How to Think About the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Welcome to 2018! This year we’ve got a lot more going on than usual, so let’s get right to it.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Learn it. Live it. Love it. This is, literally, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make planning the centerpiece of your business and your value to your clients. You can jump on it. Or you can let it slip through your fingers.

Seriously. Right now, as you read these words, somewhere in America a room full of accountants is taking a class on how to “do taxes” under the new rules. And that’s fine . . .  “doing taxes” is still important today as it was before the new law.

But if learning how to help clients figure out what they owe under the new law is all you do this year, instead of learning how to help them pay less under the new law, you’ll miss a golden opportunity to distinguish yourself from your less-imaginative colleagues and competitors who just want to “do taxes’ and call it a day.

And you can’t wait. I know busy season is about to start. But you can’t just put your head down and say, “I’ll pick up this new tax law after I get through April 15.”

Your clients aren’t going to let you wait. They’ve got questions now. They’ll have questions when they see you and your staff between now and April 15. So you need answers.

You can give them answers that tell them it’s all just business as usual. Or you can give them answers that say, “Here’s a real opportunity, if we just tackle it together.”

Which set of answers do you think will make them happier? Which will actually grow your business and get you closer to whatever you define as “success”?

  • Here at TaxCoach, we’re about to introduce several resources to help you take proactive advantage of the new law in the same way you help your clients take proactive advantage of tax-planning opportunities. 
  • We’ve already uploaded a customizable 1-page summary of the new law to the system. You’ll find it in the Marketing Templates section of TaxCoach, all the way at the bottom under “Other Resources.” 
  • We’ve also uploaded a new PowerPoint presentation on the new law, with 47 slides and detailed script language outlining how the new law affects individual taxes, business taxes, and estate taxes. Several members have told me they’ve already started scheduling talks. Audiences are hungry for this information now, so don’t sit back and tell yourself you’ll start giving presentations after April 15! You’ll find the new presentation in the Seminar Presentations section of TaxCoach at the very top. 
  • Sometime next week, we’ll finish updating the TaxCoach system for the new law. This will include the modules, the summary text, and the Outlook Letter for individual clients (which can serve as a nice plan update for clients you’ve already done a plan for). (Next week’s updates will include basic potential savings, but not the more-detailed Savings Estimates, which will take more time and programming.) 
  • Next week in the Briefs, we’ll roll out a system that you can use throughout tax season to tee up planning engagements beginning after April 15. The system will involve identifying prospects, outlining the opportunity, “closing” the sale, and scheduling the appointment. 
  • No later than the third week of January, we’ll have updates seminar kits for Business Owners, Real Estate Investors, and Securities Investors. We’ll also have updated book license texts.

We realize it’s going to be a lot of work to take advantage of these new resources just as tax season gets started. Too bad! Michael Gerber, author of the successful E-Myth series of books, warns us of the trap of working in the business instead of on it. If you focus solely on getting 2017 taxes done, while neglecting to take advantage of these new opportunities, you’ll be falling right into that trap.

Having said that, the extra work will be worth it.

Shhhhh . . . do you hear that sound? It’s opportunity knocking. Are you really going to wait until April to open that door?