You Know What They Say About Taxes

Tips to Make This Year as Seamless as Possible for Yourself and Your Clients


3 min read

Micah Shilanski
Micah Shilanski
Financial Planner, CFP®

You know what they say: nothing in this world is as consistent as taxes. Unfortunately, we all know how true that can be. However, you may be making mistakes in tax planning that lead your clients to pay more than they should. With tax day fast approaching, read on to learn how you can adjust your tax strategy to save yourself headaches and your client’s money.

Be careful who you trust.

Look, Mom wasn’t wrong about following that kid off a cliff, and we aren’t wrong about being judicious about who you get your tax advice from. Our recommendation? First, get this tax guide and you’ll start receiving a handful of high-quality tax newsletters – take your advice from the experts.

These newsletters won’t just send the usual pre-programmed reminders. Instead, they’ll go so far as to take the most complicated parts of the tax code and write them out in layman’s terms–whether you’re at the beginning of your tax journey or a seasoned pro, there is something for you in these newsletters. 

Check the state of your taxes regularly.

None of us are strangers to the idea of tax season. In fact, everyone is used to sitting down once a year to check on the state of their taxes after the holidays. Who doesn’t like to know if the government owes them money back? 

Unfortunately, many financial advisors are self-employed. While this is undoubtedly a net gain for our quality of life, it does have some extraordinary tax implications. Namely, taxes must be filed quarterly in order to stay on the Internal Revenue Service’s good side. 

Consider regular check-ins at pre-selected milestones to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises during tax season. 

Well, that sounds great, but what about my clients?

You know what they say about taxes

We’re glad you asked! You should absolutely be thinking about what can be done to save your client money during this integral time. So continue for some tips on ensuring that your clients get everything they need to have a stress-free tax season and beyond.

Make nice with your client’s CPA.

When it comes to planning others’ taxes, there is one critical ally for you to make: their certified public accountant. To begin bridging this gap, extend the olive branch first. Call your client’s accountant and offer to pay their hourly rate for a discovery call. This will allow you to ask as many questions as possible while still respecting their time. 

Continue to respect their time by making all interactions as seamless as possible. Need them to look at a specific document? Link it in your email to demonstrate your value for them as professionals. This small show of respect could go a long way toward fostering just the amount of goodwill you need to build a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Get copies of the returns.

It’s not uncommon for clients to feel protective of their returns. They hired a tax preparer, got the things approved by the IRS, and want to feel done at a point. However, not having access to your clients’ returns is like refusing to let your doctor check your blood pressure at a well-check. Sure, they can live without that information–but they can probably do better work for you if they have it. 

With this in mind, give your clients the gift of clear communication. Explain to them upfront how important these documents are, and without offering promises you can’t guarantee, explain to them how having their tax returns could help you benefit them further. They’ll be sure to comply with your requests once they understand their reasons. 

Let Retirement Tax Services be your guide! 

Look, we get it. Everybody loves tax season as much as they love going to the dentist for root canals. But we said it upfront, and we’ll repeat it: they’re a constant. It is better to learn how to get ahead of them than find yourself behind them.

Happy Planning!

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