Welcome to the In The Clear Podcast! I’m your host, Justin Recla and today we are interviewing one of the members of The Clear Business Directory on what it means to operate a transparent business. Our guest today is Drew Miles. Drew is the CEO of Tax Saving Professional and joins us on the show today. Drew, welcome to the show!
It’s good to be with you Justin, appreciate it!
So, Drew before we get going I know you and I are in the “CEO Space” and we’ve had some great conversations. Before we really get into the questions of the show, can you tell our listeners what it is that Tax Saving Professional does?
Sure, glad to. Well first off, I’ve been in business now almost 30. I’m an Attorney almost 30 years now which I can’t believe but I am a grandpa, Justin so, you can’t fool anybody. So, as the name implies Tax Saving Professionals that has been our core business now for the better part of those, a good part of those 30 years. But what we now do for our clients is we find the hidden money in their business. Hidden implies correctly that it’s money that they don’t even know about. In the sense that, they don’t know there’s anything that they can do to recoup it. So we start of course with taxes, with tax savings. The average business owner today we find is overpaying their taxes by between 35 and 50 percent annually. So just put a little math to that. If you’re making you know $150,000 (One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars) and you’re paying upwards of say $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars) between federal and state taxes and like that we’re just talking income taxes. Then, imagine if instead of paying almost 50 grand a year, you were paying maybe 30 grand a year, 35 and “what would you do with that extra 15 or $20,000 (Twenty Thousand Dollars) each year knowing in advance how much you are going to save?” “What could you do with that to improve the quality of your life, improve the impact that you make on your community, improve your family’s situation and grow your business?” So that’s what we’re doing, we’re finding the hidden money and putting it to better use for folks.
I absolutely love it because you know I’ve got a saying that you know that “the government wants you to be rich. They just want you to be rich their way.” And there are so many rules and laws and loopholes and things that you can do or can’t do that it’s extremely convoluted in understanding all of the tax rules that are out there. So having somebody that’s got your experience of 30 somewhat years in the business is so important to have on your team because you know the overpaying especially in taxes is huge. So let me ask you this Drew, are you able to go back to previous tax returns and help people find some money that they overpaid in the past?
Typically our work is focused from today forward. So when a client comes on board, they come on board today, we can reach back into this existing tax year a bit and then the primary impact is going to be from now into the future.
That’s huge. That’s huge. Knowing that moving forward you’re not going to be overpaying taxes in business. You know like the example that you gave with the extra 10, $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) a year. There’s so much that business owners can do with that extra capital. That’s huge. I absolutely love it. So Drew, tell me, what’s one good question that somebody should be asking you before they actually decide to hire your business?
Well before they decide to hire, to me presupposes that they’ve at least had an opportunity to talk through with one you know myself or somebody from my company, “What we can do? How we’re going to do it? And what the savings is going to be?” So before that, you know literally hidden money is hidden. You don’t even know it’s there. So you have to give us a chance to expose it. Now once we’ve exposed it, then the question becomes, “How long do I want to keep wasting this money?” I suppose because it’s free money in the sense that it’s your money and it’s simply a matter of changing the strategies that you’re using. Probably adding to the strategies that you’re using that will turn that from theory into real dollars. So that becomes the question, “How long do I want to suffer? How long do I want to waste money? How long do I want to underperform? How long do I want to struggle in business?” When I don’t have to if I simply change my approach.
I like that. It goes back to the old adage of you know “you can’t unlearn something you just learned.” So you know, if you’ve learned that you’ve been overpaying taxes for a period of time, “how long do you want to continue overpaying all those taxes?” I would imagine those business owners would immediately jump on that especially if they find that they can save an extra 10, $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) a year. That’s a pretty big deal.
They do and here’s what I’m going to call one of the business myths that’s out there. By the way, our clients are business owners not W-2 folks but the tax code for business owners is effectively a different part of the tax code. There’s things that we can do to help business owners that we just simply can’t do for non- business owners. So here’s the myth. The myth that’s out there is, “My Accountant is already taking care of that or my Accountant does my tax planning for me. My Accountant is maximizing my deductions.” I call it a myth because most people would be really really surprised if they ask their CPA, their tax preparation person that question, “Are you taking every deduction I’m entitled to?” They’d be very surprised at their answer because their answer is going to be something like I mean I’ll say it my way first and then I’ll say it the way they would probably say it. In my experience, their answer would be something like if they were completely transparent and completely honest, “No, of course not. That’s not what you’re paying me to do.” What their answer is going to sound more like as “Well yeah. You know, I’m doing the best I can. We’re doing the best we can.” You don’t want to get yourself in trouble with the IRS, do you? Implying that if you were to do it right and take advantage of the tax code as it’s written that you’d be getting yourself into trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth.
So keep in mind for the most part, we’re working with the client’s CPA, we’re not replacing them. You know we learned that a lot of times, clients, business owners have a relationship with their existing CPA or tax prep person. It’s their brother-in-law, it’s their best friend from High School or whatever. So we’re not going to interfere with that relationship. What we’re going to do is use our knowledge of tax strategy and by the way, my Tax pros are CPA, Tax Attorneys, people that have been preparing around tax returns for 25, 30, 35 years. So, they know what it’s like to be on that side of the table and we just come alongside and basically assist your CPA in doing a better job of minimizing legally the amount of taxes you pay.
I like that you bring up 2 really good points there. One of the reasons or the excuses that some CPAs or Accountants might give you know for me, I’m going to go back to due diligence. So you know, if you’re having a CPA or your Accountant do your taxes, your business taxes. “Is that person themselves a business owner?” Because if they are not, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know all the laws, the tax codes and how it applies to the business. There’s a mindset there from an employee mind-set to a business owner mind-set that is huge and that you know they could be costing you money. So that’s something to take into consideration. The second point that you brought up that I really really like is that you know you’re an add-on relationship. You’re not coming in, you’re not looking to replace those existing relationships and that you’re more of an add-on and you work with existing Accountant or CPA to help find that lost money. And that’s huge because you’re so right, there’s so many people that has an established relationship with her Accountant, with their CPA because it is personal, you know. Although, it’s business, it’s tax, it’s a very personal relationship because you’re giving that person you know, you’re having them dive into your financials which you know is something that you know in business you don’t let everybody do. And so that’s important. And I like the fact that you guys come in as an add-on relationship to the existing business relationship that your clients have. That’s super important.
Yup and no doubt and I appreciate that. You know, I am a small business guy. You know, I’m not the typical lawyer that whatever has an ivory tower with a big beautiful office and I’ve got very nice offices but I come out of, I grew up in a family business which was the construction supply business, right?. So, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. I’m not afraid to sweat and work hard and I know that when we talk about small business owners, that is the make-up of most small business owners – hard working, dedicated, found a better you know, created a better mousetrap and the illusion is, “if I offer this better mousetrap to the marketplace that at some point down the road, there’s going to be a pot of gold” and sometimes there is. But what we find is that for a large majority of business owners, it’s this constant struggle to keep ahead, stay in business because of so many expenses. You try to grow a business, it costs an enormous amount of money to properly grow business. So, it’s really tough. You’re kind of behind the curve until things kick in. Now, for some people they kick in and you do get that pot of gold. You know, we call it retirement or selling the business or some such thing. But for a lot of business owners, the real experience is after 5 years, after 10 years, after 20 years, after 25 years in the business, they still don’t have enough to retire. So, what can we do about it? Well, imagine if you took some of that 10 or $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) in savings and by the way that’s not a cap, that’s just an example.
You took that $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) a year and redirected it into a strategy that we like a lot, we call it Private Banking. Sounds like you’re building your own bank but in reality what it is, is a form of retirement plans not in the tax code as a retirement plan so I’m speaking more, less formally, right? So, it’s not considered a retirement plan but who cares if the net result is you wind up with a bunch of money in one place that you can access on a tax advantage probably tax-free basis. And if you wound up with a million dollars in that bucket 15, 20, 30 years down the road and you funded it out of money you didn’t even know you had found money, as we like to say meant to me that’s a winner.
Yeah. We see a lot of business owners especially small business owners that are working their business and making income and the long term planning piece is typically after that because they are stuck with day to day grind, “how do they make money to get by?” Knowing that they can do that and they can still fund their retirement, that’s a huge deal. Yeah absolutely. So Drew, I know you’ve been in business for 30 years. I know that there are some stuff that you probably wish you could go back in time and do over again. So, is there anything in your business background, your business history lessons learned that you wish you could go back over and do again. And if so, what would this be?
Yeah, great question. I think I’m a product of the 70s in part personal development movement and having grown up in New York. They tell me that sometimes New York folks are perceived as having a little edge to them. I don’t know if that’s true Justin but so you know early on business, the kind of the way that our message came across and my message came across was “I’m going to teach you it. I’m going to teach you how to find this money. I’m going to teach you how to do it properly and it’s up to you to do it.” And what I found was a lot of times for various reasons, the how- to message didn’t get conveyed properly. So people were left, clients were left either with a misunderstanding or perhaps with an argument with their CPA because the CPA thing, “You can’t do that,” and the client says, “But Drew said I could do it.” There was a gap between what I thought I had communicated and what I did. And so you know, early on we found ourselves at odds sometimes with CPAs and I wish you know if I could go back in time and change one thing, I would change the way that we handled those questions and those concerns. Since that time, we have changed. We’ve got CPAs who talk to CPAs and answer their questions and answer their concerns and provide them with the documentation they need to go, “Oh, now I get it.” So it’s much more of a team approach and it took us a while to figure that out.
You know it sounds like, the same issue that a lot of people have is “How do you systemize this? How do you get it to work?” And you know, normally I ask, “What’s the miscommunication that you had with a client in the past?” and I think you addressed that in your answer here. You know you were speaking directly to the client and it sounds like in the process of time, you were able to handle that by like you said, it was bringing in and working from a team perspective.
Yup, exactly. And so you know, kudos to our team. You know, our client satisfaction level has gone up tremendously. Our ability to work with their CPA has gone up tremendously. It really is a positive experience for both us, the client and even their CPA because they get educated and assisted along the way. So yeah, I think we’ve learned from our mistakes.
That’s absolutely fantastic. So Drew, one more question here. What is the one thing you want your particular clients to know about you and your business?
That’s a great question. I would say that there’s no risk in talking to us. It won’t cost you anything. We will put together a plan for you at no cost. We will identify the areas of hidden money that we can uncover all at no cost. We’ll meet with you and your CPA on the phone and present that plan. And so there’s really no risk in talking to us if you decide, “hey, that’s something I want to do.” Then you know we’ll talk about a payment plan if it’s something that you say, “well, thanks but we’re not ready to do it right now.” There’s no cost for you to get the answers to your question and literally have a plan in place. So you know, give us a call, give us a chance. We’d love the opportunity to help you out.
Fantastic. Drew, I know that our listeners can find you inside theclearbusinessdirectory.com. (www.clearbusinessdirectory.com), Clear@ClearBusinessDirectory.com . Click on the Tax Saving Professionals profile and you’ll be able to read all about Drew and his business history and see where
Sure. Our main website is taxsavingpros.com. (www.taxsavingpros.com )
Fantastic. Is there a good phone number that people can reach you at?
Yup. My direct line: 772-228-7702. We’re on the East Coast. We’re in Florida so, we’re in Eastern time zone.
Fantastic. Drew, thank you so much for joining us on the show today and we look forward to seeing you again in the upcoming “CEO Space.”
It’s been a lot of fun, Justin. I appreciate the invite.