Not all tax services are created equally. When the calendar begins to approach April 15, what you might owe Uncle Sam is probably on the mind. Not only does it matter what happens immediately shortly before the deadline, but it’s important to start planning for the rest of the year, too. The professionals you turn to for assistance may not always have the same end goal in mind, which is why you should understand the differences between a tax planner and a tax preparer.

The Tax Planner

Think of your tax planner as the quarterback of your tax season – they’ve got their eye on the goal of reducing the taxes you must pay and know which strategies to deploy to get you there. This individual might be a Certified Public Accountant, a financial planner, or a tax attorney. They usually have an extensive knowledge of most other areas of personal finance as well because tax permeates many financial situations. They review your personal income tax situation at a very detailed level, then begin to construct a plan. These plans include ways to legally minimize tax liabilities, establish a method for paying taxes and ultimately ensure you put yourself in the best tax situation to achieve your goals. Tax planning may also cover timing and amount of income, planning for large expenditures, and light investment guidance to minimize tax in future years. As a key takeaway, tax planners provide services that optimize your tax situation before you report your taxes.

The Tax Preparer

Your tax preparer plays more of a tactical role in helping with taxes – this is the person who files your tax return. They might be your Certified Public Accountant, or even someone you know who helps others prepare taxes. The tax preparer takes their client’s financial information and completes their taxes, files their taxes, and provides tax advice. They work for accounting departments, tax services, or the IRS. The tax preparer will help you file your tax return and ensure that your tax reporting complies with both federal and state tax laws. Tax planners and tax preparers are two distinctly different roles on your financial team, and it’s important to understand their separate purposes. You wouldn’t expect your doctor to do the job of your dentist, so don’t expect your tax preparer to fill the shoes of your tax planner. Are you getting the tax planning that’s right for your family? WR Wealth Planners’ expertise in tax planning is just one small piece of the wealth plan puzzle. Schedule your listening session today.

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