Break the Homeowner Liquidity Trap with Better Tax Planning

Long-time Silicon Valley homeowners who bought homes back when there were more orchards than tech companies face a liquidity trap when they decide to sell their homes.

The dramatic rise in home values over the last 30 years has had the happy result of substantial return on the homeowner’s original investment. However, along with soaring appreciation rates comes a profit-crushing capital gains tax bill due for the year of sale the moment the sellers receive their sales proceeds.

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Taxes Are Done. How Big Was the Check You Wrote?

By Bruce Jones | May 01, 2017 | Tax Planning, tax season

 Every year the process of completing tax returns uncovers unpleasant surprises for business and investment property owners. Unexpected revenue, generally a good thing, drives up the tax bill. Or expenses were not properly documented and could not be fully deducted. Most critically, assets were sold without proper pre-planning, and taxes on the asset’s appreciation ate up half or more of the net profit!

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Thinking About a 1031 Exchange? There is a Better Tax-Deferral Option

I spoke recently with Eugene Page, President of Optimal Real Estate, Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Los Angeles.  With more than 30 years’ experience helping investors buy and sell commercial properties, he offers unique insights into how best to sell real estate.  He gave me a synopsis of the Los Angeles marketplace which could easily be true for any major U.S. coastal market.

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Selling a Business? Get an Objective Valuation First

When a business owner decides to sell a business, the first key step to take is to get an objective assessment of the current value of the business.

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My View on Tax Planning in a New Era Under President Trump

By Bruce Jones | Feb 14, 2017 | Tax Planning

My role as a tax planner is to be proactive, find for my clients missed planning opportunities, identify taxes that are wastefully being paid and pinpoint ways by which they can legitimately keep those dollars for themselves instead of surrendering them to Uncle Sam.  If, for example, you are self-employed earning $150,000 annually and file a Schedule C, you are likely overpaying in taxes at least $10,000 a year.  What can you do with an extra $10,000?

The tax code is full of opportunity to save taxes; unfortunately, most taxpayers are blind to them. They do not know about the sections in the Code that allow taxes to be eliminated, reduced or deferred. Nor are they aware of the methods to implement them.  But these laws are indeed there, and they need to be brought into the light, injected into the tax planning process and be applied rightly and fruitfully for each client to help meet his or her financial challenges.  Doing so can bring great reward. 

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It's Time to Launch Your Personal Tax Revolution

President-Elect Donald J. Trump appears set to begin his presidency with a focused eye on sweeping tax reform.  According to media reports, Mr. Trump will look first to bring significant tax relief to businesses to spark economic growth and then move toward lowering the personal income tax rates for us taxpayers. If indeed this is his intent, he will begin a tax revolution the moment he takes the oath of office!

And that makes me think about Boston. I visited this historic city recently and, while overlooking its beautiful harbor, my mind wandered to a different time. I thought about Sam Adams and 150 other patriots masquerading as Mohawk Indians boarding three ships, breaking open the cargo of tea and heaving it all overboard. I imagined how that harbor might have looked as Boston’s first community teapot.  What did they achieve?  As the electrifying news of the “Boston Tea Party” spread, other seaports followed their example and men of action staged their own acts of resistance against excessive taxes.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

By Bruce Jones | Dec 23, 2016 | Tax Planning, tax savings

Tax Planning Your Bridge to a More Stress-free Life

By Bruce Jones | Dec 14, 2016 | Tax Planning, tax savings

In my last posting entitled Tax Planning is an Investment Like No Other, we discussed how proactive planning to reduce, defer and sometimes even eliminate taxes offers stunning returns on investment.  As a reminder, the investment is the fee you pay to implement a tax plan and your Return on Investment (ROI) is the tax savings you enjoy by taking advantage of tax law. The real ROI, though, comes in the freedom you have to spend those tax savings any way you wish!

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Tax Planning is an Investment Like No Other

By Bruce Jones | Nov 30, 2016 | Tax Planning, ROI, tax savings

If I told you I can guarantee you 100% return on your investment in 60 days, would you believe me? No? Okay, what if I added, “…with little or no risk!”?

If you are anywhere close to being a rational person, your mind is screaming: “This is a scam! Run the other way!” Most of the time, such a ridiculous claim would be suspect. However, if you look at investing through the lens of saving taxes, my offer is valid: Every dollar you save on a tax bill equals a dollar more in your pocket, a 100% return.

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Giving Thanks for Saving Taxes in 2016

By Bruce Jones | Nov 23, 2016 | Tax Planning, tax savings


We all have so much to be thankful for this year. Among the many blessings that I have received is the great privilege of being able to positively impact peoples’ lives by helping them reduce their taxes or recoup those that were previously paid.  Adding up to tens of millions of dollars, these were monies that my clients had unnecessarily paid, or would have overpaid had we not simply implemented existing tax law.

Dr. Wallace is a good example of what can be accomplished.  After building up his practice over many years, he wanted to sell and enjoy a carefree retirement.  The taxes triggered by the sale, however, would have robbed him of that possibility.  Because he chose to be proactive in finding a solution, we identified a way for him to sell his practice, defer the taxes for decades, and receive at close of escrow more than enough to fund the retirement of his dreams.

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