Tax strategy is forward looking, not just keeping a record of what has happened during the past tax year.
A busy CPA or tax preparer—there is a big difference—can prepare about 1,500 tax returns or more per year. Considering most of those returns are done over an 8-month period (about 240 days), most tax preparers simply don’t have the time to formulate good tax strategies for all of their clients—especially during tax season.
Because of the ever-increasing workload on tax preparers, they are often forced to delegate tax preparation to clerks or junior preparers with less experience. This is an efficient way for your tax preparer to get your tax return completed in time and in compliance.
But a compliant tax return is not the same as a sound tax strategy. Providing the proper business and expense receipts in a shoe box one week before a filing deadline is not a strategy. Properly reporting income on the correct line of a tax return is not a strategy, either.
Tax preparers use software that, in large measure, is designed to keep you from getting audited—not to take advantage of every benefit legally available to you as a business owner. This protects you and the tax preparer from being audited but does not do you any favors when it comes to tax savings. No one wants to be audited. Nor do we condone violating the tax code. However, there is no moral or legal obligation to avoid proper planning, nor to take advantage of every tax strategy allowed by the tax code.