The Difference Between A Tax Planner & A Financial Planner

June 25, 2018

Whether you’re a small business owner or an individual looking to take better care of your finances, you may be curious to know the difference between a tax planner and a financial planner, and which of the two you might benefit from using the services of.

With almost all areas of personal finance being connected and related to one other, as an individual, you’ll find that there is an overlap between the roles of a tax planner and a financial planner, whereas if you’re a small business owner, the differences may be a little more distinguishable.

What is a tax planner and how can they help you with your financial circumstances?

Income taxation is the chosen specialist topic for tax planners, and whether referring to an accountant, a CPA (certified public accountant) or a tax attorney, each will have a set of recognized professional credentials and should be well versed in the subject matter. Should you be using the services of a tax planner, then their work will be focused upon the various elements of income tax related to you or your business. That said, since there are many wide ranging financial matters that income taxes encompass, most tax planners will have sound knowledge of many other aspects of personal and business finances, too. It’s often this expanse and breadth of knowledge which can make them seem akin to a financial planner.

Using the knowledge and experience that seasoned tax planners have, they will help you to minimize your income tax for the current year and guide you as to how best to minimize them in the future.

What is a financial planner, and how might they be able to help you?

The term ‘financial planner’ is a much broader one than a tax planner, and the services that they can offer may be of a more varied nature. To help clients know how best a financial planner can help them, they often have professional designations such as CFP (certified financial planner) or RFP (registered financial planner), and they can also play roles in other professional fields such as CPA’s or attorneys.

Due to the broad term of ‘financial planner’ and the variety of ways in which they can help individuals and small businesses, they can be confused with other professionals working within the financial industry, and it can be difficult to know exactly which type of financial expert you might need the help of.

If your business is within a specific industry, then you might be wise to seek a financial planner with expertise in that area, otherwise you may fare better with one who covers a wide range of industries.

Financial planners should never seek commission from clients or receive any kind of renumeration for signing them up to specific products or investments; the advice and guidance that they give you should be unbiased, clear and legally sound.

As both a financial planner and a tax planner are involved in money matters surrounding taxation, you may find that your circumstances warrant the services of both, but a tax planner will naturally be best placed to give specific advice and guidance related to your tax situation.

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