There’s the old adage in many a horror movie, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” We’d like to caution our tax clients here in San Francisco not to be afraid (of taxes, at least), but rather to be prepared, be very prepared. We’re closing the books on tax season 2017/2018, and moving on in full to 2018. Let’s look back at one big take-away that never goes out of style: be prepared, be very prepared. How do we mean? Well, first, we mean to prepare for your taxes throughout the year. We’re keeping a keen eye on the TCJA (Tax Cut and Jobs Act) or affectionately known as the Trump Tax changes. For some individuals and businesses, this amounts to a tax cut, and for others a tax increase, and for still others, no one really yet knows. It’s complicated! But we want to be prepared, and keep our clients prepared for the Trump Tax changes as they go into full effect this year. Call our office and book an appointment to go over your tax situation in 2018, so we can be prepared alongside you to minimize those tax bites and maximize those tax benefits in the new law. We’re known as San Francisco’s best boutique accounting firm, and one of the reasons is we get deep, down, and dirty with our clients to look for every possible tax advantage.
A second issue with respect to being prepared for tax preparation 2018 has to do with just getting ahead of the curve. We hate the “last minute,” although we do a lot of “last minute” returns for new clients. In fact, we’re in the throes of working on amended tax return preparation here in San Francisco, having filed for extensions for various clients. It’s more important to get it right than to file it on time, and especially since it’s pretty easy to request and get extensions. We want it done right. But, looking to the future and being prepared, we want to both get it right AND get it filed on time for 2018. So we’re working hard with our clients – especially our high income and business clients – to work on their bookkeeping systems, their tax avoidance strategies and other issues, so that we’ll both be prepared AND be on time. Less stress and no mess – that might be our motto for 2018.
Finally, in terms of being prepared for tax preparation, let’s talk about yet another reason to avoid the last minute. The IRS. Not the IRS in the sense of them being the mean, nasty tax collection arm of the United States Treasury. Taxes are just part of living in a civilized society, and we’re not against them (though we prefer to pay as little as legally possible). No, not that. But rather the fact that the IRS as part of the big, not-so-bright government just isn’t very good at computers. This year (2017) the IRS website literally crashed. It’s so sad. You’d think they would “see it coming” as we can vouch for the avalanche of last minute filings, but apparently they didn’t. So yet another reason to be prepared – just like the traffic on the San Francisco / Oakland Bay Bridge during rush hour – it’s better to be avoided.