Perhaps no single document contains as much valuable information about a client's life than their tax return. Successful advisors need to know how to navigate tax returns and identify those entries that bear scrutiny or indicate planning opportunities.
In this episode, Roger and Ben describe the processes and checklists that their respective firms use when reviewing client tax returns.
If you take away just one thing, we hope it's the idea that simply having such a checklist is critical to ensure consistency and completeness across reviews, particularly if you're looking to scale your practice.
But you want to take away more than one thing, right? Of course you do. That's why you listen to Zebra Smash. Our deep dive into the 1040 includes:
- Everyone's favorite supporting schedules: A, B, C, D, E, and even F
- Commonly seen issues with Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and Original Issue Discount (OID) income
- How to use Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) to your advantage
- Identifying planning opportunities based on self-employed income
- Frequently missed deductions and/or credits
- Some incoherent ramblings from Roger about the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign housing exclusion. Be sure to google both topics to undo whatever he puts in your brain.
- Communicating the results of reviews to clients
We didn't talk about too much stuff that we can link to, but here are a few interesting items:
- Download a copy of the 1040 and follow along at home!
- Did you know there's Income Tax cocktail? Looks delicious! (Please drink and do your taxes responsibly.)
- The Schoolhouse Rock way of teaching taxes
- Steve Martin's classic advice about how to be a millionaire and never pay taxes