“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” —Benjamin Franklin
At first blush, Benjamin Franklin had a lot of wisdom in his now infamous statement. But perhaps a second look might reveal another perspective for those who are in Christ.
As for Bejamin’s first part of his statement, the reality of death is something we all must face, but for the believer, we have eternal life, and death has lost its sting. And those who choose to live this one life well will be rewarded in the age to come.
The second half of Benjamin’s statement seems true, as well. But Benjamin must not have had a good tax planner. All kidding aside, while all must pay taxes, there are wise and savvy tax strategies that can make taxes not as much of a certainty. Good tax and financial planning are essential to be able to wisely steward what God has so graciously given.
God has given us both wealth and life, and how we use them both can have a significant Kingdom impact or be an opportunity lost. According to Judge Learned Hand, spending more on taxes is not a necessity:
“In America, there are two tax systems; one for the informed and one for the uninformed. Both systems are legal. Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
Over and over again I see clients who have no idea of the tax penalties that are waiting for their loved ones when they depart from this earth. We are able to show them legal, financial, tax, and charitable strategies to eliminate the estate tax and secure their family or business legacy. What’s really ironic is that the government helped them pay for this advanced planning through tax savings!
So while we of course would pay every penny of taxes that we owe, the tax code provides a variety of means by which people can pay less in taxes if they abide by certain rules and requirements. In the end, inefficient tax management probably won’t destroy you, but you could be throwing away huge opportunities.
The benefits we reap from godly planning of what we owe and own are palpable. There is a peaceful assurance in knowing that loved ones will not have to worry because we planned for taxes so they would not carry that burden.
Will you reap these benefits?
Death and taxes are certain, but the choices we make in this life will affect how our loved ones are impacted by both death and taxes and will leave an impact that lasts longer than our days here on earth.
If you would like to learn more about these strategies and other key principles to live and pass down a godly 5-fold legacy, you can purchase “Create a Thriving Legacy” from Amazon or other major retailers. Below are a couple of sample chapters to read in the meantime. We also invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss.
Yours for a Thriving Legacy,