Bad tax clients, revisited
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Attention tax preparers. Does the complaint below sound familiar?
Attention tax clients: Is @taxmegan talking about you?
Now I'm sure -- OK, pretty sure -- that Megan is kidding about inflicting physical pain on her less-than-ideal client.
But then tax hurt can come in many forms, as Megan, an Enrolled Agent, notes in a conversation with CPA Joe (@joebwan) few minutes later:
What not to do: Failure to provide all necessary information to your tax preparer is a major complaint from those who make their livings doing taxes and tax planning for others.
Being very late in finally getting your tax pro the material is right up there with client haphazardness.
And as Megan pointed out, while it royally irritates your tax pro, it also is likely to cost you money.
You're going to have to pay for the additional time your preparer spends filling out and then re-filling forms as you straggle in week after week with additional information.
And if you never get all the tax material or provide wrong data to your preparer, he or she won't be able to find all the tax breaks to which you're entitled, meaning you'll likely leave some of your money in Uncle Sam's hands.
Hellish tax clients: Last year, I asked readers Are you a good or bad tax client?
Given that we're into crunch tax filing time and that I've heard from a fair share of tax pros who are venting about clients from hell, it's time to reprise that post.
Here are a couple of this year's comments via Twitter:
From @joebwan, "The time to tell the tax pro about big tax events is before they happen, not when you bring in your stuff." Also, "Nothing costs more than cheap tax advice."
And both Joe and @going_concern note that if you're just now getting in touch with your tax pro, be prepared to file for an extension.
In addition to being timely, the high points from my earlier post apply this, and any, filing season:
- Be professional.
- Be responsible.
- Be thorough.
- Be honest.
I'll leave it to you to look in the mirror and truthfully answer the question about your tax client worthiness. But you might want to check out that earlier post just in case you're not sure.
- Are you a good or bad tax client?
- Picking a tax pro
- Do taxes yourself or hire a pro? (Bankrate)
- Economy's effect on tax filing methods
- Are you ready to file your taxes?
- E-filing 2010 is here ... except for homebuyer credit claimants
- New forms this filing season
- 7 new tax laws that could save you money
- Don't overlook these tax breaks
- Don't forget your Daily Tax Tip!
- Don't forget your state taxes!
Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or Digg This buttons below or use the Share This icon to spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and other popular applications. Thanks!
I agree with this. To be fair to the clients, though, sometimes they don't KNOW that they've had a major tax event until the envelope with the imprint IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT shows up in the mail.
Posted by: Zitmeds | Monday, March 08, 2010 at 11:16 PM
If you aren't sure if you need to call your tax professional about something you did or are planning to do....CALL. Don't wait until tax season.
I know you brought your stuff in a month ago. I sent you off with a list of things I needed to have in hand to prepare a complete return. It's only been a few days since you brought me the other things I asked for.
Posted by: Jan D | Monday, March 08, 2010 at 10:46 PM
Another good one, Kay. To be fair to the clients, though, sometimes they don't KNOW that they've had a major tax event until the envelope with the imprint IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT shows up in the mail. I've found this to happen to clients who inherit trust accounts from deceased relatives - they don't think about it until the combined 1099 or schedule K-1 shows up in their mailbox, often after they've filed.
Posted by: NCTaxPro | Monday, March 08, 2010 at 01:13 PM
Great article. You have to be very careful when filing taxes. An omission or a mistake can lead to harsh penalties afterward. Make sure you have all the documentation needed before you file.
Posted by: The Tax Club | Monday, March 08, 2010 at 08:11 AM