The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.


Topic Category
The article below is presented as a single post. Click here to view all posts.

By Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

Starting a conversation with current and prospective clients after "tax season" can be as simple as asking: "Did your tax bill (or refund) catch you by surprise this year?"

Most clients would consider a tax refund to be a good surprise, whereas additional taxes owed — possibly with penalties and interest — would be a bad surprise. Either answer opens the door for a conversation with an After-Tax Advisor, as does the third possibility ("I wasn't surprised.") What do you say next?

A reminder for clients who received a good surprise:

"One of the disadvantages to a tax refund is that you are simply being paid back a loan you extended to the government — without interest. It was always your money; you just could not access it. Now let's see how much better off you could be if you'd stop making these interest-free loans."

Advice for clients who received a bad surprise:

"One way we might avoid owing additional taxes next year is to adjust the amount of taxes your employer withholds. With only seven months remaining to make up a 12-month shortfall, we should get started right away or consider making estimated tax payments later this year."

Help unsurprised clients identify unhealthy tax habits they might have fallen into:

"Do you ever get surprised at tax time? Do you think the future might contain the potential for tax surprises?"

Bottom line: The After-Tax Advisor® helps clients understand that tax surprises need not be a regular occurrence.