Discussion:Office Email Policy Tax Season

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 --> Business Growth Community --> Office Email Policy Tax Season


CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

16 December 2006
I understand the importance of the Circular 230 notice being on the Emails. But I am thinking here of a general Email policy. For instance, my younger clients basically don't know how to use a telephone (or, let's say they don't like to talk about anything complicated on the telephone). They want to do most everything with me by Email. Let's say they write me about listed property. Just how much detail do you go into in responding? Do you attach some record keeping forms for them? The point is that these written missives hang around out there long after we send them. Just how good is a good answer? Client asks a $5 question, are we supposed to give a $25 dollar answer just to keep from being sued someday? Also, I wonder how many clients know this: Client forwards Email from atty, cpa, ea that is presumptively privileged...... but, note, by forwarding the document to a third party, the privilege may very well be waived. Just opening up a general topic of conversation for the board as to how fellow practitioners are handling this.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 December 2006
You raise an excellent point, JD. Before the rise of email, my standard letter....engagement letter if you will...would say I would answer simple questions on the telephone as part of the fee, but that I would advise them if their question required more time and a bill would be sent, and on these I would usually follow up with a letter memorializing our telephone conversation plus a bill. Seems kind of chicken.... to respond to an email with a 'you did not ask a simple question, and if you want an answer, it will cost you $$$' And you are right, JD, most don't want to talk on the phone. What I usually do is print the dialogue, both question and answer, and, horror of horrors to paperless fans, insert it in their file for tax time, when I add an extra fee to their bill with an explanation.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

16 December 2006
Yes, D&T, if you notice today in the media, in every scandal, lawsuit etc. first thing that goes public are the Emails. These Emails hang around. Clients are conditioned to zip out an Email, someone zips back an answer. Even on a simple tax matter, there is usually a "it depends" or "in most cases"....How much is enough when you respond, and where will these Emails show up one day?

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

10 January 2007
Sometimes you need to get malpractice insurance and just go and do your job without all the stress and worries. People can sue you over what ever they want. Do your best with out all the nick picking concerns. I would get nothing done if always worried of taking a bad step.

Skasselea (talk|edits) said:

10 January 2007
DZCPA, I agree with the vast majority of your statements, but not this one. I have advised my staff to avoid certain topics completely via email and to limit email primarily to asking for information and to avoid using it to give long detailed explanations. First, it actually takes up a tremendous amount of time. Second, it ends up provoking ridiculous dialogues over picayune items and third, because we often get a lot of what if type questions, there are things I would rather not put in writing.

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