When you own a closely-held business, your personal and business goals are not mutually exclusive. The business goals you set and decisions you make that affect your company’s finances can also affect your family’s financial health. And the changes you make in your personal life can affect your ability to successfully run your business. Tax planning is one of the strategic tools that can be instrumental in helping you set financially feasible and realistically achievable personal and business financial goals, and to achieve them in a reasonable timeframe.
Aligning Your Goals and Identifying Potential Roadblocks
The nature of your personal and business goals depends on where you are in life and where your company falls in the business lifecycle. If your company is still in its infancy, designing efficient operations, taking care of administrative functions, and developing new leads may be where you focus most of your time and money. If you have an infant at home on the other hand, you may have a goal to reduce your hours in the office to focus more of your time and attention at home. If you’re on the cusp of retirement and plan to transfer your business to your children, your personal goal may be to spend less time in the office and enjoy more time with your grandchildren.
In either scenario, you have to ask yourself what that plan looks like financially. If you reduce your hours, what areas of business operations might suffer in your absence? Do you need to devote time to train or allot funds to hire someone? In a family transfer, the owner not only has to ensure their ability to meet future financial obligations without business cash flow, but they also have to have sufficient financial support across the timeline of the sale. Do you have liquidity and cash flow concerns? Are you prepared to weather a longer period of financing or transaction execution than a third-party sale?
Creating a Tax Plan that Supports You & Your Business
Whatever the personal and business goals are you’d like to achieve, you need a strategic plan that allows you to do so without negatively affecting your personal finances or business operations. How can tax planning help? Budgeting, forecasting, and projections are an important part of the process. If you want to reduce your work hours, for example, tax planning can help you optimize the way your business income and personal spending are structured.
If you are preparing for a family transfer, there are tax strategies that can help you increase your liquidity and cash flow, increase the transferable value of your business, shorten the timeline of the transaction, and minimize the taxes associated with the transfer itself. Tax planning helps you leverage all of the tax benefits, deductions, and credits available to you, so you can realize more control over the timing of your tax payments. You can employ strategies to reduce your taxable income and the rate at which you are taxed, such as deferring your income or shifting income to family members.
ARB’s Business Tax, Individual Tax, and Closely-Held Business Advisory Services Teams help business owners with tax planning strategies that run the gamut from personal income tax, gift and estate taxes, and business income tax, to investment, retirement, and succession planning. I want to help you create and implement a tax plan
that supports your personal and business goals. If you’re ready to talk strategy, contact me today.
John Hadwen joined ARB in 2021 as a tax director. He specializes in providing individuals and businesses with comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services related to manufacturing, construction, real estate, closely-held business, and professional services firm taxation. Prior to joining ARB, John was a Tax Principal at a large, regional CPA firm.