Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later and today is the day. My first bitch post.
I must admit it started the moment my feet hit the floor this morning, or more accurately the moment that my mind started swimming up from the abyss to awaken. First off, even though it is Friday, it is not the end of the week for me, as I have to work tomorrow. Joy, Joy, Fun, Fun (NOT!!!). Only 33 more days and tax season will be officially over. The only problem is that I suspect some poor bastard is going to die before it is if I have my way. I have been at this for 22 years this year and every year my friends and family hear the same fussing out of me. It is the same issues every year but unfortunately my patience is wearing EXTREMELY thin.
With that, I am going to give everyone out there some advice when it comes to taking your information to a tax professional so that you won’t make the mistake of pissing them off.
1. Bring all of your W-2’s, 1099’s, 1098’s, K-1’s or anything that you think might have an impact. Bring the ORIGINALS!!! I have clients that will make a list and not bring the original. Sometimes there are things that I need the originals for. Example: Today I open a file and the client has listed all of the dividends and interest on a single sheet of paper. The problem was that he lumped all of his and his wife’s together so I had to call him and get a breakdown between his and hers. I knew he had his and hers accounts from prior years copies. This wasted my time and his. Mine making the call and his writing up a list that I didn’t need if I had the original information.
2. Look at your information before you bring it in. Make sure it is in your name and for the proper year. You may not understand everything but that is why we are here and why you pay us. Example: I had a client bring in some K-1’s that they received from an estate. The K-1’s were for 05 and 06. Not too big of a deal, we will have to amend their 05 and 06 return, but I call and tell them not once, not twice but three times that they need to find out if they are going to get a K-1 for 08. What happens this morning? The husband comes in and says “Wife says you have all the info including K-1’s” I pull out the file, show him the K-1’s which are dated for 05 & 06 and explain to him that we need to know if there will be a K-1 for 08 (and also 07 for that matter) as we can file an extension for their 08 return if the 08 K-1 is coming. Of course, then he calls wife who acts confused and we are back to where we were 6 weeks ago, which is trying to find out if an 08 K-1 will be issued. These are not ignorant people, they are professionals and I expect a little bit more out of those with initials behind their name. (ie: PhD, MD, DDS etc)
3. If you owe money, don’t blame me!!! This is a BIG one. Every year we have certain clients that owe a balance due on their return and every year they question why. We patiently explain why and either tell them to increase their withholdings through their paychecks, retirement, etc or make quarterly estimated payments. Every year they don’t and we go through this over and over. You are paying for your tax professionals advice. USE IT!!!!!!!!!!
4. Don’t sit across from me and play the poor card when your income is $145,000 a year. I don’t want to hear it, and frankly I could give a rat’s ass less. You are not poor, in fact my YEARLY gross income is a little less than two months of your income, so my heart does NOT bleed for you! SUCK IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I had someone do this to me on Tuesday. By the time they left I wanted to throw up.
5. Don’t call me and complain about your bookkeeper (if you have a business) when we both know you don’t give her your receipts or information like you should. No one is a mind reader including me. If I was, I would have my own Psychic Hotline making a lot more money than I am now. I also don’t appreciate having to pull information out of you when you know damn well you have reportable income and you are hoping if I don’t ask you about it, you won’t report the income and won’t pay taxes on it. Look buster, I’m a damned good detective and when I’m working on your rental properties, I have learned that you are a sleazy, little bastard so I go to the cities websites and check to see if you still own all of your properties or if you have sold something and oh so “conveniently” forgot to tell me.
Yes, all of this has happened to me in the space of three days. Can you now understand my frustrations? On the other hand, I care enough about our clients that I always try to go the extra mile searching for deductions. I also try to advise our elderly and disabled clients of the real estate tax relief programs in their cities or counties. I try to patiently listen as some of you talk to me about the loss of your job, house, business etc. I am right there with you and can understand. I will pick up and deliver tax returns to our non-driving clients (yes, they are out there) because I hope that one day someone will be as kind to me if I need it. I also adore our clients that treat us like family and will bring us milk and cookies, and call and tease us and take the time to ask about our families, children, and sometimes even pets. I even had a client give me a $10 tip last week and told me to go to lunch on him. It’s not about the money or the goodies, it’s about how you treat me and I so appreciate those that are nice and kind. But…………for those that are a pain in my a double s (as one of my grandmothers would say) watch out………I am on the warpath and someone (whistling and looking very innocent) may get pushed into traffic on the way out their door onto the Boulevard.
In all honesty though, after writing this and putting it all down, I feel so much better. Obviously blogging is good therapy so watch out, more b*tch posts are likely.