[IMGCAP(1)]As tax season winds down, it may be hard to think about work beyond the imminent and deserved time off, but there are points you can raise with clients to keep them coming to you for the rest of the year, too.
“Have you visited your doctor for your annual physical? Have you seen your dentist once or twice in the past year? Your financial health is as important as your physical health. To stay healthy, you must monitor your health and be aware of any changes. Your financial health needs to be monitored in the same way,” according to a marketing primer from the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
Tax professionals should stress to seasonal clients that seeing them outside of the tax season is beneficial. You should remind clients, for example, to consult with you off-season about major life changes such as marriage, divorce or re-marriage, which can result in a change in tax status. Remind clients that exemptions may need to be adjusted to prevent an unexpected tax bill. If clients are divorcing, remind them of the ramifications of dependents, alimony, childcare or division of property.
Other potential changes that the NAEA suggests mentioning to clients:
- A change in family size with the birth or adoption of a child, or the aging of children that can affect future returns and certain credits.
- A career change, particularly those involving increased income, pension opportunities or excludable benefits such as cafeteria plans and dependent care benefits.
- Clients in financial trouble might opt for bankruptcy, which brings its own tax implications and options.
- Early retirement, sometimes considered by the client individually or presented by a client’s company. This can sometimes trigger early withdrawal penalties or cause Social Security to be taxable.
- Notifications from the IRS later in the year, which many clients might consider tossing “in a drawer, hoping it will disappear.”