What Will You Experience With Us?
Jan 12, 2012
Tax season runs from around the middle of January to the middle of April every year. During that time, our office is much busier than usual. In addition to income taxes, we also prepare monthly and quarterly bookkeeping for business clients, so we are open all year long. Therefore, even if you have to file an extension, we’ll be here to take your information whenever you’re ready.
Although we love to see you in person, many clients who live out of town, or whose tax situation has not changed from the previous year, choose to simply mail or drop off their information to our office. If that is something you’d like to do, please make sure you include at least one good phone number in your packet, in case we have questions. We recommend that you mail us the packet via USPS priority mail with tracking. This is a cheaper alternative to other delivery companies and gets here in 2-3 days, plus you can track it online. The turnaround completion time is about 2-3 weeks.
Like we said, though, we love to deal with you in person. So, if you’re a new client, here’s a glimpse of what to expect when you come into our office:
* When you first call our office, don’t be alarmed if you receive a busy signal. During peak times, all lines may be busy with calls from clients, so we ask you to please try again. Chances are the phone line will be clear in less than 1 minute.
* We appreciate it when you call and set an appointment. Not only do you get to choose the exact date and time that works best for you, but it also helps us process everything faster by having your file out by the time you get here. Best of all, you get to walk right in ahead of “walk-in” clients because appointments ALWAYS take preference over “walk-ins”.
* Sometimes, even with an appointment, you may have to wait a few minutes. While in the waiting room, we have magazines and brochures for you to read. The radio is on for your listening pleasure. You can close your eyes and just rest for a couple of minutes. May we also suggest that you don’t overlook the obvious: the other people waiting there. Many times, clients strike up conversations with total strangers as if they were best of friends! Often, there are mini “reunions” to the tune of, “hey, what are you doing here? Haven’t seen you in a while, I didn’t know you came here…” We’ve even seen people skip their turn just to keep talking to that new or old friend!
* Once you go in for your appointment, we will begin the tax interview. If you are a new client, we will ask to see your tax documents (W-2’s etc) and also your personal documents (social security cards, licenses, copies of birth certificates, etc) and a copy of last year’s return, if available. We already have this information for existing clients, so please do not keep bringing it each year, unless something has changed (have a newborn, renewed license, got married, etc).
* The “meat” of the interview will be asking you about your unique situation. This process takes place in an office away from the waiting area. You will not have shoppers eavesdropping on your business or another customer practically sitting next to you with a different tax preparer doing their return. You can relax by knowing that what you say stays private. Again, let me remind you that as licensed tax preparers, we are bound by strict confidentiality rules regarding all our dealings with you.
* Once we’re done with the interview, we will once again tell you how much your refund or tax owed is, for both federal and state returns. If you have chosen a bank product, we will also discuss that process and those fees with you. Then we will give you a free copy of your return. We will even give you a FREE, digital copy (PDF) on a CD, if you ask for one. I recommend you ask for this FREE digital copy because then you won’t have to pay us a copy fee anytime in the future (currently $35). For security reasons, we can not use your memory stick or e-mail the PDF file to you. It has to be provided to you on our CD.
* Finally, we will present you with the bill. If you have any coupons, it’s now or never. We will not recalculate invoices once you’ve left our office. If price is a major concern to you, but even more importantly, to be fair to the clients waiting their turns in the waiting area, please ask us to give you a quote when you first come in for your interview, before we go through the whole interview (for example, you may not have realized that you had to file a corporate return in addition to your personal, which naturally makes the bill higher than what you anticipated). FYI, our preparation fees can also be deducted from your refund, if you choose a bank loan product.
* Once you leave, we hope that you were fully satisfied. Please know that we are honored to serve you and we look forward to seeing you again next year. Don’t forget that we don’t close our doors on April 15th; we are available to you, year-round, for any tax consultations you need. Did you get married, get a new job, have a baby, pull money from retirement plan, finally retired, started a business, win the lottery, etc.? Call us (especially on that last one!!).
* Finally, THANK YOU. Please go on our website and post a review, link to our facebook page and “like” us, and make sure to tell your friends about us. In fact, you can make money with our refer-a-friend program for sending us new clients. Click on the link in our web site or do it “old school” by having your friends bring in one of our business cards with your name written on the back when they come get their own taxes done. They must give us the card with your name on it while they’re preparing their taxes. Once they leave, it’ll be too late, so make sure you remind them.