Tax Planning Matters

Steve Lear |

By Brendan Halleron, CFP®, AIF®, BFA™

January is a great time to press the ‘Reset’ button on our lives and get organized for the future. Clean out that closet, write down those resolutions, and prepare to pay your taxes! In all of our planning conversations, no one ever states that they enjoy paying taxes. But, as Benjamin Franklin put it, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” While we cannot avoid taxes, what if we could pay less (legally of course)? Enter: tax planning. At Affiance Financial, we offer tax planning as part of our initial review of your financial situation as it plays a crucial part in your ongoing financial planning.

What is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is the comprehensive review of your tax situation using your tax return to identify strategies to keep your lifetime tax liability as low as possible. This is different from tax preparation, performed by your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or tax preparation software.

Why Should I Tax Plan?

Taxes affect nearly every aspect of your financial life. By preemptively preparing for taxes, we can help identify opportunities or issues before they are final, potentially saving you money and accomplishing one or multiple goals. These opportunities could include: charitable giving strategies, realizing capital gains, tax loss harvesting, and Roth IRA Conversions, among others. We can also run projections on how changes to your life (i.e. changing your filing status, exercising stock options, selling a business, etc.) can impact your tax liability. Worst case, our review concludes you are taking advantage of every available opportunity. However, in our experience, a review of your return will provide additional information and data we can use and incorporate into your financial plan.

What’s the Catch?

There is no catch, but we do need your help. We need you to send us an electronic copy (PDF) of your most recent tax return. Starting this year, our team will be requesting tax returns as part of our standard preparation for client review meetings. If you’d like to begin the tax planning process today, reach out to your advisor for instructions on how to securely send us your tax return.

While we all must pay taxes to enjoy the benefits of a civilized society, there is no reason to leave the government a tip. Reach out to your Financial Planner today to discover how we can provide personalized tax strategies focused on your goals.


This article is being provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific tax advice. For specific tax advice, the services of an accountant should be sought. Affiance Financial does not serve as an accountant and does not prepare tax returns.