10 Times You Should Contact Your CPA

Businesswoman speaking on phone in officeThere may be boons or pitfalls you're overlooking.

By Blake Christian

It is important to contact your CPA prior to making significant business or personal decisions or commitments. Our experience has proven that unwinding a business deal is more costly as deals progress than being involved before you start negotiations.

MORE: Entity Choice in Light of Estate and Gift Tax Rules | 11 Tax Client Questions for Year-Round Billings
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Following is a non-exhaustive list of the more common types of events that should involve input from your CPA, as well as other advisors such as attorneys, portfolio managers, etc.
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Entity Choice in Light of Estate and Gift Tax Rules

Man and woman in meetingWhat advisors need to know about the structures under which their clients do business.

By Blake Christian

As many advisors have learned, the 2013 increase in personal federal income tax rates – up to 39.6 percent, plus a potential 3.8 percent federal tax on net investment income (NII) – combined with a drop in the maximum estate and gift tax rate to 40 percent (only on net assets of $5.34 million per spouse), significantly changed estate tax planning for most taxpayers. It’s especially important for your successful business owner clients.

MORE: 11 Tax Client Questions for Year-Round Billings

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One of the most common questions I get from clients and friends is about which legal structure they should opt for to run their new or existing business. My standard answer is, “Well, it depends.”
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11 Tax Client Questions for Year-Round Billings

Question marksHow to identify post-busy season projects.

By Blake Christian

While most CPAs and staff are in survival mode during busy season, the weeks following Tax Day offer excellent opportunities for CPAs to identify challenges and opportunities, and begin inventorying projects to complete now that the rush has ended.

MORE TAX PRACTICE: A Lesson in Basis Taught to Us by Almond Trees  |  How to End the Tax Revenue Roller Coaster with a Four-Season Practice Model  |  Five Ways to Protect Clients from ‘The Sleazy Six’ Tax Season Scams  |  Tax Season Productivity Hacks  |   How to Sell Bundled Tax Services  |  46 Avoidable Tax-Filing Errors – If Clients Only Knew  |  21 Reasons Why Tax Clients Switch Firms  |

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

This time of year generally presents more opportunities to talk directly with your clients—either in person or on the phone—to discuss their business and personal financial matters. Reviewing their source documents also provides numerous ways to identify work that they’ll need your help with in the coming year.

When you meet with clients in the weeks after busy season, it can be helpful to develop a short agenda of topics to cover. These can include not only industry and technical issues, but also longer-term operational and personal issues. Here is a sampling of questions to consider asking clients—especially those for which you don’t produce monthly financial statements—when you meet with them in the period immediately following busy season.

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