CEO Spotlight: Tom Wheelwright CPA, CEO of WealthAbility®
Tom Wheelwright CPA, CEO of WealthAbility®, bestselling author of Tax-Free Wealth: How to Build Massive Wealth By Permanently Reducing Your Taxes and The Win-Win Wealth Strategy: 7 Investments the Government Will Pay You to Make.
The three main areas that Tom Wheelwright works on are wealth, tax, and business strategies. His goal is to deliver a superior experience to entrepreneurs and investors who ask for his guidance and, at the same time, go beyond the basics of tax preparation to provide the services clients want. Except for his valuable knowledge that is timeless, one of his new achievements is an extensive analysis that he completed recently about the tax laws in 15 countries and found seven investments governments will consistently pay entrepreneurs to make. In his interview with CEOWORLD magazine, he feels very optimistic about the future of the CPA field while revealing the biggest challenge in his career so far.
Q: How can taxation transform into a powerful tool for wealth creation?
Tom Wheelwright: One of the biggest roadblocks to wealth creation is the taxation of that wealth through income, payroll and sales or value-added taxes. One of the first steps to powerful wealth creation is reducing or eliminating the tax burden on income, so there is more capital to create wealth. When you retain control of more of your money, it’s much easier to help that money grow.
Fortunately, the government has filled the tax law with tax incentives. The government uses tax incentives to encourage investors to undertake investments the government wants investors to make. There are incentives in all asset classes, so the key is understanding which incentives best fit within the investor’s goals. There is no need to look for loopholes when the government has specific incentives for most active investors.
That’s why understanding how the tax law works is so important. Some politicians and members of the media like to talk about “the rich” being a drain on society when they receive tax incentives. Everyone, rich or not, has access to the same tax incentives. Those who use them are doing things the government believes are worth the tradeoff, such as employing others, creating housing or investing in renewable energy.
Q: On your website, you state that businesses should follow the rules of the rich. Can you name one such rule?
Tom Wheelwright: Rule number one is to build the types of assets the government encourages through tax incentives, such as business, real estate and energy. The rich make these investments rather than putting their money into savings, where it will be taxed more heavily. By doing so, they build wealth faster by retaining control of more of their money.
Following this rule works worldwide. I recently completed an extensive analysis of the tax laws in 15 countries and found seven investments governments will consistently pay you to make. Again, these aren’t immoral loopholes or legally questionable moves. When the government offers a tax credit or deduction, it is doing so in the express hope that people use it because the activity the government is incentivizing benefits the larger society.
Q: Do you feel positive when looking at the future of the CPA field and if so, what is one reason why?
Tom Wheelwright: Yes, I feel very optimistic about the future. To start with, CPAs are the most trusted financial professionals in the world. They have a wide range of experience and, with proper training and tools, can (and should) be the primary business advisor for any entrepreneur.
Plus, the up-and-coming generations of CPAs look at their work with a refreshing perspective. Millennials and members of Gen Z want their work to make a more significant, positive impact on the world. They aren’t just looking for a paycheck; they have a vision for how their work can contribute to society. I love bringing groups of CPAs who share a passion for serving entrepreneurs together.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?
Tom Wheelwright: The biggest challenge has been developing the systems that enable CPAs to best serve their entrepreneur clients. Systems are crucial to scaling any business; you have to make sure you can replicate the client experience and results consistently, no matter how big your organization becomes. So, we’re intensely focused on creating and refining the systems that ensure CPAs in the WealthAbility® Network put their clients first in all ways. That means delivering a superior client experience while going beyond the basics of tax preparation to provide the services clients want, including wealth, tax and business strategies.
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