As the crisp cool air starts to come into Georgia (finally) it is welcomed with pumpkin spice, fall leaves, warm outdoor fires, and Tax Planning Opportunities. As we near the end of the year and put 2018 in the rear-view mirror we need to make sure that we are doing some tax planning and not just tax preparation. Which brings me to the headline of this article: Do You Have a Tax Preparer or a Tax Planner? Do you know the difference? I take it upon myself to make sure you know what you have when it comes to a tax planner or a tax preparer. Please note, each does serve a purpose, therefore you need to decide for yourself what makes sense for you, your family, and potentially your business.
The first item of business is really defining what the difference is between the two. Tax preparation is the action of doing one’s taxes and filing said taxes, whereas a tax planner comes up with ways to minimize the amount of taxes their clients have to pay. There is potential for your tax person be both your tax preparer and your tax planner. In my experience, most are one or the other, however there are some that are both.
Here is my opinion on the differences between a Tax Planner and Tax Preparer:
A tax preparer normally prepares your tax return, probably in a very quick appointment. The preparer normally meets with you 1x per year between February 1st and April 15th. The tax preparer will send you out a big booklet explaining what you will need for the visit. Normally, not all circumstances, they will give you very limited advice on how to reduce your income tax liability.
A tax planner could prepare your taxes and usually meets with you a minimum of 2x’s per year. The planner will help to insure you are going to have the lowest tax liability for that year and maybe future years. They will provide you with personalized strategies to help reduce your incomes now and in the future, will keep contact with you throughout the year, helps to maximize your paycheck. Further, they will potentially give advice on issues like retirement accounts, home purchasing, speak towards death and taxes, etc..
I would encourage all of you to go out and find a tax planner that works for you. The planner may specialize in a business you own or in your family situation. Whatever the case, the bottom line is the planner doing what is in your best interest and do you trust that person.
I invite you to take advantage of our “Tax What If” analysis. If you bring your taxes in to our CPA, who provides our clients with their tax planning, they will be able to run a scenario where you could potentially pay less taxes in 2018. You may also find that you can’t reduce your taxes and you are okay in what you are currently doing. This service is complimentary and is offered the entire year. If you would like to meet with our strategic relationship for a “Tax What If” analysis email us at email@example.com or call us at (470) 839-9001 to schedule a time to meet with the tax planner.
Please keep in mind, this is on a first come first serve basis. The end of the year is fast approaching don’t be left in the cold on this offer. Till next time, stay well!
Disclaimer – Advisory services offered by Wealth Watch Advisors, LLC. All other services are offered through Arseneau Advisory Group. Wealth Watch Advisors, LLC and Arseneau Advisory Group are not affiliated. Arseneau Advisory Group does not provide tax advice. The above article is not to be intended as tax advice but education. The CPA firm affiliated with Arseneau Advisory Group is Independent of Arseneau Advisory Group and Wealth Watch Advisors, LLC. There is no obligation to purchase or invest with Arseneau Advisory Group or Wealth Watch Advisors, LLC to get Tax What If analysis.