The annual tax season is a stressful experience for many consumers, and it’s not surprising. For most people, tax preparation is not a core competency, and trying to do it yourself can be costly and inefficient. For this reason, it’s important to seek the help of a financial professional who can assist with tax-efficient strategies.
In fact, there are times when a good tax planner can be more valuable than a typical CPA or tax lawyer. Aside from ensuring that the proper filings are in place, a quality tax professional can help you navigate a range of other tax considerations that come up throughout the year. They can help you understand how different investments and retirement accounts will be taxed, for example. They can also provide insights into the different deductions and credits that are available to you, which can help you save even more on your taxes.
As the demand for tax-efficient strategies has grown, it’s become increasingly common for advisors to use their expertise in this area as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. However, when advisors start to get more involved in the process of planning for their clients’ taxes, it can be difficult to determine where Steuerberatung starts and ends. The more detailed an advisor’s illustration of a strategy, the closer it comes to crossing the line into recommending specific actions that could be considered a form of tax advice.
There are a number of ways that advisors can avoid crossing the line into tax advice. One approach is to offer only general tax information rather than specific recommendations. This might include simply stating what the rules and regulations say without getting more specific about how it will impact an individual’s situation. Another is to use ranges instead of a single number, as this helps to convey that there is a range of potential outcomes and that the client will need to make their own decision about what to do.
Another way to avoid straying too close to tax advice is to work closely with a tax professional who can help you navigate complex situations. For example, if you’re planning on selling an asset, it’s important to consider the tax implications of that move. If you sell an asset now, it’s likely that you will be in a higher tax bracket than if you sold it next year, and you may want to postpone the sale until after you’ve moved into a lower tax bracket.
Considering how much the tax code has changed over the years, and how complex it is to understand in its entirety, working with a qualified tax advisor can be a smart financial decision. When choosing a tax advisor, it’s important to look for someone who has a strong track record of being able to handle the IRS on behalf of their clients. The vetting process should include asking for credentials and references, and avoiding anyone who can’t prove they’re capable of going toe-to-toe with the IRS on behalf of their clients.