1003 – Avoiding Common Mistakes at Tax Time

A New Show Format; Basics of Financial Goal Setting; Tax Tips; and an Apology

Starting with this episode, these podcasts will have a new format consisting of three sections. Each show will begin with a personal finance topic, move on to a business topic, and conclude with a tax topic.

The personal finance topic in this episode revolves around prioritizing savings goals. Moshe discusses the importance of defining your goals so you know what you’re aiming for and can prepare adequately. He then explains that having too many goals can be overwhelming, so it’s important to prioritize and segment savings.

Coming up with a time horizon for each savings goal lets us differentiate between long-term and short-term goals, which is important because there’s a difference between growing money growing and saving money. Moshe discusses how to apply this concept to goals of different lengths.

In the business topic, Moshe takes a moment to offer Cliff Ravenscraft an apology for saying, “Cliff, you suck at marketing” in the last podcast. He then goes on to make suggestions in answer to Cliff’s question about how to compensate a key employee, which involves a combination of a fair base salary and performance-based bonuses.

Concluding with a tax topic, Moshe offers some specific tax tips and insights. He starts things off by reminding listeners about charitable deductions of cash or non-cash asset donations. For a value over $500, these deductions require a separate form.

Next, we hear about home office deductions, with Moshe explaining the important differences between deductions for employees and businesses. He also sheds light on the two ways of calculating the deduction.

Under the Affordable Care Act laws, there are penalties for each month any member of the family didn’t have adequate health coverage, so Moshe advises being careful to fill out the relevant section of the tax return fully and accurately.

Moshe wraps up the episode with advice for two specific groups: teachers and new homeowners. Teachers can take adjustments of up to $250 for out-of-pocket expenses and claim the remainder of these expenses elsewhere. Homeowners who have purchased a home in the last year should remember to claim the real estate taxes paid to the previous owners on their tax returns.

Finally, consider using a tax professional for any type of non-simple situation. Taxes often aren’t the place to use a DIY strategy to try to save money.


In This Episode:

[01:03] – We hear a clarification; even though this episode was recorded last year, the tax due date mentioned (of April 18th rather than April 15th) is still accurate.

[02:03] – Moshe introduces himself and then tells listeners about a new tool he’s found: Periscope. He then explains how his thrice-daily use of Periscope has inspired the new three-part format for his podcasts.

[04:34] – Launching into the personal finance section of the show, Moshe reveals that today’s topic is how to prioritize savings goals.

[06:54] – Moshe talks about establishing an order of priority for savings by defining two facts: a time horizon and the dollar amount needed for each goal. He goes on to clarify why it’s important to differentiate between long-term and short-term goals.

[11:12] – Moshe explains how he defines long-term and short-term goals, and gives advice on how to save (or grow) your money differently depending on the time horizon of each goal. He also talks about the differences in calculating how much you need to save for long-term and short-term goals.

[14:50] – We transition into the second part of the show, with an emphasis on business topics. Moshe reveals a new resource for people in the early stages of setting up a business: a flowchart called The Entrepreneur Blueprint. To get your copy, text the word “entrepreneur” to 44222 or go to dreambuilderfinancial.com/entrepreneur.

[15:32] – In the last podcast episode – Episode 1002, Moshe responded to Cliff Ravenscraft. We hear what Moshe wrote to Cliff, as well as how Cliff responded after having listened to the podcast.

[21:50] – Moshe offers an open and heartfelt apology, taking ownership of his mistakes in assuming Cliff’s lack of growth was unintentional.

[22:26] – Cliff had asked a question about compensating a key employee; here, Moshe answers that question.

[25:15] – Moshe kicks off the third and final part of the show, which addresses taxes, by revealing one of the most common questions DreamBuilder Financial receives from business owners: “What do I need to know about business taxation?” To get a copy of a free guide with five tax tips every business owner needs to know, you can text “5taxtips” to 44222 or go to dreambuilderfinancial.com/5taxtips.

[26:00] – Personal income tax returns are due April 18th this year. Moshe offers some tips to remember when doing your taxes. Specific tips are about charitable deductions, home offices, the Affordable Care Act, deductions for teachers, and taxes on a new home purchase.

Links and Resources:

DreamBuilder Financial



Michael Hyatt

Daniel Harkavy

Living Forward

The Entrepreneur Blueprint

Cliff Ravenscraft

Five tax tips from DreamBuilder Financial