CPAs’ Top Year-End Tax Tips for Trying Times
How to brace your clients for tough news. Are you ready? Join the survey; get the results.
October 26, 2009
With October 15 now past, accountants and tax professionals are turning their attention to year-end tax planning with their clients. And there’s no shortage of topics and strategies to cover.
With the American economy still in the grips of a credit freeze and a “jobless recovery,” governments at all levels seem to be scrambling to revamp tax regimes. That’s making the tax-planning situation unusually complex and treacherous according to CPAs.
Roby Sawyers, CPA, Ph.D., an accounting professor at North Carolina State University, and a member of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, thinks clients should be getting a sobering message this year.
Busy Season 2010: How are CPAs gearing up?
“My primary advice,” Sawyers says, “has been: ‘Put your retirement money in Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) plans.’ With the huge deficits facing the country, it is hard to see how tax rates are going to do anything but increase in the future.”
Jeff Porter, CPA, MST, at Porter & Associates in Huntington, W.Va., a two-term member of the Tax Executive Committee and leading CPE provider, says: “First and foremost, advisers need to be keeping their eyes on Washington.”
Porter notes that there are a number of proposals to extend expiring provisions such as the deduction for sales tax on new vehicle purchases, the first time homebuyer credit, the bonus depreciation and extending the exclusion for $2,400 for unemployment. “When planning for 2009 and 2010 it is important to watch for last-minute changes in the code,” Porter says.
Specifically, Porter notes:
In New York, at Citrin Cooperman & Co., Manny Diakogeorgios generally agrees and takes a slightly different approach to what CPAs should be talking with clients about:
Savvy CPAs know there are a few good practice-management reasons for talking early with clients about the new issues and complications of their tax situation. First, the conversation braces them for the extra services that may be required this year, softening the blow from a potential billings increase. And, second, it’s a chance for the accountant to make sure the client is gathering and preparing the needed documents, making filing season just that much easier.
I’m sure you have your own special issues and strategies you’ll be talking about with your clients during this pre-season busy season. Let me know by e-mailing me and we’ll share the best in upcoming AICPA Insiders.
SURVEY: Busy Season 2010: How are CPAs gearing up? Join the survey; get the results.
RELATED RESOURCES: The 2010 Cumulative Tax Guide.
Copyright © 2009 CPA Trendlines/BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. First published by the AICPA.
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