The end of tax season is a perfect time to connect with your clients and prospective clients to discuss creating or updating their financial plans. Tax returns direct your clients’ attention to how their financial situation has changed overtime. Important financial topics and terms are fresh in your clients’ minds, which facilitates natural conversation to identify financial priorities and highlight planning topics that need examination.
Ask your clients to hold off on filing away the copy of their tax return and schedule a meeting to have them bring the return in for a planning discussion. Tax returns are a valuable source of planning information. They provide a high-level picture of their financial situation and when paired with a current balance sheet they allow planners to uncover planning topics that warrant exploration to help guide and advise your clients’ towards their best financial future.
If you previously created a financial plan for the client, this is a great time to make adjustments based on the changes in their financial situation. You can quickly see changes to employment, dependents, earnings, retirement savings, investment account earnings, retirement plan distributions, loan interest, dependents and more.
AICPA® offers a checklist detailing financial planning topics you can discover based on analyzing your clients’ tax returns: “Analysis of a Tax Return for Personal Financial Planning.” This guide is geared towards CPAs providing personal financial planning and is a valuable resource for all financial advisors helping clients’ make plans for their future.