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How to pick a Tax Advisor/Strategist

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  • How to pick a Tax Advisor/Strategist

    I need to hire a tax advisor/strategist. (I own a rapidly growing private practice and my spouse is an anesthesiologist.)

    I see nine different companies listed at https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/tax-strategists/. They all sound the same.

    Has anybody worked with the companies on this list? Does anybody recommend or not recommend any of them?

    How would you pick one without spending hours and hours talking to 9 different companies?

    I have analysis paralysis! Please help!

  • #2
    Unfortunately your needs are defined in very general terms. Are you looking guidance on strategies for your objectives that you already have in mind? Or are you looking for guidance on everything from structuring retirement, benefit plans, and estate plans and oh by the way I have a HCE anesthesiologist spouse?

    Only you can judge that. You might want to consider a FP first to layout your goals. Separate service. Johanna Fox is listed and her firm deals primarily with physicians. Additionally, her firm offers both FP and Tax separately.jfoxcpacfp

    I would suggest messaging her (or email). The scope of planning and tax will need to be discussed between you and any professional directly. Vendors are restricted to one service in WCI listings. Thus, all sound the same. If nothing else, she wrote the blog post on WCI.
    Key: Know what you want. Sounds like value is the primary goal, not price shopping.
    Start there.

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    • #3
      Hi Tim,

      I'd like someone to analyze my entire financial situation and offer ways to minimize my taxes. Nothing is off-limits. I'm open to anything.

      I'm less interested in FP services WRT the management of my personal investments.

      Value is my primary goal.

      I'm not against working with Johanna Fox, but am hoping for a stronger recommendation than "she wrote the blog post". Anybody have any personal experiences or ideas to pick a tax strategist?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ThankfulGuy View Post
        Hi Tim,

        I'd like someone to analyze my entire financial situation and offer ways to minimize my taxes. Nothing is off-limits. I'm open to anything.

        I'm less interested in FP services WRT the management of my personal investments.

        Value is my primary goal.

        I'm not against working with Johanna Fox, but am hoping for a stronger recommendation than "she wrote the blog post". Anybody have any personal experiences or ideas to pick a tax strategist?
        is your goal to minimize 2020 taxes?

        if so, bad timing. Most excellent CPAs will be busy dealing with year end matters for existing clients

        are you sole owner of this practice? Does the practice already have a CPA? Frankly that’s where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck, is optimizing the business and your compensation from a tax perspective.

        is spouse employed? As a W2 earner there’s just not a lot of options.

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        • #5
          It's probably too late to minimize my 2020 taxes. I'm looking at 2021 and beyond.

          I am the sole owner of my practice. I have a CPA, who I like, but is reactive, not proactive. My spouse is a W2 employee for a local MD group.

          Any recommendations?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ThankfulGuy View Post
            It's probably too late to minimize my 2020 taxes. I'm looking at 2021 and beyond.

            I am the sole owner of my practice. I have a CPA, who I like, but is reactive, not proactive. My spouse is a W2 employee for a local MD group.

            Any recommendations?
            does your practice have a safe harbor 401k? how about a cash balance plan? As the sole owner such plans will cost you, in that you have to give money to employees in the form of employer contributions to the plan. But, it's the easiest way to decrease you're taxable income by six figures. Potentially even for 2020.



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            • #7
              It sounds like jacoavlu suggests tax deferral plans.
              Real estate office ownership is often mentioned as potentially profitable and a good tax deferral.
              Try those.

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              • #8
                Hi Jacoavlu,

                A safe harbor 401k and cash balance plan seem like a smart idea!

                I've heard of lots of ideas ranging from renting out my house for company events to getting a company car to setting up a shell marketing company. I want to find a tax advisor to guide me!

                I guess I'll just randomly call a few places on this list https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/tax-strategists/.

                If they screw me, I'll let you know!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ThankfulGuy View Post

                  I've heard of lots of ideas ranging from renting out my house for company events to getting a company car to setting up a shell marketing company. I want to find a tax advisor to guide me!
                  two of those three I consider dumb ideas

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ThankfulGuy View Post
                    Hi Jacoavlu,

                    A safe harbor 401k and cash balance plan seem like a smart idea!

                    I've heard of lots of ideas ranging from renting out my house for company events to getting a company car to setting up a shell marketing company. I want to find a tax advisor to guide me!

                    I guess I'll just randomly call a few places on this list https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/tax-strategists/.

                    If they screw me, I'll let you know!

                    ​​​​​I would very carefully weigh the potential tax/cash benefits of something like having a company car against the potential liability you could be exposing you and your practice to.

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                    • #11
                      I think you may be able to get more specific recommendations from ppl who have worked with the CPAs on the list on other doctor finance forums and the WCI Facebook page (where financial pro’s are not allowed). Given that I happen to be a moderator here, I would expect participants naturally to be reticent to post their experiences. Impo, you should ask this question to financially astute doctors in doctor finance groups where the financial pros are not included in the group. I would expect you’d get more open rec’s. I am guessing the Facebook group would be a good place to start, but I’ve never participated, so this is a stab in the dark. Others may have add’l suggestions.
                      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                      • #12
                        Minimizing taxes will be a life long problem so you better find someone you like and trust. Advice.....do not use the person who recommended a shell marketing company.

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                        • #13
                          That's good advice. Thank you!

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