RTS #037 Before you hit send on that email

“Should I just not talk to any CPAs for the next two months?” The short answer is no.

You absolutely should be talking to CPAs this time of year, BUT you have to be intentional. For the next two months, it’s not “Can I buy you lunch?” or “Let’s golf” or even “Can I get your input on this client newsletter I wrote on taxes?” (and even worse than all of those would be “any referrals you can send me?”) Even my frequent recommendation to offer to pay for an hour of a CPAs time needs to be strategic based on timing.

So, what should you be talking to CPAs about?

The focus needs to be on client-specific issues that impact the current filing season. If you have information to share that impacts the 2023 filing season, don’t be afraid to reach out. This might look like providing the information to your client in a way they can easily forward to their CPA, but there are things that are going to get done wrong or be unnecessarily complicated if you don’t assist (QCDs, backdoor Roth contributions, rollovers, inherited IRAs, just to name a few).

And, like always, this isn’t about making the CPAs life easier; it’s about creating a quality outcome for your clients. You are not under any obligation to do the CPAs work for them, but you almost always will have more (and better) context around the tax planning that is going on in a client’s life, and sharing those details will help increase the chances of a quality tax time outcome for your clients. As a by-product, you’re also going to build great CPA relationships that will help you deliver more value in the future and potentially lead to referrals.

One specific area to be on the lookout for: amended 1099s. This is an issue every year, but my broken crystal ball is telling me this year might be even worse with the transition from TD to Schwab. There is going to be a lot of confusion from taxpayers, and amended 1099s in March and April will add to that confusion. Clients don’t always know to check for amended 1099s or what to do with them if they receive them. A huge value add to the client (and yes, the CPA) is to monitor your custodian and pass these along if they come.

What can you do about it?

Be proactive. If information comes up that might be relevant to a client’s 2023 tax filing, share it. Be cognizant of the time of year it is; don’t send a generic email asking to schedule a time to chat and talk through the situation. Focus on providing the relevant information as succinctly as possible and in a way that is actionable. Remember, it’s all about creating the highest likelihood for a quality client outcome.

Happy Tax Planning!

About The Newsletter

The tax code is 80,000+ pages and Google has 875,000,000 results when you search “Tax Planning”, so each week we are going to help you wade through all of that noise and get to the Relevant Tax Stuff.