Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast


  • The changes that come with the Inflation Reduction Act. (1:40)
  • Potential benefits for some tax payers. (3:16)
  • Predictions when it comes to increased IRS enforcement. (6:19)
  • The inefficiencies within the IRS. (10:32)
  • Where else there may be changes for the IRS. (11:34)
  • How to be transparent about the bill. (16:40)
  • The importance of quality and neutrality in communication. (19:57)
  • How to plan taxes when you don’t know what it will be. (22:29)


When tax laws change and new things are passed in Congress, it’s helpful to have an understanding of how those changes affect you and your finances. Fellow CPA and industry legend Jeff Levine joins the show today to share his wealth of knowledge on taxes and discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act may—or may not—affect taxes.

The changes in tax laws will surely affect some, but, according to Jeff, it won’t be as big of a change as many are predicting. Tune in to hear his analysis of the law changes and what’s going on with the enforcement of tax laws. Jeff also gives great insight into the common struggles involved with taxes and why it’s so important to do tax planning.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

While there are quite a few tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, there’s a lot that is NOT there. - Jeffrey Levine Share on X The bill is a very, very watered down version of what democrats proposed. - Jeffrey Levine Share on X Will we see an uptick in enforcement? I would certainly think so. Do I think that the IRS is coming after mom and pop? No. - Jeffrey Levine Share on X

About Retirement Tax Services:

Steven and his guests share more tax-planning insights in today’s Retirement Tax Services Podcast. Feedback, unusual tax-planning stories, and suggestions for future guests can be sent to

Are you interested in content that provides you with action steps that you can take to deliver massive tax value to your clients? Then you are going to love our powerful training sessions online. Click on the link below to get started on your journey:

Thank you for listening.

Read The Transcript Below:

We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.

Steven Jarvis:     Hello everyone, and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast, Financial Professionals’ Edition. I am your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA. And with me today, I have a very special guest, a fellow CPA and industry legend, Jeff Levine. Jeff, how are you?

Jeff Levine:         I’m good. How are you?

Steven Jarvis:     I’m doing really well. I really appreciate you taking some time to jump on and nerd out with me.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, man, this is going to be fun.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, we had scheduled this a while back and I mentioned as we’re getting ready for the show, I knew there was just a hundred different things we could talk about, but Congress really helped narrow our focus here and pass some legislation that has all sorts of tax headlines in it.

So, I would love to spend some time talking with you about the Inflation Reduction Act and kind of get some of your thoughts around the tax side of it.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, I think I would start with the fact that while there are quite a few tax provisions that are in there, there’s a lot that’s not in there, and that might be the bigger headline for a lot of folks.

And this morning I had a conversation with an advisor, he told me that three of his clients have already reached out to him asking how much their taxes were going to go up from this bill because they raised the tax brackets. And of course, that’s not what happened. That’s just not going to be the case for most people.

And so, I think starting with the fact that no changes to the top rates for most individuals or for individuals, regardless of whether they’re high income or not – no changes to the S Corporation profits, no changes to things like the backdoor Roth IRA. These were all proposed over the last year in some form or another. And all of that has been largely stripped out of the bill.

Even the carried interest, which was in the original kind of approved Senate version, that got removed at the last second as Senator Sinema said she wouldn’t support that provision. So, it’s really a very, very, very watered-down version of what Democrats had proposed starting almost two years ago.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. I’m glad you started with that because anytime taxes are in the headlines or involved with legislation, people do get a bit nervous.

And earlier over the last year or two, there have been some things proposed that could have impacted a lot of people. And so, especially as I talk to advisors, as I talk to my clients, that’s what I try to lead with of, “Okay, here, here are the things that weren’t there.”

And for most of the people I work with, they’ll really see no impact at all. We’ve definitely got some clients who take advantage of the premium tax credit under the Affordable Care Act. And that did get extended with kind of how that threshold works.

So, that’s one potential benefit for some taxpayers, but most people aren’t going to see any tax changes from this most recent legislation.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, at least not without some sort of action. There’s certainly the idea that you may have some sort of electric vehicle that you purchase. And well, hey, now, I’ve bought a vehicle, my taxes might be lower, but it’s because you’re specifically going out there and taking an action that is within that bill.

Or you have your Medicare premium – not your Medicare premiums, your exchange purchased policy, the premiums for that. You’re within a certain level of poverty line income. And now, all of a sudden, you have your taxes lower next year than they otherwise would’ve been.

There are some ancillary things like that, but they are because of the actions that the taxpayer’s taking and not because of the natural “tax rate” that they would be subject to.

It’s not like the 12% rate just became 15% and the 37% rate became 39.6%, as had been proposed earlier. That is off the table, and as you said most people will see minimal if any changes in their taxes.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, that’s a great clarification. And even, there’s some headlines around now, there’s a corporate minimum tax that is included that did pass, but it’s very, very narrow even what corporations that’s going to apply to.

This isn’t your local small businesses. And in fact, I think the final thing I saw was that it probably impacts less than a hundred companies because it’s only companies that have over a billion dollars of income under a very specific definition of how that works.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, I think a lot of this is going to be the indirect effects that people might feel. What is those hundred companies? Well, they’re some of the bigger companies out there. So, you’re likely to own them if you own a large cap mutual fund or the S&P 500 index or something like that. Does that have a material impact on the growth of these companies?

Maybe some, it does. Some, it does not. There’s a potential tax here on corporate buybacks. Does that impact the decision of a company to buy back stock or not? And that’s not really directly impacting an individual, but it may have an indirect impact on their overall financial success or not.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, just like any change in the law, there’s kind of this period where you’ve got to see kind of what was the original intended kind of way this gets carried out. And then how do individuals and corporations respond. There’s always unintended consequences of making changes to tax laws.

Jeff Levine:         For sure. Exactly.

Steven Jarvis:     Jeff, the other headline that seems to getting a lot of attention out of this tax law change is that all of a sudden, now, there’s going to be 87,000 gun-toting IRS agents kicking down everyone’s doors and taking all their money and their cats. What’s your thought on that?

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, that’s just not going to happen. I mean, that’s just scary. Now, will we see an uptick in enforcement? I would certainly think so. Do I think that the IRS is coming after mom and pop? No.

And look, here’s my thinking behind this; I am not one who enjoys frivolous audits, or I should say no one enjoys frivolous audits.

But I’m certainly not for just auditing for the sake of auditing. But if you’re going to have rules, well, then people should abide by them. And it’s pretty clear that in many instances, there are individuals who are not abiding by those laws.

And that is particularly the case when it comes to the ultra-high income, ultra-high net worth taxpayers who may engage in transactions that are much more gray, if you will. And their CPAs, their attorneys, they’re going to push things to the end degree.

They’re going to push them as far as they can because they’re being paid by their clients a lot of money to do those things. So, you do kind of need a policeman, if you will, or a police person to review these sorts of things. And the IRS has to have at least some teeth to be able to do that.

And right now, they are so underfunded. I mean, look, I’ll share a personal story. I filed my tax return in a timely manner for 2020. And as we sit here today, we are well into 2022.

I mean, as you said, we’ve already passed this Inflation Reduction Act, so that gives people an idea of when we’re recording this. Well, I’m still waiting on my own personal 2020 tax refund here, and we’re way into 2022. And it’s ridiculous.

You call the IRS, you can’t get someone on the phone. We’ve gutted the IRS in recent history. And here’s the thing that I really laugh at; there’s so many people who look and say, “Oh, the government should be run more like a business. We have to run the government more like a business.” And I don’t know if that’s true or not. I guess, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.

Some might say it should be, some might say, well, the reason government exists is because there are things that are not profitable that a business would only do because a business seeks profit. And therefore, that’s why we need government to do these things that are important anyway. Fine, that’s your own personal thinking.

But so many of the people I’ve talked to who have this notion of the government should be run more like a business, hate this influx of cash that the IRS is getting, but those are precisely the people who should love this.

Because if you look at the dollars spent on enforcement versus dollars brought back in, in terms of additional tax revenue, it’s a multiple. You’re probably looking at for every $1 spent on enforcement, $3 to $5 back in terms of new tax revenue.

So, if you like to run the government like a business, you should love the idea of the IRS getting additional resources, because they will probably be “profitable” in that regard. In other words, we’ll see more tax revenue back for the revenue that is spent here on enforcement.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, there’s a lot of great thoughts in there. I just have to kind of sit back and laugh because I don’t know what else to do as I see these kinds of headlines of the 87,000 agents, and they’re all going to be carrying guns. I mean, the IRS does have a criminal investigation division. It’s a very, very small subset of their staff.

And to your point, Jeff, a lot of the additional funding to the IRS is to help with the issues that they’ve currently got. I don’t know what the backlog is at currently, but within the last month or two, the backlog was over 21 million returns.

I have a client that has a data science background, and he had sent me his calculations on how much of the STAPLES Center those tax returns could fill up. And it was a daunting amount.

And so, there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement, I think in ways that we would all get on board with, yes, this should run more efficiently. Whether you think of it as a business or a government agency, it is not running effectively. I’ve attempted to call the IRS in the last couple weeks, a few different times.

Jeff Levine:         Good luck with that.

Steven Jarvis:     I did finally talk to someone, and they were very friendly and incredibly unhelpful, but when you’re that understaffed, it’s just a nightmare. Your example, unfortunately, isn’t that uncommon that we’re two years removed from the year in question, and you’re still waiting on 2020 to get resolved. There are a lot of frustrating things going on.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, for sure. And it’s worth also noting you mentioned the $80 billion number. And that’s the number that’s being seized on by folks who are looking to potentially attack this bill and say, “You’re going to have IRS people kicking down your doors.”

But if we look at where that 80 billion is going to be spent, it’s actually not all in enforcement. In fact, there’s $3 billion just for additional taxpayer services. So, just more people answering the phones.

There’s another $5 billion for modernization of systems. There’s $153 million for the tax courts to be able to improve their efficiencies and to do the things that they need.

So, it ends up being about half of the overall amount is for enforcement. So, about there’s 80 billion. And I think about $45, $46 billion of that is targeted for enforcement. But it’s also worth noting too, that is over quite a few number of years. That’s until I think it’s out to 2031 or something like that.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, it’s about a 10-year period. And even if we go back and assume, okay, 80 billion is going to go to enforcement, which to your point, it’s not. But we’ve got to keep in context that for the average person right now, your risk of audit is practically zero.

Most people are never, ever, ever, ever in their whole life going to get audited. And even with this additional $80 billion, I don’t have a specific number, but it’s not like it’s going to 10% or 5%. I don’t know if it’s even a whole percent.

And so, clients, especially asking me about this, my response is because the question I’ll get asked is, “Oh, am I worried about getting audited by the IRS? Or is it going to change anything in the way I approach working with clients?” And to both, its no.

I mean, you mentioned earlier that nobody likes a frivolous audit. I don’t like an audit of any kind. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been through them, I prefer not to.

But if you’re taking an approach of let’s pay what we owe, but not leave a tip. And you’re taking an approach of, if the IRS were to come ask me do I feel confident in my answer? Then if the IRS comes in and asks me, great, I’m not going to be thrilled about it, but we’re going to get through it and we’re going to move on. I’m not going to be scared if the IRS calls my number.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, I mean, we’re talking about current employment levels at the IRS that are the same as they were decades ago. I think maybe even you have to go back to probably like 1970s maybe to see the same level of employees at the IRS. And we have dramatically more tax returns to process now.

And yes, technology in theory should have helped to make things more efficient. But I sometimes laugh the IRS is still running on like those old dot matrix printers. I feel like they go to print out their own return and they have to wait for it to be like … and peel off that little hole punched things on the side. They still use for airplanes for whatever reason. Those sorts of things. So, we need a more modern IRS.

We need more help at the IRS. If you don’t like the tax rules, that’s fair, change the tax rules. But if we have them, let’s make sure that we’ve got people who can explain them, who can enforce them, who can interpret them. And ultimately, who can just do the things that need to get done to run the country.

You keep tasking IRS with more and more things like, “Hey, let’s push out advanced child tax credits in advance and create brand new systems for that and start kicking out …”

Well, like where? With what people are you doing that? We’re waiting on final regulations for the SECURE Act. We have proposed ones, but that doesn’t really mean much for us. We’re waiting on final regulations.

And I don’t know about you, but I suspect you’re seeing the same questions as I am; “Hey, do we need to take an RMD from the inherited IRA that we inherited back in 2020?” I don’t know, but it would be really nice to have an answer. But you know how we get that?  People working and producing the regulations that tell us whether in fact, we need those things.

So, if you want clarity, if you want service, you have to be able to fund the IRS to that degree. And that really, to your point, is separate and apart from the audit and the enforcement part of this.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, I just kind of have to chuckle as you describe that, because I’ve had a lot of the same thoughts of people complain about the IRS backlog, but nobody really complained about getting stimulus checks when the IRS was tasked with sending those out.

There’s all these different things that you can’t just keep asking someone to do more and more and expect them not to break.

Jeff Levine:         No, I mean, even the systems, they have computers that still run on COBOL, which is a programming language that dates back to before we landed on the moon. So, this is how wild our tax … this is an important part of the country; if you are going to have revenues, you’ve got to have an organization that could collect them.

We are running on a system that exists in some cases, not all. There are some more modern computers there. But they have some computers that are running on a programming language that has existed since before we sent people to the moon, which is just amazing.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, that’s a pretty wild way to think about it. Jeff as we got started, you talked about talking to advisors already who are having clients reaching out to them saying, “Hey, is my tax bill going up?”

I mean, how do you approach this with clients? How do you talk to advisors about this, whether it’s this specific legislation or just in general, of how-to kind of stay in front of this and how to message this to clients?

Jeff Levine:         I think the first thing is you’ve got to be honest and transparent about things. Look, when it comes to the IRS and tax policy, it’s very hard to remove politics from the equation.

And that’s particularly true over the last decade plus, because so many of the big tax changes that we’ve seen are passed via reconciliation bills. And I don’t love reconciliation bills for a lot of reasons. This is not a political thing against reconciliation bills. This is more of as a planner, I don’t like reconciliation bills.

Because for those who are listening saying, “What the heck is a reconciliation bill?” This is just the fact that normally, you need 60 votes in the Senate to reach cloture, to get to a vote, but they’re in an effort to make sure that government could actually be funded and make sure it does the minimum things to keep the country’s lights on, so to speak.

There is what’s called the reconciliation provision, which allows certain bills that are related to the federal budget only to be passed with a simple majority. And so, you think budget, well, that’s revenue. So, think taxes and expenditures. So, think spending and also debt. Those are the things that can effectively, the knobs that could be turned by a reconciliation bill.

And if we think about recent history and what’s been in reconciliation bills, well, you had, let’s go back to 2010. And we had the Affordable Care Act, that was passed unilaterally by Democrats. What did Republicans turn around and do?

They said, “We are going to campaign on a repeal and replace like whatever they just did, we want to get rid of it.” Now, in 2017, we had the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that was passed by Republicans. They used reconciliation. And what did Democrats do? They ran on a, we are going to repeal the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

Now, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans in those examples were really successful in going about that. But it creates a tremendous amount of tax uncertainty when one group comes in and passes a bill unilaterally, and then the next group says, “Hey, if you give us control over Congress, we are going to undo everything that the other group just did.”

There’s just not a lot of planning certainty, which makes things really, really challenging from the seat of a financial advisor or just any taxpayer.

So, I think the first thing is just understanding the climate we’re in. And then trying to remove your political bias and we all have it — but trying to remove your political bias, and presenting these things in a fair and objective way, like right now, no.

The objective person should say, “No, your tax rates did not go up. Now, are there things that are going to impact you personally, Mr. and Mrs. Smith?” “Sure.” “Could that mean you’re going to potentially see higher taxes or a greater portion of all dollars will go to taxes? For instance, like we said, indirectly via 15% book tax on corporate profits?” “Well, maybe that’s fair.” “Is this dramatically expected to dramatically reduce inflation?” No, it’s not.

We have to be objective about this. And I think a good advisor has to present that objective viewpoint to clients. And that can be difficult depending upon where clients get their news today. Sometimes you’re trying to reeducate the client, regardless of which side of the aisle they happen to sit on.

Maybe you’re trying to explain to the client who gets their news from, perhaps, more conservative sources, that this is not going to dramatically raise taxes, that IRS agents aren’t going to start showing up at your house with lock boxes and ask you to hand over all your documents immediately.

And maybe if your client is a little bit more progressive, you’re probably explaining to them that this is really not expected to reduce inflation all that much. And in fact, there are some estimates where it might hurt from an inflationary perspective because of the amount of money that’s going to be spent on energy credits and looking at prescription drugs and so forth.

There’s arguments on both sides of that. I think it’s important to remain as neutral as possible in those discussions with clients. And then to just educate them about what’s in it for them.

Even this bill, which is dramatically paired down and which is really quite simple from a tax perspective, I mean, if we’re ranking things in terms of their impact to advisors and what they need to know and whatnot, this is way less than the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. This is probably way less than the American Rescue Plan Act even.

And just things that are going to impact the average individual. Well, let’s help clients parse through all this because even this bill with all that much less in it, is still 750 plus pages of stuff to wade through.

Steven Jarvis:     Jeff, you’re absolutely right. It’s a good reminder also, as you talk through all those potential discussion points with clients, that advisors who can be proactive with their clients and get ahead of this, as opposed to waiting until clients are reaching out and scared or are scared and not reaching out.

Because while it’s easy for you and I to sit here and talk about all the things that didn’t do and how much of an impact it won’t have, you and I spend a lot of time on these things. And so, it’s easy for us to see that and then to trust our assessment of it.

For your average taxpayer, they’re just seeing headlines and trying to figure out if they needed to change their life or not.

Jeff Levine:         For sure.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, it’s always so interesting to kind of see how these things ebb and flow. I mean, one of the things that sticks out in my mind, anytime I see tax law changes is, honestly, the power of having funds in a Roth account.

We could do whole hours on that topic. But when advisors or clients will ask me about, well, “How do we do long-term tax planning when we don’t know what tax laws are going to do?”

I think Ed Slott was the first one. I heard it from “The tax code is written in pencil.” I mean, whether they’re talking about pending legislation or not, the tax law can always be changed. There is no guarantee that the tax code we have today will be the same in 3 or 5 or 10 or 20 years.

And so, we’re always just left with doing the best that we can with the information we have and putting a plan in place that we think sets ourselves up the best we can for success.

And while personally I feel pretty strongly that they won’t make wholesale changes to Roth even if they get rid of the backdoor Roth contributions at some point, I just feel a lot better knowing that I personally have money in an account that the IRS has such a smaller ability to change the rules of the game for me.

Jeff Levine:         I agree. I mean, I love the Roth from that perspective. And the way I like to position it to clients in that regard, as looking at the Roth IRA as tax insurance. Like any other type of insurance, sometimes it’s worth paying the premium and sometimes, it’s not.

If I had someone show up to me with a big publisher’s clearing house type check at my door and said, “Congratulations, you just won a rusty old 1970s Pinto,” I’m not rushing out and calling my auto insurance agent and saying, “I’ve got to insure this baby.” It’s just not worth it.

But if I won a brand-new Maserati or something like that, you better believe one of my first phone calls is going to be to the insurance agent because I’ve got to pay the premium on that because I don’t want take the risk that something happens.

And in the same regard, the Roth IRA, sometimes I see individuals particularly, and I’m going to pick on advisors here for a moment. There are advisors who are looking at doing good tax planning, and then there are advisors who are looking at repeating key buzzwords for clients to try and get them to take action.

And like, “Hey, you’ve got to have some money in a Roth.” Well, like the Roth is tax insurance. Sometimes the premium is worse, sometimes it’s not.

I was talking to an advisor more recently who had a client who was in the 37% bracket now. They were rocking it, crushing it, doing a great job, building up that income and saving for retirement.

And in fact, doing such a great job saving that in retirement, this client and their spouse, they were projected to have $200,000 of taxable income in today’s dollars. That is some pretty, pretty, pretty sweet taxable income in retirement. I think most people would take that if they could, if they had their druthers about them.

Well, the thing is though, $200,000 of income for a married couple puts you in about the 24% bracket or puts you in the 24% bracket today, which yes, are tax rates potentially going to rise in the future? Sure, they absolutely could. Are tax rates likely to rise 50% to where today’s 24% would be? More than what they’d … like I don’t know about that.

That’s one where I’d say, “Hey, maybe you want wait until you retire, when you’re 60-years-old and your income is much lower, then do the conversion because the premium would be worth it.” Right now, paying 37% when you’re expecting to pay 24% in the future, that’s probably too much.

But if that same client told me, hey, my tax bracket today is 24% and I think I’ll be in a 22% in the future, well, now, I’m saying, is it worth overpaying “2%” to pay that premium for what is effectively tax insurance? Like, hey, if things go exactly as according to “plan,” I’ve overpaid by 2%.

But if all of a sudden Uncle Sam raises taxes dramatically in the future, I’ve locked in at 24%, I would probably be willing personally to make that trade off. And I think a lot of clients would too. But if you told me I’d have to pay 37% today to ensure against that same risk when I think I’ll be at 22 or 24% in the future, that’s a pretty steep premium for me to be paying. And I probably would want wait until my income was lower to do that.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, such a great reminder of why tax plan has to have that long-term focus, because it does need to be specific and unique to each client situation.

I have yet to come across the client where I didn’t think it was a good idea to consider Roth, but I completely agree with you that there are situations where it doesn’t make sense, and that’s the right answer in those situations.

But I’m not really sure of a lot of other great ways to have tax insurance. And so, it’s definitely something I’m going to at least look at.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, I agree. Not every client needs a Roth IRA, but every client should have the Roth IRA discussion.

Steven Jarvis:     Absolutely. Well, Jeff, we like to make sure that these fun conversations we have are valuable for the advisors listening, which means we try to give them action that they can take to put this into practice.

So, as you think about whether it’s specifically the Inflation Reduction Act or just the idea of tax law changes in general, what are actions that you would recommend advisors take to make sure they’re delivering value to their clients?

Jeff Levine:         I mean, the first thing is you got to find out where you’re getting your information. How do you stay on top of changes?

This is not a one-time thing. It’s not like we’re seeing a unicorn here in a change to the tax law. These things happen all the time. And it seems as though we’re seeing an increase in frequency of these changes lately. Just think about the volume of new laws that we’ve had.

So, CARES Act and ARPA, and now, this Inflation Reduction Act. I think there’s a really good chance that before the end of the year, we’re going to see a SECURE Act 2.0 come to pass.

How are you staying up to date on these things? And there’s a variety of ways, but finding what works best for you, whether it’s listening to a podcast or finding a blog that you follow, or you read the Wall Street Journal every day, whatever it may be.

But you’ve got to devote time to staying up on things. You don’t want to be left in the dust and left behind because clients are demanding this information. And when they go out and they find it online and then they go back to their advisor and they talk about it, it’s kind of like when you go somewhere and you know more than the person who’s helping you. It’s not a good feeling.

Like you go to the printer store and you’re like, “I’d like a new printer, and I think this one …” And it’s like, “Well, I think that’s the one that has laser ink in it, but I’m not … let me ask my …” Like you are not the person who I want to help me. And clients get that same sense too.

When they go out and they read stuff and they come back and they say, “Well, what do you think about this?” And the advisor goes, “Well, you …” They have that same sense too. So, I think that’s the first thing, is understanding that.

Two, like communicate it. You mentioned the word proactive. Yeah, get that information out. And here’s the thing; don’t just focus on clients who are impacted. It is equally important to some clients at times to hear that they are not impacted.

Just go out to them and say, “Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I just wantto let you know, I’ve been reviewing this new law that passed. And as best I can tell, there are no major impacts to you. So, I just wanted to let you know that in case you were thinking about how this might impact you. The reality is it probably won’t in most ways.”

That is something that people value. So, reach out to your clients and let them know how it will impact them. And if not, that’s okay too. Let them know that as well.

And then finally, I would say that the third key takeaway here, is just continue to take the approach that matters when it comes to tax planning. And that is, he or she who wins the tax planning game is not the individual who pays the lowest tax in any one year, but the individual who pays the lowest lifetime tax bill.

And in fact, so many of advisors’ clients are so fortunate that it’s not even the lowest lifetime tax bill. It’s the lowest tax bill over multiple generations for some folks. When are we looking at paying that tax? Well, it’s a long-term proposition. I want to pay the lowest total tax bill over a long period of time.

Having a low tax bill in any one year is actually probably not a good thing. A low income, low tax year as a tax planner is a terrible thing to waste.

Steven Jarvis:     Completely agree. Yeah, I look at that as paying the least amount of tax over the lifetime of your wealth, but such a good reminder there. I love those action items. Yeah, we’ve got to stay informed. We’ve got to be proactively communicating with those clients.

And then like our good friends over at The Perfect IRA like to say, it’s the dishwasher rule. Even your clients who aren’t impacted, yeah, let them know, because it might be obvious to you that they’re not impacted, but it is not obvious to them. So, definitely value that comes from that.

Jeff, thanks so much for taking the time to come on and chat through this with me. I know a lot of people have questions on it. I appreciate your insight and your thoughts on this.

Jeff Levine:         Yeah, man. It’s my pleasure. It’s great to be here with you. It was fun.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, for everyone listening, until next time, good luck out there. And remember to tip your server, not the IRS.

We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.


The information on this site is for education only and should not be considered tax advice. Retirement Tax Services is not affiliated with Shilanski & Associates, Jarvis Financial Services or any other financial services firms.

Contact Us