Individuals

 

 

Blackhawks Picasso – Richard J. Daley Center

Helping You Plan for a Better Tomorrow

Tax planning, tax preparation, consulting on a wide range of matters, and basic accounting are the core services we provide to our individual clients.

Income taxes – The tax planning and preparation needs of our clients range from straightforward income tax returns for a young couple who are just starting their financial life together to retirees to business owners to individuals with complex returns with a wide range of investments and income tax exposure to multiple states.

Our relationships extend for many, many years with our clients, providing our clients with not only consistency, but with a professional firm that knows their financial and tax situation intimately.  Some examples of the tax services we provide to specific client groups are as follows:

Attorneys – we work with a number of attorneys from law firms in Chicago and the suburbs.  Many of our attorney clients are from major national and international firms, who have income tax exposure to multiple states, as well as foreign income and expense activity.  Our familiarity with these complicated settings allows us to efficiently and effectively guide our clients through the income tax preparation process, and enables us to serve as advisors when issues arise during the year.

Investors – many of our clients have invested in complicated structures, including oil and gas wells, hedge funds, and various other limited partnership investments and LLCs.  Other clients have large investment portfolios of more traditional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, while some fortunate clients are beneficiaries of multiple trusts or estates.  Our years of experience and exposure to the broad spectrum of investment possibilities allows us to not only prepare the necessary Federal and State tax returns, but also allows us to help you plan appropriate tax strategies.

Retirees – retirement is typically a goal for most of us, and there are specific income tax needs of retirees.  Because income tax decisions should not be made in a bubble, it is also important to consider the investment impact of various tax strategies.  Considering and identifying which investments and retirement accounts to draw down and when to do so is very important to minimizing the income tax burden and maximizing a client’s portfolio value.

Business owners – as a CPA firm that focuses a considerable amount of its resources on the business community, we understand the income tax strategies for the owners of businesses like no one else.  Understanding tax laws is important, but so is coordinating the tax advice among the various entities.  Most important, however, is a CPA for a business owner who takes initiative and pushes income tax considerations to center stage.  Planning for us is not just a year-end strategy or, worse, an after year-end event; it is an ongoing process during the course of the year.

Corporate executives – as income increases and wealth accumulates, the magnitude of the tax problems grow as well.  Helping our clients understand multi-state taxes, complicated buy-out proposals, qualified and nonqualified stock options, restricted stock options, fringe benefit opportunities, and a number of other matters that are geared to higher earners is key to maximizing financial opportunities and minimizing tax obligations.  We are available throughout the year to help our clients analyze and understand the best course of action.

Families – some of our greatest personal satisfaction as professionals comes from helping families.  Whether it is preparing income tax returns, or giving advice on educational funding, or considering how to best invest for retirement, or assisting when a loved one passes away or an inheritance is received, nothing is more rewarding to us than helping people solve their tax and financial problems.

Consulting – As professionals trained in accounting, tax, and financial matters, we are often called upon to assist with some of the largest decisions and at some of the most important times in the lives of our clients.

Divorce consulting – Our consulting services include assisting clients as they work through the tax and financials aspects of the divorce process, which might require preparing financial disclosure forms for the courts, analyzing investment allocations, determining the educational funding needs for dependent children, and considering the tax effects of various divorce proposals.

Estate planning – Our clients also turn to us for estate planning, where we serve with attorneys as the key members of the professional team that helps our clients understand the various planning alternatives and options.  For many clients, the needs may be simple – putting basic wills and powers in place – while for other clients, we may be called upon for our deep knowledge of trust taxation and administration and our understanding of complex estate tax strategies.

Retirement planning – In the best cases, retirement planning does not start the day a client retires.  We encourage our clients to plan for retirement on an ongoing basis throughout their lives.  Our understanding of finances and tax laws help our clients make the best decisions as they consider how to best build their retirement portfolios, maintain their retirement portfolios and, ultimately, how to draw down those funds in retirement.

Educational planning – There are a number of options for saving for educational needs, and no one option will be the best in all cases.  We work with families, including grandparents and other relatives, to decide how best to build funds for education.  Whether the strategy includes a 529 plan or an UTMA, we will help you make the best decisions for your particular situation.

Investment strategy and performance – Because we are independent and do not sell any investment products, clients will turn to us for an objective analysis of how their portfolios have performed.  Working as a team with our client’s investment advisors, we use our knowledge of tax and our understanding of financial matters to help coordinate strategies for our clients.

Our services to individuals typically fall under three broad categories of income taxes, consulting, and accounting.  Some specific services we provide are as follows:

Accounting - In certain cases, our clients turn to us to help them with maintaining their financial lives.  Busy executives, retirees, and other in challenging situations sometime need assistance when it comes to paying bills, monitoring and reconciling their bank accounts, and updating their personal accounts in a software package.  We structure these engagements for each particular situation, in some cases providing these services and reporting solely to the individuals, and in other cases reporting to other interested family members as well.