a new firm to handle our bookkeeping.   One of their first changes was to get us to use our smart phones to take pictures of our receipts as soon as we get them.   We then email them to their “shoe box” account.  No more aggregating receipts for the end of the year or when we get audited.   We follow an easy to use naming convention so they know how to classify it.

While there is no getting around paying tax after tax after tax – there is no need to pay more taxes than you are required to pay.   And the way to do that is to be able to defend every single deduction you take on your taxes so even if audited, you are in compliance with the tax code.

Our Vice President of Operations and I developed an online course several years ago that helps people learn Project Management while they do the project of organizing their family office (Cheetah Family Office).   It is this level of organization that can make tax time, while certainly not a pleasant time of year, far easier.   AND can save you tremendous time, money and aggravation in paying only the taxes you are required to pay – ESPECIALLY if you are audited.   (A little over 5% of individual returns are audited – that number is considerably higher if you and/or your spouse has any non-standard income or deductions as almost 20% of people in this category get the pleasure of having the federal government dissect their books).   The game of the auditors is to find people who are not organized as they can take a larger chunk of their hard earned income.

If you’d like to play the game to your advantage and pay only your share of taxes and not more,  learn how to use Project Management AND get your family’s life much more organized (and less stressful) – use the promotion code “organizemetoday” to get $100 off the Cheetah Family Office four week online course.