When Allen and I started our firm in the late 1990’s we committed to meeting all our client’s financial needs. We believed, and still believe, that all financial decisions (investment, tax, insurance, legal) should be made in the context of a broad, comprehensive financial plan. This plan doesn’t need to be a 56-page document in a three-ring binder necessarily, but it should encompass a view of our client’s financial picture from 30,000 feet. Through the years we have sought to enhance this benefit through strategic partnerships with various legal, accounting and insurance professionals. In that vein, we are excited to roll out a tax planning service that will help us better consider a client’s current tax situation when making investment related decisions.
Taxes aren’t fun. We haven’t met anyone who looks forward to paying the annual Federal and State government taxes. The process isn’t enjoyable. Most clients live their lives and then tally up how much they owe in April. Many CPA’s and other tax preparer’s simply record information given to them and make sure the complicated forms are completed accurately. Is there a better way? What if we estimate a tax picture in November or December and adjust your portfolio before the end of the year to produce a more thoughtful result in April?
Our new tax planning software helps us do just that. By uploading your 2022 tax return and making estimated adjustments to the 2023 categories, we can estimate how changes to your taxable income effect your taxes due. It is one thing to tell a client we should realize a $5,000 capital loss to minimize their liability. It is another, more powerful, observation that by realizing the $5,000 loss they will owe $1,750 less in federal taxes and $550 less in state income taxes.
Of course, we are not CPA’s and do not offer any tax advice, but by using this software we can more accurately estimate the tax implications of recommendations we make.
This software is not for everyone. Clients with straight forward tax returns do not get the same benefit from the analysis we can provide as those with more complicated information. If, however, your return is more involved, issues like alternative minimum tax, phase out of itemized deductions, the taxation of social security benefits, MAGI income limitations etc. become factors to consider. Make sure you check with Allen, Eric or myself to see if you would benefit from our complimentary tax planning analysis.
- Doug Lagerstrom