Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for June, 2006

Posted by taxguru on June 29, 2006

The most recent Intuit ProConnection newsletter has some very useful and interesting content, including the following.

When Fraud Knocks on Your Door – Helping clients minimize the damage from being ripped off by “trusted” employees. This also includes a handy doc file to alert clients on the Top Ten Tips To Help Prevent Fraud.

New Tax Increase Prevention Act
– A summary of some of the key components of the recently enacted legislation. This also has a handy doc file for clients on how this new law may apply to them.

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More On Setting Up A Tax Blog

Posted by taxguru on June 29, 2006

For quite a while now, I have been advising other tax pros who want to increase their clientele that a blog is the most effective way.  I hope these exchanges with Gina in Texas are helpful for others who are considering doing the same thing.

From Gina: 


Thanks for the traffic to my blog 🙂 !  I’ve been trying to add more articles, a site feed and allow for comments as you suggested.  There are still a lot more things I can do with the blog and I’ll add them as time allows.  Late yesterday I talked to the editor from my local paper and it looks like they may be interested in publishing an article or two after all.  So, things are starting to pick up for me.  You’re a great mentor.



I wrote back:


I’m glad to help.

Since I have also been using Blogger since the beginning for my blog, I can give you more suggestions than if you had chosen to use one of the other programs.  You should occasionally look over the various items under the “Settings” section of your Blogger page.  They are always adding new ones.  For example, they have a built in RSS capability, so you don’t have to rely on outside services, such as the Feedburner one you have set up.

Blogger also has long had a built-in comments function. I have chosen not to use it because I barely have enough time to do regular posting and do not want the hassle of monitoring the comments, which will undoubtedly be bombarded with spam.  I have found that using the Q&A format based on actual emails readers send to me has allowed me much more control than an open comments section would.

If your experience turns out like mine and that of other bloggers around the country, you should see the readership grow exponentially.  Besides bringing in new clients, it will also bring in a lot of other media coverage, including requests to submit articles to other publications, as well as interviews specifically about your blogging experiences.  If there aren’t a lot of people currently blogging in your local community, your local paper will probably want to do an article about your experiences for their local readers to learn from.  

And the end result will be like it was for me, that you will have more tax clients than you can properly handle and will be able to be very selective as to who you work with.

Good luck.



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Cheery Thought?

Posted by taxguru on June 27, 2006

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Starting New Tax Blog

Posted by taxguru on June 27, 2006


This is a follow-up to this earlier conversation.

Subject: Re: just starting out on my own…

I took your advice and started a blog.  My blog is and I just posted my first article this morning.  I think I’m going to like blogging.

I have also tried to contact the editor of our local newspaper to see if she is accepting any freelance articles, but she has not gotten back in touch with me. 

I contacted our Chamber of Commerce and evidently their treasurer is a CPA and was the contact person and said that if they needed anyone to speak he would do it.  I had no idea it would be so hard to give away free information 🙂 .

The good news is that I do have a handful of clients and one of them is a gem.  They have already referred me to two other people who I am hoping will become clients.

Thanks again for your help and any advice you have to give me on my blog or whatever I appreciate it.


My Reply:

I’m impressed that you got onto that so quickly.  It looks very nice.

You should go into the “Site Feed” tab in your Blogger settings and set up for your blog to produce an RSS feed, and then post the link for that on your blog.  That is the most efficient way for people to read blog posts.  You can see the ones I subscribe to here.
You can slowly add other features as you see fit and after you check out what looks good on the blogs.  Almost all of the blog tools I use are free; so check those out.

Your articles are very good.  If you run out of ideas, you may want to consider giving some real life examples  of how you helped real life clients solve various tax problems, without revealing any client identities of course.  That will show people the areas in which you have experience.  I have also found that people appreciate real life stories of how the tax laws work more than the theoretical examples used by most academics.

You can also invite readers to submit questions, which could very easily turn into paying clients.  I literally receive half a dozen requests each week from my readers to take them on as clients, often after they have submitted a few questions that I have posted on my blog.  As far as I know, the only blogs that currently address reader questions are mine and Eva Rosenberg (  who actually answers her questions in her podcasts.

Congratulations on getting started.  Keep up the good work.



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Competing to see who can waste more taxpayer money.

Posted by taxguru on June 26, 2006

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A lot of mysterious deaths in 2010?

Posted by taxguru on June 25, 2006

In a recent Jay Nordlinger column, he mentions this little warning about the current status of the estate tax law.

The estate-tax issue is multilayered, but I’d like to stress the macabre: A friend was saying the other day, “You know, there are people — not necessarily bad ones, either — who are kinda sorta hoping that their parents will die in 2010. They have to die sometime, goes the reasoning, and if they’re going to kick off — why not in 2010, when the estate tax is zero?” Another friend joked, “If you’re wealthy, be sure to protect yourself from your children, during 2010! Watch that they don’t put something in your Metamucil!” Certain heirs will feel like they hit the jackpot, four years from now.

A sick tax, this death tax — really.


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Dealing With Tax Bug

Posted by taxguru on June 25, 2006



Subject: Clients

Are you taking clients? I have the tax bug bad!


I wish I could help you fight your tax bug; but I already have too many clients to take care of; so we are still trimming back on the difficult clients and are not accepting any new ones at this time. 

Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone to whom we could refer you. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out my tips on how to select the right tax preparer for you.:

I wish I could be of more assistance; but I wish you the best of luck.  

Kerry Kerstetter


Thanks for your response Kerry. I was reading your tips on selecting the right preparer when I suddenly realized I needed one, or at least one like you where describing. Congratulations on your success and I can see from your web page and how you handle others why you’re so busy. I bet you feel like one crying in the wilderness “there is a better way” I speak to others about these tips and tactics and they act as if I am giving them a virus. I don’t think people relate tax savings to real money or that is my perception.
There is one thing you could help me with if you have any spare time. There is a company online called who offers one year of coaching on aggressive tax strategies, tips and lawsuit protection. I listened to the audio version, which peaked my interest and then spoke with a representative. His ideas have weight and validity and now I am contemplating purchasing personal coaching and I would be interested in any opinions you may have about this move. It is fairly expensive (3,995.00) however the tax savings for me could be substantial (he has a 110% money back guarantee if I don’t save at least $30,000.00 my first tax year) Have you ever heard anything about this company or this individual?  Thanks for your time and keep up the good work! It is our constitutional right to minimize taxes or at least the Supreme Court agrees it is.


I am familiar with Drew Miles.  Several months ago, another CPA sent me some of his promotional material.  Here is my reply to him.

“That’s just another one of the many so-called tax experts who claim to be the only ones who know how to help people lower their taxes; when in actuality every one of his ideas is something that I and many other tax pros have been using for decades for our clients.  It is insulting that he feels a need to belittle us CPAs in an effort to make himself sound smarter.  Nothing new.”

 After that, I made the mistake of signing up for Drew Miles’ email alerts and now receive a dozen or more high pressure emails each and every day. 

My opinion is still the same.  Drew Miles’ ideas are valid, but are nothing unique that any competent and creative tax advisor can’t accomplish for much less cost.  For example, I do those exact same kinds of things for my clients for much less, and I am one of, if not the, most expensive CPA in the area (an intentional but unsuccessful way of limiting the size of my client base).

While those of us in the tax practitioner community who believe it’s our duty to do everything legally possible to help clients minimize their taxes are obviously in the minority, there are enough of us to be able to service those clients who desire our services.  If you are diligent in your search, you should locate such a person.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter   


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Most Flexible Business Entity?

Posted by taxguru on June 25, 2006


Subject: Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter: Setting Up Corp
Since an LLC can choose to be taxed as a Corp and is a simpler form of organization that a C corp, doesn’t the LLC provide the most flexibility?
Blog: Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Post: Setting Up Corp


Choosing the method of taxation is only one of many aspects to be considered when deciding on the appropriate business entity to work with. 

It is also something that is generally only available for the first year of operation.  If you were under the impression that you could switch back and forth each year, that is not how it works.  Changing the classification has some very messy requirements, often resulting in immediate taxation of certain types of gains; so it is not to be done without the careful consideration of competent professional advisors.

Kerry Kerstetter


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And it’s a thousand times worse now than in his time.

Posted by taxguru on June 24, 2006

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For Nicotine Addicts

Posted by taxguru on June 24, 2006

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