taxes

Tax refund, big payment or ignoring it altogether? My best strategies…

Tax time here in the US is just around the corner and you are either excited to be expecting (or have already received) a refund, stressed about paying or perhaps you are ignoring it altogether.

You can e-mail into [email protected] to let me know which category you are in and I’ll hit you back with some guidance specific to your situation.

My personal tax story is instructive for you, no matter which category you fall into.

I’ll be sharing some details over right here, so keep an eye out for my tax time insights.  Most importantly, I’ll be sharing the story of how I ended up with an unexpected $100,000 tax bill and how I handled it. Plus, what I did after I was audited that built me a $1,000,000+ business. Seriously, this is huge and applies in many areas of your life.

Today though, I want to share some tax time tips that could help you immediately:

 

  1. Tax time can be a wake up call to approach your finances with eyes wide open: see it that way and grow your income in alignment with your life.

Looking at the numbers of my life and business was terrifying for years. Rather than paying attention (which felt either obsessive or overwhelming), I decided I would just make more money so I didn’t have to really pay attention.  

That’s one strategy I see a lot of entrepreneurs who are scared of their numbers using and while it can work for a while, it will ultimately backfire on you and result in extremely costly mistakes, as it did for me.

The other option I see people using is to just ignore tax time altogether by making so little that filing taxes isn’t necessary.

Either of these options is not in alignment with the truth of who you are. Making so little that filing taxes isn’t necessary or making so much that you think you can just pay in advance for your mistakes are both avoidance strategies that take you away from the truth.

Face your taxes with eyes wide open, with regular monthly meetings with your bookkeeper (or yourself if you don’t have a bookkeeper yet), reconcile your books, categorize your expenses properly each month, and review your profit and loss — those are recipes for success.

If you don’t know how to do these things, hit reply and let us know. If there’s enough interest we’ll create a training.

There was a time I didn’t know how to do these things, so I just avoided it.  

Today, I have clean and clear systems to manage my financials that allow me to look clearly, use my numbers to tell the story of my business so I can make wise decisions and I can relax knowing I’m earning what I need, when I need it, on demand and there’s no tax time scrambling anymore.

 

  1. Use your refund wisely to invest in resources that create more in the world.

The other day, I supported one of my on-site team members to get his taxes done. He was going to go to H&R Block and they told him it would cost him $100 to do his taxes plus he would owe $300+ (because he is a 1099 independent contractor with us and that means he has to pay all of the taxes himself on his income).

I used Turbo Tax and deducted some of his expenses for him. We ended up getting him a $300+ refund from the taxes he paid via his W-2 job.

So I asked him, how are you going to use this money?

He told me he was going to buy parts for his car so he could make it even more tricked out.

A part of me cried inside. That’s consumerism at it’s finest.

Investing in tricking out his car isn’t going to create more of anything in his life or the world.

Instead, he could be using the money to invest in gaining a new skill that he will be able to use in service to creating more in the world.

I invite you right now to consider where you might be using your resources to consume more rather than to create more and what you can do to shift that with your very next investment, especially your tax time refund, if you are getting one.

 

  1. Don’t beat yourself up, rather commit to make changes and learn, grow and evolve.

Remember, we learn by making mistakes. Every challenge (including the challenge of managing the financials of your life with your eyes wide open) is your greatest opportunity to be more of who you really are. And you get to choose that in each moment.

Don’t beat yourself up. Trust that you are being shown exactly what you need to learn next. Our purpose here at Eyes Wide Open is to lovingly support you to see what you may have been missing up until now.

I hope these tax time tips have showed you how you can use even the most practical of life experiences to expand your consciousness and live your life awake, aware and on your terms.

With eyes and heart wide open,

Ali

 

PS — We started our Enough Course yesterday, April 6th. Everyone who attended had huge ah-ha’s and breakthroughs on their own awareness of what they have and what they actually need to have the life they really want. It’s not too late to join us for the rest of the sessions. If you would like to consider whether it’s right for you, send us a note ([email protected]) and let us know so we can send you a recording of the first session and you can check it out and see if it’s your right next step.

How Alexis Neely Ended Up in Bankruptcy {Part Two}: Debt, Taxes + Internal Conflict

When we left off…

(If you haven’t already, read Part One here.) 

I had eaten through my savings and incurred a hundred thousand dollars in debt by selling my law firm to the wrong person, joining a $100,000 mastermind and then having to take back the firm and run it out of my savings and credit.

What I skipped over was 2007 when I had a $100,000+ tax bill that I didn’t have the savings to pay.

2006 was the first year my law practice made a million in revenue, and I didn’t know anything about taxes or financial systems back then. I know, dumb, right?!?

I was a lawyer and should have known better.

But I didn’t.

Most lawyers are clueless when it comes to such things. They don’t teach us about taxes or financial systems for solo/small practice entrepreneurs in law school. Sure, I graduated first in my class and got all sorts of awards in my tax classes, but that was tax as applied to big corporations.

Frankly, I had the idea that none of that applied to me as a small fish.

Well, I was wrong.  And I paid for it.

Fortunately, back in 2007, borrowing money was as easy as your signature on the dotted line, if you had a good credit score, which I did.

I had already borrowed money to build out my law practice, and doing it the second time around was fairly easy. The first time I filled out the application for a business loan (back in 2004 in the early days of starting my law practice), I felt tremendous shame, guilt and fear. I was certain I would get turned down.

But, I didn’t. They gave me what I asked for, $50,000. Later on, I went back and increased that to $100,000 and wished I would have just asked for more to begin with.

So, by the time I was taking out the loan to pay my taxes in 2007, I was old hat at loan applications and signing on the dotted line. It didn’t phase me.

By the time I got to 2009, I was already about $300,000 in debt between the taxes, the mastermind, and the sale of the law firm fiasco, but I was holding it together, paying about $20,000 in debt payments each month.  The money was coming in and I was holding it together.

4facesIn September of that year, things started to fall apart.

I participated in my first ayahuasca medicine journey and had the most beautiful experience. I saw a vision of harmony, peace and connection. Over the following few weeks, I fell into a painful gap as I realized how out of harmony my life was.

I was working so hard and it wasn’t much fun. There was a lot of internal conflict in my businesses, and truthfully, in me as well.

What I didn’t know at the time was that there was a part of me that had been hidden away, lock, stock and barrel.


Today, I know her as Ali Shanti. But, back then, she would just show up in awkward ways, like on my blog where I wrote deeply personal posts and my bio was a mish-mash of the vision I had of a girl who lived in Boulder, was a midwife and had dreadlocks and the girl I knew and had already been who graduated first from Georgetown law and built million dollar businesses.

And then my team would tell me — “Alexis, you can’t say that, Alexis, you can’t write that, Alexis, you can’t wear that, Alexis, you can’t do that. You’ll hurt the business!”

Plus, my team members were constantly fighting amongst themselves and then coming to me with their dramas, pointing fingers and blaming each other for anything and everything. I can see now how it was my leadership that created and perpetuated that reality, but at the time I didn’t know why it was happening and it just sucked.

Top that off with a stark realization that by appearing on TV as a legal expert to gossip about celebrities like Tiger Woods and Michael Jackson I was making a negative contribution to the world, and I had to make some kind of a massive shift.

January 1, 2010, I packed up two Uhauls, the kids, my ex-husband, my boyfriend, two assistants, our dog, two cats, and the snake and we were off to Colorado.

I thought it would change everything. And, it did. But not quite the way I expected.

>>Read the next installment of this series here.


Stay tuned for the rest of the story in the upcoming installments of this series, How Alexis Neely Ended Up in Bankruptcy, where I’ll be discussing where the rest of the debt came from and how I was able to rebuild so quickly and easily. And keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score”. 

How Eyes Wide Open Tax Planning Will Save Me $50,000 On My Taxes This Year

It’s time to plan for your 2014 taxes. Yes, now.  I know tax time isn’t until next year and maybe you just got done filing your taxes on the extension from last year. That’s exactly why I’m telling you to get on it now.

Six weeks from now it will be too late and if you aren’t doing something about it now you could be stuck with a big, unexpected tax bill.

In fact, it would have happened to me again this year if I wasn’t on it the way I’m telling you to get on it.

Every November we send our financial projections off to our tax advisor for an end of the year tax savings analysis.

Had I not done it this year, I would have been looking at a hefty, unplanned for $55,000 tax bill next April.

Fortunately though, I still have time to plan.

And, thanks to the planning possibilities, I can put $17,500 into my retirement account and shift around a few other things and bring my tax bill down to just $5,000.

That’s an extra $50,000 in my pocket. That’s one full time team member for a year, tuition times two for my daughter at the fancy private school I want her to go to next year, a new app, creative project or travel.

It’s $50,000 I’d rather have say over instead of it going into the US war machine.

Maybe for you it won’t be $50,000 tax savings for you. Perhaps it will only be $10,000, or even maybe just $5,000 or even just $2,000. Or, it could be a lot more.

No matter how much (or how little) is at stake here, it doesn’t take a lot to save you money. The only way to lose is to wait and do nothing until next year.

I recently spoke with a 7-figure woman business owner in our industry who does not have a 7-figure foundation. She wanted me to help her refile her 2013 taxes because she is sure she paid too much and wants to try and get some of it back. Too bad, so sad, not going to happen. And, frankly, even if it is possible, it’s not worth it.

Tax strategy planning does not go well after the fact. It’s a before the fact kind of thing. It’s just too late later.

So, do it now.

Get your books in order so you can easily send your income and expenses to date plus projections for the rest of the year to your tax advisor. If you don’t already have a tax advisor, hire one now. If you don’t know where to find one, use our resource guide.

But before you do, make sure you know what to say when you call your tax advisor. Here’s a presentation I did last year around this time. It’s from last year, but the content is really evergreen for the most part.  >>Get it here.<<

Taxes are your biggest business expense.  Get your act together and save big bucks on your taxes NOW.