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Different Years, Same Clowns

PATAX
Level 15

Year after year the same clowns. They forget a 1099 R form or maybe the Social Security form. They forget forms from the brokers or information about their rental property . They can't remember if they paid all the estimates. Year after year you can't finish the return and have to request information. But God forbid if you charge them an extra $5 for the extra work they start hyperventilating.πŸ€‘πŸ‘Ž

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Accepted Solutions
IRonMaN
Level 15

But tax season is one big circus.  You can't have a circus without clowns.


Slava Ukraini!

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51 Comments 51
dascpa
Level 11

I have over 100 waiting on information.  Will I get it in time?  Who knows.  Should I suggest an extension - on my no, they freak out.  But the worst is the amount of returns I've had to redo after completion because they forgot this form or that.  

IRonMaN
Level 15

My most common one this year is a 1099S.  That’s it.  No mention on what we sold or its cost.  Just a 1099S.  It’s a tax form so they knew I would need itπŸ™„


Slava Ukraini!
garman22
Level 13
Level 13

@PATAX wrote:

Year after year the same clowns. They forget a 1099 R form or maybe the Social Security form. They forget forms from the brokers or information about their rental property . They can't remember if they paid all the estimates. Year after year you can't finish the return and have to request information. But God forbid if you charge them an extra $5 for the extra work they start hyperventilating.πŸ€‘πŸ‘Ž


Same same.....its not like its one form, its multiple. Its like cmon man, this is not your first rodeo. Put some freakin thought behind this. 

Skylane
Level 11
Level 11

Seems like this is an annual rant….. there’s a 1099s in your paperwork for 570k and a 1099R for 50k (of course early dist)…. let me guess.. You sold your 2 family that you bought in 2001 for 200k, cashed in your 401k and used all the money to buy new 1 family home? Neither the realtor or attorney mentioned that you may owe some taxes? … this isn’t going to end well….

If at first you don’t succeed…..find a workaround
jeffmcpa2010
Level 11

You are not obligated to invite them back....

IRonMaN
Level 15

But tax season is one big circus.  You can't have a circus without clowns.


Slava Ukraini!
JWM
Level 3

My engagement letters stipulate I can extend their returns at my own discretion and that failure to respond to a request within 2 weeks by the emails we log at time of the engagement letter or if I perceive that have lied to me allow me to withdraw without penalty.  Most returns are paid at the same time the client gets the returns (with EFILE/COPY watermarks, I do use them and I know many professionals do not like them.) I never pursue deadbeats legally. I have long since stopped worrying about the time lost on a partially-completed return. I lose < 1 return / year after instituting these policies ten years ago.

dascpa
Level 11

All well and good but my clients wouldn't read an engagement letter. They can't even take the time to open their mail with W-2's and 1099's. 

JWM
Level 3

There's your problem. Do not take such a client. I am pretty flexible and have I think an awesome, easy organizer where I ask mostly yes no questions and stuff they should have in their heads or on a drivers license, I never ask them to compute stuff except maybe schedule c expenses by category ... if they have the PDFs for inputs, it takes maybe 15-20 minutes to get through. Clients that refuse to sign an engagement letter or  file an organizer also get a go elsewhere instruction. Some people cannot help but attract problems through their own behavioral tics, their money is never worth your struggle.

dascpa
Level 11

Then your client base is different than mine. I have clients with 50 foreign bank accounts, 22 state returns, 20 K-1's, rental properties, 8 million investment accounts, cyrptocurrency.  If we all had the basic returns we could do a zillion of them.  Being in between Baltimore and Washington we have a lot of higher income, transient folks.  

PATAX
Level 15

@jeffmcpa2010 some of them are like a root canal. Once you get it you are stuck with it.

JWM
Level 3

Sounds exactly like my 350+ exclusively expat clientele practice, where I also do local foreign tax returns in my country of specialty. All the more reason to weed out the deadbeats with an engagement letter and tax organizer. But I feel your pain. every. year. My wife asks me daily during tax season what client did you fire today and what took you so long? (She thinks I am too understanding and tolerant ...)

BobKamman
Level 15

@dascpa  Being in between DC and Baltimore means you must be CIA.  That explains a lot.  

Bonnie
Level 3

I'm with JWM. I don't deal with unresponsive clients. No engagement letter signed and returned? No tax return prepared by me. Not all information included, even when specifically asked? No tax return prepared by me. Life is too short....

 

dascpa
Level 11

About five years back I was recruited by them.  Didn't know who it was until I met them.  Went through a process of over a year of starting on the security clearance.  Took forever for them to tell me what services they wanted me to do (independent contractor preparing tax return for certain James Bond types - they randomly chose a few accountants around the country.  My biggest concern was security of my data files.  Would I become a target for hackers?.  One Sunday night a year later I get a call from my contact.  Thank you, program has been canceled.  Never heard from them again.  My guess is at that time I had an employee originally from Russia.  She had been in the U.S. for nine years. I had already let her go but again, that's just my guess.

IRonMaN
Level 15

I worked for the CIA during the 90s.  But I can't disclose anything other than that.

This is the internet so that has to be true, right? πŸ˜œ

 


Slava Ukraini!
PATAX
Level 15

@IRonMaN if they were going to recruit me to do taxes instead of 007 I would be double O Turbo.

PATAX
Level 15

@IRonMaN I typed in t u r d o, but it was changed to t u r b o. 

IRonMaN
Level 15

Yup, that is known as the IRonMaN correction.  They were offended by my "rebranding" of their product so they put that into their autocorrect file quite awhile back.  That's why I had to add the extra letters when I spell Turdddotaxxx.  I guess they admitted defeat and quit adding to their auto sensor.  Score that as IRonMan 1 - Turdddotaxxx 0. πŸ˜œ


Slava Ukraini!
abctax55
Level 15

They forget to put the 'form' in their paperwork.

**Email them 'I need xx Form'

They respond 'I thought it was in there'.

** Three sets of eyes (I wear glasses πŸ˜‰ have looked for it, and it IS not there.

Are you sure?

** Do you want to be fired (in my mind..).   Yes, I'm sure.

(wait for it)

A day later, here comes the form.  The ORIGINAL.

 

 

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
IRonMaN
Level 15

As I've said before, we all have the same clients (with maybe the exception of a couple of folks here), only their names have been changed.  I always remember when I first started out and an IRS collection agent came to visit our office.  My boss was going to bat for a couple of delinquent clients and he had some great sob stories for the collection agent.  My boss got about three words out when the collection agent just raised his hand and said - "Jim, you start the story and I'll finish it ---------- I've heard them all".  It's kinda the same thing with the client stories you see here.


Slava Ukraini!
abctax55
Level 15

Jeff, that's always comforting to hear.  This time of year, I feel persecuted πŸ˜‚

How is Scout doing?

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
IRonMaN
Level 15

He is doing well.  Still kind of a picky eater after being spoiled the other night.  I'm sure he would eat a whole chicken if you put in front of him, but he isn't really crazy about his dog food😁  He has gotten use to the cone so other than acting like a wrecking ball when he walks around the house or office with the cone on he doesn't mind it.  I take it off when I take him for walks or when he eats.  But he is quicker than Mohammad Ali with that front paw so I have to pay close attention when the cone is off.  Thanks for asking.


Slava Ukraini!
abctax55
Level 15

Tara L O V E D Costco rotisserie chicken.  I knew it was time to let her go when she turned her head away when I offered her a piece.  At 14 1/2, she had decided she was done. We just had to agree.

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
IRonMaN
Level 15

Scout would probably eat three of those.  He is just getting plain chicken cooked in an instant pot.  Please don't tell him it is even better if it is seasoned πŸ˜œ

14-1/2 is a good long life for a dog -------------------- but you always wish they had just a little bit more time πŸ˜’


Slava Ukraini!
dkh
Level 15

My favorite clowns:   

complete the organizer - check yes on sold real estate but send no documents.  Most say not sure what I needed..... duh! maybe a phone call would have cleared that up BEFORE you brought me your paperwork. 

Child born in 2022 - no social security number provided   no explanation why not    Have to waste my time calling to get the answer

Client that turned in Estimated tax payment worksheet with check number/date missing for one payment AND that voucher attached.    However, totally positive they made that payment.   

 

IRonMaN
Level 15

"Child born in 2022"

Count your blessings, at least they told you.  We have had a couple of times where they didn't even mention a kid, even though the prior year we thought they were expecting one in the new year.


Slava Ukraini!
JWM
Level 3

Oh yes, had that one last year

Client: why didn't you calculate my child tax credit?!

Me: You have children to report?

Client: Of course I do. It's in the organizer.

Me: I only see that you mention one was born a couple months ago in February ...

Client: Well what do you think I am talking about?

Me: (sigh). We are filing a 2021 tax return. The child was born in 2022.

Client: Yeah, but I haven't filed the return yet. I want to claim him.

Gotcha.

dascpa
Level 11

I saw this in the news: 

After the Supreme Court overturned women's federal right to obtain an abortion last summer, Georgia released guidance clarifying that state residents can claim the dependent exemption if they have an unborn child with a detectable heartbeat on or after July 20, 2022, for the upcoming tax season.

Skylane
Level 11
Level 11

β€œOh….by the way… i just found some more papers…. I’ll give them to you next year…”

If at first you don’t succeed…..find a workaround
abctax55
Level 15

.Tara on the pier.jpg

She had a great life, but yep - we always wish for more.

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
dkh
Level 15

@dascpa   so what documentation does a client bring you as proof ?

dascpa
Level 11

No clue - I'm guessing 1099-Sonogram.

abctax55
Level 15

Sooo - a different version of a F 1099-S ?????

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
dascpa
Level 11

So after my grandchild was born a week ago I sent a message to a client and friend.  Her reply was:  Sex?  I had to reply - no thank you.  You're too old for me.  After she called me I told her it was a boy.

BobKamman
Level 15

American democracy relies on voluntary compliance.  Without the docility of most taxpayers, the Pentagon would not have the funds to buy a $9,341 Wexford leather club chair.  And voluntary compliance relies on the availability of enough tax preparers who open their doors to everyone, even those who are carrying guns, viruses, or grudges against the government.  Those of us who are able to screen our clientele and avoid the sociopaths or mentally challenged, should be thankful that others serve them so we don't have to.  

IRonMaN
Level 15

Just for the record, I just opened up another client envelope with a 1099S.  No notes, no nothing, but there is another 1099S staring at me.😬


Slava Ukraini!
PATAX
Level 15

@abctax55 your dog and you will be reunited one day - they have souls.

abctax55
Level 15

Yep... and I've said if my dogs (5 so far) aren't in heaven, I'm not going (assuming that option is available to me πŸ˜‰

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
dkh
Level 15

"Those of us who are able to screen our clientele and avoid the sociopaths or mentally challenged, should be thankful that others serve them so we don't have to.  "

When I used to accept new clients, I only accepted news clients that were referred by current clients or an immediate relative.   So I took on a brother of a client. First time we met, he verbalized to me he had anger issues/PTSD so I better not p!ss him off.    He scared me.  After that appointment with him I brought a gun to the office.   He's no longer a client and no I didn't shoot him.

PATAX
Level 15

@dkh same thing here. I don't take clients out of the blue. Only referrals and then I try to look into their background. If I'm too busy I don't take anyone. If I get a kook like that one that you had and he tries to pull that s*** with me, I'll leave the office and then open up the gate. He'll get a nice welcome from Heidi. πŸ˜‰πŸ• just joking, I wouldn't want Heidi catching rabies from that clown.

IRonMaN
Level 15

"and no I didn't shoot him"

Stabbing?  Poison?  Ran him over with your car?  Hitman?

I'm really dying here trying to figure how you knocked him off.


Slava Ukraini!
BobKamman
Level 15

The closer it is to April 15, the more reluctant you should be to take a new client.  If you have to ask, "Why are you just now getting around to thinking about taxes?", it's probably too late.  Exceptions for those whose former preparer was shot by an angry walk-in.  Or keeled over from a heart attack, because the stress just got to be too much.  (Verify that the guy asking, was not the final straw.)  

abctax55
Level 15

@BobKamman 

One of my favorite clients called (years ago...) to see if I'd do her taxes.  ON APRIL 15th no less (which, back then was the filing date).  Girlfriend of existing client so I at least took her call, but was ready to shoot her down.   Turns out, she was asking about the NEXT year.   She's very smart, very organized, has since married the boyfriend and they are a joy to work with.

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
taxes96786
Level 9

This might help you with the clowns. I have rules

Do not give me documents until you have all that I need together. Use the checklist I have provided to insure that nothing is overlooked. I don't take documents piecemeal. Returns are completed on a first received first done basis. I will contact you if I have any questions. I don't do your records keeping for you. Complete the worksheets I have provided. Don't send any receipts or invoices unless asked for.

There are others but this is the start of my process. My clients have been well-trained, over the years. I don't use any of questionaires or checklists the program provided. They are not specific enough. I have created a set, of which, I provide to the client based on their specific tax needs.

I am considering writing a manual on how to set up and run a tax business.

Can hardly wait to see IronMan's post on this one.

0 Cheers
abctax55
Level 15

Be sure that manual includes instructions on depreciation schedules.   /S

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"
BobKamman
Level 15

@abctax55  She couldn't have been that smart if she was calling April 15, while you are turning the office upside down to make sure you hadn't overlooked any extension that needed to be filed.  

sjrcpa
Level 15

All dogs go to heaven.


Ex-AllStar
abctax55
Level 15

Bob, I do all that before I leave the office the night before the deadline.  We then sit around & stare at each other until another favorite client brings us a catered lunch to consume along with bottle (s) of wine.  That day, I was actually walking down the steps to water a few plants.  Unlike this year when we have 5' of snow on those plants, with more coming tonight. 

"*******Tax software is no substitute for a professional tax preparer*******
( Generic Comment )"