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Glass Half Full? Half Empty?

One of the early sayings that I heard before I turned 18 was that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Taxes sustain our very existence and when I’m asked about saving taxes I generally respond by quoting the following sign which I once contemplated erecting above my office:

“I want all my clients to have huge tax bills that they have no difficulty in paying”.

On the same day some years ago I completed tax returns for two different clients. One was an airline pilot and the other a very successful computer systems salesman. Both had substantial six figure salaries from which substantial tax had been deducted. When presented with their tax returns to sign one commented “Look at all that bloody tax I have to pay” and the other said “I suppose the tax is rather a lot, but there’s still a lot left over”.

I never cease to be amazed at those clients who think that negative gearing, as a stand alone, is a really great financial pursuit solely because it saves them tax.

That’s a bit like enjoying a headache because you’ll feel great when it disappears.