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What Is A Tax Planning Advisor?

Whether you’re an individual aiming to maximize your returns or a business owner looking to better your financial future, understanding the essence of tax planning and the professionals who can guide you is a powerful step forward.

That said, the words “tax planning advisor” get thrown around a lot and it can be hard to determine what one actually is. In this guide, we’re going to help demystify the term, and show you where you can get the help in the way that best suits your needs. 

What Is Tax Planning?

At its core, tax planning is a savings game. It’s all about looking ahead, thinking strategically about your income, investments, and expenditures to make sure you’re paying Uncle Sam exactly what you owe—not a penny more, and certainly less over time if you do it right.

Tax planning isn’t so much about dodging unforeseen obstacles; it’s about thoughtfully crafting a plan and tactically executing it instead of waiting to see what you owe. Think of it as getting to know the ins and outs of tax laws so well that you’re not just steering clear of financial setbacks—you’re actually using those laws to your advantage.

Instead of reacting to surprises, you’re making informed choices that work the system in your favor, turning what could be hurdles into opportunities to enhance your financial well-being. It’s about being proactive with your finances, ensuring every decision contributes positively to your economic status.

What Is A “Tax Planning Advisor?” 

Following the roadmap of tax planning, you might wonder who’s best to guide you through this strategic game of savings and codes. Enter the “tax planning advisor.” This term gets tossed around a lot, but it’s not easy to nail down how to get them on your team. In fact, it can apply to a variety of financial professionals, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

Think of a tax planning advisor as a potential passenger on your financial journey. Depending on who’s in the passenger seat, the advice and strategies can change significantly. A CPA might delve deep into the tax code AND your money, ensuring you benefit from every possible deduction and credit. 

A financial advisor could take a broader view, integrating tax strategies with your overall financial planning to boost your wealth over time. And a tax attorney' They’re your go-to for navigating legal complexities, making sure your tax planning also aligns with the law, especially in tricky situations.

What’s essential to understand is that the term “tax planning advisor” signifies more of a role than a specific profession. A variety of professionals can serve in this capacity, each using their expertise to ensure that your tax strategy is not just about compliance but about maximizing your financial health and achieving your goals.

So, as you steer through the fiscal year, remember that having the right tax planning advisor(s) by your side can make all the difference. They’re the ones who help you play the game smartly, leveraging tax laws to your advantage and keeping you focused on the financial horizon ahead. 

Common Tax Planning Advisor Professionals 

As mentioned above, a “tax planning advisor” is more of a role that can be fulfilled by a variety of professionals. Below, are some of the most common experts that can help you plan ahead when it comes to navigating your taxes: 

Accountants: Accountants are well-versed in the minutiae of tax laws and are experts at crunching and following the numbers. Accountants can help you prepare and file your taxes, helping you leverage all the deductions and credits you’re eligible for. They’re your go-to for keeping your financial records straight and making sure you’re in good standing with the tax authorities.

Tax Attorneys: When the terrain gets rough, tax attorneys are the ones you want by your side. These legal experts specialize in the complexities of tax law. Whether you’re dealing with disputes with the IRS, pre-planning complex transactions before you move forward, or setting up a business structure that’s tax-efficient, a tax attorney can provide the guidance and representation you need.

Financial Advisors: Financial advisors are like the strategists of your tax planning expedition. They look at the big picture, integrating tax planning with your overall financial goals. Whether it’s saving for retirement, investing wisely, or planning for your family’s future, financial advisors help you create a comprehensive strategy that aligns your financial planning with tax efficiency.

How Does A Financial Advisor Help With Tax Planning? 

When it comes to navigating the complexities of tax planning, having a financial advisor as your guide can be a game-changer. These professionals provide strategic advice tailored to your unique financial aspirations and circumstances. Here’s how they can help you steer through the tax season and beyond, ensuring you’re on the right path to minimize your tax liability while maximizing your financial health:

Understanding Your Financial Goals: Your financial advisor begins by getting a deep understanding of your financial goals. Whether you’re aiming for early retirement, saving for a child’s education, or buying a new home, they tailor your tax strategy to align with these objectives, ensuring every decision supports your long-term aspirations.

Tax Efficiency (a.k.a. Asset Location): They help you structure your investments in a way that’s tax-efficient. This could mean choosing between tax-deferred accounts, like IRAs or Roth IRAs, using tax-favored securities like municipal bonds, or weighting your portfolio for growth vs. income, all based on your personal financial situation and income tax burden.

Strategic Retirement Planning: Your advisor will guide you on how to contribute to your retirement accounts strategically, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, to lower your taxable income now and manage tax liabilities in retirement.

Estate Planning and Gifting Strategies: By advising on estate planning and gifting strategies, they ensure that your wealth transfer plans are not only aligned with your wishes but also structured to minimize estate and/or income taxes and maximize the value for your heirs.

Tax Loss Harvesting: This technique involves selling investments that are at a loss to offset the capital gains tax on other investments. Your financial advisor can make sure every sell trade is as tax-efficient as possible. 

Adjusting to Life Changes: Life events like marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child have significant tax implications. A financial advisor helps navigate these changes, adjusting your tax planning strategies accordingly to keep you on track towards your financial goals.

Please Note: To dive deeper into how advisors can aid in saving on your lifetime tax bill by lowering your tax liability, don’t miss our article on how proper financial planning can reduce tax liability. This piece offers invaluable insights and strategies for leveraging financial planning to your tax advantage.

Accountant vs Financial Advisor, Which One Do You Need?

When it comes to choosing a tax planning advisor, two of the most common professionals you’ll want help from include accountants and financial advisors. Understanding their roles can help you decide whom to call first for specific tax-related needs.

You’ll want to reach out to a financial advisor for:

Tax Strategy and Planning: Looking to develop a long-term plan to minimize your tax liability and maximize your savings' Financial advisors excel in creating strategies that align with your overall financial goals. 

Retirement Planning and Estate Tax Planning: Financial advisors are key to planning for your future. They help you strategize for retirement savings in tax-advantaged ways and guide you through estate planning to ensure your legacy is preserved while minimizing estate taxes. 

Tax Saving Opportunities: Financial advisors can identify investment opportunities and financial products that offer tax benefits, helping you save on tax liability over the long term.

You’ll want to reach out to an accountant for:

Understanding Tax Laws and Regulations: If you need guidance on tax laws and their impact on your finances, turning to a professional accountant takes the guess-work out and saves you time and money. Among these professionals, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) stands out for their extensive knowledge and expertise. These experts are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of tax legislation, ensuring that you’re both compliant and situated for savings. 

Income Tax Filing and Preparation: For annual tax return preparation and filing, especially if you’re dealing with complex tax situations or own small businesses, a competent accountant delivers incredible value, knowledge and process. 

Navigating Tax Deductions and Credits: Accountants are adept at identifying all the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for, ensuring you don’t leave money on the table. 

Please Note: The above points offer a general guideline on whom you might typically contact first for specific tax-related scenarios. However, it’s important to note that these professionals often have overlapping expertise.

Accountants and Financial Advisors Make For A Powerful Team

While each professional excels in their domain, the truth is, the most effective tax planning strategy often involves both an accountant and a financial advisor. 

Accountants focus more on the specifics of tax preparation, filing, compliance, and navigating tax laws, whereas financial advisors provide a broader view on financial goals and executing strategies—some advisors also hold certifications like Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) that allow them to offer more specialized advice. 

By collaborating with both an accountant and a financial advisor, you get tax expertise on a year-to-year basis as well as a lifetime one. This powerful combination ensures your tax strategy is both effective for today and aligned with your long-term personal and financial aspirations. Review our guide on how CFP®s and CPAs can work together for you.

Speak To A Tax Planning Financial Advisor 

At Crafted Finance, we’re here to help with all things tax planning. Our team can craft strategies that align seamlessly with your unique goals and personal financial situation. Whether it’s structuring your investments for tax efficiency, guiding you through retirement planning, or ensuring your estate planning is as tax-effective as possible, we’ve got you covered.

But what if you need specialized tax advice or services that veer more into the scope of another tax professional' No problem! We can connect you with other tax planning professionals from our vetted professional network. Whether you need a CPA for your tax preparation needs or a tax attorney, we point you in the right direction for the help you need.

Ready to take control of your taxes and make them work for you' Book a free appointment with us today using the button below. Let’s map out your financial journey together, ensuring you navigate through tax season and beyond with confidence and clarity.

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What Is A Tax-Planning Advisor?

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