Making Money, Making Music: One Family's Financial Success Story
The Clarkson family turned a passion for music into a source of income. Cathie has operated a private music studio for more than 20 years while her husband, Dave, earns extra money as a professional musician. Both work second jobs, Cathie as a career coach and Dave as a property manager.
With multiple sources of income and two young children, the busy family had neither the time nor the expertise to effectively manage their taxes, instead relying on a series of professional tax preparers – “each more expensive and less effective than the last” noted Cathie.
Finding a smarter way to save
As Cathie’s career coaching business grew, she needed someone who could help the family reduce its tax burden and plan for both college savings and retirement. When a friend at church recommended Quartermaster Tax Management, she met with Heath Walters and was intrigued by the firm’s comprehensive, retainer-based approach to personal and business financial management.
“Our previous accounting firm wasn’t as aggressive as we wanted to keep our tax bill down,” Cathie says. “The average small business owner, like me, doesn’t have the tax knowledge to identify savings opportunities, but I knew they existed. Quartermaster Tax Management offers that expertise and much more. The creative genius behind their approach is simple: they assess where you are and where you want to go in your business and with your family, and then make informed recommendations to maximize your ability to get there.”
Assured that the services would pay for themselves – and then some – the Clarksons entrusted their business and personal finances to Quartermaster Tax Management.
Making the transition and seeing results
“It’s a big deal to turn your finances over to someone else,” Cathie says. “There’s a lot of trust involved there. Heath is a family man, and the livelihood of his family is dependent on his success and vision of what happens with mine. I trust him.”
Quartermaster Tax immediately went to work, setting up a 401(k) for the Clarkson family business, handling payroll and all required filings, changing corporate status to a more effective structure, and creating new strategies to ensure that all business expenses are captured to lower tax liability. Within two years, the family’s taxable Schedule C earnings were reduced to about 10 percent of previous reportable taxable income, saving the family 30 percent annually on taxes. Regular quarterly meetings ensure that adjustments are made as the family’s circumstances and needs change.
“Quartermaster Tax Management is a true strategic partner for us. They ensure we are going to meet our end goals to reduce taxes, save for college, and retire comfortably,” Cathie says. “There is an intrinsic value to working with their team that you can’t really put a dollar figure on. It was well worth the initial investment because we have reduced our tax liability and gained a trusted advisor who is concerned about our business and family.”