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We provide a comprehensive view of your financial life and all the factors that go into life planning. What this means to you is help with personal decision making and putting a date on things. We help you manage your finances and investments, while taking into consideration tax planning, professional moves, children, retirement, healthcare and other important priorities. It’s about life planning and gaining more comfort with your long-term financial security.

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Why You Should Provide Your Tax Return to Your Financial Advisor Each Year
Posted By:  Chris Allen, CFP
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Why You Should Provide Your Tax Return to Your Financial Advisor Each Year

With the 2018 tax season behind us, now is an ideal time to share a copy of your federal and state tax returns with your financial advisor. As an advisor at Total Wealth Planning, having a recent copy of a tax return enables our team to optimize each client’s specific tax situation, and leverage short and long term tax planning opportunities.

Tax planning is a major part of the financial planning process at Total Wealth Planning. We believe in a holistic planning approach rather than investment management only. Reviewing tax returns are an essential part of this process since it allows us to better understand our clients’ financial picture, collaborate with their tax professional, and helps us prepare and advise certain tax strategies for the upcoming year.

Our tax return review process

First and foremost, we want to reconcile any tax planning strategies that were implemented for each client, and confirm the outcome was as expected. Occasionally costly tax preparation mistakes are uncovered stemming from miscommunications or misunderstandings.

For example, charitable planning strategies can be missed. For those clients that are age 70½ or older and gifting from their IRA using Qualified Charitable Distributions (“QCDs”), we can verify that the gifts are properly treated for maximum tax savings. Gifting appreciated securities can also be an advantageous charitable tax planning strategy. Since most clients that utilize this strategy gift from their accounts under Total Wealth Planning’s management, we are able to validate the tax reporting on these gifts.

Roth Conversions are another commonly used tax planning strategy at Total Wealth Planning. We can add value by monitoring and planning for years with little or no income. During these years, a Roth IRA conversion strategy can convert Traditional IRA assets to Roth IRA assets. By accelerating taxable income from a Roth conversion while in a low income tax bracket, you and/or your beneficiaries benefit from one or more lifetime of tax-free growth. A Roth conversion also has the impact of minimizing Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) which can significantly reduce one’s tax liability throughout retirement.

Once we reconcile all prior year strategies, we want to ensure that the appropriate amount was withheld for the year and look toward the following year’s plan.

Whether there is a tax refund or tax due, we have the ability to change any future tax withholding from IRA distributions, or determine how much and if estimated tax payments should be made for the following year in order to meet Safe Harbor. We may not recommend the same tax planning strategies each year, so at times the estimated tax payments that are recommended may not be appropriate if there is a change in circumstance from one year to the next.

Much of the tax planning strategies rely on managing the marginal tax bracket. From determining the rate at which long-term capital gains are taxed to whether the 3.8% Medicare surtax will impact the overall tax liability, it is extremely beneficial and necessary to know your marginal tax bracket.

The tax return may also inform us of a capital loss carry forward. This may permit us to recognize tax-free portfolio rebalancing and profit taking decisions.

Lastly, if there are changes to the tax code, by having our clients’ tax return, we can be better equipped to make decisions that may be impacted by those changes.

Always send your tax returns securely

Anytime you are asked to share sensitive information, such as your tax return, we strongly suggest delivering it in a secure manner.

Specific ways to send to your advisor at Total Wealth Planning are:
  •  Mail or fax (513-984-9270) a paper copy to us
  • Stop by the office and we’ll scan a copy while you wait

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    • 02/04/2021 - Using Net Unrealized Appreciat
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    • 10/27/2020 - 2020 Year End Tax Planning Str
    • 04/28/2020 - High Income Professionals Can
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    • 10/16/2019 - Ohio Homestead Exemption
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Our investment management process is focused on helping you maintain financial stability, preventing mistakes and accomplishing your investment objectives. We don’t just focus on market performance or predictions. We focus on what performance means and how it impacts your long-term goals. It starts with returns, but it is about making life decisions. Working together, you gain a degree of confidence when uncertain times come.

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We help you determine how long to work and when to retire to continue your lifestyle. We analyze when and how to take money from your portfolio to replace your paycheck, with an eye on tax efficiency, spending, healthcare and social security maximization. We address the primary concern of having your money last for the rest of your life.

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Total Wealth Planning’s team of Certified Financial Planners® are here to listen to you and your questions. We never want you to feel rushed. The real benefit is having a road map to help ensure the key elements of your financial life are in order.

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4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 160, Cincinnati, OH 45241 4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 160, Cincinnati, OH 45241
513-984-6696 513-984-6696
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