Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know it’s that special time of the year. Tax time! As you work to gather your documents, close your accounting and make your appointment, here are a few good tips to help you make the most of your tax visit:
Hey! I’m on your side
We are here to help you pay the least amount of tax allowed while still complying with the law. It’s a relationship built on trust. While we don’t like having to tell our clients they can’t deduct their favorite work sweater, we have a job to do to make sure you stay out of trouble. An IRS audit is much more costly than the work sweater you really want to deduct. We also get really excited when we find deductions for you! There shouldn’t be any adversarial relationship with your CPA. So relax! I’m on your side.
Questions, Questions, Questions
The most critical piece to finding tax deductions is knowing your client and asking questions to learn more about your client. I love to ask questions and find out more about my clients. For one reason, it’s much more fun to engage. You never know what you will learn and many of those client relationships become friendships over time. If you are in a new client/CPA relationship and feel like you are getting bombarded with questions, that’s great! Your CPA is learning more about you which will help him or her identify tax benefits you are entitled to. If your tax preparer is NOT asking many questions, you may want to step back and evaluate why. Asking questions is essential to good tax preparation and leads to a trusted advisor relationship.
What else is on your mind?
CPAs know a lot of stuff… Every year we interact with hundreds of clients with all sorts of questions and financial problems. If you have a topic on your mind, it’s likely we have run into the same topic and the same questions before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your CPA that might seem outside the box of tax preparation. If we can’t answer your question, it’s likely we know someone qualified to assist you that can.
The fun continues all year-round
Your CPA isn’t just around during tax time. If a special situation comes up during the year, give your CPA a call before you make that big decision. It’s better to call first and know the consequences of your actions versus acting now and learning the consequences later. My clients are much better now about calling first when making a big financial decision but there have been many times where I had to deliver bad news to clients at tax time which could have been avoided with better planning.
Keeping these tips in mind can turn your next appointment into a valuable client experience. Working in conjunction with your CPA can create a win/win situation for both of you and a lasting trusted relationship.
Find out more about how we can help you pay the least amount of tax allowed while still complying with the law.