JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1
T O P H ’ S TAX RESOLUT ION T I M E S
A New Year Brings Exciting New Changes!
With the start of a new year, I couldn’t think of a better time to make a few changes. The beginning of the year is a great time for a fresh start, so we decided to give our business a simple makeover. Starting this month, our company is becoming Cincinnati Tax Resolution! We thought it was a good time to change the name of our business because it’s not all about me! This is especially true as we grow and look to add future team members. We wanted a name that really reflected what we do. I may be a CPA for the Self-Employed, but much of what I do involves helping our clients resolve their tax issues and go up against the IRS. It goes beyond accounting.
We’ve been in the tax resolution business for a while now, but we really want to take the message home that tax resolution is our specialty. It’s what we know and why we decided it was time for a name change. I want to make sure everyone knows what we do! There are other companies out there that offer tax resolution services, but I’ve noticed a lot of these companies are national. They’re based in California or Florida and they don’t have local offices where you can go in and have a conversation with a tax specialist about your specific issue. In the conversations we’ve had with our clients, they want to talk with someone face-to-face and have a real conversation. That’s what we’ve always striven for. It’s about making real connections with people and building strong relationships.
Of course, if you’ve been following the newsletter, you know the name change comes at the perfect time because we
recently moved into a new building and set up a new office space. I will admit, in making the move and changing our name, it’s been stressful, but it’s also been exciting. As we go into the new year, I’m happy to be utilizing our new office. Getting the new office up to snuff was a challenge all by itself. We found a location that worked well for us and was easy for our clients to find, but it needed work. We had to gut the existing office and renovate it for our needs. That was the stressful part. Through it all, it felt like starting a brand-new business, though in reality, much hasn’t changed at all. We’re still very much the same business, but it’s remarkable what a new name, new website, and new look can do. It’s a fresh coat of paint for the new decade! Looking ahead to the new year, I’m excited to be in a place where we can better serve more people who have been unfairly treated by the IRS. Not only do we have more space, but we also have more resources for clients, such as our new website, which is a great starting point if you have questions about taxes or resolving tax issues.
Many businesses, not just in the accounting industry, are getting away from those face-to-face interactions, thanks in part to technology. It’s easy to call, text, or video chat from anywhere in the world, but you don’t get that personal connection. In what we do, those personal connections mean a lot. When we sit down with a client and have that conversation— and really listen to their story and situation— we can better understand what they are going through. Through that conversation, we can then develop a strategy to help themwith their specific tax issue. I’m looking forward to everything the new year brings. I’m excited to introduce Cincinnati Tax Resolution to you and to all of Cincinnati. As Tax Day fast approaches, we’ll have a lot of work to do in the coming months, but with more resources, we’ll be able to help our clients better than ever!
WHEN THE IRS COMES KNOCKIN’ ... LET US ANSWER THE DOOR!
The client’s name and personal details in this story have been changed to protect the identity of those involved. However, the tax results noted are 100% factual. Helen Thorn of Dayton, Ohio, is a retired state employee who had been enjoying her retirement years with her adult children and grandkids. She had been comfortably living off of her monthly state pension until she got a letter from the IRS saying she owed $85,725. The IRS threatened to levy Helen’s bank account and garnish her pension income if she didn’t pay up. Helen knew she needed someone to represent her and get to the bottom of this problem before the IRS took control of her hard-earned retirement income. She spoke with her local accountant, who had been preparing her tax returns for years, and he recommended she give me a call. During Helen’s and my initial tax strategy session, it became clear that something was not adding up. Based on the description of her tax situation, it did not seem reasonable that she could possibly owe the IRS $85,725. So, we took on Helen’s case to figure out the situation so she could get it resolved and get the IRS out of her life. We proceeded to get Helen’s power of attorney and called the IRS immediately. We were able to stop all pending levies and garnishments from Helen’s account while we investigated what had happened. After completing our initial investigation, we explained to Helen that we thought we could get her tax debt reduced to $0 and brought our recommended tax resolution strategies forward. How an Ohio Woman Reduced Her IRS Tax Debt From $85,725 to ZERO!
Yasyf Mohamedali Brings Patients and Doctors Together Unlike many members of his family, Yasyf Mohamedali didn’t go to medical school. Even as a teenager, he was far more interested in technology and entrepreneurship. In fact, he launched his first business while in high school, reselling domain names for websites. While attending MIT, Mohamedali found a way to leave his mark on the medical field too. It all started with Joe Kahn, a Harvard student from South Africa who suffered from an undiagnosed medical condition. This unnamed illness caused the young student to have bouts of high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Worse still, Kahn was unable to get clear answers from doctors and was often sent from one specialist to the next without so much as a follow-up appointment. Kahn’s struggles navigating the health care system, despite having access to some of the best medical facilities in the United States, made Mohamedali realize just how unique his own access to care had been. Growing up as the son of two physicians in rural Canada, Mohamedali never struggled to get medical advice at a moment’s notice. “Whenever I got sick, I just called a doctor in my family,” he explained in a 2018 interview with the MIT Alumni Association. “I want people like Joe to have that kind of relationship with their care.” So, the two university students founded Karuna Health. This online platform helps doctors keep in contact with their patients, track their progress, and coordinate treatment with other care providers. Leveraging his experience in the tech field, Mohamedali designed Karuna to integrate digital medical records with patient-preferred means of communication, from SMS to WhatsApp — all without breaching the strict HIPAA privacy regulations. This way, users can make appointments, send automatic reminders for medication refills, and hear from patients at a moment’s notice. Karuna, which means “compassion” in Sanskrit, is poised to bring doctors and patients closer together and keep people from slipping through the cracks in the health care industry. According to Inc.
Helen and our team proceeded to implement these tax resolution
strategies and waited to hear from the IRS. Six months later, the IRS sent Helen a letter saying her tax debt had been reduced to $0! Needless to say, Helen was ecstatic. Just to be clear, Helen did not pay the IRS one penny of the $85,725 they previously said she owed!
com, the startup has already raised $1.3 million from investors. It looks like Mohamedali is well on his way to making health care more accessible for all.
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Rejuvenated (and Renovated) for the New Year
There’s nothing like starting fresh in the new year! If you’ve already read this month’s cover article, you know about one of the biggest changes — our company is now Cincinnati Tax Resolution. It’s been exciting getting everything into place during the last few months. But as Toph said, it’s also stressful. While Toph has been handling a lot of the business side of things, I’ve been working on the office itself as well as some of the branding material; I’ve been working with Toph and our design team to get our new logo designed.
Thankfully, we were able to get past some major hurdles and everything is pretty much where it needs to be now, and it
looks great if I do say so myself! We’ve already gotten some feedback from clients who have visited the new office in the last month and they like what they see. They told Toph how comfortable they felt in the new space, which is what we were going for. I’d say mission accomplished! The other big change is that we are hoping to grow our team. It’s always a great thing when you see your business growing as years of hard work start to come to fruition. It’s great to have the opportunity for the team to expand and it’s great we’ll be able to protect more people from the IRS.
Sprucing up our new office has been my baby for the past few months. When we got the new space in July, one thing was clear: We needed to renovate. It was a great location, but it wasn’t going to work for a practical office space. So, we designed it for our needs. I picked out the flooring, paint, and even the furniture. It’s been a lot of work, and if you’ve ever done any remodeling or renovating, you know there are a lot of surprises along the way. That was very much the case here. Our initial plan was to have the new space ready to go in September, but like just about every other renovation project, it didn’t go to plan.
A lot of things have been happening at once, and I’m glad everything is finally in place just in time for tax season! Speaking of which, right now is a good time to review your tax strategies. If you haven’t already, it’s the perfect time to meet with an accountant and tax specialist to make sure everything is good to go (or not). It’s better to meet with someone now because as we get closer to Tax Day on April 15, they get busier. I should know!
– Ashley Sheldon
TAKE A BREAK
A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.
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1 cup dried black-eyed peas
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1 smoked ham hock 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup long-grain white rice
5–6 cups water
1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
Wash and sort peas.
Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.
Solution on Page 4
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine
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Cincinnati Tax Resolution Powered by Toph Sheldon 9200 Montgomery Rd., Ste. 7B Cincinnati, OH 45242
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Exciting New Changes for the New Year
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Yasyf Mohamedali
From an $85,000 Tax Debt to ZERO!
Starting Fresh in the New Year
Chris Tucker Isn’t in a Rush to Pay Taxes
Toph’s Tax Nightmares
Money Doesn’t Talk for Chris Tucker Chris Tucker is known for his roles in “Friday,”“The Fifth Element,” and the “Rush Hour”movie franchise. He’s an actor and comedian who hit it big in the 1990s and 2000s, and his popularity meant big paychecks for his movie roles. But his claim to fame came with a downside. Tucker was bringing in serious money; his movies were doing well and he was being rewarded. In 2001, it was reported that Tucker was paid $20 million for his role in “Rush Hour 2.”The problem was that he wasn’t paying his taxes to the federal government. This was a fact that caught up with Tucker in 2009 when the IRS placed a lien on him. It turned out he owed $3.5 million. Then, a year later a second lien was issued against Tucker, this time for $11.5 million. Documents revealed he owed federal taxes in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Shortly after Tucker was hit by the second tax lien in 2010, he joked, “That’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes.” Snipes, of course, was at the center of one of the most famous tax evasion stories to come out of Hollywood. Snipes spent three years in prison as a result of tax fraud.
But Tucker wasn’t quick to respond to the IRS. It wasn’t until 2014 that Tucker finally hammered out a deal with the IRS. He ultimately settled for $2.5 million. While many of the details related to Tucker’s tax situation are not public, a representative for the actor said the reason for the tax liens came down to “poor accounting and business management.”
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