May 2020
Here's What Sports Fans Do When Sports Are Canceled

American law schools sponsor over 200 law reviews: dense collections of grim, wooden prose, groaning with footnotes. (Chief Justice John Roberts once said “Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something.”) Most schools publish flagship reviews, and there are dozens of specialized journals covering topics like taxes, intellectual property, and entertainment law. You can even pick between  two  reviews just for maritime law.

If it sounds like law reviews are where fun goes to die, well, yes. Every so often, though, something lively sneaks in. Clearly the editors were sleeping at the  California Law Review  when Noah Chauvin, a clerk at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, submitted, “Finally, a Use for the U.S. News Law School Rankings.” Chauvin analyzed whether sports bettors could use those widely-panned rankings to pick college football winners by choosing the team with the higher-ranked law school to beat the spread. Sadly, his system fared worse than randomly flipping a coin.

Still, Chauvin’s article, with 26 scholarly citations (including a “Text Message Sent to College Football Pick’em Group Chat”) got us wondering. What if we looked at state tax rates instead of law school rankings? Does the team from the state with higher or lower taxes have an edge?

NCAA Division I teams collectively play over 700 games per season. Crunching all those numbers sounded like way too much work, so we punted and took six years of College Football Playoff contests. We correlated the 18 scores with each team’s home state’s top marginal rate. (In the one game when both teams came from states with the same top rate, we took the one that hit it faster). And, what we found will  astonish  you.

It turns out that taking the team from the state with higher taxes predicted the winner  against the spread  13 out of 18 games. If you’re not a football bettor, ask one how much they’d pay for a system that beats the spread  over 72% of the time . They’ll fall off their barstool to buy it, and pay you extra to keep it secret! In fact, when Vegas oddsmakers catch wind, they may just have to stop taking bets on the series.

As with all gambling, your wins are taxable. Your losses are deductible,  only  if you itemize and  only  up to your winnings for the year. (Heads the IRS wins; tails they don’t lose.) But the State Rate Playoff Angle never lost more than once in a year, meaning it never finished the season with a nondeductible loss.

Now, somewhere out in Skepticland, humor-challenged stats geeks are scoffing at this flash of staggering insight. (Seriously, why haven’t the people at the MacArthur Foundation called with our Genius Grant yet?) “It’s not a statistically significant sample,” they’ll huff. “Correlation doesn’t equal causation, blah blah blah.” All we can say is, what would  you  do with a system that called Ohio State’s 2015 win under a 5.30% rate  and  their 2017 loss after it dropped to 4.997%?

If you’re like most taxpayers, you don’t want to gamble on taxes, even with 13-5 odds. Our planning strategies have saved clients millions, and they’re 100% guaranteed by the Internal Revenue Code. So call us and see how much you can save while you’re waiting for the games to come back!
T AX- S AVINGS T IPS
Self-Employed with no Employees? Get Your COVID-19 Cash Now

Get ready for this: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Here's the deal: "I'm going to give you $20,833 today. I want you to give me $5,448 no later than two years from now. You can keep the $15,385 difference, tax-free - no strings."

It's true. The lucky recipient could be you. To obtain the full $15,385 tax-free cash result in this deal (one of many COVID-19 related assistance programs), you must

  • be self-emplyed,
  • have no emplyees, and
  • have self-employment net profits of $100,000 or more.

If you are self-employed, you have no employees, and your net profits are

  • $75,000, you pocket $11,538, tax-free.
  • $50,000, you pocket $7,692, tax-free.
  • $25,000, you pocket $3,846, tax-free.

The results above come from the COVID-19 Payroll Protection Program (PPP). When you are a self-employed taxpayer with no employees, the PPP treats you as the one and only employee, and treats your net profits as your payroll.

BIG PICTURE

Under the PPP, you go to your bank or another Small Business Administration (SBA) bank or lender and obtain the PPP loan based on your 2019 net profits. It's a no-doc loan - super easy. No credit report, no nothing.

DO THIS NOW

Two steps:

  1. Read this article.
  2. Get your bank (or another bank) to accept your application.

DON'T PROCRASTINATE

The SBA runs out of PPP money in a hurry. The second round of funding started a few days ago. If you snooze, you lose. And then, you'll have to wait until round 3 of funding, should it take place. (We think it will.)

If you are self-employed, with no employees, you absolutely need to qualify for this loan and its forgiveness. Think free money. Think cash help during this crisis.
W ISDOM TO W EALTH
Business owners have been impacted by the Coronavirus, but there is financial assistance via the PPP Program.
Is there a way we can manage the market volatility risk?
L IFESTYLE T IPS
Benefits of Walking it Off

Many people have trouble starting an exercise routine. One way to begin is simply by walking more. Just 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes five days a week) has been correlated with numerous health advantages. Remember: this tip isn't a substitute for medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before embarking on any new exercise program. Now, onto those benefits!
 
Walking may help you to:
  • Burn more calories and increases energy levels.
  • Have a better immune response, relief for joint pain, reduce blood sugar levels, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
  • Improve your creativity, mood, and longevity.

Even with social-distancing and stay-at-home measures in place throughout much of the country, talking a daily walk (and maybe running into a few neighbors, at the appropriate distance, of course) might be one tool of many to help you cope with the stress we are all currently facing.

Tip adapted from Healthline.com
R ECIPES
Bread Pakora

Ingredients: 

  • 6 to 8 slices of bread cut into segments
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. green chili, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ajwain
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Preferred cooking oil

Directions: 

  1. Mix chickpea flour, lemon juice, baking soda, salt, green chili, coriander, ajwain, and turmeric in a bowl.
  2. Add water to create a batter.
  3. Heat oil in pan on high.
  4. Once hot, turn down to medium-low heat. 
  5. Dip bread segments into batter and place into pan.
  6. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
  7. Place fried pakora pieces on to paper towel to remove excess oil.
  8. Serve hot with coriander chutney or grated cheese, to taste.  

Recipe adapted from Whiskaffair.com.
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