It has been said that the difference between tax planning and tax preparation is December 31st. When the year comes to an end, it is too late to make changes to your financial position. The amount and sources of your income are fixed; the opportunity to do what will permit you to claim most deductions and credits has passed. The only choice left is to prepare your return and let the chips fall where they may.
For instance, many taxpayers make charitable contributions throughout the year, but neglect to keep receipts that would enable them to verify those expenditures for tax purposes. Some drive considerable distances for medical reasons, on behalf of church or scout groups, to school or for business, and yet make no record of their mileage. They leave hundreds of dollars on the table that could have reduced their tax obligation, or even resulted in a refund.
Business owners are often the worst of the bunch. Many of them are confused about tax rules pertaining to things like business expenses and depreciation. They pay out of their own pocket for business expenditures, or out of company funds for personal purchases, often negating tax deductions that could have benefited them.
That is why we feel that the most important aspect of our job is working with our clients to educate and train them on how to make the small changes that can produce real financial benefits every year.
Best of all, in most cases there is no charge for our consulting. You pay for our service in other ways. Our advice is free!