Q: My employees sometimes ask my advice about their personal financial affairs. That got me thinking about offering financial counseling from an outside firm as an. Can this be offered as a tax-free ? C.O., Detroit, Mich.
A: Sorry. The value of employer-paid financial planning services is generally taxable to employees. If the services represent tax or investment counseling, employees can deduct the costs as miscellaneous expenses, subject to the usual 2 percent-of-adjusted- gross-income floor. (IRS Revenue Ruling 73-13) Tip: If your company offers a retirement plan, it can offer certain retirement-planning services to employees tax free, including retirement-planning advice and information about how the plan fits into an individual's overall retirement income.