All right Hacker Nation, let’s get down to business. Not everyone likes to talk about taxes but we all know that it’s a vital part of our day-to-day business building tools. Today we have a really special featured guest. We’re actually going to bring out a tax coach who’s actually going to share with us some secrets on how you can actually be working your taxes to your advantage. Today our featured guest is Mr. Craig Cody. Craig, are you ready to rock?
Oh Scott, I’m ready to rock and roll, baby.
All right. Craig Cody is a certified tax coach, CPA, business owner, and former New York City police officer with over 17 years experience on the force. As a certified tax coach Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continuing education on various tax planning techniques and strategies to become as well as remain certified.
With this organization Craig has also co-authored an Amazon best selling book, Secrets of a Tax Free Life. Craig, welcome to Success Hacker. Man, it’s really great to have you on the show.
Oh, thank you very much for having me.
Well, it’s a pleasure. First of all, Secrets of a Tax Free Life. I know me including all of our listeners are going, “How the hell can I have a tax free life and a tax free business?” When did you write the book and how has it been received?
Well, I co-authored the book, about three years ago it came out and it was an Amazon best seller. It’s been well received. It’s just, it touches on a lot of different things that you’re allowed to do, the code allows you to do. Obviously, Secrets to a Tax Free Life does not mean that you’re not going to pay taxes but it’s all about paying the legal minimum.
Well, interestingly enough, at the timing of this podcast we have a new President in the oval office, Mr. Donald Trump, and everybody is up in arms about let’s see his taxes, let’s see his taxes, and he’s holding back for whatever reason. When you look at business owners, maybe right off the bat what’s one strategy that you share in your book on how a business owner can really use the tax code to their advantage?
Well, one strategy is basically choosing the right entity to operate it. Many times we see the wrong entity choice. Basically, they’re starting a business, they talk to the attorney, the attorney says form a corporation or form an LLC or form an S-corporation and nobody looks into the tax ramifications. Everybody’s situation is different so it really does make a big difference why you choose the type of entity you decide to operate out of.
Let’s take that one step further. I’m sure you’re going to say, “Well, that all depends,” but when you’re working with your business owners what is one of the things that they mention that triggers in your mind to say you belong in the LLC space or you belong in this category, when you say it depends or it depends on where we should put them in the different entities. What are some entities that you look at, number one, and number two, why does one business, why should one business owner, like I mentioned, maybe be in an LLC versus someone else that’s an S-corp, et cetera, et cetera?
Right, so let’s talk about an LLC, and we’ll call it a single member LLC. Well one reason, and there’s many, but one reason somebody we may recommend to be a single member LLC is maybe they work for somebody part-time and making significant money as a W-2 employee and then they also have their own business on the side. These can be significant sources of income and that’s one time where it may make sense to be an LLC and it has to do with social security taxes and other things.
Everybody’s situation is a little bit different and their businesses are different, and what they’re looking to do is different so there is no one size fits all.
I want to back up because I have our Hacker Nation a little description about you but would love to know how you went from being a New York City Police Officer for 17 years to becoming a CPA. How did you make that transition?
My first round of college I was an economics major, decided to follow my dad into the family business which was the police department, and left college after three years and became a cop and had a great run, met a lot of interesting people, worked with a lot of great people. Then it was time to move on. I kind of got hooked on taxes and I … It’s kind of like that pocket protector thing, you know? Went back to school, received my accounting degree, went to work for an international firm, got some experience, eventually was able to go out on my own, and here I am today.
Yeah, I love it. Hacker Nation … In Craig’s story I think it’s so important because a lot of times when, as Craig put it, he got into the family business. His father was a police officer. He went and said, X amount of years in said, “Wait a second, I have a another back half of my life to work with and deal with and to live, I don’t want to continue being a police officer.
I shared that with all of you that are listening to say that if you’re in that moment right now in your life where you know that you’re meant to do something else. I know that in my business, I came from a sales and leadership and marketing background for 18, 19 years but I always had that itch, that nudge, to do something different.
I didn’t know what it was at first but I ultimately made the leap into coaching and speaking and obviously to podcasting. If you’re in that position Hacker Nation, anybody that’s out there listening saying, “You know what, I do want to start my own business,” or, “I do want to follow the footsteps like Craig did,” there’s a path, there’s a bridge that needs to be built. Rather than continuing to wait and die, I call it, in your own space where every day you’re getting up and you’re hating life more and more and you say well I’m too old or I’m too young or I don’t have this or I don’t have that, heed advice from Craig.
Man, he was a well touted police officer in New York City, I’m sure a lot of people were looking up to him but he decided to make the shift. Here he is today, a business owner, a best selling author, and he made that shift. What is the hardest thing, Craig, when you made that shift from doing something that you’ve known for 17 years plus the training so probably at least 18 years, and then making that leap from a steady paycheck, being a police officer, probably being really well touted in your field to let’s make the leap over here to something completely different?
I guess the most humbling part was when I first started I was still working, I was working in the accounting field part-time. By day I was a police lieutenant with 75 people under me running a whole command and when I was in the accounting I was making copies, audits so it was very humbling but you need to start at the bottom. You work hard and you learn and you treat people good and, God willing, you’re successful but there’s no such thing as an overnight success.
Amen to that, absolutely.
Get your free copy of the 10 Biggest Tax Mistakes that Cost Business Owners Thousands here.
Listen to the full podcast episode here.