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Making Tax Time Less Taxing

by Tyler Brack, CPA, CA, CFP®

Originally published on FinancialPlanningforCanadians.ca by Financial Planning Standards Council. Adapted with permission.

Tax time can be a stressful time of year. If you’re also retiring or recently retired, self-employed or own a business, a commissioned salesperson, or are going through a significant life change, your taxes may have a new level of complexity that often benefits from professional support. Traditionally, this help comes in the form of a bookkeeper and/or an accountant, but there is one more expert worth considering as a valuable member of your tax team: a CFP® professional. 

An Accountant Files Your Taxes – But a CFP Professional Plans for Them

Getting your taxes done by an accountant can be a smart move for anyone—not just those with more complex tax situations. Accountants keep on top of regular changes to the tax code and engage in ongoing professional development to ensure they’re using the best strategies for their clients at tax time. 

So why would you add a CFP professional into the mix? Simply put, while an accountant’s job is to file your taxes with the maximum benefit to you at tax time, a CFP professional will make sure that your taxes fit with your short and long-term financial strategy throughout the entire year. A CFP professional’s first task is to help clients identify the sources and types of income they have, how these will change over time, and how tax will evolve with them.

A CFP professional can also help make tax time easier by ensuring that your accountant has all the paperwork he or she needs to file your taxes correctly and on time. For example, if your accountant doesn’t know that you have a brokerage account, they aren’t going to ask you for a tax slip for that account—they just work with what you give them. 

A CFP professional takes a holistic view of the entire financial picture, rather than just the taxes.

The Impact of Life Events

Life events— career changes, marriage, divorce, children, health issues, retirement—can materially impact the taxes you pay. In particular, retirement is one that likely affects us all eventually, as we transition from our employer withholding taxes to having to pay tax installments.

Career changes can also be a challenge at tax time. For instance, if you are changing jobs and face a change in income or benefits, your CFP professional can help you optimize your current situation through effective tax planning.

A CFP professional will be instrumental in helping you sort out the financial impact of all the transitions you’ll encounter throughout your life.

At Avail CPA we recognize our clients are looking for one trusted point of contact to provide complete integrated planning services, and we are confident that our new division, Avail Wealth Planning will provided the trusted advice and experience our clients have come to expect. Call or email me to discuss your situation and let me make tax time a little less taxing.

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