Tax Law Confusion

As I write this I have just sent my CPA a note asking if they’re sending out a summary of the new tax law and how it affects small businesses. I’m not sure what I’ll get back. Not because of my CPA firm but because of the way the tax law was sloppily slapped together (probably with a lot of lobbyist input).

On my table are four articles from the Wall Street Journal with the following titles:

  • Apple set to pay big tax bill, touts U.S. spending
  • The one tax change that really bites businesses
  • Tax law to drive savings, buybacks
  • Some small business to miss tax break

While a tax layman I think I’m sharp enough to draw some conclusions from all I’ve read about this. One is if it’s a large corporation the odds are it will get a tax break. If you’re a small business, an LBO specialist, or emerging company (especially with a lot of debt) you don’t know what’s in store for you.

A Florida accountant who works with entrepreneurs said (in the last WSJ article listed), “My head is spinning. I have been doing this for decades and even I don’t feel comfortable.” Marshall Goldsmith, noted coach and author (What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and many more books) was quoted about taking the new pass-through entity deduction saying, “My accountant is not sure how this impacts me. I guess my answer is, ‘I don’t know.’”

Bottom line, don’t run your business like the government does tax laws. Take your time, pay attention, and do things right the first time.

“Every new year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a longline of proven criminals.” Ogden Nash

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