Helping clients and prospects with tax-aware investment guidance doesn’t have to start with a list of questions about taxes. Consider talking about one of the following topics as part of your regular discovery process with your client during the year, or while developing a comprehensive wealth management plan.

Topic 1: Incentive Compensation
Incentive compensation can trigger significant tax consequences. Ask to see your client’s incentive compensation statements to find out if their plans are taking taxes into account. This, in turn, may lead to a bigger tax management conversation.

Topic 2: Concentrated Stock
Many business owners, corporate executives and other investors have accumulated significant wealth by owning large concentrations of a single stock, wealth that may need strategic diversification. When you ask them whether they have a large holding of company stock, it opens the door to discussing how tax-efficient diversification may be a better option than holding onto the stock.

Topic 3: Charitable Giving
Charitable giving is a well-known way for people to support the organizations they care about and receive a tax benefit. Consider introducing them to more advanced tax strategies designed specifically for sophisticated investors.

Topic 4: Estate Planning
Ask your client if their estate plan has been updated to account for recent tax changes, or changes to their family situation. This is also an opportunity to determine if the plan still aligns with their goals.

By asking your clients and prospects about these topics periodically throughout the year, you’ll help educate them about the impact of taxes and demonstrate that you make tax planning a priority.

Take a few minutes to explore the Eaton Vance Tax Education Center at for more useful resources to help you meet a variety of tax-forward investing needs.

Tax-loss harvest transactions aren't beneficial in a retirement account because the losses generated in a tax-deferred account cannot be deducted.

The Firm does not provide tax advice. The tax information contained herein is general and is not exhaustive by nature. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Investors should always consult their own legal or tax professional for information concerning their individual situation.

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.