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Who's there?

The IRS!

The next quarterly payment of estimated income tax for the self-employed is not far off. Network marketers who receive a form 1099 at the end of the year, and/or who are expected to owe $1,000 or more in taxes, must file a form 1040-ES Payment Voucher quarterly to avoid paying a penalty.

When it comes to paying income tax, I'm like Arthur Godfrey who said, "I am proud to pay my taxes. I'd be just as proud to pay half as much.

Like most network marketers, I work hard for what I earn and do not savor sending the government any more money than what I legally owe. So you can imagine how I felt four years ago, when I learned I had overpaid my income tax by some $9,800 over three years.

I had trusted the guy who did my tax returns. After all, preparing tax returns was big part of his business.

But guess what, I fired him.

Once I learned what the law provides home-based business owners to deduct, I went back through three most recent years of returns, revising my 1040 to claim deductions my tax guy didn't have the foggiest notion existed. Or if he did know, he failed to ask me about them.

For instance, my tax guy failed to ask me if I had any dogs. Did you know your dog (or three dogs in my case) qualifies as a "security system" for your home-based business? 100% of all dog food, Vet bills, license fees and medication is tax deductible! I have the IRS tax code to prove it. My tax guy didn't know that. I called him on it and told him to look it up for himself.

You see, I did something worthwhile. I invested in a well-known and respected home-based business tax-reduction book. I learned that with some 43,000 tax codes on the books, a typical CPA could not possibly know them all. How could they?

CPA's typically specialize in corporate tax code, and are often short sighted when it comes to tax deductions for home-based business owners. But I now have my home business tax-guide that lays out exactly what deductions I can take and cites the tax code for each one.

Thankfully, the law allows me to revise previous tax returns, so I was able to save a bundle of money, money I thought was gone. My point to you is this: The likelihood is great that you, too, have overpaid your taxes and are not even aware of it. How much?

According to what I read, the average home-based business owner overpays $1,000 to $2,000 in taxes every year. But the IRS is not about to refund what we overpay without us asking for it through an amended tax return. When you add in the interest

that tax money is earning and refunded with your overpayment, the average refund is more like $3,000 to $6,000.

From my experience, do not trust anyone doing tax preparation who is not intimately familiar with home- based business tax deductions and tax strategies. They could cost you thousands of dollars if they are not up on home-based business tax law, no matter how many initials they carry after their name.

Congress knows that small business is the engine that runs our nation's economy. To encourage small business, Congress has passed legislation giving huge tax breaks to people who invest in a small business. Your network marketing enterprise places you squarely into that small business category.

That fact presents another problem for many part- time network marketers, because they do not think they have earned enough money from their business to qualify for tax deductions. This erroneous thinking is costing them literally thousands of tax dollars.

When I do business seminars, I hold up a Distributor Application and romance it. Why, because just the act of signing that piece of paper qualifies us as a home-based business owner; one who is now eligible to claim thousands of dollars in legally authorized tax deductions; deductions we could not claim before signing that piece of paper.

Profit or loss is not the criteria, it is our intent to make a profit that allows us to claim deductions year after year.

No matter how you view your business, this is your money. So it should behoove you to learn what you can about minimizing your tax liability.

You should do so for yourself, and then for others. How much more good could we do if learned how to keep tax dollars at home? How much more could we do for others if we taught them the same?

Jim Lynn is the author of, "Real World Secrets Behind America's Most Successful (And Profitable) People Who Network." Website: http://peoplewhonetwork.net

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