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Get Rid Of Tax Debt In A Way Most People Don’t Know

Get Rid Of Tax Debt In A Way Most People Don’t Know

While the

global economy continues to showcase signs of considerable growth and diversification, personal debt remains a huge issue in developed countries throughout the world. This is a key legacy of the Great Recession, during which time numerous citizens defaulted on their financial agreements and triggered additional, interest-related debt. Tax debt is another key consideration for citizens in the modern age, especially when you consider the rising number of freelancers, independent contractors and part-time financial traders who are active in 2014. This demographic is ultimately responsible for conducting its own tax assessments and calculating repayments, and many have found themselves impacted by a fundamental lack of knowledge and awareness. coins_refund

    It is important that you look to reduce your tax debt quickly, while also keeping a level head and avoiding such issues in the future. Consider the following steps towards achieving these goals.

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    1. Understand the nature of your debt and identify key resources.

    Before you can start to diminish your tax debt, it is first important to understand its nature. Just as there are multiple tax laws and codes, so too there are several different types of debt and methods of potential repayment. Understanding the full extent and structure of your debt is crucial, as from there you can determine the best and most expeditious resolution. If you are looking for a place to start, consider contacting your country’s revenue and customs regulatory body or an independent website for more impartial advice.

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    2. Create a clearly defined plan of action.

    Once you have researched your debt liability and all viable resolutions, you can begin to create a clearly defined plan of action. This can include one or several points, so long as they are relevant to your debt and help you to move towards a resolution. It is crucial that your plan includes maintaining open lines of communication with the governing tax authority, as this enables you to discuss your options and agree on an amicable solution. Whether this involves making estimated quarterly repayments while your case is being investigated further, requesting a payment extension or scheduling installments, you will at least be able to create a foundation from which your tax debt can be diminished.

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    3. Ensure that your plan is practical and manageable over Time

    Once you have established a plan that is agreeable with the governing tax authorities, the next step is to ensure that this is manageable over time. Execution is critical, as even the most detailed and proactive plan of repayment is meaningless unless it can be sustained. So even if you have managed to negotiate an amicable installment plan to settle your tax debt, for example, you must carefully analyze your income and existing repayments to ensure that this is viable. The same principle applies if you commit to making estimated quarterly repayments, while anyone who requests an extension must guarantee that they can meet the full cost of their debt and any affiliated interest within the specified time frame.

    4. Seek help from a tax debt professional before executing your plan.

    When dealing with a governing tax body such as the IRS or HMRC, it is absolutely imperative that you deal in precise fact and meet deadlines without fail. Even though authorities such as the IRS remain flexible and are willing to allow payment extensions of up-to 120 days, for example, the failure to repay within this time frame will be met with a far more serious response. Given the need to comply with tax legislation and ensure that you make repayments according to exact terms of your agreement, it may be worth seeking advice from a tax debt professional before your finalize and execute your plan. While this may require an initial investment, it will potentially help you to reduce the cost of your repayments and make longer-term tax savings.

    5. Learn from previous mistakes and change your behavior for the future.

    On this note, it is also important that you look to learn from your mistakes and ensure that you do not incur future tax liability. Acquiring knowledge is key, so you should also look to review individual income streams and how your earnings are structured in relation to tax. If you are someone who looks to boost your income though financial trading and speculation, for example, you may want to consider considering investing in derivatives that are free from capital gains tax. In the UK and similar European countries, any earnings generated through activities such as currency trading are ineligible for taxation, as these practices are categorized as informed gambling. So long as this is not your sole or primary source of income and you are able to access a real-time price chart while trading, it is therefore possible to maximize your earnings without falling foul of tax legislation.

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    Last Updated on September 2, 2020

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

    In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

    4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

    Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

    1. Be Clear About the Objectives

    Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

    It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

    Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

    2. Keep Goals Realistic

    It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

    It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

    3. Account for Inflation

    Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

    Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

    For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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    4. Short Term Vs Long Term

    Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

    As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

    By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

    How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

    • Ensuring healthy savings
    • Making smart investments

    You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

    Ensuring Healthy Savings

    Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

    This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

    1. Track Expenses

    The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

    Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

    If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

    2. Pay Yourself First

    Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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    Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

    The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

    Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

    3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

    Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

    Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

    At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

    Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

    You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

    4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

    In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

    Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

    • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
    • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
    • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

    The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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    5. Talk About It

    Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

    Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

    6. Maintain a Journal

    For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

    If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

    When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

    Making Smart Investments

    Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

    1. Consult a Financial Advisor

    Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

    Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

    2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

    Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

    Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

    As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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    3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

    Einstein once remarked about compounding:

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

    Use compound interest when setting financial goals

      Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

      Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

      4. Measure, Measure, Measure

      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

      If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

      Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

      The Bottom Line

      Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

      and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

      More Tips on Financial Goals

      Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

      Reference

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