Timely Tax Tip: So Many Notices, so Little Time

Practically everyone is getting calls, emails and texts from clients who have IRS and/or state notices that need to be addressed – yesterday. Yup. That’s right. Often, you only about 1-3 days to respond. Why? Because our clients haven’t bothered to open up their mail and let us know about an impending deadline. Or worse. They did know and didn’t have the courtesy to forward the correspondence while we still have breathing space to respond (10-90 days). Now, they expect us to drop everything and help them – right now.

Which means, even tax practices that aren’t flush with clients are working year-round. Often, the busy-work comes from responding to the IRS and state notices. Sometimes, they are slam-dunk correspondence. Other times, there’s some real work involved. Why? Generally for one of two reasons:

1) We made a mistake and left something off the return – or didn’t understand where to report it, and now we have to straighten it out. These corrections should be done at no charge. After all, they are our own errors.

2) The client neglected to give us a document, or tell us about some income…and now we have sort out the issues. And we will probably have to help them deal with additional taxes, penalties and interest – and a way to pay all this. In particular, we are getting notices about Obamacare information missing from the tax returns. Our clients told us they didn’t get anything, right? Uh huh.

Too often, tax professionals tell me that they feel bad, or guilty in the second situation. Somehow, the fault must have been theirs. So they don’t charge a fee to help their clients resolve these issues.

Really? Truly? Why do you value yourself, your costly education, your continued training and years of skills so lightly? You really should be charging for these services. Learn more!


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