Businesses and individuals that hire a tax preparer are looking for services beyond just tax prep; most are looking for an advisor who can help them succeed and reach their goals.
Jeffrey Whittaker is one of those advisors. A Texas-based CPA and QuickBooks ProAdvisor® who owns his own firm, Jeffrey helps his clients plan for the future to achieve their financial goals and lower their tax liability.
“Particularly for my business clients, I reach out to them in July in order to refresh their tax strategy,” he says.
During these conversations, Jeffrey says he might ask his clients how revenue has been for the year, how much they have billed year-to-date and how the billings compare to the same period in the previous year.
“We also talk a lot about benefit plans,” he says. “For example, if they quality, they might put some money into a SEP IRA before the end of the year in order to reduce their taxes.
Whittaker advises his clients of the steps they can take to lower their tax liability, such as buying any new equipment before year’s end. “It’s a good move to save taxes; you never know what next year is going to look like.”
Other topics of discussion might include making sure that business owners pay themselves a salary that is considered to be “reasonable” under IRS guidelines, whether they can defer income or billings in order to reduce their tax liability, and deferring income or billings to the following year.
Individual taxpayers can also benefit from conversations with their tax preparers during the year — not only at tax time.
“I might talk with an individual about possibly paying two year’s worth of property taxes, or an extra mortgage payment, in order to reduce their tax liability,” says Jeffrey.
Strong customer relationships are as much a part of your successful tax or accounting business as numbers and tax forms. Regular communication and consultations with your clients is the first step to building that foundation.