There’s been more than one thing to distract Americans from opportunities to financially triumph in the times of President Donald Trump. Many Americans are more engulfed in weekly White House shake-ups and the reboot of an early ’90s sitcom with a right-wing twist than the tax advantages for businesses under this administration’s new tax plan. However, there are opportunities to “make America great again” for black businesses, according to Micah Wainwright, founder of Good Steward Accounting and Tax.
Wainwright, a 12-year tax auditing veteran who specializes in Tax Controversy, is inspiring small businesses to embrace overshadowed tax opportunities. His vision for helping African Americans financially prosper was born out of a phone call from a college friend who was writing a novel and needed an accountant. Wainwright was an auditor at a Big Four firm at the time and not interested in helping the little man. Yet, his friend’s call became something bigger for Wainwright, more like a calling. He began to research small business accounting and his research revealed an unyielding desire to tap into a value his mother instilled him as a child—good stewardship.
Author of I Want You to Finance Your Life: 7 W.E.A.L.T.H. Secrets You Need to Know About the Tax Code, Micah Wainwright sat down with Black Enterprise to share his story of ‘good stewardship’ through teaching financial literacy.
Wainwright’s Passion for Financial Empowerment
BE: Why did you choose taxes as your specialty?
Wainwright: I took an accounting elective in college where I was required to do hours with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program sanctioned by the IRS. The IRS had a wealth of training modules to learn about tax filings. Surprisingly, the modules on home-based businesses sparked my interest most. Once I began to understand Tax Law was a subject that my mind naturally wrapped around, it became an obsession for me. The marketplace had a shortage of diligent professionals who would commit to continuing education in tax law to my benefit.
BE: Why The Good Steward?
Wainwright: I wanted to help by doing the “dirty work” that the majority of tax professionals didn’t want to do. I set my eyes on Tax Controversy. I obtained a master’s of science in Tax Law, which enabled me to successfully negotiate with the IRS and state governments. At the same time, I used the training from attorneys and judges to give me the ammunition to represent my clients at a greater capacity.
Tips To Maximizing on Trump’s Tax Plan
BE: What’s one essential tax move that we need to make in today’s economy?
Wainwright: GO START A BUSINESS! If you don’t, you’re just pleading to have a high tax bill. A tax shelter (e.g., a business) has always been a good tax mitigation strategy, but this new tax plan kicks things up a notch. The easiest route is a sole proprietorship. Here’s why:
- C corporations’ tax rate has dropped from 35% all the way down to 21%. This is huge! However, most small businesses are not C corporations.
- However, the major change for S corporations is the 20% deduction for pass-through income. S corporations can now reduce their pass-through income by 20%.
Once your business is licensed:
- Remain in constant communication with your tax accountant about major financial decisions.
- Be intentional about tracking expenses.
BE: Quick tips from the Good Steward under Trump’s Tax Plan?
- Max out your 401(k). Take advantage of tax-deferred investment growth, company matching, and profit sharing!
- Move out of states with high property-tax rates. If you limit your property-tax deductibles to $10,000, this will hurt homeowners who live in high property-tax states or who own expensive property or both!
- Get married! Make up to $600,000 combined, or stay single if you both are making over $500,000. Currently, the top tax rate is now 37% for individuals making more than $500,000 and married couples making more than $600,000.
- Enjoy being a middle-class American. Try to double the standard deduction, whether you own or not.
- Don’t Get Stuck in the Upper Middle. Either make less than $200,000 as an individual or less than $260,000 as a married couple or more than $500,000 as an individual or close to $600,000 as a married couple.
- Start an S-Corp. Remember, this tax shelter is endless, so get innovative!
More About Micah Wainwright
Wainwright is inspired by the advice he received from his mom that “in times of peace, prepare for war.” More importantly, Wainwrightprepays expenses when revenue is flowing because of what his mom taught him. At the end of the day, he says “there is never any warning for a financial drought so lead with love and good stewardship.” Wainwright teaches, if you fall in love—even with the things that challenge you or that appear unfair on the surface—you can trump the trials and triumph all tax-year long.
Wainwright is also a dedicated volunteer with the Maryland Volunteer Legal Service where he assists low-income families with resolving complex tax issues.