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  • Josh Bolton

Interview with Charles Read


Welcome to the Josh Bolton show. Interesting and inspiring conversation. And now your host, Josh Bolton. Hello. Welcome, everybody to the Josh Bolton Show. Today we have an amazing guest, Charles Reed veteran, business owner and CEO. Here's him here he is himself, Charles. Josh, pleasure to be here. It's a pleasure, Charles. So tell me about yourself. You were mentioning in your bio that you were a Vietnam vet. Yeah, I'm an old marine. I got out of high school. I graduated early and worked for a few months. And then when the Marine Corps I spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, two years overseas tour in Vietnam, came back I was stationed in Kansas City. I was trained as a computer programmer and systems engineer, as well as being a Combat Infantryman. That's, that's a mix for you. Yeah. And then I met married my wife, she had five kids when I married her. Oh, nobody, nobody thought it was gonna work, but didn't last and 45 years until she passed. I'm sorry for your loss. So thank you. It's been almost six years now. And then moved down to Texas and went to college, got my degrees, my Masters passed my CPA exam, went to work for major corporations, Texas Instruments, JC Penney's, among others. For you know, for 15 years, I realized I was never going to get to the top of the ladder up because I didn't have the political skills. I'm unwilling to stab them in the back and throw them off the ladder. Yeah. So I said, if I'm going to run a company, I'm going to start my own. So I did. Ruth and I started this in 91. And 30 years later here, we are still running it. I am, though, it's been successful. We've, we beat the odds. Yeah. So as you're saying, you've worked for different like JC Penney, and all that like, which, when triggered that you wanted to start your own business, when you realize there was no return you had to go out on your own pennies was my last one. Okay, I was I was an assistant comptroller for pennies, over the special retail division. And we got into a disagreement about contracts and everything else. And they wanted to move me back to the hinterlands of Arkansas after we moved the operation down to Texas. And I was unwilling to go back and they were unwilling to pay me that they were required to. So we came to a party to the ways. My, my attorney knew a entrepreneur of franchise operation, finance, Financial Express. I wouldn't talk to Tim Terry, and went to work for him as his CEO. And the board was after him to get rid of the original franchise that they'd set up the original office. So I bought it. That was 1991 92, the franchisor. One, belly up. Tim was, well, there were a lot of things going on, none of which were good. And they went belly up. And Ruth and I just changed the name and kept on going. And as they say, the rest is history. Yeah, it was a mobile accounting service with a payroll built in. Over the years, I took on a partner, and here about seven, eight years ago, sold him all the accounting side and kept the payroll side been running with it and having a good time. Awesome. So you did accounting for a while to help your client for taxes, right? Oh, absolutely. We did. We did accounting both. We did accounting form plus personal and corporate business taxes, as well as employment taxes for the payroll side. Right. Okay. So, this is a question that's been asked to me and it's at the end of the year like you, so what, what is the difference for taxes, but from like, the 90s to now like, what are some of the, like, LLC to from then to now? Well, all the taxes are still there. You know, corporate taxes, individual taxes, the deductions change, the tax rates change. capital gains, rates go up and down, personal rates go up and down. I mean, you know, we had some major changes with Reagan, and then they've been creeping back up ever since. Trump knocked them down a bunch corporate here in 17. Biden of course is says he's going to jack them back up. State of California wants to jack up corporate taxes and drive more Corporations out of California. But one of the problems with corporate tax is corporations, literally don't pay taxes. They're not people. Right now, they don't consume anything. So they buy stuff, and use it and create product or services and sell those. And if you increase the taxes on corporations, I'll tell you what's going to happen. Their prices are going to go up. Yeah, they're gonna pass it through the consumer. So corporate taxes, and I have a master's in, you know, my, my MBA was basically in tax I've got when I graduate, I like 53 hours of tax, corporate tax courses. Wow. So corporate tax is basically a way to tax the population. indirectly. And so it serves no purpose, other than to raise prices, and to allow politicians to say, oh, we're taxing the corporations, not, you know, but all we're doing is we're jacking up the price, that you're paying for stuff services and products. And, you know, we're gonna get our money to, to spend on whatever and, you know, there's, there's a lot of spending that I disagree with, but, you know, nobody listens to me. No, not until it's too late. So, other than that, you know, tax rates change and deductions change. I mean, I remember when you could entertain at home and take a deduction for it really killed young, we used to have parties, and that was all the expenses for that party for for clients or potential clients was induction. But you can't eat they killed that they've killed most of the entertainment deductions, you know, you could still and I've had, I've been the beneficiary of this football tickets, baseball, tisc tickets, hockey tickets from companies that I do business with. And they give me tickets to go to the games. Because they're deductible. Yeah, well, then I'm adoptable anymore. Oh, no. I could use a free game, put a major crimp into some of the revenue streams for the sports teams, because it's not deductible to the season ticket holders anymore. So that's gonna hurt them over time. Yeah. So with the taxes and deductibles. So I've recently I've been studying like stock market and stuff. Do you think there's gonna be a big shift because of Biden coming towards certain sectors and taxes? Oh, absolutely. There's, there's, and you can read the various analysts and they, they predict various things depend on who you talk to. But in all probability, corporate tax rates are going to go up, personal tax rates are going to go up, regulations are going to go up. Climate change, regulations are going to are going to be the piled on us. And there's going to be other restrictions that the democrats are anxious to get and the progressive agenda the the green New Deal. No cars, no trains, no planes, no know, gas, or petroleum powered ships, you know, on and on and on. Wind power, solar power. One of the bright points I see in that is hydrogen power. Yes. I'm a I've been a great believer in hydrogen for for many years. And I think that's that's a real plus, because that is a absolutely sustainable and renewable product. You use solar to create electrolysis, and you burn the hydrogen and the byproduct of that water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas. But what No, I don't think water vapor itself isn't or is it the water vapor is considered a greenhouse gas? It is the largest of all the greenhouse gases. Interesting. I didn't know that. Yeah. So but it doesn't there's no carbon. So it's, it's it is carbon neutral, and you're just taking water and converting it back to water using solar power, which the sun does with the oceans. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year? Yeah. So I don't see that there's much of a loss on that at all. It's water, water, using sunlight. Yeah. So speaking of the hydrogen, not many people are willing to talk about they're only thinking like Tesla or nickoli are gonna be like the, the thing that saves us. I'm like, we still need a burn something for electricity for those cars kind of thing. Wouldn't hydrogen be the thing? And then you got to haul around that heavy battery? Yeah. Without without the battery, you know your weight to ratio hydrogen? Well, it's true gasoline or hydrogen as compared to battery weight, you know, is is a small fraction, you know? Yeah. So very gasoline is is a diesel. It's very efficient. In terms of weight to power ratio. Well, hydrogen is two. So if you're burning hydrogen through fuel cells, which creates electricity around the electric car, you're not dragging around several 1000 pounds of battery. Yeah. Which excuse me, right? Yeah, it's it's one of those or combined both, or it's like an electric car to run the fuel cell as it's going. Now, that made more sense to me, even though no one wants to talk about it. It makes a lot of sense to me. Well, there are a few people talking about it. There's a guy in New Jersey, that's a real really proselytizers about hydrogen. He has three of them. There's hydrogen cars available in California, because Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted one. And he was governor. So he signed the law to make hydrogen cars legal in California. So you environment California, if you want when you got to go to California to buy one, but they're illegal in California. All right. It's good to be governor. I'm gonna say yeah, I think I'm in the wrong line. I got to be governor now. There you go. So you're based out of Texas, right? Right. We're just north of Dallas. All right. So be though you're based in Texas, you know, all the different states rules kind of thing? or? Yeah, we are we we currently operate in 47. States. I don't think we have anybody in Maine, Montana and Alaska at the moment we have had in the past. All right. So then this is when I can't fully for Texas the like it's true. There is no income tax. Correct. There's no state income tax on individuals. There's no state income tax on corporations or businesses. There is a franchise tax, which acts as a minor corporate tax, but it's not a major thing. Right. The biggest tax source in Texas is sales tax and property taxes. Yeah, yeah, that's I've seen like 30% for a property per year. No, no, no, no, it's nowhere near that. It's like, Oh, I don't know. $3 per 1000 of value or something of that order. It's it's, it can get excessive. But on a million dollar house, you're probably paying 12 14,000 a year. Okay. Yeah. You know, on $100,000. House, you're paying 1200 bucks a year. Easy money to scrap together? Well, it can be. It can be difficult in terms of, you know, foods tight, money's tight and works tight. But yeah, it's it's quite, it's quite feasible. It's not excessive. The sales tax is about eight and a quarter. Seems a little high at times. But it's, you know, when you go by $50 A groceries, it's $4 in taxes. It's Yeah. It's not that big of a deal. So they find us that way. But, you know, Texas does a couple of things that are unique. First of all, the legislature only meets for months every other year. Oh, is it's not passing laws all the time. The the Constitution was written after the Civil War is very, very, very detailed about a lot of things. And there's a lot of things the state can't do. But one of the things the state has to do in Texas, is have a balanced budget. Interesting. So, without budget, there no deficit spending, the legislature has to live within the tax revenue and most taxes to increase them requires a vote for the citizenry. And Texas tends to be a red state and conservative and doesn't vote for tax increases as much as some other places May. So yeah. Especially here in California, where I guess we've increased a few more taxes suddenly, and it's like, wow, I'm just right now just normal work and like, I can already feel this kind of thing. It's I we've, we used to operate in California and we chose to leave the state for operational purposes. I didn't want to it was the tax situation. My parents lived there. My grandmother was there how my my grandfather and grandfather and grandmother came back from China after World War Two. He was special medical advisor to Chiang Kai Shek. They bought a place in Palo Alto and he worked at the Stanford Medical. So when grandmother died, my parents inherited the house and lived there for a number of years before they passed. We sold it as the heirs. But you know, I love California, it's a beautiful state. But that's about the only get a little get a little crazy at times. Yes. Well, the politics get crazy everywhere. I mean, you get the state legislature in Texas, and I've got some clips and and you just go, you gotta be joking, but so it no places where some better than others, but the tax situation in California, and we deal with all the time. You know, it's a high tax state like Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and they have to get the money to pay for what the state legislature is decided they want to do. And it's all about it comes down to, you know, we vote for and what their priorities are and priorities are different in different states. Yes, that is true. Speaking of the priorities, so with the COVID, we've recently been having like, because I work night shift at a grocery store locally, we've been increasing our pay for like hazard. But I sat down, I'm like, Guys, this is going to be a problem, like we're going to get taxed way more, because we have a pay increase, you'll get text more in your tax rate, and they go to the next bracket and be paying more, but it's on the margin. On that extra portion, you may pay a little more percentage wise than you pay on this portion. If it moves you up into the next tax bracket. But the tax brackets go step up. So everything to here is at one rate, then it goes up and that portion that's going up, is it a maybe at a higher rate, then if you make a lot more, you may be at a higher rate. But it doesn't go retroactive, back to your regular payroll portion. So you'll pay a higher tax on the additional income, but not a higher tax on the income you're already making. Okay, so they raise the list, they raise the rates that everybody goes up, right? Would you see also the stimulus checks? Who's gonna bump us up to, from a tax point of view? The stimulus checks? Yes, they're gonna bump you up slightly, it's gonna affect your taxable income. Now, that's what I was thinking. My coworkers are just like, Oh, it's free money, the IRS has given it to us and like, there's no such thing as a free lunch guys, there is no such thing. No, you're gonna pay for now, the PPP, they've set that up. So it's not taxable. And it's basically free money. But somebody has to pay for it. And there will be taxes that has to pay for that back. I mean, you know, the US government is in debt in the term, you know, in excess of $100 trillion, which is more than, you know, 40 or $50,000. For every man, woman and child in the country, it's gonna have to be paid back at some point in time, though, you know, modern money theory says, you know, you're borrowing from yourself, it doesn't have to be paid back. I don't necessarily agree, you got to pay the interest on it, because somebody's looking for it, whether it be the insured the insurance company in there, or, you know, the widow in a retirement fund, or the Chinese or whoever owns the bonds, expects interest. So you got to pay it. So you actually touched on something I was gonna get to the modern money theory, do you think it is feasible? Or is it more a bunch of smoke kind of thing? Personally, personally, personally, I guess, smoke and mirrors, I see no validity to the theory, from my point of view, but you know, I've been wrong about other things. Yeah, we're human, it happens. So, you know, I just my opinion or not, I've been a, you know, I was a registered rep, I have my series seven and 66 licenses as a registered investment advisor and a stockbroker and so on, at one point, advising my clients. So, you know, I've gotten into this and I've got my MBA and my, my undergraduate minor in finance, and I read this stuff all the time. I don't agree with it. But if it works, it works. I mean, you know, we'll see, you know, proofs in the pudding. Let's see what happens over the next few years. Yeah. So a recent I want to say trend, at least in California is shifting to where even unskilled people are getting skilled jobs, and we have to pay for it kind of thing. Do you? Is there any implications on the corporations for doing something like that? Well, it's one thing to pay skilled wages to unskilled workers. But skilled workers getting skilled worker wages is great, because they're productive. They're the idea with a corporation or business is you want to produce and make a profit. Right? If you can make a profit, if you can hire somebody and make more than what you pay them. Pyro, hire the video fees you can write, okay? Now, that's not the only thing that goes into, you have to have the marketing, you have to have the people to sell it to and you have to have the accounting and the facilities and the physical plant and everything else. But if you can hire people, and make money from them, which is what businesses do, that's great. Okay. But if they're if the government forces you to pay wages to somebody that can't produce enough revenue, to cover their costs, they're just asking you to go out of business. And you will, if you lose money on everybody you hire, why would you hire anybody? It makes no sense to hire somebody that's going to cost you money above and beyond what they can produce. Right, that there's that that's just economics. So the the concept of, of forcing people to pay wages in excess of the value of the labor they're receiving? I mean, okay, the whole thing for $15? Well, you know, why stop at 15? Why don't make it 25? Why don't make $50 an hour? Hey, $50 an hour, that's 100,000 a year. You look nicely on that, right? So let's pay everybody let's let's pay the, the the guy that flips burgers at McDonald's 50 bucks an hour, you have a nice living right? Now, because everything else can go up in price. Well, of course, McDonald's hamburgers will be you know, $40. So inflation will go through the roof. And we'll find that that $100,000 will cover an apartment and a car and a marriage. So the whole point of getting a hit in this world is you get skilled, you get educated, you work hard, you develop experience, and you're worth more. That's, you know, we pay for high school. And in California used to be they'd almost pay for college, pretty much still do. So, you know, I went to a junior college in California a couple of more than 50 years ago, when I was when I lived out there because I was in service in San Diego. And then in Camp Pendleton and, and later on, I before that, I spent time in Palo Alto at my my grandmother's house and went to Foothill College there and so on. So a good college system, good education system, boosts people up and allows them to be more productive. But some people don't get experience. Some people don't get educated. Some people don't want to work hard. And to force businesses to pay the more than they're producing. It's just counterproductive, I'm sorry. It is, as Speaking of which I think is in a Connecticut that past that you can they now have to pay three months of vacation. Not three months, but there's a lot of states and municipalities that are doing sick pay and paid time off in this kind of thing. Okay. But it's not federal. It's in the states three months. I've not heard anything about that. But I've seen lots of things of, you know, up to two weeks a year, up to 40 hours, you know, the different states do it differently. And different municipalities in some states do it differently. In Texas, the the state has basically said, cities you cannot set minimum wages, you can't set a number of these things. It's only going to be at the state level. The state preempts the cities, the cities are a creation of the state. And the city charter comes from the state and the state can revoke it and change it. So and they could do it in California if they chose to. They could say to Santa Monica and so on, you can't have your own minimum wage. They choose not to that's California. That's fine. I have no problem with that different state. And that's why there are 50 states, because we are a Federation of Independent States. That's what makes up the United States of America. And the 10th amendment basically says, anything that's not in the constitution that allows the federal that says the federal government can do this, and is not prohibited to the federal government by the states is reserved for the states or the people respectively. Federal Government's usurped in a lot of things over the years, but the 10th amendment still exists. And, and so they don't, you know, they don't get to do everything. That's why the 50 states have their own minimum wages and other things, child labor laws, child support, all kinds of things are at the state level. And and this is how the United States was designed to work at the state level, not at the federal level, the federal level was supposed to handle those things that oversaw all the states, not the minutiae detail, that Congress has gotten into so much over the last 100 years. 100 years. Okay. I wasn't around that long. Well, neither was I. But you go back to Franklin Roosevelt is where a lot of this reaching by the federal government started, and just continued to this day. I mean, for instance, Second Amendment, whether you believe it or not, it's they're putting up a mandated federal, no gun zones, is just overreach. If the state's want to do it, that's fine. That's their business. But it's not it's not a federal function. So yeah, a lot of people haven't read the Constitution. And, and really should look at it and read it. There's some great, and I'm not promoting this, mind you. But Hillsdale College puts on some great free classes on the Constitution. They're very conservative institution. And they have great, wonderful free classes on the constitution that, you know, I think people should should look at or something similar to it, and understand why the constitution exists and what it really covers. So yeah. Yeah. I remember when I was younger, we barely went over in like fifth grade. But then the rest of my high school like junior high high school year, we never touched it again. And as one of those, like, I personally research it, because I'm like, Okay, this is important. This is like what says, We are for America, and we're not talking about, something's up. Right. When I went to high school, we had sittings. And it was two semesters. When I went to college here in Texas, we had a semester on US government and some semester on Texas government that were required. So we used to get a lot more education when I was teaching in high school here, before my wife had her stroke, back in the early, back before 911. I spent five years and I taught first period every day, Introduction to Business at the local high school. Okay, great, had a great time it was it was a blast. I go in and teach the course first period that I come to work and do a full day. So but the the level of ignorance that exists in the high schools about civics, and about the law and about the constitution was a little appalling to me. That they don't teach it like they used to. Yeah, yeah. And it's it's only getting worse with time as you're not. It's like the as long as you don't show it, then it gets the next person Sorry about that. Then the next person is just it gets snowballed worse and worse down that road. I agree with you. So, speaking of the Constitution, and Congress, what are your thoughts on the Congress or Capitol Hill run? is I think it's one of those it's more of an act of terrorism, if anything, what would you Oh, you're you're asking me to step into some stuff here. I mean, we don't have to I'm sorry. It was just one of those. It's it's I I have horrible violence. Okay. I don't think violence is appropriate. I didn't think have been appropriate all summer, in Portland, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles. So on, I don't I don't think it's inappropriate, civilized behavior within a country. So I am not in favor of storming the US Capitol And causing damage and and people getting killed? No, I'm not in favor of that at all. It's absolutely appalling. I think it needs to be. I think it needs to be investigated. There are some accusations that it was planned by people other than Trump's supporters to create an incident. I don't know whether that's true or not. But I think that the appropriate authorities need to investigate it fully, and determine exactly what and why it happened. Some of the, the video is a little disturbing with Capitol Police, you know, waving people in and, and so on and so forth. And remember, these are public buildings, you have the right as a citizen to go in you, they you own their public buildings, okay? Doesn't mean you get to tear them up, or destroy private offices or steal the speaker's podium or anything like that. Don't Don't misunderstand, but they are public buildings. Writing is not appropriate and shouldn't happen. I absolutely agree. Sorry, to put you in that awkward situation. It's alright. I'm, you know, I'm, I tend to be a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. And, you know, there are people that disagree with with my positions on things and I'm, I'm in business to serve clients, I'm not in business to, to promote. Yeah, progressive thought or, or conservative thought that my businesses is payroll, you know, that's like, right on. Okay. There's, there's, that's my newest book, the payroll book. Oh. So this is what I do I do payroll. Okay. So, what's the biggest misconception that the general populace knows for for like, the profile of a CEO? And especially for you a payroll person? Like, what are the differences? You notice? That we're almost like, a mantra kind of thing? Well, you know, we work hard. It's lonely at the top. It took me 30 years to get to where I'm at. And I worked very, very, very hard at getting there. And so did my wife. So yeah, I've been successful, and I've been in business for 30 years, I employ a dozen people. Okay, okay, I there. I oversee their livelihood. I pay them I pay them good money. I pay them more than more than market because they're good people. Because we work very hard at hiring productive people that can do the job and produce more service for our clients than they cost me. I'm not out there to cheat my employees. Because I treasure them. They make me money. Yeah, they're like, What? Why would I be? Why do I be hostile to my employees? board? They're, they're my biggest asset. Yeah, what allows me to succeed? Thank you very much. I appreciate them. And I pay him for it. And I listened to him and talk to them. When they want something, if we can do it, yeah, we do it. You know, there's several men out working from home part time. And so they have that, that ability to do that. We figured that out through the lockdown that we could do that. And we've now put in facilities and equipment to allow them to do that on part of the time. So, you know, a CEO is not out there, just for him. Okay, yeah, I own the company. And if it goes broke, I lose all my investment. And I lose my income, and I lose my job. And I lose my paycheck. So treating people badly is just stupid. As a businessman, and CEOs, smart ones, don't do that. Okay. They understand that their employees are their most valuable asset now. Are there stupid CEOs? Absolutely. Okay. There are there are poor doctors or lawyers, or politicians, for CEOs. You name it. There's part of that group. There's not very good at what they do. And if you've got a CEO like that, find another job. Yeah. There's there's plenty of them out there. Just go find a better company to work for. Yeah, I totally agree. It's one of those. Like, just the general theme I hear from people on the street and all that they think all CEOs are just sitting their office, yelling on the phone, like make the stock Go up kind of thing, customer, Al's employee kind of thing. Like know that their strategic they got it, like, help the employee to help the customer kind of thing. The job of a CEO, and a leader of any sort, okay, is to remove the obstacles that keep employees from being successful. That's your job. There's things that only the boss can do. There's things that only the CEO can do to remove impediments, okay, or to provide equipment, or to provide software or training. I train my people constantly. We have webinars, seminars, classes, certifications, and so on. And I pay for that. Okay, right. Why do I pay for that? To make them more productive? And if they're more productive, I can pay them more? That makes them happy. Yeah, if I'm, if they're more productive, that makes me more money, I'm happy. So it's, it's and you know, some of my people now I'm part of the company. Interesting. And, you know, I'm 71 I'm gonna die one of these days, okay. I know that. And I can't take it with me. Okay. That doesn't work. It doesn't. You know, they even if they put it in the, in the coffin with me, somebody that's gonna come along and take it back, I promise you. Yeah. So I need to prepare for them to continue to succeed. And I want them to, I don't want it to die with me. That's my legacy. So you don't want to be the founder. And 100 years from now? I'll be up on the wall still, okay, yeah, I'll be dead and rotted away, but my picture will still be on the wall. I want this company to be successful. I want my employees to be successful. I want to continue to grow the company and make revenue. Do I want a nice life in the process? Sure. But you know, I've invested 30 years in this business, and a lot of money, and a lot of time and a lot of risk. And if at any time in those 30 years, it went belly up. I'm so well. Yeah. So I have the risk, my employees don't have the same risk. They've not now I've got people who've worked for me for over 20 years, and they've invested huge amounts of time, and diligence and effort into the company. And I appreciate that. And I reward them for that. But I've invested a lot of money on top of that, and 30 years of my time and taking the risk. And so should I get rewarded for risk and reward guys, the more risk you take, the more reward you should get. And the sidebar that is the more risk you take the more chance of loss and and and wiping out your investment so it's a balancing act. It is and and not many people understand how being just a business owner alone is just absolutely risky. Especially absolutely you start a business everything you put into it's at risk. You know, you build a business you put up a grocery store, nobody shows up. It's not worth much is it? Okay, if you can't sell the groceries, if you can't get groceries in their cell if you don't have somebody to ring up whatever you're gonna fail and all that investment just goes away it's one of those it's the the painful almost dropping of the ball like okay, here's your problem now. And the employees are just like okay, sex or pay, take a pay cut, but go get like a different job somewhere else kind of thing. And they wouldn't I wouldn't blame them. And that's something we've, we've avoided in the past in the beginning. If there wasn't enough money to pay everybody I was the one that took the cut. I was the last one to get paid. Okay. Well, that's how you that's how an entrepreneur works. I mean, you're the last one to make the money. You're not the first you got to pay your bills, you got to pay that that bank loan, you've got to pay your employees you got to pay your taxes. The only one you don't have to pay you. So you're the You're the last one to get paid. Not the first one. Interesting. Yeah, I've I do martial arts in California and my martial arts instructor is a full fledged business owner and entrepreneur. And he's even said that he's like, there. There are some months it gets really touching go and he's like, I it's hard to tell if I can make the bills. I'm like, I'm sure the last year for him has been a disaster. Absolute wreck. He was he was thinking he Probably would never open up again, kind of thing. It's quite possible. There's millions of businesses that are gone, and many of them will never come back. Yeah, that's it's been a business disaster, especially for the fitness food. The whole hospitality entertainment business has been been the chapter. Yeah. And it's one of those other than maybe the big corporations, the mom and pops are probably not going to come back anytime soon. A lot of them won't. Now, we've got a lot of them that have survived. We've got some that have prospered in this. So businesses, you know, I find a new way to make money every day. There's millions of ways to make money. There's millions of ways to to start millions of businesses to start. You just have to want to do it and find something that you like to do and want to do and do it. And so if you don't, if you don't, you know, if you're an employee, and you can't get paid enough to start your own business. It's not hard to start. It may be hard to succeed, but it's not hard to start. Yeah, exactly. And so, you know, anybody who says, they don't pay me enough? Well, one of two things, either you haven't convinced them of your value, or you're over valuing yourself. Yeah. If you think you haven't convinced them, convince them or find somebody else that you can convince that you're worth what you want. And if everybody says, No, there might be a start, start your own business guys. Go out there and show them that they're idiots. And they should have hired you and you'd make them rich. Okay, you know, I'm sure Bill Gates had had job offers. He turned him down, he started Microsoft. Okay. You know, Amazon didn't make money the first year, I promise you. Okay, it's now made. Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world. You know, if Tesla hadn't sold any cars, it would have been a whole different ballgame. So, you know, if you've got the right idea and the right get up and go get up and go go do it. You. Yeah. Even if it's small, like baking cookies, and just selling them to local friends. That'd be fields, Mrs. Fields, cookies. Then there's others. Song, there's others like that. There are stories that one of my favorite young black man went to work for McDonald's. 1617 years old. He came in every day, in a freshly showered clean, uniform, picked up the parking lot on the way yet, on his time, was always friendly. Everybody got along, did whatever he was asked to do. When a shift was over, he picked up the parking lot of his own time on the way home. He moved up the ladder in that franchise and became management. Because he worked at it. Everybody liked him. He did whatever was needed to be done. And he was friendly about it. And the franchise owner came to him and said, You're, you're too good at this. I know I'm going to lose you. So here's what I'm going to do. I will finance you in buying your own McDonald's franchise. Because I know you will succeed. And I'll get paid back. Another the time he's 25 on three of them. Wow. I have a young guy here in Dallas. Up 35. He owns 300 restaurants. Why he started one franchise, they said that that unit that he was putting that place would never work. It's now the highest grossing of that franchise in the country. Okay. And he just reinvested his process profits and kept setting up other franchises and other restaurants. And he owns over 300 restaurants in the DFW area. And you don't think he's making money hand over fist? Yeah. This last year, I'm sure it's been tough for him. But it's a great story. You know, there's there's millions of them. There is so it's just you want to do it and you work at it. You can get there. Absolutely. And it's just it's the long, hard, lonely work that no one wants to hear about. Please wait must be done. They one, look, you know, the old phrase is lonely at the top. Damn right it is. It's your ass on the line. And you're that you're at risk and your investments at risk. And you put in those 80 hour weeks, and you don't make any money. Day one, one month one, maybe year one. Okay. And you're the one that has to suffer through and, and live on beans and rice. But if you're successful you make in the end. You know, I have a nice life now. You know, I got my wife before she passed most everything she wanted. You know, we don't live. We're not billionaires. We're not even multimillionaires. But we live nicely. Right? Good. Good, Louis. Okay, I could probably make a better living working for somebody else. I like working for me. I like the freedom. You know, if I don't want to come into 11 o'clock, I don't come into 11 o'clock. But if I've got stuff I have to do, and I have to work all day Saturday. Well, I work all day Saturday. Yep. So I have the freedom to schedule my time. I don't necessarily have the freedom not to work. But that kind of freedom. And that kind of personal satisfaction is what makes owning a business worthwhile. Absolutely. Yeah. It's, it was an old saying I might be butchering it. But it's essentially, as a business owner, you are free to schedule yourself, but you're working like 90 hours a week kind of thing. So you're free to pick your mornings kind of thing. And that's it. Yeah, you're you're you're free to pick which 80 hours a week you work. So I we kind of pass it in just when writing payroll. Can we let's go into some of your service stories. Oh, no, you know, I don't. There's there's some fun things that went on in the service. You know, I remember one night we're in Vietnam. I'll tell you a Vietnam story. All right. Say Julian was our point, man. Say Julian was as black as the ace of spades. And when we got to camouflage the first time he laughed, he said, I don't need any. And the sergeant said, said Julian, hugest shine in the dark. That's what he just glows. So he had to he had to put camouflage on like the rest of us white boys. So we got over that. But one night, and he was great. I owe my life more than once, believe me. He found a trip wire across the trail. Well, what you do when you find a tripwire is you know, there's a booby trap there. Well, since you're in a populated area, the Vietcong would set up booby traps to get us at night. Then they come back to the morning, and if it hadn't gone off, remove it so they wouldn't kill the locals. So what you do is if you found a booby trap, you've set up an ambush. So when the VC came back in the morning, you can ambush him. Well, in the morning, we found out it was a spider thread across the trail. But he'd saw and he actually felt along it. And so we set an ambush all night long on a spider thread. Wow. So you know there's there's all kinds of fun things that happen. Anywhere you're at if you look at the the fun side of things, the good side of things, you can be happy anywhere. One of the most peaceful moments in my life. We had been dropped off north of Red Beach. And we were going out on a patrol and at night. And it was sunset. And we were heading whatever anyway, north of us was mountains north of the nammo River. This is 2030 miles north of an ichor and the sun's setting and so the skies turning purple. It's very very quiet. The day insects are bedding down in the night insects are not really up yet. So it's warm but not hot. Very very gentle breeze. We're walking out along the rice paddy dikes 10 yard intervals. So it's a Beautiful bucolic setting, just incredibly beautiful, verdant green. It's the jungle. Okay, rice paddies, water, jungle mountains, purple mountains, just incredibly beautiful. And the Buddhist Gong in the village behind us starts to ring. So you get these low deep gongs at, you know, 10 second intervals, just rolling across the rice paddies. And that's one of the most peaceful moments I've ever encountered in my life in a beautiful country. That's just in the middle of a war. But it was it was beautiful. That was just, that was a beautiful story in and of itself. I was, I was imagining that to like, what it would be like and like, Wow, that is very beautiful, peaceful. It was really was, Vietnam is a beautiful country. Okay, you know, I don't necessarily agree with the government and everything else. But that's doesn't stop. California is a beautiful state of Texas. And I grew up in Iowa. And, you know, you drive through the cornfields of Iowa, and it's incredible. So every state has beautiful things they do part of the world has beautiful things, whether it be the desert, or the mountains, or the beachfronts, or whatever, there's, there's beauty everywhere if you look for it. But the key word is you have to look for it. You have to look for it and be willing to find it if you're not willing to find it, you won't. Right? It's that's one of the like the things with people, they just they don't want to work, it's easy to like hand it to me, like on Instagram, compared to if you just go in your backyard, you could see a beautiful flower you haven't seen for like three months kind of thing? Well, you know, it's it's, there's all kinds of people, you know, we had this discussion here the other day, we're talking about criminals. Because we get hit with, with people trying to commit payroll fraud all the time. Okay, trying to get us to set for payroll and pay them knowing that we're not going to get the money from their bank. Okay, we get 100 of those a year. Okay. And we've we haven't been hit fraud in many, many years. Because we just are very careful. Right? But if the comment was, you know, these guys would spend half the amount of effort on legitimate business that they do on fraud and make a killing be well off. Yeah. But, you know, nobody ever say criminals are smart. True? Well, there's a special kind of criminals that are extremely smart, but they also realize they're doing something very bad, too. Oh, there's there's all there's all kinds of people in all kinds of criminals. And, and, you know, the the comment else was that the risk, if you get caught isn't worth the reward. It's like, you know, I've met people when I did tax work, that would want me to cheat on their taxes. No, I'm a CPA, I'm licensed by the state of Texas. And that license is hard to get. And allows me to make a nice living. You want me to jeopardize that license for a couple $100? Son, you don't have enough money in total? For me to jeopardize my license, let alone what you're willing to pay me. So right. Just move on down the line. It's, it's crazy. Why would I do that? That's insane. And you never want to take it there? Well, I fight the IRS constantly because there's all kinds of problems with the IRS and they make mistakes. They make millions of them every year. They issue penalties for no good valid reason. Or they've screwed up or whatever. You know, this is a a key. Okay, the IRS cannot penalize you for a simple mistake. They do all the time. But they cannot. It's illegal. If you read the law, it's only for gross negligence. Not for just a simple mistake. simple mistake. You calculate and pay the tax and the interest. There's no penalties. Okay. But who gets to decide whether it's gross negligence or simple mistake? The IRS right and if you read all the manuals, There is no hard and fast rule of what constitutes gross negligence. So it's in the eye of the beholder. So when you get hit with a penalty, you ask for an abatement, you ask for it to be reversed. And you ask again, and again and again and you go up the ladder, you go through the appeals process, and you keep asking. It's a whole series of noes. And then when you get that single, yes, you shut up, take it and leave. Okay? Don't keep talking. Okay? Don't piss him off, just say thank you very much, and kick your ass out of there. Okay. And this is what I can do for my clients. And I do all the time is, the IRS makes millions of mistakes a year, I'm sorry, you got 100,000 people, more. Training budgets are way down from what they used to be COVID has not helped at all. And in some cases, you're dealing with technology, that from the 1960s, okay. And people get transferred around in the service, and they're stuck into new areas that they not may not be an expert at. So all that combined, makes for mistakes. If you don't know how to fix it, or how to appeal it, or how to deal with it, you're never going to fix it. That's why you hire somebody like me, or a CPA for your personal tax, because we know what to do. I had one penalty. It was $95,000. We fought it for nine years. And in the end, they gave my client a $400 refund. That's the kind of thing we can do and a good CPA can do for you. And here's here's the analogy I use. You take a great Brazilian soccer player. I don't know the current ones. But Pele was from my day and age. Incredible athletes. Incredible soccer player. Okay. And you stick them in a New York Yankees uniform and put them at second base. And he's lost. He doesn't know the game. He doesn't know the equipment. He doesn't know the rules. He doesn't know the playing field. He doesn't know the plays. He doesn't know throw it the first base. He doesn't know a lot of things. He's still a great athlete. Right? And he'll become a great baseball player if you give him time. Okay, Michael Jordan went from basketball to baseball, and was successful. Not wildly but successful nonetheless. Okay. Bo Jackson, same thing, football and baseball. So people do it. And Paley would become a great player, but you stick him in there the first day. He's absolutely totally, completely lost. And that's a civilian, dealing with the IRS. You're just you don't know the rules. You don't know the regulations. You don't know the law. You don't know the playing field. You don't know what you can say what you can't say. You don't understand that the if it's a collection agent that he doesn't care whether it's right or wrong, he just wants the money. You don't know how to appeal. You don't know who to talk to. You can't say the examiner. Okay. I want to talk to your supervisor. That's absolutely appropriate. But if you don't know that, he's not going to tell you Oh, you can talk to my supervisor. He's going to tell you to write the check. So what if you know to talk to the supervisor, supervisors not sympathetic. You take it to the county appeals coordinator, you take it to the appeals office, you file a 12 153 for a collection due process hearing. you file a petition in Tax Court. Why I became a US Tax Court practitioner. There's only a few 100 of us in the country. Oh, it allows me to take my clients cases to us Tax Court without being an attorney. I have a bar card from the US Tax Court. Wow. I am a licensed us Tax Court practitioner. This goes back many years when the board of whatever the Tax Board was turned into a court. JOHN Dingell insisted in the legislation that non attorneys could practice in that court. The court doesn't particularly like us. Other attorneys don't particularly like us because we're not a state licensed attorney. But we are licensed to practice in US Tax Court. I can present petitions for my clients. I can advocate to them. We're for them with the tax counsel for the IRS and actually take it to court and argue the case in court. If need be. Now 95% of all tax cases get settled before court. So I now am able to prosecute these things for my clients successfully. And I have yet to lose a tax court case, most of them never go to court. So yeah. And I wanted to do we've been, we've been very successful. That I did not know about the textbook system. That's interesting. Can you go into a little more about that the different nuances. Now, the Tax Court doesn't cover everything. Okay. But it covers a lot of things. And it's the court of original jurisdiction on a number of tax cases. Now, you can take it to the district court, if you prefer, it's always an option. And I can't represent you in District Court. But the Tax Court, the nice thing about that is you don't have to pay the tax first. you file a petition, and it stops all collection efforts, all collection efforts immediately filing that petition. So if you get into a situation where you're right, don't don't file frivolous petitions, that'll just, that's gonna cost you money and time, and the court is not going to look favorably upon you find a frivolous petition. But if you have a real case, and you can't get the IRS to stop collections, and you can't get them to listen to you, you can go file as a civilian even file a petition with the US Tax Court, it's $60. And if you can't afford that, they'll waive it. And that stops everything and get you in front of a judge. That is going to listen to the case. And the Tax Court judges are very sympathetic to pro se filers and we'll provide help for you. And occasionally they win. Because they have the right on their side, the IRS has gotten overbearing for one reason or another, isn't listening for one reason or another. And so these people still win. And then if you have a professional on your side, who can say, Now, don't bother, just pay it set up an installment agreement, whatever. Or they say, Yeah, you've got a reasonable chance of winning this if we can get it into court. So let's file a petition, the cost of 60 bucks, and let's have it come back to the it'll go to document appeals. And the different counsel will call us. And we'll discuss the case and set up meetings and provide them proof and so on. But it stops everything from from happening in terms of collections, until the case is is settled or ruled on. And then you know, if even if you lose, you have 30 days after that, before they can, you know, seize assets and so on. So that's definitely why we civilians and corporations, you guys like you? Yeah, I think so. I mean, you know, doesn't come to that very often. But I had a client. I was my partner's client. And another payroll company had sent out an extra w two form incorrectly. But after a year, they wouldn't correct it. And so the client has two w twos, and the IRS wants taxes and all that income. And he's going, Hey, this is a duplicate w two, I don't know this money. And he's not able to convince anybody that this is what happened. So we filed a petition. And about 6075 days later, we got a call from the District Council who had gone to and he said that, you're right, nevermind, we'll just we'll just fix it. That was it. Wow, got some 60 bucks in my feed, which was not very much because I didn't have to do much. I wrote the petition, set it in. And he was to the good about 6000 bucks of what the IRS really wanted and he didn't know. So there's times that's, you know, now if you go to District Court, you're gonna hire a tax attorney, and it's gonna be a retainer of probably five grand. Okay, just to get him to talk to you. So you can do this with the Tax Court practitioner or on your own. You can look up online, how to file a US Tax Court, petition. There's guides to it, and they'll help you. The Tax Court will help you get that done. Right. Because well justifies their existence is, you know, they're hearing these cases, so they're real good about it. They're far more sympathetic than the IRS is but you If you file a frivolous case, they're they're going to be of no help to you whatsoever. You know, there's a lot of people that well, it's unconstitutional. We don't have to pay taxes. I'm a, I'm a sovereign citizen. All I've heard most of them over the last 50 years. You may believe it, but the US government doesn't, and the courts don't believe it. And it's not going to go anywhere, except cost you more and more money. So frivolous petitions are wasted time. Sorry. It's just immediate this T file, it's like, what why are we doing this kind of thing? They'll just gonna, they're gonna look at it, throw it out, then so it's not gonna do any good. It's just gonna waste and and you're, if you do it, just just suspend the time you can do it, there's better ways to do it, you're better off to ask for an installment agreement and work with them. I mean, you know, yeah, there's better ways to do it than to file frivolous petitions. Totally agree. Like, I'm still new, but I agree with the don't file anything foolish kind of thing. It's a waste of time. Just gonna cost your money and aggravation. And they're not going to be happy about it. And they actually, in some situations, can find you for filing frivolous lawsuits, which will exacerbate the situation. Do tell what else? What else like? Interesting, huh. So much, or Hey, I've learned is our I just want to do for a living so. And a lot of it. There's a million things that I'll never explain to clients. Because they don't need to know. Okay, if they want to know, I'll talk to you about it. But it's like when you go take a lab test from a doctor. And he tells you, your cholesterol is high. Do you ask him? What reagent did they use in the test? No, I didn't know that was You don't care? Yeah, the, you know, the test is valid. And you know what the results are? And you know, want to know what the effects the results mean to you? How the test was, was created and performed. You don't really care. Okay. So when you get the tax law, why it was written, what the congressional intent behind it is, and all these other things, and how the regulations got written and processed and put in place. don't really matter. What matters is, this is the law. And this is what it means to you. So I know a lot more about it. It's my business. Right. And, and there's occasions that congressional intent matters. Okay. Occasionally, very occasionally. You know, I'm a Tax Court practitioner. That's, yeah. CPAs we're professional nitpickers. Okay. Get into the getting into the weeds is something I like to do. So we do that stuff. I will explain to the client because he didn't care. How does it affect me and what do I need to do about it? Okay, this is how it affects you. And this is what you need to do. So interesting. Yeah. So speaking of nitpicking, and fun, what hobbies Do you do other than work? Did you have Do you like watch sports or? No, I read a great deal. I'm science fiction, fantasy, among other things, and I'm a poker player. I like to play poker. I play at the local casinos. I'm a pilot. private pilot. Interesting. 20 years ago, I said to my wife, you know, I'd like to learn that fly small plane. She looked at me She says, You better do it pretty soon you're going to be too damn old. So I wouldn't found an instructor who was older than me and I got my pilot's license still have it? Do you still fly or no? Not as much. I need to get a plane. One of these days I'll and you always got to buy a plane by plane for less than the cost of my automobile. Okay, yeah, you buy nice shoes plane. 40 50,000 bucks paid out over 15 years. Okay, so it's not like it's a huge thing, guys. Right? The US planes are not that expensive. I'm not gonna go buy a new $2 million or a million dollar Cirrus xr 22. If I was going to buy a Cirrus it would be a 1015 year old xr 20 I'd buy for maybe 60 grand, okay, less than the cost of, you know, many big SUV will cost you that much. Right? So and it's it gets you from one place to another a lot faster that SUV will isn't it the feel for planes are more the expensive part than the actual plane itself? The fuel is, is it's a little more than than than the cost of driving. But on the right plane, you know, you may be getting eight to 10 gallons an hour, but you're getting 120 to 150 miles an hour. So you get 15 miles to the gallon. And it's basically gasoline. Okay, or diesel. So no, that's not expensive thing is the maintenance. Okay? Because, you know, you land that thing without the gear down. Are you have to do an engine overhaul, then engine overhaul, maybe half the price of the airplane. So you know, you got it you got to build in for every hour you fly, you got to put some money in the kitty to get it take care of maintenance. Because AP mechanics don't work for free. I promise you. I'm just very few of them too. So they're very expensive. They're not cheap, that now there's a good living there. So, yeah, those are those are my hobbies. Okay. Actually can't think of anything right now. Is there anything you want to just end it there? One more thing. All right, the payroll book, it's a complete guide for small business and startups. So if you're thinking to get into business, it's available on Amazon. It's available the payroll book.com Barnes and Nobles, other fine bookstores. Okay. Online, it can be you buy it as a Kindle book. And it's 30 years of experience distill down into 90,000 words, as lots of stories, lots of things to think about horror stories, reminders, pitfalls. And if you're thinking of going into business, this is when you should have on your shelf. Yeah, the next next nicest thing is the source payroll source. And it's available from the APA, for $600. This is 2295 at Amazon. So take a step up, you try this one. If you like it, then you go to the other one. You don't need the other one, believe me, I I buy it just for some of the references. But pretty much anything that was important, I incorporated this book, really, and I might pick it up myself before you hire anybody, or if you incorporate, if you incorporate, you're an employee. And you have to take payroll, okay, you don't have a choice. So if you form your own Corporation and you work in it, you have to take w two income, you do not have a choice. Interesting. If you form an LLC, that's not a disregarded entity. You got to take payroll, a sole proprietor you don't. And as a partner you don't. Interesting. So then if someone's filing for incorporation, they should also give you a holler kind of thing and say, Hey, I'm doing this, what are the steps we should take kind of thing? Exactly. Pick up the book, give me a call one of the two and understand what your responsibilities are. Because you have them. And the IRS has been known to come in and reclassify distributions as income, and then ask for all the withholding and all the taxes and all the FICA all the Medicare plus penalties and interest for not having it done timely. Wow. Wow. So how do you sleep at night? I just think well, some of my clients, some of the people that come to me as new clients have not been sleeping well. Wow. Yeah. But that's see our whole shtick is compliance. That's what we're experts at. We take a 2848 unlimited power of attorney on every client. This allows us for every payroll client, we have to advocate for our clients, with the IRS in the States and the local governments. We fight for our clients, when there's a mistake. We go to bat for whether it's their mistake or the the IRS mistake or the occasion. It's ours, okay, we're not perfect. So we fix them. And that's what we're very, very good at. And most of our competitors can't and won't do that. If you go to one of the majors And you say I want to talk to a CPA, they'll tell you to talk to your own. Well, if your own CPA really understood payroll inside now, because it's a, it's a special area, they'd be doing your payroll already. So you'd have to pay them to learn what they need to know. And that's expensive and time consuming, and they may not learn it. So, if you've got a payroll problem, get a payroll professional, somebody that deals with it on an on an on a daily basis. And if you want to outsource, make sure who you outsource it to, can handle the compliance issues when they arise, and they will arise. Okay, so like any questions, like for commoner just be like, basics for knowing knowledge, like, Oh, do you do this? Or what are your standards or rules for this kind of thing? you're performing? You know, anybody can give me a call. And if I can answer your question offhand, I'll be glad to. So if you got questions, either pick up the book, or pick up the phone and give me a call or send me an email. I answer questions all the time. I'm a problem solver. I like to do that. Okay. So, you know, there's a million things and, you know, 5 million businesses and they're all unique. And so, I don't know, all the questions they have. I may not even have all the answers, but I know where to find them. All right. So definitely, when you're looking for payroll, if this gives this guy a call, please, we'd be happy to take care of you. Awesome. Thank you, Charles. I look forward to get you on maybe later on in the future. Josh, my pleasure. Awesome. Have a good one, Charles. You too. Bye. Bye. Bye. All right, guys. That's the end of the show. Thank you for listening, a push for attention. I want you guys to also share on Twitter, the your experience any questions, comments or concerns? Nothing is too crazy. I also have a link on my website to a speak pipe. You can personally send me a message and I will probably reply back to you. So don't forget to tag me on Twitter JRBOL t o n underdash again as che are Bolton underdash Mar try to post more on Instagram and Tiktok same thing Jr. Bolton underdash. So other than that, guys, thank you and look forward to the next podcast in the future. Bye

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