- Series: How to Pay Zero Taxes
- Paperback: 864 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (November 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071836667
- ISBN-13: 978-0071836661
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 122 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Pay Zero Taxes 2015: Your Guide to Every Tax Break the IRS Allows Paperback – November 28, 2014
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About the Author
Jeff A. Schnepper, Esq., (Cherry Hill, NJ) is the author of multiple books on finance and taxation, including all previous editions of How to Pay Zero Taxes. He is a financial, tax, and legal advisor for Estate Planning of Delaware Valley and operates a tax, accounting, and legal practice in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mr. Schnepper is Microsoft's MSN MONEY tax expert, an economics editor for USA Today, and tax counsel for Haran, Watson & Company.
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Besides 1 suggestion, claimed as "Oh, this will get me in trouble.", it's all pretty plain and not much more informative than filling out your taxes with TurboTax online. Unless you have your own C-Corp, even that is not worth the buy.
Tips for the author:
- Clean up the text. Since there could be value in describing the entire history, move it to appendixes. It also avoids duplicating large parts of texts.
- Don't repeat complete sections when looking at things from a different perspective, refer to other sections. Another way of reducing volume.
- Build scenarios and give examples how tax payers can reduce their tax liability. "If you have a sole prop that delivers services, then here are your options." "If you're employed and have a hobby, these are your options." "If you own a corp with employees, here are your options". Right now it is not easy to figure out what could possibly apply to your own situation.
- It would actually be interesting if you would, possibly within the above scenarios, demonstrate how you can get to zero taxes. Just giving the book a title like that and then presenting an endless list of deductions, credits, etc. is just not meeting the expectation you're setting.
The book starts off with an introduction to how Federal individual taxation works and moves on to specific tax topics organized by the structure of the 1040 form: gross income, above-the-line deductions, adjusted gross income, below-the-line deductions. Then tax shelters and planning are discussed. The final chapters, occupying nearly half of the total pages, are devoted to detailing tax "reforms" from 1993 onward as well as how to avoid and survive an IRS audit. The 775 pages of main text are packed with useful information. For individual taxpayers, regardless of whether you work as an employee or as a contractor or whether you have your own business, this book can help you improve your tax strategies.
However, there are several issues with the book:
1) This book (2007 edition, for the 2006 tax year) is now in its 24th edition, so a lot of places look like it was really written over several years. In one paragraph it would say "as of 2002 there has been no change..." and then in the next paragraph it would say "in 2004 we are finally seeing...". Finally, a third pargraph reads "as this goes to press, we heard that ..." You get the point.
2) The author tries to inject some dry sense of humor but for the most part his jokes are not funny. And the book really needs some good editing as sentences often do not flow logically from one to the next.
3) The author spends a lot of ink criticizing the IRS (and Congress) for the "disgraceful" U.S. tax code. He repeats the same lines too many times in the book, and recites a lot of IRS statistics and expert quotes that grow old and tiresome quickly. The auditing chapter is in particular painful to read, as it buries the how-to tips deep inside mountains of charges against IRS abuses (many examples of which occurred 20 years ago) and loads of useless statistics.