The increased complexity of individual taxation and the overall personal finance environment is leading many CPA firms to explore ways to address areas where tax planning overlaps with retirement planning, estate planning and other personal finance areas. This approach delivers great value, creates new firm revenues and increases competitiveness.
As Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO recently noted in a video to AICPA members, the need for tax planning that integrates personal finance concerns is critical. Clients have many questions about how the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the new Medicare surtax affect them, in particular. The retirement savings crisis is getting national media attention and threatens the financial security of Americans. Post-ATRA, the estate tax may affect only a small number of clients, lessening the focus on planning to reduce taxes and refocusing estate planning on its primary purpose, which is protecting loved ones through asset protection, asset titling, beneficiary designations and more.