Topic: tax

Busy Season 2015: When Clients Are the Problem

Top 9 client management solutions. By CPA Trendlines Research The CPA Trendlines annual Busy Season Barometer is uncovering some frank and candid talk about clients. Yes, we love them. Couldn’t live without them. Most of the time. But, well, not always. Not that they’re bad people… But let’s face it, they aren’t always sweating tax prep much in advance of April 1, they have no idea what new regulations are in effect this year, their advisories from their CPA are filed under “Migraines-that-can-wait,” and they truly believe their CPA is exclusively dedicated to their company and doesn’t really have much else to do but wait around for their phone call. “No matter how proactive you try to be at scheduling […]

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Busy Season 2015: Short-Term Staffing Problems Need Long-Term Solutions

Not enough trained staff, not enough seasonal staff, not enough staff. Next question: The smartest moves this busy season? Join the survey; get the results By CPA Trendlines Research The CPA Trendlines annual Busy Season Barometer is eliciting a panoply of lessons learned and plans for a smoother season next year. A lot of professionals’ comments this year are nothing short of outright complaint. And not without reason. It’s been a rough year. If the snow didn’t get you, Forms 3115, 8962, 8965 or 1095a did. Plus, all things IRS got more complicated, clients got more desperate and, apparently, tensions rose as CPAs and staff stretched themselves to the limits of professional endurance. One of the main lessons learned is the need for […]

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Tax Pros Start to Make Up for Lost Ground in Pace of 2015 E-Filing

IRS processing nearly 98 percent of returns received. Tax professionals e-filed more than 38 million returns through March 13, lagging 3.4 percent from the same time in 2014. Yet, that’s an improvement from last week’s 4 percent deficit. RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers Last week, CPA Trendlines reported that the industry’s 33.4 million e-filings accounted for 53.6 percent of all the […]

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When ‘Quick and Easy’ Tax Season Research Isn’t

Four reasons not to let one question stop a tax return in its tracks. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide I keep a few of the one-volume tax guides in my office so I could look up a quick answer when I need to. Recently a golf buddy emailed me a question that I thought I could answer quickly. He wanted to know that if he was in the “zero” percent capital gains tax bracket, did that apply to an unlimited amount of capital gains? Sounds like a simple question. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 5 Personal Touches for Tax Season | Consistency Simplifies Tax Season | 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways […]

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E-filing by Tax Pros Slows for Third Straight Week

After a fast start at the beginning of the season, the pace of e-filing by tax professionals continues to brake, compared with the same time last year. But the number of do-it-yourselfers is growing briskly. RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers Tax professionals e-filed over 33.4 million returns through March 6, 2015, down 4 percent from the over 34.8 million […]

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5 Personal Touches for Tax Season

One is a can’t-skip. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Occasionally accountants lose touch with their clients, especially during tax season. Part of this is because of the crush of work, which is compressed into a pretty short period. We sometimes lose sight that we are working on something the clients consider one of the most important things in their lives at that moment.

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IRS Defanged by 20 Years of Budget Cuts

Prosecutions down 16 percent in 2014. Budget cuts are clearly undermining  the nation’s ability to collect tax revenue and enforce tax laws, widening already gaping budget holes, CPA Trendlines data show. For instance, tax prosecutions, which peaked during the early Clinton administration, bottomed during the Bush administration.

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E-filing by Tax Pros Slows

Refunds also are down. Tax professionals e-filed over 28.7 million returns through Feb. 27, 2015, down 4.4 percent from the nearly 30 million-plus returns e-filed by the same time in 2014. RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers The IRS continues to process returns at a rate of just over 97.2 percent. Nearly 57 million individual income tax returns have […]

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Tax Season Urgency: It’s a Bad Thing

Six ways to eliminate stress and potential mistakes. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Urgency creates stress and pressure and leads to mistakes and improper perceptions of the quality of the work. Planning and execution reduce urgency. One way to eliminate urgency is to properly plan the work with realistic deadlines and proper resources. Assign tax returns to the proper level, available staff person. Occasionally, when staff have returns with other work commitments and if there’s incomplete information, a break occurs, and the return isn’t ready for the person who started it, causing additional delays creating urgency. No one likes to always work under pressure, and an atmosphere of occasional urgency usually grows into perpetual urgency for everything. Playing […]

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Three Amazing CPAs Who Want to Do Tax Returns for Free

Creating awesome value to become the go-to business strategist. By Hitendra Patil Pransform Inc. As part of my role in calling on CPA firms, I meet with as many as a hundred in a month. But three of them absolutely blew me away. Let me tell you why. They all share one common factor in their thinking, which is creating awesome value for their clients. All of them provide the same standard services to their clients that an accounting and tax firm would. What happens beyond those standard services is what separates them from the rest of the world. And they use a simple trick to create awesome value.

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Tax Pro E-filing Is Holding Steady

The IRS has processed more than 97 percent of returns received. Tax professionals e-filed over 23.7 million returns through Feb. 20, 2015, down 3.9 percent from the nearly 24.7 million returns e-filed by the same time in 2014. RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers

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Consistency Simplifies Tax Season

Apply it to service, processes and standards. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide One way to guarantee extra work is to have everything always done differently each time it is done. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways to Build a Tax Season Team | Have Fun This Tax Season | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season Not establishing uniform procedures is bad business and unnecessarily consumes part of your life. Consistency in performance reduces work and review time and creates a greater reliance on the staff people.

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Tax Pro E-filing Levels Off from Initial Burst

Receipts, refunds still running higher than last year. Tax professionals e-filed about 18.47 million returns through Feb. 13, 2015, down 2.6 percent from the 18.95 million returns e-filed by the same time in 2014.

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