ShepherdWealth&Retirement February 2018








R ight now, people are starting to think about the documents they need to send to their CPA to file taxes before the April deadline. Seems like a good time to do that, right? Here’s the bad news: If you’re hoping to make any changes that will impact your taxes, you’re already too late on all but a very few items. If paying the lowest amount of taxes legally possible is important to you — and it should be — you’ve missed an opportunity to strategize with your CPA towards that goal. Your appointment then becomes a glorified data gathering meeting instead of a strategic planning one. If you do just one thing with your taxes to change your stress level, schedule your meeting with your CPA for the fall instead of the spring. Not only will you sit down and do the planning for the next tax season, you’ll likely have actionable steps you can implement before the end of the year. You’ll know what to send to your CPA, any

changes you’ll want to make before the end of the year, and your CPA will be able to compile this information quickly and efficiently, instead of it being backlogged when April hits. As a result, you’re not stressed and filing for extensions. You can relax and smell those spring flowers! If you’ve been a client of ours for a couple years, you already know this. Remember your “Now Is the Time,” letter? We wanted to remind you to set that strategic meeting with your CPA. You know if you want to make any major changes that will impact your tax filing, you need to make those in the fall. How do we know this is helpful? We had a CPA tell us exactly what I’m telling you. In my opinion, the number one change you can make to improving your tax strategy is to meet with your CPA in the fall. If you’re disappointed you didn’t do that this year, here’s the good news: It’s something you can get better at. Now that you know the

difference a few months can make, schedule your 2019 tax appointment for the fall of 2018. Better yet, come see us immediately after you meet with your CPA to strive for maximum financial synergy! Talk to your CPA early. We can’t say it enough, and we’re happy to be involved with you in this process. If you utilize your financial advisor, who knows how all your pieces fit together, and your CPA, who is able to fill in the tax portion, and if you fill in the personal pieces yourself, your tax season could be much more efficient. A group of smart people communicating and collaborating? That sounds like good news to us. *Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. -David WShepherd, Jr.

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