Some of My Favorite Client Questions

Some of My Favorite Client Questions

I love it when clients ask me questions, especially in advance of taking action. Some ask many questions throughout the year, while others may wait for tax time. Many business and individual clients rely on their CPAs to make sense of tax implications and all kinds of financial matters, particularly about their companies and accounting.

Here are some of the most common questions my clients ask

How do I save on my taxes? Everybody complains about paying high taxes. We just go through their entire return and I show them what more can be done to maximize deductions and lessen taxable income. In advance of tax time, such as mid-year and year-end planning, we can have our biggest impact together.

What entity should I choose for my business? Clients may not understand the difference between an LLC, partnership, S corp., or sole proprietorship when choosing their entity status. I like these questions because I get to weigh in on the setup and have more impact on their tax picture.

Can you explain the cash flow statement, and how I can generate cash in the business? Once clients understand where their cash is going, I believe it allows them to be a better manager of their business. This is a great question to ask me mid-year so we can make corrections if needed.

How can I take advantage of gifting rules?  Some of my clients want to transfer their wealth to children without triggering a gift or estate tax.  By discussing these plans prior to health issues or death, we can create a strategy together that will provide the largest benefit.

How do I handle estate, trust, and inheritance issues? When is a trust tax return required? When is an estate tax return required? How is an inherited IRA handled? Do I have to pay tax on inherited assets? These are great questions for me from both my business and individual tax clients! A major area of personal financial planning is planning for the transfer of property during an individual’s lifetime and at death.

How much salary should S corporation owners take? Business owners want to know how much to pay themselves. New business owners ask when to start taking income from their business. I appreciate being asked these questions so we avoid surprises at tax time.

What is the tax effect of this transaction? Forward-thinking clients may question the tax outcome of a transaction they are considering. Such as “What would the tax be if I sold my rental property?” or “What would the tax be if I cashed in my employer stock options? Pre-planning is a CPA’s dream. I may not know what is changing in my clients’ world unless they call me and ask their questions.

How do self-employment taxes work? These taxes can cause a rude awakening during tax time, and new self-employed clients often need direction. As we discuss the most appropriate entity for their business, we will also discuss tax and income planning strategies.

Looking for a CPA that will take your questions seriously, let’s talk.

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