Are you offering proactive advice or reactive services? Anticipate!

Here is a big opportunity for you: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and Maryland tax changes being discussed in Annapolis. These changes will be huge and every taxpayer and business wants to know how it impacts them.

Then there is this: The No. 1 reason clients leave CPAs is that they are providing reactive services instead of proactive advice.

Many CPAs and advisors will be treating this as business as usual by focusing on the 2017 tax returns with a minimal amount of focus on 2018 and the larger conversations that are possible.

What if you had a conversation about the client’s future instead of just jumping into the new tax law?

Start with asking the client about their vision for the future? What are the major things they want to see in their business? What are their goals for their family? Where do they see the biggest opportunities? What is getting in the way?

Then, think about how you can help and what areas of expertise you and your firm can bring to help them achieve their future. I am sure the tax impact is just one of those areas.

Start with the major certainties you now know about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Maryland tax changes you know are coming. Then, apply these prospective changes to your client’s circumstances and offer advice and planning to help them think about the future from the tax standpoint.

We have a lot of resources to help you prepare to be that proactive, future-focused advisor your clients want. We suggest starting with our federal and state tax resources, especially the Maryland comptroller’s 60-Day Report, then get up to speed on the major tax changes at the federal and state level. Think about the areas of the federal bill that need clarity (see the 39 areas identified by the AICPA Tax Team). Add in the issues of HSA / HDHP deductibility in Maryland, the pending implementation of the Healthy Working Families Act (mandatory sick time) in Maryland, and you have plenty of future-focused insights to share.

The point is that you will be talking about their future first before limiting the conversation to just tax, and that may just open up a world of opportunities. Or are you too busy to be proactive?

Here are the latest updates on these breaking issues to help you stay informed as the most trusted, future-focused advisor to businesses and individuals:

To help our members get ahead of this major new law, we have added a rebroadcast of Don Farmer’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Update on Feb. 8.

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