Tax HelpHoliday Time Is Tax Planning Time

Things are about to get busy.  Very busy.

Whether you work for a big (or small) company, or you own your own business, the last couple of months of each year can be quite hectic as you plan for the holidays.

This time of year, you’re either buying gifts and spending money on festive activities, or selling gifts and holiday services… or both!

However, busy as it is, this is the best time of year to think about maximizing your profits and minimizing your tax liability.

There are moves you could be making now which could have a big impact – positively or negatively – on your tax bill for both 2019 and 2020.

So try to take time to relax and enjoy the festive season… but you’d be smart to also try to find at least a few minutes to do a little tax planning before the hour glass runs out on this year.

Get Help From Your Trusted Tax Advisor…

The smartest tax filers… from individuals, to solo entrepreneurs, to business executives… never try to go it alone when it comes to tax planning.

They find a CPA they can trust for solid tax planning advice.

A good CPA helps you stay out of trouble with The Tax Man… but she’s always on your side.  She thinks about you and your business (or individual taxes) all year long – not just at “tax time” – and she’s ready with advice whenever you’re ready to seek it.

Just about any qualified CPA “knows” what he needs to know to help with your tax planning… but a really great accountant is also a trusted advisor who “cares” about you and your business.  You can tell what kind of CPA you have by the level of service you receive:

  • Does your accountant return your calls within a reasonable time frame, or leave you hanging until tax time?
  • Do you only “hear back” from your accountant when the filing deadline is looming, and he wants to chew you out for being tardy with information?  Or is your CPA in touch with you on a regular basis, helping you foresee deadlines and stay ahead of the curve?
  • In fact, does your accountant tend to “scold” you for things that have slipped through the cracks (aren’t all of us busy at times?), or is she positive, helpful, and forward-looking, seeking more to get things fixed than to place blame?
  • Finally, does your accountant just want to get information from you and file taxes – focusing more on the IRS’s rules than on your (or your business’s) overall financial health?  Or does your CPA have the “chops” to go beyond the filing and give solid overall advice you can count on?

Finding a great accountant – one who really cares about you and your business – is a blessing.  After all, as the old saying goes, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

… And Ask For Advice On These Tax-Planning Possibilities

Do you want to “bunch” your expenses and income so that you control which years are more “lean,” and which are more “fat,” to create more predictability in your tax planning?

You can accelerate or defer some things into (or out of) the 2019 tax year: expenses, bonuses, payables and receivables, charitable contributions, etc.  You could also just “let the chips fall where they may”… but there could be some significant savings in some cases if you exert more control over which tax year includes which items.

How will making certain moves impact your tax bracket… in both 2019 and 2020?

What will be the impact (on either year, or both) of the new IRS rules… and what about the Alternative Minimum Tax?

You’d be smart to consider everything from your retirement plan, to your flexible spending accounts, to where to “place” capital gains and losses to give you the greatest control over your tax situation.

There are lots of “moves” you could make now that can make a positive impact on your tax bill, both now and in the future.  That’s why it’s great to get the advice of your accountant as the year draws to a close.  Tax planning isn’t the most festive activity you’ll take on this season… but get help from your accountant, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.  In most cases, your CPA’s advice will save you more money than it costs. Sometimes, a lot more!