Discussion:Dear Client - 2014

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Dear Client - 2014


Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2014
I'll start this year -

Dear Client,

I just opened your e-mail where you are telling my you have already botched up the year end annual GE tax filing and are hoping that I can make sense of it. I hope you don't mind the amount I have to charge you for the botched up job, and let's hope the state doesn't feel so badly about the botched job that they assess penalties and interest, that then have to be paid as well. When will you learn that saving a few pennies by not having me do something only costs you more when I have to go back and fix it? Remember the screwed up IRA? Or the new QB file you felt you needed because you didn't think the other one was representing the corporation properly and I didn't know about or see it until the year was up and all that data entry was in there? Or how about the wacky 1099's? I'm really not all that expensive if you bring it to me first, fixing it takes a lot more time and time is what you pay me for.

Nightsnorkeler (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2014
Just got this email from a client with a seven-figure income...

I wanted to let you know that I opened Roth IRA’s for my wife and me. I put in $6,500 for each of us for both 2013 and 2014, so a total of $26,000. I wanted to let you know so you can help with the appropriate paperwork.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2014
I was wondering when someone was going to start this because I've got a good one!

Got client's QB file to prepare his W-2's. (He does his 941's during the year.) The S-corp business has the owner and 10 employees on payroll. I reviewed the W-3 and the numbers didn't look right. I then got him to send me copies of his 941's. The first quarter looked fine but the other three quarters showed SS and Medicare wages that were less than total wages. The difference was the owner's salary each of those quarters. "Somehow" his wages had magically become not subject to SS, Medicare, FUTA or SUTA!! I had to prepare amended returns for three quarters and then fix his QB file back to the way it is supposed to be! Client's wife says she has no idea how that could have happened and says it must be a computer problem. ....yea....right....

This guy also puts "tax deductible" on the memo line of every check he writes and puts a checkmark in the check register every time he writes a check. The "tax deductible" comment is just annoying but the checkmark in the check register makes doing bank recs a real challenge. Oh yea - he also hides money from himself. The bank balance in QB is $50,000 less than actual. If I adjust it to what it actually is, he gets huffy.

EatonCPA (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2014
I have a client who hides money from herself too. Drives me nuts but at least the Quickbooks are mine and I only have to reconcile to her handwritten register, showing that money as a reconciling item. But what really tees me is that she puts deposits in her checkbooks WAY before they actually go in the bank - meaning a check stub dated November 17th will have a December 3rd deposit on it because "she doesn't like having to do math with negative numbers." Mind you, she is only dealing in negative numbers because of her "hidden money." And without fail, the last set of stubs I get won't have a balance on the last 10 stubs because she hadn't backtracked a deposit yet to keep her balance positive. Oh well - otherwise she is a great client and an even better person so a few idiosyncrasies will be overlooked.

Now about the jerkwad who just emailed me asking for 1099s today ...

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2014
I was going to start the discussion but decided I did not wish to enable the group.

Phone call from one of those clients. She mailed us stuff, then we went over what we still needed and she emailed what we needed. But then she calls today all worried because we didn't respond immediately to the email. I told her we have a 24-hour response, plus an auto-reply to let them know we received it. Obviously auto-reply isn't enough.

So, she calls and now I had to chat for 5 minutes explaining that we have 800 plus tax clients and many of them email. That if we drop what we do and immediately attend to each and every email that we'd never get any work done.

She's one of those high anxiety people to begin with.

I swear, I am going to have to hire a person dedicated to managing client communications. Facebook messages, email to 17 different accounts. Smoke signals to decipher. It has begun, people. Rejoice.

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

2014-01-31
Dear Client,

I am sorry for the error I made by leaving off your SS payments received. It would have been nice to have the 1099-SSA's earlier, but that's obviously my fault you didn't remember.

No, I don't pay the taxes you owe. That's your responsibility, not mine. To be nice, I will waive my fee for this year and pay the interest and penalties since I made the error of forgetting to get the SSA-1099's, which as you recall, you forgot to give me.

Tom

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2014
Dear Client,

Every year, you have 1099s to get out by January 31st (which is today) and you put me through the same BS every year. I visited you the first week of January to drop off your yearend payroll and I told you that I was missing 1099 info and for whom (maybe your buddies who were there drinking beer and smoking may remember). And I've sent you an email, left you a voice message, and printed out the email and dropped in off last Monday with your W2s telling you what I need to complete the 1099s. I always give you blank W9s to give to your contractors, but you don't bother giving it to them. I need addresses and SSNs to complete the 1099s.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

1 February 2014
I can't even address a Dear Client comment on this. The same client I commented on above brought in his QB back up this afternoon and we went through the form he botched up. It's already been amended THREE times, isn't due until April and shouldn't be prepared really until closer to that date or the tax return has been finished and we have final numbers. I opened the data file and thank the powers that be I made a back up of my file. All the work I did last year to fix the screwed up file is missing, there was a payable for a SEP contribution on behalf of the wife, and there are no assets on the balance sheet. I did a search for the payment of the SEP, seems a check was cut and sent to the insurance carrier with a memo that it was for "H"'s SEP, then it was refunded. He booked the payment into an account he created called "H's 2013 SEP payment". I'm not sure what to think until I hear from them, I have asked. This is such a perfect example of - if you don't get it then ASK, and the fact that Intuit thinks you can be an accountant just because you use QB, just isn't right.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2014
I have one that used to overwrite the changes I had made each year. Then I started putting a password on the closed tax year after I had made journal entries to match the tax return. I don't tell them the password. If they want to make changes, they have to do it through me! Some people have to be protected from themselves

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
Dear Client,

Thank you for leaving me a voice mail, on Friday, Jan 31st and 9PM giving me the social security number of one of your contract laborers. I give you blank W9 forms for a reason, and I can't believe you actually expected to talk to me at that time.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

5 February 2014
It gets better!

Dear Client/Hubby: Today we received a 1099 from someone you do subwork for. Remember three years ago when I told you to send him the W-9 for your corp and to make sure that he sent the checks payable to your corp? Remember that I specifically told you NOT to give him your SSN because the checks were to be sent to your corp and a 1099 wasn't necessary but could be issued to your corp if he really wanted to? Remember last year when we had a discussion that he had issued a 1099 to your name and the corp name without the inc and that I explained that he would get a mismatch letter? Remember that I told you that I could fix it but to send him another W-9? Today I find out that you didn't send him the W-9 last year because he's ADD. Sweetheart, these mismatch letters should start hitting sometime this summer. I really don't want to deal with backup withholding (or try to explain it to either one of you). Please send him the W-9, explain to him that his accountant will charge him extra to deal with mismatch letters, tell him to make out the checks correctly and wife is getting cranky!!

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
Charge him charge him charge him

ATL Tax (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
Dear Client: Is it that hard to write down a date and time?

I have already had three clients show up at the wrong time, and one who didn't show up at all, and it's only Feb 6.

Also, Dear Client: How do you make so much money when it's obvious to me you are not so bright. A client came in Saturday and I noticed he had a Schedule C the prior year. "Did you have any side income in 2013?" He gave me a figure for income, and we prepared his Schedule C which had mileage, travel, meals, phone, etc. He called me yesterday to inform me that, no, he didn't have any other income other than his W-2 and the rental property we had already prepared. I could maybe understand the lack of memory if we were filing this in October, but the year just ended. Good thing we were waiting on the IRS to gear up for form 8960 before e-filing. That would have been an embarrassing 1040X.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

7 February 2014
I'm sitting here reading this because of a no-show. Yes, dear client, should you deign to show, your bill just went up.

ATL Tax (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2014
Add one more to the list. Client showed up at 8 but had a 9 o'clock appointment. At least he got his taxes done, just an hour later than he thought. The thing that bothers me so much is that, because this has happened so much thru the years, I have a system where I repeat their appointment time and day to the point of being annoying when they call. Typical conversation: "I have a 10:00 appointment available March 1." Client says OK. "OK I'll put you down for March 1 at 10:00. So that's 10:00 on March 1. I'll see you at 10:00 on March 1. See you then." Vent over. But one side note: I was asking this client about his commuting mileage and I had a flashback to what he said last year: Well, it's 15 miles to work, and it's 15 miles back home. I never would have figured out that return mileage, would you?

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2014
Maybe a one-way street was involved.

ATL Tax (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2014
ha ha, but I don't think they have many of those over in Hiram, GA. But I do think they have a red light over by the Waffle House.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2014
Let me take this chance to forewarn all preparers that if you hope to win the Tax Preparer of the Year Award, you'll have to begin taking a much stricter line toward your clients than you are doing so far. The idea is to affect an Imperial attitude, at the very least. For those interested in studying the techniques of last year's winner, please refer to the applicable year.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2014
Dear Client,

The new Safe Harbor method for business use of the home is FIVE DOLLARS PER SQUARE FOOT OF THE OFFICE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!

It's not $5 per square foot of the entire house per month!

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2014
Amazing Cathy, are you sure your client didn't just expand his business after he learned of the safe harbor? BTW it's limited to 300 sq ft. I was afraid one of my client's was going to want to "expand" when he learned of this, but he was good with what he got.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2014
LOL, Paula, he just moved in October. The house (a rental) is only 1096 square feet and he wanted 950 square feet multiplied by $5, per MONTH. He was living in his mother's house before she sold it.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

19 February 2014
Dear Client,

This is an interesting 2012 return you brought me. Restaurant equipment depreciated over 3 years. Hum... Oh, BTW. Please tell your brother that despite what he says, he calculated the tip payroll tax incorrectly which cost your restaurant $1,700. It really doesn't matter since you're out of business but I thought you'd like to know not to use him (since he's owned lots of businesses) for your bookkeeping in the future. Also, please tell your brother (6% owner), that he cannot call my office anymore. His K-1 will be ready when it is ready. Bullying doesn't work with me and I will NOT have someone speak rudely to my staff!

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

19 February 2014
Dear client;

Why are you so slow when you are answering my emails, but when you email ME, you expect an answer in 5 minutes? That's not how this works. From now on, if you take 7 days to answer my email, I'm going to take exactly the same number of days to answer yours. Kapish?

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2014
Dear Client,

Good thing you switched, your previous practitioner, the one that didn't really talk to you after you mailed him your stuff, well he totally sucked. For one, he did not check active participation on your rentals, which was the first thing that popped up when I reviewed the return. He was correct about saving those fixing up expenses you incurred when you bought your rental property, they are additional deductions when you sell, but they need to be added to the depreciation schedule along with the house that you bought to rent out. Depreciation expense is allowed or allowable so he cost you a few dollars there too.

Now, I must give him kudo's on his $5.00 cover and the binding job that was done on your return. It definitely justified the heavy expense of doing your return not incorrect, but just plain wrong.

Sorry, no, we use the cheap, less than a dollar a piece folders for our returns. We rely on quality of work, not quality of the bound product.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2014
Thank you, Fred. I've always wondered what the binding had to do with a d*mn thing. I have never had a return yet that didn't get chewed up by the neighbor's dog or by my wife's obsessive vacumming. Hold on. If memory serves, the 1988 went through the normal cycle in the dishwasher.

However, let me caution all preparers about one thing: items do not "pop up". Rather, they may pop into your head after deep and experienced reflection upon the subject of the tax law. You use the words "pop up" on their own and your clients will think that your computer found the problem, and not you.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

20 March 2014
Dear Client,

Thank you for sending that article about business travel to me. I have not had time to read it, but I do have a good understanding of those rules. I believe you may have misread that article. Unfortunately, spending over 4 hours a day answering e-mails while you are on vacation is not what the "over 50%" rule is all about. This does not make the entire cost of your vacation and time share fees deductible.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

20 March 2014
Dear Client,

Yes, the Obamacare formula for subsidized health insurance does include your $80,000 of tax exempt interest. I am sorry that you think that is not fair.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

20 March 2014
Dear Client (same client three different scenarios),

It's Saturday morning at 9am and I am in my jammies. Why are you at my house? Shouldn't you wait for me to RETURN your phone call to make sure it's OK for you to come over? It's Saturday morning at 8:30am. Why are you at my house? Shouldn't you wait for me to RETURN your phone call to make sure it's OK for you to come over? Where am I? In BED! Went to bed late working on taxes. Same client - again, phone first. I was on a previously scheduled conference call with an out of state client. I don't care how much you ring my door bell, my other client had limited time and this time was HERS. Please call first and wait to talk to me and not just leave a message. I'm not always here or I am in the middle of doing something.

STG (talk|edits) said:

23 March 2014
Dear Clients,

I'd like to thank you for some of the things I learned this year that I wish I hadn't...

1. How many W-2G's will prevent you from electronically filing, and how to fit 207 of them into an envelope 2. How weekly visits to a local prostitute factor in to the determination of having a tax home in a foreign country

Thank you for the things I will never forget.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

24 March 2014
Dear Client,

Thank you for telling me that classroom teachers get a $250 deduction. I would have never known this even though you have pointed it out to me every year for at least four years. And I really appreciate the articles you have clipped out of the newspaper telling what things are deductible. How would I ever do your taxes without these "secrets"?!

WilsonCA (talk|edits) said:

26 March 2014
Dear Client,

Thank you very much for sending back the finalized return to me for "corrections" related to your rental real estate losses. You have determined that you qualify as a real estate professional after reading a web page written by an uncertified "tax strategist". I am so happy that there is someone out there looking out for you, to let you know about these "legal tax loopholes" that I would never know about on my own! They certainly didn't test for them on the CPA exam I passed a few years ago.

You have three rental properties, two of which you manage for free for your mother (and the income appears on her tax return), and the other you pay a property management company to manage; so I hope you can understand why I assumed that you did not meet the 750-hour rule. Since you say you actually do have records of the hours you've put in, I will gladly claim the net rental loss; my rough calculation shows that it will save you $150 in taxes this year, most of which you'll have to pay back next year when you sell the rental properties as planned. Your tax preparation fee increases by $150 to cover the additional work.

As for your other question: perhaps you can do an internet search and see if you can find a way to accelerate the depreciation on the assets you put into service back in 2009; it's possible there's another "loophole" out there that I'm not aware of.

Thank you,

Tax Preparer

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

27 March 2014
BL, I appreciate your professionalism. I took the opposite approach while I was in the business. I would actually ask the client for any new tax law they knew about and encouraged them to remind me of things I had never really learned that well to begin with. It took some skill to do this, but somehow I managed to actually put the client on the defensive if he didn't know the law, rather than the other way around. I throw this out for those preparers who take the "postmodern" (read "intellectually lazy") approach to the profession.

Aatop (talk|edits) said:

29 March 2014
Dear potential client whom I sent packing,

If you want to get away with hiding income, you might want to do a better job. So you had $10k in 1099'd income from barbering and $8k in commissions to the salon owner. That's a pretty hefty commission there. How much should you tell me? You "padded" your income by $1k to take care of cash payments? So you worked enough to collect $11k in gross receipts but only brought home $3k after commissions, not to mention all the other expenses you had such as shampoo, sanitizers, etc which gives you a $7k loss. Interesting, you pretty much paid money to work? Sure is expensive to have the privilege of cutting others' hair. Oh, so some of your earnings are "untraceable" and you didn't track it? Ah-ha, well let's see, how much did you pay the salon owner as a commission percentage? 35%? Well, there you go. We'll just back into your income. So that's about $23k in total receipts; see easy peasy. Well yes, you'll end up with a profit which will be subject to 15.3% FICA taxes + your tax bracket in Federal and State taxes. You and your husband will need to discuss? You can't go without getting your EIC and refundable child tax credit as you have in the past? Sorry, you will need to take your stuff and find another preparer who won't notice the obvious.

STG (talk|edits) said:

29 March 2014
Now THAT is how you do EITC due diligence!

STG (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2014
Dear Divorce Lawyer,

I am sure you are very good at what you do, and I would not presume to lecture you about Divorce Law, but, you might want to share this courtesy. I found the material you forwarded me about the 8332 to be fascinating and illuminating, however, our client was still married and living with his wife on 12/31/2013, so, nice try.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2014
Dear client,

Yes, your daughter has TONS of great tax ideas, because she does her own taxes on TurboTax each year! She deducts all her utilities as a business expense, and why can't you do it, you ask?

I understand that your daughter's (Turbo)tax experience is mindblowing, and it you want to try and have your daughter to do your return, so she is welcome to do so! It will save you hundreds in tax preparation fees.

Here is your giant box of unopened envelopes back. When your daughter notices that you have 15 minimum distributions from retirement plans, 20 broker's statements, and a giant, rubber-banded bundle of charitable gifts that have not been added up, you can come back. I'll make sure I add my wasted time today to your bill.

(And he did call me back, apparently the daughter couldn't figure out what all these "distribution codes" were).

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

1 April 2014
Dear Client,

Thank you for dropping off the bag of receipts for your new corporation back on 3/15 and thanks for finally getting me, today, on 4/1 your EIN and the NYS paper showing you formed a corporation.

Thank you for texting me this as jpeg file to my phone. Unfortunately, there is a wee bit more paperwork we need that goes along with forming your own corporation.

Let's talk.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

1 April 2014
Let's talk. That's so pre-digital age.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

3 April 2014
No really Len, I've tried digital with the guy, he'll text me at 9:30 when he has a good buzz on. Text me in the morning, email, or call.

I like the guy, tons of enthusiasm and wants to run a business, just doesn't want to manage it.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

3 April 2014
Fred, sounds like some of mine. One longtime client had me going thru loops to prepare for a workman's comp audit (payroll was current, I had to identify and input contract labor checks in and customer sales for this stupid audit), then the 1099s (again, just contract labor checks), then he is finally going to buy a home and needs 2013 return for the mortgage company! Several credit card statements missing (as usual) and other documents. When he picked up his return on Tuesday, I told him I wanted Jan - Mar ASAP because now he knows the importance of keeping his business up to date.

STG (talk|edits) said:

3 April 2014
It's easy to forget as tax preparers that accounting and taxes aren't the focus of our clients. To them they're just an impediment to doing what they really want to be doing.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

3 April 2014
STG, I understand it, I try to impart to them the importance of it. That if they don't wish to or have the time to take care of the stuff we can, and it's cheaper to throughout the year. I'm past the point of doing inexpensive bookkeeping during tax season.

Tax season rates for bookkeeping are now $100 an hour unless they are one of the clients that we do books for throughout the year.

Captcook (talk|edits) said:

3 April 2014
I just don't understand how some of these business owners effectively manage their business without an accounting of payables/receivables.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

4 April 2014
They don't. That's why they usually end up shutting down or the IRS shuts them down.

STG (talk|edits) said:

4 April 2014
And so it begins...

"It's an extension of time to file, not to pay."

Repeat ad nauseum.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2014
Dear Client-

When I advised you last year to document your property donations by taking photos of it before donating - I did not mean for you to stuff plastic garbage bags and photograph the stuffed garbage bags.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2014
Uncle, yours may be the all-time winner - at least so far.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2014
Dear Client,

I meant it when I told you not to include the 'cost of your labor' in the repairs and improvements of the condo you rent. Since you think my husband knows more than me, I've written a 'note' for him to 'read' to you. As soon as I get a revised list, I will start your return.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

10 April 2014
Dear Client -

Why didn't you inform me, when you were in a rush to get your partnership tax return done during the first week of February, that you were contemplating a purchase of your 50% partner's interest as of 12/31/13? Why do you wait until after the tax return has been filed, your personal tax return has been filed, to send me the agreement (that's undated) but refers to your acquiring his interest as of 12/31/13 and the cashier's check dated 4/8/14 in payment of it? Don't you realize that although the profit/loss number doesn't change, the capital account disclosure on your respective K-1s DO. You also need to notify the Dep't of State to get the LLC ownership information changed as well as remove your (ex)-partner from the bank account.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

10 April 2014
Dear Client -

I am sorry if I offended you when I laughed at you when you told me that you are sure you spend over 750 hours managing the rental that your mother in-law lives in. I was almost ready to not bring up the below-market-rent-thing with you since it is April 9th, and I just want something to get out of my office today. But, now that you are doubling down, I just couldn't help myself. I don't care about my time in this job, anymore. You would me much better off with Turbo Tax.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

11 April 2014
Dear Client (still?)

I received your text this afternoon asking to schedule an appointment on Saturday 4/19 to catch up your bookkeeping. Unfortunately the earliest Saturday appointment I have available is after May 1. This is the first I have heard from you since you "no showed" for our appointment in January 2013 (over a year ago). I waited outside your office for 45 minutes and left a card in your door and didn't hear anything after driving an hour each way for our appointment. Unfortunately payroll taxes and (believe it or not.... a weekend off) will come before our appointment. AND I will confirm that morning before I leave home.

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