Original article published online at GMGSavings.com/top-4-concerns-from-cpas-about-the-new-tax-bill/ 8/9/12. To share article via social networks please go to the original posting and share via links.
It is that time of year again! A new finance bill has passed the Senate and, per usual, business owners have no idea what it means for them. On the other side of the coin, CPAs are tasked with assimilating and applying these provisions to their client base; a daunting task to say the least.
What often happens in situations such as this is…nothing.
The reality is that your CPA will play a major role in the implementation of this bill for you. Will they do so effectively?
Here are 4 concerns that could keep them from maximizing the benefits of this bill on your behalf:
1. It could be overturned
The majority of CPAs are conservative by nature which leads them to often have a “wait and see” approach to new legislation such as this. As good as this theory may sound; it is not how to effectively service a client-base. We have heard it multiple times from CPAs across the country, “Let’s just wait and see if this is upheld”. In other words, “I have yet to read the bill so I am not going to proactively call my client to discuss how they might benefit”. This is not a criticism of your CPA, they simply should not be put in the position of immediately digesting every bill that is passed and then tasked with applying it to each of the clients in their book.
2. Tax deadlines are coming up
With the second tax season upon us, CPAs are feverishly working on tax returns for those clients who filed extensions. Studying new legislation is probably not at the top of their to-do list. The information in this bill, however, directly relates to the tax returns and tax planning for the upcoming year. Tax incentives, deductions, credits, and depreciation all play a major role in the amount you pay Uncle Sam each year. Do your homework on this bill immediately and then plan accordingly.
3. CPA’s do not have the in-house resources
Specialized tax incentives like those in this bill are just that, specialized. Therefore a specialist is needed to fully interpret and procure the benefits. If a CPA has not aligned themselves with a specialist on these incentives, there is a good chance they will fail to capture them for their clients. After years of consulting CPA firms across the nation, we have found that most are not set up to maximize these incentives for their clients…and therefore business owners lose out.
4. It wasn’t in the plan
Tax planning is often done at least a year ahead in order to help make proper decisions throughout the year. Unfortunately, new bills can throw a monkey wrench into the “plan” at the last possible second. CPA’s then have to adapt and move quickly, often altering the plan to benefit their client. This is just not generally in their DNA. Sometimes plans need to be altered, especially when new incentives are in play.
Summing it up
If you own a business in the U.S., this bill was passed for you. Instead of deferring to your CPA, it is essential to enlist true specialists in this field to ensure you are receiving maximum benefit from this bill and others like it.