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 AUGUST 2018
L aying T rack LESSONS FROM THE RAILROAD
Every summer while I was an undergrad, I’d come home and work on the railroad. After two semesters learning to be an accountant, it was almost a nice change of pace to be swinging a 9-pound hammer in the Alabama heat. During my first summer back, I was just happy to have a job to help pay my way through school. What I didn’t expect was to be thrust into a leadership position. It happened during my third month on the job. Our crew had been replacing the crossties on a stretch of track. One day, I went with our supervisor and another worker to take these 16-foot wooden beams back to the shop. Well, the supervisor didn’t realize we’d parked on a slight incline, and when he loosened the cords that lashed them to the flatbed, 400 pounds of hardwood came crashing down on him. I must have been running on pure adrenaline at that point. I couldn’t have weighed more than a buck 25 at the time, but somehow the other crew member and I were able to lift the board pile off of the poor man. Miraculously, he came away from the accident with nothing more serious than a broken ankle. As tough as that supervisor was, you can’t do that sort of work with your foot in a cast. Someone had to take his place.
college kid. Most of the guys in my crew were over 30, and I had to be the one to convince them to come off lunch and get back to work. So what did I do? The only thing I knew. I worked. I knew the only way these guys were going to respect me was if I showed them I could work just as hard as they were and that I was with them and not above them. Rather than pester them
get the job done under that kind of pressure, your work can’t be about you; it has to be about getting the job done. No amount of prior accomplishment would make that hammer any lighter, and no one’s going to be there to give you a pat on the back when the work is over. Most importantly, I learned success not only takes dedication and commitment, but it also takes relying on the team around you.
“No amount of prior accomplishment would make that hammer any lighter, and no one’s going to be there to give you a pat on the back when the work is over.”
to get off break, I’d grab a hammer, head back into the hot sun, and show them I was working — that my break time was over and theirs best be too. Thankfully, I had a good group of guys who were willing to play ball ... mostly. I had one old-timer who thought he’d take advantage of my inexperience. He got right up in my face one day when he didn’t particularly feel like getting back to work. When I couldn’t reason with him, I had to let him go. I never pictured myself firing people at that age, but he wasn’t willing to be a part of the team, and it wasn’t fair to the rest of the guys. Needless to say, I learned a lot swinging a hammer that summer and all the summers that followed. To really
That last point has translated directly over to my role today. Sure, helping people get square with the IRS may not be the same as swinging a hammer, but there are parallels. I take the same attitude I had as a supervisor on that railroad: Just because I’m your advisor doesn’t mean I’m above you. When you come to me for help, you bet I’m going to be right there with you through the whole process because we’re on the same team. As long as you’re willing to put in the work for your future, I’ll be laying track alongside you.
And the person the company picked was me — a scrawny, 18-year-old
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Become a ‘Dog Whisperer’
Intent to Levy Explained
32850 US-43 STE. B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784
CELEBRITY TAX EVASION
and prison. But when the IRS needs $2 million from you, they aren’t going to make the situation any more pleasant. Downey reflected on this in an interview, stating, “I highly recommend to anyone who thinks that any of their life problems are annoying — get some tax trouble, and that will take your mind off everything else.” Of course, we all know where this story ends. In one of the greatest career turnarounds in cinema, Downey cleaned up his act. He kicked his drug addiction, committed to his acting career with gusto, and settled his beef with the IRS. Today, Downey is one of the highest-paid actors in the world and an icon in his own right. Love him or hate him, you have to admire how Downey never let his past define him. He was about as close to rock bottom as a celebrity — or anyone, for that matter — can get. Yet he turned Robert Downey Jr.
SUDOKU You may think that being behind on your taxes would seem like relatively small potatoes to Downey compared to the grim realities of drug abuse It’s hard to remember that Robert Downey Jr., now inseparably tied to the titanic Marvel franchise as Iron Man, used to make more appearances behind bars than on the red carpet. Hollywood is full of stories of falls from grace and drug benders, but this star took self-destruction to a whole new level. While he was in and out of prison on various heroin and cocaine charges, Downey was also racking up a substantial tax debt. In fact, the actor fell more than $2 million behind on his payments with the IRS, making for one of the largest Hollywood tax debts on record. Unlike other celebrities we’ve covered, Downey wasn’t involved in a bogus tax haven or any other harebrained scheme. Between the drugs, alcohol, and incarceration, the young actor simply didn’t have the money for Uncle Sam.
his life around, settled his debt, and went on to find success. Taking control of your future doesn’t require an Iron Man suit, but it can be a heroic effort all the same.
GRILLED LEG OF LAMB
This recipe is the perfect centerpiece for a late summer cookout or an easy family dinner.
1 4–5-pound boneless leg of lamb, not butterflied 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 8 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. On a large cutting board, cut between the muscles on the leg of lamb to divide into 4 pieces, pulling apart with your fingers if need be. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Add lamb and toss to coat. Marinate for 4 hours at room temperature. 3. Heat grill to medium-high. Season lamb with salt and pepper and grill until lamb reaches an internal temperature of 130 F (medium rare). Cook time will vary depending on size of lamb pieces. 4. Let lamb rest, covered with tin foil, for 15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
32850 US-43 STE. B THOMASVILLE, AL 36784 844-229-8936 GOLDENTAXRELIEF.COM
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page 1 What Swinging a Hammer Taught Me
page 2 How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking Intent to Levy Explained page 3 Celebrity Tax Evasion: Robert Downey Jr. Grilled Leg of Lamb
page 4 The Strangest Holidays in August
Are These on Your Calendar? August’s Silliest Holidays
February has Valentine’s Day; September has Labor Day; December, of course, has Christmas; and August has, um, National Raspberry Cream Pie Day. August may not host any major holidays, but it doesn’t lack for some of the goofiest on the calendar.
August 6: National Wiggle Your Toes Day While the origin of this holiday is uncertain, it’s held every year on August 6. To celebrate, people are encouraged to wear sandals, flip flops, or other toe-exposing footwear. You can also frolic barefoot in the grass or simply stretch those digits throughout the day. Just don’t expect to see any Hallmark cards devoted to National Wiggle Your Toes Day anytime soon.
Righties are encouraged to try out a left-handed approach for the day. Lefties, for their part, are free to be themselves.
August 17: National Thrift Shop Day Thrift shops are a staple of American commerce, so it makes sense that there is a day devoted to them. Take the day to hunt for lost treasures and screaming deals. Many thrift shops also benefit nonprofit organizations, giving you even more reason to frequent them.
August 27: National ‘Just Because’ Day This celebration is really scratching the bottom of the holiday barrel. Joseph J. Goodwin created National “Just Because” Day in the 1950s. It’s a day to do something “just because.” Be spontaneous and have a little fun. There’s no one way to celebrate, which is fitting, given that the existence of the holiday seems to defy logic altogether.
August 13: Left-Handers Day About 10 percent of the population is
left-handed. Lefties may be stuck in a right- hand-dominant world, but on August 13, they rule the roost. Originally founded in England, Left-Handers Day has taken off in the U.S.
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