Your CPA Will See You Now

It’s mid-November and the last thing you want to think about is taxes. But this is exactly the time when you should be thinking about taxes. Even better, pay a CPA to think about them for you.

November and early December are the perfect times to meet with your accountant. Here are 6 reasons why.

*It’s their slow season before the tax rush starts in mid-January. From January to April (or sometimes September), they don’t have much time to chit-chat, have coffee or lunch with you, and just get to know you better. Spread a little holiday cheer, and allow them to do the same while doing a service for you.

*Many 1040 preparation fees include a tax review meeting. If you are only seeing them to drop off your organizer and/or sign your return January – April, they hardly have time to mention the year-end review. The 4th quarter seems like a lifetime away, to everybody, in the spring. Many accountants are willing to include a review because it makes their job easier in the spring, while helping you pay less in the meantime.

*Even if the CPA charges you for a year-end meeting, it will most likely save you more than the cost of the meeting.

*Although you have until March 15 or April 15 of the following year to make major decisions like IRA and HSA contributions, there are plenty of substantial decisions that have a December 31 deadline. Like what? As just a few examples, you could offset a capital gain; make a charitable deduction plan; even set up a small business and record revenues so you get to deduct expenses and get the brand-new QBI (Qualified Business Income) deduction.

*If you’re saying, “the what deduction?” maybe you should go see your CPA.

*OK, that wasn’t fair. The QBI deduction can be an extra sweet new deduction for people with small businesses. Even tiny businesses. Say, like that online business you’ve had for a while with a PayPal account that’s now bringing in several grand a year but you haven’t declared any of it. Rather than keep it under the radar, why not declare it above board, but take advantage of possibly writing off your cellphone(s), internet service, mileage, home office, a trip or two, AND get the QBI deduction? And perhaps sleep a little better knowing if you get audited, you declared it with the help of your local friendly neighborhood CPA.

Spare an hour with your accountant now, and you’ll both be happier come April 15. Don’t have an accountant? Ask your fee-only financial planner for a few recommendations. Don’t have a fee-only financial planner? It’s hard to say if we can help for sure, but we’re glad to listen to your concerns. Schedule a call at:

Holly Donaldson

Holly Donaldson, CFP® runs an hourly and fee-for-service financial planning practice virtually from her Tampa Bay, Florida office. She also works with clients throughout the U.S. (except Texas) interested in retirement and tax planning advice without product sales or investment management. Holly is the author of The Mindful Money Mentality: How to Find Balance in Your Financial Future (Porchview Publishing, 2013) and publisher of the award-winning monthly e-letter, "The View From the Porch."

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