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Discussion:Client copy - paper or email?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> Client copy - paper or email?

Xz (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
Hi all:

I wonder if you are still giving clients paper copy of the tax return, or just email them the PDF file. Do clients prefer a paper copy or PDF copy?

I am think of emailing clients pdf file this year. Do you give clients a choice or just tell them they will receive a copy via email?


Belle (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2011
I always give my clients a choice. The younger ones like email/pdf; my 101 year-old client wouldn't have a clue if I offered a pdf to him.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
I agree with Belle. The younger clients prefer the PDF version, and the older ones want the paper return.

Wahoo (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
I am going to try and push the electronic version but this year (my first effort to push in this direct) I will probably ask clients what they prefer.

Fletch (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
I've given them a CD for the last 4 yrs.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
I do hope that any email program you use is secure and keeps you in compliance. I do not believe you are allowed to email tax returns if there is no password protection.

That is why I use Client Portals.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
I give everyone a copy; since 85% are done by mail, I have to return their papers anyway. I use portals too and have had several people say they are satified with using the portal. Only one, however, doesn't get a copy and she is a Green Freak.

Curious: pdfs are fine for most returns, but when you get into multi-states, or 35-50 page returns, a pdf is almost frightening to open for a client. Our state copies are stapled separate from the Feds.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

January 15, 2011
98% get a pdf, and this year, it will be encrypted. And no, I don't ask!

Taxalmancer (talk|edits) said:

15 January 2011
Most clients get a pdf in their portal, marked Draft Only, to review before I finalize. Every client gets a printed copy which is sent by mail or picked up. Nothing gets emailed. Call me crazy.

This year my software, ProSystem FX, has a feature where I can "Mask" the Client Copy. It puts an "***-**-****" in the social security fields. It also masks EINs and bank account numbers in the returns. I'll be using this with every return. Way to go CCH!

NewYorkEA (talk|edits) said:

January 16, 2011
I started out by providing both if they wanted the PDF on the CD-ROM. This year I will ask which one they want and will not provide the paper copy if they ask for a PDF. For those that do not ask for the PDF I will provide it anyway. Maybe they'll like it and ask for it next time. I will note that I provide PDFs with bookmarks that contain everything I normally include in the client copy. I am a firm believer that the final product given to the client needs to look professional- whether it is a hard copy or a digital one.

Umk395 (talk|edits) said:

16 January 2011
Most get a hard copy....some ask for a PDF (and I provide to them). Would like to move everyone towards PDF client copies only, but it adds one more step in the process. Am determining whether the cost of the paper (vs PDF) is more than the interruption (inefficiency) in the process of preparing/assembling the returns. What if you have an old email address? What if you mistakenly send the PDF to the wrong client? (Ann Anderson receive Alan Anderson's return in error! Ooops!). Adds one more possibility for staff error if you're preparing almost 1,000 returns a year.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

17 January 2011
If you pdf return, will it include invoice, tax payment coupons and e file authorization forms to be returned to preparer?

NewYorkEA (talk|edits) said:

January 17, 2011
I print out the e-file authorization form and tax payment coupons. If they come in to pick up their return I give it to them with the CD in the standard folder I use. If I mail it I do the same. I do not print the invoice- it goes on the PDF. If I mail the return to them they are paying me with a credit card over the phone. The PDF has the transmittal letter, engagement letter, privacy policy, invoice, filing instructions, 8879, federal return followed by all supplemental worksheets and schedules, and the state return followed by all supplemental worksheets and schedules.

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