We’re less than two weeks out from Labor Day, September 3. That means official Tax Planning Season starts on September 4! And this year, Tax Planning Season can be even merrier than usual. That’s because we have the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a whole new tax law to plan for. And If you’ve never done true tax planning for your clients, this gives you a whole new reason to bring up the topic. So we’re re-upping (and slightly revising) a discussion we had back in January about putting the TCJA to work for your business.

To repeat — because I’m not afraid of repeating this point too much — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use tax planning to build your business. Let the other tax professionals get lost in the weeds learning how to do taxes under the new rules. We’re going to leave them all behind because we’re going to focus on using planning to help clients pay less, demonstrate our superior value, and stand out from the crowd. We’re going to get out of the business of “recording history” (which is going to be mostly if not fully automated in the next decade anyway) and move into the far more valuable, and lucrative, business of providing advice.

So here’s your two-step system for using the new tax law to generate new clients.

1. Learn the Rules

It starts with learning everything you can about the new Section 199A Qualified Business income rules — especially the proposed regulations the IRS issued last week.

2. Open the Doors

This next step involves opening the doors to new prospects and client relationships. In other words, marketing and sales. Ordinarily, that’s a challenge, because it requires doing something to distinguish yourself from your competition. But this season, it’s ludicrously easy, because it involves just one single step. Ask prospects the all-new Magic Question 2018 Edition:

“Hey, what’s your tax professional doing to help you make the most of the new tax law?”

In most cases, as you’ve already guessed, the answer will be “nothing.” Maybe “nothing yet.” In that case, your answer should sound something like this:

“We haven’t had this much change in the tax code since 1986. There are some things that will happen automatically to help you save, like lower tax brackets. But if you own your own business, there are several really important choices you have to make to capture the most of the opportunity. And if you don’t do your planning now, you’ll lose those opportunities forever.”

In some cases, they’ll say “I got an email/letter/brochure telling me all about the new changes.” In that case, your answer should sound something like this:

“We haven’t had this much change in the tax code since 1986. There are some things that will happen automatically to help you save, like lower tax brackets. But if you own your own business, there are several really important choices you have to make to capture the most of the opportunity. And if you don’t do your planning now, you’ll lose those opportunities forever.”

You’ll think of something . . . .

Seriously. Find one new business owner every day. Ask them the all-new Magic Question 2018 Edition. I guarantee you’ll see your business grow. You’ve just gotta get out there and take advantage of this season’s opportunity to do it!

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