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Personal tax season over

Yes! It’s over! As a tax practitioner, many people who talk to me during April will often comment that I must be very busy since this is “harvest season”. While there’s no doubt that many tax practioners are often busy in April, Moodys’ practice does not focus on personal tax preparation.

There’s a very targeted reason as to why Moodys does not focus on personal tax preparation. That is because personal tax preparation should be the culmination of planning that occurs throughout the year. That is why we are busy throughout the year planning our clients’ affairs so as to ensure that when they do prepare their personal income tax returns, there are no surprises and that all available planning has been completed. With that kind of background, it should be evident that the preparation of personal income tax returns does not, generally, provide much value and is often simply mechanical. That is not to say that the preparation of personal income tax returns is not difficult… quite the contrary. It is simply a commentary as to where the value is – preparation or planning.

Accordingly, when people ask me if I’m really busy during April or comment that I must be extremely busy, my usual answer is that I’m always busy planning the affairs for our clients and April is no different than the usual. My other response is that we don’t do a lot of personal tax preparation. This is true given that our service focus is on planning and not on tax compliance. When our clients need tax compliance, our usual practice is to work with their existing accounting professionals so as to ensure that their planning affairs are properly documented. If this is not possible, then we will often choose to refer the client to a qualified tax preparer.

To reiterate what I have already said above, tax planning is a year round activity that high net-worth individuals should take very seriously. Tax is a drain on wealth but, if properly planned for, can be mitigated. Moodys LLP Tax Advisors is in a great position to assist in planning your tax affairs.