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Make sure you’ve paid in enough taxes

Jay Parks

November 21, 2018

As the end of the year approaches, you should think about whether you have paid enough taxes to avoid a penalty.

On the federal side, you’re fine if you’ve done one of two things.

The first option to avoid a penalty is to pay in 90 percent of your current year’s liability. If you owed a total of $10,000 in federal taxes...


Resolved to be more organized in 2018?

Jay Parks

December 19, 2017

As the year draws to a close and tax season inches closer, do you find yourself scrambling for invoices, files, and papers you cannot find? Are you kicking yourself for not completing tasks you set out to do a year ago? Are you finding there are still 100 things on your to-do list?

If so, you are not alone. But there are steps you can take at the...


What season is your business in?

Jay Parks

December 5, 2017

It’s winter in Oklahoma, and the wind is not merely sweeping down the plains. It’s cutting through the cold, and Santa is on his way. It is the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season. But have you considered what season your business is in right now? Is it in a season of famine or a season of harvest? Do you know how to recognize...


Tax strategy: accelerate or defer income, expenses

Jay Parks

November 7, 2017

Heading into the end of the year, you want to make sure that you manage your income tax liability. One way to do that is by accelerating expenses.

Take a look to see what you can prepay, how you can prepay it, and what you can afford. For example, I’ll prepay my insurance. I’ll prepay my utilities. I’ll prepay some rent....


What kind of trail are you leaving?

Jay Parks

October 17, 2017

I have two shire draft horses, Tina and Penny. They are 19 hands high—about one-third higher than the typical quarter horse—and they weigh about 3,000 pounds. Their hooves are the size of dinner plates. From their knees down to their hooves, they have long white hair. They’re beautiful animals, and when they run, it’s unbelievably...


Build better rapport by listening

Jay Parks

October 3, 2017

I’ve noticed what I call the “me too syndrome.”

Here’s an example. You’re talking to someone who says his or her back hurts. The next thing we say is, “Oh, me too. My back hurts, and my knee hurts. It’s amazing that I’m able to get out of bed.”

It can happen when people says something...


If we wait for when, we never get to then

Jay Parks

September 19, 2017

A lot of times, we have the tendency to live our lives by the When-Then Concept.

  • “When I lose weight, then I’m going to start jogging.”
  • “When I get married, then I’m going to save money.”
  • “When I pay off this car, then I’m going to start paying off my student...


Birds of a feather flock together

Jay Parks

September 5, 2017

Turkeys are my teachers. I recently changed the type of turkeys I raise, and the new breed of black, broad-breasted turkeys have taught me a lesson about relationships.

The breed I used to raise—standard bronze —would always run from me when I went into the pen. They would squawk like I was trying to get them or like I was a...


Don’t let all the squawking disrupt your peace of mind

Jay Parks

August 16, 2017

In raising chickens, I house my flock in “chicken tractors” or mobile chicken coups.

Each chicken tractor of 75 birds has three 5-foot feeders, and the chickens can feed on both sides of each feeder. That’s 30 feet of feeders—more than enough for all of them to eat at their leisure.

But they sit at one feeder, and...


What did the chicken do when it crossed the farm?

Jay Parks

August 2, 2017

I enjoy raising chickens, and they teach me life lessons.

My 300 chickens are Cornish Rocks. They’re not what you think of as Cornish chickens—the cute little Cornish Game Hens.

What I grow, Cornish Rock Chickens, are today’s typical commercial breed. They’ve been bred to grow amazingly fast.

They convert...


Storms and opportunities

Jay Parks

July 18, 2017

A few weekends ago, I went on a motorcycle trip with three buddies. We had originally planned to go to southern Arkansas, work our way up to the north, and then head back home. The weather report forecasted a ton of rain, and it ended up flooding in Arkansas. My buddies and I decided to go somewhere without rain.

We jumped on our bikes and headed south to Waco, Texas. On our way...


Do you listen to what’s going on around you?

Jay Parks

July 4, 2017

If there is one date that I’ll never forget, it’s April 19, 2017. It was right after our busy season, and Holly and I were headed home after dinner. Our neighbor, Ed, called about 5:30 telling me not to panic about all the Luther police and Oklahoma County sheriff cars. Ed’s neighbor had his daughter and granddaughter visiting him, and the 4-year-old granddaughter had gone...


Seven year cycle

Jay Parks

June 21, 2017

Every seven years, every cell in your body completely replaces itself. That means that if you think about yourself from seven years ago, all of the cells you had then are gone. They’re constantly reproducing and replacing themselves.

You’re literally a different person than you were seven years ago!

For me, this was a freeing thought. Think of all the emotional...


Emotional money

Jay Parks

June 7, 2017

Sometimes, people think that money is just about the numbers. They think it’s something you can manage objectively—it’s cold, hard cash and that’s it. I don’t happen to think that, and a few recent experiences of mine only made me more firm in my belief that money is an emotional thing.

That’s a neutral concept, by the way. The simple fact that...


So what? Now what?

Jay Parks

May 16, 2017

The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano, has a saying for everything. He may not have coined this saying, but he sure says it a lot: “So what? Now what?”

How I view this quote, in the terms of football, is like this. When something bad happens on the football field and the players come off the field saying things like, “Coach, they held me! They...


Get 2017’s taxes off to a good start

Jay Parks

May 2, 2017

Now that April 15th has come and gone: congratulations! The 2016 tax season is over. Let’s use this time to start thinking about next year’s taxes.

Everything from this past year is fresh in your mind: your W-2, your mortgage payments, and your contributions to organizations. You know if you had a big refund, if your rental properties did well or not, and how your...


How do you define poverty?

Jay Parks

April 18, 2017

In my last blog post, I talked about a book I’ve been reading by Robert Lupton called Toxic Charity. In it, Lupton details the impact charitable giving has on people in vulnerable situations, and his findings might surprise you.

In 2011, a study was conducted on 60,000 people in financial poverty in developing countries. They were asked, “How do you define...


Are you doing more harm than good?

Jay Parks

April 4, 2017

I’ve been reading an eye-opening book by Robert Lupton lately called Toxic Charity. In it, Lupton presents a case stating that years of charitable giving at home and abroad have barely made a dent in reducing poverty and often encourage dependency.

In this book, Lupton details the negative cycle of giving related to traditional charity.

  1. Give once and you elicit...


Watch out for squirrels!

Jay Parks

March 21, 2017

I came home from work the other day and pulled my truck into the driveway to see several squirrels running through the trees. They were jumping from limb to limb and tree to tree—fast as lightning! I stood there for a few minutes watching them in awe before opening the rear door to my truck and emptying out the backseat.

Suddenly, a squirrel jumped into the backseat of my...


Date night questions

Jay Parks

March 7, 2017

My wife and I are very intentional about having weekly date nights on Friday. Sometimes our dates are simple–just grilling on the patio. Other times we’ll treat ourselves to a nice dinner out.

After so many years of marriage, it can become difficult to continue improving and deepening your relationship. It’s easy to get comfortable and forget there is still so...


Tax planning: based on gross sales or net revenue?

Jay Parks

February 21, 2017

Your business’ gross sales and net revenue figures are both important pieces of the income tax puzzle. You’ll report both numbers on your business tax return, but you’ll also factor in other items that will affect the final amount you’re taxed. Depending on your business structure, taxes are either assessed to the company or to its owners.

Whether taxes are...


Big tax bill? Try a tax bucket

Jay Parks

February 10, 2017

What happens when paying the balance due after filing taxes seems like an impossible feat? It can be a tough pill to swallow.

With the right preparation, though, you can set yourself up right for next year’s filing!

Some business owners find that they have to beg, borrow, and steal to pay the tax man on time. But that can be avoided with some simple planning!



How long do I have to keep records?

Jay Parks

January 17, 2017

Good tax record keeping may be the most important record keeping you do for your company.

You don’t want tax time to roll around and have to panic because your company doesn’t have its tax records in order. Tax records in disarray can cost you deductions—and if you happen to be audited, could create a problem costing you money.

After all, you want to get all...


What you need to keep to justify your expenses

Jay Parks

January 3, 2017

Keeping track of receipts for your small business is very important: it keeps you organized and on budget, and it can be a big money-saver when you file deductions at tax time. According to the IRS, good records will help you:

  • Monitor the progress of your business
  • Prepare your financial statements
  • Identify sources of...


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