Recently I heard this from a fishing buddy who was teasing me since we hadn’t spoken in at least a week. He wanted to rub in a story about great trout fishing at a lake in Montana that he was enjoying while I was here at the office (aren’t cell phones wonderful?).
While I was reviewing a client’s individual tax return I was struck by the same thought. Here I could see some missed tax planning opportunities and wasted tax deductions that a little advance work could have helped save, yet I hadn’t heard from this person until well after the end of the year, too late to do anything about it. I called her and explained the situation so that she would not repeat the same mistakes in 2009, and she said that she wished she had had some guidance last year. My response was: Why didn’t you call?
When CPA’s get established and build a good following of loyal clients, it becomes impossible to anticipate everyone’s tax situation without some help from the client. It’s sort of like expecting my doctor to call me and tell me when I’m sick. If I don’t call him and schedule a checkup, or tell him I’m not feeling well, how would he know? We all tend to get in the same mode of making our payments, funding the IRA, send the tax papers to the CPA, etc. etc., and often forget that laws and personal financial situations change during the year and maybe we need to reevaluate things in order to reduce the tax you pay.
So, even if you don’t feel like your tax situation is out of control, it might be wise to make a call for a checkup. Before the end of the year, while we can still have an impact on your tax burden.