Discussion:Annoying client

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Annoying client

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

7 October 2013
OK, I'm quite fried, but what's the deal with some folks? Yes, client made a generous charitable service trip for a nationally known organization (think Jimmy Carter), but in spite of my requests since July, never got the required acknowledgment letter for her $3,000 out of pocket expenses. She's saying none of the others on the trip needed such a letter & her team leader won't write her the a letter. So, can't I take the deduction anyway and worry about it if she gets audited, or can't I adjust some of the other deductions to make up for the loss? Plus, she will be out of town until 10/16, by the way. Anyone want a referral?

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

7 October 2013
You want to the right answer or the real one?

Since you know, you shold not do it. If you know, you know.

Can she still buy Turbo Tax this late: tell the lady if she wants it.... to do her own return, the Geithner way. Tell her you will welcome her back next year with good records if she wants to return; and I don't care how busy she may say she is right now. I have a feeling she will be "busy" till the day she dies with something inane she's working on.

I'm serious. Tell her that you value her as a client, but you can't do it. Besides, why wouldn't the lady write her a letter? Well, maybe because she didn't deserve one.

Of course, it's easy to come on here and give advice when it's not my problem, I'm aware of that.

P.S. If she goes to your Parish, I think I'd keep quiet about this with the priest (except maybe you could do her a favor and confess her sins for her at your confession), but I would pull the Deacon aside and let him know that the lady could be morally suspect with the sin of greed (known officially as idolatry). Say no more than that.

It goes without saying that you should absolutely not coach her with her Turbo Tax adventures. Nope, she is on her own.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2013
I can empathize Smokey. It is so annoying when you set out to do a good job and the client doesn't like the result and then suggests that you either do it anyway or that you take a different path that might benefit them better. I always try to make them understand that I have to put my name on that return indicating that I've done everything properly. Most of the time that works, but sometimes it just doesn't. It's better to have that person just go away and find someone else to do what they want. And it really bothers me when they tell me "I'll be out of town until the day after the due date." What are you supposed to do with that information?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2013
You tell them "OK, I won't bother to work on it until you get back and we can talk."

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2013
Today is 10/8. In these situations of out-of-pocket amounts, here's what I do: Have the client draft the letter him or herself...as if it was written by the charitable organization. Then, forward it to the appropriate person at the charitable organization. All the organization has to do is put it on their letterhead, sign it and e-mail it back to the client, who will then e-mail it to you. There is plenty of time for your client and the organization to undertake this task, which amounts to 5-minutes of collective time on their end. If client refuses to do it, then tell client to pound sand. I did one of these just last week and I had the signed letter back in 15 minutes. In fact, I didn't even draft the letter. I sent the client a model/template in pdf format that I pulled from PPC and the client typed up identical language in Word.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2013
If it's the organization I think it is, she probably fashions herself a housebuilder now. She's gotten so good witih a hammer that she thinks she's The Great Carpenter himself.

God, I hope she's hasn't gone and become a house flipper based upon working on one house. America is either flipping hamburgers or flipping houses and both are yesterday's news.

I thought this organizaiton was organized into local or regional chapers, which should make it even eaiser for the lady to do what Chenefick said. If they won't cooperate with the dear woman, then it leads me to wonder whether she was a laggard on the job, or whether she came out to the work site to socialize instead of helping to build the Kingdom.

This organization pays a fortune in insurance to insure against accidents by their amateur builders. They can't afford to have a laggard or a socializer eating up their insurance dollar and not pounding nails into the cross beam.

So my diagnosis is that she's either gotten too good with a hammer or not good enough (she's a yapper), or she's run off with one of the young male studs she met at the job site. Well, we've set out the options for you above. Now we must depend upon prayer to lead the lady to do the right thing.

P.S. It could be that the organization talked the lady into smuggling a 4-5 gallon toilet down from Canada which would account for her expenses, and this is why they don't want to write the letter. If this is so she still can't take the deduction as it would tend to incriminate her.

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

9 October 2013
Update - client got an acknowledgement letter from the organization. Did they use the letter I drafted for them? Did their letter contain the wording "no goods or services were provided in return for your donation"? OF COURSE NOT!!

I'm starting to feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

10 October 2013
For charitable out-of-pocket do you need a letter from the organization for the expenses or do you just need the receipts and a letter saying you did the volunteer work? How would the organization know how much you spent out-of-pocket?

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

10 October 2013
The organization has no way of knowing the amount of your out of pocket costs, so their letter needs to state the dates description of the services you provided, along with the statement about whether the organization provided the donor any goods or services in return.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

10 October 2013
You need to give this lady the Scripture on rendering unto God and rendering unto Caesar. Go to a calligrapher and have them fix you up a nice Bible quote for your office wall.

Also, Professional Practice 101: the first thing you buy for your office is the meanest painting of God you can find and put it right behind your desk. I got one years ago, and he's a mean one. I think it was an El Greco repro or something. In this way, over time, the client begins to associate you with God (the God of judgment and not the God of mercy). At this point, you have the client right where you want them and they will do anything for you.

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2013
Good news - client's husband got the organization to send the correct letter - not so annoying any more. Plus hubby gets to be the family hero.

Taxlady2010 (talk|edits) said:

12 October 2013
I found this topic to be appropriate to this post.

So, I get a call from a client that accepted the tax return back in April who says the following. "I don't understand how you got these numbers."

The client presented me with a messy spreadsheet that I worked on line item by line item to come up with the appropriate expenses. Now the client wants a book a meeting to go over everything.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this? I anticipate 2 hours of grueling discussions. I think that waiting 6 months to question everything is inappropriate, but the customer is always right?

I was thinking of sending the client the spreadsheet showing how the expenses were determined and leave it at that. Thoughts? Should I charge a fee if this gets into a big waste of time.

Another approach that I thought I might take is for the client to give me the numbers they disagree with and then respond.


Markb29 (talk|edits) said:

12 October 2013
send the spreadsheet and tell the client probably not necessary to meet - spreadsheet should answer questions. charging extra always good in theory but in practice is sometimes a more difficult question - not sure where client came from ( referral source) , who related to ? , how long been a client ?, always difficult?, etc. - just use your judgment there.

Anarchrist (talk|edits) said:

12 October 2013
Don't just send the spreadsheet, send the spreadsheet and explain what you've explained to us: Dear Client, you presented me with an extremely messy spreadsheet that I wasted a huge amount of time on, that I didn't bill you enough for, sorting it into categories useful for the tax return. Here's a copy of it. If you want to meet to go over it, I'll be happy to meet with you. The charge for that meeting will be at $xxx.xx per hour (billed at your normal hourly rate or an extra percentage of your normal rate based upon the type of client this is).

Markb29 (talk|edits) said:

12 October 2013
that I wasted a huge amount of time on

an extra percentage of your normal rate

wow - my bad - thought the customer was always right.....

Taxlady2010 (talk|edits) said:

16 October 2013
It all worked out. This is a tough business to be in.

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