Lately people are divided on so many issues, but one thing we can surely all agree on is that we like to hang on to our money.
With tax season in full swing, David Butt, EA, owner of Strategic Tax and Financial Services, can help people from all types of tax brackets find deductions and create sound strategies that will lower their tax liability, saving them money when April rolls around.
For the last three years, Butt has served clients out of his Kenwood office, but he’s been working with people in the Tampa Bay Area on their tax-related needs for 17 years, becoming a licensed Enrolled Agent (EA) in 2007.
“Everyone’s tax situation is different. It’s not just people who make a lot of money who benefit from tax planning. Middle-income folks can benefit, as well.” – David Butt, EA
“Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards,” according to IRS.gov. Enrolled Agents have “earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part, comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.” Butt’s extensive expertise means that he understands the ins and outs of what, to many, is a daunting and confusing task.
“Everyone’s tax situation is different,” he says. “It’s not just people who make a lot of money who benefit from tax planning. Middle-income folks can benefit, as well. If they take children to child care while they work, we can show them how to get the greatest benefit from daycare expenses. Retirement contributions come into play here, as well.”
Alternately, he says, “Higher income taxpayers have more ways to drive down their tax liability. This is because they may be paying alternative minimum tax, net investment income tax or the ACA Medicare tax. If we can get someone into a lower marginal tax bracket, then their tax savings will be large.”
Butt says that a big difference between working with a tax professional versus doing taxes through something like TurboTax is that a software package isn’t going to conduct a thorough interview and learn about all the factors in anyone’s unique situation. Just filling in the blanks is not a proactive way to save the most money.
Strategic Tax and Financial Services offers several other services to ensure their clients get the most out of different types of financial scenarios, not just at tax time. Whether a client needs assistance with bookkeeping, payroll or business consulting; IRS representation in the case of an audit; or if they want to plan their retirement or need help with Estate and Trust tax preparation, among many other services, Butt and his team create long-term plans for maximum results.
“If the taxpayer is inheriting a home or other assets, we can go over how their taxes will be affected when they sell these assets,” says Butt. “If someone is purchasing a home for the first time or going to college (taxpayer or children), then there are ways to lower their taxes. Someone getting a tax break in the middle class will save a larger percentage of their income than someone making a larger income. If the taxpayer is in a lower marginal tax bracket and they have an IRA, we can talk about converting some of it to a Roth IRA and how that will affect their taxes.”
TurboTax probably isn’t going to tell you all that, but David Butt will. He will also guide his clients through the following scenarios:
“If the taxpayer is self-employed, then we can see if they need to delay or accelerate income based on the current year income projections,” he says. “The same thing can be done with expenses. We can see if hiring a family member in the business is a good idea, either a spouse or children. Hiring children and starting retirement accounts is a great way for kids to learn about investing and the idea of money. If they are starting to make a lot of money then they need to figure out what type of retirement account is right for them.”
What’s more, Butt’s company even offers complimentary tax return review for clients’ past filings up to three years. By law taxpayers have that long to collect a refund, and often deductions and credits are missed. It’s kind of like finding forgotten money in a jacket pocket—and everybody loves that.
Strategic Tax and Financial Services, LLC, is located at 2961 1st Ave. N. For more information visit strategictaxfinancial.com or call (727) 744-7938.