Happy Tax Freedom Day
I'll be this has never happened to you.
Communication with client and his minions to follow up on missing information:
TaxMama: Regarding your tax-free municipal fund income, in what state(s) is it invested? Please, remember to ask your broker, or to pull the documents from the investment itself.
Client: Sends e-mail to broker copying my request.
Broker: Sends e-mail with copy of documents we already have, that don't clarify the information.
TaxMama: Feeling hopeless, because I have been trying to get this answer since February, tries to look up "Alliance Munincome Fd Inc." online. Only to learn they have funds in many states.
TaxMama: E-mail to client, politely and calmly asking him to ask his broker again.
Client: Sends e-mail to broker, again.
Broker: Sends e-mail to client saying it's in the information. But perhaps his assistant can help, if we don't understand.
Assistant to broker: Sends e-mail with her phone number, offering to help.
Call to Assistant:
TaxMama: Thanks for your time.
Assistant: I'm happy to help. But I don't know much about taxes, so I'm not sure if I can really help you.
TaxMama: Could you please tell me what Alliance Munincome Fd Inc. is invested in?
Assistant: It's invested in municipal bonds of states.
TaxMama: (silent scream) Yes, I know that a fund called a "Munincome Fd" is invested in municipal bonds. Which state's bonds? [explanation follows about deductibility of your state's bond interest vs out of state bond interest - stuff the brokers and their assistants really ought to understand. (TaxMama thinking: They do take CPE, don't they? Do they have to be awake when they take those classes?)]
Assistant: Oh, California,...yes, all the bonds listed are California bonds.
TaxMama: Ah, see, now that's really useful to know, since the client lives in New York and won't get tax-free treatment on his NY return. Thank you.
Assistant: You're welcome.
TaxMama: Have a lovely day.
Assistant: You too. Oh, by the way, there's another 1099 coming for this client that you probably don't have. Just thought you'd need to know that.
TaxMama: (Thinking - now she tells me? On April 13th? Where were these folks back in February?) Thank you. And you'll be faxing that to me?
Assistant: Uh...no....But, hey, I can e-mail it to you!
TaxMama: Great. Got to go now...unless you have any more surprises?
Assistant: Hmmm...surprises? Uh, noooo.
TaxMama: OK then, have a lovely day.
Happy Tax Freedom Day to all!
(When is Client Minion Freedom Day?)