There’s one thing that some people fear more than anything else – a trip to the dentist. It’s the fear of what you could find out and the awful feeling of having your teeth scraped or worse learning you might need a tooth pulled or a dreaded root canal. At the same time we’re all conditioned to believe that seeing your dentist is a twice a year ordeal as proper dental care requires two yearly cleanings. We also dread having our dentist ask us “do you brush twice a day?” or my favorite “do you floss?”. Most of us know the answer to both is “No” but we lie hoping the dentist won’t find out.
Now I know what you’re thinking – what does this have to do with taxes? The answer: everything!
Unlike your dentist most people are conditioned to see their tax professional just once a year. Some will even go years without seeing us with the hope that they won’t need that major tax procedure. I liken it to those who avoid the dentist for years because they still have all of their teeth. The difference between us and your dentist though is there’s no physical pain and our job is to do quite the opposite: make you feel as little pain as possible. At the same time if we are doing our job right we make sure you keep more of your hard earned money. The dentist on the other hand needs to make sure you keep your teeth and sometimes doing this requires you paying a lot more money for their services, not once will a dentist tell you “hey I know a way you can keep more of your hard earned money.”
With that said you still pay us for what we do and sometimes you pay us more than what you would pay your dentist for even the most extreme procedure(think full set of Hollywood quality veneers). The difference being that those celebrity quality veneers will only make you FEEL like a million bucks while a comprehensive “Hollywood quality” tax planning strategy could actually NET you a million bucks in money that would have otherwise been wasted on taxes. Extreme example, I know, but you get the point. Even a basic cleaning costs over $100 and most employer sponsored dental insurance plans will cover this, however, if you look at your premiums you usually pay more than that over the course of the year for the hope that you are covered for the major procedure that could inevitably come up. I once looked at that and saw that the maximum amount covered was about $1500, hardly enough for a big procedure such as a crown, bridge or root canal, all of which cost in the $3000+ range depending on the dentist you see.
Some of the pain of going to the dentist can be seen in reasons you avoid coming to us, your tax professional- here’s 2 examples similar to dental pain(cavities and root canals):
Cavities- those things you can see but don’t decide to do anything about.
This could be something as simple as running a business and not knowing how it is set up or having a retirement plan and not knowing if you have an IRA or 401(k).
Root canal – the deeper issues that don’t manifest itself until there is pain and you need a costly procedure.
This would be the business setup as an improper structure and costing you more in taxes than it saves or a retirement account that is infested with hidden taxes you were unaware of when you opened it.
In conclusion, I hope that you realize that we’re out to help you and at the very least you need to treat us like your dentist and plan for twice a year checkups if not once a quarter. Just like the dentist those checkups are necessary and usually come with a small upfront cost, but unlike the dentist our goal is to give you tax savings or just piece of mind that you’re protected from the dreaded IRS. So don’t wait until the equivalent of a cavity or root canal, get ahead of the game, keep your tax situation pearly white and feel like a million bucks.
Who knows, we might even save you that amount of money so you can spend it on what you really want even if it’s not a Hollywood set of veneers maybe it is a dream family vacation, that hot new sports car you’ve been eying or just a sizable donation to your favorite charitable cause(which would also be a nice tax deduction as well). Bottom line, please plan to see us more than once a year and you won’t regret it.