Tax Season – Let Me Help you, Help Us

13 Feb

This is a totally off topic post but I am going to write it just because, well I can, its my blog ūüôā

 

So this tax season, if you are using a CPA, I would suggest the following to make your accountants job a bit easier.

  1. If you come to the office to drop off your information, please have it ready to drop off. Dont have 5 different bags of stuff to dump on to our conference table and then sort through.
  2. Please do not set up a meeting with your accountant, especially if your situation has not changed (an additional W2 does not constitute CHANGE). A meeting is only needed for new clients or clients that have a difficult tax situation. We do charge for our time so if you block off an hour to pull out each tax document individually to show to your accountant as if it is their first time seeing a W2, you will be charged.Open and remove all envelopes, it saves us time (and you money because we charge by the hour) and we know that you have looked at what was sent to you.
  3. If you are going to write a note to your accountant, use regular white paper… 8 x 11 and write clearly. If someone has ever said to you that they have a hard time reading your¬†writing, please type the note opposed to writing it.
  4. If you use pencil, please press hard
  5. Do not staple documents together, or Tape for that matter or paperclips either
  6. If you are printing out an excel spreadsheet, think about the readability of it, better yet, give us a copy of it so we can print it properly.
  7. Do not provide us with Tax Forms… if your CPA does not have the¬†proper¬†tax forms, I would re-evaluate your accountant.
  8. If you are going to have your CPA do your children’s tax return, please put the information separately so that we are aware of your intentions
  9. If you are using paper larger than legal or letter size most likely it will be difficult for your accountant to read. Many offices are digital and your records are being securely scanned, large paper is very difficult for us.
  10. Do not use sticky notes on your information, they always stick to the wrong thing
  11. Dark highlighters are our enemies, please dont use them.
  12. If you¬†receive¬†an “organizer” from your accountant, do not try to place your tax documents between the organizer pages. You are wasting your time because we will most likely remove them
  13. Do not come to your accountants with a box of receipts. If you do, please have them tallied, it will save you money since we will charge by the hour to tally them
  14. If you call your¬†accountant¬†several times as if they are your therapist, know that we bill you for our time… all our time. Don’t be surprised if you have a larger bill than normal
  15. If you are going on vacation or traveling please let us know that you will be away and the dates that you will be away. Do not assume since you put that information on a 2 by 2 sticky note in the bottom of your envelope that we will see that right away
  16. When you receive your tax return in the mail from us, please open it. We cannot file your return for you without your signature.
  17. When you do open your tax return please read all directions. CPAs use Sign and Date stickers for a reason
  18. If you¬†receive¬†a notice, please call us,¬†don’t¬†immediately¬†pay it and DONT IGNORE IT, call us. Not all notices are correct and not all notices mean that the¬†government¬†is after you.
  19. If you come to our offices to pick up your return, announcing “I am hear to pick up my return” to the front office does not help. Please say, “I am Joe Smith here to pick up my return”. Even though we may remember you, it is very helpful to say who you are.
  20. If you call your accountant before 7:30am or after 7:30pm with a super important question, please dont be upset that they are not answering their phones… Accountants have families too.
  21. This is a before tax season item but helpful to remember, if you call on December 31, 20XX asking if there is anything you can do to help reduce your tax liability… most likely the answer is probably not. If you called December 15, 20XX and asked the same question, we can help you.
  22. If you plan to buy something large or sell something large… a. let us know BEFORE you buy or sell, the day of does not count as BEFORE b.¬†don’t¬†assume you will get a deduction c. Dont buy something for the deduction only d. keep all your records and provide them to us
  23. If you need copies of your return we are happy to provide them… if we securely email them to you, please dont ask for them multiple times throughout the year… look at your email or save your email, because we will charge for our time to send them to you via email for the 5th time.
  24. If you are faxing something over, please¬†don’t¬†call before the fax has been fully sent and ask if we got your fax… no we¬†haven’t¬†because you have not SENT it yet.
  25. Ever heard of PITA? Its the Pain In The Ass charge… we¬†don’t¬†actually charge for being a pain but we wish we could.

 

Just some tips to make your relationship with your tax preparer a joyous one ūüôā

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