Wake-Up call for your clients
Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA - Can you believe the hysteria over IndyMac accounts? Shades of 1929!
Of course people are upset about losing their deposits. They operate on faith that the very expensive watchdogs our government pays millions to employ will protect our fundamental infrastructure - banking, communications, distribution, transportation, etc.
When banks start going under, it feels as if the country itself is failing. (Think decline and fall of the Roman Empire.)
But hey, let's not sit here being gloomy. Let's look at what you can do for your clients.
It's time to go through your client files to see who has liquid assets sitting in banks. Especially, look at the files of your elderly clients who may not be monitoring their investments carefully.
Perhaps your tax software will let you sort for clients with interest income of $500 or more? (Some banks are paying about half a percent on some accounts.)
Take a good look at the money they have in each financial institution. If any of your clients are approaching FDIC limits - find out if the bank has a CDARS arrangement.
(Read http://snurl.com/2zhm2-tax" target="_blank">MarketWatch article for FDIC limits and data on CDARS.)
If your client's deposit exceed the FDIC limits, either re-arrange their accounts so they are still covered (get family members to co-sign as joint account-holders...or) - or move part of the money to other financial institutions.
Review your own assets, in case you have funds in CDs and banks. Do it now - not later.
For your business clients who must maintain a certain level of liquidity, make sure they are in a bank with a CDARS membership. Have your clients maintain 2 months' operating capital in their most liquid acocunt. And move the rest to CDs or accounts that qualify to be shared amoung CDARS member banks.
Or - if you have better ideas, DO feel free to pass them along to us!
Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.