Edition 79 Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Edition 79

By Jeff Stimpson

How to Deal with Huge Tax Debt

The only thing scarier than owing Uncle Sam a lot in taxes is being unable to pay the bill. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service has ways for you to whittle what you owe. Just make sure which method works for you, depending on such factors as the size of your tax debt and what you can afford to pay and when. Don’t panic. Here’s how individual taxpayers can proceed – and what to watch out for.


Client Retention Strategies for Accountants: Building Long-Term Relationships

Client acquisition is crucial for business growth in the fast-paced accounting world. However, retaining existing clients is equally important, if not more so. Servicing long-term client relationships is a testament to your firm’s reliability and is critical to sustained success. My first client is still with me, now more than seven years. Our relationship has grown and changed over time but has also strengthened. Loyalty and commitment are two of my core values. I’m always looking to provide value to my prospects and clients to attract and retain them long-term. However, some clients do not fit those values, and I have decided to forgo working with them. I believe that attracting and retaining the right clients starts with your mission, vision, and core values. However, it is also essential to have effective client retention strategies to ensure clients remain loyal and satisfied for the long haul.

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Health Savings Accounts vs Flexible Spending Accounts

With the rising cost of healthcare, our clients are looking to save money where they can, especially if they can save money on their healthcare costs and taxes at the same time. As their trusted advisor, you can offer them a basic understanding of what savings tools are available to your clients. Some of the tools available will come in handy if there is a minor unexpected tax bill this spring. That is why today we’re going to look at the triple tax advantaged health savings account (HSA) and the health flexible spending account (FSA). We’ll look at what they are, who is eligible to open one, and how they can save your clients money each year.

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Sometimes it is Clear There are Lessons, But Not Clear What They Are

A recent opinion in the ongoing litigation in the case of Clair R. Couturier makes a really important point about the distinction between a penalty and a tax. We will get to that, but I would also like to discuss the larger story of the case as I struggle with what the lesson is. I thought this case might be a good illustration of Reilly’s Second Law of Tax Planning – Sometimes it’s better to just pay the taxes – but I’m not 100 percent sure, so I will let you be the judge.

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Tax Court concludes tax season this year with a webinar on Practical Perspectives on Discovery, chaired by Judge Greaves, on April 16, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. With all the discovery jousting accompanying conservation easements and other high-dollar litigation, this is a must for all practitioners, so I'm headlining it. Information and registration on the Tax Court website.

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