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Discussion:Tough Skin?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Tough Skin?


Skq9545 (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2007
Do you need to develop a tough skin in this business, or am I just sensitive? The reactions of some of these clients can really get to me. The client with the commuting to the casino situation has not come to get the return. Don't know if it is because the refund wasn't as great as last year or what the problem is. I am just amazed by some of these t/p's.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2007
Take no prisoners! I dislike people who measure your work by the refund intensely. I said to one after the inevitable "why did we get $500 less than last year?" question, "I didn't work as hard."

Skq9545 (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2007
Boy, none of this stuff is easy is it? Just about the time I get a return I think I can whip out in 5 minutes, something rears its ugly head and I have to start researching. Just the nature of the beast I guess.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2007
Wait until you get a return almost finished, or even printed out, and they pull something out of their pocket they forgot! Like the classic of the guy who told me as he was leaving that he had gotten married during the tax year!

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
Few years ago (before I decided to drive around less), I picked up paperwork for a return, did it and drove back the next week (30 miles each way) to drop off the return. Just as I'm finishing presenting the return, client says "what about my real estate taxes?" I say "What real estate taxes?" Turns out she forgot to give me all the info. The next week I drove back (another 30 miles each way) to give her the corrected return! I always buy myself a present after tax season is over. My purchase that year was a laptop and portable printer!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 10, 2007
BL - Wouldn't real estate taxes be a normal question to ask about if you didn't have that info?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
Normally yes. She's in that land of borderline itemizing where some years she doesn't pay and other years she pays for more than one year. Unfortunately there's no pattern for when she pays and when she doesn't. Now I can look that info up online for no cost

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 10, 2007
Yea, I really like the fact that I can look up property tax and taxable values online. Except the county I live in started charging $2 per record last June. I used several of the city and county sites very often last year, when it was free. I used the Eaton County site one time this year so far, paid the two bucks, and the 2006 property taxes hadn't been posted yet for that client, just the 2005. That was a frustrating experience, so I don't plan on using that particular site anymore and will have to call more clients this year, when they don't bring their PT bills.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
Clients don't look at the 1098. Some forms give the taxes, others don't. Then there is my Maine people who send me their mortgage payment detail from Countrywide from October and expect me to figure out both tax and interest. I could come close on interest using the balance, rate and term except then I notice he paid $150 extra on principal. That is why they call themselves Mainiacs, I think.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
Countrywide is annoying too because they put the RE taxes on the back. Some of my clients only give photocopies and of course they don't copy the back.

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
I think Countrywide's info. is much better than most loan servicing companies. -- Larry Hess, CPA, Albuquerque, NM - Talk to me

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
I agree, Larry. That statement gives me the rate, the type, the term, the remaining term and the payment. I could prepare my own schedule except for the fact that he is making additional principal payments. National City also gives good statements and you can glean a lot of information from GMAC, but Chase is very barebones.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 10, 2007
I don't know about other states, but in Michigan, for the Homestead Property Tax Credit, the taxes used to figure the credit are the summer and winter for the current year. It doesn't matter when those tax bills were paid. And I need the Taxable Value, which means I need the actual bills and not just the mortgage statements. So there is mass confusion here about which bills I need, and I go through this every year with some clients who can't get it through their heads that I need the tax bills paid and the tax bills billed during the year (for those who pay their winter bills in January and February). I have this info on the first page of my December letter that I send to over 700 clients, but then who reads the letter?

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
SKQ -I can empathize with you. What I've found is that every tax year takes on its own personality. A couple years ago I had a season where I couldn't pick up anything without what felt like massive research. Then this young guy walks in the door with ONE W-2, he's about 20, single, no dependents. Couldn't get easier or faster could it? Until he mentioned that his previous employer had not sent him his W-2 and by the way that employer was on Guam, I think it was, one of the islands south of here. Had to call around to get it - and let me tell you if anyone thinks Hawaii is laid back, try some of the smaller Pacific Islands. Once I got that, it looked different than what I was used to and spent a couple hours researching the treatment of taxes involving earnings from US possessions. Interesting information to learn, but at the time it used more time than I had. Now I look back at that year and smile - a little.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

10 February 2007
One way I have helped clients inadvertently is to spot when mortgage companies are not paying all the taxes. In Pennsylvania, some counties have two assessments (town and School) and some have three (county also). Mortgage companies in other states might not receive or understand all the bills and if I spot what seems an excessive amount in the escrow balance box, or see the taxes seem too low, I tell the client to call the mortgage company, or get me their escrow analysis. Finding this can prevent a sheriff sale, or attempt at one.


Deb: I just filled in some type of rebate form for Vermont; you should see all the information they want.

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