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Tax Planning & Return Preparation

The proper management of your tax liability can have a positive effect on your cash flow, investment returns, and retirement income.

In addition to tax planning for future transactions, our firm prepares our clients’ individual federal and state income tax returns each year. This service helps maintain a complete understanding of the interaction between financial planning, investments, and tax decisions.

Tax planning and preparation are a critical part of the overall financial planning services we provide. At Lighthouse, we view tax planning as a forward-looking strategic approach, which allows for integrated financial decisions to be made throughout the year, rather than just reactionary ones in April.

Some of the often-overlooked strategies that our firm considers throughout the tax planning process include:

  • The selection of securities that minimize taxes.
  • The placement of securities in retirement vs. non-retirement accounts.
  • Maximizing the benefit of tax-deferred retirement plans.
  • Assessing the tax effect of proposed transactions.

Many financial decisions have a tax component that will potentially impact the advisability of a course of action. The proper management of your tax liability can have a positive effect on your cash flow, investment returns, and retirement income. We prepare individual federal and state income tax returns for our clients who have $500,000 or more under our management at no additional charge.

How Bunching Expenses Can Enable Taxpayers to Continue to Itemize - PDF

In response to the significant changes to the tax deduction rules under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), many taxpayers are searching for ways to recover some of the tax benefits associated with itemizing deductible expenses that have been eliminated. Taxpayers who were previously able to lower their tax bills by itemizing may want to consider using a “bunching” strategy, which generally means either accelerating or deferring deductible expenses so that more of these expenses fall in a single tax year rather than in multiple tax years.

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies - PDF

Waiting until just before April 15 to start thinking about your taxes may prove to be a costly mistake. Preparing a draft of your tax return before the end of the year will provide you with a more complete picture of what you are likely to owe, and it may leave you with enough time to reduce your tax liability by contributing to tax-advantaged savings accounts or qualifying for deductions. Advance tax planning is especially important if your circumstances have changed over the past year due to events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member.

Tax returns are prepared for our clients at no additional fee by Lighthouse’s affiliated accounting firm, Stephen C. Poplaski, CPA, CFP®.

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