Tax Season – The perfect sales opportunity?
It’s getting close to that dreaded time of year… tax season… where folks across Canada start anticipating either the bonus of a quick cash injection or the threat of underpaid installments on the year’s income. While this is peak season for tax professionals, it could in fact represent a big sales opportunity for advisors.
When it comes to tax season, a lot of people go it alone – 46% of Canadians to be exact, whether it’s through self-service tax back websites or dealing directly with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Whilst those are the most convenient options, it can also mean that taxpayers could be missing out on much needed deductions from RRSPs and TFSAs.
Provide a helping hand
The question then is, as an advisor, how do you add value for clients at this time of year? Well, first of all be proactive when it comes to tax season. You might not be directly involved with a client’s tax returns, but anticipating their current tax situation means you can tailor your advice to suit their needs. After all, saving on taxes is one of the best ways to maximize wealth. Pushing the tax saving advantage also opens the door to upsell other products that might suit your clients’ current situations.
Tailor your approach to each client
Every client is different and delivering a unique approach to how you talk to each one isn’t something new, but it is something that’s even more important in tax season as it can mean a quick savings win. Our on-demand webinar ‘Preparing Your Clients – and Yourself for Tax Season’ provides a detailed look at how to communicate with different client groups. As you may be short on time (between the holidays and tax and RRSP season), we’ve provided a summary of each approach below.
This group is most likely unique to the majority of your clients, so their financial situation is probably a little different. They’ll be holding onto a good level of cash, have short to medium term priorities like paying tuition or buying a house, and definitely won’t be planning for retirement just yet. Encouraging millennials to start contributing to an employer’s RRSP scheme should be a priority, firstly because it’s tax efficient and secondly because it can be used to fund life events such as buying a property or funding education.
Canadian Affluent Households
Tipped as the ideal prospective client for advisors, with lots of liquid investable assets, you’d think that this demographic wouldn’t need much guidance when it comes to tax season. However, they are most likely in a higher tax bracket, which is disadvantageous to their financial goals and their aspirations. They’ll be looking to enjoy a very comfortable retirement with lots of travel, and possible a vacation home – but many affluent investors forget that their RRSP withdrawals are subject to tax, and neglect to work this into their retirement calculations. In this scenario it might be worth encouraging the adoption of a TFSA to help prepare for the tax impact.
High Net Worth Individuals
The holy grail of clients, this group is all about wealth preservation, so the amount of tax they pay can make a big difference. Straightforward conversation about RRSPs and TFSAs won’t scratch the surface of their needs – they will likely have a large variety of investments, registered and unregistered, the latter of which should be your focus alongside higher level strategies for estate planning, trusts and income splitting.
So there we have a brief overview on how to make the most out of the upcoming tax season. If you would like to find out more, take a look at our on-demand webinar ‘Preparing Your Clients – and Yourself – for Tax Season’.