Toph Sheldon, CPA for the Self-Employed April 2019

APRIL/MAY 2019 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2

T O P H ’ S TAX RESOLUT ION T I M E S

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THE SPREADING PROBLEM OF TAX RESOLUTION

Taking a Second Look at These Corporate Cons

“These false prophets lead their clients astray, even though they sit there knowing full well that their customers are in an extremely vulnerable position.”

During my career representing self-employed clients, I’ve come across countless people who have been misled in every way imaginable. I’ve seen it all, from scams and con artists to relatives dead-set on sabotaging their family’s finances. On this road of trying to right the tax wrongs, I’ve seen one thing grow more and more prevalent: tax resolution services. While not all of them are terrible, it seems that the bad apples truly have no regard for their victims. These false prophets lead their clients astray, even though they sit there knowing full well that their customers are in an extremely

vulnerable position. That’s why you need to hire someone who specializes in your situation and has your best interest in mind when dealing with your potential financial difficulties. Among all the other bones I have to pick with these services, I think the main problem is that these resolution services don’t specialize in the self- employed. They consist of practitioners who are simply using their customer’s financial woes to make a quick buck by charging exorbitant fees. By the time their client gets around to having their problems resolved, they are worse off than when they started because they’ve got a whole new stack of bills. The work is done lazily, without a thought to the unique set of circumstances surrounding each client’s financial standing. Unfortunately, it’s only getting worse. Anybody with access to TV or radio knows just how much airtime these companies eat up. They shell out for ad-spots that their target demographics will be most likely to be exposed to, and they chip away at their vulnerabilities with the simple tactic of always being on the airwaves. It’s criminal — or at least it should be. With flashy, misleading, and repetitive advertisements, their potential clients eventually begin convincing themselves that this will finally be their saving grace, still not understanding the trouble they’re bound to get themselves in if they fall for these corporate traps.

The truth of the matter is that most of the time, these companies simply cannot make your problems go away. They are not specialized in tax resolution

for the self-employed, and it will only become apparent to you when it’s too late. Oftentimes the only areas where they truly have any worthwhile experience are the fields of litigation, which will only get you so far if you want to sue the IRS or litigate your tax matter in tax court! They aren’t trained in the complexities of being self-employed and don’t have the expertise to look at a case from an analytical perspective. That’s why you need to go with a trusted and branded CPA for the Self-Employed®. We are highly specialized in the field of tax resolution and protecting our self-employed clients. With years of experience helping entrepreneurs with their tax problems, you can trust that we’ll have the know-how to get you back on your feet and away from the prying arms of these corporate crooks.

-Toph Sheldon

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TOPH SAVES THE DAY

A Look at Some of My Recent Success Stories

Over my years of fighting the IRS for fair treatment of my self-employed clients, I’ve been able to help people out of some serious binds. Whether they were self-employed farmers, plumbers, doctors, or lawyers, my goal was always the same: Get people back on the financial track to success. Let’s take a look at some of the wide range of clients I’ve been able to work with to get their money back in the right hands. Toph Helps a Pastor: I was approached by a soft-spoken, self-employed pastor fromWashington who had been filing his own returns for years. He was extremely concerned that he’d either been overpaying or underpaying on his taxes each year, but he simply had no idea where he stood. After reviewing his documents, I realized that he’d made a mistake when reporting his income and expenses. It turns out that he’d been vastly overpaying his taxes for three years. That pastor ended up walking away with about $12,000 in refunds. Not a bad turn around. Toph Helps a Self-Employed Salesman: I came in contact with a client from New York who said he owed the IRS a very large sum of money in back taxes — to the tune of about $25,000. Understandably, he was distraught and confused over the next steps he should be taking, and because his sales career didn’t afford him any disposable income, he brought the issue to me. After dealing with the IRS, I realized they had been the ones who made the mistake. We were able to clear about $20,000 off his balance and send him away with peace of mind, and peace of wallet. Toph Helps an Entrepreneur:

Shhhhhhh! It’s National Library Workers Day! Whether you have a card or not, libraries are an important part of our community. They serve as meeting places, research stations, employment centers, and local historical archives. They help kids and adults alike explore vast literary worlds and immense databases of knowledge — all for free! Behind every library is a dedicated staff of librarians, catalogers, assistants, and administrators who keep the system running smoothly. While it may not be the most well-known holiday, April 9 is National Library Workers Day (NLWD). As part of National Library Week, NLWD recognizes and celebrates the vital work performed by library staff. Librarians and their team do far more than simply place books on the shelf and shush noisy teenagers, after all. Library science is a multidisciplinary field that takes years of study to master. Today’s librarians have the skills of managers, IT specialists, documentarians, archivists, and educators — equipping them to help anyone from elementary students to doctoral researchers. These professionals can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to delve into a particular topic, even if they don’t know where to begin. Just tell your local library worker what subject you’re interested in, and they can help you track down books, databases, magazine articles, and more. How should you celebrate National Library Workers Day? Some groups, such as the students at the University of Arizona, go above and beyond by delivering balloons and signs to library branches across Tucson. More commonly, however, library branches ask their community members to vote for a “star” staffer. If a library worker has made a difference in your life, you can submit their name to the American Library Association by visiting Ala-Apa.org and clicking “Submit A Star!” Lastly, you can show your appreciation by visiting your local library and thanking these professionals. These important community centers only work because they do!

A self-employed client reached out to me last year saying he had not filed tax returns since 2014 — five years. His fears were justifiable.

He was concerned that he was going to owe the IRS

upwards of $10,000 or, even worse, possibly face serious jail time for tax evasion. Cooler heads prevailed, and after the dust had settled,

we were able to go back and file the returns using several self-employment tax strategies. By the time we were done, that same businessman was able to walk away with about $1,500 in tax refunds. Not bad for a guy who thought his next job

might have to be in San Quintin.

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A Big Appreciation for a Small-Town Feeling A LIFE OF LOVE IN CINCINNATI A lot of changes have happened to me since I moved

this is the type of city I want to find myself in. A city where you shouldn’t be afraid to start your own business or go back to school, a city to where you can build a home and see your goals through to fruition.

to Cincinnati 13 years ago. I’ve started a family with the man I love, and we’ve been able to build a life for ourselves while pursuing our passions. We’ve experienced triumphs, tribulations, and everything in between, but even with these changes in our lives — and the lives of our ever-growing little ones — some things remain constant. The community around us has remained as committed and supportive as ever, the city continues to be on the rise, and, no matter how hard they may seem to try, our sports teams just can’t keep it together long enough to bring home a championship. Peaks and valleys, I suppose.

I like to think that I’ve firmly found my groove in this town we call home. I love what I am and I love how this city can accommodate that life, the life of a curious mind and an active mother to my children. Back when Toph was just getting started with his business, we found such solace in the people around us here. The way I see it, Cincinnati is a tightknit community; it’s a

big city with a small-town feeling. People wave at their neighbors, bear the loss of a game together, or grab drinks at a local brewery. This is where our roots are,

and we’re proud to show that every time a customer chooses us over the national tax resolution firms. It’s all about the spirit here, and we’ve got plenty to show for it.

Putting the athletic heartbreaks aside for a minute, all of these factors add up to make something very clear for our little family: Cincinnati is our home. Living here over the past

decade has shown me what a great place it is to grow as a person, no matter your stage of life. Times change, but the city seems to change with them. I am not the same woman I was when I first moved here after nursing school, but looking back, I can see the inklings of potential I saw in this city. Even now, all these years later,

–Ashley Sheldon

OPENING DAY HAMBURGERS

TAKE A BREAK

Inspired by Saveur Magazine

Ingredients

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1 pound ground chuck, 80 percent lean 4 soft, white hamburger buns, split

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4 small leaves iceberg lettuce 4 1/4-inch-thick yellow onion slices

4 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices

1 teaspoon vegetable oil Salt and pepper, to taste Condiments of your choice

12–16 pickle rounds

• Directions

1.

Lightly grease a small nonstick skillet with oil. Heat over medium-high. While heating, gently shape meat into four patties 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Be careful to handle the meat as little as possible to prevent tough burgers. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Sear patties on each side, about 1 minute per side. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until

desired doneness, about 1 more minute per side for medium-rare, 2 more per side for medium-well. Let meat rest for a minimum of 3 minutes. To assemble, place patty on bottom bun and top with tomato, pickles, lettuce, and onion (in that order). Spread condiments on top half of bun and place on top of onion. Serve.

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Solution on page 4

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TOPH SHELDON CPA FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED ® 9200 MONTGOMERY RD., STE. #5A CINCINNATI, OH 45242 513-342-4000 WWW.TOPHCPA.COM

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INSIDE 1

Why You Should Trust a CPA for the Self-Employed Instead of a Tax Resolution Service Read Up on National Library Workers Day A Few Examples of How I Managed to Help Some of My Many Clients What Cincinnati Has Shown Me Opening Day Hamburgers

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Famous Athletes Who’ve Gotten in Trouble With Their Taxes

Telltale Tax Nightmares

THE SAGA CONTINUES

As we touched on last month, nobody is immune to the taxman. It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting it out of the park at the box office

controversies. After allegations of insider-gambling got him banned from the game in 1989, he went on to run straight into the arms of the law. Rose faced a five-month prison sentence in 1990 after pleading guilty to providing false tax returns from 1984 to 1988. As if that didn’t teach him a lesson, he then found himself back in the courtroom in 1998 after his tax filings didn’t account for over $150,000 he was said to owe. Talk about striking out. Manny Pacquiao Famed boxer and seemingly all-around nice guy, Manny Pacquiao is a beacon of hope for millions of people around the world. As the first boxer to win a major championship in five different weight classes, the tales of Pacquiao’s triumphs in the ring are only rivaled by the stories of his legendary philanthropy in his home country of the Philippines. However, no matter how nice his public persona is, he has found himself on the wrong side of a tax-related court case several times. After cases arose that accused him of owing more than $50 million in payments to the Philippine government were dropped, he was met with a bill to the tune of $18 million by the U.S. government, who claimed that he owed the amount after shorting them from 2006 to 2010. After paying off some of his balance in the United States, it is said that he is being threatened with wage garnishment in his home country. Here’s hoping he goes down swinging.

or on the field, if you don’t stay up-to-date on paying

your taxes, you’re likely to land yourself in some serious trouble. Even if you have ten championship wins or millions in album sales, if you’re not careful, you could end up like these famous athletes who got caught trying to

sneak one past ol’ Uncle Sam.

Pete Rose Unfortunately, the Cincinnati faithful is all-too-aware of the fall of this hometown hero. After retiring as a famous name in major league baseball — he brought two World Series titles to the city and left the sport as the all-time leader in hits — Pete Rose was certainly no stranger to success on the field. The famed Cincinnati Reds standstill was also no slouch when it came to off-the-field

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