It is not normal to enjoy paying taxes but there are two things that can be done to make paying taxes less painful: 1) Have Good Financial Records 2) Know the laws. By Gary Shotton
Paying Taxes #000394
By Gary Shotton
Hello my name is Gary Shotton, I’m here as a part of Inspiring Better Business, IBBTalks. Today we’re going to talk about a subject that I arrived that because I’m a radio speaker or a speaker on a radio station and one of the distant regions of the country of Uganda, and it’s translated into a language called Runyankori.
I’m able to talk to whoever’s in that listening audience I don’t know what they say they’re getting some good feedback, and we have an opportunity to talk to them and then take about an hour long program, I take about 40 minutes of my presentation and then we entertain questions and a lot of times the next time we have a talk I take a question that’s been presented and go into depth on that and a lot of times these are questions that have come up before in my 40 years of being in business and working with people in the last 30 years around the world.
And so, one of the questions was legit. He says you know how in the world can I pay all my taxes. It’s killing me, my taxes are crazy expensive. And I’m telling you, nobody that I know of loves to pay taxes. I don’t like to pay taxes. I don’t know anybody that says aren’t excited about paying my taxes but it’s a real issue. It’s a real issue because we’ll have the tax collector coming around especially as your business starts growing, and you know even in the Old Testament tax collectors were not loved and and but they’re just doing their job, they might do it right and they might do it not so good but that’s their job. And so we have to learn how to deal with that. And so one of the things I really emphasize that a person, and I emphasize to them in this forum.
A discussion was first of all, what are your knowledge and how good are your records that’s number one. You need to have good record keeping anyway see records in America are primarily for two purposes, and for a long time. My primary personal purpose was I had to keep my record so I would pay my taxes and then later on I said, you know, this is crazy. I’m not doing my taxes, preparing my taxes until like 18 months, 10 months 12 months after the end of the year, and I’m trying to relive all the things and find all those receipts, this is not working very good. I got to have these done very timely and have a system so that my record keeping is current virtually all the time, or at least within a week at any given time, or at least within a week after the end of the month, but this doesn’t happen you don’t know what you did 30 days ago.
And so you’ve got to create a system and I had to create a system that would not only be preparing my taxes, but in my case it’s another subject, I had to use my accounting as a, as a managing tool, so I can see where I was at. Like before it’s too late. But on that subject of taxes in a lot of your cases you’re having a situation where you don’t have good records, you have to have some good records, and I emphasize again in our style of doing things every country may be a little different but we have, we asked, and received from all of our vendors and from all of my personal purchases, including the use of my credit card. I have a receipt.
Now, when I use my credit card I have more than one I have one specifically for work, and one person just a couple of other things like ministry and and my personal expenses, but at the end of the day I’m in a habit. I will tell you my wife helps me keep, keeping this habit, because I must bring back a receipt for every purchase I make, I must have a receipt. And that’s just drilled into me I know that it’s just a part of the pattern. It’s not a big issue, I might forget one and I’ll write down a forgot receipt and I’ll just, I’ll accept my word and put a little note this is what I bought.
I didn’t have the official receipt, but by having receipts that I have documents in the file. What for, for the tax verification. So if anybody wants to audit me or you say listen. Here’s my records, I’ll show you how our system and process, and you just, I could tell the auditor It’s never happened.
I could tell the other just pick up any expense in there and I’ll pick out and show you that our system has a proof that this expense was for the taxes, an expense that was a legitimate for taxes and so knowing and getting your accounting in order is a must from several different directions. But in this case, it is very essential. But do you know what your profit is because most competent countries are design and they better be designed to collect taxes based on the profit. And if you have good top tax records of course profit for definition is a total of all of your income.
That’s when you sold something that money came in, and now you have a record as documentation for all of your expenses that you bought something that was related to that income, like related to your business. And so there’s where you are responsible for that. And I will tell you that if you just have that in order, you’re going to surprise that tax collector in most foreign countries because many businesses around the world until they get bigger. If you want to stay like a little bitty business and never grows, just don’t listen to me. Okay, I’m just telling you I’ve done it that way. But when I wanted to grow into a bigger business, I had to deal with my taxes and better accounting.
Number two, do you really know what the law is. It was interesting when I was talking in this foreign country I said, you know what the law is for taxes and there was a pause, nobody knew what the law was, and I had the date this a little bit before, and searched on my Google search and it has to be the country of Uganda I says, attacks, how tax liabilities for country of Uganda, and it pulled utold me pretty well what I needed to know right there now I don’t know it was accurate.
I just believe it was accurate but at least if you’re in a country you got to know what your laws are related to your taxes. Am I legitimately paying the right percentage is it being calculated correctly, and what kind of expenses are legitimate expenses so that I know how to prepare my taxes, but I need to know what the law is.
Now, when you’re small and getting started, you know, you can study and you get an overview and you can figure that out as time grew on and my taxes get a little more complicated. I’m fortunate that my daughter has to be a very good and professional tax accountant. And so she helps me with the knowledge of what’s happening and and changing in our country, and what how the tax laws are changing, but I’m still ultimately the surface the single person that is responsible for the knowledge of what taxes are liable and what taxes are unresponsible for, and you know you can have a bookkeeper that’s recording things for you. You don’t have to be the bookkeeper I don’t advise that because you’re too busy doing other things, but delegate and say hey, here’s where I want the ledger in the bookkeeper is a little bit different than the tax advisor and so you need to have both in my opinion.
Now here’s what I think is going to happen. When the tax collector comes knocking on your door, they currently are probably commissioned by the their boss to come out and get as much taxes as they can get. And when they see that you’re not orderly and you don’t have any idea, they can slap a number on you real easy. You don’t have any way to defend yourself. Now I would say be extremely polite, but also be very polite and firm to say, mister tax collector. I have a knowledge right here and have a copy of. Here’s the correct tax calculation How did you come with with that tax number, I’d like to see how you came up with that. And they say, now I have my records here and they’re in really good order. Would you like to see them.
Well, my guess is that tax collector is going to go, look, I think I want to go down to the next person and talk with them, and I’m going to collect the correct amount of taxes, but I’m not going to challenges because they have power in knowledge. Now I’ve got to touch on this. You cannot In my opinion, have the mindset that I won’t pay taxes. If you want roads, schools, libraries, Fire Department. Police Department. Somebody has to pay taxes. So, I’m suggesting that you pay your fair share. Just your fair share use that say, I’m going to pay my fair share, and that’s all I’m going to arrange my business affairs in the least taxable manner allowed by the laws in my country, so I can arrange my tax by numbers, not not falsify them not change them, but I can present them in a way that has all the facts, and this is what my taxes are due. And I will tell you that to the best of my knowledge I have paid taxes fairly all of my business career, I didn’t like it.
I don’t like to pay taxes any more than you do, but I honestly believe God makes up the difference. It’s kind of weird to say it’s kind of like, if you’re a tither, how can 90% pay, have your money, spin and go as long as 100%. Well, I’ve given 10% of my personal household budget to God, but in the business arena. I think if you will pay your fair taxes, God will make up that difference for you. I believe, and there’s a verse in the Bible where Jesus was called upon this exact same question two verses, and they came to him and said, should we pay these taxes, and he says go out there and fish, and they picked this fish. This is a miracle. And in the mouth of the fish was a coin that was sufficient, and he says this phone this this this coin is sufficient to pay my taxes, and I think several of the other people’s taxes in the group I think I’m not sure that, and he says, pay into Caesar what Caesars and the under god what’s God’s have there you have an endorsement but Jesus Himself said, pay under Caesars what’s Caesar’s,
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