Golden Tax Relief February 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 FEB 2018

My $12 Proposal HOW I MET MY WIFE

When I was in college, a buddy of mine asked me why I didn’t like going to bars. I told him the truth: I feared that if I went into such an establishment, I’d end up meeting my future wife there. He laughed, “Ben, nobody ever actually meets girls at bars.” Luckily for me, he was wrong. Because I wasn’t fond of drinking, I almost always ended up being the designated driver for my friends. One night — June 24, 1999, to be exact — the Cheesebrokers were playing at a bar downtown. So, I drove my buddies from campus to see the show. Not wanting to miss out on all the one-hit wonders from the ’80s, I decided to head inside and watch the show. “We learned early on how to communicate and how to put each other’s feelings first. Most importantly, we learned to laugh with one another.” That’s when I saw her. On the dance floor, there was this beautiful girl who stood out among the crowd. So, naturally, I started dancing. To this day, she claims I stepped on her foot, though I don’t remember doing such a thing. One way or another, she definitely pushed me. Looking back, it was one heck of a way to start a relationship.

to see me at work the next day. There, she gave me her number. We really hit it off. By the end of the second week, I knew this was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I wasn’t alone in this, either. She had secretly bought her wedding dress well before I proposed to her. By the spring of the following year, I was ready to make my move. Now, if you know me, you know my motto is “Go big or go home.” So, on April Fools’ Day, I planned to give my girlfriend a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Next, I drove to Walmart and bought a ring with an itty- bitty fake gem for 12 bucks. I switched the rings, placing the fake one in the fine velvet case, and the real one in a small cardboard box. If you think you know where this is headed, just you wait. On the big day, my girlfriend and I took a walk down to the river. There was a nice, secluded bank that we liked to hike to, and that’s where I dropped to my knee. I spoke from the heart, telling her just how much she meant to me. Then I revealed the fine, velvet box. To my wife’s credit, she was more than happy with the Walmart ring. She was over the moon with joy as I slipped it onto her finger. Then I told her, “I can’t do this.” I took the ring off her finger and threw it into the river. To say that she was upset would be an understatement. “ARE YOU CRAZY!” she screamed, looking like she was ready to throw me into the river next. That’s when I pulled out my

little cardboard box and took a knee a second time. Her response made me the happiest man in the world. We’ve been happily married now for over 17 years. Living in three different states all over the country and raising two kids along the way is not easy. No marriage can last when people give it 50 percent; both folks have to give it 100 percent. We learned early on how to communicate and how to put each other’s feelings first. Most importantly, we learned to laugh with one another.

Despite this rocky start, we began talking. We chatted all night, and then she came

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Discovering True ‘Grit’

If you’ve ever been told you won’t succeed because you lack talent, bring a copy of “Grit” to your next meeting. While teaching high school math, author Angela Duckworth noticed some of her highest-achieving students weren’t the ones with the highest IQs, while some of her “smartest” students weren’t doing all that well in class. “Why?” she wondered. She followed her curiosity to Penn State’s psychology program. There, she studied several demographics, including cadets at West Point, young teachers, and sales representatives. After numerous psychological studies, Duckworth discovered that “grit” was the common denominator in successful people. Duckworth defines grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.” People who display grit don’t start a project

and abandon it a month later. They devote themselves to an overarching goal that drives everything they do. She explained that someone who practices grit goes through life like a marathon, not a sprint.

transparent about in her book. She says those who aren’t born with grit can develop it in four simple steps. First, identify an interest that can blossom into a passion. Second, practice that passion, a lot . Third, develop the belief that your passion has purpose. While it’s not an overnight transformation, these guidelines can at least give us hope, which is the fourth step: Hold on to hope that you can succeed. Our biggest takeaway from “Grit”? Look at failures as milestones on the journey to success. Getting gritty means failing and learning from it. Any of us can get gritty if we’re willing to put in a little elbow grease.

Perhaps most instructive is Duckworth’s equation (she was a math teacher, after all):

Talent x effort = skill. Skill x effort = achievement.

“Effort counts twice” could be the battle cry of grit. Gritty people are willing to put in the extra effort to achieve their goals, and that’s what helps them reach their goals if they don’t have innate talent. While this provides a strong case that those born with grit will succeed, grit doesn’t factor luck and opportunity into the equation, something that Duckworth is

Understanding CNC Status An Avenue for Relief

relief so you can put your finances in order and get square with the IRS. WHAT CNC DOES When the IRS approves you or your business for CNC status, they are acknowledging that your tax debt cannot be collected at the present time. This does several important things. The IRS will release any levies it had placed on your wages and pause any collection actions it was taking against you. In short, you get a reprieve from the federal government’s most aggressive tactics, allowing you to get your ducks in a row. WHAT CNC DOES NOT DO Keep in mind, CNC status isn’t a magic wand. It neither forgives nor reduces your tax debt; it only kicks the can a little farther down the road. While the IRS collection actions may be paused, your tax debt will still accrue penalties and interest. Thus, other avenues — such as seeking an offer in compromise — may be a better option for those who can afford to make regular

payments. But if your financial situation is dire, the relief CNC status can offer is often your best option. HOW TO APPLY Attaining CNC status requires you to provide detailed information about your finances. You will need to provide the IRS with all the information you can about your monthly income and expenses, so be sure to hang on to pay stubs and receipts. This information will go into IRS form 433, the “Collection Information Statement.” There are three versions of form 433: one for businesses, one for individuals, and a third for self-employed persons. Are you unsure whether CNC status is right for you? An experienced tax advisor can review your situation and give you a detailed picture of the options you have available. Don’t send yourself or your business into financial ruin trying to get square with the IRS. Reach out to the professionals at Golden Tax Relief today!

Currently Not Collectible (CNC) is a status used to give struggling taxpayers options. When paying your tax debt would put you in financial hardship, seeking CNC status can be a viable strategy. It offers temporary

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CELEBRITY TAX EVASION: WILLIE NELSON Bogus Tax Haven Cost Willie Everything

HAVE A LAUGH When the math was all said and done, the IRS found Nelson owed more than $6 million in back taxes and slapped him with an additional $10 million in interest and underpayment penalties. Not even a multimillion-dollar performing artist has that kind of cash just lying around, There’s no question: Willie Nelson is one of a kind. His unique blend of country, folk, and easy-listening music has pulled in listeners from all walks of life and netted Nelson quite a lot of money. Unfortunately, while he was setting records on the billboard charts, he was also racking up one of the largest individual tax debts in the country. Like so many celebrities, Nelson is a victim of bad advice and wishful thinking. His accounting firm sold the country-western star on some bogus tax shelters, and it didn’t take the feds long to catch on. In 1984, the IRS began investigating the substantial deductions Nelson had been claiming on his returns and disallowed them.

so Nelson made his first smart move. He hired tax professionals to negotiate his case with the IRS. Nelson got the $10 million fee waived, but lacked the liquid assets to pay off the original debt. In 1990, the repo men came knocking. It’s one thing to lose your house; Nelson lost six. In fact, the one piece of property he managed to hold on to was his guitar, “Trigger,” which he had smuggled out of the house in anticipation of the IRS raid. After losing everything, Nelson cut one of the most unique deals in IRS history. He agreed to release an album, dubbed “The IRS Tapes,” and use the revenue to pay off his debt. With Trigger by his side, he recorded his 43rd studio album, bluntly titled “Who Will Buy My Memories.” Fans took it upon themselves to bail their idol out, buying the album en masse.

Most of us don’t have legions of fans to call on when the IRS comes knocking. Usually, when our property gets seized, that’s it. We have no choice but to keep truckin’ with what we have left. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A good tax advisor can keep the IRS off your back, keep your debt manageable, and ensure you and your family’s future — no song and dance required.

BACON-WRAPPED TATER TOT BOMBS

Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!

Ingredients

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2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted

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1/4 cup brown sugar

1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares 4 slices bacon, quartered

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot,

3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.

(Recipe inspired by ThisGrandmaIsFun.com)

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page 1 The Time I Proposed With a Walmart Ring page 2 Do You Have the Success Gene? Know When CNC Status Is Right for You page 3 Why Willie Nelson Needed Fans to Bail Him Out Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party? page 4 Sample These Chocolate Facts Have You Heard of Ruby Chocolate? INSIDE

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! After 80 years, a new variety of chocolate has finally graced the world: ruby chocolate. This naturally pink chocolate, created by Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut, is not milky like milk chocolate, sweet like white chocolate, or bitter like dark chocolate. Instead, Callebaut describes the flavor of his confection as a “tension between berry fruitiness and luscious smoothness.” Unfortunately, while ruby chocolate sounds like a wonderful treat, it is not yet available to consumers. So, as you wait for ruby chocolate to be stocked in your local grocery store or candy boutique, satisfy your chocolate cravings with some sweet facts about your favorite treat. IMPOSTERS! The names of certain chocolates can be very misleading. German chocolate cake, for example, is not named after the country of Germany. It’s actually an American dessert that was first baked in

1852, named for its creator, Sam German, and originally called “German’s chocolate cake.” White chocolate also suffers from a mistaken identity. Made primarily from cocoa butter, white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, which means it’s not technically chocolate. WHAT’S IN A NAME? The ancient Mayans are credited as the first people to grow and consume chocolate. However, the word “chocolate” comes from the later Aztec civilization. The Aztecs loved a bitter, spicy beverage made from cacao beans called “xocoatl.” And since we’re on the topic of words,

the scientific name for the tree that grows cacao beans, Theobroma cacao is a Greek word, which translates to “food of the gods.” This just proves cocoa connoisseurs were right all along — chocolate really is divine. A SWEET DEAL! Speaking of the Aztecs, their civilization loved chocolate so much that cacao seeds were used as a form of currency in Mesoamerica. During the American Revolution, chocolate was still accepted as payment, sometimes used in soldiers’ rations in lieu of wages. Even today, chocolate remains a valuable commodity. The chocolate industry is worth around $110 billion a year. Humans have enjoyed the sweet pleasures of chocolate for thousands of years. And with so many chapters of candy history left to explore, namely ruby chocolate’s eventual entrance, it’s clear the treat won’t go out of style any time soon.

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