Is your tax situation the same or different from your colleagues at work or your friends and neighbors?
Is your tax situation that you want to get an enormous refund? This will allow you to pay for your summer vacation or buy that new car? Or, is your tax situation that you write an enormous check to the IRS on April 15th?
Because “Uncle Sam will get his money at the last possible moment that I can send it?” Or, is your tax situation somewhere in between? You don’t want to owe the IRS but don’t want a huge refund either?
These three scenarios are where most taxpayers want to be. Although, many don’t end up in the category they would like when their tax return is prepared and finalized. If you owe money but would rather have a refund do you know what changes you can make?
If you are going to have a major life change coming up (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, child goes to college, child turns 17, etc.) do you know what kind of impact that will have on your tax return?
When is the last time your tax preparer/accountant/CPA actually made suggestions to you regarding your tax situation?
Did they ask questions to find out if you are in your ideal situation? Did they ask if you would like a different end result when you file your 1040?
Understanding the Tax Situation of our Clients
At Practical Accounting Solutions we pride ourselves on assisting our clients in understanding their tax returns. We suggest places where they can look for additional savings or to be aware of upcoming changes in their tax situation. The biggest excuse we hear every year is “I didn’t keep track of that” or “I didn’t keep receipts.” This generally revolves around charitable contributions for the average taxpayer and around business expenses for the sole-proprietor. We’ll get into record-keeping at a later date. The fact that your accountant actually cares enough about you as a client to ask the questions is important.
The nice thing about being an accountant is there are lot of discussions around the water cooler or in the break room this time of year regarding taxes and how to get the biggest refund or claim the most deductions or just wonder aloud when that W2 is going to arrive.
Whenever you hear your coworker or friend mention something along these lines you should ask them, “Do you prepare your own taxes or have someone prepare them for you?”
Regardless of their answer, your next comment should be, “I go to this (or know this) great local accountant that will not only prepare your taxes for a reasonable rate but also provide insights into your return and ways to adjust withholding allowances and retirement plan contributions to have a positive impact on future tax returns.”
By having that 30-second conversation you will make a difference not only in the life of your client/colleague/friend but you will also be supporting a local small business.