Category: Annual Incentives Review

Tell Me Again How I Talk to My Clients About Tax Credits?

This keeps coming up, so let’s talk about it again!  CPAs frequently ask us about situations where they have never discussed tax credits with existing clients. This can be awkward, since your clients depend on your advice about all tax matters, business and personal. Sometimes we hear our clients ask us “why didn’t my CPA tell me about these tax credits?”Ouch.  So how should you handle this? Here are some ideas based on our discussions with CPAs and our clients:
  • Reach out to clients and let them know there are many incentives out there (the fall-on-your-sword approach). Tell them that these incentives can be complex and political, but you want to focus on assistance you can provide going forward. It may be better to tell your clients NOW and take the heat, rather than have one of your competitors tell them!
  • To start, send them an article about a tax credit they may be able to use.  Easy way — just click on the AlphaMail archive here, search, browse, select the article, and forward the page.

Sometimes the proactive approach won’t work.  In that case:

  • Wait until they bring it up (the let-sleeping-dogs-lie approach). Some clients may not want to be bothered with incentives or other tax details. But remember, these clients may hear about tax credits anyway from a competitor, at the country club, in a newspaper article, or even from their spouse! You need to be prepared to reply just in case.
  • Same as above — send them an articleEasy way — just click on the AlphaMail archive  here, search, browse, select the article, and forward the page.

Either way, don’t overlook tax credits! Discuss your clients’ business plans. Their qualifying activities can provide the tax credits that will strengthen your relationships.


After Tax Season: Tax Credit Reviews!

Now that the April 18 tax deadline has passed, it’s a great time to review the tax credits that your clients are using (or NOT using). Schedule After Tax Season Reviews for client analysis, planning and follow up during the slow summer months.
ANALYSIS – Start with your tax software. By leveraging the software’s report writer and data analytics, you may be able to find a lot of opportunities. Here are a few areas to analyze:
  • Which of your corporate clients are using tax credits?
  • What about the individuals that receive K-1s from companies that are not your clients?
  • What about other incentives such as cost segregation and Section 179-D ?
PLANNING – Now develop a plan to follow up with your clients for the following situations:
  • Using credits – If the corporate or individual clients are using tax credits, how has their experience been? What other credits should they be considering? What are their plans for 2017 and beyond?
  • Not using credits – If the client is not using tax credits, you need to find out why. What assistance can your firm or other 3rd party firms provide?

FOLLOW UP – For each client, schedule an in-person meeting! It’s a great opening to review the custom analysis you prepared and discuss opportunities for tax credits and other incentives. Most importantly, it will strengthen your relationship with your client and may bring more $$ business to your firm.