Misunderstandings Can Be Expensive — Are You Guilty?
A recent article in Accounting Today, a trade magazine for the accounting profession, recounted what they thought were the most common misconceptions our clients have about those of us who are accountants. Among them were that just because a client hasn’t had issues with the IRS, they think their accountant is great; that all accounting and tax preparation services are roughly equal; and that computers do all the work because it’s just a matter of filling out forms.
Talk about misunderstandings! These can be **expensive** myths to believe. And if they’re true, then we have mostly ourselves as a profession to blame, because we haven’t done a good job of educating our clients or the public at large.
So let me be very clear: accounting and tax preparation is a combination of art science and knowledge. It’s a matter of looking at the client’s entire financial situation, digging to find all possible breaks and deductions, and serving the client needs to the best of our abilities within the limits of the law. It is highly individualized service, tailored to each client. And it takes years of study and practice, as well as on-going training, not to mention a great attitude and enthusiasm to do the work.
Just as two attorneys can look at the same evidence and one builds a case for innocence while the other builds a case for guilt, your tax and financial situation is a set of facts (evidence) that can usually be managed and presented to the IRS and other taxing authorities in several different lights. Taxes must still be paid, of course. But they should be minimized not just today but into the future as well. We do that with diligence and integrity with your best interests in mind.
It’s heartbreaking when clients come to us after having made major financial decisions — often with what they thought was either good common sense or even professional advice — without regard to what the tax ramifications would be. We’ve seen what should have been profits turn into losses due to tax liabilities that were needlessly created.
Once actions have been taken, such as selling an asset or liquidating an account, there’s not much that can be done. But earlier, when the decision is being deliberated, a call to our office could literally save thousands of dollars. We’ve seen it happen.
There are ways to minimize the resulting tax burden you’ll have at the end of the year, if you consult with your tax advisor (which we hope is Uselton, Clay & Bright) throughout the year, and we’re more than happy to help.
That’s why we say that at Uselton, Clay & Bright, we’re accountants adding to your peace of mind. Give our office a call today to see what we can do to serve you.