6 Ways To Pay Less In Taxes

Self improvement includes mental and physical improvement, and developing financial resources. One very important aspect of this is minimizing the taxes you pay. This has two benefits. First, you are saving more of your money, which can be invested, used to purchase items you want, or kept as an emergency fund. Second, you are not contributing as much financially to any of the SJW projects, endless warmongering, and general incompetence of the government.

Let’s look at a few ways you can reduce your tax burden. Note that I live in the US, but many of these general ideas should work in most jurisdictions.

1. Purchase Online


Most internet and mail order purchases are free from sales tax. Sales tax rates can be 10% or more. Much of what I purchase in an average year is available on sites like Amazon, Jet, and other smaller internet retailers. Saving 10% off your entire purchases for the year is quite easy, not to mention the time, gas, and effort you save by ordering items delivered straight to your door. Bonus tip: You can use sites like Retailmenot for discounts and 3Camel to compare prices before you buy.

2. Consider Downsizing


Tax Free Houseboat

In the US, you are subject to local, state, and national taxes. Jurisdictions find a way to have an optimal mix of these taxes in order to extract the most resources from you.

For example, New Hampshire has no income tax, but one of the highest property tax rates in the nation. Florida is home to the largest retiree population in the US. Any plan to raise taxes from Floridians would do well to tax incomes lower and purchases higher (as the retirees have no income, but plenty of assets off which to live and make purchases). So, don’t you know it, Florida has a high sales and property tax.

If you live in a high property tax state, consider downsizing or moving into an apartment, which has a far lower property tax burden than a detached home. I actually know a guy who lived in a houseboat (it was permanently located in the same spot) and paid zero property taxes on his “house.”

3. Work In The Underground Economy



I have a buddy in his late thirties who has been a bartender for over a decade. He’s tried quitting, and getting a “real job” but always comes back because he simply can’t beat the easy, tax free money.

If you work in a cash industry, including construction, service industry, blue collar trade like plumbing, electrician, etc, or for a small employer who will pay you in cash, you can work up to 30% less. Note that this method is the only one discussed here that may not be legal—you are technically required to report any income received on your annual income tax return, but if you are paid in cash, there’s less risk that anyone other than you knows your true earnings.

4. Become Self-Employed


Self employment has a ton of benefits, including setting one’s own schedule, becoming anti-fragile, not having to deal with a human resources department, and more freedom. But it is one of the very best tax decisions one can make. Why? Because of expenses that are deducted from one’s gross income. Let’s just take a simple example.

Say you learn to be a plumber. You can go work for a repair or plumbing company, who will pay you a set wage. Or you could work independently as a self employed plumber. If you choose the latter, many of the costs you have with doing a plumbing job now become “deductible expenses.” Whereas in the first case, they are simply costs the employee must pay for with after-tax dollars.

You will need a set of tools, which you can buy, and the purchase of these tools is a business expense. You may need to wear a certain uniform or clothing to crawl underneath houses. You might need heavy duty coveralls, good work boots, etc. Need a telephone for people to make service calls? Need a tablet to map out the GPS addresses? Need a camera to document repairs and identify parts? All of these can be deductible expenses.

They are also items you can use when you are not on the clock and have real benefits to you. After a year or so, assuming business is good, you may wish to buy a truck to carry around your tools and supplies. Guess what? The purchase of that truck is a deductible expense. Even the cost of fuel and maintenance can be deductible. When you subtract all of these expenses from your gross income, you are paying far less tax.

Let’s assume you earned $50,000 plumbing, and bought a used $15,000 truck and $5,000 in other expenses for the year. You now pay taxes on $30,000 of income. And guess what? A $30,000 income is below average, and you are therefore taxed at a lower rate as well. So you now have more money and a truck paid for out of your plumbing earnings, while your plumbing buddy working for the man has to pay for his truck with his own money.

5. Work Abroad


The USA is one of two nations (the other is the primitive African dictatorship of Eritrea) to tax income worldwide. But luckily, due to the lower cost of living in much of the developing world, one can work abroad and find a way to minimize or avoid paying taxes to the US. You may be able to exclude up to $100,800 of foreign income from taxation, provided you pay local taxes abroad and meet certain other requirements (note: the local taxes are always FAR less than what the US charges).

6. Invest in real estate


Real estate investment has several tax-advantaged rules that make it a great investment, especially for those earning $50,000 a year or more.  There is a reason why so many highly compensated white collar workers like doctors and lawyers invest in real estate. It is one of the best ways to lower their tax bill. There are two main reasons: deductibility of expenses and depreciation.

(Note: The general ideas here are accurate, but I don’t want anyone audited or fined for not property following the rules, so please do your own research, as property investing is somewhat complex.)

Deductibility means that any expenses, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, even interest on the mortgage used to purchase the property, are all deducted from its total income that year. The remaining amount is taxed. But wait. First a special further deduction only done for tax purposes is made. It’s called depreciation. This is a special federal tax rule where the value of the property is diminished by a certain percentage each year. The IRS describes it as “an annual allowance for wear and tear, deterioration, or obsolescence of the property.”

For example, a rental home has a depreciation amount of ~3.5% per year of the building value. It doesn’t matter if the home is actually deteriorating. Perhaps you just put in all new hardwood floors, which actually improve the condition of the home. You’re still entitled, just like any owner, to take this automatic deduction. So, assuming the home’s value was $100,000, there is an annual deduction of ~$3,500. This is the same as if you spent $3,500 of your money on deductible expenses, except you didn’t spend a penny!

A Hypothetical Example

Let’s say you decide to purchase a $100,000 investment home. First, any repairs or purchases made for maintenance of the home are deductible. Need a lawn mower? That’s a deductible expense. Need a tool set to make basic repairs? That’s also deductible. Need a blower, weed eater, landscape supplies, plants, gravel, etc.? All deductible.

Let’s say the rent is $500. At the end of the year, the total rental income is $6,000. After deducting expenses and interest payments, the net income is $3,000. And then we deduct another $3,500 in depreciation. The property now shows a net loss of $500! Zero tax is due, and in some cases, that loss can be used to offset income from another source.

Fast forward 20 years, and the home, due to inflation, is now worth $200,000. The mortgage has been paid off completely by the tenant. During that time you have paid no taxes on what would otherwise be $200,000 of income. And if the property generated taxable losses due to the depreciation “expense,” you even reduced your tax bill lower than it would have been had you not ever purchased the home.  And you also have a lawn mower, tool set, and a bunch of other items that your tenant paid for that are useful to you.

The Purpose of Money


Money is a medium of exchange in order to buy things we need or want. If you go into a business that you enjoy, the purchase of things you wanted to buy anyway, now become deductible business expenses. They can be purchased with the proceeds of your business, not with your after tax income. Love photography and want thousands of dollars of photography equipment? Start a photography business. Love working on cars and having tools? Start your own mechanic business.

Do not start a sham business as this is not legal—it must be legitimate in order to deduct these expenses (i.e. you can’t just call yourself a motorcycle racer and then go buy a Harley).  But using these examples, one can acquire many things tax free, saving money and starving the beast at the same time. Legally.

Read Next: 16 Ways To Save More Money

177 thoughts on “6 Ways To Pay Less In Taxes”

  1. One other way not mentioned is to cook at home and not eat out. Food purchased from a grocery store typically does not charge a sales tax. Eating out has a sales tax mostly.
    Plus it’s healthier for you.

    1. You can knock out so many problems this way. I cook all of my meals at home. What does this do for me?
      I control the calories and macros going into my body so I look and feel better. I have a much more structured logistical plan for the week so I think better. I can buy the best, organic, farm raised, blah blah blah ingredients and still save 60% or more on eating out so I have more money. I have, through practice, become good at cooking so when I do “let me cook for you” I get more pussy.
      I hear people complain about their health, their weight, the food they eat, their lack of structure, their cash flow situation and the lack of ready cooz all the time and it is so easy to fix with one thing….wake up on sunday, pre-prepare all your breakfasts and lunches and cook yourself a nice hot meal when you get home.

      1. Breakfast and Lunches? I havent called them that in years. When you eat 6-8 times a day its just Food 1, 2 etc.

        1. I don’t go that route anymore. I go Breakfast, Snack 1, Lunch, Snack 2, Dinner, Snack 3
          Snack 1 is usually a protein shake, 2 is a tin of tuna and 3 cottage cheese.
          For what ever reason thinking of them as equally divided meals over the course of a day, while there being no actually and meaningful difference, just didn’t work for my brain.

        2. Go full Hobbit and call your first snack Second Breakfasteses.

        3. A bulk for me ranges between 3000 to 4000 calories a day, training dependent, plus I tend to ramp it up over a few weeks, caloric progressive overload. Unless I eat 7 or 8 500 calorie meals a day I simply do not gain weight. 6 is barely maintenance but the sudden jump does havoc to my stomach so I do it gradually. And still the heaviest Ive ever been was 150 at about 15% body fat.

        4. 3-4k sounds about the same as me in bulking phase. I am cutting right now so I am around 2000-2200 calories and a whole fuck load of being pissed off. I was a hard gainer in my youth, but it comes a lot easier now. By the end of my cut (mid june) I should be about 175 with around 12-15% body fat.
          I find no difference to my body if I eat my calories in 3 big meals with 3 snacks or if I evenly distribute them. I can easily put away a 2500 cal lunch with a precise 60/20/20 macro ratio. And while I acknowledge that real food is better than protein shakes I am not adverse to having 3 or 4 protein shakes a day. If my full time job was being in shape I would probably do things differently…however I think I have a good blend of what works for me and what fits into my schedule.
          I do some glorious food prep. HMU if you ever want to trade tips.

        5. I’m basically a robot when it comes to food. The monotony of my diet would drive most people to suicide. The only reason i don’t do 3 big meals with the same calorie content as the smaller ones, (because you’re right, total calories and macro balance are 99% of dieting) is it tends to make me both nauseous and so full I can’t finish my next big meal.

        6. I am too. Lol. Every Sunday I take a big Pyrex lasagna tray and fill with lean ground turkey that I cook off, bell and jalepeno peppers and some shredded cheese (I am not adverse to fat). I bake it and cut it into 5 huge pieces. Pack them up in containers and that is my first meal every single day. It is about a dozen egg whites and 1/4 lbs of ground turkey. For lunch it is top round which is just broiled and sliced with 2 cups of veggies and depending on cycle some vitargo for carbs or a half cup of brown rice. Dinner is pretty much exactly the same as lunch except with boneless skinless chicken or salmon. Snacks come in routine form too. I go with one all out cheat meal per week. I could probably cut 2% body fat more (which when you are low enough actually matters) if I didn’t have a day to drink and eat like that but, truth be told, at this point I would probably fuck up during the week if I did.
          I felt exactly the opposite with meals. When I was breaking it up evenly I was never hungry. I am an inertia eater. Once I start I might as well polish off a couple thousand calories.
          It could all be tightened up for me and I know how to do it, but honestly at my age and with my job and the fact that I am not looking to do any shows or shit, I just don’t want to do it.

        7. oh, I cover the turkey and veggies in the pyrex with 2 huge containers of eggwhites…that makes more sense.

        8. My diet can be summed up thus – Eggs, Chicken, Brown Rice, Broccoli, cauiflour, peas, tuna, avocado, fetta, bananas, apples oranges and my special blend protein powder. I tend to have a lot more carbs than you would as I turn into a human piece of garbage without them. I’ll socially eat out but otherwise I tend to be quite solitary so sticking to my diet is simply a matter of sperg single minded routine. I’m way too small to even consider bodybuilding shows, and my lifts aren’t good enough for powerlifting – at least not yet. Mostly I just like the dedication and the strength. It gives me structure and discipline which carries over to other areas of my life. If my bench wasn’t so shit I’d be an average advanced lifter across the board on those EXR weightlifting charts. Weird thing is I can do Dips with 115 pounds on a belt for a triple yet my max bench is 185 – dafuq?

        9. That is a lot of carbs, but I take it from your weight that you are a super hard gainer so it is no big deal. If I hate all the carbs you do I would need to run HIIT sprints like 4 hours a day just to avoid being fat. Also, allergic to bananas so that is a food I unfortunately have to remove.
          I agree with you about dedication to strength. It is about living your life with intention. Not letting things just slide by. It is something I am very much a proponent of. I do like lifting heavier and heavier…not for power competitions, but just to feel that high…I am sure you know the one where the world disappears. For me it is with the deadlift.
          As for dips v bench press, maybe you should tighten up your form. I moved my elbows in almost to about 30% and am getting better lifts. Also, make sure you are planting your feet hard and displacing some energy through the floor.
          I just started, earlier this week, strong lifts (with some modifications so I am calling it strong lifts plus) because I really want to try to get my deadlift north of 500 and my raw score up to 1200. Doesn’t matter if I succeed or not, just hat I get closer than I was.
          It is a good strength building program. Take a look into it. I’ve done it before and it really does work. I find I have to add a day of isolation for pump. Mendhi says not to bother but whatevs, I know what I need.
          I had a pretty rough injury last summer and herniated my discs at L3 and L5. The road to recovery has been really stressful and at times lead to some really deep depressions (like when my calluses on my hands were pretty much gone). My first DL in 400 territory only came about 2 weeks ago post injury and I still have some residual fat from my 3 months of no lifting at all and depression eating, but I am back on track with tons of new motivation and am in that mood where I think all things are possible. So Set some goals and start hitting those 225 benches.

        10. My form isn’t the issue, elbows are tucked, bar path is optimal from just above the sternum on the lower chest straight up. body is tight, slight arch in the back with heels driven into the ground at 80 degree angles. I know all the tricks and yet I’m lucky to add 5 pounds in a 3 month cycle. I’ve done it all. 5×5, 3×5, 4×3, 6×2, 3×8. I’ve done ramping sets, sets across, high volume, low volume. I do floor press and closegrip for assistance. I do dumbbell press both flat and inclline, I do strict military overhead of which my max is 135, closing in on bodyweight for me and yet nada bench slowly becomes a little less shit, and always feels a little awkward and unnatural as a movement whereas dips are so easy comparatively. Just one of those things. Hitting 225 for a single would be a dream come true for me.

        11. have you tried doing overload sets where someone spots you so that you are pushing your absolute max ?

        12. Always bench my top sets with a spotter. Minimax is just off the chest and where I always fail. I’ve heard pause reps and speed bench with bands can help, but I don’t have any at my gym and a lot of other people say they found bands didn’t translate to normal reps. Its just poverty bench life, whatchu gonnado?

        13. I also find that bands do not translate to actual lifts. Have you tried to that like 6 weeks off of that muscle group and then go back to it new?

        14. I was wondering what your thoughts are about training after 30.
          I’m coming up to that milestone and I’m noticing I need to go easier on my joints and take a little more time with recovery.
          I can deadlift 405+ (with belt) so have accumulated some decent all-around strength but I’m noticing some minor changes.
          Just wondering what to expect as I go through my 30s and what tips you got. Do you still make gains in your 30s and up?

        15. I trained straight through my 30’s. The truth is, I didn’t slow down much at all. There are aches and pains, especially in my joints, but even at the end of my 30’s I was doing 405x3x2 on my heavy DL sets. I have added extra fish oil to my supp stack, have stopped doing high impact cardio almost completely and, I will say, after 30 had to tighten my diet up for realz. If I eat badly or drink too much even by a little bit one night the next day I am just shot. I can’t process that stuff anymore. Seriously, if I got home tonight and have a hamburger and 4 scotches I will not be working out in the morning. When I was 23 I could have gone out and had 4 burgers and a bottle of scotch and been hitting the gym first thing.
          I use a belt for any compound lift now if the rep range is under 6 where I used to only use it for rep ranges of 2 or 1rm and I pay extra attention to my body. THat said, assuming a good general level of health and discipline I imagine you have another 20 good years of lifting.
          Oh, one other thing, I have noticed that after 30 inertia hit him hard as a rock. In my 20’s I could skip a week at the gym and then just jump back in. Not so much now. I am in the gym 7 days a week (6 if the weather is nice enough for the park). If I take 1 or 2 days off it is like I am starting from fucking zero. However, as long as I keep pushing I keep growing. I currently have 19 inch biceps and a 45 inch chest and a raw score over 1000 and I past 40 a couple years ago.

        16. I may experiment with ground turkey. Once a week I make a shepherd’s pie. It’s easy as shit. Boil some potatoes, cook ground beef and onions in a skillet, then mash the taters, put the meat in a Pyrex tray for layer 1, layer 2 is a bag of frozen veggies, layer 3 is the mashed taters with some garlic, butter, and cream. I switched from ground beef to ground bison, and the taste is basically the same (if not better) and there was no grease left in the pan, where the ground beef leaves several tablespoons. I can eat off this for 2 days, and has protein, veggies, and is all from scratch and very healthy, except for possibly the meat.
          I like the routine of making the same shit every week, because it’s good. Have you ever noticed, if you go into a decent restaurant, whenever you “experiment” and try something new off the menu other than your regular favorite, it always sucks?

        17. and I know there are suppz that are just money maker bullshit, but take your omega-3 fish oil. That shit is cheap and works wonders.
          One last thing. You are old af. There is going to be joint pain. Work through that shit. That’s just what it means to get older. Don’t let it hold you back.

        18. I think I’m a few years older than you. I was never a serious workout guy in my 20s. I’m only semi-serious today. I basically look athletic and fit, and do work out at least 3x a week and have decent arms and legs but a lot of it is just blessed with great genes.
          So I have no comparison to working out when my body was in peak form, but I will say that the joints do hurt first. When I go up on my weights, I feel my muscles can handle it easily, but my joints start to hurt first. Even like elbows doing a 100+ pound tricep machine–the elbows start to hurt but I can easily lift that much.
          I’ve talked to other guys in my gym and they say reduce weight and maybe increase # of reps. Which isn’t as fun, but if you just lift slower, I think you can get as good of a workout that way. It takes a lot to stabilize and hold when lifting, more so than those guys that just throw a weight up and down really fast.

        19. That scene where the hobbits smoke “weed” still makes me chuckle. Was Tolkien a toker?

        20. Nah, he just enjoyed life and thought everyone else should too. He was a Catholic Anarchist.

        21. take a quality magnesium supplement. I ran out 2 weeks ago, and the random aches have come back. Also run up hills with a parachute strapped to your back, an aspiring bodybuilder I knew swore about that..

        22. No weed! Tolkien was such a straight edge square and had a passionate hatred for the hippie culture. They were smoking tobacco. Tolkien was an aficionado

        23. Same experience.
          My strength has levelled up to the point where I might start doing real damage to my joints.
          I did a 500 pound rack pull a couple weeks back and my whole body felt weird afterwards. Sore joints.
          Might be a sign to start something new and maintain gains.
          Martial arts or something.

        24. The frozen peas and carrots, plus a glob of some local vinegar based BBQ sauce goes in there.

        25. Not 6 weeks, but I have tried significant deloads where I’m lifting light as shit for the first few weeks which isn’t all that different.

        26. Oddly enough they never seem too. If anything my shoulders feel better after really heavy dips

    2. It really is astounding, the junk-nutrition that’s in prepackaged and restaurant food. Once you get into macros, it’s hard to look at things the same way.

    3. Eating out not only has a sales tax, but build in another 15% minimum, or likely 20% if you don’t want to be scowled at, in gratuity. Eating out costs orders of magnitude more than cooking. I only do it at places like the Indian buffet, which I can’t replicate and has huge variety, or a couple of special outings a month.
      The markup is enormous on a lot of items, and technically I think ordering iced tea is the biggest profit margin (I’ve heard it costs them more to wash your glass than it does to fill it with tea) but I think the worst offender is the salad. What is up with people paying $10+ for a salad? A bag of lettuce is like 2 or 3 bucks, and is several servings worth. Add in some toppings and you’re set. For $10 I could create 20 gourmet salads at home.

      1. The concept of tipping really pisses me off. I loved living in Japan because 1. Tips were considered offensive and 2. Some restaurants had machines that you payed, and they spit out a paper with your order that you gave directly to the cook.

        1. Yeah, there are so many issues with tipping.. the fact that it’s typically based on a percentage of the bill is one minor one. The best service I ever had was at a small meat & 3 diner in college that was open from 4AM through late lunch (I did stay up to catch breakfast there more than once). The girls there were the hardest working ever. Your glass would never get below half full, and they worked as a team, refilling any tables drinks, not just theirs. Everything was done rapidly. Ready to order? The waitress will appear within 30 seconds. Ready to pay? Same. But since the meal was $6, their tips were a fraction of what some douche at Outback Steakhouse makes for selling somebody a $25 frozen meal that they reheat.
          What really bugs me is the tipping without table service. There is even a tip jar at a DRIVE THROUGH coffee place here. That’s right, you’re expected to tip the girl for pouring your $4 drink and handing it through a window to you. And the prices aren’t even cheaper than starbucks, which offers free wifi, a place to sit, music, artwork, and slutty girls to hit on.
          My favorite seafood restaurant was a do-it-yourself place. Place your order, they give you a buzzer, when the buzzer goes off, you pick up your food and sit down and eat it. You get up to refill your own drinks, which I like, because except for diner mentioned above, waiters always let my water glass go empty. The owner moved to a larger space a block away, and “upscaled it” and now the bus boys want to take the buzzer from you so that when it goes off, they deliver the food to you. And then you have to leave a tip or else you’re a cheapskate. But you still have to wait in line to order like a fast food restaurant. It’s like the worst of both worlds.
          Tipping no longer means “hey I appreciated your service”. It now only means “Hey you’re boss is underpaying you, so I guess I’ll chip in. When was the last time you left anything other than ~15 – 20%? It’s pointless. I’d love to visit Japan some day.

        2. Tipping is just a good way for a restaurant to cut costs, and pit the consumer against the employee. Not to mention, from my perspective, I feel like I should be tipping the cook. He’s the guy doing the work and making/breaking the meal.

        3. Hahahaha! I was thinking you have to visit Japan while I was reading this! I started laughing out loud it. Anyway the service there is the best I have ever encountered, but it’s too much at times, they double bag everyone and gift wrap and bow…
          But it’s a great place to visit even just for the food and drink, sake is awesome, they have good local whiskey and beer, and virtually anything you could ever wish for is productized.
          I’m married to a Japanese girl, hence the experience.

        4. I experienced the most overbearing service across the Middle East. Nothing like 3 people staring at you from across the room while you eat your food, or someone following you from across the aisles in a store in case you need help.

        5. Yes, at least from my experience, and I mean every way. Even when I was a guest at my wife’s parents house before we got married, and we were in different rooms, her mother told her to go into my room to make me happy, and then go back to her room so her father doesn’t know.
          Sexuality is built in to the culture without so much as a blush to frank.
          Men decide most everything, they eat first, drink first, are served first etc etc. culturally women are to serve and honor men.
          This is the old way, in big cities it is different now to some degree but not outside the metropolitan areas.
          Oh and women there don’t consider oral as sex ;-). My now wife wanted to buy me an aromatic oil massage with a blowjob included or any other extra services I want, because we couldn’t have full sex due to not being married. Women get that men have needs lol…

      2. Or, just to be crazy, you can get a head of iceburg or romaine for about a dollar, and just give it few quick slices to make it salad-ready. Now you have another couple of dollars for a better steak.

    4. Winner!
      I also encourage you to do your own oil changes, learn to clear a drain with a snake and plunger, clean your own house, mow your own yard, and (if you or a friend have the tools) learn to build shelves and other basic household items. If you hire a legally established company, you pay taxes.
      As an added bonus, women love a man who can cook and do basic maintenance. They’re classically manly skills.

    5. three squares a day- as long as the are frozen White Castle cheeseburgers. High in soybeans and HFCS for strength

  2. If you’re going to get into real estate, be very careful if you’re going to rent out houses:
    1. Expect it to be close to a full time job depending on how many properties you own. It is not passive income by any stretch.
    2. All it takes is one bad tenant to royally screw things up for you, especially if you have a mortgage on a rental property and if it is your only property, so be prepared for that problem. It will happen.
    3. While there might be tax advantages, most jurisdictions’ laws regarding rental property are heavily biased against landlords. Things like evictions, even for non-payment of rent, can be expensive, and forget about retaliatory incentives such as shutting off utilities and whatnot.

    1. Further tax stuff from rentals:
      1. When you sell, current tax mechanisms calculate your capital gains tax inclusive of your other income. This means that if you are not selling your primary residence that can be excluded you can (and probably will) have most other deductions “phased out” as your AGI is too high.
      2. Shared responsibility payment. Your gain on sale of property increases your AGI, so your shared responsibility payment (Obamacare tax) increases up to 2% of your AGI. There’s no cap. Be sure to figure that into your costs.
      3. Expect that as you pay down mortgages, or rents increase you will have positive income. Depending on how much you have, you may need to make estimated tax payments, which have a whopping penalty if the rules are not followed closely.
      4. A good accountant is worth what he’s paid.

  3. Work Abroad

    Ok, I’ll work the one on the far right in that picture.
    Pretty good tips for tossing around in the heads of men who have not yet managed to make money or figured out the ropes yet. Be careful on the cash thing though, just know when to not get greedy.

      1. When I was young and cute I played with the idea of being a cruise ship bartender for a season, but nixed it as I got a job in a strip club as a bathroom valet which was paying me over 1k a week which is a butt load of money for doing no work and was even more back in the late 80’s early 90’s

        1. There were a lot of scams being run. But think, 100 people in a night going to the bathroom 2 or 3 times. If even 60% of them leave you 1 buck each time you piss you have made quite a score that night. Further, remember, this is during a huge market surge and before the banking collapse when people were playing with phony money. What was it to these guys running up 50k tabs in a strip club to leave a 50 of funny money (for which I would get 30 bucks when I cashed it in) to the guy in the bathroom. Then you add the scams. Paying off girls to say they like this or that cologne would usually be worth a good penny. Telling guys with a wedding ring they have lipstick on neck (regardless of if they did or not) and then getting them to clean it off “saving their asses” and, of course, the bouncer would confiscate all the blow from the stock brokers, I would break it down, re-package it, sell it back to them and split the money with the bouncer.
          There were weeks where I could make 5k in cash.
          There were down sides of course and like my uncle told me….It is a nice job when you are 19 years old but if you stand around a bathroom long enough eventually you will start smelling like shit.

        2. 5k was a record, not every week. In the end it probably averaged out to about 1000-1500 per week in cash. Keep in mind that my apartment was 550 dollars a month and I was only 19-21 years old.
          The shit smell came in the form of bad habits. Working 8pm-430am and then going to clubs afterwards with strippers and bouncers seems fun, but it is a strange world. I think a lot of my inability to bond with a woman comes from that time (as does my ability to see through their shit and their games so, ya know, take the good with the bad). Also, being around that much drugs was terrible.
          All in all it was about as much fun as a young guy could possibly have, but I think did some irreparable damage to me in ways that now, as an older buck, I probably wish it hadn’t.

        3. LOL. OK, that is just screaming for an article there. “What I learned from being a bathroom valet in a strip club”. I only remember being annoyed that I had to give some dude one of my stripper dollars whenever I needed to pee.

        4. It was a three year crash course in money management, psychology, game, business, people skills, scams and a million other things

        5. That’s weird, every southern bumpkin I say the word “metaphor” to tells me “Naw, shucks, she was a six in makeup”

      2. Bartender is the preferred route there. Fun job too.

    1. well done.
      Reminds me of young Frankenstein.
      Igor, would you give me a hand with the bags
      Sure, I’ll take the blonde. You take the one in the turban

    2. Also if you’re a US citizen this might not be a tax-saving strategy, as you still have to report all your income to the IRS and pay US and state taxes on the difference between your local (foreign) tax and what you’d owe the IRS.
      Also, ever since FATCA became law in 2010, many foreign banks refuse to do business with US citizens since they’d be subject to IRS reporting requirements.

      1. Just a few comments:
        The foreign income exclusion has two tests: the physical presence test (stay 330 days out of the US in a given 12 month period), and the physical ties to the US v. other country (a little more gray area), and the taxes owed may be dependent on the tax treaties between the US and the foreign country of residence.
        2) If you have a foreign bank account (and if you have more than $10,000 at any time in year in a combination of foreign bank accounts), you’ll have to file additional forms disclosing your assets.
        3) There are some reputable foreign banks in Central America and in the Caucaus that still do business with Americans.

        1. I wasn’t planning to write an article; I’m in the process of acquiring permanent residence (that is, the legal right to live an country as opposed to citizenship, which is the passport) outside the US, and moving myself completely out / minimizing my US footprint.

        2. Good for you sir. You snag a golden visa? (no worries if you’d prefer not to talk about it)

    3. Damnit GoJ! I wanted that one! The real estate thing is a nightmare in Australia. HUGE housing bubble. Shits completely unaffordable. Median income is about 50-70k a year here. And a cheap 1 bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere will run you about 300k. Taxes are also quite high. If you want a decent house in a good location its 1mil and up.

      1. It’s a classic go to line for me.
        “Did you study abroad in college, Ghost”
        “Yes, in fact, I studied many of them”

        1. “So how was the anatomy practical?”
          “Oh great, my lab partner really knew her way around the corpus cavernosum.”

        2. Schwellkorper jokes, they never fail to please.

        3. Well you know what they say about dick jokes, if you fail to get a rise then you’re just not trying hard enough!

      1. She looks rather friendly. Could I love her? Naw…..fifteen, twenty minutes tops… (yay Fletch lines)

  4. Taxes are voluntary. You sign a contract with the FED Reserve when you use their fiot debt currency.
    Income tax does not go to support public needs, it all goes to pay interest on fed debt.
    You can break out of the debt system simply by requesting your Fed Reserve Notes be exchanged into “lawful money”.
    This money is non-taxable. It’s all right in the constitution, just refer to 12 U.S. Code § 411.
    Bottom line, taxes are just the fee you pay to use debt currency from a PRIVATE institution.

    1. I’ve heard these kinds of things for decades. I’ve seen people go to prison for trying to implement them. Good luck, and if you can do it, good on you.
      If taxes were really voluntary most everybody would have opted out of them already.

      1. If I remember back to my college days I think I had a con law class where someone tried to make this argument and it was shot down by some 19th century supreme court decision which called for exchange to lawful currency requests frivolous. I am nearly positive I am remember the facts incorrectly and am sure someone here will be able to provide correct context and detail, but In the end the point will be that people have been trying to run that scam for as long as the fed has been making money and it never works.

        1. That’s what gets me. I mean, people really aren’t that dumb, at least those of us who are not wage slaves. A sizable portion of the population would opt out of taxes overnight if this stuff was actually true. There would be entire private businesses set up to get people out of that system. If it worked. These things do not exist, ergo, I conclude, it doesn’t actually work. It’s a matter of simple observation of reality.

        2. I did some pro bono work at tax court at my old job. We just hung around and helped people who showed up. It was mostly old ladies who messed up their craft business taxes or something equally dull, but there was always one dude (and it was always a dude) who was there to fight the system and prove that taxes are unconstitutional.

        3. Yeah the only one of these schemes that I was ever impressed with was the guy (I think in TX) who paid all of his employees with US Gold dollar coins. The face value on them was $1, but because they have debased our currency so much with money printing each one was worth almost $2,000 due to its gold content. So you work for a month, and the boss hands you 2 gold coins. The workers could legitimately say they received $2 in legal US currency, which is way below the threshold of taxation, but of course the courts didn’t see it that way, and they lost.

        4. Ha. The other one that cracks me up is something to about gold fringes on the US flag in a courtroom means you are subject to admiralty law like a pirate and you don’t have to follow any of the landlubbers laws or something like that. Haha. These guys passionately believe it’s true. If there were really such a loophole, EVERY congressman would immediately drop whatever dirty whore was blowing them, RUN, not walk down to the capital, and immediately pass a new law fixing that loophole. There’s just no way that would be allowed.

        5. Dang it, and that sounded like a pretty decent idea.

        6. Really? Does that really crack you up, as in LOL?? McQueen would be embarrassed you’re using his pic for a thumbnail, gent.
          Our courts do follow admiralty law and the gold fringe is telling us it’s so. It means you’re guilty if accused, until absolutely proven innocent. It also means the courts follow the Uniform Commercial Code, which means everything is about collecting fines and charging your “strawman.” 99% of people don’t realize they continually contract with corporate government entities and confuse their strawmen with their flesh and blood selves. This has been going on since the 1930s. We’re always voluntarily contracting to attain “benefits” of some sort, which have become pretty watered down and essentially liabilities considering what we’re giving up to get them.
          Unfortunately, the corrupt government no longer follows their own hidden laws and rules, so doing battle against the courts and IRS with this true information is very risky.

        7. Are you a lawyer? May I ask you a question? Can anyone contest a will? My parents dont have any siblings left alive, can a friend or a nephew contest it if they wanted to?

        8. They can certainly try or make a claim against the estate. If there is a properly made and signed will on record, it won’t go very far. If you fear that may be an issue, I’d get proactive now. Get a lawyer and get them a good will in place. Think about specifically addressing those people in some form too.
          Contesting a will in this situation would be dumb. If it’s found defective or invalid, intestate rules would probably kick in and the kids would get it all anyhow.

      2. Yeah, I’ve heard these claims that the income tax amendment was never legally ratified (as if every congressman and senator wouldn’t vote yes tomorrow if they needed to actually confirm this law) or that there is some loophole where one doesn’t “really” need to pay. My only response is, when the government is actively violating 9 of the 10 bill of rights (save #3, which they don’t need to house soldiers in our homes, because they just tax the shit out of us to buy them 700+ bases around the world to live in), even if this argument was true, the government has no qualms breaking its own laws concerning things far more important than taxation (like being able to kill an innocent person with a drone strike, being able to torture, etc.) so it would surely break the taxation law to get its money from you.

        1. Exactly correct. You can’t win the legalist game battling the people who created it and who control the rules. You will NEVER out loophole them.

        2. You better believe #3 they are keeping to. If those mother fuckers try to quarter British troops in my apartment they are going to hear an earful from me…..pipa, however, can stay with me. Always a loophole.

        3. Or operate a Ponzi scheme also known as Social Security.
          Edit: Participation is compulsory.

      3. You must not have read my entire post. They are voluntary as in a voluntary contract.
        IF you use fed money, while illegal, the courts will always bust your ass to jail for evading taxes.
        If you use ‘lawful dollars’ per 12 U.S. Code § 411 these cannot be taxed. I’ve been doing this for the past 3 years.

    2. When it comes to taxes, the courts will always rule in the government’s favor, no matter what.

      1. If you are using Fiat Money, yes. If you are using ‘lawful dollars’ you are protected

        1. In the 1930s FDR simply confiscated people’s privately owned gold. Who’s going to protect your “real money” if the government can simply take it when it feels like it?

    3. Money is only useful if other people would accept it as payment in exchange for goods and services. Costco gas stations do not accept cash so even if you brought your Benjamins, they wouldn’t accept it and you’ll run out of gas.

    4. I don’t know why some people obsess over the Federal Reserve. Nothing stops them now from using gold coins for money in a parallel economy.
      And how does fiat money differ from all the other imaginary documents the U.S. government produces for us, like passports, patents, copyrights, court decisions, etc? Passports don’t exist in nature, and they require just as much political construction as fiat money; yet even libertarians value having them.

      1. Technically you can get arrested and jail for making a competing currency out of an actual commodity. Some guys have minted silver “exchange units” before and found out the hard way that this doesn’t fly.
        Otherwise, agree.

      2. Actually no, the IRS considers it a frivolous argument to pay $1 worth of taxes on a $15 dollar silver coin, despite the fact that the treasury still claims that their precious metal coins are legal tender.

    5. Libertarians say they want to privatize as much of the government as possible, but then they complain about the private component of the Federal Reserve System.
      Perhaps they want to discredit the Fed because its example shows why their privatization schemes won’t work.

      1. The fuck is with you and libertarians anyway? Is it the trendy thing now? They get some things wrong, but are right on most issues, looked at objectively.

        1. Yeah seriously. Agreed re: libertarians. You know, as much as I despise politicians, the quotes that get people the most riled up are the ones I agree with the most:
          W: The constitution is nothing but a goddamned piece of paper
          Precisely. And powerful politicians can violate anything written on paper with impunity. It is powerless to stop them.
          Hillary: What difference does it matter, anyway? (Benghazi)
          I agree. The stupid thing was deciding to keep an embassy open in the middle of a civil war. Throughout history, that is never done. When war breaks out, the first people on a train out of there are all the diplomats. Whatever the reason for this particular conflagration, it was inevitable that something violent and bad would happen when one operates an embassy in the midst of a warzone
          Obama (I’m paraphrasing) Don’t worry about ideology. Just use whatever works.
          I’m not a fan of absolute capitalism, libertarianism, etc. And there are parts of socialism that I like (ie the public library, sidewalks, etc.). I agree with libertarians more than any other group, but I wouldn’t want to live in ANY society that lived under an ideology instead of under the rules of common sense.
          Nancy Pelosi: We have to pass it to see what’s in it
          She’s just admitting that NO ONE IN CONGRESS READS THE BILLS. After it’s passed, the lobbyists who passed it will see to it that the parts that benefit them are enforced.
          Nixon: When the president does it, it’s not a crime. Well, it didn’t work for him, but that’s surely true today.
          I’m sure there are more, but I find that the bigger the faux media outrage, the more I am likely to agree with the statement. Trump was criticized really heavily for saying “TWO Corinthians” instead of second, or some bullshit like that. I’ve heard people do that in church!

        2. library/sidewalks are not socialist. Socialism is the collective taking control of the means of production. It is NOT “government contracts to have something built”.
          But yeah, agreed otherwise.

        3. I don’t think spicynujac falls into that category. It’s a mistake a lot of people make because it’s actively taught in schools these days.

        4. To put it in more sinister terms “collective control over people”. As it’s people who are the means of production.

  5. Turn yourself into a preacher, build your own congregation, tell Uncle Sam to give you tax free status, and let the tithing begin.

    1. Not really profitable. Studies showed corner pushers make less than minimum wage, but are the most likely to be shot or mugged. Even gang bosses only made like 100k a year. You need to be part of the cartel upper echelon to make enough to be worth the risk to life and liberty.

  6. Totally off topic, but I just got a memo from somebody in the office I ostensibly work for (I however, work from home, but email doesn’t know that). It’s an offer for “earth day snacks” at some broads desk, which consists of, and I swear I’m not making this up:
    crushed Oreos, gummy worms and chocolate pudding.
    Gee, why are people fat? Must be genetics.

    1. LOL. Earth day is yet another armchair activist event designed to make people Feel Good that they’re Doing Something. But it’s all a load of bullshit. For one thing, switching off all your lights saves, what, a whole 100 watt-hour of electricity. I bet no bastard switches off the TV, computers, and AC which use 20x as much power.. that would be an inconvenience.
      For another thing, I know people who jump on the Earth Day bandwagon and switch off their lights… and then light candles. Yeah, dirty filthy soot-and CO2-spewing candles. Way to save the environment, dickheads.
      Seriously, RoK should do an article on what a waste of space Earth Day is.
      (end OT 😉

    2. Not only that, but how are any of those snacks remotely relevant to Earth Day? Fresh picked pieces of organic fucking fruit, OK, I get it. Crushed Oreos? Yeah, because whenever I walk through the wilds, I need to make sure to bring my machete to hack through the dense Oreo bushes on my way to the pond to bait hooks with my gummy worms.
      People are fucking retarded.

      1. People really don’t think things through most of the time. They don’t care. It’s a reason to eat/drink/get gifts/whatever. Meaning has no meaning to them, so to speak.

        1. I had never seen this video. That chick has some serious thousand cock stare going on.

      2. “Not only that, but how are any of those snacks remotely relevant to Earth Day?”
        From their perspective, it’s symbolic of mud, dirt and worms. Something that was done and should have been left in childhood.

      3. It’s supposed to look like dirt. Worms in the ground….worms in the dirt….worms in the earth…get it?
        I know because some of the land mammal mothers used to bring this snack in for the class in elementary school.

    3. What? No kale?
      Kale seems to be the elixir of life for hipsters and environmentalist types.

      1. These are not hipsters and environmentalists. These are fat middle aged women, mostly.

    4. I remember, as a child, how the glorious oreo trees would yield their fruit. This was all over the Northeast. Before NY became the empire state, it was known as the oreo state

      1. The Empire State is much too fascist sounding. The Fair State is much more progressive.

  7. Not sure about other areas but in Europe the sales tax is universally applied in all sales channels within the union at least, no escaping it.

    1. The money to house those millions of rapefugees has to come from somewhere.

  8. I have been a landlord for almost 2 decades. Clarification on the tax advantages:
    Real state income & losses are ‘passive’ and is treated different than ‘active’ income (i.e. your paycheck). If your active income is LOW enough, you can deduct up to $25k a year in passive losses against your active income. If you buy distressed properties and renovate them (I did this) you will likely have paper ‘passive losses’ for the entire period you own the property.
    Congress in its wisdom did not adjust the tax code to inflation. Once your adjusted gross income (AGI) hits about $100k, your deductions against your active income fade out pretty quick. Once you hit $150k, the deduction is gone completely. So if you are shelling out $$$ to rehab a property, you won’t get any tax relief as at $150k, you are considered “rich”.
    The passive losses you don’t use don’t disappear. You can use them to offset your taxable capital gains when you finally sell the property.
    My real estate was a great deal when I wasn’t making much (I bought before the housing bubble when property here was dirt cheap and rents were high). Today… not so much.

  9. A point on avoiding sales taxes:
    Many states impose of USE tax. It generally works like this (rules vary some what from state to state): You are supposed to pay the equivalent of the sales tax for purchases out of state. If say your state charges 7% and the state you bought it from charges 0%, you owe 7% in sales taxes. If the state you purchased it from charges 3%, you owe the balance in use tax of 4%.
    A word of caution of not paying the use tax…. If you are buying stuff for your business and you don’t pay the use tax, you will be royally fucked if / when you get audited. You will especially get targeted if you buy stuff from say Canada or Mexico because your state tax department will get copies of the import documentation.** What the state auditors like to do is wait three years before nailing you. Three years you are still on the hook for unpaid taxes and it maximizes the interest and penalties you owe. The penalties and interest will likely be something like 300% of what you would have paid if you just paid the damn use tax in the first place.
    ** years back I got nailed with this from a purchase of wood mouldings from Canada. I got hit with a $236 bill for not paying something like $35 in use tax. Now I just fill out the use tax form and send in whatever I owe.

  10. One item not mentioned in this article are the legal tax deferred plans. 401k, HSA, IRA, etc. The self-employed version of the 401k is pretty sweet. You can shelter a giant portion of your pay. Let’s say you have a profitable business and setup as a C corp:
    You pay yourself a salary commiserate with your work type / responsibilities (the IRS will require this). You then shelter as much pay as possible using a self directed 401k. You then distribute the rest of the profits as ‘dividends’ to yourself. The dividends are taxes a much lower rate than your salary income. Live off the dividends and shelter your pay in a tax deferred account. Any salary not deferred, invest in a regular IRA up to the maximum allowed by law. You won’t get a tax deduction, but you will allow that money to grow tax free until you withdraw it.
    Say in the future you shut down the business and your income drops considerably. You can roll everything into the regular IRA. Then over time, convert it to a Roth. You will pay income tax (hopefully at a low rate since you aren’t earning much) but not a penalty since you are not withdrawing the money. If you convert everything to a Roth, you will not be taxed on that money when you withdraw it on retirement. You will also not be required to have the minimum withdraw schedules (huge penalties if you don’t withdraw) like you do with a traditional IRA. If you have a few $million saved up, having as much as that as possible in your ROTH will make your life a lot easier money wise.
    NOTE: The above assumes we don’t go the way of late 5th century Rome with a despotic government confiscating everything. That is a discussion for another thread.

  11. Great article, and terrific advice, but one minor correction about depreciation: It is a legitimate GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) expense against rental income, so it isn’t only applicable to taxes. Rental real estate can be an excellent addition to anyone’s portfolio, but it can be more hands on and high maintenance, pun intended, than a simple brokerage account with stocks and bonds in it. If you can afford to pay out of the rental income to have a management company handle the day to day issues with the rentals, which would also be a deductible expense, it can be easy money. Me, I’m an under the mattress kind of guy, and prefer precious metals, such as lead, brass, and copper for little semi-jackets….

  12. “Say you learn to be a plumber. You can go work for a repair or plumbing company, who will pay you a set wage. Or you could work independently as a self employed plumber. If you choose the latter, many of the costs you have with doing a plumbing job now become “deductible expenses.” Whereas in the first case, they are simply costs the employee must pay for with after-tax dollars.”
    In my experience this paragraph is wrong. The expenses that are “deductible” for you if you are self employed, you just don’t have to worry about if you work for someone else. If you are a self employed plumber, yes, you can deduct your plumbing truck, tools, supplies, any additional moneys you pay to help or other contractors etc…
    If you work for a plumbing company, they probably will supply you with the truck, tools and plumbing supplies. So, no you don’t deduct it, but you also didn’t have to pay for it in the first place.
    Further, the company you work for WILL deduct those expenses from their revenues to determine their profit, which they will pay taxes on. So, those same costs will be deducted from the taxes. Just the companies taxes, but you don’t care as an employee because you didn’t pay for those expenses in the first place.
    It’s as simple as this. The benefit of being an employee is you can focus on being good at one job that hopefully you enjoy. You let someone else handle all the stress of running the business, and you get paid less for this because some of the responsibility is in someone else hands, like setting up appointments, and the head honchos have to make a salary to take home as well.
    The benefit of running your own business, plumbing or otherwise is that you decide how much money you take home and you make the rules. You also get all of the extra stress and responsibility that comes with it. You have to know what you are getting involved in.
    I personally am all for the owning your own business model, as it also gives you a lot more pride in what you are doing and allows you to build something real for your family. Plus, the sky is the limit here. The sky is not the limit for 90% of people employed by others. The limit is a hell of a lot lower. More like the height of a Japanese Honey Suckle.
    I get the feeling that Max also is a bit underinformed on real estate as well. Depreciation is not some made up tax break for real estate investors to get off a little easier. His take on it is a little unclear, but that’s what I’m reading it as. It represents real costs and diminishing returns an investor in real estate sees over time. The government wouldn’t be giving freebies away to any and every little old real estate investor if they didn’t have to and the only reason they have to is that these represent real costs. Now, if depreciation was only available to some sub class of investors, it would be a different story, but any idiot that can save up $30K and invest in some crappy old house to rent out to college students will utilizing this, and their tax professional will tell them how.
    For instance, if I put a brand new roof on an investment property I own, I don’t deduct 100% of it from taxes that year. I deduct it over the supposed lifetime of the roof, so a few percent a year for about 10 years. That actually sucks, that isn’t good. I’d rather deduct 100% of the cost the year I put it on as I incurred 100% of the costs that year. But that’s not how it works. At least with my tax professional anyway.
    Insurance also works on depreciation just fyi, which sucks. But it’s a current fact of life and if I was in insurance I’d say it’s necessary. Lets say your insurance company comes out to inspect your hail damaged roof. If in the inspection they determine your roof only had a couple of years of life left on it, they don’t pay 100% of the replacement. They base their pay on how much life the roof had left on it when it got damaged. So if it was half way through it’s useful life, they pay half and you pay half.

    1. One other thing is that being an employee for a company, the Social Security tax is split between the employee and the company. Self employed folks pay all of it.

  13. I worked in tax law for a while. It’s sad but true – a man needs to have a “tax guy” in today’s society. Especially if you are running your own business. If you do not have a relationship with an accountant and a lawyer, find some now. There will be an upfront cost, but that person knowing you and your situation when shit hits the fan is priceless.

  14. It’s a morbid one, but #7 should be have an estate plan in place. This applies mostly to older guys who actually own shit, make sure there is a plan for when you die. Fuck your state and Uncle Sam taking %30 of your life’s accumulations from your kids and family.

    1. Trusts are your friend for estate planning. I think that the upper limit before they start taxing estates is 6 million now, but I might be a bit off on that. It’s high enough that most people won’t have to worry about it.

      1. I like trusts because they set a structure for whoever is getting your stuff. A decent size amount of money or goods can be tough to deal with if you get it outright.
        $5.43 million this year. And I believe portability is still in place, so with your wife that’s over $10 million. You’re right, probably out of most people’s range.

  15. I’ve heard that people incorporate themselves for tax purposes and pay a max of 15%. Can any tax guy on here shed some light?

    1. See my post farther down the stack for more detail: The short answer is yes & no. If you have a C corp, the IRS will require you to pay yourself a salary similar to what you would have to pay someone to do the same job. If you don’t, the IRS will rule that you have structured a business with the sole purpose of avoiding income and FICA taxes. The downside of this is that C corps are often subject to rather nasty taxes and fees at the state level.
      However, after you do pay yourself a salary, you can then distribute the profits as a dividend, which is capped at a 15% federal tax rate.
      If you run your business as an LLC or and S corp, you will be treated as a ‘pass through’. Any profits and losses will be ‘passed through’ to your income taxes (most likely using a Schedule E or a K-1 form). The LLC / S corp themselves do not pay income taxes.

      1. Thanks man. I’d like to further explore the LLC route. Do you have a reliable link I could learn more from? -Thanks in Advance.

        1. How LLCs work depends on what state you live in. There will probably be something on your state government’s website about it. The Feds don’t actually recognize LLCs per say. How your LLC is treated depends on how many people you have. If one, you will likely file a schedule E. If you have two or more, you will file a K-1 (partnership return)

  16. Eritrea made Iraq look like heaven. I was offered a female slave for $100 USD. The average Eritrean makes roughly $500 USD per year. The soil is acidic, the water is hypersalty, so there’s zero vegetation while the heat index is around 140 degrees three months per year. The ground is so sun baked that it is impossible to dig, so the locals place all of their trash, sewage, and dead bodies into one big pile and burn it all at night. The smell is atrocious and sky rains ashes making it hard to breath. The government gives away free qat to pacify the populace and suppress appetites. Hell on earth.
    It was the moment I became eternally greatful that I was from America.

    1. Sorry to vent guys, but the author mentioned Eritrea and it brought back serious flashbacks.

      1. Sounds like you could pen Apocalypse Now: Eritrea (I would read it).

        1. I’d love to Man…. Or make a post about it at the very least to put things into perspective.

      2. That’s the thing. As much as I hate modern culture, I’m grateful that I was born in Canada. Water, food, air, shelter. Sadly enough these aren’t things to take for granted.

        1. So true… I noticed there is usually an inverted relationship between personal character and standard of living.

      1. Yes, I was detached to HOA JTF Arica in Djibouti midway between the Eritrean and Somalian borders. There’s 3rd World level of Poor [Mexico, Phillipines] and then there is Hell on Earth Poor [all of northeast Africa]. It put so much into perspective.

      1. It was pretty important for the Ethiopians. When Eritrea left, it landlocked Ethiopia.

      2. Some parts of the world I don’t think were meant to be inhabited. The only draw Eritrea had was serving as a stopping point for sailors in the old Arab Slave Trade routes. Prostitution and qat is the only economy they have.

  17. It may vary from state to state, but where I Iive, when you file, you are expected to pay sales tax on online purchases, if you didn’t pay at time of purchase.
    If a person was audited this might come up.

    1. How would the state know you’ve made online purchases unless they subpoenaed your credit card or Paypal statements. Unless they ask online retailers for records of their customers.
      I always find it odd how to prove you didn’t do something.

  18. Take up gardening. Raise your own food, or at least some of your own food. Really, I know gardening has become a feminine activity now in the media, but it is purely masculine. Farmers rock.
    I buy tons of my stuff online from other states. Good advice.
    Working under the table rocks too. Painting especially pays well and you make a lot of connections.

    1. Really, I know gardening has become a feminine activity now in the media, but it is purely masculine.

      My wife and kids manage a nice size garden here. Of course I get involved once the heavy lifting (i.e. roto-tilling) has to be done. But it is worth every bit of sweat that we put into it.

        1. What it sounds like you need to do is get a solid 10 hours of sleep, man.

  19. I’m self employed and work for cash. I pay very little in the way of tax. Why give money to the government? They only waste it.

  20. Donate some shit to Salvation Army or a similar thrift store and get a receipt and claim it (fill it out yourself and up the numbers). You can also claim up $250 in donations without a receipt.

  21. max your .H.S.A out and Retirement…….buy all your tobacco online if in a high tax state. …I don’t know… taxes get everyone.

  22. Was waiting for an article like this to drop but it’s missing a key thing I was waiting for.
    Trust funds.

  23. Another way to pay fewer taxes is to make more income from investments. In the book “The Millionaire Next Door” the authors mention that the wealthy reduce their taxes this way because investment income is taxed at a much lower rate than regular income. Thus learning how to invest in the markets will earn you income, more of which you get to keep. Spend time learning about how to invest and start early, allowing your savings to grow over time. Eventually you will have a tidy sum that will work for you.

  24. The last paragraph of this article is the best.
    I wonder if I put up a website reviewing games and set up so it could make money, wouldn’t that be a business? And then wouldn’t I be able to deduct anything I use to play those games? Now my plastation would be a deductible expense, the video camera I used to film myself than put it up online would be deductible. as would the macbook pro I used to write up everything.

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