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1. Death by a Thousand Cuts : The
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2. Lower Your Taxes - Big Time! :
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3. PH's Federal Taxation 2005 : Corporations,
$32.99 $27.99 list($49.99)
4. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 Edition:
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5. Tax Havens of the World, Eighth
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6. Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign
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7. Selling Real Estate without Paying
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8. Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes:
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9. ItsDeductible Workbook for Tax
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10. The Courage to Be Rich: Creating
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11. Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business
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12. What the IRS Doesn't Want You
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13. J.K. Lasser's Taxes Made Easy
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14. J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax
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15. JK Lasser's New Rules for Estate
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16. Taxes For Dummies 2005
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17. Wall Street Secrets for Tax-Efficient
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18. The Tax Guide for Traders
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19. J.K. Lasser's small TM/small 1001
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20. How to Pay Zero Taxes, 2005 (How

1. Death by a Thousand Cuts : The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth
by Michael J. Graetz, Ian Shapiro
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691122938
Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 16399
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This fast-paced book by Yale professors Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro unravels the following mystery: How is it that the estate tax, which has been on the books continuously since 1916 and is paid by only the wealthiest two percent of Americans, was repealed in 2001 with broad bipartisan support? The mystery is all the more striking because the repeal was not done in the dead of night, like a congressional pay raise. It came at the end of a multiyear populist campaign launched by a few individuals, and was heralded by its supporters as a signal achievement for Americans who are committed to the work ethic and the American Dream.

Graetz and Shapiro conducted wide-ranging interviews with the relevant players: members of congress, senators, staffers from the key committees and the Bush White House, civil servants, think tank and interest group representatives, and many others. The result is a unique portrait of American politics as viewed through the lens of the death tax repeal saga. Graetz and Shapiro brilliantly illuminate the repeal campaign's many fascinating and unexpected turns--particularly the odd end result whereby the repeal is slated to self-destruct a decade after its passage. They show that the stakes in this fight are exceedingly high; the very survival of the long standing American consensus on progressive taxation is being threatened.

Graetz and Shapiro's rich narrative reads more like a political drama than a conventional work of scholarship. Yet every page is suffused by their intimate knowledge of the history of the tax code, the transformation of American conservatism over the past three decades, and the wider political implications of battles over tax policy.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on how Washington D.C. works today
Right off, let me say that this is one of the best books written about how politicians in Washington D.C. respond to certain constituents when promoting or opposing changes in the tax law.Before your eyes glaze over and you think that this book is for tax experts, I assure that it is not.The authors are wonderful writers and focus on the people behind the drive to repeal the inheritance tax.Thus, it is more about personalities, personal stories, and ideology and how these are used to enact changes in the tax code, than about taxes on inherited wealth per se.Graetz and Shapiro attempt to solve several "mysteries" in this book.First, how did a tax on inherited wealth, which existed for over 60 years and was seen as appropriate, come to be viewed by many Americans as unjust and immoral? Second, how did the diverse coalition attempting to abolish the inheritance tax maintain their cohesiveness when compromise counteroffers should have weakened it?Third, why were groups who favored maintaining the inheritance tax so ineffectual when responding to the abolitionists?Finally, what does the fight over the estate tax tell us about the future of progressive taxation, the idea that those with greater resources should pay higher tax rates?The story Graetz and Shapiro tell should give great comfort to those who want government at all levels to be as small and powerless as possible, and cause great concern to progressive, like myself, who wish to see government programs in service to the majority of working people, rather than in service to the wealthy and powerful.No matter which side of the ideological debate you are on, this book is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Graetz and Shapiro's book is a must-read.
Graetz and Shapiro's book DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS is a must-read for anyone interested in national tax policy.Graetz and Shapiro write well and the story is fascinating and timely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for all Registered Voters
A friend gave me a copy of this book; and, therefore, I felt duty-bound to give it a try despite the fact that I never read books pertaining to politics.After struggling through the first few pages, I becaame facinated.It is not a book about estate taxes.Rather, it is a book about how our government works (or does not work).Every registered voter should be required to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent of the Conservative Playbook
This is an immensely readable, highly educational book.It details how conservatives went after one of the most progressive taxes in our system and successfully got it eliminated.It also details the power of the conservative ideas machinery and how it works in Washington to get what it wants.For those who care about how badly the system is broken -- how the concerns of the few trump the concerns of the many on daily basis in Washington -- this is an excellent book.And most importantly, it exposes how the conservatives are moving the tax system away from wealth to work -- away from the rich to the middle class.That should be a concern to most Americans.I highly recommend the book; most people will be surprised how enjoyable it is as a read. ... Read more

2. Lower Your Taxes - Big Time! : Wealth-Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider
by SandyBotkin
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
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Asin: 007140807X
Catlog: Book (2002-12-18)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 2419
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Strategies from an IRS insider for slashing taxes, maximizing legal deductions, avoiding audits, and more

Through his years as an IRS tax attorney, Sandy Botkin discovered that most Americans could legally­­ and dramatically­­ cut their tax bills by establishing themselves as independent contractors or businesspersons. In Lower Your Taxes--­­Big Time!, Botkin explains how, outlining a straightforward program for writing off everything from family vacations to movies and plays, and receiving a subsidy of $5,000 or more from the IRS each and every year.

From tips for launching a business to strategies for audit-proofing a return, Lower Your Taxes­­--Big Time! is a gold mine of information for every frustrated taxpayer. Tax-cutting strategies include:

  • How, why, and when to incorporate
  • Fail-safe methods for deducting a home office and family car
  • Simple but essential record-keeping tips
  • Tax advantages of being a consultant,independent contractor, or independent businessperson
... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The main idea behind all books like this is that you MUST start some kind of business (part time, at home, whatever) to take advantage of some amazing tax laws. Making that first move is probably the hardest step for most people. Don't expect a motivational pep talk here. Think of it like this: What would you give for a 10% raise? 20%? 30%? You can save that much in taxes if you take the small step of creating a business.

Once you are ready to take that step, this book is wonderful. Other books talk about the same stuff, but this one is easy to read, well organized, and best of all, the author cites everything to the IRS code or case law. That is important since many financial gurus (think Rich Dad series) give advice that is plainly wrong or sometimes even illegal. This book is 100% legit.

I was concerned when I heard the author was associated with Tony Robbins, but Mr. Botkin makes no attempt to sell or promote any product in this book.

Read this book, save lots of money. Good luck.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book with a very different approach
I would have given it 4 and 1/2 stars but that wasn't an option. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars was that the book deals with small and home bases business issues and for real estate owners and investors. I am retired and thus, could only benefit from the real estate discussion.However, I did have a business before retirement.

I got this book after reading a great review in the Orlando Sentinal.This book would have saved me a bundle had I known about this information many years ago. It is cleverly written and has a lot of good information that I myself never heard from my accountant. I especially liked all the examples and tips that I found really useful in understanding the tax planning sections I also liked the elaborations, which provided some nice insights into why Congress passed various laws or on what to do about certain laws,with a great deal of clarity and specificity.

One very unsual feature that I found in this book that I never read in any other book was all the information that was provided on how to "audit proof" each and every tax planning strategy. I have used the J.K. Lasser guide in preparing my taxes, and I have never seen as much specific information on how to IRS bullet proof each deduction as Mr. Botkin provides.

Many financial books I read are rather shallow and lack a lot of the details necessary to implement what they are suggesting. Also, there seems to be a trend in financial and real estate books to serve as a giant advertisement for consulting services or for other books. This was NOT the problem in this book,which was frankly very refreshing.

Even as a retired person, I did, however, find the real estate section to be very useful. It will save me a bundle on some real estate mistakes that I didn't know about all these years.

Some reviewer noted that this book doesn't show you how to plan for the various tax laws. He must not have read the same book that I read because this book has a lot of specificity on what to do with each applicable law.

In short: I have given a copy of this book to my son and daughter. That should tell you what I think of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars You MUST read this book to get all you can for your family!
We all work too hard for our money to let ignorance of available tax reduction strategies keep us from our money. I thought this book would be boring and dry as most tax books are, but I was blown away by Mr. Botkin's style and delivery. The material is laid out extremely well and everything is immediately "actionable" to let you begin taking advantage of existing laws and structure. There are loads of provisions to your advantage in the tax codes, but it is your responsibility to take off the blinders of ignorance.

I have purchased a copy of this book for my lawyers and accountants and my key team as an invaluable resource. I recommend this book over every other tax strategy and tax saving book I have ever read!

5-0 out of 5 stars To all bogus reviewers such as "Be Careful"
To the person who reviewed my book as "Be careful" I don't know if you are a person with a competing book, have some sort of "ax to grind" or just dumb; however, NO WHERE in my book do I advocate setting up a home based business solely for tax benefits. The book is designed for people who specifically have a bona fide small business operated with an honest expectation of profit. In fact, had you taken the time to read my book, you would have seen that I get into this in great detail in Chapter 8, "How to Shield Yourself From The IRS Weapon of Classifying Your Business As a Hobby." See pages 109- through 130 and specifically mentioning what you note on the top three paragraphs of page 122. Also, just for the record, over the years, I have had numerous attorneys, accountants and even IRS agents comment on the depth of my business vs. hobby discussion.

I normally don't respond to reviews since I don't mind criticism of my book. In fact, I encourage it if it is fair so that I can make changes to future editions. However, you are way off the mark, and I, therefore, felt that you this needed a response.! I should note that I am always trying to give the best information in my material. If mistakes occur or if you feel that I can present it in a better manner, please send your suggestions to my email at Send it to the attention of Sandy Botkin

5-0 out of 5 stars Buying another one!
I bought this book based on the reviews and they were right. I loved it - it's straightforward, easy to read, and really has great advice! To note - this book is all about lowering your taxes by having your own business. If you're not interested in this option, this book isn't for you. My mom liked it so much I gave her my copy and I'm online to buy myself another. Highly recommend! ... Read more

3. PH's Federal Taxation 2005 : Corporations, Partnerships, Estates, and Trusts (18th Edition)
by Kenneth E. Anderson, Thomas R. Pope
list price: $125.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131474154
Catlog: Book (2004-04-21)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 387325
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Book Description

Written by nationally recognized tax educators, this acclaimed three-volume series provides a hands-on, definitive guide to federal income taxation concepts and applications. Stressing quality, readability and accuracy, this book is an up-to-date, practical approach to federal taxation of corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts. For principles and other members of corporations and partnerships, and for financial coordinators and accountants for corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts. ... Read more

4. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 Edition: Estate Planning Essentials (Quicken Willmaker)
by Editors ofNOLO
list price: $49.99
our price: $32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413300766
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Sales Rank: 133044
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Book Description

The most respected and bestselling estate planning software is now available in an easy-to-use book format!

No one wants to hire expensive lawyers to make a will and other important documents – so turn your readers to Quicken WillMaker, the most complete estate planning title available on the market.

Quicken WillMaker is Nolo's "all in one" estate planning book, covering everything from the basics of wills to sophisticated tax-saving strategies. It provides readers straightforward explanations of every significant option available, so they can make the best decisions for their families.

Best of all, your readers won't just understand wills, living trusts or financial power of attorney – they'll create them, quickly and easily. The interactive CD-ROM lets them make:

· legal wills
· living trusts
· healthcare directives (living wills)
· powers of attorney
· final arrangements documents
· forms for executors
· promissory notes
· credit repair forms
· authorizations and agreements
· and more!

Many companies publish books about estate planning, but Nolo is the only publisher to provide a complete solution to your readers' needs! ... Read more

5. Tax Havens of the World, Eighth Edition
by Thomas P. Azzara, Thomas Azzara
list price: $90.00
our price: $76.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1893522024
Catlog: Book (2003-04-04)
Publisher: Thomas Azzara
Sales Rank: 214884
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tax Havens of the World (8th edition/2003) covers all the major havens, including the Caymans, Bahamas, Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Singapore, etc. The author has over 18 years reading and writing about tax havens and the US Tax Code that covers their use and abuse. Learn how non-resident aliens trade NYSE stocks, bonds, options and commodities - TAX FREE -legally - offshore like thousands of offshore banks and companies (IBCs) do!

Avoid federal income and estate taxes with the latest "trend" - the foreign offshore estate. US (domestic) estates - even with the repeal of the federal estate tax after 2010 - will still be subjected to Federal income and gift taxes, as well as State income, inheritance and estate taxes too! See page 254 of this edition.

The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla and Bermuda have no personal income taxes, no corporate income taxes, no capital gains taxes, no withholding taxes, no estate, gift or inheritance taxes, no sales taxes, no employment taxes, no death duties, and no probate fees. Guarantees against future taxes are provided by these governments for periods up to 50 years. Exempt trusts can receive a guarantee up to 100 years. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn how wealthy american fleece the working stiff
I always get a couple of laughs when I see these 'tax haven' and 'offshore banking books' marketed to the general public as some sort of panacea for confiscatory taxation. As if some working stiff (like me) can swim up to the pool bar at the hotel in the Caymans and rub elbows with other 'tax refugees' and flip the bird to the IRS. GIVE ME A BREAK. This subject was a pet hobby of mine over the last 6 years and let me tell you that unless you are in the top 1% of income earning americans this book is useless to you. Unless you have a hundred thousand dollars you can blow in attorneys fees to set up your 'technically' legal International Business Corporation, and have a team of CPA's certifiy your tax returns 'assuring' the government that you 'really really' dont own the other 98% of your corporation you can not LEGALLY use the ideas contained in this book. If you wanted an explanation of how the international tax laws work, while at the same time how you could break the tax laws and hide and deposit money in a place like the Bahamas you can use this book. BUT, no matter what type of person you are, you ought to study tax havens for 5 years before you do anything, legal or otherwise.

You need five years to see that a good portion of the 'tax haven' world is nothing but an international racket filled with international con-men. While this book may be dedicated to Patrick Henry 'Give me Liberty and Give me Death' and the American resistance against BRitish Taxation, the persons and mostly corporations illustrated in this book do nothing but fleece the working stiff.

Reading between the lines, all the americans who had to leave the United States to live in these tax free jurisdictions did so because they broke a serious law and were facing jail time. Do you really think that when they got to Costa Rica they stopped operating their business. Between tax cheating felons, guys that welshed out on their spouses in divorce settlements, or people who were sued and are escaping judgments, the tax havens themselves are filled with criminals on the lam.

Case in point, this book mentions that American Doctors facing killer lawsuits often have bank accounts and monies in tax havens because they are judgment proof! Normally Doctors have this incredible thing called 'Malpractice Insurance' that pays out on claims. If a doctor is escaping a judgment it is because he did not carry malpracice insurance (that tells you about the doctor right there) OR the Doctor committed a serious crime, like a sexual battery, in the course of his professioal duties so that his insurance company disclaimed coverage. In either case I think the picture is clear. Remember OJ Simpson going to the Isle of Mann off of England during the murder trial ;)

Furthermore, over the past 5 years I have seen the IRS and Congress move steadily in the direction of stopping tax haven activity entirely. It is mentioned in this work that you cna get an offshore debit card that looks like a regular Visa or Mastercard. So in that manner you could spend your undeclared dividends and interest in the USA. Well that was great until the IRS subpoenad all the Mastercard accounts where the receipts were generated to credit networks set off in a few key areas. Now who do you think is going to be audited.

Furthermore, there have been some spectacular bank failures in these tax havens, and remember there is no FDIC. The oft touted bank secrecy laws in these countries are great until an enterpirsing government agency gets a back door plant in these institutions with Mr. Benjamin Franklin taking the lead.

Really, this book is the best on the subject of tax havens by far. In fact I think this is the only book that has a TECHNICALLY legal way for them to be used by a U.S. Citizen. The book is well written and appears to cover all the bases, but I assure you it does not. The book is similar somewhat to a prospecuts of a risky investment or tax shelter that a bunch of clever lawyers and accountants have come up with. Technical compliance with tax laws will most likely spare you criminal prosecution if you get called on it, but of course you can still be hit with civil penalties.

As an American you should be AWARE of the existence of this aspect of international finance. You should be aware that you have monetary escape routes in the event of disaster, and really, this book will open your eyes to a world 99% of america knows nothing about, but it is no 'everyone can do it' tax shelter. This is a corporate shell game, and I believe the recent Enron debacle involved the use of offshore vehicles to disguise losses and such, that fleeces the public. With sufficient thought, it is hypocrital in the first degree to think that by allowing corporate fat cats and high net worth individuals to park billions offshore and pay no taxes, we, the wroking public, are somehow 'getting back' at the IRS. The only person getting killed here is me. Nothing more.

I give this book 4 stars because it is the best book on the subject, and is a good read. While it is romantic and fun to imagine oneself parking millions of dollars into some royal bank in Monaco and relaxing by the pool for the rest of your life while you pay no taxes, this is a pipe dream a sales pitch of this, and other books like it. ... Read more

6. Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else
by David Cay Johnston
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591840198
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Portfolio
Sales Rank: 1372
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Most Americans would agree that they are duty bound as beneficiaries of our democracy to pay taxes, and the majority of us do pay—-exorbitantly. But what about those who do not pay their fair share? David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, here reveals how fairness and equity have eroded from the American tax system. Johnston describes in shocking detail the loopholes our government provides the "super rich"--from private individuals to profitable corporations—-to hide their wealth, to defer or evade tax payments, and to pass the bill to law-abiding middle-class Americans. The loss in revenue "imposes a severe cost on honest taxpayers" through reduced services, increased federal debt, and a weight on the middle class that threatens to impede its ability to achieve upward social mobility.

Admitting the extreme complexity of our economy and by extension our tax code, Johnston points out that the very wealthy do, of course, pay taxes. However, because of shelters that allow them to understate most of their income, they pay little more on average than most Americans on the dollar. This is regressive, and unquestionably favors the superrich. Johnston includes examples of outrageous corporate malfeasance (such as companies that establish off-shore tax addresses) and exposes the tax benefits of the particularly loathsome practice made famous by Jack Welch, in which thousands of wage earners are laid off while a handful of executives are granted hundreds of millions of dollars through deferred compensation, company stock options, and lucrative retirement packages, all at stock holders' xpense. In addition to these offenses, he describes the tax evasion methods of those who simply defy the law and are emboldened by a beleaguered IRS that is too underfunded to serve as an effective deterrent to tax cheats. Johnston calls for a complete overhaul of the system. But because those who most benefit from these laws comprise the "donor class" that supports the government power structure, our prospects for reform remain very bleak. --Silvana Tropea ... Read more

Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars Watch out for D.C.Johnston Snipers
I have been reading Mr. Johnston's work in the N.Y.Times for a number of years, and have always respected his approach to our tax system. How much and what to tax are decisions that we as a people make by our choice of legislative representatives. Mr. Johnston writes about those choices and about those who try to circumvent those decisions.

I don't think I can add anymore information about the book than has already been written here, but I would like to warn folks about the anti-David Cay Johnston groups. These are folks who figure that they do not have to fund the cost of government, but continue to receive the benifits of that government. These include people who contend that they do not have to pay taxes under Section 861 of the Tax Code, and numerous other tax avoidance schemes.

Mr. Johnston has made a habit of exposing these cheats, and embarassing the IRS for their lack enforment of these cheats, while at the same time pointing out the inordinate amount of effort paid to auditing the poor for their use of the Earned Income Tax credit. Because of his articles many forums where Mr. Johnstons articles are discussed become arenas for smearing him from this tax cheat crowd. I expect this crowd to arrive at this forum soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars America at Risk
David Cay Johnston's exposition of recent developments in the economic structure of America falls somewhere between "highly disturbing" and "terrifying." In 317 pages, this Pulitzer winning author sets forth a fact-laden indictment of the increasing inequity of the tax system. His wide-ranging anecdotes are well-supported by much broader statistics. And while his tone is never shrill, his message is one of alarm. The system is simply not working; the range and depth of the problems he cites are astounding. It is a book I highly recommend.

It is no particular news to learn that the rich are getting richer and that the poor are lagging behind, but it may be news for many that the middle class and the upper middle class are increasingly being tasked with carrying a burden that the rich and the super rich find ways to avoid. The chapter that explains how the Alternative Minimum Tax will eliminate most any benefit that taxpayers with incomes below $500,000 might ever see from the 2003 Bush tax cuts is particularly enlightening.

As Johnston lucidly argues, the issue is not about "cutting taxes" but more fundamentally questioning who should bear the burden of the cost of a civilized society and to what extent. His indictment runs against Republicans and Democrats (the two wings of the "party of money") alike and heavily censures those whom he calls the "political donor class." As he suggests, facile slogans such as "It's your money, not the government's money" only obscures the sober realities that there are jobs that only the government can do and that someone must pay for them.

Yet, as Johnston explains, rather than considering the issues of what the functions of government should be and how they should be underwritten, the country's current situation is ont that is rank with greed and in which the common understanding is "let someone else pay for it, only fools pay taxes."

Ultimately, Johnston's message is a call to action:

"Democracy is about each of us pursuing our self-interest in the belief that our society can achieve a common goal. Yet those who wash their hands of politics, do not vote, do not make the effort to be informed and do not talk about public issues with our families, friends and neighbors cede to others the shaping of society and the conditions of our lives. It is this apathy that has allowed certain individuals to contort, or even to remake, rules that work for their benefit at the expense of the average American taxpayer." (p. 3).

In reading "Perfectly Legal," I was reminded that, during the Middle Ages, only the pesants paid taxes. Such a system will eventually break down in instability and insurrection. Accordingly, a decent companion volume to "Perfectly Legal" might well be "The Oxford History of the French Revolution" (William Doyle, Oxford Press 1989).

4-0 out of 5 stars perfectly readable
Mr. Johnston has written a very easy-to-understand and factual book that mainly documents specific historical events rather than many possible events. This slim book will probably confirm the reader's hunch that all is not well in terms of taxation in the United States. He gives examples of how the elite have managed to shift the load of paying for government onto an over-taxed middle class, and how the middle class shoots itself in the foot at election time by buying into slogans and wishful thinking. This book is not more than a good start for anyone wanting to get into the issues, and I therefore give it four stars; had the book been more extensive, it might deserve five stars, in my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of our corrupt and unjust tax system.
Perfectly Legal is a superb analysis of our corrupt and unjust tax system, covering the myriad tax shelters and avoidance schemes available to only the super-wealthy, how corporations escape paying taxes and even use the tax system to make money, and how the IRS has seen its budget slashed and the subsequent rise of the tax-fraud culture and industry.

The effect of all this has been a great shift in the tax burden from the wealthy, who can most afford it, to the poor and middle-income families. Over the last 30 years the poorest 90% have seen stagnant wages, while the wealthiest 10% have seen exponential increases in income. Several reasons for this have been the numerous tax cuts over the last few decades, passed with the help of both Republicans and Democrats, which have overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and left the rest of us holding the bill.

Perfectly Legal shows how tax breaks for the wealthy - which hurt the economy and the majority of American families - have been sold to the American people. For example, both the Bush administration's push to repeal the Estate Tax (sold as the "Death Tax") and the push to end the "double-taxation" on dividends that almost exclusively benefit the wealthiest of Americans have been spun in a way that has garnered the support of the very people who will pay for them. The repeal of these taxes alone will cost the country billions in tax revenue, and will benefit people who are and will continue to be wealthy beyond most American's dreams.

The American people are being cheated out of their hard-earned dollars, and most are completely oblivious to this fact. With a state of never-ending war, ever-increasing military budgets, and cuts to social programs and education, the majority of Americans are being squeezed between shouldering the tax burden and struggling through stagnant wages, sky-rocketing medical, education and housing costs, and an insolvent Social Security system in an era of zero job security and no pensions. The result: a gaping divide between the wealthiest and the poorest Americans, CEO's that make 531 times as much as their lowest-paid workers, and record numbers of uninsured Americans and Americans living in poverty. Meanwhile, the wealthiest families and the corporations that generate money for them are becoming vastly wealthier.

I personally feel this burden - through my stagnant wage and skyrocketing insurance and property-tax costs - and am enraged by our tax system and the politicians and their influential donors who have created this great morass that, left unchanged, will most certainly bankrupt and impoverish the American people and our country. Change is possible, but only if Americans are informed. Perfectly Legal is an excellent book that I hope will help lead to this change.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings
Although this book has the ring of truth, I find it unsettling reading the misleading things he states about pensions, something I know alot about, and that makes me wonder about the rest of the book.

For example:

"The second and subtle, rule gives full credit to the inflation adjustments that over time boast the size of Social Security checks" Is false once you terminate the social security offset is frozen.

"But Congress listening to the political donor class, does not enforce the rules requiring that pension plans be run solely and exclusively to the benefit workers and retirees. Congress allowwed 60 percent of pension assets to be invested in stocks . . ., a risky strategy"

Assuming we are talking about defined benefit plans, since the government guarantees members benefits, the ones taking the risk is the plan sponsor, or if the sponsor goes bankrupt the government. The sponsor (employer) and the employee benefit gain if the long term cost is lower. With the stock market downturn (and just important the lowering of interest rates) there is alot of discussion about wether the accounting rules should change, and particularly if companies in distress should invest their pensions in bonds to protect both the government and stock holders.

Note after studebaker went broke the government required that pensions be funded and they insured them, this is to protect workers not the donor class and certainly not perfect it was an improvement over the time when benefits were not funded and those who quit early got nothing at all.

He mentions that pensions can consider social security benefits so that rich actually get a higher percentage of pay from the plan than others. While that is true, and one could argue for against this I suppose, he forgets to mention that the rich get no social security benefit for their pay over the wagebase (nor do they pay taxes on this). So the idea here is that if the employer is contributing 8% toward social security (upto the wagebase) they should be able to contribute 8% toward a pension above the wagebase so that together the employer is contributing 8% toward both the pension and social security. Recent changes resulting in the employer only being able to contribute 8% above the wagebase if they also contribution 4% below the wagebase - means that the rich still do not get the same percentage - the actual rules are more complicated. ... Read more

7. Selling Real Estate without Paying Taxes
by Richard Williamson
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0793167981
Catlog: Book (2003-04-22)
Publisher: Dearborn Trade, a Kaplan Professional Company
Sales Rank: 9996
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Through case studies and actual client transactions, Selling Real Estate without Paying Taxes discusses basic tax deferral methods for new property investors, as well as introducing some uncommon and complex techniques that the seasoned real estate investor/agent may not have considered.

In Selling Real Estate without Paying Taxes, Richard T. Williamson breaks down the term "capital gain" and provides a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each method.Highlights of the book include how to use the Starker 1031 exchange, using installment sales to create a steady stream of income, and tax-free investing with an Investment Retirement Account (IRA). ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
This book is very well written; logically organized and concise. The information is priceless! For the cost of this book you could be saving 30% of your capital gains money! That's what I call positive ROI. This book is a must have!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Explains what you need to know in a simple easy to understand format. Highly recommended. Very satisfying read!

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Usable and easy to understand.
I was extremely happy to find a "How To "book that got right to the point. It is obvious that the author has "Been There, Done That".
The technical explanations were clear and thorough.
There are alot of new (to me) and interesting approaches on how to structure transactions. Annuities,IRA's etc.
Easy read,a lot of useable content.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for property investors!
This book is just what the doctor ordered. I am not an accountant or big time property investor but I needed to find out how to deal with the taxes I faced on the sale of a small apartment building. This book covered the stuff my realtor talked to me about and went far beyond. I quickly found out that what I was planning on doing wasn't going to work out the way I (or my realtor) thought. However, this book gave me other ideas and choices I hadn't considered; some of which would work pretty well for my situation. I don't necessarily enjoy reading business or tax books, but this one was surprisingly easy to read and understand. I was able to get through the book in a few days and didn't get bored or mind boggled. Now I've got both my realtor and accountant reading it. This one is worth the time invested. Hat's off to the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
This book is a "must read" for anybody who is considering buying or selling real estate in their lifetime. Many of the strategies listed in this book are very cutting edge. There are so many detailed tax advantages that are expressed in an easy to read format. This book is an excellent resource and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

8. Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes: The Essential Guide for Investors and Traders
by Kaye A. Thomas
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967498112
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Fairmark Press
Sales Rank: 52240
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For anyone who buys and sells stocks, mutual funds or stock options, this book makes it easy to understand the tax rules — and the best strategies for minimizing taxes. The 2004 edition covers all tax changes through December 2003. It is written in plain language but backed by solid research that makes it the most authoritative book on the subject.

For stock investors it provides complete coverage of the relevant tax provisions, including the capital loss limitation, how to identify shares, the wash sale rule, and the special tax rate for qualified dividends. Mutual fund investors will learn how and when to use the averaging rules for sales of mutual fund shares and how to handle all the categories of mutual fund dividends. Advanced investors will find a clear explanation of tax rules for short sales, stock options and "straddles." The book also explains how buying and selling activity may qualify you as a trader — and if so, how that will affect your taxes.

This isn't an all-purpose book on taxation of investments. You won't learn about Roth IRAs or variable annuities or even the rules for reporting interest from government bonds. The goal is to do one thing well: explain how people who buy and sell stocks, mutual funds and stock options can minimize the tax cost of those investments. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars good book, but needs further improvement
It is very clear and accurate in explaining the rules. It is not vey clear in certain chapters like Alternative Minimum Tax, or quantifying, even approximately, who can pass the trading activity test.
It would have been very useful to give a definition of each rule, in a few lines, so the reader does not have to go back and read an entire chapter just to refresh his/her memory about a rule.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Learning About the Taxation of Investments

In clear and simple language, "Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes" explains most investment-tax-related topics investors need to understand, ranging from calculating your basis on stocks and mutual funds to maximizing the allowed tax deduction for a capital loss.

Because taxes consume a substantial chunk of ordinary income, many knowledgeable investors wish to maximize their investment in things which are taxed at the more favorable capital gain tax rates (currently 10% for investors within the 15% income tax bracket and 20% for investors whose entire income falls above the 15% income tax bracket).

Thomas begins by working several examples to show investors how to calculate their tax burden given their tax bracket and the amount of their short-term and long-term capital gains and losses from stocks and mutual funds. Thomas devotes a chapter each to the special rules which apply to the taxation of individual stocks and mutual funds.

Thomas shows that, sometimes, we can lower the capital gains tax paid by identifying the specific shares of individual stock being sold. For example, suppose we buy 100 shares in Company XYZ at $10 per share on July 1, 1999. We buy 100 more shares of XYZ at $20 per share on July 9, 2000. We then sell 100 shares of XYZ on July 19, 2001 for $30 per share.

Unless we specified otherwise at the time of the sale, Thomas tells us that from a tax standpoint the shares sold will be treated on the first-in-first-out basis (FIFO). We will be taxed on a net long-term capital gain of $20 per share. However, had we identified the shares sold as those purchased on July 9, 2000, we would be taxed on only a net capital gain of $10 per share. Thomas explains the two things that must happen to ensure that the identification of shares will be deemed valid by the IRS.

Calculating your adjusted basis in a stock or mutual fund and properly determining your holding period is covered in detail with numerous examples. He also explains how mutual fund dividends and capital gain distributions are taxed.

Thomas gives us his opinion of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Thomas writes: "The basic idea behind the alternative minimum tax is a good one: people with very high levels of income shouldn't be able to completely avoid paying income tax while the rest of us pony up each year. The AMT is a poor reflection of that idea, however. Many high-income individuals escape its reach-and every year it ensnares more and more people who were never intended to be affected."

Employees who had massive gains followed by equally massive losses on their employee stock options are one example of people who would have benefited by knowing the tax laws better. As you've probably read in the news, some individuals have gone from being wealthy to not having enough total wealth to pay their current tax liability, compliments of the AMT not playing nicely with employee stock options.

While Thomas briefly touches upon the topic of employee stock options in Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes, he doesn't go into detail. Another bestselling book by Thomas, "Consider Your Options: Get the Most from Your Equity Compensation," addresses employee stock options.

Thomas writes, "It's worth noting that you can end up with a gain that's greater than the amount of money you realize in a sale. That's one reason to plan carefully when you use debt to acquire investment assets. You may have to come up with money from other sources to pay the tax on your gain ...There's only one thing worse than having to report gain that's greater than your net sale proceeds, and that's having the tax itself be greater than the net sale proceeds."

Other topics discussed in "Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes" include:

-- Tax rules for gifts
-- Dividend reinvestment plans
-- Wash Sale Rule
-- Capital loss carryovers
-- Taxation of stock acquired from a spouse
-- Separation, divorce, and who gets custody of the basis
-- Stock dividends and splits
-- Taxation of mergers and spin-offs
-- Stock that has become worthless
-- Qualified small business stock
-- Planning for lower taxes
-- Making estimated tax payments
-- Custodial accounts for minors and special issues affecting child investors
-- Tax deductibility of Investment Expenses and Investment Interest

Throughout "Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes," Thomas gives us tips for not inadvertently losing valuable tax deductions. And, he shows us ways investors could potentially save thousands of dollars through a little tax planning.

For example, upon inheriting stock, we learn that the basis of the stock is changed to its fair market value on the date of the giver's death. So, by holding a greatly appreciated stock and passing it on to heirs, we can eliminate taxes on all the capital gain that occurs between the original purchase and the end of our lives. While stock basis can "step up," Thomas explains that the reverse can also occur.

Suppose we had originally purchased stock for $20,000, but today the stock is only worth $2,000. If we die and the stock is inherited, the basis steps down to its market value of $2,000. No one gets to take the tax deduction for the $18,000 capital loss. Thomas notes that investors tend to sell their winners too early and their losers too late.

I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable investor, and I learned a great deal about the taxation of investments by reading "Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes." This book belongs in every serious investor's library. Remember, each dollar saved in taxes adds directly to your wealth. Peter Hupalo

5-0 out of 5 stars Ideal for those new to investment portfolio management
Kaye Thomas' Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes: The Essential Guide For Investors And Traders is a "plain language" guide to stocks, mutual funds, options, and tax strategies for maximizing returns and minimizing tax liabilities. Complete, authoritative, practical, "user friendly", this guide is ideal for those new to investment portfolio management and will prove both practical and invaluable in creating a personal financial investment plan with allied strategies. Indeed, Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes has much of value to offer even experienced investors with respect to tax rules for short sales, stock options, and "straddles". Highly recommended reading for sensible small investor strategic financial and investment planning.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book out there for taxes on stocks and mutual funds
This is probably the best book out there for the tax treatment of the following investment topics: stocks, options, short sales, wash sales, mutual funds, and dividends. I keep this book next to my computer and refer to it often. It has many examples. It even covers more advanced topics such as constructive sales and straddles. It has sections on the taxation of traders, gifts, accounts for minors, and AMT. It covers all of these topics accurately and thoroughly, while still being very readable for the non-tax professional. The author points out any grey areas of the tax law. This book isn't perfect (for example, in the section on estimated taxes, it doesn't mention form 2210 or what to do if unexpected income comes late in the year), but it is still very good.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best guide out there for taxes on stocks & mutual funds
This book is the most complete, accurate, and easy to understand guide out there. I keep this book next to my computer and refer to it often. It covers in detail capital gains on stocks and options, short sales, wash sales, mutual funds, and dividends. It even covers more complicated strategies such as constructive sales and straddles. It has many examples. It has sections on taxation for traders, tax rules for gifts and minors, and AMT. It is accurate and thorough, yet explains things in a way that non-tax professionals can understand. ... Read more

9. ItsDeductible Workbook for Tax Year 2005: The Blue Book for Donated Items
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970323077
Catlog: Book (2005-02-10)
Publisher: Intuit
Sales Rank: 9729
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Book Description

Every year, millions of Americans forfeit hundreds of dollars in legal tax savings simply because they underestimate the value of their charitable item donations. ItsDeductible, from the makers of TurboTax®, provides a simple solution to determining fair-market values. Updated annually, with assessments for over 1,000 categories, including jewelry, clothing, baby supplies, small appliances, exercise equipment, toys, and furniture, this easy-to-use workbook shows taxpayers how to accurately value their donated items, eliminating the guesswork and ensuring the full tax deduction to which they are legally entitled. The book also helps readers track and manage other charitable donations, including monetary and property donations, out-of-pocket expenses, and mileage expenses incurred while driving on behalf of a charity. For over 15 years, ItsDeductible™ — called "a revelation" by NBC’s Today — has been helping taxpayers maximize their deductions and save hundreds of dollars. ... Read more

10. The Courage to Be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance
by Suze Orman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573221252
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Penguin Putnam
Sales Rank: 19002
Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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Talk about an audacious title! But Suze (pronounced "Suzie") Orman means business in this anecdote-rich compendium of tips on 401(k)s, marriage, homes, and happiness. The PBS star/financial adviser has made plenty of the mistakes she warns against, like getting a 30-year mortgage instead of a cheaper 15-year, using Visa cards as magic carpets to calamity, and losing $20,000 in borrowed bucks to bum investment advice. Then she became a Merrill Lynch broker and an author capable of selling 10,000 books in 12 minutes on QVC.

Orman's point--in this and her No. 1 bestseller The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom--is that you'd better face fiscal facts and avoid fear, denial, and the self-fulfilling low expectations the novelist William Wharton called "the Poverty Mind." America is a nation of check-bouncing, late-fee-incurring, guilty bad planners. How long will it take to pay off that $3,000 Visa bill with minimum payments? Thirty years, you poor, dear fool! What would you gain if you bought stocks instead of your daily latte for 30 years? $165,152! Her book might've been titled The Courage Not to Be a Self-Sabotaging Neurotic.

Orman is the Andrew Weil of money health--she yearns to enrich your life emotionally, too. If you can't stand discussions of the psychological origins of fiscal decisions, or self-help lingo like "money is attracted to people who are strong and powerful, respectful of it, and open to receiving it," you'll want a more nuts-and-bolts adviser. If you want pep talk, true tales of woe and makeovers, and a jolt of a true pop culture phenomenon, Suze is for you. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (124)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'M IMPRESSED!
Suze Orman definitely knows her stuff. When it comes to financial awareness, I have slept through 40 years, and made countless mistakes, as have untold millions of Americans. I completely agree with Suze when she states that it truly does take "Courage to Be Rich". It requires planning, budgeting, understanding, and total willingness to change from living from paycheck to paycheck, wondering when everything's going to get better. But, it won't get better, unless you and I make a change, and improve our lives. The middle of this book got a little dry when it got into the meat of the issue, eg. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, Roth IRAs, etc., however, she explained those various investments very well. I'm just beginning to make up for a lot of wasted time, and this book was very enlightening to me. If any other books explain the subject as good or better than this one, please let me know. One inherent problem with a book like this is that after a few years some of the concepts will have changed, but the basics will always apply.

This latest book by Suze Orman continues her wonderful advice combining how to feel positive about making and collecting lots of money with simple "how to" investment advice about things like the common mortgage and retirement plan. This book is especially good for people who have unique problems and need basic financial advice. Her greatest contribution is to make people realize that on an emotional level, it is okay to want to be rich and her exercises help us develop THE COURAGE TO BE RICH. It is not as easy as it sounds. The psychological side of us keeps putting up "stalls" to succeeding. We need to ask ourselves some tough questions to deal with how we feel, what needs to be done and to develop solutions that make us and everyone else better off. I recommend THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION if you are interested in identifying your own "stalls" and want to start asking some of the tough questions. You will start to succeed in many new ways and at a much faster rate. Read both books to become so much more effective and develop the courage to accept the good things that come your way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner by Suze!
When it comes to personal finance, no one is better than Suze Orman.

This book goes a lot deeper into personal finance tha her previous books.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very, very, very good book. Thanks Suze
I have read several other books by female financial authors. And found those 1,000 page fluff filled books about as useful for financial knowledge as a used piece of toilet paper.

Suze is the best. She is passionate about personal finance and goes beyond just offering financial advice. Not just marketing, although her books and other products certaintly outsell that NY female magazine writer by about 1000 to 1. Suze's books sell only because she has something to say.

The Courage To Be Rich is by far one of Suze's best works to date. She really get's down and deep into the mental aspects of money and why your attitude directly affects your financial situation.

Some of what Suze writes here is similiar to 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, Suze's best book in my opinion and I like The Courage To Be Rich better than The Road to Wealth which is also excellent and probably appeals more to those analytical types who enjoy that NY female writer with the 1,000 page book full of fluff. The Road to wealth, is not is powerful information.

None the less, I still like The Courage To Be Rich even better. More hard hitting. More results oriented.

Great book Suze. We love ya!

1-0 out of 5 stars The Courage To Be Rich
I found this book very annoying. I wanted a financial help book and got a religious discussion of everything. I do wish that business and religion could be kept separate. If I wanted religion I would look for a religious book. She would be more helpful if she kept to the financial facts and let the reader deal with their own spirituality. I am sorry I wasted money on it. ... Read more

11. Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business Taxes
by Stephen Fishman
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413300200
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Sales Rank: 89480
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Book Description

The fastest way for any small business to make more money is to pay less to the IRS. Recent changes in the tax law make this easier to do than ever before - yet many entrepreneurs continue to pay more than is necessary.

Let Deduct It! show you how to maximize the business deductions you're entitled to --quickly, easily and legally.

Comprehensive -- yet easy to read with many interesting and relevant examples -- the book is organized into practical, easy-to-use categories featuring common deductions, including:

*start-up expenses
*operating expenses
*health deductions
*home offices
*and many more

Deduct It! is indispensable to your venture, whether you're just starting out or have been established for years. The book also provides basic information on how different business structures are taxed and how tax deductions work. ... Read more

12. What the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know : A CPA Reveals the Tricks of the Trade (What the Irs Doesn't Want You to Know)
by Martin S.Kaplan
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471449725
Catlog: Book (2003-11-26)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 47767
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With tax laws constantly changing and existing regulations hidden in volumes of tax code, nothing related to taxes is easy to figure out. Businesses and individuals in every income bracket need expert advice that cuts through the IRS bureaucracy and shows them how to work within the system. In What the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know: A CPA Reveals the Tricks of the Trade, tax expert Martin S. Kaplan reveals critical strategies that the best CPAs use for their clients to file shrewd, legal, money-saving returns.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, this book will help you answer such questions as:

  • How can you approach the "new" IRS to maximize your tax return success?
  • What are the latest IRS weapons?
  • What are the biggest taxpayer misconceptions?
  • What are the most commonly overlooked credits and deductions?
  • How will new tax legislation affect you?
  • How can outdated IRS technology benefit you?
  • What forms should you never fill out?

From deciphering the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 to understanding the personality of the IRS, What the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know will help you shape your tax strategies and stay on top of your current financial situation. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful
I bought TaxCut software, then read this book, I end up with a tax professional to do my 2001 tax. I am glad I read this book though, I avoided making mistakes and I followed carefully to my tax attorney's advice. This book is informative and insightful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid, up-to-date tax advice for 2002
Now available in a revised and updated eighth edition, What The IRS Doesn't Want You To Know: A CPA Reveals The Tricks Of The Trade is a compendium of solid, up-to-date tax advice for 2002. Chapters survey such topics as what the latest IRS targets are; ten ground rules one must never break to win with the IRS; the thirty-four greatest taxpayer misconceptions; commonly overlooked credits and deductions; what forms should never be filled out; new tax laws enabling an innocent spouse to get out of debt; how to plan IRA and pension plans; the latest taxpayer rights; and what IRS people are really like and how to work with them. What The IRS Doesn't Want You To Know is a highly practical book and strongly recommended reading for every taxpayer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incorporating? If so, this is a wonderful text!
My annual salary grew steadily each year since graduating from college in 1994. However, there was hardly any money to pay off my credit card bills and forget about nice vacations or investing! I'd had enough. I heard of IT jobs that paid $50/hr. (or more). One day I had a conversation with an IT contractor with 7 years experience. This man had incorporated his own business and suggested that I did for the tax benefits. However, he was not very articulate as to EXACTLY what benefits there were to incorporating. I had to know. So I purchased Marty Kaplan's 3rd edition in late 1997. On May 20, 1998 I paid a law firm $300 to formally incorporate my very own company. I was instanly a President!(I still get a kick out of my title!) I have been contracting ever since. I think that I would have been contracting whether I purchased this book or not. However, Marty Kaplan's book provided a detailed comparsion between the different types of businesses. (i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, C-Corporations, & S-Corporations) Marty explained the financial realities, that precious few people understand. These truths showed me the pros and cons to each business model. All the financial decisions that I made were based on the information I gleened from this book. I assure you that I am infintely better off today than I would be if I were still at my 1998 job. But, what's more is that I'm better off today than I would be if I had contracted as a "W2 employee." (which is much easier in the beginning!) It was Marty's text that enlightened me! Also, Marty speaks plainly about being audited - " may happen and don't panic." Marty is completely ethical. His text simply shows readers how to prevent raising red flags. (i.e. certain IRS forms have been found to be guaranteed red flags and Marty advises how to legitamately report those same expenses on the "right" forms) Marty provides excellent anecdotes that will help readers predict the IRS's behavior and steer clear of its wrath. Marty spends the remainder of the book showing you how to maximize your legitimate deductions while minimizing your tax liabity. This book paid for itself in a split second. Thank you Marty!

2-0 out of 5 stars good
very informativ

1-0 out of 5 stars America, Your Birthright is Freedom, not Tax Slavery
If you want to play the IRS' game, which can trash you on a whim, this book is actually very informative and well written.

Please be reminded that the enforcement of any income tax trounces your protections as described in the Bill of Rights. A National Retail Sales Tax would raise more than the government could ever truly need.

IF there's anything the IRS doesn't want you to know, it's that one of their special agents from their criminal investigations division just resigned under pressure when he submitted a report showing that the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified and there is not law that says you have to file a tax return.

The former officer's name is Joseph Bannister. ... Read more

13. J.K. Lasser's Taxes Made Easy for Your Home Based Business, 5th Edition
by Gary W.Carter, Gary W. Carter
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471235040
Catlog: Book (2002-11-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 16311
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

  • Completely updated for all the new tax laws
  • Capitalize on every deduction!
  • Sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership?

The Ultimate Guide to Running a Tax-Efficient Home-Based Business

The advantages of operating a home-based business are countless, but what many owners don’t realize, and are often not prepared to handle, are the host of complex tax issues surrounding a home-based business. The completely updated Fifth

Edition of J.K. Lasser’s Taxes Made Easy for Your Home-Based Business clarifies the current tax environment with regard to home-based businesses, and shows you how to make the most of the new tax laws.

This perennial guide answers home-based business owners’ questions, with a special focus on the changing tax laws and deductions for the home office. Expert advice and in-depth insights will help you avoid costly mistakes and take advantage of opportunities you would otherwise miss.

Critical coverage will help you:

  • Navigate the details of the new tax laws and IRS rules
  • Increase your knowledge of deductible expenses
  • Keep your records up to IRS standards
  • Organize and run a home-based business for maximum tax benefits
  • Make filing easy by utilizing sample tax forms
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best starting point for Home-based Businesses
This book, without any doubt, is the best starting point around for those of us who are starting a home-based business. However, words of warning:
-This is a reference. Do not assume you know all there is to know to your particular situation only by reading it. There is no good substitute for an accountant to help you with your business taxes, if not on an on-going basis, at least in order to get you going the first time you do your biz taxes.
-Watch for past editions. I ran into the 4th edition, and given changes in tax legislation, it is unwise to base any decisions on outdated (tax) information. Make sure you always read the latest edition of this book.

This said, I highly recommend this book for any business owner starting his/her business from home. It will give you a very good perspective on what to expect, what things you can change/improve to take full (and legal) advantage of the benefits the tax legislation offers to small business owners.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Taxes For Your Home-Based Business
"J.K. Lasser's Taxes Made Easy For Your Home-Based Business: The Ultimate Tax Handbook For the Self-Employed" by Gary W. Carter is a great book for home-based business owners and especially for those who operate as sole proprietors.

I found the first chapter, "Legislative, Administrative, and Judicial Authority" a bit slow and skipped most of it. (It's well-written and authoritative. I just don't care too much about the internal workings of the tax system).

Discussing the Supreme Court, Carter writes: "...the Supreme Court has complete discretion over whether it will hear a case. A party requests a hearing by Writ of Certiorari. If at least four members of the Court believe the issue is of sufficient importance to be heard by the Court it will grant the Writ (cert. Granted). Most often, however, it will deny jurisdiction (cert. Denied). ..."

But, it sounds like denied Writs aren't completely bad. Carter continues: "Furthermore, even when the Supreme Court steps in and handles a tax case, its decision often has the effect of muddling the issues rather than clarifying them, leaving us even more confused and bewildered. ... [Y]ou can see that the answers to tax questions often are not clear-cut. Sometimes, when the IRS says no, the courts say yes; or some courts say yes and other courts say maybe. Having an appreciation for this puts you at an advantage when dealing with the IRS. You should never submit to an IRS agent's adjustment of your returns unless it is backed up by appropriate authoritative support. The next section tells you how to find the various sources of authority."

Carter then shows us how to learn about tax law using online and other resources.

A good section of Chapter One for those facing an audit is "The Audit Process And Your Appeal Rights." But, if you aren't facing an audit, you can probably skip that section also.

Another section of Chapter One I found useful was "Letter Rulings," which discusses how taxpayers can ask the IRS in advance how certain transactions will be treated. (There is a fee for this service. The fee can be more than $5,000, but Carter tells us that for those with income under $150,000 the cost is only $500. And, for business owners asking about business-tax topics, the fee is also $500, if the company's annual revenue is $1 million or less.)

We learn that a letter ruling is actually a contract between the IRS and the taxpayer. So, getting a letter ruling is better than just asking the IRS for general about how something should be treated. And, Carter tells us that because a letter ruling is a contract between that particular taxpayer and the IRS, we shouldn't rely upon someone else's letter ruling to determine how our similar transaction will be treated.

So, if you have a question about how the IRS will treat a certain transaction that means a great deal to you, asking for a letter ruling will clarify the situation for you and provide certainty. You won't wind up at your Writ's end in the process.

Chapter Three introduces the reader to the basic business structures: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLC's, C-Corporations, and S-Corporations. Various advantages and disadvantages of each business structure are discussed, along with options for retirement plans and information about dealing with health insurance.

A large section of the book discusses the home office deduction and home-specific expenses. For example, deductions for daycare providers are covered as are the rules for being able to claim a deduction for the use of your home.

One chapter covers IRS form 8829, "Expenses For Business Use of Your Home" in detail and another chapter covers automobile deductions.

Chapter 12 works a comprehensive example, showing a sole proprietor's tax returns, including the IRS Form 1040, Schedule A, Schedule C (the heart of a sole proprietorship business), Schedule SE (for Self-Employment tax), Form 4562 "Depreciation and Amortization," and Form 8829.

The chapter "Other Common Business Deductions" covers deducting meals, entertainment, computer software, magazine subscriptions, and books.

For example, we learn that the Section 179 deduction (which allows a taxpayer to write-off as a current year expense the cost of certain assets that are normally depreciated over a number of years) doesn't apply to software, because Section 179 only applies to tangible property, and software is intangible.

Carter writes: "If you purchase books for business or investment purposes having only short term value (a tax guide like this one, for example), you can deduct their entire cost in the year of purchase. Books of a more lasting value are seven-year property for depreciation purposes. ... Because books are tangible personal property, they qualify for the Section 179 election if they are purchased for business purposes...make the Section 179 election by putting them in Part I of Form 4562..."

Carter gives a great quote from lawyer and writer John Grisham: "It's a game. We [tax lawyers] teach the rich how to play it so they can stay rich-and the IRS keeps changing the rules so we can keep getting rich teaching them."

If you want to learn how to play the small business tax game, "J.K. Lasser's Taxes Made Easy For Your Home-Based Business: The Ultimate Tax Handbook for the Self-Employed" is an excellent resource. Don't feel you must read this book cover-to-cover. Just jump around finding the stuff that's specific to your own situation.

Peter Hupalo, Author of "Thinking Like An Entrepreneur" & "How To Start And Run Your Own Corporation: S-Corporations For Small Business Owners."

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for budding entrepreneurs
Offers numerous ways to save money on taxes for home-based businesses by educating on deductible expenses, types of accounting methods, how to manage record-keeping, and the latest tax laws to name a few. Lots of examples make the book easy to understand. A real eye-opener. ... Read more

14. J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2005: For Preparing Your 2004 Tax Return
by J.K. Lasser Institute
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471647756
Catlog: Book (2004-11-19)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 1688
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Book Description

The Most Trusted Name in Tax

For over 60 years, more than 38 million Americans have trusted J.K. Lasser to help them save money at tax time

Now with


Basics of Filing (Chap. 1) including:
Which form to file – Chap. 1 Filing as Head of Household – Chap. 1
Filing for your children – Chap. 1 Filing for married couples – Chap. 1

What Must You Report as Income? (Chaps. 2–11) including:
Dividends & Interest – Chap. 4 Capital gains & losses – Chap. 5
Traditional & Roth IRAs – Chap. 8 Rental income – Chap. 9

What Deductions Can You Claim? (Chaps. 12–21) including:
Moving expenses – Chap. 12 Medical expense deductions – Chap. 17
Charitable deductions – Chap. 14 Who is a dependent? – Chap. 21

How Much Tax Do You Owe? (Chaps. 22–27) including:
The AMT – Chap. 23 Your child's tax – Chap. 24
Personal tax credits – Chap. 25 Estimated taxes – Chap. 27

Strategies to Save You Taxes (Chaps. 28–39) including:
Tax free residence sales – Chap. 29 Investing in securities – Chap. 30
Armed forces rules – Chap. 35 Tax breaks for education – Chap. 38

Planning Ideas for Your Business (Chaps. 40–45) including:
Home office deduction – Chap. 40 First year expensing – Chap. 42
Auto expenses – Chap. 43 Self-employment tax – Chap. 45

Now That You're Done (Chaps. 46–49) including:
Electronic filing – Chap. 46 Filing extensions – Chap. 46
IRS Audits – Chap. 48 Amended returns – Chap. 49

Easy-to-Use Format Explains Complex Tax Laws

  • FILING TIPS and FILING INSTRUCTIONS help you prepare your 2004 return
  • PLANNING REMINDERS highlight year-end tax strategies for 2004 and planning opportunities for 2005 and later years
  • CAUTIONS point out potential pitfalls to avoid and areas where you might expect IRS opposition
  • LAW ALERTS indicate recent changes in the tax law and pending legislation before Congress
  • COURT DECISIONS highlight key rulings from the Tax Court and other federal courts
  • IRS ALERTS highlight key rulings and announcements from the IRS
... Read more

15. JK Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, Revised and Updated
by HaroldApolinsky, Stewart H.Welch
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047170007X
Catlog: Book (2005-02-25)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 39600
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Book Description

A complete guide to planning an estate under today's tax rules

When it comes to your estate—no matter how big or small it may be—you shouldn't leave anything to chance. Proper planning is necessary to protect both your assets and your heirs. Estate Planning Law Specialist Harold Apolinsky and expert financial planner Stewart Welch III know this better than anyone else, and in the Revised and Updated Edition of J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, they offer valuable advice and solid strategies to help you plan your estate under today's tax rules as well as preserve your wealth. Packed with up-to-the-minute facts, this practical resource covers important issues, such as:

  • How new legislation will impact inheritances and trusts
  • Estate and generation-skipping tax planning
  • The role of wills, executors, and trusts
  • Treatment of charitable contributions
  • The do's and don'ts of gifting
  • Life insurance and retirement planning

Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, this book will show you how to efficiently arrange your estate today so that you can leave more to those you care about tomorrow. ... Read more

16. Taxes For Dummies 2005
by EricTyson, David J.Silverman, Margaret A.Munro
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764572113
Catlog: Book (2004-12-06)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 56481
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Book Description

The perfect book for the first time, last minute, and first time online filer

Completely revised for tax year 2004, Taxes For Dummies 2005 is the only tax guide on the market that walks readers line by line through the most common tax forms, including the dreaded Schedule D. Filled with helpful tips and strategies for getting through the process of filing income tax returns accurately and on time, this book is aimed at individuals who want to do their own taxes without hiring a preparer. Financial expert and bestselling For Dummies author Eric Tyson teams up with tax experts David Silverman and Margaret Munro to answer the most frequently asked tax questions in plain English, taking the mystery and frustration out of the filing process. They also explain the process for tax audits and provide strategies for planning ahead for the 2005 tax season. This easy-to-use guide helps readers understand all the tax law changes for the 2004 tax year. Taxes For Dummies 2005 also includes complete line-by-line analyses that are particularly useful for people using tax preparation software such as TurboTax. In addition, this new edition also includes filing advice for those with special lifestyle needs, such as military families, the self-employed, divorced individuals paying child support, and working students.

Eric Tyson is a nationally recognized personal finance counselor, as well as the author of Personal Finance For Dummies (0-7645-2590-5), Investing For Dummies (0-7645-2431-3), and Mutual Funds For Dummies (0-7645-5329-1). David J. Silverman (New York, NY) has more than a quarter-century of experience as an enrolled agent who helps clients with their tax prepartions and can represent them if audited. He is the author of Battling the IRS. ... Read more

17. Wall Street Secrets for Tax-Efficient Investing: From Tax Pain to Investment Gain
by Robert N. Gordon, Jan M. Rosen
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576600882
Catlog: Book (2001-11)
Publisher: Bloomberg Press
Sales Rank: 141315
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sage advice on taxes and investing from a Wall Street pro! An investor looks at a monthly brokerage statement. The eye goes straight to the figure on the bottom—the account value. But there's a catch. If the investor with big gains decides to play it safe and take some of that money off the table, taxes will take a chunk of it. Brokerage firms know how to handle risk for their own accounts, hedging holdings, for example, to iron out volatility instead of incurring taxable capital gains. Savvy individual investors can use the same techniques to protect themselves. This book shares the strategies of an insider to demonstrate how you can use the tax laws to your advantage. In plain English, this book explains federal and state tax considerations that investors need to know to make the most tax-efficient investment choices and to protect their portfolios form risk.. By the time they finish reading this book, investors will be on their way to reducing their "tax bite" to a "nibble."

Indispensable Advice for Investors:

• Discover the nooks and crannies in the tax code that you can use to your advantage • How to factor tax consequences into investment choices• Concrete exit strategies - disciplined loss harvesting can add nearly a percentage point to your annual after-tax return• The perfect investment for college savings • How to get money out of a stock without paying tax • Avoiding the double-taxation trap of personal holding companies • The quest for tax-efficient mutual funds• The right way to structure a portfolio for a tax-deferred retirement plan • Turning carryover losses into currently deductible expenses and capturing interest as a long-term gain• Watching out for the AMT - and other year-end strategies ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A most helpful book for the involved investor
Good ideas on making the right choices between investment tools, stocks vs. options vs. funds..easily worth the money

1-0 out of 5 stars What a waste of time.
This is nothing more then a self serving book that really does not provide any insight. It is really a sales tool for the author's brokerage firm. Save Your Money!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice
This book is filled with top-notch strategies for minimizing the tax bite on your investments. It's well-organized and contains info that, I think, will benefit both individual and professional investors. By making a few simple changes to my portfolio, I'll now be able to boost my take-home returns considerably. Strongly recommended. ... Read more

18. The Tax Guide for Traders
by Robert A. Green
list price: $55.00
our price: $34.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071441395
Catlog: Book (2004-09-27)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 151589
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Book Description

Taxes play an integral role in trading success, yet no book today clearly and adequately explains the tax issues that are unique to active traders and investors. The Tax Guide for Traders provides traders with practical material on how to minimize the impact taxes have on their hard-won profits.

Written in a hands-on style that appeals to traders as opposed to accountants, it discusses the best ways to set up a trading business, key tax forms and how to use them, tax treatment for specific types of securities, what to do in case of an audit, and much more.

... Read more

19. J.K. Lasser's small TM/small 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks : The Complete Guide to Everything Deductible (J.K. Lasser)
by BarbaraWeltman
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047164773X
Catlog: Book (2004-10-22)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 137421
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Book Description

The simple truth about tax breaks and deductions

If you're unfamiliar with the ever-changing tax laws or frightened by the threat of an audit, you've probably missed out on taking perfectly legal write-offs in the past. With the 2005 Edition of J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks as your guide, you can stop worrying and start saving, because you'll learn exactly how to take advantage of every tax break and deduction that you may be entitled to - without running afoul of the IRS.

Fully updated and completely revised to reflect important changes in this year's tax laws, J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks, 2005 Edition can help you save more than ever before on your tax bill. Chapters are clearly organized by subject matter so you can easily find situations that may apply to you. Also, each tax benefit is clearly explained, along with the eligibility requirements for claiming the benefit, as well as planning tips and common pitfalls associated with the benefit in question. New tax law alerts are also included throughout the book, so you can make the most informed decisions possible.

Critical coverage will help you find deductions and tax breaks with regard to:

  • You and you family
  • Your job
  • You home and car
  • Your business
  • Medical expenses
  • Education costs
  • Retirement Savings
  • Health savings accounts
  • Charitable giving
  • investing
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Real estate
  • Borrowing and interest
  • Insurance and catastrophes
  • Gifts and inheritances

J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks, 2005 Edition is packed with hundreds of updated deductions and credits, practical advice, and real-world examples. by answering the most commonly asked tax question, "What can I deduct?" it will clearly help you save more on your tax bill this year and for years to come. ... Read more

20. How to Pay Zero Taxes, 2005 (How to Pay Zero Taxes)
by Jeff A. Schnepper
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 007144100X
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 231438
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Book Description

Includes all the latest updates and changes to the 2004 tax code

Publishers Weekly called it "a can't-miss title." The New York Daily News praised it for "pushing the envelope" and taking "a consumerist approach that's helpful during all the other months before next April." Best of all, more than half a million people have consulted How to Pay Zero Taxes for solid guidance on paying less to the IRS.

This fully updated 22nd edition contains:

  • The latest tax changes
  • More tax-saving tips than any other guide
  • Easy, practical strategies to lower taxes this year, next year, and beyond
  • Hundreds of legal ways to preserve pretax income and profit
... Read more

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