The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks


You’re in for a sweet treat with today’s guest. In this episode, we’ve got tax hacks for your business. The father-daughter combo, Byron McBroom and Melanie Sikma, talk about why you should stop giving the IRS money they don’t deserve. They also discuss how investors can capitalize on depreciation and cost segregation. Byron and Melanie also identify the misconceptions people have about tax planning. The duo’s tax strategy is a game changer in your business to let you utilize that extra money to fund your dream. You should not miss this episode and join Byron McBroom and Melanie Sikma now.

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Stop Giving The IRS Money They Don’t Deserve

Little Known Tax Hacks For Your Business

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. Wherever you are in the world tuning in, this is the show. I have two amazing guests from one amazing organization. I can’t wait for us to do a deep dive. In the world of fundability, our first bite, the bullseye, or the arrow splitting the arrow bullseye is stated income and unsecured business lines of credit. What happens on that outer ring? When we start moving a little further out, sometimes, we don’t want $100,000. What happens if we have amazing tax returns? What happens if we can go beyond stated and do a full doc?

My guests are Byron McBroom and Melanie Sikma. They are the dynamic duo at One Stop Tax Strategists. This organization specializes in prepping borrowers to hit that $250,000 mark. Remember. While there may be half a dozen solid borrowers or half a dozen stated income banks that go to that $100,000 no-problems-write-a-check-and-do-a-deal, there are dozens that do full doc with even better rates and terms. If we can get to that next outer ring. That’s why I brought my guests on to speak with us.


Welcome, Melanie. Welcome, Byron. I love that we’re going to be talking about this. As the economy contracts, lenders are still lending to bullseye borrowers, but sometimes, they need a little more documentation. Please, introduce yourselves and tell my crew who you are and what it is that you guys do for sophisticated real estate investors.

We are a father-daughter duo. My sister is in the business as well. We help entrepreneurs and real estate investors pay less tax so they can focus on growing their portfolios and focus on the more important things in life, like building their dreams and enjoying those things.


This started years and years ago because I’ve been a CPA since probably most of you have been business owners.

Longer than I’ve been alive.

I noticed that a lot of CPAs are out there and we’re filling out the forms for people. I’ve always been one that’s liked to be creative and take more of an approach to it. I backed away a little bit from my firm and started putting together packages and ideas and systemized a lot of the ideas. We’ve developed a process for people to have a significant reduction in their taxes. We get a kick out of helping people and giving them a lot more money to help achieve their dreams.

To bring my tribe up to speed, remember that one of the things that you learned when you came to the tribe was the fact that lenders, especially our lenders, are looking for top-line revenue. They want to make sure that the bottom line on your tax return can cover their $100,000 credit line cost, which is about $870 interest-only.

To key you guys in, our numbers are always, “How many multiples of $870 is my taxable income?” The lender can be like, “I’ll carve out that piece right there. I’ll approve you.” The top line is critical for us, but the bottom line is how you guys can save my people money. Give an example of how you’ve helped real estate investors.

We have one client in particular that we like to use as a Guinea pig. It was a star student case study. He came to us and he was netting $1 million, right dad?

It was really more than that.

He was in California, so he was looking at paying almost half of that to taxes. You work your butt off to get to that level and then throw it half away. We know the government’s using it super well. H e was defeated at that point. We did a few strategies. One is getting his kids on the payroll. One was renting his house to his business. That’s a strategy. In another, we looked at the people around him that he was helping like his in-laws. He had a daughter going to Arizona State.

We did our strategy where we shifted some income to their lower brackets. We were able to reduce his taxes by almost $70,000 each and every year. We also were able to do a deferral strategy, which reduced his income as low as we wanted it to go or we were able to get it down. He used that money to fund his real estate. That was back in 2010. You can imagine his portfolio. We got up to a $15 million deferral. He used that to fund his real estate. It’s over $24 million worth that he’s used.

We shift some income to their lower brackets to reduce the taxes. Click To Tweet

Cash-on-cash, a $15 million deferral savings into a $24 million empire. We’re talking about a 60% to 70% ROI cash-on-cash.

He has even winded that down. He owes $2 million which was worth $24 million. It’s money he would’ve given to the IRS, so it’s pretty cool.

The way that works is we had a $15 million tax deduction that we took over several years. He owed the IRS still. He still owes it, but he has the use of that money. He had $7.5 million of cash to work with as a result of that. He took that $7.5 million, bought a bunch of real estate, fixed it up, kept it, built a building, and did a lot of stuff. We did a personal financial statement for him and the guy had $19 million or $20 million of mostly-paid-for real estate as a result. The businessmen, too.

We are not everything. That’s one thing that I learned. I learned that I’m an amazing mad scientist and I suck as a financial planner, so I have to have subject matter experts. That’s why I brought this team here. We’re all building teams. I’m not the only one who preaches this, but we need a team of subject matter experts to build the opportunity to deliver our best case or our zone of genius and let others be in their zone of genius. I connected the dots. When I was listening to your guys’ story, there’s compound interest, but aren’t you guys talking about compound depreciation? If you’re deferring tax and depreciating, you’re compounding the effect of depreciation over time.

It’s even more than that. For instance, we’ll call him Juan, the guy we talked about. He was able to reduce his taxes by $7.5 million. The year we met him, he made $1 million, but he got up to $4 million or $5 million a year in net income. He was able to reduce his taxes by $ 7.5 million, which was a 0% loan from the government. He was really using all the government’s money. What’s compound interest on a zero cost? It’s infinite.

We’re to infinite ROI, right?


How do real estate investors capitalize on depreciation and cost segregation? We’re using language that I know the definition of the word, but the sentence makes no sense to me.

How do you maximize it? Is that your question?

Yes, exactly.

Dad, I’ll let you take that one away.

To maximize that, one, you have to buy a lot of properties. The more properties you get, the more you get.

The people who are reading are in the multiples per quarter or per month. There is a lot of traffic going on.

Capitalize On Depreciation And Cost-Segregation

I would assume that all of these people are considered professional real estate investors. T o maximize it, you want to make sure you put yourself in a spot where you’re taking the deductions. A lot of times people will take a cost seg study, take a big deduction, and it might drive them down into a 10% bracket. You’re better off not to do that. A lot of times, you can only take losses to the extent you have a basis in something. I might be getting a little technical on this, but you might do things to limit your basis in that so that the losses carry forward to the next year. You’re better off to save money. You don’t want to save money at 10% and have to pay it back at 37%.

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks

Tax Hacks: You can only take losses to the extent you have a basis in something.


We looked at one guy’s returns. He was a pretty successful guy. He had taken all the bonus depreciations to put him down at about $500,000 negative AGI. He was throwing a lot of money away by taking that bonus depreciation. He had net operating loss carry forward, but he would’ve saved a lot more money by feathering it in to be a little more sensible on that. That way, you always save the money at 32%, 37%, or, in California, 49%. Instead of taking it down one year to be below zero and then losing a lot of deductions like itemized deductions and everything like that, y ou’re better off the feathered-in and being intentional over a multi-year plan.

Can I add to that?

Yeah, please.

If you add to that with our permanent strategies that we can break down a little bit, and if you do even the Kick The Can plan that we talked about with Juan, then you can utilize that. Let’s say if you want to stop doing real estate at some point and retire, then you still have the use of the depreciation. If you still have the properties, you could still feather that out over a long period of time rather than taking it all in the first year and you have to keep doing it over and over.

I have to say this. When I met Melanie when we were sitting at lunch at a mastermind for speakers, she mentioned this Kick The Can strategy. I go, “Have you ever played Kick The Can? Do you know what Kick The Can means?” I played Kick The Can. Some of you played Kick The Can. We had a good laugh about the Kick The Can strategy. I get it since I played the game. Tell us about the Kick The Can strategy because I keep laughing about that conversation, Melanie.

Kick-The-Can Strategy

To keep it simple, you have one company. Let’s say it’s a S Corporation with a December year-end. Let’s say you have any type of marketing expenses, payroll expenses, construction expenses, or whatever. We could look at your P&L and figure out what makes the most sense. If you put a payroll into a new company with a November year-end and you can mark up those services at 40%, then that payroll company can invoice your main company all year long, but the main company doesn’t get around to paying the bill until December hits.

Since there’s that gap in the year-ends, it creates a huge deduction to the main company, but it’s not taxed to the support company until the following year. You defer it to the next year and then you do it again. You can kick the can indefinitely. We say if you pair it with life insurance, you can kick the can until you kick the bucket or you can stop doing it whenever you want.

Here’s what’s fascinating. How many real estate investors do we know? How many of you guys out there have opened up a new LLC for different properties over time? Kick The Can requires a new entity. You guys would have to define one service or not. I work with people whose empires include 17 to 40 LLCs that you could play this game with, correct?


To give you an example, someone with $1 million in payroll. Let’s say you’re buying flippers and stuff like that, you could put your construction company into a November year-end. $1 million of expense either in payroll or some other form of expense will give you a $2.8 million tax deduction with no cash or little cash.

I  have people who invest in multiple states. They will follow the economy. They went to Detroit in the downturn. They went to Indiana, and then they went to Texas. While there was this reconstruction in these rebuilds, they’re moving from appreciating area to appreciating area. What are some of the tech strategies for multi-state empires?

The strategies are a lot of the same. One thing you have to be careful of when you’re in multi-state empires is you might have income in one state and a loss in another state. They offset each other on the Federal, but you want to have to do a little bit more planning to watch out for that. You could be selling a property in Indiana and then buying a property in Florida. They offset for Federal purposes with a bonus depreciation or something like that, but it does create a bit of a problem statewide. You have to look at that individually and come up with a solution. It really means running your numbers in November and October to make sure you have all the checks written by December 31st. I  have to tell you a little bit of a funny story. We used to call our Kick The Can plan the Crack Cocaine Tax plan.

T ell me about Crack Cocaine Tax planning.

It’s because it was fun and addictive, but at some point in time, you have to go into rehab. It’s a deferral plan, so we’re reminding them, “At some point in time, you got to pay this back. This is an industry loan.”

You guys call it feathering, but is there a way to evaporate to pay over time that owed amount that you keep pushing down? I love it. I’m going to refer to it forever as my crack cocaine plan.

T o absorb it, we have our hangover pills that are your cure to the pain of capital gains.

I love you guys. You are my kind of jam. For so many people, accounting and tax planning is so dry. Are you guys getting this? We’re talking about crack, cocaine, and hangover pills, all solutions. No wonder you’re One Stop. Great name.

We also have our Baby Mama plan. We look at the lower tax brackets around you. If you are with somebody or you have a kid with somebody and you’re not married, then you can utilize their lower tax bracket so it shifts some money. My dad, for example. This isn’t the Baby Mama plan. This is the Parent plan. My grandma is 90 years old and she is at the lowest tax bracket. My dad’s at the highest. He opened up a separate corporation owned by her. He hires her company for services. She’s a passive owner, but he shifts $80,000 of his income to her lower tax bracket. It saves him about $40,000. She pays $10,000, and then he has her keep a little bit and give back the rest. He makes a profit by helping my grandma out.

Grandma gets to take home a pretty penny and be the owner of a major corporation in America.

What was really cool about that story was that my folks didn’t have a lot of money. I gave my mom half the savings from that. $1,500 check every month changes my mom.

Here’s the thing. I have a stipend for my parents every year, but it’s post-tax. I’m doing post-tax, “Mom and Dad, Venmo,” a couple of times a month. I could put them in a corporation. Are they 10-99? We don’t need to go into the details, but they send back half and keep more than they’re getting, so we both win. They get more money than I’m paying them and I get to lower my tax benefit.

Are you reading this stuff? We have Baby Mama plans. We got Grandmammy plans. We got Coke-addled old plans and Hangover. A re you guys getting this? Are you seeing that not only are they creative and vastly intelligent, but they’re also fun as heck? Why not work with some droll CPA? I’m not anything on anybody, but this is amazing. You’ve been talking about bonus depreciation. What is bonus depreciation?

Take it away, Daddy-O.

Go ahead, Byron.

Normally, when you buy a piece of property and it’s a residential property, you’d write that off over 27 and a half years. That means if you paid $275,000 for it, you’re going to get about $10,000 a month. What they do with bonus depreciation is you normally couple that with a cost seg study. What a cost seg study does is it goes in and breaks the property out into a five-year property, a 7-year property, a 10-year property, a 15-year property, a 20-year property, and then 27-and-a-half-year property.

What the IRS says with bonus depreciation is anything that’s in the twenty year or below, you can take it all in the year of purchase. Normally, in a big property for a residential thing, about 25% of the property is considered bonus depreciation. If you bought a $1 million property, you could take a $267,000 deduction or a $270,000 deduction in the year of purchase.

Keep in mind this is being phased down. It used to be 100%. In 2023, it was 80%. This 2024, it’s 60%. They’re having talks about maybe extending the bonus depreciation back up to 100% as a stimulus for the economy. Nothing’s passed. It’s in conversations, but I’ve heard that they’re talking about extending that. Bonus depreciation allows you to take everything upfront.

In the Tortoise and the Hare story, I’m the hare. I may never pass the finish line, but I’ve had a blast the entire race. I’m that guy. I’m the guy who is like, “I want to write it all off today.” What you’re saying is there’s a way to have it all. You can go for a long-term depreciation. You are saying we could go for the full 27. You could go for 27 years on some, and you can go for 5, 7, etc., and balance that out to minimize the total overall tax liability.

It has to be intentional. The key thing is to look at your particularly unique situation and customize it to what works for you. We always like to look 2 or 3 years out in advance to make sure that we’re not doing something that’s going to conflict with a greater scheme of things.

I got sub-questions about this as well. A lot of my investors are using self-directed IRAs to invest because it can’t be self-serving, whatever you invest in, etc. I want to know what are the creative ways to use that so that it passes the arm’s length rules but is also beneficial above and beyond self-directed traditional definitions.

Melanie, do you want to do the story or should I?

Yeah, you could go ahead and do it.

I have a client of mine. He does a lot of wholesaling. You probably have wholesalers in your group. You also have flippers. You have buy-and-holds. You have everything. I have another realtor who does this with big properties and keeps them a little bit. When he’s out buying and looking for properties, what he does is he ties it up with his Roth IRA. He buys an option for a few thousand dollars from his Roth IRA.

After that option is all recorded and done, he purchases the property as an individual. He then does his thing. He fixes it up, rehabs it, and does all this stuff. It is so when he sells the property, the Roth IRA yanks the rug out from underneath the sale and buys the property from him as it’s going into double and does a double escrow. This way, he captures most of the gain inside the Roth IRA. It doesn’t take that much cash because you’re using an option.

What my tribe knows me for saying everywhere all the time is, “WTF, MF.” What did you say? I go tank my own deal so that I can exercise the option. It’s not self-benefitting because I own the option but not the property, so I pull the rug out from underneath the clothes.

No, because you can’t do prohibitive transactions with a Roth IRA, but with a Roth IRA, I can buy an option to buy your property. After you have that option done, as an individual, I can buy that property from the person subject to the Roth IRA. That is not a prohibited transaction because I’m not doing business with the Roth IRA. I’m buying something subject to a loan with a Roth IRA.

You can't do prohibitive transactions with the Roth IRA. Click To Tweet

This is magic.

That way, it’s not a prohibited transaction.

I am known in my entire industry as the doc connector, doing things that are outside the box, coloring outside the lines, but not breaking anything. The whole truth, nothing but the truth. There is so much flexibility when it comes to this third-party idea. It’s another entity.

An interesting fact is the tax code is so thick that if you held it out and shot a Colt 45 at it, it wouldn’t penetrate the tax code.

T hat’s my point. Many in marketing say, “Find your person and alienate everybody else.” That’s because if they’re not your person, then why waste the time and energy? Every one of my tribe members is looking for the legal play that gives them an advantage. You guys have given us only 42 in the 10 minutes we’ve been talking. You have fun names like Baby Mama and Grandmammy strategy. These are amazing. I love this Roth.

I don’t know if you know the story that one of the founders of PayPal put his shares into a Roth IRA, and then when it blew up, it was all tax-free. I went to my tax planner and said, “I want to do that with my software.” Tell me then. What are some of the misconceptions or the limiting and fixed beliefs people have about tax planners? You’ve already blown everything up. My people are like, “I know why Merrill loves these guys.” You’ve already blown up the misconception of the dull, boring tax planning crew. What are some of the other limiting fixed beliefs that people have about tax planners, tax planning, or the strategy side of things?

Misconceptions About Tax Planning

A lot of the time, people, if they have a CPA, feel comfortable. We always say, “Get a second opinion. It doesn’t hurt. It’s like any type of diagnosis.” If you’re doing construction work, we’ll say, “You get multiple quotes, so why not have somebody else look at it from the outside and make sure you’re good? It’s the biggest expense of your life, or at least one of them, so why not have scrutiny on it?” That’s one thing I’d say. I lost my train of thought, so Dad, I’ll let you in.

What you really want to find out is if your accountant is working for you or working for the government.

That’s brilliant.

The way you do that is you have to pay attention to the questions they’re asking. If they’re asking questions on how to fill out the forms, they’re not asking the right questions. If they’re asking questions on how to save you money, then that’s the right person for you.

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks

Tax Hacks: Pay attention to the questions you’re asking.


What you’re saying is, and I’m not saying anything about this conversation, if your CPA doesn’t have a little creativity  in their bones, they might not be the right people for you.

If you’re the one always going to them with strategies, that’s a red flag.

That’s a huge red flag. That’s brilliant.

Two, if you’re making money, they should be a profit center for you, not a cost center. A lot of people think their busiest season is tax season. It’s busy, but our busiest season is the end of the year because we’re meeting with all of our clients, running numbers for them, and making sure that they’re marking off everything. We have a checklist of all of our strategies and continually add to it. It’s to make sure that we’re not missing out on anything. That’s what my thought was that went away. It came back.

You read it here first. Your tax planning needs to be a profit center, not a cost center. You need to make sure that they’re coming to you with strategies, not you’re going to, “I heard about this Baby Mama strategy. What do you think we should do?” If they’re like, “Run,” run towards One Stop. You guys run away from them and run towards One Stop.

It really does depend, though, on your personal comfort level. Some people want that super-conservative CPA, and that’s fine. For that person, we’re probably not the right group.

You’re speaking to the right audience because my splitting-of-the-arrow bullseye audience is people who are like me. If you’re not like me, you’re probably not going to fit in my tribe. You guys are exactly what I want to promote to my people because you are creative. You do read between the lines. You open the blinds and see the truth instead of the mural that’s on the blinds that we think is reality. You guys are looking for solutions to these challenges.

I’ll also add to your misconceptions. A lot of people, especially with the IRS agents talk in the past couple of years, are afraid to get audited. They’re afraid to do anything that might be looked at. The key to that is tax planning with industry averages and doing strategies with industry averages so that you can catch things that will be red flags. Our audit rate has been half of the national average. It’s not because you get creative that it means you’re going to cause scrutiny in yourself.

Most people are afraid to get audited. The key to that is tax planning with industry. Click To Tweet

I’m glad you brought that up, Melanie. Aristotle said that the good was the mean between the extremes. Evil is on both sides and the mean is in the middle. If you guys are half the audit rate, then that means you are using that bell-shaped curve to your advantage, but not selling out because you’re afraid. Am I understanding that correctly?


It’s interesting what causes an audit. Most people don’t know that. They’re like, “If you do this, it’s a red flag by itself.” What causes an audit? If you look at every corporation return or every LLC, on the top of that form, it says a code number as to what type of business that is. It might be 235110, or it might be 478653. Each code represents a different industry based on what you do. What triggers an audit is when the iris looks at your numbers and the average numbers for that code for your revenue are different. That’s what triggers an audit.

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks

Tax Hacks: What triggers an audit is when the IRS looks at your numbers, and the average numbers for that code for your revenue are different.


One thing we do for a lot of people is do the Augusta Rule where you use your home for your corporate board meetings. I rent my home to my corporation for $1,000 for a 1-day rental and I get $14,000 a year tax-free. That alone doesn’t cause an audit because that’s listed as rent expense on my corporation return. Almost every business has a rent expense. People say, “That might trigger an audit.” It doesn’t because it falls within the industry averages for rental expenses.

This is fascinating because we rely on the SIC and NAICS codes to build fundable businesses and codes that are highly fundable. It’s 8742 for the SIC and 541611. For every single one of my clients, we optimize their businesses to be those exact things because I happen to know the exact metrics for everyone or for that business in every instance. That is freaking brilliant. Are you reading this stuff? I’m a genius for knowing geniuses, not for my own account. That is spectacular. Those red flags can accrue. They could be yellow flags or red flags. 1 thing may not be out of sorts, but 5, 6, or 10 things being out of the norm will trigger a review.

What happens with an audit is your return gets flagged and they give it to somebody to take a peek at. What we do is review returns to see that they’re in line. If something is out of whack, what we do is put the actual proof inside the return. What happens is they get the return, give it to a person, flip through it, and look at it. You have the proof for the items that are out of whack. We have the proof attached to the return, so then they say, “Here’s the proof.” They put it back in the pot and it eliminates the audit upfront. That’s another thing we like to do for people.

I bring on my guests because I’ve learned something from them, but I was not prepared for all of this. Melanie, where have you been hiding all of this? You didn’t talk about this at lunch to me while we were at the event. T ell me. What are upper reaches? I want to go to the higher echelons and the lower echelons of savings. I know every situation is different, but what can somebody count on for cost versus benefit analysis for them to be like, “This is easy. There are no brains required in making this decision.”

We always offer free tax assessments. That’s where I’ll ask some questions and uncover estimated savings. The average person on that call who’s netting over $200,000 saves $70,000.

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks

Tax Hacks: We always offer free tax assessment.


That’s at least one trip to Spain in the summer.

That doesn’t count the deferral strategy. That’s permanent savings, and that would be year after year what we could save them. That’s the average. The most that I’ve ever seen in permanent savings that were saved has been $250,000 or somewhere around there. The biggest deferral I’ve ever seen is a $9 million deferral. That was the calculation that we could have spread out over time. Outside of our client that we talked about, that has been the other biggest one.

Are you saying that you guys will do a quick peek under the hood for free so somebody can say X versus Y and know where the value lies with you guys?


We like to show them what they’re leaving on the table. Usually, if we want to move forward from that, we charge a small fee for what we call our initial tax plan. We guarantee you’ll save at least three times it. We go through and look at a couple of years’ worth of returns. We go through and give you a written report on how to save money.

Our initial tax plan will guarantee you'll save at least three times. Click To Tweet

I’ve got a bunch of clients who have done EIDLs or something like that. Are there special plays in how to navigate the EIDL? Some of them have in the next six months or the next year or so these huge payments coming at them. Do you know the EIDL world at all?

I don’t. I apologize.

That’s okay. M y strategy session, if it wasn’t already scheduled, before the end of this episode will already be scheduled. I had the initial, but I wanted the answers to the same questions you guys did. I’m getting my tax strategy planning session with these guys . Don’t you have a team of people, Byron, that are all trained by you and that are all pros to make this happen?

What we do is we’ve developed a lot of systems. I’ve trained a lot of CPAs. We have partnerships with three CPAs. Some of them are EAs too, Enrolled Agents, which is good. My job is to design the systems. We train the people on how to implement the systems so that everybody is getting the same thing across the board. We have multiple people that we can work with. A lot of times, it’s finding the right person to work with, one that matches your level of aggressiveness and one that matches your personality profile.

Find the right person to work with that matches your aggressiveness and personality profile. Click To Tweet

You mentioned this several times about having grandmammies, children, and baby mamas. You talked about lower tax brackets. Without getting into all the details, how do we defer those taxes or lower tax brackets by employing them, contracting them, or otherwise? What is that mechanism?

Lower The Tax Brackets

It depends. That’s the thing that all CPAs say. If you have an S Corp, you want to pay them through yourself as a sole proprietor and then issue them a W-2 from there. That will get you out of payroll taxes. That’s a way to hire your under eighteen kids. If it’s like my dad’s situation with my grandma, it’s through another corporation. He formed an S Corp in my grandma’s name and hired her company for services. There are actual services being performed in that company. She’s a passive owner though, so she doesn’t have to be the one doing the work. That’s how we funnel it that way. It really depends on your particular situation. Did that answer your question?

Yes. Go ahead, Byron.

Let me add to that. Probably a lot of your customers out there have kids in college. Would they probably love a way to make college tax deductible?

Yes, please.

What we do for that is similar to my mom’s plan. We form a corporation owned by the child. We have that child’s company do a service. Maybe it’s Instagram postings or social media. They do it better than we do anyway. What we do is if that child makes $40,000 a year, the tax on that happens to be $2,500. They get an education credit, which most of us make too much money to take the education credit. The child gets $40,000 tax-free and you get a $40,000 deduction. What you do is you have the child pay for their own college out of the distributions of that S Corporation.

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax Hacks

Tax Hacks: Most of us make too much money to take the education credit.


You can also do it to get in-state tuition for some states. We had a client whose daughter went to another Arizona state. We talked about that a little bit earlier. We got her in-state tuition. Not only did we save the out-of-state tuition, but every time she comes and visits home or every time her dad visits her, it’s a tax deduction because you’re visiting a vendor.

Do you have to prove paternity?

You don’t have to as long as you trust the person.

Are DNA samples required for these children who are in college?

Not for them.

You have to trust them to give you the money back. If you’re paying for their college anyway, it’s a no-brainer.

Can’t you also be in a joint account in which they’re a passive owner and you manage the accounts?

Yeah. We typically do that. You are still shifting it to their social security, so you have to make sure you trust that.

We want to make sure that it’s a zero-sum game against their tax liability that’s accounted for, etc. Byron, tell me an interesting story about you so that my people can get to know you a little bit better that isn’t associated with tax. I told you I went to prison for guns and drugs. It was ecstasy, which is now clinically legal, so I was ahead of my time. Byron, a story about you that most people don’t know but tell us about who you are and how we can count on you.

I have a superpower. My superpower is that I can’t be killed. I ’ve been robbed at gunpoint.

That’s a great story.

I’ve been stabbed. I  also drowned. I was an abalone diver. I got tangled up in kelp twenty feet down and passed out under the water.

You’re killing it here. I love this.

I caused an avalanche. I was skiing. I ducked a rope, skied out of bounds, and caused an avalanche. I had to be rescued. They had me hug a tree and they threw dynamite around me to blow the snow out. I did get arrested for that one for trespassing. When I went to court, the guy said, “How do you plead?” I said, “Guilty by insanity.” I still had powder and I couldn’t help myself. He said, “You don’t have to.” I said, “I’m guilty of sin, your honor.” He only fined me $100 though, so that was good.

Life-threatening and ears bleeding from the dynamite was enough for punishment.

I then had a cardiac arrest.

He had a heart attack first.

I had a heart attack. I was mountain biking and had a heart attack on top of the hill. I thought I was having a bad stomach because I ate a bad burrito at Starbucks. They left me on the top of the hill. I said, “I’m going to ride my bike down the road. You guys go down the trail,” so they left me up there having a heart attack all by myself. Thank God there was a doctor who rode his bicycle up the road. He checked me out and called an ambulance.

A week later, the hospital didn’t gimme blood thinners, so my stent clogged up and I went into cardiac arrest. My son had to do CPR on me. Let me tell you. CPR really hurts. It’s painful because they have to break all your ribs and compress your heart. Last August 2023, I was riding my mountain bike again. A tree fell out of nowhere and landed on me. It was a 70-foot-tall tree. It broke my neck and back, so I had to wear a brace for four months. Luckily, I came out of that pretty good. My golf handicap has dropped two points since I broke my back.

What we learned from all this is Byron’s not going anywhere. W here are you guys out of?

We’re in California, but we work all over the nation.

That’s what I want to know. Mad props to you. T hat’s death-defying.

It must be inherited because I used to skydive when I was in college. In my very first solo dive by myself, I had a shoot malfunction. My lines twisted. I didn’t crash, luckily. I was a good student. I remembered what I was taught. I got out of it.

That’s awesome. You’re adrenaline junkies. All we need to know is that you’re going to be around to be able to help your crews get their stuff done. This is amazing. Besides that one, Melanie, what tells us about you above and beyond One Stop Tax Strategists?

I like to be creative so I like to write some music.

Tell them what you do in Africa.

We have a school over there that we’re helping. There are about 300 or 400 orphans.

This is what I want to know.

We’re going with our kids this summer 2024, my husband, myself, and then my kids. My 2 6 and 8-year-olds, we’re going to take them to Africa and get to go over there. That will be a lot of fun.

If you guys haven’t fallen in love with them like I have, then whatever. You’re dismissed. The bottom line here is that the reason why I love this part of the interview is because we’re all doing the thing we are doing for one reason or another. You’re a family business. You’re doing it because it’s your jam. You’re invested in it. I don’t want somebody who’s doing a job doing anything for me. When I get people money, it’s like I’m getting them my own money. I’m showing up for them because it’s my passion.

I wanted my crew to learn a little bit more about you. What most people didn’t know, Byron, is mountain biking and all the things that you’re doing that keep you alive, well, and engaged. Melanie, with a school that you’re hosting, sponsoring, and building to serve others, that lets us know that you are forces both inside your profession as well as in the world. Thank you for joining me. Where can my people get a hold of you? How do we get our consultations? How do we do the things that we do?

I do a lot on Instagram. I do it on my own personal account at @MelanieSikma. If they want to follow us at @OneStopTaxStrategists, I tie them together, so you’ll see the same thing. Unless you want to see my personal weirdness, you can go on mine.

D o you do TikToks? Do we get to watch you dance?

I’m off and on on TikTok. I’m not always there. It’s not as consistent there.

@OneStopTaxStrategists or @MelanieSikma on Instagram.

T hey want to text Get Fundable to 209-924-4192. We can give them white papers about the Augusta strategy and kids’ payroll and walk them through how to do that if they want to take advantage of that.

There are some free goodies for you, what I call Scooby snacks, that you guys would be able to see how badass they are and the giveaways that you can do. Text Get Fundable to?


A little-known fact, when Melanie and I first met at the event, we were talking about where we came from. I graduated from Modesto at Fred C. Beyer High School Ripon, which is where Melanie resides. Byron as well, right?


You guys are in Ripon, which is eleven miles north. We’re super close. They were all the same football competitive areas and stuff like that. She was a couple of years younger than me going to school, but Byron and I were probably peers. I love Central Valley. Thank you for coming and joining me on the show. It’s been a delight. You guys are so much fun. You’re big-time pros. I’ve learned so much about what is capable and what’s possible. Everyone, get on their calendars. Do you have a calendar like

I have a calendar link. They can book a call there. We’ll do a free tax assessment. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes. By the end of the call, you’ll know if you’re paying too much in taxes.

Rarely do I say, “You’re an idiot if you don’t.” This one, I’m saying, “You’re an idiot if you don’t.” They have so many things. You don’t know if it’s going to be Baby Mama strategy, Grandmammy, or the Mistress plan. Make sure you get something to start saving more money on your taxes than you think is possible. It’s been my delight having you here. Thank you, Melanie. Thank you, Byron. It’s a pleasure. Tribe, get your stuff together. Let’s do this thing.

“Money for nothing and your dreams tax-free,” we say.

I love it. Be well. You guys have a blessed morning, evening, or afternoon, whether you’re on a treadmill or a bicycle ready to have a tree fall on you like Byron. Whatever you’re doing while you read this, do something. Do it now because tomorrow will be too late because I’ll be coming to you with something new.


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About Melanie Sikma

The Fundability Podcast | Melanie Sikma | Tax HacksByron McBroom and Melanie Sikma are a father-daughter combo. Melanie grew up listening to Byron, a CPA for 40+ years, talk tax and financial strategies with his entrepreneur friends on camping trips. His excitement for helping entrepreneurs make their dreams come true led her into business with him.

They love to help their clients pay as little tax as legally possible and utilize that extra money to fund their dreams. Whether discussing tax and business strategies or the fundamentals of personal finance, they both have a passion for teaching others and work to make often boring and confusing topics fun and easy to understand.