Now that we’re on the backside of 2018, we’re at a critical time to review and check in on strategies that you may or may not be deploying for your business and investments. While my team and I are experts in the Tax Code, a lot of times, our clients forget that we give out loads of advice on the tax implications for investment strategy.
So you shouldn’t be shy about asking questions — particularly now.
A lot has already happened — financially speaking — but you still have four months left. That gives you plenty of time to revisit your investment and tax strategy — and make a few course corrections, if needed, before the year closes.
So what issues should you be thinking about for our meeting? Here’s the “Top Six” as we’ve seen it, year after year…
- Do you see any problems ahead that I don’t see?
This question prompts us to take a deeper look into your current tax plans and how “on track” you are for hitting your personal and professional financial goals. These benchmarks might include investing for your kids’ college costs, retiring at a certain age, or leaving a legacy for your family.
- Is my business tax liability properly organized based on my current financials?
Occasionally, you may need to adjust your quarterly tax payments to maintain your ideal mix of cash on hand and tax liabilities. This process might suggest we pay a little more (or less) to ensure adequate cashflow moving forward into Quarter Four and Quarter One.
- Interest rates are rising — do I need to take any actions?
Depending on your personal financial situation, we might look at any institutional investments you’re thinking about making and projecting how having access to that cash on hand at a lower rate offsets any tax challenges that could trip you up next Spring.
At the same time, we might also talk about any existing or new personal debts. This could be a good time to lock in a lower rate on a mortgage or other loan before interest rates rise further, especially if you are using an office in your home.
- What financial “to-do” items should I consider tackling in the second half of the year?
This is a great question that lets you pick our brains about financial tasks you may have missed. Should you add or subtract insurance? What about applying for a line of credit? Or diversifying your tax-advantaged accounts?
- Is there anything I’m overdoing that I should relax on a little?
This might sound like an uncommon question, but it’s one that I really appreciate. Just think: It can be tricky for me (or ANY!) CPA to say, unsolicited, “Hey, you’re ahead of what we’ve modeled for 2018. You can afford to live a little!” However, sometimes that’s the right answer.
You could be doing such a standout job of planning for your business that you’re not fully enjoying the present.
- I’ve gotten married, had a child, or experienced another life change. How does that affect my investments?
You should always review your tax strategy if you’ve had a major life change or if your financial goals have shifted. If you sold one of your businesses, for instance, you might swap your goal of investing in a beach home for a new goal of starting a business.
Whatever you do, let’s take an hour to sit down and discuss how – and what – actions you can take right now to mitigate your tax burdens – especially with a solid financial basis for 2018 already “in the books”…