Very few among us get excited by the arrival of a tax filing deadline. However, as much as we would like to delay thinking about tax filings until right before Tax Day, it’s actually the end of the calendar year that is the most optimal time to evaluate whether you have the right CPA and whether you’d like to shop around for a new one.

1. Reach out to in-demand firms before their busy season 

CPA busy season is from February through April and late August through October. Tax professionals had their plates full in 2021 with changes in income, cross-state/cross-border taxes, and other new issues that significantly increased in quantity and complexity due to the pandemic. 

That means that waiting until March of next year to try to find a great new CPA is not viable, particularly top-tier firms — many firms focus exclusively on required work for existing clients. November and December are two months when CPAs have considerably more time to meet potential clients and assess whether they can add value.

2. Don’t miss out on implementing key actions before year end that will improve your 2021 tax obligations

Optimized retirement contributions, charitable deductions, investment strategies generally require action before year end. A CPA discussion in November or December can be the final opportunity to implement any last-minute tax strategies to optimize your 2021 taxes.

3. Taxes are still fresh in your mind, especially for those filing quarterly or those who filed an extension

If you or your business just filed your returns for September and/or October 15th, your taxes are still fresh in your mind. That means it’s a perfect time to find a CPA and pass on relevant information as well as questions you may have about actions you or the CPA can take to help optimize future tax filings.

4. Filing taxes and tax planning is complex and shouldn’t be rushed. 

Small errors and missed opportunities in tax planning can result in the difference of thousands or even millions of dollars in tax savings or interest and penalties. You don’t want your filing process to be rushed or last minute. By starting this year, you ensure you aren’t in a position to be rushed for the 2021 filing deadline.

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