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Discussion:Tax Season Pet Peeves

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Tax Season Pet Peeves


TaxNerd (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Here's some of mine:

Cologne or perfume - The one in ten times I like the aroma, it's sprayed on so heavy it defeats the purpose. And guys, you don't have to take a bath in the stuff. A little goes a long way. The one thing I did learn from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was to spray a light amount in the air, and then walk under it.

Food in office - I just checked my office door again and it still doesn't say "Deli" or "Lounge" on it. Disgusting to have people eating while trying to prepare the taxes.

Cell phones - I guess their time is a lot more valuable than mine.

Kids - I've already got into this on another thread. I work twice as fast and bill you twice as much when little Johnny is running around the office. Ritalin, please.

Will (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
The flipping 8283! I am blazing right a long churning out returns. Summarized the D and danced my way through the 2106. Schedule A is a cake-walk and then some chuckle head donates property to 6 different establishments for an aggregate deduction of $737. Arrgggggh

Klesher (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Will - I have a client brought over 20 receipts with 75.00 on each one from the same establishment - I lump all those together , pick the last date and go with it. Had another one with 15 from one and just one from another establishment - I still lumped together end efiled

Kwcpa (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Client comes in today - with $25K w/drawal from IRA - ok first time homebuyer - so I tell her there will be no penalty on $10K - but there are taxes on the entire 25K - and she responds with - but they told me that $10K was "free" / also she previously prepared her own return - and she doesn't include the interest inc - cuz - don't they give you some "free" RRRRRRRRRRRR

TaxDude (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
How about the guy who went to Vegas probably 60 times last year and "won" about 30 times. Now he has 30 W2G forms for you to sort through and input. Of course they're all wrinkled because they got stuffed in his pocket when he got it. And hopefully he remembered to save them all.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
I'm still on board with the 1099 issues. The score so far is one lost client, one recipient engaging in extortion to see if he can't get the client to not only pay for the taxes he will have due, but more than she offered to pay (against my counsel), and one recipient who refuses to provide address or SSN. Except for these guys, so far the tax season doesn't have me pulling my hair out. I even got to help a young girl take care of her own taxes for the first time the other day. I think the only thing she really "got" was the fact that she has a refund coming and it will come in time for prom. But that's OK she had a beautiful smile on her face when she left.

Will (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Yeah, I hear you Klesher, thanks for the tip. I am working for another firm three days a week this year and they want them separate if donated to different establishments. Oh well, just need to start thinking like an hourly employee again. For my own clients I will be consolidating them when possible, I charge by the form. :)

Vbcpa (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Sentences that start out with "I was told......" drive me crazy. I had a client come in yesterday and inform me that the social security administration had told her that her social security income was not taxable....great.....I then spent the next half hour explaining why her social security was taxed at the maximum rate.....and then we have all those car dealers who provide tax advice.....I can't tell you how many clients have come in with their purchase agreements and inform me that the car salesmen said they could write it off....these conversations definitely are at the top of my "drive me crazy" list.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
I deal with a lot of different situations, but I think I'm most annoyed when almost all clients arrive 10 to 30 minutes early for their appts (when I do appts from Jan 15th through the 3rd or 4th week of Feb). I plan on having 5 or 10 min in-between the half-hour appts to grab a sandwich, a cigarette, make a phone call or two, or print out another return I'm working on. When they come in early, I feel uncomfortable with clients waiting in my waiting room with no client(s) sitting in front of my desk, so I usually call them in early and put off my 5-10 min break. It's much better from now through April 14th...people just stop in anytime between 11 am and 7 pm to drop-off their stuff and are usually only here for five minutes or less or long enough to hand me their envelope.

The other thing is having to ask almost everyone if they want to use the same bank account for direct deposit. Also, this year, having to ask all homeowners if they did any energy saving improvements and then going through the list of qualifying items...."doors, windows, insulation, furnace, hot water heater, central air, and solar" are the main items I say to each client.

Will - I don't like 8283, either, but I'll combine the receipts sometimes, when they are all from the same organization. I've learned not to dislike that form as much as I used to. Might as well just fill it out and not stress over it. To come up with the cost for clothing and HH items, I just multiply their estimate of the thrift value by 5, so I don't spend much time filling out that form.

Ex-IRS (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
People calling and asking me to calculate how much refund they will get on their tax returns.

People calling and wanting to ask a question, then launching into very detailed facts and expecting me to answer for free.

People for whom I've completed tax returns that don't like the refund amount and don't want to pay because, "So-and-So got me a bigger refund last year". I've since switched to payment up-front.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
And the frequent calls from unknown people: "How much do you charge to do taxes?"

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Come on! The worst is "How come I only got $578 back this year? Last year it was over $1,000."

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
When the refund differs a lot, I'll put a note in their folder, so I'll remember why they're getting less refund this year and can tell them when they pick it up. I've learned that saves a lot of time by not having to pull out their folder again (when they come to pick up their returns) and compare the last two years to see why their refund is less this year. One of the most frequent reasons is when their child turns 17 and no more child tax credit.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Tax Nerd: One thing I learned early on was how to mouth breathe. I think I hate cologne more than perfume though both are bad.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
Had a client breastfeed in my office. Had to spend the entire interview looking at the ceiling when talking to her.

Chris2lane (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
A few years ago, I had an elderly guy continuously pass gas while I was preparing the return. I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode. Did he even realize he was doing it or did he figure, "I'm old, what the hell are they going to do about it?" He didn't even break stride when he was talking to me.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
Chris2land, LOL. If Seinfeld ever had done a show about tax preparers, that would definitely be it.

CScpa (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
I had a guy and his son in yesterday. First time to do their return. His wife had summarized all their information and attached the supporting documents to the back. From talking to the guy on the phone, it was really cut and dry. No problem. What was I thinking? He comes in and has "deductions" that are not. He was continuously on the cell phone with his wife telling her I said those items were not deductible. So, we move on and finish the return. They have a pretty good refund both federal and state. And THEN he calls the wife again. (By the way, I have no idea why she did not come with him. She's a homemaker whose kid was with the dad.) She says just to wait on filing the return (I'm sure to find someone who will take those deductions). He tells her that he had already asked several other people about those deductions and they had also said no. Anyway, he's leaving and he says, "well, she has the checkbook so I couldn't pay you today anyway". I guess now I should just hold my hand out as they walk through the door. Maybe call it an "initial sitting fee".

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Pet Peeve # ? Clients who come in and sneeze and cough the entire time. Who cares about my other clients when I come down with the flu, just get theirs done.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
This is not a pet peeve, but I am between returns and I thought I would kill some of my precious time.

Over 10 years ago, this elderly lady walks into our office. She was dirty, her hair was matted, and she smelled like a dead cat. At first I thought she was just a bag lady that had accidentally wandered into our office. But she said she needed her taxes done, and she shows me this dirty plastic Safeway bag. I'm a polite person, so I invited her in. Since she stunk so bad, I used an associate's office to interview her (he was out, too bad for him). Well she opens her plastic bag and she pulls out a pile of 1099-INT's. She had over $40K in interest income!!

At the end of the meeting, I gave her my business card and told her to call (don't know if she had a phone) if she has any questions during the year. I figured, since I was so nice to her that day, that maybe she would have put me in her will. Haven't heard yet...

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
the cat got it all

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Mrs Z was not poorly dressed, but was almost 90 and had tons of interest and, when interest rates fell from the early 80's highs, would call to kvetch. Not that she spent one cent of the money, but all I would hear was "where should I put the money, David? I'm only getting __%' She had a good broker so I would tell her to call him and that I was a believer in buying high and selling low.

One year I noticed an 11% yielding Australian bank stock in her listings. I could not resist and called the broker. 'Isn't that a bit risky?' I asked. "The way I figure, she's getting 11% and if it crumbles, she'll have a heart attack and I won't have to listen to her bitch and moan anymore." He then asked me if I could hear him wink. We commisserated, both hoping to be in her will as she had no close relations. She had us both on strings; I walked to her co-op one year when she broke her hip and then walked back to deliver the return. So much for being Mr. Nice Guy.....she left it all to a distant cousin.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
Last week a client came in that had invested in foreign CD's paying 12%. Kronas (sp?) & Kiwis, I think. He said he didn't trust the dollar, and that you can't find 12% anywhere in the states.

I pointed out to him that the value of his CD's, in US Dollars, at the end of the year (including the rolled over interest) was less than his original investment. He said he didn't care because he was still making 12%.

MsTwizz (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
I'm too new to have any good stories yet.

The only thing I have is last tax season, I helped a taxpayer (who had never filed his taxes in prior years) with his tax form and setting up a business. His wife always filed hers, separate. I spent a lot of time with him and he never paid me! I will never do that again! I always ask for a least 1/2 of my fee for new clients! So I guess that's my pet peeve; clients not paying!

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Folded up receipts. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways people (especially men) manage to fold a receipt. Of course it's always interesting what falls out when I unfold the receipts - money, phone numbers ...

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
How about clients who do not bother to open their envelopes. How about client who gets W-2 for over $250,000 and filed exempt. Yes thats right ZERO withholding and then asks " Why did I not get a REFUND like last year?? Head on Head on apply to the forehead!

Kwcpa (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
DZCPA - your sooo right - the envelopes - I swear some people just give me ever unopened envelope they receive in Jan & Feb!! Most don't look at anything - W-2's with those fold and rip puzzles to open them....

Taxmom (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
D&T.....to add to yours

Come on! The worst is "How come I only got $578 back this year? Last year it was over $1,000."


"How come I only got $578 back this year? My co-worker makes the same amount of money that I do and got over $3,000 back"!!!

Birdman (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Had one ask yesterday if she could use turbotax next year and do everyting right. Be my guest.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
Had a new client pick up her returns today, and she had tears in her eyes while sitting in front of my desk. She's on sick leave and hasn't received a LTD check for about a month, so she was ecstatic when I called her today and told her the refunds were about $2,500. She said she would be having me do her taxes for the next 500 years. (I didn't mention to her that I would like to retire about 495 years before that.) But she almost had me crying....

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
How about the client with a W-2 for $250K and their only investment income for the year was the interest they earned in their mortgage impound account?

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
Is he or she also a professional gambler? Sounds like the return I worked on the other day with about $233K in W-2 wages and 24 W-2G forms.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
How "sorry death & taxes" the lady who brought in her very large dog ( it was wet due to the rain...and stunk) into my office. How about when they say " Do I need to pay the government or is that already included in your fee"

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
When I make calls every day around noon to tell clients their returns are done, the question asked most often is, "What's the damage?" And they aren't asking what my fee is but are asking about their refunds, I think.

Fondawise (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
I have had a few clients who have just come to the US bringing with them their cultural bargaining techniques. It really annoys me when someone tries to get me to come down on my already reasonable fees. This isn't a yard sale people!!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Not only do they try to get the fees lowered, but I find anyone from east of a line drawn through Central Europe tends to give figures in absolutes. It is never $849 of cello repairs, it is $1,000 and there would be $600 of concert attire. W-2s and 1099s you cannot fiddle, but 'any other income from playing or teaching?' 'Yes, put down $2,000.' Life seems to be treated as an ongoing fable in that part of the world, and the best story tellers win first prize. Oddly, the one audit I ever saw on one of these ended in a refund.

Oh yes, there is the other answer: 'Any teaching income?' "No, don't do that.' but as I work I note he keeps looking at his watch. Finally when I am done and shake hands, he rushes off. "Got a student coming at noon....gotta run."

Some time long time clients do watch me. I heard this last year: "I know we're done now, David. You're standing up." She was right; it is a not too subtle way to say 'don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.'

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Taxmom - I get them too. How come my co-worker got back more? 1) Have you seen your co-workers return? 2) Does your co-worker have a house or kids (and you don't)? 3) Have you compared your W-2 with your co-workers?

Somehow when the TP gets a refund, we're great; when they owe, it's our fault.

Did have one this year that cried when I told her she didn't owe anything! :)

Vbcpa (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
I had a call yesterday asking if I could explain where to input some information into the turbo-tax program - let's see - no.... I think you should ask the box.....(I do love that commercial!)

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
hehehe; yeah, clients who say they can do turbotax but just need some "information" because they are not "sure"....don't you love them?

RLS (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Last year I had the ultimate. I had been working with a woman for a few years. She had an S-Corp, her husband had a small S-Corp and of course I did their personal return and their child's return. I charged about $1,200 for her S-Corp and about $200 each for their personal return and the husband's S-Corp. No charge for kids. She called last year to announce that she was going to do her personal return herself and have me do the business so that she could save the $1,200. When I explained that she had it backwards and would only save $200 she got upset that I would charge her so much for her business return. She called back on April 3rd and wanted me to do all of the returns immediately. I wonder who did them for her. Wasn't me.

Mark Eason (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Mom came in with a 5 & 4 year old. While in the waiting room one of the kids pulls out a red crayon and starts coloring on the walls. On the way out, the other kid throws up on one of the waiting room chairs, wall & floor. No help cleaning up from MOM.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
In my old office in PA, the child at that age when their favorite expression is "Why, Mommy?" little Dana began exploring the curios I had atop a wooden two drawer cabinet. One container had the ashes of Muffin, my first dog. I explained to Mom what was in the container, so as Dana began picking up things Mom tried to be helpful. 'Dana, don't touch that." "Why Mommy?" "Just don't touch it." Now picking it up, "Why Mommy?" Luckily Mom acted fast and grabbed it, lest we have the dead Muffin's ashes all over the floor.

JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
How about the person with all the stock sales who has absolutely no idea what their basis is or what decade they bought them in...gotta love them (and of course their broker doesn't have the basis information either because the securities were transferred into the account w/o any basis information/purchase dates).

I also like those etrade and Shwab accounts (which our day trader clients frequent) that don't produce realized gain and loss schedules...fortunately, I've had the clients pay for the service that will generate the information for them. Sad thing though is that these people (who have hundreds and in some cases thousands of trades) end up making little or no money on all that activity.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Isn't it amazing how the day traders remember all their gains but forget about all the losses. The fun part is reviewing the tax return with both husband and wife. Trying to explain that capital losses offset capital gains but are limited to $3,000. The one NOT doing the daytrading always has a surprised expression. Then the lips get tight. You know what conversation is going to be in the car going home. "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT THESE LOSSES?! NO WONDER WE'RE BROKE!! GO GET A JOB!!!"

Gmacdon167 (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2007
Friends and family are the worst! Always looking for free advice during tax time. The ones I do actually prepare, I never get "street value" on and they still act like you're ripping them off.

Also, "my friends, neighors accountant said you could deduct "this."" My response, "great! then have your friends neighbors accountant prepare your tax return.

TaxNerd (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2007
D&T: I hear you barking big dog. The uncovered cough is the absoulute WORST. That goes to the top of the list. I'll take the old man's but sneeze over a cough any day.

One other: The construction contractor who leaves a trail of Georgia red clay behind him on the carpet. Guess it's better than the trail the old geezer leaves behind after floating a few air biscuits.

Will "the tax guy" (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2007
What's up with the free advise advertisements that we all must have placed this year? I had a phone call from a friend who asked me to help an employee out with his return. When I sat down with them and began to explain how I was going to proceed, they told me that they had already done it on-line but got stumped and needed some help. I am going to call the friend who refered this guy to me an bug him til he gets his return to me and I am thinking of charging him extra to compensate.

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