Golden Tax Relief - September 2018

32850 US-43 STE. B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784 844-229-8936 GOLDENTAXRELIEF.COM G o l d e n G a z e t t e SEPTEMBER 2018


Well, September is here, and the school buses are back on the road. My own kids will be going into 8th and 10th grades this year. It’s amazing how time flies. I won’t say that I remember my own high school years like they were yesterday, but the back-to-school spirit certainly has me reflecting on my formative years, especially the days I spent in Ms. Kirkham’s math class.

was essential that every last one of us left her class with a solid grasp of these foundational concepts so we could build on them for the rest of our lives. Looking back, I’ve come to realize Ms. Kirkhammust have felt incredible pressure to do her job well. Math builds upon itself; you can’t understand division without multiplication, you can’t understand fractions without understanding division, and you can’t solve an algebra problem without knowing how all of these processes are interconnected. One weak link in your grasp of mathematics weakens your understanding of everything you learn afterward. Ms. Kirkham had the academic future of her students in her hands. This is why she put so much time and energy into her work. Her door was always open if we had questions about an assignment, she wrote notes to let us skip PE class if we needed more time to work, and she even stayed after hours frequently to offer extra tutoring and instruction to those who needed it. Ms. Kirkham expected us to do our

absolute best because she was right there beside us helping us learn however she could. That sort of above-and-beyond commitment isn’t something you get from every teacher. Ms. Kirkham wasn’t just trying to get each of her students a passing grade, she was trying to give us tools to succeed in life — tools that transcend mathematics. I may not use quadratic equations every single day, but I am a big believer in going the extra mile. Tax law, unlike math, is not black and white. Much of what I do is about dealing in shades of gray, charting the best possible path forward for my clients through the web of IRS policies and regulations. Doing this effectively has meant putting in the extra man-hours, making myself as available as possible to my clients, and yes, pushing them to be their best selves. I learned firsthand what a difference that kind of dedication can make, and it wasn’t from a textbook.

Now, Ms. Kirkham was far from our favorite teacher. Much like the subject she taught,

“Ms. Kirkham wasn’t just trying to get each of her students a passing grade, she was trying to give us tools to succeed in life — tools that transcend mathematics.”

she had a reputation for being difficult and uncompromising. Ms. Kirkham was not content to let her students skate by in life. She demanded excellence from us and pushed us to succeed. At the time, that high bar for excellence was daunting, even for me. Math was by far my favorite subject in school because I excelled at it. There’s no ambiguity in equations, no shades of gray in functions — anyone who works hard enough to understand the process, the rules, and the foundations of mathematics can come to the right answer. Ms. Kirkham understood this and knew it

Here’s to all of life’s teachers,



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Involved But Not Overbearing

Tax Lien 101

32850 US-43 STE. B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784


CELEBRITY TAX EVASION FIFA Implicated in German Tax Scandal

Earlier this year, we took a look at how Cristiano Ronaldo had been accused of squirreling away €14.7 million in unpaid taxes. But it’s important to note that in the highly lucrative world of international soccer, tax crimes aren’t limited to the players on the field. While this year’s World Cup may be over, a scandal tied to the 2006 World Cup is just coming to light. Earlier this year, three German organizers of the 2006 tournament were charged with tax evasion. Theo Zwanziger, Wolfgang Niersbach, and Horst R. Schmidt stand accused of falsifying the tax returns of the German Soccer Federation (DFB). All three men deny the charges, although this would not the first time the DFB has faced tax trouble as an organization. The federation had paid over €19 million in back taxes to the German government before this most recent scandal came to light. Worse still, the International Federation of Association Soccer (FIFA) may have had a hand in the crime. The allegations concern

a suspiciously complex web of payments by DFB, the center of which was a €6.7 million payment to FIFA. This large transfer of funds was labeled as money for the World Cup opening gala and was therefore tax exempt. However, German journalists who followed the money discovered that the payment passed through FIFA and into a Swiss bank account. The account holder? None other than the CEO of Adidas himself, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who passed away in 2009. Swiss authorities and FIFA’s ethics committee have gotten involved, making it a full-blown international investigation with possible links to a larger criminal inquiry about possible bribes paid to FIFA by countries lobbying to host the World Cup. The three DFB organizers, for their part, have plead “not guilty” to all charges. However, the fact that all three men were made FIFA executive members between the years of 2007–2016 is suspicious.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops. Despite occurring over a decade ago, the German government seems eager to see justice done. It just goes to show that even multimillion-dollar sports organizations can’t get away with evading the tax man forever.



Want to take your grilled cheese game to the next level? This recipe calls for cheese both inside and outside the sandwich, adding a crispy crunch to the grilled cheese experi- ence. It’s a quick, delicious weekday dinner option the whole family will love.


8 slices of bread (Pullman works best)

• • • •

8 ounces ham, thinly sliced 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano- Reggiano)

1/4 cup apricot preserves


1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve.

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine






page 1 A Look Back to Math Class

page 2 The 3 Keys to Parent-Teacher Etiquette Tax Lien 101 page 3 Tax Evasion and the World Cup Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese

page 4 International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day Yo Ho Ho, Landlubbers!

Ahoy, matey! Wednesday, Sept. 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Brush up on your pirate vocabulary, grab your eye patch, get your puffy shirt dry cleaned, and bring a little seafaring fun to your office or classroom. The History of These Swashbuckling Shenanigans The holiday began as an inside joke between pals John Baur and Mark Summers in 1995. For reasons not even understood by themselves, they began speaking like pirates while playing racquetball, saying things to each other like, “That be a fine cannonade” (“Nice shot, dude”) and “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm” (“But watch this”). They decided Talk Like a Pirate Day needed to become official, so they chose Sept. 19, which was Summers’ wife’s birthday (and the only date he could remember besides Christmas and the Super Bowl). In 2002, they pitched the idea to humor

columnist Dave Barry, who promoted it in his syndicated column, and the concept quickly spread internationally. Did Pirates Really Talk Like That? The “pirate-speak” popularized in movies and Disney attractions probably sounds nothing like real pirates did in centuries past. Today’s swashbuckling phrases delivered in a strong Southwest England accent can be traced back to Robert Newton’s 1950 portrayal of Long John Silver in the movie “Treasure Island.” Historically, English-speaking pirates probably sounded more like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Unfortunately, the pirates of the Golden Age didn’t leave behind any YouTube videos to confirm this. Learn the Lingo, Landlubber Participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day is easy — you just need to know a few key phrases. v“Ahoy, matey” means “Hello, friend!” “Blimey, that son of a biscuit-eater

hornswaggled me out of me doubloons” means “Darn it, that jerk cheated me out of my money!” “Shiver me timbers, that old salt is three sheets to the wind” means “Wow, that old sailor has had too much beer.” And if a pirate (or your boss) says, “Swab the deck, ye bilge rat, or it’s Davy Jones’ locker for ye!” start mopping the floor immediately.


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