Archive for March 2013

Do you make a difference?

My dad and I used to work late together, before he passed away. We used to say that during tax season, they would find us slumped over at our desks, dead. When that happened, people might say, “That stinks. He was a good ole boy. I wonder who’s going to do my taxes now.”

Wow! Isn’t that sobering?

I want to matter. And so do you. We all want to make a difference!

The thought of having someone react like that when I die is why I now live my life and run my practice the way I do. I don’t want that to happen when I die.

Andy Stanley, the senior pastor at North Point Community Church, put it well.

“Our fear of not mattering much has the potential to draw us away from what matters most.”

Aren’t most of us guilty of that?

As a business and personal coach, I’ve discovered that when I’m participating in ongoing education, it adds skills that I can use to better minister to people.

Learning those skills, helping others, and even just talking through things with others all helps me get focus in my life that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It gives me the ability to recognize what matters most.

Who’s going to do your taxes doesn’t ultimately matter. If I die, you being invested in my life is what matters.

I’ve jokingly said that when I die, I want people to be so distraught that they’re ripping their clothes, wearing sack-cloth and ash like Bible times. I want to matter!

If we live our lives in service, constantly being a servant, we will truly matter to others.

Politicians fudging financial numbers

1-hiding-moneyAs part of the recent Fiscal Cliff bill passing, one of the things that was adjusted something known as the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption. Let’s take a look at what that exemption means, and how politicians could effectively lie about the financial effect it was having.

Had they not passed the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption, or AMT exemption, your average Joe six-pack, making $100,000 with two kids and a wife, would have had to pay about $4,000 more each year.

The other thing they finally did was allow the bill to adjust for inflation. Before the Fiscal Cliff bill passed, they were patching the bill every year to extend it another year.

You may be wondering why exemption didn’t take inflation into account in the first place. The answer? So that politicians could fudge their numbers, and make it look like the exemption wasn’t having as big of an effect as reality.

Net effect on taxation is based on the term of a bill. If the bill is forever, then they calculate the effect by looking at the next ten years. But if the bill is just for a year or two, they only look at a year or two.

If they make a bill effective for just a couple of years, they can get it passed based on the calculated net effect on taxation. Then after it’s passed, they keep patching it and extending it every year, and the effect is really much higher than initially calculated.

So the really important part about the AMT exemption is that they’ve made it longer-term to adjust for inflation, and we can now see the real financial impact.