Discussion:Just Think

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Just Think


Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2007
YOu could be the lucky one to be Beatle Fred's accountant.

Will (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2007
ahaha, I think that is going to be my luck this year! All the old-timers have the good clients, left the chaff for the rest of us.


Will

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2007
Oh, I've got plenty of clients like that anyway. They won't listen if you tell them they're wrong. You have to encourage them to "find out" the answer themselves. Engineers and Librarians.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2007
And non-tax college professors who arrived armed with 'Taxation for College Professors'

Will (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
Yeah, I'm noticing that engineers seem to know all the answers and are always telling me how to treat their tax items. The nice thing about them though is their paperwork is usually in absurdly good order.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
And I love it when they put "post-it" notes on everything so I will know what it is. "This is my W-2", "This is my interest earned from my bank", "This is my mortgage". I am so relieved because I have probably never seen a W-2, 1099 or 1098 before.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
What drives me nuts is when they tell me about each form. "This is my w-2. I work for Acme as a level 4 construction information technician."

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
I have one guy (a pharmacist) who puts the above post-its on each form, writes it down in the organizer (every box), writes it down on a legal pad (every box), AND wants to tell me about each paper as he hands it to me. Then he wants his legal pad, post its, and a copy of the organizer back so he can double-check the tax return.

Will (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
lol Kevin! I did one yesterday for an engineer that put every class of document in a separate file folder, sequentially numbered each folder on the folder tab, provided a 'table of contents' summarizing what type of document could be found in each folder, and included in folder #8 a voided check neatly centered and taped to a single sheet of paper. He has been providing a voided check to the same checking account for at least 4 years. :)

Will (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
I posted at the same time as you. My guy doesn’t come close to the pharmacist, at least he lets us break-down his organization into our standard return documents envelope!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 10, 2007
BL - A lot of things drive me nuts, too, including what you mentioned. I think I mentioned that in another message recently. Another thing many clients do, after they sit down in front of me, is to spread out each category of documents, all facing them, and all on their side of my desk: W-2s in one pile, mtg int in another pile, prop taxes in another pile, etc, etc, and then I have to reach over and gather up everything into one pile and place it all on my side of the desk. Or they will ask me what I want first. I just say, "All of it." I don't charge extra to remove the yellow post-it notes, but I should.  :)

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
'I guess this is your busy time of year, David?" "No, I was sitting back here playing solitaire."

"Howya doing, David?" "You don't really care, Joe; all you care about is for me to live the next hour to finish your taxes."

Back when big offices weren't all smoke free, I kept a few cigars in the desk for when a client would spot the ash try and say, "Oh good, I can smoke." They'd light up, then I would pull out my Macanudo and fire up....their ciggy lasted a few minutes, but the cigar kept marching on.

Once when working for the tax lawyer, the receptionist buzzed me to let me know my next client was getting edgy because I was 20 minutes late.....so I finished with the current client, but spread out hands of playing cards on the desk and then buzzed the desk to say we were done and he could come back. He had a fit when he saw the playing cards. Then I gave him the 'what every tax client should know' lecture.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
This is why I don't do "while you wait" returns

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 11, 2007
BL - Which part of what David said is "why" you don't do while-you-wait returns?  :)

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
It's a combination of his and yours - the handing of one piece of paper at a time with a complete explanation of every number on a w-2 and the full waiting room of clients pacing because one runs longer than anticipated.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 11, 2007
Ah, ok. When they start telling me what each piece of paper is, I just tell them I know what they all are, and then they'll usually shut up. I really don't have that many clients who do that, though, and I'll joke with those who do. Also, if it looks like I can't finish the returns, I'll end the appt and tell them I'll call them when it's done. This happens a lot of times during appointments, especially after the first week of February. Many of my appts turn out to be drop-offs, but some clients just want to be here when I go through their stuff or they will have "questions for me."

I'll still have several to prepare while they wait in the next two weeks, but those are the quick returns. Starting on Feb 5th, I get many more drop-offs than while-you-wait appts, so starting this coming week, I'll be trying to free up more time to work on the drop-offs and mail-ins during the day instead of having to do those in the mornings, evenings, and Sundays. While-you-waits are probably 20% or less of the total returns I do, and I don't do any of these kind after the last Saturday in Feb.

Each year, I tell some of them that I need to quit doing returns while they wait, and each year, I end up not changing it. Maybe one of these years, I will. Yea, maybe next year, I'll quit doing while-you-waits.  :)

SBCPA (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
Thanks for the smiles. I've been at the computer since the wee hours here on a Saturday and was starting to wonder why every client today seems to think I can not read documents. Nice to know there are many out there.

Deback: It seems I've been saying "next year" for twenty years now too!! Oh well, long sigh.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
Another problem with "while you waits" - they have to tell you their whole life story. They hate their boss, having problems with the ex-wife, husband had a nervous breakdown and was the only source of income so can you give them a break on the price...

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
LOL The first two tax returns today I open their drop-off package and they both have the Post-It notes! One used BLUE post-its to tell me "Met-Life", and "Hometrust Bank", etc - just in case I didn't want to read the 1099 or didn't know where to look to find that information. That really helped. Just in case the post-it sticky wanted to come off in my office, he had stapled them neatly in the top right hand corner of each item.

The other person was even more help - she used flourescent yellow post-its and not only wrote what the item was "Social Security Income - 2006", but also helped guide me where to put it "1040 Line 20A", "Mortgage Int Paid, Sch A line 10". "Verizon dividends, Sch B line 5", etc.

Should I tell her that I do more tax returns in a week than she's done all her life?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
But I talk at them first: I hone my material each tax season. Jokes, stories, observations and different for each client. Tuesday night I see Dino and we might talk about James Ellroy, or Body Heat. The link here is from the past, but it shows how far conversations can go when doing taxes. Be patient if you read it, the good stuff kicks in a third of the way into it when it gets to Jeanne. http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/985881


My ex-boss had a concert violinist teenage daughter and he'd pop a tape of the Youth Orchestra playing The Four Seasons into the VCR to keep his clients quiet, but of course, I'd heard it every hour,every day ad infinitum so that I would mutter, "Someday she will get it right."

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

11 February 2007
I love the tolerence!

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
Beatle Fred made the Bronze Contributor level!!!!http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/TaxAlmanac_Top_Contributors

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
That's not all he made. Do you think maybe the house burned down? Or perhaps he has gone on tour. After all, he has stopped....maybe he is sitting in his accountant's waiting room, while that poor sucker is looking for a back way out of his office.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
He is busy studying Publication 1457 since I told him this was needed to do the calculation properly.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
No, Kevin, he is tossing the sticks or coins and consulting the I Ching.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

28 February 2007
Just got another retired librarian - no post-its, but this one had a file folder for every category (Dentist, Prescriptions, Doctor, Eye Doctor, Real Estate Taxes, Personal Property Taxes, Mortgage). On top of each folder was clipped a note with the title (Real Estate Tax). Inside each folder was paperclipped a note with the title (Real Estate Tax). On the original bill the title was highlighted (Real Estate Tax).

I'm sure glad she went to all that trouble or I might not have been able to figure out the difference between her dental bills and her real estate tax. Whew, this tax stuff is hard.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

1 March 2007
I had a shrink like that, but he would carry them all in his briefcase, the kind that accountants carried circe 1965. And he would choose what came next. He'd bend over in his chair, reach in and say, 'are you ready for charity?' and then whip out a folder. What the uninitiated did not know was that he also separated categories by payment method: cash, credit cards or check. "Here's my auto expense, by check!" I told him he was the most compartmentalized person I had ever met. He recommended to me that I become a psychiatrist. Maybe I could have taken over the Beatle Fred account.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2007
Have you ever seen an organized typed in? Rare event in deed. Had an engineer show me his previous self prepared return showing his middle initial as NMI. I said " what kind of middle name is that?", He said " It means..."No Middle Initial".. I assigned him a client code name NB.......No Brain.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 March 2007
I didn't realize BeatleFred was a real contributor to TA. What ever happened to Al Bundy? Just seeing his name last year used to make me laugh. Speaking of Al Bundy, he just popped up on the TV. There's just something fun about getting tax advice from Al Bundy.

I wish I had some clients as organized as you people describe. A few come in with their stuff in good order, but there always seems to be stuff to look up. My assistant and I were talking about it just yesterday, it would be really nice to get a bunch of EASY W-2, interest returns to do. Last year, we had one come in that was only one W-2, they were here from Japan, really nice family, three little kids (my granddaughter became friendly with their daughters during the summer - another story that one), but before we could finish the return, all three kids needed Social Security numbers. That's one of my easy ones. I don't think I'd mind a few post it notes. I never do while you wait returns, I'd be afraid of making a mistake without having the time to correct it.

End of the season is bearing down on us a little too soon in someways. Shall we have a party to celebrate when it's over?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

19 February 2010
OOOHHHH, another 'sticky note' client. Notes posted to each item of paper in her file:

"My W-2"

"My husband's W-2"

"State refund from MA"

"State refund from NC"

"Mortgage"


"Church contribution"

"Goodwill contribution"

"Purchase of house settlement statement"

"Sale of house settlement statement"

"Day care"

"Groceries for food drive = contribution"


etc.


Honestly, how could I ever do a tax return without her help? I certanly would not know what papers I was looking at if she didn't label them all.

Walking Spanish (talk|edits) said:

19 February 2010
My last client on Monday came with 2 milk crates of file folders, plus the husband had a rolling suitcase. It was all there, though.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

20 February 2010
The sticky notes stick to the side of my waste basket when I empty the trash. I love the ones that are yellow with lines. The hyper-organized write within the lines.....there is a four letter A word that describes them but not for this company. The one I just pulled from the basket is almost humorous....a yellow, lined stickee with orange writing, but rather than writing we have two question marks.  ??

When I worked with another preparer 15 years ago, she had one guy who would never open envelopes until he sat across from her, and then he would tap them on the desk so that the paper would settle, then patiently open it. One year he brought his wife; as he went into his act, she commented to Lisa, my fellow, "Don't you just hate that?" Lisa almost jumped over the desk in affirmation.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

20 February 2010
Then there are the clients who can't pick up a pen or open their mouth without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. I open a 9x12 envelope and out pours W-2s, 1099s etc, and a note:

"David

Can you believe it's 2010?"

Kyea (talk|edits) said:

20 February 2010
Just the other day a young lady came in to have her taxes filed. A friend of one of my sons and a nice person. However, as I was doing her return I noticed that as I was removing items from her folder she would reach over and align the stack in neat order. I would have a splay of papers on the desk that might end up fan shaped. She couldn't stand that.

When I finally looked at her as she was doing this for the fifth time she smiled and said, "Oh, don't mind me I am a classical example of 'OCD'".

I smiled, nodded and finished her work.

Just part of it.

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools