RTS #055 A moose is bad, but a nail can still stop you

We have team members in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so we know all about dodging moose. They are massive. If you’ve never seen one in person, they can feel exotic, standing 7 feet tall and weighing well over 1,000 pounds. And then there are the antlers spanning up to 6 feet!

What’s that have to do with taxes? Over the last few weeks and in our most recent webinar we’ve been covering “exotic” tax strategies and the distractions they can create. It’s an important topic. Getting pulled in by the biggest, flashiest ideas can derail a great tax plan. It pays to avoid them. But, that doesn’t mean we should forget about the little things.

I would prefer a flat tire over a run-in with a moose, but a flat tire still prevents you from reaching your destination, and there are way more flat tires in a year than moose collisions. We want to be aware of the big things (like moose) but spend our time focused on the little things (like avoiding flat tires and having a system for quickly getting them fixed when they ultimately do happen).

The great news is that doesn’t mean we have to constantly be thinking about, or even on the lookout for the little things. What it means is having a system for ensuring those little obstacles don’t prevent us from reaching our destination.

It means having a year-end tax planning letter so key tax information makes it on the tax return each year.

It means having a process for getting and reviewing tax returns every year in a way that delivers value.

It means staying up to date with any tax law changes that impact your clients.

It means training your team so you can delegate the little things and make sure they are still getting done.

It means having checklists and reference guides so the tax planning you apply most often is executed in a consistent and effective way.

The Advisors who do the best work in this area are the ones who consistently build the processes to get these things done over time. You don’t have to implement everything all at once, but you do have to make progress. Pick one area of tax planning this month that is specific to your client base and either implement a process or review and improve the process you already have in place.

Miss the moose; don’t the nail ruin the whole trip.

Happy Tax Planning!

P.S. Check out the RTS Community Member resources for reference guides, courses, resources, and content that you can use to help you complete your trip.

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.