The final quarter of 2018 just started, and you know what that means – year-end planning! You have a little more than 2 holiday-laden months to make sure your tax planning for 2018 and planning for the start of 2019 are on track. To help you get started, we’ve got a few questions you might consider:
- Do you know what your business’ tax bill is going to look like in 2019? Is it what you expected, or is it going to stretch you? Is there anything you can do before year end to get it to a more comfortable position? If you need a referral to an accountant, have you called one of your other professionals, like maybe your attorney, for a recommendation?
- Do you know what your personal tax situation looks like? Have you spoken with your accountant and your financial advisor to make sure that you are doing what you can to get your tax situation under control?
- Is your business going to do any hiring next year? If so, do you have your hiring process sorted out? Do you have an employee handbook? Do you know what you can and cannot ask on an application or in an interview? Is your payroll system adequate to service the number of employees you will have? Will the new employee put you over 50, subjecting you to increased federal regulation, like the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? If you don’t know the answers to some of the questions, or if you’re not comfortable with your answers, you may want to talk to one of our attorneys who has experience helping employers with these issues.
- Are you planning on moving? If so, have you begun interviewing realtors and loan officers? Do you know how much your current house is worth? Do you know what you might need to fix in order to sell it? Do you know where you’d like to move or how much you can afford to pay for your new place? You’ll want to have these answers well before you list your house, and if you don’t start this process until the time you’d like to move, you may find yourself not moving until well after you plan to. We have real estate attorneys who can refer you to qualified professionals, and help you make sense of the giant piles of paper you’ll work through in that process.
- Are you planning on getting married, having a baby, or retiring? If so, it may be a good time to review your estate planning. These are all major life events that you have time in advance to plan for. If you’re in that planning mode, a fresh look at your estate plan, or a first estate plan if you don’t have one already, is a big piece of that. Who should take care of you if you can’t take care of yourself? Who should care for your children? If you own a business, do you have a succession plan? These are all questions that you should know the answer to, and have well documented.
We know the year isn’t going to end next week, but the champagne will be popping before you know it, and if you need to do some planning it can be difficult to get an appointment with your financial advisor or accountant as their days fill up with other clients. By thinking about these issues now and making a plan to deal with them, you can spend less of your holiday time worrying and more time celebrating. As always, if you want to talk to one of our attorneys about any of these issues, please give us a call.
Ben Worsowicz is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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