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3 Year-End Planning Resources to Help Clients Face the Fiscal Cliff

Fiscal-cliffNow that the election is over, the question remains: what does this mean for the upcoming tax season?  In reality, not much will change between now and Dec. 31 and the potential fiscal cliff continues to pose challenges. The more we can plan and get our clients prepared for uncertainty, the better. That’s where year-end planning comes in.

It’s important to reach out to your clients now to develop plans and analyze “what if” scenarios based on what Congress will do to tax rates, exemption extenders and overall tax policy.

What methods and resources can you help your clients get ahead? The AICPA has a number of offerings. The AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Section has made available a complimentary preview of section-member exclusive resources. This webpage features time sensitive year-end education and client-facing materials to help CPAs understand and communicate the importance of planning now to be ready for 2013. AICPA members can login to find free access to:
  1. Forefield Advisor is a client communication and education tool that enables practitioners to deliver current, concise and compliant resources to their clients. Forefield’s 3,000 resources include over 2,300 articles, 200 illustrations and tables, 200 interactive calculators and over 400 presentations—all customizable, so you can add your business information and logo. The resources cover a number of personal financial planning topics such as estate, tax, retirement, investment and risk management planning.
  2. Even if tax rates and current estate, gift and GST exemptions are extended, clients need to put plans in place now. The Proactive Planning in Preparation for 2013 Toolkit provides access to tools and resources to address potential changes in 2013. The toolkit includes access to web seminars and podcasts by nationally known speakers, charts to help focus your clients’ decision-making processes, customizable client communications to encourage action now and PowerPoint presentations to illustrate the issues.
  3. As tax season unfolds, be sure that you continue to demonstrate your value to your clients by providing guidance, planning and tax expertise. With so much in flux, the AICPA has created a third resource:

  4. The AICPA Fiscal Cliff website where you’ll find regularly updated news, webcasts, tools, and client communication materials, including new client letters for individuals and small business. Be sure to check this site frequently, because the AICPA will be updating it with the latest information and resources to help you and your clients navigate the fiscal cliff.

Stay tuned for news of the launch of the AICPA’s Health Care Reform Center, which will provide organizations with information to help implement the new health care law.

With so much uncertainty, how are you preparing your clients for year-end? 

James C. Metzler, CPA, Vice President – Small Firm Interests, American Institute of CPAs.

Man Jumping Over Cliff image via Shutterstock.

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