CPA Firm Focuses on Proactive Tax Projections and Planning
Years of Experience and a Commitment to Clients
Allen & Allen LLP launched in 2004 as a partnership between Noelle Allen, a nationally recognized tax professional, and her son Mark Allen. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Noelle Allen, CPA, is currently a member of the California CPA Society, a trustee of the CalCPA Education Foundation board, as well as a member and past chairperson of the California CPA Society State Tax Committee.
Mark Allen is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Enrolled Agent. He also maintains his California Life & Health Insurance license, with a specialty in long-term care. When he’s not busy serving his clients, Allen teaches courses for the CalCPA Education Foundation.
Together, the Allens and their four employees specialize in income tax planning and insurance strategies for individuals and small-business owners. The firm maintains offices in Folsom, Pleasanton, and Sunnyvale, California and serves more than 600 clients across the San Francisco Bay and greater Sacramento area. Mark Allen works out of the main office in Folsom, while Noelle Allen works remotely from her home office in Reno, Nevada.
Seeking Certainty in an Uncertain Environment
During the 2012 year-end tax planning season, the Allens had to grapple with an unusually high degree of tax law uncertainty. In addition to the usual last-minute question as to whether Congress would reach a deal on AMT relief, the stalemate over the fiscal cliff negotiations made it extremely difficult to provide clients with accurate tax projections. While the odds seemed to favor higher income tax rates and the reduction of certain tax deductions in 2013, there was no way to accurately forecast what would happen.
Mark Allen believes that the potential for major tax law changes in the future underscores the need for proactive tax planning and vigilance. That’s why he is committed to providing all of his clients, many of whom own rental properties or incentive stock options, with an annual tax projection. And, with so many possible outcomes to yearly tax negotiations, Allen needs to model multiple scenarios for his clients each year.
“Effective tax planning involves a lot more than simply telling clients how much tax they will owe,” says Allen. “It also requires you to incorporate the latest tax law changes and to maximize the use of those laws for the benefit of your client.”
Winning Tax Projection Strategies Equal Substantial Client Savings
The Allens rely on Income Tax Planner Web™ to provide their clients with accurate tax projections. “When I do tax projections for our clients, I’m always looking for different strategies to reduce their taxes,” says Allen. “Using Income Tax Planner Web, I can model cases over multiple years using different variables and feel confident that the tax plan I’m putting together is correct. We have saved clients oodles of money over the years and we always feel comfortable that the tax plan we’re putting together is complete and correct.”
Income Tax Planner Web has also enabled Allen to uncover hidden tax savings for his clients. For example, while pre-paying state income tax typically doesn’t help clients who are subject to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), Allen discovered through using Income Tax Planner Web that doing so would save one of his clients more than $7,000. “We were heroes to that client,” he says.
Web-Based Solution Allows the Firm to Be More Productive on the Road
Because the Allens and their staff members travel frequently to meet with clients in the San Francisco Bay area and in Sacramento, they often need to update calculations while out of the office. Therefore, when Income Tax Planner Web launched in the spring of 2012, Allen jumped on the opportunity to upgrade to the web-based version.
With the web-based version, the Allens and their team can now create updated tax projections from virtually any location. In addition, their administrative staff can log in, print out, and mail reports to clients without having to install software on their computers. The fact that he no longer has to update his servers or his Income Tax Planner software also saves a good amount of Allen’s time, allowing him to focus on higher-value tasks for his clients.