Here are a few tools that your clients may or may not fully comprehend. If you can help them understand the possible benefits then they may be able to do some of this research themselves and know what to do to better their tax future.
Contributions to 401K – There is a good chance that most of your clients will have a company provided 401k plan. Some of these plans still include a contribution match by the employer up to a certain percentage, which is a great benefit and if your client can afford to contribute and get the maximum match then they definitely should take advantage. The IRS limits vary based on income, marital status and age; find out your clients limits here. Plus, if your client can lower their taxable income to the next tax bracket by making contributions then you have the opportunity to save them a nice chunk of cash.
Charitable Contributions – Ask if your client has a qualified charity that they are interested in donating to. If they are interested, then it’s time to check in to see if there is a tax benefit available to them and if so how to maximize that.
Tax Harvesting – If you have a client that made trades during the tax year and experienced a capital gain then they may want to look into the option of selling some of additional securities to help offset the gain with a loss. The help of a financial planner may be beneficial to recommend in this situation unless the client has control and knowledge of their own investments.
These may or may not be helpful to your clients, but taking the time to check and try to help and minimize their tax liability sure will mean a lot to them. That is the kind tax preparer I would want to come back to year after year.