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Happy New Year!!!!

I’m not sure about you, but I am struggling to wrap my mind around the fact that we are now, officially in 2022!!!!

If you are anything like me, the incessant adjustment of life as we know it in the midst of a global pandemic is enough to keep your head spinning let alone keeping up with that year we are in! I still feel like an entire year of my life is unaccounted for. Although it significantly commemorates the birth of my child as well as the onset of COVID, constant lockdown, scary times with the absence of produce, staple items, and hand sanitizer not to mention the virus itself… most of 2020 and all of 2021 feel like a blur.

Yet here we are. And I can smell those W2’s!!!!!!


Before you decide to succumb to the tax return flex, please take the time to ensure that your affairs are in order! In the last several weeks, I have met with several clients that either been slapped with a levy (where their wages or bank accounts have been garnished) or a tax warrant. Now, keep in mind that the IRS is ALWAYS running a few years behind in terms of audit and compliance., Add to that the CTC (Child Care Tax Credit) as well as the various economic stimulus packages sent out over the last couple of years, the IRS has been inundated with tax return requests for filers who have not filed in years previous. That’s right, those with income requirements under the $12k annual threshold have all been made eligible for the economic stimulus packages. Thus, filing a return for the years preceding the stimulus grant was a contingency in receiving funds.



WHEW! A mouthful I know! What it all boils down to is don’t be surprised if an audit from 2015 or so surfaces! But don’t stress it there are so many options to handle your business without putting a dent in your financial plans! Levy’s and tax warrants can be tricky so you want to be armed with as much knowledge as possible. Follow these few steps to get it together HUNNY!

  • Tax warrants and levies do NOT need to be paid in full to be removed from your credit report!

  • Check with your local IRS state representative to find out if you are eligible for amnesty. You may be able to pay a portion of the tax liability owed, less any interest and fees.

  • You have 15 calendar days to dispute the levy (and the fees affiliated with it) with your bank

  • This will require you to complete a W9 and a discharge of property

  • You may also have to appear before a magistrate to plead your case (in most cases this is a positive move as the fees will likely be reduced).

  • Levy fees may be waived; however, it is a one-time courtesy.

  • If you have proof of address change, name change, etc . that prevented you from receiving information on the tax liability you may be eligible for forgiveness.

  • Act quickly! Do not allow the situation to linger. The faster you work to resolve the issue the more leverage you have.

  • Finally, keep scanned or hard copies of all communication, documents filed, etc. as the IRS is notorious for ‘losing’ documentation.

  • IRS also accepts payment plans in the event that the amount owed supersedes your refund.


Here's the deal...your tax refund is yours and yours alone! How you choose to FLEX is up to you! The biggest FLEX is staying ready so you don't ever have to worry about getting ready!


Let me know if this information resonates with you or someone that you know. Catch the next installment of Finance FriYAY! I'll get into IRA contributions, retirement plans as well as other savings vehicles! If you haven't done so already hit the subscribe button so that you can stay in the loop!



Here are a few links for you to check on your status:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/understanding-a-federal-tax-lien

https://www.irs.gov/payments

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p783.pdf

35… This is 35.




As I sit back and reflect while I consider all that has allowed me to arrive at this very pivotal moment in my life. It is at this very moment, that I commit to taking up space fully, and authentically. After all, it has taken me 35 years to get here… thus the importance of honoring the space that I am in is essential to the very core of my being.



“Honoring the space that you’re in.”

The phrase alone brings me to such a climactic capacity. Digesting the elements required to honor and present agency over in my current territory, encourages me to be cognizant of every experience that has guided my ability to honor the space that I occupy, admittedly and, fully.


 

First things first, I…made it! I, me, she, HER! I made it. I have reached, achieved, and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns, and violence at early age should not have. When I reflect on the very beginning phases of my life, it is almost impossible for me not to be in awe of everything that I have overcome to get to where I am. I mean honestly, I should be a basket case and sometimes I feel like I am. So when I glorify the fact that I ‘made it. The term ‘making it’ has less to do with materialistic components of success and everything to do that I quite literally survived EVERYTHING that was meant to break me.


I have reached, achieved and sustained levels that are unheard of for a young black woman, raised in a single-parent household, exposed to sex, sexual abuse and molestation, drugs, guns and violence at an early age, should not have.

Exhibiting the courage to navigate the deep and sometimes even dark remnants of my past, I am elated that not only have I overcome them all, but I have truly worked through them. Gone is the notion that by age______, I should have______, should be______. I cannot express the amount of duress I created for myself by c doing my best to emphatically stick to this timeline of what I imagined my life should be. I recall a time in my early 20’ specifically, when I was married to my planner and overly attached to my schedule. I had to have every minute and every detail of my life mapped out.


My retail banking career was just beginning to thrive and because I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle, I also worked overnight at a group home for mentally challenged adults. My ‘day job’ at the bank consisted of me working from 11-8 Sunday and Monday. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off and then resumed working Thursday and Friday. I simultaneously worked overnight from Sunday- Wednesday. Eventually, I shifted my overnight schedule so I could begin taking classes at NCC.

I was determined to adhere to a certain lifestyle.

It was December 2008, I had my first apartment on Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport. Before moving out I saved just enough money to purchase a Queen mattress and box spring from Macy’s. I couldn’t afford the bedroom set before moving out so I purchased a metal frame from Goodwill. Because I had vision and foresight for my bachelorette pad, I worked incessantly to afford the $1,100 four-post, wooden bedroom set that I had my eye on. The bedroom set was beautiful! I went by the furniture store every week until I could afford it and kept my eye on it. It included a spacious dresser and mirror as well as a five-drawer vertical chest. When I was finally able to afford my dream bedroom set I was elated! I felt an assured sense of confidence! in setting a goal and accomplishing it. Moreover, a sense of self-set in. Self-reliance and self-sustenance grew as integral components of my personality. The next goal I set for myself was furnishing my living room. Given that I had earned the title of Supervisor at the bank, I was able to enjoy the sales incentives that came along with it. As such, I leveraged one of my bonus checks to purchase my dual reclining sofa from Jennifer convertibles. Next, it was my desk and chair that served as my make-shift office in the far right corner of my living room. Finally, at the end of my first year, I was able to strategically purchase a living room TV as well as a laptop for my office. My Mother knew how hard I was working and wanted to gift me a dinette set to compliment my cozy apartment. It was all coming together so wonderfully! The sense of joy and happiness that settled in as I recognized all of the efforts coming to fruition was unmatched! Honing in on the skills required to carefully craft and adhere to a schedule that would optimize my finances and ultimately ensure that I was able to succinctly curate the life that I knew that I deserved was and has remained a fundamental component of my livelihood.


 


There was one specific moment during this time where I did everything within my power to have consistent productive and perfect days. I was having lunch with my mother during a rare few hours off, and I was on the verge of breaking down because I couldn’t hold the toxic relationship I was in, together with any longer. Chile. I got the man that I thought that I wanted as well as all of the turmoil that came along with it. (The irony in getting what you want, I know.) He claimed that I was the woman that he wanted, however, he just could not stop having sex with other women. Because he was so sloppy and careless, I caught him on numerous occasions. On this specific occasion, I was reeling in the misery that I felt that I perpetuated. I had recently discovered a homemade porn video starring the man that I lived with and a woman he was engaged in a sexual relationship with. Yes, Hunny! He recorded himself having a full-blown session with what I believed to be a random young woman in our apartment!

I found homemade porn starring the man that I lived with and a woman that he was in a sexual relationship with,

So as I sat across the table from My Mother trying to hold it all together… she reached for my hand and told me that she could see my world of perfection crumbling all over my face, I lost it. I cried a river of tears that I thought could absolve me from this interminable state of perfection that I aimed to create. To me, the failure of said relationship translated into personal failure. I felt that being a good woman wasn’t enough, working hard wasn’t enough, being intelligent wasn’t enough, having a great job wasn’t enough, being a goal-setter and goal-getter wasn’t enough, presenting myself well wasn’t enough…ultimately I wasn’t enough. It was a challenging space to occupy, to say the least. By refusing to allow me to feel, or process what I was experiencing, I caused myself far more damage than healing. I stayed. I continued on this relationship because I thought that if I could fix something within myself, that I could fix us. That self-diminishing thought process couldn’t be further from the truth. The harder I worked, the further I climbed up the corporate ladder, and essentially the more money I made, the more egregious his behavior became. Eventually, I found myself and in doing so, I discovered the courage to walk away….


 


Fast-forward to a decade a change later. Several failed relationships, friendships, jobs, business ventures, experiences later. I now realize that much of who I was and what I experienced is all a culmination of who I have journeyed and continue to journey to become, Kacee M. King, MBA, a 35-year-young woman, Momprenuer, Boss, Mom, daughter, lover, creator, author, blogher, fashionista, business strategist, etc, etc, etc. A testament to me occupying and honoring the space that I am in, showing up abundantly, flawed, imperfect, authentic, boisterous, and joyously flat-footed in all that I am. I have made the executive decision to stand on just that! Understanding all that it took for me to learn to love myself for who I am, rather than berate myself for everything that I am not. I am allowing myself to take up space just as I am. Not when I lose 15 lbs, not when I become a millionaire, not when I become a Wife, not when my daughter starts walking (Yes Chile! She is 15 months and taking her sweet time!). I am celebrating each milestone as they are presented. I am not holding space for anything else that stands to come to fruition. I am honoring the space that I am in now because I deserve it. I worked hard for it. At this present stage, I refuse to self-sabotage and admonish myself for all that I am not. I will not beat myself up for everything that I did NOT do. I won’t assume any more responsibility for my shortcomings than necessary. I’ve made poor decisions, I have said or done the wrong things, I’ve kept quiet when I should have spoken up, I have lashed out when I should have taken a moment to gather my thoughts, I have done many things wrong, but I have also done so many things right, I won’t create any space for Mommy guilt, I will celebrate every beautiful moment that my daughter and I share. Most importantly, I will celebrate any and every minute form of success, because I deserve to.



I am honoring the space that I am in presently. Namastè.

Well, it depends on who you ask…it can really be both!

Financial experts celebrate the New Year on October 1, while most of us operate contingent upon the calendar year from January- January.

Inevitably, the way that you manage your finances and manage your enterprise as a self-governed entity depends on when you elect to participate in the New Year. For my personal as well as business preference I prefer to operate with the fiscal New Year’s start date of October 1, and here’s why.

In preparation for the holiday season as well as the calendar start of the New Year in terms of financing and budgeting, I have always found it much easier to begin earlier than to start late. Think about it, from October- December we are essentially in holiday mode. Beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with Christmas. While most of us are attempting to adhere to a monthly household budget in addition to ensuring that we are able to celebrate the holidays without going into debt; while still maximizing our savings…the holiday season can certainly present its fair share of challenges! Having a financial ‘eg-up, so to speak on budgeting can and will set any savvy saver up for success when it comes to ensuring that their assets are protected during the holiday season as well as the duration of the year.


So, if you have been managing your finances based on the calendar year…No worries! Q4 is an excellent time to hit the reset button and put things in perspective for the remainder of the year, while simultaneously stepping into the New Year. Here are few steps to prepare you for success as we look forward to stepping into the New Year with purpose, comprehension of our finances, great credit scores, healthy relationships and so much more!

  • Check and re-check your bank statements

  • Is your account being assessed any maintenance fees? While free checking accounts are almost obsolete, there are ways to earn fee waivers with minimum account balances, qualifying transactions, etc. Reach out to your personal banker to determine banking options for you.

  • Are you carrying balances on any credit cards?

  • If so I am sure you are paying a TON of unnecessary interest. The good news is, almost every credit card issuer offers a 0% balance transfer as an introductory APR.

  • Utilize the 0% balance transfer to pay off balances for 12-18 months and save yourself some money!

  • There may be a fee affiliated with the transfer that is typically a percentage of the transfer so be sure to get all of the info upfront before transferring.

*you may want to consider dumping funds from savings on an extensive credit card balance… think about it, if your credit card is charging you 22% in interest and you are only earning 0.05% on your savings…are you REALLY saving? This brings me to my next point. SAVINGS.

  • Have diversified your retirement, emergency, and long-term savings?

  • IRAs both Traditional and Roth have considerable benefits…when is the last time you have reviewed your retirement plan?

  • Emergency funds should cover any unexpected expenses, flat-tire, kids need new shoes, medical expenses, etc.

  • Short-term savings should be the last place you invest money into for those desired items, vacations, new purses, new game consoles, etc.

  • Long-term savings may be an investment vehicle such as your 401 (k) or IRA.

  • Cable, Internet & Phone???

  • This is the perfect time to review your contract with your current service provider. Did you sign up for an introductory promotion that has now expired? If so, ask what the current offer is. If it is only available for new customers, SWITCH.

  • Carefully review the itemized version of your phone bill…how many add-on services are you paying for that you were unaware of??? There are a plethora of hidden fees!

  • Shop your banks/financial institutions.

  • What rate of return are you earning on your accounts?

  • Check out Synchrony, CapitalOne, & Barclays online accounts for the highest yielding savings.

  • Check on your insurance policy.

  • Are you eligible for any premium reductions?

  • Is there an option for cash out if necessary?


I hope that you were able to find value in the information presented in this week’s edition of #FinanceFriYAY. As with any other integral facet of life, finances desire to be reviewed with frequency and attentiveness. In addition to the suggestions included in the blog, please be sure to take your time to review your accounts for accuracy. Banks as well as other financial institutions make mistakes as well. The key to being a savvy financier is managing your finances in a timely fashion with accuracy! Drop a comment and let me know if this information was valuable or if there are any Finance FriYAY! Topics you would like to discuss! Remember to join the community!



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