Ep 118: Empowering Clients Through Integrated Tax Planning Strategies with Steven Jarvis

Steven Jarvis, CEO and Head CPA at Retirement Tax Services, author, and podcast host, joins Matt on today’s episode of Bridging The Gap. Steven’s firm is helping financial advisors transform the way they deliver tax planning, how tax planning is integrates with wealth management, and how advisors can incorporate more tax planning into their client services.

Steven dives into how advisors can find the time to incorporate tax planning into their firms and better utilize our time around helping our clients with tax planning. He shares common myths about tax planning from his book, how every money decision has a tax impact, and how simply referring clients to a CPA may not be enough.

Steven shares his experience in the industry, why he started Retirement Tax Services, key factors that make tax planning great, and how we can deliver value to our clients. 

Advisors are the quarterback of the relationship between client and CPA, and Steven walks us through how do bridge these two components of financial advisory to ensure our clients’ needs are met.

Timestamps from this Episode: 

[00:03:43] Steven Jarvis shares how the accounting profession is not as glamorous as some make it out to be. Most people become CPAs for practical reasons. He took accounting in community college and pursued it for job security, and explains why he quit being a public accountant when he was up for partner.

[00:06:55] Steven Jarvis left a big national accounting firm due to involvement in overburdensome SEC regulations, and switched to a different firm. However, he was later offered the opportunity to create a resource that didn’t exist, which led him to quit and start Retirement Tax Services.

[00:12:44] Financial advisors must consider tax planning for clients and communicate its impact. Simply recommending clients to consult their CPA is not enough.

[00:17:43] Advisors should set expectations and have a process when requesting a tax return from clients to deliver value and avoid mistakes, using repeatable checklists. The “dishwasher rule” emphasizes communicating to clients what was done.

[00:24:48] Different advisors charge differently and offer unique services. One charges a premium AUM fee for premium services while another charges a monthly flat fee and refers clients to additional services without paying for them.

[00:30:47] Steven’s tax prep firm works closely with advisors, provides proactive planning, and accessible tax resource for year-round assistance. His firm only takes clients who work with advisors and they do not do standalone tax returns.

[00:33:08] Steven praises a three-pronged solution for tax preparation, planning, and final year tax prep, and expresses interest in learning more about taxes and book recommendations.

Steven Jarvis Bio:

Co-founded by Steven Jarvis, CPA, Retirement Tax Services (RTS) specializes in the unique needs of taxpayers who are in, approaching, or planning for retirement. What makes RTS unique is that it works in partnership with your existing Financial Advisor to make your life easier and ensure that you are not leaving the IRS a tip (aka overpaying). While most tax preparers see filing a tax return as the finish line, that is just step 1 in our process.

Steven Jarvis, MBA, CPA, is also RTS’s CEO & Lead Tax Wiz. Steven has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant (licensed in Washington State, no. 30681) with over ten years of accounting experience with some of the Nation’s largest firms, including BDO USA, LLP, and CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. Steven is also a former adjunct professor of accounting in the MBA program at Whitworth University. And when he is not focused on taxes, he is a Dad, Husband, and Triathlete.

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About the Show

Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.