The complexity of the tax code and the uniqueness of each client’s circumstances are why I don’t prepare your tax return while you are in the office. If I had a quarter for every time someone called with a “quick question” or said “my taxes are really simple” I could probably retire (not that I want to). If you’ve ever called me with a “quick question” you’ll know that most of the time my answer is along the lines of either “Off the top of my head I’d say this, but let me do some more checking and call you back.” or “I’ll have to run the numbers and call you back.” Truth is, in general, there are no quick questions. The tax code is complex and highly dependent on individual facts and circumstances—not to mention actual numbers. Just because a friend or relative or neighbor got this or that credit or deduction doesn’t necessarily mean that you get that credit or deduction too. Even if you think you are in similar financial circumstances you may not be. It never hurts to ask of course and our offices welcome your questions, but we may not always be able to give the answer you are hoping to or expect to receive.
When it comes to answering your questions and preparing your tax return, I like to have a chance to enter all the data; review the numbers, your situation from last year, any new information, and this year’s return; and prepare a list of my own questions if necessary. To do this requires a great deal of focus and, I’ll admit, I just don’t have the focus I need when I have an audience. On more complex returns I like to have some time to set the return aside and review it a day or two later just to make sure I’ve thoroughly considered all of the circumstances and haven’t missed anything.
I also like to spend some time just talking with you each year and maybe planning for next year and it’s easier to do that when I’m not trying to work at the same time. That’s why I offer you an appointment to come in and review your return and sign it. Of course if you would rather skip the appointment (and the chitchat) that’s OK too. This year I will be offering a secure file portal for you to upload and download your tax return information so you don’t have to use U.S. mail or come by the office for paper copies unless you want to. In a future post I will be discussing why we don’t send copies of tax returns (or other personal information) via e-mail.
Occasionally, Anna (in the Tonopah office) will do a “while you wait” return for a returning client with an extremely simple 1040 or a 1040-EZ, but that is the exception, not the rule, and it is solely at her discretion. Returns prepared in the Albuquerque office must be mailed in, uploaded, or dropped off at the office. If you would like some time to review the information in the organizer with me when you bring it in (or after I’ve received it) I am happy to consult with you in the office or on the phone, but please be aware that there are many questions I cannot answer until I have had a chance to enter the data into my software and review the results.
As always, our goal when preparing your tax returns is to give you the highest quality service while maintaining reasonable prices. Our office processes and policies help us to do that. We are committed to building long-term relationships with our tax clients and appreciate your business and your referrals. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business in past years and for returning to us in the 2016 filing season. Have a safe and happy New Year!