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Working With a Tax Preparer Isn’t Just For Tax Season

Working With a Tax Preparer Isn’t Just For Tax Season

Here’s how to make the most of this important relationship in a time of increasing complexity.

You may have noticed it’s been harder to find tax preparers this year, and fees are rising. Tax regulations grow ever-more complex, and while big tax companies are expanding and improving their online services, many tax practitioners are retiring.

That makes it more important than ever to maximize the value of working with a tax expert by working effectively with them, writes Jean-Luc Bourdon, CPA/PFS and the founder of Lucent Wealth Planning. In an article for Robert Powell’s Retirement Daily on TheStreet, Bourdon lays out how to find experts that meet your needs and how to build a profitable year-round relationship.

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Bourdon says, “Clients who approach tax advisers as order-takers cause the most friction because taxpayers don’t get to choose the amount of tax they pay. Considering a tax preparer as a salesperson leads to a lack of trust that impedes the valuable collaborative process. Tax and financial advisers work with you to identify and plan optimal solutions to your challenges.”

Filing your tax return is a “tax-compliance service,” he adds. People looking for additional guidance and support should proactively ask for it. Bourdon suggests asking your tax preparer specifically for feedback, advice, and planning, and offers some questions to think about, including:

  • How can I improve my tax situation?
  • Are there any red flags in my financial situation that I should be aware of?
  • If you were in my situation, what would you do differently?
  • Is there anything else I should be asking you?

Also read: Testing ChatGPT: What Happens to My Refund if I File an Extension?

Your tax preparer can offer insights on tax planning strategies that may work best for your particular circumstances. They may also be able to recommend specific financial tools or resources to help you stay organized and on top of your tax obligations.

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