No one likes paying taxes and even fewer people enjoy reading the IRS tax code. For one, it’s incredibly complicated and difficult to understand. But knowing the tax code and which deductions you qualify for can help you save money. That’s where Cofield’s Concepts can make your life easier.
Owned by Carter Cofield, his tax courses can help you not only understand the IRS tax code better but also have fun while doing it. If you want to understand the best ways to save money on taxes while playing by the rules, and even how to be a better investor by keeping more of your gains, then you should check out Cofield’s Concepts.
What Is Cofield’s Concepts?
Carter Cofield is a former “Big Four” accountant who runs an educational website, called Cofield’s Concepts. While some of the content is paid, a lot is free and all of it is a bargain that pays for itself in terms of the incremental revenue and savings Cofield’s advice can generate.
The website provides practical answers to three fundamental questions in financial life:
- How do I pay less in taxes?
- How do I make more money?
- How can I become my own boss?
Carter Cofield’s website ostensibly targets millennial Black entrepreneurs, and creatives in the entertainment industry (if that sounds atypical it’s intentionally so and is part of a business building strategy he calls “niche, niche, weird”). Not being Black myself, I find his ideas equally compelling for income earners of any background, and especially those with more ambition than capital. The site aims to be a one-stop place for all financial advice.
Cofield’s central idea is that, on average, we pay about 40% of our lifetime income in taxes. Most tax, Cofield argues, can be properly and ethically avoided by using the structures and deductions available in the U.S. tax code (“Make the Tax Code Your Friend” is one section of his online tax course).
Those tax savings can be reapplied as capital to start a business, to invest or to distribute tax-free to family members. Cofield delights in showing you how: in his courses, on his podcasts and in his newsletters and guides.
One area that Cofield does not address is the IRS’ sensitivity towards different types of deductions, such as the proportion of your home dedicated to business purposes and other guidelines for steering clear of triggering an audit.
What Makes Cofield’s Concepts Unique?
Cofield’s Concepts presents all of the tax savings and deductions you can get in an easy-to-digest format. His course, Deduct Everything, is jam-packed with information and includes almost everything you need to know about tax deductions, especially if you own your own business. Cofield provides real-life examples, which makes it easier to follow along and it’s much more entertaining than reading through the IRS tax code yourself.
Cofield’s Concepts Features
You can find both free content and paid content on the website, as well as an online community of businesspeople discussing Cofield’s ideas in practice. I recommend you begin with the free content and build your confidence in Cofield. In the free section, you can find Cofield’s Masterclass and Cofield’s Podcasts and Blog. Among his paid products there’s the Deduct Everything Session, the Business Incorporation Blueprint, and Pocket Advisor.
One of the best free offerings is Cofield’s Masterclass, which you can sign up for on the website. The video podcast provides a blueprint for starting your own business with an eye towards living “a deductible life.”
Based on Cofield’s inspiring journey from employee to entrepreneur, the online Bootcamp covers suggested steps to follow, including “The Three Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting,” to “Validating Your Business,” to “Pricing Strategy” to “Taxes.”
Of course, you will have to listen to him pitch for his more in-depth paid content, but not nearly so much as with other free services.
Cofield’s Podcasts and Blog
As of this writing, there are 13 free Cofield’s podcasts available on the website or on iTunes. He also has a blog focused on tax savings, entrepreneurship, and financial independence on his Cofield Advisors website.
One of his blog posts about the Paycheck Protection Program wasted no time in explaining to me how I could qualify, as a self-employed writer, for the PPP. To this day, I can’t understand the paperwork that accompanied my forgivable $15,000 loan, but Cofield inspired me and walked me through it.
Deduct Everything—Your Blueprint to Tax-Free Living
This class is a personal finance optimization of the U.S. Tax Code. The course teaches you to choose the form of incorporation that will legally permit you to classify many of your expenses as deductions. For example, medical insurance, car purchases, vacation travel, certain dining expenses, and even the expense of the class itself.
The course includes downloadable templates and a tax calculator that make it easy for you to input your numbers and hand them off to your own accountant. In fact, it was in this course that I learned about the S-Corp strategy mentioned earlier.
If you have a steady job in a company, or if you have children under 18, the course is an excellent investment to become smarter about taxes. But if you are an entrepreneur, working from home, or have a few gigs, Cofield’s Concepts is indispensable. The two most important outcomes of the course are significant tax savings and an intangible, but very real, feeling of being in financial control.
Business Incorporation Blueprint
This course is Cofield’s state-by-state guide to executing on the tax strategy you choose. It also offers a careful analysis of the pros and cons of each form of business organization: sole proprietorship, S-Corporation, LLC, and C-corporation (spoiler alert: Cofield hates C-corporations for self-employed individuals).
Pocket Advisor is Cofield’s social networking website for “First Generation Millionaires” offering online coaching, classes, and community targeting entrepreneurs in general, and creatives in particular.
Fees & Costs
Some of the courses from Cofield are free, but others cost a bit. Here’s a breakdown of the cost for each feature:
- Cofield’s Masterclass — Free
- Deduct Everything Tax Course — $397 for a limited time, normally costs $997
- Business Incorporation Blueprint — Normally sales for $400 but you can get it for $97 for a limited time
- Pocket Advisor — $49.99 a month or $499 a year
Who is Cofield’s Concepts Best For?
If you don’t know much about taxes and want to learn how to save money come tax day, then Cofield’s Concepts could be for you. It’s also a great resource if you’re an entrepreneur and need help understanding the tax code. And if you’re just getting started on your business or side hustle, you can learn about the different deductions you can use. That means less money to Uncle Sam and more money you can use to finally get your business started.
Why Should You Listen to Carter Cofield?
Cofield was smart enough to succeed against all odds: having lost both of his parents before age 12, he quickly figured out it was all up to him. He transformed himself from a poor student into a scholarship winner and went on to earn his Bachelors and Masters in Accounting at the University of Chicago.
After landing his dream job in his early twenties at a Big Four accounting firm and earning $100,000 a year, he became disenchanted with corporate life and set up his own financial advisory business. Cofield claims he began by going $20,000 into debt, but his revenues were more than $200,000 a year later.
He was recently featured on the cover of The Journal of Accountancy (May 2020) and is a CPA and a personal financial specialist (PFS).
A quality I admire deeply about Cofield is his authenticity. During his podcasts, any portion of which he could easily select and edit before releasing, he sometimes spontaneously invents illustrations of his concepts. He is the only person I’ve ever heard of making tax deductions fun to learn about, but in the excitement of his speaking, he sometimes makes multiplication errors in his head (32% of $50,000 is $16,000 and not the number he mentions). He leaves the error standing and says, “My math probably sucks there” while continuing his point, rather than distracting the listener at a crucial moment.
Cofield’s Concepts Pros & Cons
- Free Resources — You can get a taste of the type of content Cofield’s Concepts offers by listening to his podcast or taking his Mastercourse.
- Advanced Tax Strategies for Investors — The Deduct Everything course includes a lot of great information for investors to lower their tax bill.
- Simplified Business Course — If you’re started a business, the Business Incorporation Blueprint provides step-by-step guidance.
- Financial Community — You can get real-time financial guidance and mentorship through Cofield’s Pocket Advisor and get access to a community of first-generation millionaires and advice channels.
- Cost — At $997, the cost of Cofield’s tax course may be a bit high for some.
- Not All Situations Are Covered — While Cofield covers a lot of situations in his course, not all tax situations are covered and you may need to do additional research.
Final Thoughts on Cofield’s Concepts
It’s true that you could find most of Cofield’s Concepts in the U.S. tax code and by researching tips from various accounting websites. But if you’re seeking a source of excellent advice packaged especially for entrepreneurs and people with side gigs, there is no better single source on the internet.
Cofield is lively, personable, and direct. His advice can save you thousands in taxes and inspire you to earn more in revenues. Cofield’s Concepts is a true gem.