Author: Janet Behm (141 articles found) - Clear Search


A Valuable Tax Deferment May Be Changing

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"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success." - Ross Perot

Using Sec. 1031 has long been handy as a tax-deferral tactic (aka “a 1031” or sometimes, “a Starker exchange”). It basically lets real estate investors avoid capital gains taxes when they sell property if they invest the gains into the purchase of more property. (There are many other conditions, which we’ll get to in a sec).

The 1031 has been especially good for landlords who juggle side-gig properties and who want to do their taxes a favor at the same time.

A kind of special swap

If you sell an investment property (residential or commercial), you typically must pay capital gains taxes on the profits. You can defer these taxes -- notice that I said “defer” -- by doing a special like-kind exchange under Sec. 1031 for another  property.

These exchanges are available no matter if you file taxes as an individual or as an LLC, C or S corporation, or other type -- pretty much any taxpaying owner of real propert
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A Financial Systems Check-Up For Your Business

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As A Real Estate Investor, This Is  Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Usually, keeping track of numbers is tedious.

Check it out! What are the bene’s that make this task more attractive than the usual alternative…”Oh Geez. I’ve got a closing on Monday and I need financials.”

Your business obviously makes and spends money. The pluses and minuses add up (you hope) to being able to stay in business, and a look at the books tells you if your business is doing okay or headed for trouble.

What are your books telling YOU?

In our experience, it’s often the company’s financial system (or lack thereof) that makes the answer easy to discover or downright difficult.

Have you looked at your own business’s financial system lately? Would you know how to read between the lines to interpret what you see there?

Because a financial system for business s
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Janet Behm's Business Negotiation Skills FTW (For The Win)

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“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” - Robert Quillen

No matter what industry you're in, or how far you go in your career, the ability to effectively negotiate can make the difference between success and mediocrity. You may have heard me quoted, "Be World Class At ONE Thing, Rather Than Mediocre At Everything!"

Whether it's a multimillion-dollar contract, a job offer, or a luncheon, here are some trenches-tested business negotiation skills that will bring you closer to your ideal outcome:


Know what you want in advance.  Don't go to the table without a clear, realistic idea of what you want to achieve. It will help you negotiate with confidence.

Ask
 for what you want.
 Don't be afraid to make the first offer. You'll set the tone for the discussion, and studies (and my experience) suggest that the negotiator who goes first usually comes closer to getting what he or she wants. In chess, white moves first and continues the advantage.

Understand what your partner wants.  A successful negotiation should satisfy both sides. Instead of trying to crush your competition, find out what he or she hopes to get, and work together toward a solution that works for you both.
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How To Plan for Personal Independence

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“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker

When you go through hard times, financially, it's easy to believe that there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

But did you know that most people of great wealth were previously bankrupt at some point? (Just Google it. You'll see.)

In fact, it's often the "fire" of these times of trouble which serves to clarify things -- and get you into the place of making smart decisions, perhaps for the first time.

So, if you're feeling the financial heat right now, look out for the blessings in the midst of pain. I know it's hard -- but chances are, you're being reminded of what's REALLY important ... and often, seeing this again can be a launching pad for living the kind of life you really want to live.

How To Think About Growth
Money has no value unless you've got the time and good health to enjoy it. In fact, if you have to be p
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How To Create -- And Keep -- Personal Independence

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“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” -Tim Ferriss

Often, as we strive to keep our heads above water in these culturally crazy times, it's easy to lose sight of why we're all working hard each day. What is the goal? What is it we're trying to accomplish by earning wealth? For me -- and for many others -- the answer is cashflow independence.

Now, I would define this as "having an income sufficient for your basic needs and comforts from sources other than paid employment." Independence implies freedom. It's the condition of having saved and invested money so you can do whatever you choose. Whether you elect to keep working doesn't matter -- you have enough saved and invested to follow your dreams.

But is independence (in the monetary sense) just a pipe dream? Is it something only for the lucky and the strong? No, it's a goal that anyone can reach, if they're armed with some basic knowledge and make some smart choices.

As I see it, there are four keys to accumulating wealth:
1
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What Happens When The Feds Put A Tax Lien On Your Property?

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What Happens When The Feds Put A Tax Lien On Your Property?

The Federal Government does not play around when you owe them money.

Are there some strategies to deploy if you get caught in this fix?

With any tax debt comes an awkward and unwelcome house guest: A federal tax lien.

This tax lien exists as a matter of federal law, even if you only owe the IRS one dollar. For many people, it has no impact at all on their lives. But for a small percentage of taxpayers, it can have a massive impact.

Let’s explore what this tax lien means for you, and briefly discuss some potential solutions to dealing with it.

Before we really get started, there’s one important distinction that needs to be made. Usually, there’s no public record of a tax lien. It’s not possible for anybody to find out about it... usually.

Unfortunately, under certain conditions, especially if you owe more than $10,000, the IRS may file a written notice with the county clerk about the tax lien, putti
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Janet Behm’s Tips for Building a Business Emergency Fund

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“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” - Langston Coleman

Prior to the economic fallout from 2020’s happenings, the typical American small business only had 28 days’ worth of cash reserves on hand.

Meaning, the average small business in this country couldn’t survive for a full month if revenue were suddenly turned off. As a result, Congress had to prop up small businesses through programs such as the EIDL and PPP loans that you’re sick of hearing about by now.

As the economy rebounds strongly, it’s a good time to set aside a business emergency fund for your business to tide you over during the next period of economic upheaval. This isn’t doom and gloom thinking, it’s simply the reality of the business cycle: There will be another recession at some unknown point in the future.

You Need To Know How Much Is Enough
In many ways, your business eme
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Understanding FICO Scores

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"We do not remember days, we remember moments.” - Cesare Pavese


One of the most confusing and misunderstood components of modern life is an individual’s credit score. A simple Google search reveals billions of websites and posts, all sharing information -- some of which is accurate, and some of which is just plain wrong.


At its core, it’s simply a number that tries to represent the likelihood that you will pay back money that you borrow. Because banks and lending institutions use credit scores as a key component in their determination to lend money, it’s also a key element for individuals with nefarious plans – stealing a person’s identity allows your credit worthiness to also be stolen and used by the crooks.


Unlike, for example, annual income, FICO scores represent long-term action (or inaction) on the part of the consumer, so while the actual number can be “managed,” to an extent, it tends to be a pretty good representation of how well a person repays debts.


Now, obviously, there is more to it than that. A FICO score merely represents the number,
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Cryptocurrency Taxation

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"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson

In recent years, some cryptocurrency traders have been caught off guard by the surprise tax bill generated from their trading activities. Many others have simply failed to report these transactions to the IRS at all, unaware that they even need to. Those folks in particular are in for a rude awakening someday, as the IRS expands its enforcement against crypto traders.

So, what are your responsibilities as a crypto trader? What if you’re not actively trading these assets, but simply holding them? What records should you be keeping?

Crypto is Taxed as Property
Let’s start with the most important thing you need to understand about crypto, and its relationship with the IRS: The federal government taxes crypto like property.

In other words, the IRS looks at crypto the same way it looks at houses, cars, paintings, even baseball cards. While
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Free Puppies, Sleight Of Hand, And Pennies On The Dollar

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Some things are obviously a sales pitch and a come-on. Unsuspecting taxpayers get hooked into this tantalizing offer every year.

Almost no one qualifies for this program from the IRS. By-the-way, it is unethical for a licensed tax preparer to make this offer.

When I hear commercials on TV or on the radio that promise specific results to people who owe money to the IRS, it really bothers me.

One of the most pervasive advertising schemes you’ll hear repeated over and over again is about only paying “pennies on the dollar” to the IRS.

The reason this one rubs me the wrong way in particular is quite simple: It doesn’t exist.

If you’ve heard this program referenced and have been curious about it, it’s time to set the record straight.

The Truth About “Pennies On The Dollar”

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