Key Year-End Tax Strategies, Part 1: Individuals

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Craig W. Smalley, EA
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Typically in my column Tax Court Corner, I explore and decipher US Tax Court cases. But in this article, the first in a three-part series, I will focus on year-end tax strategies for individuals.

After 23 years of being in practice, it never ceases to amaze me that clients think that when they bring their tax information to us, we can simply wave a magic wand: “Now you see it, now you don’t.” After all these years, I believe I have most of my clients trained. It’s a process, but you can do it, too – and charge for it.

Beginning with my September newsletter, I emphasize the importance of year-end tax planning and offer a complete year-end strategy meeting, for half price. This offer expires Oct. 15, and then the price goes up.

In the October newsletter, I again emphasize tax planning’s importance and offer the same deal I did earlier, with a 25 percent discount. In November, I offer it again, but no discount. For monthly accounting clients, I add this service to their monthly fee, thus not charging extra for it.

NOTE: Do not do this service for free!

As year end approaches, taxpayers generally are faced with several choices that can save taxes this year, next year, or both years. Employees, too, are faced with these choices. However, employees have some special considerations that retirees and other nonworking individuals don’t face.

Flexible Spending Accounts
To help our clients who are employees take advantage of these special tax-saving opportunities, we have put together a list of items to consider.

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