Carlotta Thompson on Implementing Monthly Tax Strategies and Acquiring Businesses for Tax Benefits | Financial & Tax Series

In this episode, Carlotta Thompson, founder and CEO of Tax Strategists of America, shares her journey from studying tax law at age 14 to becoming an ex-IRS agent and ultimately helping business owners save thousands on taxes legally. As the only firm in the U.S. that implements tax strategies on a monthly basis, Carlotta and her team work closely with entrepreneurs to ensure they keep more of their hard-earned money.

Carlotta discusses the importance of thorough record-keeping and documentation to avoid common pitfalls during IRS audits. She also shares valuable insights on how business owners can take advantage of often-overlooked tax deductions, such as turning personal-use items into business assets.

One of the key strategies Carlotta emphasizes is business acquisition, not only as a means to grow wealth but also as a powerful tax strategy. By acquiring businesses with substantial furniture, fixtures, and equipment, entrepreneurs can offset their income and enjoy significant tax benefits.

Through her nonprofit organization, Called to Love, Carlotta is passionate about teaching children and teens about entrepreneurship and wealth-building. Her Kidquisition and Teenquisition programs aim to empower the next generation of business owners and provide them with the tools and knowledge to succeed.

Carlotta also shares her personal experiences with betrayal and the importance of carefully choosing business partners. She stresses the value of perseverance and the ability to pivot in the face of challenges, emphasizing that failure is not real as long as one learns and adapts.

Mentors that Inspired Carlotta: 

  • Russell Brunson – Founder of ClickFunnels, whose book “Marketing Secrets” changed Carlotta’s trajectory as an entrepreneur
  • Alex Charfen – Provided valuable insights on business operations through his podcast
  • Tommy Mello – Owner of A1 Garage Doors and author of “Elevate,” currently influencing Carlotta’s business philosophy

Looking to the future, Carlotta sees AI as a significant game-changer in the accounting industry, streamlining processes and enhancing strategic capabilities. However, she believes human expertise will remain crucial in navigating complex tax scenarios and providing personalized guidance.

Tune in for actionable advice on tax strategies, business acquisition, wealth-building, and overcoming entrepreneurial challenges from Carlotta Thompson’s inspiring journey.




Welcome to another edition of inspired stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.

Anthony Codispoti (04:35.243)
Welcome to another edition of the Inspired Stories podcast, where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes and be inspired by how they’ve overcome adversity. My name is Anthony Cotaspodi, and today’s guest is Carlotta Thompson, founder and CEO of Tax Strategists of America, where she gives business owners the insider’s secrets to save thousands on taxes. And here’s the important part, doing it legally. She is well positioned to give this advice because,

She began studying tax law when she was 14, and she is an ex -IRS agent. She’s going to tell us some of the most common tax deductions that people miss out on. Carlotta is also the founder of the Called to Love nonprofit organization that teaches children about education, entrepreneurship, and evangelism. But before we get into all that good stuff, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, Ad Back Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team,

and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to add over $900 per employee per year to their bottom line by implementing one of our proprietary programs. Results vary for each company and some organizations may not be eligible. To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at addbackbenefitsagency .com. Now, back to our guest today, the CEO of Tax Strategist of America, Carlotta. I appreciate you making the time to tell your story today.

Carlotta Thompson (06:01.356)
Thank you, thank you for letting me be here, Anthony.

Anthony Codispoti (06:03.723)
So Carlotta, just tell us simply in your own words, what does tax strategists of America do and how did you first get started with it?

Carlotta Thompson (06:12.236)
Yeah, so all right, Tax Strategists of America is the only firm in the US that implements tax strategy on a monthly basis. So where you might hear of like, that’s, you know, we do tax strategy from several different accountants, right? Well, they give you a plan. They might help you start implementing it at the beginning, but they don’t continue on, right? And so we implement tax strategy every month.

for the entire year and consistently. And when new strategies come out, we put those there as well. But how did I get started? Well, that goes all the way back to when I was 14 years old, I was sitting at the table going through mail with my parents and I came across a booklet and I was like, what is this? And they were like, that is…

something you should read. I was like, okay, I’m going to read it. And so that booklet happened to be the instructions for the 1040 tax return. I know that’s kind of weird. And you’re probably like, why in the world would you be reading a booklet about tax credit or tax? Right. Exactly. Not me, obviously. but that booklet, you know, I,

Anthony Codispoti (07:18.761)
At 14, aren’t kids reading like mystery novels and rom -coms?

Carlotta Thompson (07:31.212)
thought of it as a treasure hunt for business owners. Like I couldn’t understand, my family were entrepreneurs, my aunt, my dad. I couldn’t understand why they were always so scared of the IRS and you know, tax returns. I’m like, because that was always something in our house, right? They always were concerned about taxes or my dad was a truck driver, he had a trucking company, so fuel taxes, it was always about taxes. And when I read this, I was like,

but dad, there’s all these things you can do. And of course he was like, yeah, you’re, you don’t know what you’re talking about. But anyways, when I was, but that’s when I knew I wanted to be an accountant. And so when I was 18 years old, I went over to college and decided I was going to study accounting and finance. So I have two degrees. But when I was, when I was at college,

Anthony Codispoti (08:06.185)
Be quiet little kid, right? Go sit in the corner.

Carlotta Thompson (08:27.276)
I had worked at a big box accounting place and I was like, these people are doing a disservice to business owners. They’re not helping them save money. And anyways, fast forward, I was like, I’m gonna work at the IRS, because I know the IRS wants to help business owners. I was 22 at the time, very naive. I, because remember the only interaction I ever had with the IRS was this whole booklet giving you all this knowledge and like,

Anthony Codispoti (08:43.624)

Carlotta Thompson (08:55.116)
You know, like I thought that that’s exactly what the IRS was all about was the education. Boy, was I wrong. Anyways, I applied, never got a call, went to work at the largest firm in Arkansas. And two years in to working there, I got a call and it was the IRS wanting to interview me. And I had not applied for the IRS since before I graduated college. So I couldn’t even believe they kept your information that long.

because you know, they’re notorious for losing things. So how can they even find my information anyways? so I got the position and I was so excited. Like I thought you would be rolling me out of the IRS in a body bag because I would die there at my desk. Cause I loved it. and I still, I loved learning all of the different.

Anthony Codispoti (09:43.976)
What did you love about it?

Carlotta Thompson (09:49.548)
strategies and all because when you think about it, you think about all the tax laws, right? Well, I thought I saw every law as a strategy because 99 % of those laws are for business owners and they can use those. And obviously I was a small business auditor. So I was like, why aren’t you using these things? And, you know, I thought,

Anthony Codispoti (10:09.865)
Wait, as the auditor you were talking to the small businesses like, hey, you guys should be taking advantage of this deduction over here. That’s priceless.

Carlotta Thompson (10:14.732)
Yes, right, because I thought if I, because I knew like, okay, I’m gonna give them a large tax bill because they don’t have everything, right? That was the story over time and time and time again. But I thought if they thought this was more of a consulting and I could give them strategy for the future, they would look at this bill they were getting from the IRS as more of a consulting fee than a bill.

Anthony Codispoti (10:41.641)
I love your mindset. This is awesome. I love the way your brain works. It’s so counterintuitive to the rest of us. Please continue.

Carlotta Thompson (10:44.14)

So anyways, I obviously was, I was sitting across from a taxpayer one day and he said, Carlotta, if the IRS had made me take a course, I would not be in this position. He said, when I became a business owner, you know, they tell us to go hire an accountant and I hired the best accountant in town and I hired the best lawyer in town. If they had just told me what they expected,

I wouldn’t be here. I mean, we can all relate to that, right? The IRS gets our EI, we go to the IRS, get an EI in, like they know when we start a business. They could just send out a course and tell us like, here’s what we expect from you, but they don’t, right? They don’t send out anything. And so that conversation kind of jolted me. And I started a ministry at night helping business owners pay less tax, kind of like Dave Ramsey does with, you know, financial.

education. I did that with business taxes. I know that’s kind of crazy. Anyways, and my thought was, hey, if I think these business owners money, they’re going to give more to the church because that’s what they, you know, believe in. So that’s what I had where this all started. a few years in after that, I’d already been at the IRS three or four years, but a few years after that, I came across this.

blue collar worker and I called him to be audited. Well, he was so excited and this was so rare for me because I didn’t understand how you could be excited about taxes, right? Well, he said, this is going to be the best testimonial car lot of this is going to be amazing. And I’m like, what? He said, yes, I sell tax advice. I’m like, okay, okay. Well, okay. That’s great. You know, like I’m excited. This will be my first no change.

Carlotta Thompson (12:44.012)
And so I went out to audit him and I realized that he was in a multi -level marketing company that sold tax advice that was pretty much fraud. And by the time we were done with that audit, he had filed separately from his wife. And by the time we were done with that audit, him and his wife, because obviously I was auditing both of them, because once I audited him, I opened her, were going to get over $100 ,000 in tax bills. For two blue collar workers that were making

Anthony Codispoti (12:52.006)

Carlotta Thompson (13:11.596)
less than 65, 70 ,000 as a family, okay? So I left the IRS before I could finish the audit and that little ministry I started at night became my business. And obviously now it’s not, you know, you’re gonna give more to the church, but you’re gonna give more to what you believe in. Because I believe that all of us entrepreneurs, we wanna do good in the world, whether it be through, you know, doing.

building church homes or building community centers or building whatever, you know, like we all have a purpose here and mine just happens to be a ministry, but yours is probably something totally different and that’s okay. But I know if you give less to the IRS, you can give more to what you believe.

Anthony Codispoti (13:58.214)
I love that. So many things to unpack there. I made a list here. So you’re the only firm, the only tax strategy firm in America that helps their clients implement tax strategies on a monthly basis. So each month you’re kind of, you’ve got a stable of clients. Each month you’re going to them with a new tax strategy. And it’s like.

Carlotta Thompson (14:01.484)

Carlotta Thompson (14:21.132)
We’re going no, because the strategies that we do have to be done every month. So whereas a lot of business owner, a lot of business strategists, tax strategists, they’ll get you started on the path. We all know that entrepreneurs are not going to do it unless someone does it for them, right? So they’ll pay for a plan. I used to charge $25 ,000 for my tax strategy plans. My clients never did anything with them. And I was like, why did you pay me to do this plan if you’re not gonna

do anything with it, you know? And so I realized that unless you make them do it and you ask for this information every month, they’re not gonna do it because they, you know, they realize they’re paying too much in taxes. They pay you to solve the problem and they get a head of dopamine. But then they realize like that’s ongoing, right? They have to continuously do something.

to pay less tax. It’s not like, I can pay for this plan and I’m going to pay less tax. No, that’s just a plan of how to get there. And so that’s why we do it monthly. That’s why we do it ongoing because entrepreneurs are not going to take your plan and implement your strategies that you gave them.

Anthony Codispoti (15:33.83)
So you charge some kind of an upfront fee to come up with the plan and then there’s an ongoing monthly fee to help them stay on top of everything and make sure they’re taking advantage of the plan that you put in place for them. Make sure that they’re with your help or maybe with your complete doing that this plan is getting executed.

Carlotta Thompson (15:50.764)
Right, kind of we charge an annual fee. So we’ll charge a one -time fee for the year. And that includes the plan and implementation because we don’t want to just sell you a plan. I mean, that’s a waste of our paper, right? In a waste of your money, right? Like the plan is so minute to what we do. And so we don’t even sell the plan by itself. Like you have to buy the whole thing. Our first year is when we set everything up.

Anthony Codispoti (16:14.437)

Carlotta Thompson (16:20.396)
and it is the more expensive year. And then ongoing is about half the price. And it’s an ongoing, you know, ongoing year after year. Tax strategies change constantly. And the strategies that we implement actually you can do every year, you know? And we add to those as new laws come up.

Anthony Codispoti (16:41.445)
What was the big box accounting firm doing that you mentioned? They were doing a disservice to their clients. You left, you went on to do other things. What was it that they were doing or not doing that you’re like, this just doesn’t sit right with me. I got to get out of here.

Carlotta Thompson (16:56.364)
Well, so I think, you know, as accountants, we should be, when we do a tax return, we have to be asking a lot of questions. We can’t just take what the client gives us and throw it on a return. And that is what this place was doing. Now, we work with accountants all throughout the country because we are, obviously, we don’t have any competition for our program, but we also don’t do the taxes. So our…

clients will use their own accountant or they’ll use one of our partnering accountant. That doesn’t mean that they, you know, all accountants are not created equal, but this firm that I was at, they just, they brought you in, they took what you had on the piece of paper and they stuck it in a, in their software. There was not any like brainstorming. There wasn’t any, Hey, this is not a deduction or Hey, you should be doing this. Or do you have this documentation? It was just.

you got your return done in about 30 minutes or an hour and you were on your way. And those people sitting behind that desk only had three days of training. So, you know, even, but even if you have, you know, a CPA with, with five years, I think we have five years of college and then, you know, they took a test, right? And so even the CPAs or EAs,

Anthony Codispoti (17:56.485)

Carlotta Thompson (18:23.692)
still trying to get a return done as fast as possible. And sometimes they can’t get into all the questions that they need to get into. And I’ve learned that, like, I can’t throw accountants under the bus because I am an accountant, right? I know, because I used to have an accounting firm. I know how hard that is. So the strategy is kind of what brings that all together and gets it on the return, because you pay an accountant to do a return.

And you usually are only going to pay them for three or four hours of their time. Right. Now this big box place, they did it in an hour. You weren’t getting much. Right. But even your your accountants that, you know, are doing this and and they’re qualified. Right. They’re only spending three or four hours per tax return because that’s all you’re paying them as a tax preparer. We spend about 80 to 100 hours per client to do everything that we’re doing.

So obviously we can go deeper, we can ask more questions, we can educate. And so that’s kind of the difference is the tax preparer is there for compliance. The tax strategist is there to pull the things out of you to do the strategies that are there laying on the table in front of you that you just haven’t heard about.

Anthony Codispoti (19:40.1)
Gotcha, I hear what you’re saying. The CPA firms, they’re not the enemy, they’re not bad people. They’re staying in their lane. Their lane is very specific to filling out the tax returns, making sure that they’re done clearly, correctly, and in a compliant manner. And they’re not in the same lane as you. You’re in a completely different lane where you’re like, hey, there are a whole world of tax strategies over here that are available to you. That’s just not your accountant’s…

Carlotta Thompson (19:45.484)
Mm -mm.

Anthony Codispoti (20:07.811)
field of expertise. So let us show those to you and let us help you implement them and then we can help you package up that information to get to the CPA to then put it into the return to submit to the IRS. Is that accurate? Okay.

Carlotta Thompson (20:21.292)
Correct. That’s accurate. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And that’s also why, you know, you’re, when you are in business, one of the closest relationships you have is with your accountant and you listen to them no matter what. And this is just kind of another thing to think about. Remember, accountants usually are not business owners, right? They have a business, right? They hung a sign outside and they’re self -employed. But if you remember,

you know, our four quadrants and Robert Kiyosaki’s teachings, he teaches us that self -employed, that’s what most accountants are, are much different than business owners, right? And so I think that we try to get all this advice from our accountant that’s not really a business owner. So that’s also why half the year we focus on teaching you about business, teaching you business acquisitions, teaching you real estate acquisitions, teaching you all the things.

Because we have two problems as business owners. We either have a tax problem or an income problem. And so we usually will take half the year to teach about tax and half the year to teach about income. And so that’s also what kind of separates us is we’re not just trying, we’re not sitting over here just trying to catch our tax bill. We’re also trying to grow your wealth. And so you can have the best of both worlds, right? And that’s ever changing and it’s a cycle. So.

Anthony Codispoti (21:48.195)
Do accountants ever feel threatened by you or do they see you as a good partner?

Carlotta Thompson (21:53.58)
We never have accountants that feel threatened by us because we actually bring them on as a partner and we train them. We’re like, here, we’ll train you. We have a whole company, it’s called Stable. We do all their billing for them. We do their sales. We do training for them. We do peer review for them. We do everything. So all they have to do is focus on what they’re best at, and that’s preparing tax returns and doing the bookkeeping. We also do CFO services over there.

some operations stuff. So there’s lots of things that we have going on. But I would say if they’re just trying to be an accountant or a tax preparer, there’s no threat. Now, tax strategists sometimes will be like, well, you know, that they kind of feel like they probably feel like we’re a little bit of a competitor. But what we normally have is they’ll say, well, I’ll do the plan and you do the implementation. So we can do that, right? They do the plan and then they’ll send them to us for implementation.

So we can work with anybody, but at first they might think, well, this girl’s just another tax strategist. No, no, we’re implementing everything that you gave them in that plan that you don’t want to do. And so we actually work with tax strategists as well, but sometimes we have to say, hey, this is what we’re doing, this is what you’re doing.

Anthony Codispoti (23:10.306)
I want to talk about the blue collar guy that you mentioned while you were at the IRS. He was so excited this was going to be a testimonial because he was giving tax advice to people. Then you got in there and started looking at what he was doing and it was all fraud. Can you tell us some of the things that he was doing?

Carlotta Thompson (23:13.868)

Carlotta Thompson (23:29.452)
Yeah, like he was writing off his entire house because he would have meetings at his house. He was writing off entire meal, all of his meals because he would be talking about his opportunity with the person at the checkout. You know, it was just egregious, right? Like you as a business owner, you understand, like you can’t write off your entire house because you have a meeting there. You can’t write off all your meals because you spoke about your business, advertising your business to somebody at a checkout.

Like it was egregious, right? And that’s usually, that’s why I said it was more like he knew, right? He knew he was, he was, and he wasn’t committing fraud, but the people that were teaching this information were fraudulent, right? But then we couldn’t prove it because they would just talk around it. Like they would imply this is what you’re supposed to do, but they wouldn’t come out and say it.

So like we had all these recordings of what they would say. But then he’s like, well, they did say that, but they didn’t do it on recording. And so it was hard. And man, this guy was like devastated, right? But it was just egregious, like deducted his whole life. He deducted every mile because he was always working, you know, no matter where he went. And so.

Anthony Codispoti (24:53.856)
He had no idea he had been given bad information.

Carlotta Thompson (24:57.324)
No. And that’s what broke my heart was that, you know, most business owners know that, but this guy wasn’t a real business owner and nothing against multilevel marketing or network marketing. We have a lot of clients in that field that are legit, but this company was not legit. And they’d given him bad advice. And like I said, the IRS didn’t send him anything. Like he started a business. He had an EIN. The IRS could have

very well sent information and said, hey, you know, this is what we expect from you, but they didn’t. And so he was doing his returns itself. He didn’t get any outside help. I mean, it was just, it was really sad.

Anthony Codispoti (25:38.656)
Yeah, and I think that’s an important distinction here is that, you know, people understand that you, Carlotta, you’re playing by the rules, right? You’re a licensed CPA, you know, you’re an ex -IRS agent, like you understand what the guardrails are. You’re helping people with legitimate tax strategies, right? okay.

Carlotta Thompson (25:46.412)

Carlotta Thompson (25:57.58)
Right. And I’m not a CPA, I’m an EA. And the reason why I don’t, the reason why I’m not a CPA, I do have everything to have a CPA, but CPAs cannot invest with their clients. And I do a lot of acquisitions and a lot of helping my clients acquire businesses, acquire real estate. And you’re not, you have to keep a very fine line when you are a CPA. So I chose not to go that route because this is also about growing wealth.

And so we do a lot of like half the year, like I told you before, we do investment strategy of like, hey, these are the kinds of investments you need to offset this income on your return. You can’t do that as a CPA. These are the kinds of investments you need. And here’s somebody who can, where you can buy those investments. Because as business owners, we need like off market type of investments.

we don’t need to just go to the stock market, right? We need things that are going to have a tax impact. And so that is what we focus on. So we do a lot of investment strategy, a tax incentivized investment strategy, not telling you, hey, go invest in this thing, but giving you the type of investments you need, right? Like, okay, well, you have passive income, you need this kind of investment to offset this kind of income. And so,

That’s a little bit clear. Now we have lots of CPAs that work here. But I have to really toe the line because I am the one saying, okay, let’s move this over. Here’s some here’s some people you’ll see in our kind of circle. We have lots of different products, right? Like you guys you all have, you know, I heard you talking about you’ll have employee benefits, right? We have lots of different products and we move people around those products.

to help them with their strategy. And some of those things might be investments, some of those things might be different strategies that are kind of out of the box. And so that’s what we do. And so I had to correct you there because I don’t want anyone like, yeah, cause I don’t want any, I don’t want any, so a state, CPA is a state license, EA is a federal license.

Anthony Codispoti (28:07.551)
I appreciate that, yeah. Let’s set the record straight.

Carlotta Thompson (28:19.116)
but we just have a little bit more leniency on what we can tell a client, obviously. So anyway.

Anthony Codispoti (28:25.726)
Yeah, thanks for clearing that up. And you’ve mentioned business acquisitions several times in the conversation. Let’s explore that more. What’s the strategy here that you’re teaching your clients?

Carlotta Thompson (28:37.612)
So two years ago, if you told me business acquisitions was what I was gonna be teaching, I would have told you you’re nuts because I was not even thinking about a business acquisition. I always thought of business acquisitions as like, you know, the big guys on Wall Street mergers and acquisitions, right? But I got into it and I realized that a lot of businesses fail, right? They just fell when they start up. And I was looking at business acquisitions,

And the first business acquisition I looked at, it was a 40 year old accounting firm. they had 20 employees. They had more revenue than I had. and I could buy them for $0 down. I’m like, I’m stupid. Why did I not just take this short? Cause I’ve been doing this for, you know, five years at this point. I’ve worked all this blood, sweat and tears to get to this. And I could have just bought.

one, you know, if I had not been an accountant, it would have been 5 % down, right? 5 % down. So 50 ,000 or $100 ,000 down, which I had in my 401k from when I was at the IRS, I could have bought this and when you buy a business, it’s already running the failure rate of a business that’s already there and stabilized. It’s like 2 % failure rate or something, right? And whereas,

on when you’re starting a business, the failure rate’s like 95 or 96 % in the first couple of years. I don’t know. It’s like astronomical. And so I was like, this is crazy. So I got into business acquisitions. Well, then I realized when you’re looking at business acquisitions, there are lots of companies with a lot of furniture, fixture, and equipment. And so if you buy a company, say you have a million dollars in your business, they use.

a million dollars in income, net income, and you’re going to be paying tax on that million dollars. Well, you need a million dollars in write -offs to offset that, right? Well, you can buy a business with a million dollars in furniture, fixture, and equipment, and those will write together, that’s zero, okay? And to buy that,

Anthony Codispoti (30:58.909)
Does that still work if the business that you’re buying from has already depreciated those items? Okay.

Carlotta Thompson (31:05.484)
Yes, yes, yes. And that, cause we’re doing asset purchases, right? And so those businesses have all depreciated all of that stuff out and you’re buying their furniture, fixture and equipment. And a lot of times you’re only paying about another hundred thousand, 200 ,000 over that million for their cashflow. So like right now, you know, I could go pull a business that has a 1 .2 million in FF &E,

they’re making $400 ,000 after expenses a year, and you can buy that for 1 .4, and you can get it for 5 % down, okay? And so it makes absolutely no sense now to go start a business because you can buy one that’s already making $400 ,000 in profit. It comes with 1 .2 million in tax deductions the first year, right? First year tax deductions, so you don’t even have to wait. And you didn’t put, but, you know, 60, $70 ,000 down on that business.

And so that is what we teach our business owners that are past that two, $3 million mark, that they’re kind of bored with their current business. And they’re like, how do I grow? How do I grow? And you can grow through business acquisitions. We also teach that to business owners who are brand new, who are like, I want to be a business owner. And they’re at that zero to 40 ,000 mark, right? Okay. Go buy a business. Don’t grow a business because chances are you’re going to fail at growing a business.

And if you go buy a business, then you’re gonna cut all that failure rate out. We wanna buy businesses that are over 10 years old, that have over 10 employees, that are over a million dollars in income.

Anthony Codispoti (32:45.821)
How challenging is it to find businesses that check all of these boxes?

Carlotta Thompson (32:51.18)
Very, very easy. There are thousands of baby boomers retiring a day. And I think I heard the other day, like 15 % of them are business owners and a lot of them are just shutting their doors. They’re not even putting their business up for sale. But there are thousands and thousands and thousands of businesses for sale that are put up every day. All right. These are, baby boomers are checking out and they’re,

their parents or sorry, their kids don’t want to take these businesses over and they’re just ready to retire. And they’re shutting the doors on profitable businesses, boring businesses that aren’t YouTube worthy, right? They’re pest control businesses, they’re garage door businesses, they’re the plumbing businesses, they’re boring and their kids just don’t want to take them over.

Anthony Codispoti (33:44.572)
And these are businesses that perhaps sometimes they still have an operator in place. So say I’m here in Columbus, Ohio and there’s a business opportunity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Like I don’t want to relocate. Is that still an option for me?

Carlotta Thompson (33:58.892)
Yes. So there’s two kinds of businesses you’re going to buy. You’re either going to be an investor as an investor or as a business owner, you yourself, you’re either going to be an investor or an operator, right? You either have a lot of money and you need the tax write -offs or you have an income problem and you want to be the operator, right? So everybody has an income problem or a tax problem. The people that have tax problems usually don’t want to operate. They want to buy a business with an operator in it.

The people that have an income problem, they want to operate because they want all the income. So there are lots of these businesses. Like I said, we want something that already has 10 employees. And so there’s already a second line for these businesses. They just don’t want to, they don’t want to take the risk of buying it, right? They’re W2 employees. Their thoughts are not entrepreneurial. So those employees, usually we’ll give them a five or 10 % equity and keep them on, keep them invested.

So yes, there’s plenty of those opportunities. There’s also opportunities if you want to be the operator, you know, if you are trying to buy a business and you have an income problem and you want to keep all of that $400 ,000 for yourself, then you would be an operator and you would move to that location and, you know, run the business. So we have both sides. We have both types of people coming in.

Anthony Codispoti (35:19.452)
And so are you acting as a broker between the buyer and the seller here? Are you just kind of helping your clients?

Carlotta Thompson (35:24.844)
No, we’re just educating, right? We’re just educating the clients on where we teach them how to buy fine by a tax incentivized business. And then we have a program where we teach the operations and stuff like that. But that, you know, I’m very passionate about it because like I said, two years ago, I thought it was dumb. And now I’m like, my gosh, why are you not doing this? Because it’s a great tax strategy.

Not only that, it’s a great income strategy. And so I think as accountants, we have to always be willing to think outside the box. And that’s where I see myself different from most accountants is they’re not entrepreneurs. They’re in the business by default. They might be self -employed, but they’re really not trying to grow their wealth. And so I am just taking clients on the path that I’m going myself.

And I got to the point where I was doing all the strategies, you know, all the personal strategies, all the business strategies, all the real estate strategies, and I was still paying a hefty tax bill. And so I had to find something that was going to take that pain away of that tax bill. And that’s where I went to business acquisitions. And so that is why I do it. I think it’s a great tax strategy.

Anthony Codispoti (36:46.204)
Pretty clever.

Carlotta Thompson (36:47.66)
also found that it’s a great income strategy for those people that follow me who are like, I have a W -2 and I just, I’m so sick of paying all these taxes and business acquisitions can offset your W -2 income. And so they might want to stay at their W -2 job. I actually have a client right now that’s staying at their W -2 job, but they’re buying a business with an operator in it to give themselves the tax strategy that’s going to offset their W -2 job.

And then they’ll start taking over that business after they retire from their W -2 job.

Anthony Codispoti (37:20.188)
And let’s say that I don’t have enough in income to fully take advantage of the tax write -off from the strategy that you just described. It rolls over for how many years? Or just into? Okay.

Carlotta Thompson (37:28.46)
It just rolls over.

However, many, I mean, I think it’s like, I think it’s like 20 years or something. It’s a long time.

Anthony Codispoti (37:37.916)
You can stretch it out. And then are you directing most of your clients to take advantage of SBA loans to acquire these businesses or are there other avenues?

Carlotta Thompson (37:45.74)
We do. We have. So I do this with my mentor. And so he has actually a fund where he will do the down payment if you need down payment assistance. SBA is only five percent down. So I I like SBA for that fact. If you don’t like SBA, you know, we have there’s so many ways to get these things for zero down. I mean, I think we have like a hundred something strategies for financing.

And a lot of these go owner finance because really these people just want out of the business. They’re not, you know, they don’t need the money right now. So there’s so many ways to get the money. The money’s like the I know that’s like the biggest beer people, but our world it’s like, that’s the easy part. The money is the easy part because you can there’s so many opportunities when you get in our circle. You know, like I said,

Anthony Codispoti (38:30.588)
Of course.

Carlotta Thompson (38:42.124)
If you are an investor, like the money’s the easy part, right? Well, you think you, because your biggest question was the operator. Well, the operator’s problem is always the money. So we pair a lot of those up. We’ll pair an operator up with an investor and they’ll pair up and buy the business. So it’s, it’s amazing what we do in our community because people just want to, they,

Both want the same thing, but one will have money, one will have, be like, I can go out there, I’ll move today. We also start teaching kids at seven years old about our pathway to wealth. And so we have a lot of, yes. And so we have a secular, it’s through my nonprofit, but we have a secular event that the nonprofit will, they.

Anthony Codispoti (39:19.1)
This is through your nonprofit. Yeah.

Carlotta Thompson (39:32.332)
produce in the summer. They produce it alongside our task acquisition for adults. So the nonprofit will pay for the kids to go through the program and it’s called Kidquisition and Teenquisition. But we will start teaching kids at seven years old. So by the, right now we have some, we have a 17 year old that just closed on a med spa, 98 days after coming to our event last summer. She was 16 at the time. Her dad had to co -sign for her.

We have a lot of kids, though they’re now 18, that want to be operators. And so we’re, and we have a lot of homeschool kids because their parents are like, yes, let’s invest in them. You know, they invest in themselves and then they have a lot of kids. And so their kids will come through our task, our Kidquisition and Teenquisition program. And so those kids are like, hey, send me anywhere. And they’re, you know, they’re ready to go and be operators. And so,

we have a lot of those kids that are coming out of the program and like, Hey, I’m ready. So it’s really cool to see these 19. We, we actually go up to 23. and so the 23, 19 to 23 year olds coming out of the program and saying, send me wherever I’m ready to go. and they have our support and the knowledge. And so if you’re an investor, you can find, you know, one of them even, and, and have them help you be.

operate that business.

Anthony Codispoti (41:02.044)
Your program sounds really interesting. As an entrepreneur myself, in masterminds and socialized with a lot of other entrepreneurs, and one thing I hear is a common topic of conversation is when kids get to be college age, is that the best move? If our kids are showing the same kind of entrepreneurial interest and spirit as us, does college make the most sense? And some of them are of the mind that rather than invest the money in a college education, that they might like to invest in

a business for them and have that sort of be their education. Tell us how to find these programs, the Kidpreneur, Teenpreneur. How do people find these?

Carlotta Thompson (41:42.22)
Yeah. So you can go to our website. Pretty much if you get on our list, you’ll see it at the bottom of our emails, right? It’s called Teenquisition and Kidquisition. You know, our list, you have the link for our list. You can go to www .texturizeusofamerica .com. But once you get on our list, you’ll be on the inside and you’ll find out about these programs. We do not advertise them.

hard because they fill up so fast. So, we, if you’re a client, we try to get your kids plugged in. I think we have over 70 kids already coming to our event in August. we will probably have 150 kids come through that. And yes, I agree. Two of my boys probably won’t, won’t go to college. They are like, no, thank you. my daughter.

is going to college because she actually helped me start Taxi Radius of America when she was 14. She was the youngest ever recorded, I guess, to get her QuickBooks Online Pro certification. She did that at 13. And she has to have a degree if she wants to take over the business, right? Like she can’t do it as just…

Anthony Codispoti (42:56.316)
Sounds like a chip off the old block there.

Carlotta Thompson (43:06.924)
a person with no college degree because we’re a tax strategy firm. She’s got to have that background. So she knows, like she’s already, she’s 17 and she’s going into her third year of college. So she’s going to college because she has to, and she already has found like, I need to do this if I want to run this business or be a part of this business. My boys on the other hand, they have no desire to be a part of this business.

and that’s the thing, like if I didn’t have her, where would the business be? Now our goal is to go public. So obviously we would go public, but just taking you back to you thinking that people wouldn’t want to sell their business. Kids don’t want to take over their parents’ businesses. Honestly, there’s a lot of trauma usually in the lives of our kids because they’ve seen how hard we’ve worked for these things and they don’t want to work that hard. I’m just being honest. Like.

There’s a lot of kids today who are like, mm -mm, my parents worked hard. I just wanna live a normal life and make 50, 60, $70 ,000 a year. And that’s okay. I mean, whatever they wanna do, but I’m just saying like entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I have a lot of students that go through my program and they realize that. They’re like, I don’t wanna do this. I want to go be an employee.

or they’ll partner with someone up and they’ll be an operator. They’re like, I’m good with 5 % if I can operate this thing. I don’t need to own the whole thing. I just want to work in it. And so that’s our operators that are coming out who are like, I don’t want all the responsibility to own it. I just want to operate it, be an employee, have that cushion there.

Anthony Codispoti (44:57.207)
So it was fascinating to kind of do a deep dive there on the business acquisition strategy, using it as a tax strategy. And I’m sure you don’t want to give away all of your secret sauce, but is there other maybe low, all right, is there some other low hanging fruit or some other creative ideas that you want to drop on the audience here?

Carlotta Thompson (45:10.668)
It’s all me.

Carlotta Thompson (45:17.964)
Yeah, so, okay, if you are a business owner, you’re going to, there’s three sets of strategies you’re gonna implement. You’re gonna implement your personal strategies, your business strategies, and your real estate strategies. And then that’s when you would go into acquisitions after you’ve done all those, okay? So let’s talk about personal strategies. These are things like hiring your kids, the Augusta Rule. Augusta Rule is, I came out of Augusta, Georgia.

That’s where you can rent your home out for 14 days a year tax free. Your business can rent your home from you. It’s tax deduction to the business, tax free income to you. Hiring your kids. If your kid’s not working in your business, I think it’s a disservice because you want to teach them work ethic. You can put your kids in your advertising. You can pay them. You can put the money into a Roth IRA. That’s what we’re doing for our kids. So when they do graduate,

they can go and buy a business because if I put it in a 529 account, which is the education account, I’m gonna have a big penalty because they’re not going to school. So I put it into a Roth IRA, they can take out those earnings that they put in there tax free. And so that’s what our…

Anthony Codispoti (46:28.886)
They can take out a Roth IRA, tax free to use for education.

Carlotta Thompson (46:33.036)
They can take out the money they put into the Roth IRA for any reason. They just can’t take out the interest that it’s earned, right? And so they can take out all those, their earnings from their job when they turn 18. And they can use it for anything. So they could use it for a business or whatever. So you can always take out the money that you put in because it was paid, it was after tax dollars, right?

you just can’t take out the earnings. But those are kind of personal strategies, right? There’s a list of personal strategies. Now business strategies are the strategies that usually have a specialized firm doing them, right? So this would be like employee retention credit, research and development, cost segregations. These are things that you’re going to implement per business. So personal strategies, you’re implemented per person. So if you’ve got two partners in the business, each partner would implement.

personal strategies, unless you’re a couple, then you would implement personal strategies as a couple. Business strategies are implemented per business. And like I said, those are gonna be things like ERC, R &D, CAUSTIC, there’s 110 of those strategies. Next, you’re gonna implement real estate strategies. Real estate strategies are implemented per property. So if you’ve got an apartment complex, that’s a property. If you have 50 single family doors, that’s 50 properties. You’re gonna implement those strategies per property.

And then you would go into looking at business acquisitions once you’re done with those three buckets of strategies. If you’ve never been on one of our webinars, we give away exactly how to do the personal strategies down to the forms you need to fill out to do them. So you can DIY them. You can do it yourself, obviously. I mean, we’re wanting the entrepreneurs who don’t have time to do everything. So we’ll give you everything and you can do it yourself. But we know…

Anthony Codispoti (48:22.357)

Carlotta Thompson (48:27.66)
that entrepreneurs don’t have the time to do it. That’s how our business was born. If they had the time, they would do it, right? They don’t. They need to focus on making their money. But business owners, I think, their whole focus is gross receipts. Like how much income can I make? And they rarely think about how much income can I keep. And so I want to leave you with a kind of a nugget. For every $1 in tax savings,

that you save, that’s equal to $7 in gross receipts. Think about it. We do business acquisitions throughout the country. Your profit margins are usually about 30%. So $7, you’re gonna get to keep about 30 % of that. That’s about $2. You’re gonna be paying about a dollar in taxes between, you know, your employment taxes for you and your business taxes for state and federal. You’re gonna have about a dollar left. So for every dollar we save you.

you multiply that times seven and that’s what you would have to make in gross receipts. So whenever you come to our webinars, which I think you’re going to give them your link to our trainings, it’s a two hour training. And our goal is to save you $10 ,000 on that training and show you how to implement it yourself. And then if you multiply that times seven, that’s $70 ,000 in gross receipts you would have to make to make up for that $10 ,000. So I think it’s very well worth two hours of your time to do that.

and you can leave being able to go and implement those things or hire us to do that for you.

Anthony Codispoti (49:59.252)
It’s amazing the difference there. Seven dollars.

Anthony Codispoti (50:05.076)
in revenue. Yeah. Carlotta, what are some of the most common mistakes that you see business owners make? You’ve got a lot of clients who come in the door. What are some of the most common things that you see?

Carlotta Thompson (50:18.316)
say the biggest mistake is not keeping up with your records, right? Not having records. The biggest thing in an audit is not that you didn’t purchase the thing, is that you don’t have any record keeping. So you got to remember that your credit card statements only go so far. For mills travel, for mills and travel and mileage, you have to have actual, for mileage you have to have a log, and for mills and travel you have to have receipts.

Okay? And they have to put on the mills, you have to put the purpose of the mill and who you are with. And so that’s low hanging fruit. The IRS is always going to go after. Also,

Anthony Codispoti (50:59.539)
And you need the receipt even if you’ve got a credit card statement that shows the line item.

Carlotta Thompson (51:03.116)
On meals, travel, you have to have a actual receipt. On mileage, you have to have an actual log. Even if you’re taking actual expenses on your return, you still have to have a mileage log. So those are the three things IRS is always going to get you on, because y ‘all don’t have those receipts, right? So keep those receipts. Now, also the IRS knows that accountants are terrified of

So a lot of times in an audit, and this is why we provide audit defense, because this makes my stomach just turn over. Most accountants are scared. And so when they go into an audit, they will just tell the IRS to disallow things. So they’ll say, well, we need proof of these expenses. And if the client doesn’t have it, they’ll just tell the IRS to disallow it. Well, you can recreate records for the IRS. So…

You can recreate a mileage log if you don’t have one. Also, if you don’t have the receipts, a lot of those receipts, you can go back to the place and get them, right? You can go back. You can show your credit card statement and they can pull a receipt at the place you were at. Also, when you’re under audit, the co -enroll is…

a rule that allows you to use other supporting documentation for everything except mileage and travel and meals. Okay. And so if the IRS asks you for like a receipt for Walmart and you can say, this is what I purchase, then they have to take your oral testimony. Or that’s where they, you can rely on those credit card receipts, as long as you know what you purchase. All right.

And so I would say documentation is the biggest mistake. Now, what are some things that are always constantly called red flags? One of the things I didn’t mention is that I was also a classifier at the IRS, which means I classified tax returns that came out for audit. So a classifier is, so let me explain what the IRS does. The IRS gives every return a score. Okay. The biggest mistake on a return is that the NAICS code is wrong.

Carlotta Thompson (53:30.252)
That’s the NAICS code. And that tells you what kind of company your company is. Well, accountants are really lazy. And so they’ll just throw any code on there. That can get you audited faster than anything. Think about it. If you’re a hairdresser and they have you coded as a construction worker, your expenses are compared to other construction workers, not hairdressers, right? And so that’s gonna be way different. And so that code is,

how your return gets scored. A lot of times accountants will put nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine. That’s so stupid. All right, don’t do that. That’s a red flag. That’s not even a red flag. It’s gonna get you audited because you’re getting compared to people in a different group than you’re in. All right? So number one, make sure your NAICS code’s right. And that’s gonna be on your return, whatever you’re filing.

there’s gonna be a code on there. It’s gonna tell what kind of entity you are. So if you’re in real estate or you’re in, you know, you’re a beauty shop or whatever you are. All right, so that’s number one. Number two is that the things that accountants tell you that are red flags are not red flags usually. Accountants cop out for things they don’t know is that’s a red flag.

It’s also their cop out when they think it’s a red flag, like home office. I don’t know how many accountants will say home office is a red flag. That is not a red flag. That is so silly. But that’s what you hear, right? And so as a classifier, what we’re looking for is first of all, your other expenses. What other expenses do you have? Are they things that on your other expenses, don’t put other, put like what it was for, right?

putting on there, if those things can go on a line item, like on the main return, that’s better, right? Because those other expenses are always being looked at. What kinds of expenses are there for what kind of entity type you are? So those are the things that Iris is really looking at. Now I’ll say for biggest, miss deductions. Things I always see miss.

Carlotta Thompson (55:50.956)
Number one’s mileage because people just don’t take the time to do a mileage look so they just don’t put it on there at all. You either have people that put too much mileage or people that don’t put any mileage. And I’m like, okay, you’re an internet marketer but you obviously probably go to the bank, you go to the post office, you go to meetings, whatever. Don’t forget your mileage. The second thing I would say that almost every business owner misses, including me, is when you turn something from personal use to business use.

So like when I started my business, right, I used a lot of stuff that I had laying around. That’s turning personal use items to business use. Most people don’t ever deduct those things because they’re just like, well, I didn’t buy them when I started my business. It doesn’t matter when you bought them. It’s the lower of fair market value or the cost in the current year when you put them in service. Now, even now to this day, I mean, I’m a multimillion dollar, I have three multimillion dollar businesses.

I still make this mistake because my husband will, you know, take something we bought personally. Maybe it was a tractor or trailer or something, right? And we have bought it personally. We never deducted it and he’ll put it into business use and he won’t tell me. And I’ll be like, I never put that on the return because you didn’t tell me, right? You just started using it. I don’t know how many personal lawnmowers that we’ve turned to business use and I haven’t put on there. So.

Think about that every year when you’re doing your return. Is there anything that I bought personally that I’m now using in business?

Anthony Codispoti (57:25.424)
That’s a lot of great gold nuggets there Carlotta, thank you for sharing that. I want to make sure that we also give voice to all your services. There’s the annual service that we talked about at the top of the show where you do the strategy and you help implement for the full 12 months. You don’t push the kid and the teen coaching because it fills up so quickly but that’s also available. Are there other services that we should talk about here?

Carlotta Thompson (57:27.34)
Thank you.

Carlotta Thompson (57:52.14)
Mm -hmm.

So we have the accounting and tax services from stable where that’s where we partner with our accountants, but obviously to the clients. That is where you can buy accounting and tax. Like if you need a tax return done or you need bookkeeping done, you need CFO services, that is through stable. And we sell you the service, we match you with three accountants and you choose which one that you like the best. The cool thing about that is the accountants are all…

competing on customer service. They’re not competing on price because all prices are already, they’re all the same, right? So it’s really cool to have to have an accountant compete on customer service. You’ll be surprised how much better an accountant is when they have to compete with a fellow accountant based on how great their customer service is. Also, another thing that’s really cool is we own the client. So if you don’t like your accountant, it’s really easy to switch. You just say, hey, I don’t like them. I want to switch. You all know how hard it is to switch accountants. Like,

Anthony Codispoti (58:50.575)
it’s so painful.

Carlotta Thompson (58:51.692)
How many times before like, I’ve been with my accountant took 10 years and I hate them, but I don’t want to go through the problem of switching. so we actually made that problem go away. yeah, we also do audit defense on all of that. We, do peer review on those accountants. So, one thing you may not know is that accountants can do whatever they want to do. They don’t have to have any peer review done on their work.

Anthony Codispoti (59:02.415)

Carlotta Thompson (59:17.548)
Unless they’re audited by the IRS, that’s the only time that their work is looked at, right? And a lot of times the IRS is only going to audit one return and they’re going to, you know, you’re never going to hear about it. So what I like about our program is we actually peer review these people to make sure that they are up to our standard of doing tax returns and bookkeeping, which is usually, peer review is usually only done by the top 10 firms in the U .S. I like this because they actually get peer reviewed.

So that’s our stable services. We also have the business acquisition, real estate acquisition coaching, and that’s from the standpoint of tax incentivizations, which is to my knowledge, we are the only firm teaching that from a tax standpoint. I’ve not seen anyone else. There’s lots of people teaching business acquisitions and real estate acquisitions. I’ve seen real estate talk from a tax standpoint.

not seeing business acquisitions taught from a tax standpoint and really honing in on the ones you need for your tax situation. We also have, let’s see, that covers tax acquisition. Then we have our done for you service. We have team acquisition, kidquisition, stable. And then we have our network of strategies where, you know, if you come to us and you’re like, I need,

operations help, we can send you to someone for that. We try to be a holistic place of, hey, I need this help because clients always come to their accountant for everything. I mean, to the point where I’m thinking we need like a marriage counselor in our circle of networks because they come for everything, right? Like there is no stone unturned. They’re going to come to us for it. And…

We actually are going to put health in there because, you know, our clients are like, my health’s bad. Like I need life insurance. I can’t get, you know, so it’s, they come to us with everything. And so we’re trying to make sure that we have someone to support them in every place they need support.

Anthony Codispoti (01:01:31.022)
That’s great. That is a really holistic approach. Let’s shift gears for a moment, Carlotta, and I’m curious to hear about a particular challenge, either personally or professionally, that you’ve experienced along the way and the lessons that you learned coming through the other side.

Carlotta Thompson (01:01:45.516)
Man, I’ve had so many of these. We should have started with this. That would have got people really excited about what was to come. Man. All right. So I will, I call it God sifting me. He gives me those challenges. He’s sifting me, right? Like, you know, in the Bible, it talks about

Anthony Codispoti (01:02:04.589)
Sifting. Okay.

Carlotta Thompson (01:02:09.74)
sifted like wheat and they beat the wheat and then they shake it around. I feel like that is has been most of my entrepreneurial journey. I’m always getting beaten and sifted anyways. So I don’t look at it as a negative. I look at it as God’s just preparing me for what he has next. But the biggest thing I come through as a business owner was I one time was taking on a partner.

And this is, I’m going to tell you, when you’re taking on a partner, that’s a marriage. And you better be sure that you would want to be married to that person if you’re going to take them on as a partner, because it can blow up in your face really quick. And so this partner was only coming on as a minority partner, which is fine. Like I’ll take under 15 % partners all day long because they really don’t have any.

say they’re just, you know, there you’re giving them kind of a piece of equity. And so this guy was going to come on as a 1 % partner, right. But as he got into the company, he exploded ourselves, which I guess you’ve determined make it rain. He made it rain, right. He really exploded our company. But

We did it by raising our prices. And so we were selling to clients at $25 ,000. Now we knew our service wouldn’t hold at $25 ,000 because just a calming and tax strategy can be worth $25 ,000, I’m sure, but not to the kind of clients that we were bringing on. Most of our clients were in that, you know, $300 ,000 range. And so them paying $25 ,000 a year for tax.

tax and accounting was just too much for them. So what happened is we couldn’t keep those clients happy. He wanted 50 % of the business, 50 % of everything that I grew. So he was going to leave the business if I didn’t give him 50%. So obviously I offered him 43%. That was not enough. Thank you, Jesus. He didn’t take it.

Anthony Codispoti (01:04:16.493)

Carlotta Thompson (01:04:33.292)
And he left and he started a business exactly like mine. He tried to duplicate me. But the thing was, is he wasn’t an accountant. He was a sales guy. And so he took a lot of our clients, I would say. He took a lot of clients that he brought in. Not a lot, probably like five, four or five, right? Big $25 ,000 a year client, which was fine because…

as soon as we, you know, what, so that hurt, right? Like, I mean, this guy was pretty much in our business ingrained in the business. yeah, you go through.

Anthony Codispoti (01:05:11.148)
to feel betrayed. He takes clients, he’s going next door to start the exact same thing or try to anyways.

Carlotta Thompson (01:05:17.868)
Right. And he didn’t have anything to do with tax before he came in. Like he was a sales guy, right? Like he didn’t know tax or anything, but he could talk like me because he listened to everything I said. And so betrayal, lots of heartache because this guy was my friend. Very sad. I mean, I’d gotten in with his family. Like, so I had this family dynamic with him. I’m just going to say, like, when you’re an entrepreneur, don’t, don’t get in bed with other people.

Give them, you can give them a 15 % minority share all day long. It would be better to do a joint venture or something like that. I am against partnerships at this time. The only partnerships I have are less than 15 % except with my husband and we’re in a state where he would get half anyway. So obviously, and I wouldn’t be here without what he’s done. So he deserves 50%.

but I learned a lot of hard lessons in that, but I came out on the other side and it became a blessing because those clients that we brought on at $25 ,000 did not stay obviously because they couldn’t afford $25 ,000. Right? Like they just, it was not even smart for them to afford it. so now, we make sure our services are in line with the client that we bring on.

We don’t have any services that are $25 ,000 anymore. Like that’s, you know, those clients are a million dollar and above, $25 ,000 is fine. But for those clients that normally are seeking us out, you know, they’re at that $300 ,000 to two or three million mark in gross receipts. That’s not their profit. We do have some $30 million, $40 million, $50 million clients, obviously. But…

It just wasn’t the right fit, right? Also, as soon as that happened, we had another sales guy that was trained by this guy. He was an accountant. He was a terrible accountant. And so I don’t fire anybody. So this is my second lesson. I am terrible at… Yeah, as a business owner…

Anthony Codispoti (01:07:36.395)
It’s a hard thing to do if nobody’s ever been through it. I mean, it’s worse than breaking up with somebody, right? I mean, it is breaking up with someone, but now you just took away their paycheck too. So it’s, yeah.

Carlotta Thompson (01:07:43.628)

Carlotta Thompson (01:07:48.876)
Yes. And you’re destroying their family and you’re, you know, so as a business owner, I’m going to tell you our childhood trauma is what we have to work through every day as a business owner. And so my mom passed away when I’m seven via suicide. So that’s traumatic for me. I feel like that she abandoned me. Right. And so now every time I’m, you know, have, I have a huge team and like, when I get close to them, I’m so scared. Like.

to they’re going to abandon me but at first like I’m going to have to abandon them when they first come on because if they don’t aren’t a good fit like that you know me abandoning them. So anyways, a lot of trauma going on there obviously but we all need we all need a therapist. I’ll just put that plug in there. But

I had this accountant that I moved from accounting to sales because he was a horrible accountant and I give everybody the chance. And so the guy that was my partner had trained this guy. The partner left about, he wasn’t ever a partner. He was gonna be a partner, but he left three months prior to that. This guy was selling his services on my sales calls. So he was taking the sales calls.

Anthony Codispoti (01:09:07.754)

Carlotta Thompson (01:09:12.172)
And he would say, Carlotta is too expensive for you. Let me sell you what I do. Yes. That happened. Okay. So that was probably a client. A client finally contacted me and was like, this guy said that he has these services and, and I don’t know what’s going on. And so, I mean, he probably took 30 clients.

Anthony Codispoti (01:09:24.074)
How did you find out? One of these prospects say something?

Anthony Codispoti (01:09:40.458)
my gosh. This wasn’t one or two.

Carlotta Thompson (01:09:42.54)
Yeah, it was like nauseating. Okay. So then he was obviously, I don’t know, he had some mental issues because whenever it came to light, he was like, I can’t believe you would ever say that. Like he attacked my Christianity. And I’m like, bro, there’s like 30 people that have come to me now. Like, obviously, it’s not just me, me judging you. That’s not how this works. Right? Like, he was like, it’s not true.

Anyways, he stole our laptop. So that became a whole nother, you know, policy, like everything you learn, you implement something to make it where it doesn’t happen next time. I have had so every day is something I’m learning, right? Like every day I am one.

you know, fire away, I feel like from blowing things up. Not really, but that’s how it feels as the CEO of seven companies. I have seven companies now. So it may be, you know, a software issue today or a real estate issue tomorrow. Like, who knows, you know? But I’ll say that failure is not real.

And that is one of the biggest problems I had as a new entrepreneur was I was so scared of failure because again, childhood trauma, right? Failure is not real. You just pivot. So every time like I have in most people’s eyes, I probably have failed several times, but I’ve never really failed because I just change what I’m doing. Right.

Anthony Codispoti (01:11:18.026)
What do you mean by that?

Anthony Codispoti (01:11:31.625)
You learn from it, you adapt, you treat it as a learning experience. I tried this, this was an experiment, it didn’t work, I’m gonna try something different.

Carlotta Thompson (01:11:37.036)

have lots of things that have not worked. And currently, I’ll just be very transparent. Currently, last year was, sales were so easy. Okay, like, I mean, you could mention something and it would be, it would sell out like that. This year, the economy has changed. I know it’s not just us because it’s happening with a lot of our clients. The sales atmosphere has changed. And so this year, we’re,

We’re stopping our done for you services on June 6th. So they’ll be stopped by the time this comes out. We’ll still be doing our strategy plans, but our done for you will be sold out for the year. But we didn’t sell out, right? Like last year we sold out in April. This year we’re ending our sales because really our clients don’t, there’s this fine line of when entrepreneurs, they get overwhelmed and that’s,

going to become about probably May or June. What I mean by that is they have to when they come on to our services, they have to fill out surveys all the way back to January. And so if they come on in June, they’re going to have to fill out January, February, March, April, May, which only take about 10 minutes each. OK, but entrepreneurs don’t have that much attention. So they’re like.

my gosh, this is so much stuff. You know, like, I mean, it’s, it’s crazy. So we do not sell past June because we know our customer service rates drop out. So people that come on past June are not as happy as if they came on before June. And so right now our, our last year we quit selling in April and we have 80.

Carlotta Thompson (01:13:33.964)
over 82 % renewal on last year services, which is huge for this not being an accounting service. Like accounting services are where you actually get your tax and bookkeeping done. Those are pretty sticky. This is not that, right? So it’s like an annual service. And so for a,

Anthony Codispoti (01:13:50.888)
Somebody must, they must be really seeing the value of it if they decide to continue. It’s not like a tax return where you have to get it done every year. They could opt out of your services, but they’re going back and they’re looking and they say, I spent this and here’s how much I saved. Yeah, I’m doing that again.

Carlotta Thompson (01:13:54.508)
Exactly 82 % is huge. Yes.

Carlotta Thompson (01:14:06.508)
Exactly. So 82 % is huge. The ones that aren’t renewing are the ones who didn’t fill out the stuff and they didn’t save anything. They didn’t participate, right? Most of them. Anyway, so, and we still have seven months of time for them to renew. So they don’t have to renew by a certain date. Like they can renew throughout the year as they’re

old payments fall off. So a lot of them are still paying for 2023 because we allowed some longer extensions of plans last year. So anyways, but that kind of attests to how our goal is delivery over anything else. It’s all about delivery. How great can we deliver a product when we don’t want to just sell to sell. So.

sales has been a problem for us this year, which has never happened in the past. and we’ve had to pivot, you know, our ad costs went up. we’re paying like three or $4 ,000 per client. that’s huge. You know, our ad, our, ad. Spend for somebody to come to a webinar went from $7 to $23. I mean, there’s just a lot of factors. And so, you know, if I would not have.

pivoted, pivoted, pivoted constantly. Like, you know, last year we didn’t sell anything past April. We actually shut down sales for the rest of the year. This year we’re pivoting to our acquisitions. We’re actually selling that the rest of the year this year, whereas last year, past April, you couldn’t buy anything from us. So that’s just some lessons. Like you’ve got to constantly pivot based on where you’re at.

Anthony Codispoti (01:16:00.391)
Those are really powerful. Yeah, thanks for sharing those. Carlotta, are there any specific mentors or maybe books, events or experiences that have helped shaped you or your professional career?

Carlotta Thompson (01:16:14.06)
Yes, Russell Brunson is how I became an entrepreneur. Well, I was born an entrepreneur. I’ve been selling stuff on the playground since I was in kindergarten, right? But Russell Brunson, now I understood you could sell online. So one of the first things I did was I had a financial course. Before I was doing the tax stuff and as church outreach, I did a financial outreach.

Anthony Codispoti (01:16:24.135)
Russell Brunson is the founder of ClickFunnels.

Carlotta Thompson (01:16:41.164)
But instead of people hating their budget, I wanted them to love their budget. And so it was called Love Your Budget. And I sold that. And I sold that because Russell was like, you can sell online. I was like, no, you can’t. No, that’s not a thing. And so I sold out in like, I don’t know, 24 hours, I guess, probably the first time I ever pitched Love Your Budget.

I don’t even teach that anymore, but back then I did. And, you know, so I would say anything he puts out, marketing secrets is probably the book, the one book that I read that changed my trajectory. It’s so cool because his dad is coming to speak at our event in August. It’s like a full circle like moment, right? I’m like, I love his dad. And,

Russell probably doesn’t know me from, from Adam, but, his dad is amazing. His dad’s an accountant. It’s really cool. anyways, he, we’re, we’re partnering with him and, he’s coming to teach the summer. And so, I would say him for sure. Alex Sharpen’s where I learned everything about operations. he is amazing. I, you could bench his podcast.

and learn everything you need to know about operations. He doesn’t sell a program anymore, but you can learn everything you need to know just from his podcast. Recently, I started following Tommy Mello. He spoke on stage the other day when I was at an event that I was speaking at, and he is in the garage door space, which I know is weird, but the dude is like so smart. He owns A1 garage doors. It’s a national company.

He’s taken on rounds of public trading or taken on rounds of private equity. He has a book called Elevate. So that’s who I’m currently listening to him, listening to his podcasts, great stuff there. So that’s who I would say has had the most impact on me.

Anthony Codispoti (01:18:51.463)
Those are great examples. Thanks for sharing those. Carlotta, I just have one more question for you, but before I ask it, I want to do two things. First, if you like today’s content, please hit the subscribe, like, or share button on your favorite podcast app. I want to tell people how to get in touch with you and find all your great services. Taxstrategistsofamerica .com is the best place.

Carlotta Thompson (01:18:59.116)

Carlotta Thompson (01:19:12.188)
Yes. And I’m also on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. Most of the time it’s Carlotta Thompson Finance, but there’s not very many Carlotta Thompsons. You’ll find me very quick. We put out videos every day, just a little nugget of tax information. So those are, that’s where you can find me. And then yes, like we have a weekly webinar that you can come to. It’s a two hour training. It is live.

every week and that’s where we can answer your questions, get you hooked in. I know a lot of you probably are like, I don’t have two hours, but I promise it’s worth it. I mean, like I said, if we can save you $10 ,000, that’s worth $70 ,000 in gross receipts. But we also sent out a replay. You can always just hit the replay button and put it in 2X. So yeah, that’s fun.

Anthony Codispoti (01:20:03.815)
be a good investment of time and they can find that webinar and sign up for it on your website.

Carlotta Thompson (01:20:10.764)
Yes, sir.

Anthony Codispoti (01:20:11.783)
Last question for you Carlotta, I’m curious how you see your business evolving in the next five years. What are the big changes that are coming?

Carlotta Thompson (01:20:18.988)
Well, AI is gonna be huge for accounting. And like I said, we’re gonna embrace, we embrace whatever comes our way. There is no competition. If a firm comes out and they can do what we do for less money, hey, we’re gonna sell their services for them. Because for us, it’s all about bringing the community together and providing everything in one place. So AI is gonna have a big effect. We are trying to go public. That is our…

Our 10 -year goal is to go public and us own the client and get them all the services they need. So like a one -stop shop for all businesses, there’s nothing like that. In the US, it’s widely known. We come at that from a tax strategy perspective. So hopefully we can do that. And I’m not even going to say hopefully. I know we will do that because all we have to do is pivot along the way.

I would say in your business, don’t ever let anything that you see coming be competition. You figure out how you can make it go in with your brand, find your blue ocean, find what you’re doing differently, and make it cohesive with what you’re doing. I’m always trying to navigate the road of being the only one that does something. I’m the only one that teaches acquisitions from a tax strategy standpoint.

Now, do I believe other people will come along and do that? Absolutely, they will. If they become a big name out there, I’ll just bring them into the company and have them be a cohesive part of our company, right? I’m always looking to collaborate and not compete because that’s where you’re going to get to the best place.

Anthony Codispoti (01:22:05.443)
How do you see AI having an impact in the accounting space?

Carlotta Thompson (01:22:10.22)
So AI is going to one day be able to do tax returns, right? It’s gonna be able to do everything. It’s gonna be able to lift things off. It’s gonna be able to tell you the strategies you’re missing, but there’s always gonna be a human component to it because AI can’t know the answers to every question. So there will always be a part of it. It’s kind of like QuickBooks. They use a lot of AI already to like put your things in a certain spot.

on your books, but then they get it wrong and they put every deposit to income whether in it could be a loan, you know, like they just, it assumes a lot. So AI is gonna, it’s gonna be there to help us. I think it’s gonna be able to help us do a lot more strategy. I think it’s gonna be able to help us review a lot more returns. So, and I think it’s gonna be able to do returns. So I think that it’s, you know, just like the law field, it’s gonna have a huge impact, but,

To think it’s going to take the place of an actual person. Yeah, it’s not because it’s not, it still has to ask you questions and you have to be able to answer them correctly. And well garbage in is garbage out. And so that is the biggest problem with accountants or with clients period is they don’t know how to answer the question. They answer it wrong, you know, the returns wrong, whatever.

So, you know, you do get a lot of garbage out and that can’t be fixed by a computer, right? It just can’t.

Anthony Codispoti (01:23:37.059)
them. That’s great stuff. Carlotta, I want to be the first to thank you for sharing your story with us today. I really appreciate it.

Carlotta Thompson (01:23:43.404)
Thank you. Thank you for letting me be on.

Anthony Codispoti (01:23:46.275)
That’s a wrap on another episode of the Inspired Stories podcast. Thanks for learning with us today.