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IAM1752 – Certified Tax Coach and Co-Author Helps Clients With Techniques and Strategies on Tax Planning

Podcast interview with Craig Cody

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In episode IAM192 of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Craig Cody, a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Tax Coach, Business Owner, and former New York City Police Officer with 17 years of experience on the force.


As a Certified Tax Coach, Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies to become, as well as remain, certified.
In the interview, Craig discusses his journey as an entrepreneur and the importance of tax planning for businesses. He talks about his unique approach to tax consulting, which involves personalized service and expertise to help clients save money on taxes and improve their bottom line. Craig also shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include staying hydrated and using a virtual assistant to stay organized.
Additionally, he defines what being a CEO means to him, which involves being able to do what he wants when he wants.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into tax planning for businesses and the importance of personalized service in consulting.


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Craig Cody Teaser 00:00

We save a client $20,000 a year. In five years, that's an extra hundred thousand dollars that they've invested. What can that do for them? And you take it out even further, it turns into a lot of money.

Unfortunately, people don't communicate with their accountants. Accountants are probably not the best communicators by nature. If you're a business owner, you're running a business, you are not gonna typically be reaching out to your accountant. You want that person to reach out to you and you wanna be on some kind of a schedule. You guys are both on the same page.

Intro 00:26

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:50

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB Nation architects that are looking to level up their organizations.

In this month, we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. If you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. We have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focuses around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Craig Cody of Craig Cody and Company. Craig is awesome to have you on the show.

Craig Cody 02:15

Thank you very much for having me today.

Gresham Harkless 02:17

No problem. Super excited to have you on. What I want to do is just read a little bit more about Craig so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Craig Cody is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Tax Coach, Business owner, and former New York City police officer with 17 years of experience in the force.

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As a Certified Tax Coach, Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies to become as well as remain certified. With this organization, Craig has co-authored an Amazon bestselling book, Secrets of a Tax Free Life.

Craig, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Craig Cody 02:55

I am ready.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:56

Let's do it. So first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Craig Cody 03:03

Oh God. My first career was being in a police department and there's life after the police department. I was originally an economics major before I joined the police department so I was interested in taxes and then I was interested in doing financial planning.

Figured, let me get my CPA to set myself above the rest of the guys that do what I do and retire and go into financial planning. Then I really fell in love with taxes and planning and estate planning back in the day. That's no longer really a big issue. I started my firm after working for an international firm and slowly over the years, built it up to where we are today. We serve clients across the country.

Gresham Harkless 03:36

Nice. I don't think I've ever heard that on the podcast. I rarely ever hear that I love taxes, so it's good to hear that.

Craig Cody 03:44

But I have a pocket protector too.

Gresham Harkless 03:46

There you go. What is that? It's great to hear that you going fully into what it is that you're passionate about and you start to evolve there, but you also trying to help out other entrepreneurs and business owners. Of course thank you for serving on the force and all the things you did for that as well.

I know you touched on it a little bit, but could you talk a little bit more about like how you're serving the clients and what kind of products and services you have?

Craig Cody 04:07

Sure. We work with clients across the country and business owners. What we do is we basically help them keep more of what they make. So, that's basically through tax planning. Whereas the typical accountant is really good at putting the right numbers in the right boxes, they're not doing any planning to help you save some of that money that you're making.

So the law allows people to do things, to structure things so they can save taxes. Where the Donald Trump's, the Bill Gates, the Warren Buffets, they have teams of attorneys, most people can't afford a team of attorneys to set things up for them. But we work with business owners and we try and give them strategies that they can employ that are cost-effective and help them keep more of what they're making cause they're working hard.

As a business owner there are lot of risk out there. Okay? It's all on your shoulders. So if you could keep some of that money and do things with it, whether it's investing, putting it back into your business, you'll be all the better for that.

Gresham Harkless 04:58

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I think a lot of times, you can have all the tools in the world at your disposal, but a lot of times not having that strategy, not having a way to be able to put it together and things that you're providing to help out these business owners definitely is huge towards being able to be successful.

Like you mentioned, the Bill Gates to Donald Trumps the people of the world that have been and reach a lot of business success.

Craig Cody 05:17

Right, because, as a business owner, you're working on your business, you're building it, you're doing things. You don't really have the time to focus on what should I be doing.

You're relying on your professional to do that for you. Unfortunately, most professionals are looking at it as let me from the compliance side. Let me make sure he's compliant and they're stopping theirs. What we do is we're compliant, but we're also looking for strategies that you could use to keep some of that money.

Gresham Harkless 05:39

Yeah, and that's definitely huge and that might be, exactly, what I usually ask for, which is like your secret sauce, which you feel distinguishes you and sets you apart. Do you feel like that distinguisher between, doing not just the making sure everything's in alignment, but also making business owners able to think long-term about their business and how they're taking care of their money.

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Craig Cody 05:57

It's keeping more of what they make. So if we save a client $20,000 a year, in five years, that's an extra hundred thousand dollars that they've invested. What can that do for them? And you take it out even further, it turns into a lot of money. So unfortunately people don't communicate with their accountants.

Accountants are probably not the best communicators, by nature. If you're a business owner, you're running a business, you are not gonna typically be reaching out to your accountant. You want that person to reach out to you, and you wanna be on some kind of a schedule where you guys are both on the same page.

Gresham Harkless 06:23

That's a really great point because a lot of times, I'm from the tech world, so a lot of times people say they can't talk to their technology person, but I never heard that.

That makes perfect sense, where sometimes, being able to communicate, being able to understand from your tax professional how important it is or your accounting, how important it is for you to do X, Y, and Z and be able to communicate and be on the same page, is something that is rare to find.

Craig Cody 06:44

Yes, definitely. There's a small group of us that do what I do out there.

Gresham Harkless 06:48

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Do you find that there are certain things or certain nuances that people always do when they're business owners that they should be doing better?

Craig Cody 06:57

So, that's why I wrote my book and I'm going to offer it to your listeners. It's the 10 Most Expensive Tax Mistakes that Cost Business Owners Thousands. One of them is failing to plan, okay? Having the wrong business entity set up. All right. Are they in LLC? Should they be a corporation? Should they be taxes of partnership? Are they structured the right way? And sometimes that could be a lot of money. Are they missing out on these new tax rules?

So the new thing this year is the qualified business income, which can be an additional 20% deduction. So that guy that nets $150,000, he can actually be entitled to a $30,000 deduction from the government. Now, has he done what he needed to do planning-wise to make sure he's entitled to that deduction? All right. Like I said, it's not rocket science, it just takes a little bit of planning, and then we go into other strategies, the right retirement plan. Are you hiring your kids? Are your kids old enough? The court says you could hire your kids as young as seven. I like to wait till about 11, but you could pay your kids $12,000 a year and they're not going to pay any federal taxes.

Basically that could pay for hockey camp, that could pay for a lot of different things that the kids are doing.  So you make a non-deductible expense deductible. All right. Then we have another thing people miss is the home office. All right. Are they doing it? Are they doing it correctly? What does a home office allow them to do? Usually, a home office doesn't give you a big deduction, but it allows you know your transportation from your home office to your other office's deductible.

It also allows you to deduct your home athletic facility, which could be your gym or your pool. So these are things that people typically miss because the accountant's got his head buried down. Typically it's both their faults. There's not a lot of communication. People are going to see their accountant in March and April when the guy is his busiest. So I talk to people, you need to communicate, okay. You need to talk about these things and you need to save some of that money and keep more of it.

Gresham Harkless 08:40

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, and definitely appreciate you for putting that together we'll find out exactly how to get a copy of that as well too.

I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book or a habit that you have, or it might be even you touching more on your book. Could you tell us something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner?

Craig Cody 08:58

Yeah. I think what I've found for me is when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is I have a big glass of water. I take just five minutes and I do nothing and in my case, I don't go to email or anything like that.

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I go for about 10 minutes. I go to Google News, just to let my body, because you know what, we're 24/7. We're always thinking about what we have going on, so take a little bit of time to let your body just wake up. I have found that's been very helpful.

Gresham Harkless 09:22

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. To make sure that you're controlling your day in the very beginning and have it going the way that you want it to go, rather than it being ad hoc to your day is definitely a good CEO hack.

Craig Cody 09:32

I think sticking to your schedule is very important. About a year and a half ago, actually, it's almost two years now, I hired a personal assistant and it was probably the best thing I ever did.

Keeps me organized. Make sure I don't stray in those time blocks. It's very easy to pick up that phone call when you really shouldn't. There are no accounting emergencies that can't be answered in an hour.

Gresham Harkless 09:52

Exactly, exactly. Yeah, I just did that today. So, yeah, definitely VAs are amazing as well too. That's another hack as well too, so that's a great thing to remember. Now I wanted ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or something you might tell your younger business self.

Craig Cody 10:07

Something I learned along, it's all about cash flow. Okay? It's all about cash flow. It doesn't matter how much you make, if you make it all in December, it's all about cash flow. You always used to say, having a bad day, Bobby, send out some bills. You need to get those bills out there. All right. Even better yet, put your clients on an automated schedule of automatic ACH or credit card. That's the lifeblood of small business.

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you always hear that. So making sure that you're putting out those invoices and you're getting paid is definitely an incredible importance to make sure that you're staying in business and you can keep the lights on.

Craig, now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners on this show.

So I wanted to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Craig Cody 10:49

Being a CEO to me is really having the freedom of doing the things that I want to do. Not always when I want to do when I wanna do them, but being able to do those things. So I may have to be in on a weekend to do something, but that also means I can go do something during the morning and the week or something like that. So for me, that's what it means. Having that flexibility.

Gresham Harkless 11:08

Yeah, absolutely. You can make it kind of like what you wanna make it. So, definitely appreciate that. Craig, I truly appreciate your time and I appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing.

What I wanted to do was pass you to the mic just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know about your book, everything that you're offering to us, and how best we can get ahold of you.

Craig Cody 11:26

Great. So if you go to my website, there'll be a link there and you could fill out a form and we'll send you an actual paper copy of our book. If you need to reach us directly, the number here is 516-869-4051. The email is

Gresham Harkless 11:46

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Appreciate that, Craig. What we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can get a copy of that book, call you and shoot you an email as well too, anywhere across the country.

So I truly appreciate you. Again, thanks for, all the awesome work that you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Craig Cody 12:01

Thank you very much and have a happy new year.

Outro 12:03

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play. And everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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