Things are about to get busy.Â 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, youâ€™re either buying gifts and spending money on festive activities, or selling gifts and holiday servicesâ€¦ 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 â€“ positively or negatively â€“ on your tax bill for both 2019 and 2020.
So try to take time to relax and enjoy the festive seasonâ€¦ but youâ€™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 Advisorâ€¦
The smartest tax filersâ€¦ from individuals, to solo entrepreneurs, to business executivesâ€¦ 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 Manâ€¦ but sheâ€™s always on your side.Â She thinks about you and your business (or individual taxes) all year long â€“ not just at â€œtax timeâ€ â€“ and sheâ€™s ready with advice whenever youâ€™re ready to seek it.
Just about any qualified CPA â€œknowsâ€ what he needs to know to help with your tax planningâ€¦ but a really great accountant is also a trusted advisor who â€œcaresâ€ about you and your business.Â 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 â€œhear backâ€ from your accountant when the filing deadline is looming, and he wants to chew you out for being tardy with information?Â 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 â€œscoldâ€ you for things that have slipped through the cracks (arenâ€™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 â€“ focusing more on the IRSâ€™s rules than on your (or your businessâ€™s) overall financial health?Â Or does your CPA have the â€œchopsâ€ to go beyond the filing and give solid overall advice you can count on?
Finding a great accountant â€“ one who really cares about you and your business â€“ is a blessing.Â After all, as the old saying goes, people donâ€™t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
â€¦ And Ask For Advice On These Tax-Planning Possibilities
Do you want to â€œbunchâ€ your expenses and income so that you control which years are more â€œlean,â€ and which are more â€œfat,â€ 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.Â You could also just â€œlet the chips fall where they mayâ€â€¦ 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 bracketâ€¦ in both 2019 and 2020?
What will be the impact (on either year, or both) of the new IRS rulesâ€¦ and what about the Alternative Minimum Tax?
Youâ€™d be smart to consider everything from your retirement plan, to your flexible spending accounts, to where to â€œplaceâ€ capital gains and losses to give you the greatest control over your tax situation.
There are lots of â€œmovesâ€ you could make now that can make a positive impact on your tax bill, both now and in the future.Â Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s great to get the advice of your accountant as the year draws to a close.Â Tax planning isnâ€™t the most festive activity youâ€™ll take on this seasonâ€¦ but get help from your accountant, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.Â In most cases, your CPAâ€™s advice will save you more money than it costs. Sometimes, a lot more!