October tax deadline putting a crimp in your autumn?
It happens every year. Some clients put off the pain of tax return filing as long as they possibly can, and that means your firm might be experiencing an October crunch. Are those clients procrastinators, disorganized or… suffering from tax-related mental illness? Or maybe a combination of all three?
- If you don’t already offer a service that will organize a client’s brown bag of receipts through a software program, consider using an organizing program such as 1040Scan Lite, which will create a pdf file of receipts properly classified and organized. Or clients can get organized on their own with programs like Shoeboxed.com.
- In this time when every dollar counts, try offering a small discount for clients who get their complete information to you by a specified date. When the 2010 filing season gets closer, consider offering a discount to clients who bring their work in by certain deadlines, perhaps a multi-tiered discount that diminishes as the weeks tick by.
- You might need to do a little hand-holding and remind clients that putting off the inevitable only increases their anxiety, doesn’t change the bottom line of tax liability, and could result in higher tax preparation fees.
- In anticipation of next year’s tax filing season, which is just months away, make sure clients have a tax organizer, preferably with your firm’s logo and contact information on it. Even a simple computer-generated list can work to get taxpayers thinking ahead.
- Many individuals measure their worth as human beings by their financial net worth, so they put off learning the truth. She adds that some people also fear that, if their finances have not gone well during the year, their accountants will judge them harshly.
- Others view the CPA or tax preparer as a symbol of authority that is likely to be critical of them. If the taxpayer sees him or herself as a financial failure the fear is that the CPA will make the same judgment.
- Then there are clients who view the tax preparer as the bearer of bad news, and do their best to put that off as long as possible by showing up at the last minute.
- Can you agree on and honor deadlines or would you like some help with that?
- Where and when do you get "stuck"?
- Is it difficult for you to organize receipts?
- Is it difficult for you to do bookkeeping?
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.