Protect your time as your life depends on it, because it does!

Hello, brave warriors of the tax realm! In the grand battle of life and work, your most precious weapon isn’t your calculator or your knowledge of the tax code—it’s your time. Once spent, time is the one treasure you cannot win back, earn anew, or retrieve. It’s irrevocable. Thus, setting boundaries is not just wise; it’s essential to protect this invaluable asset. Let’s gear up and learn how to shield ourselves from the time-stealers lurking around us—be they clients, family, friends, or even our own troops (staff).

1. Fortify Your Calendar Your calendar is your castle. Defend it fiercely! Block time segments for different activities and stick to them ruthlessly. Allocate specific times for client meetings, family time, and personal quests like your beloved hobbies. This not only keeps invaders (a.k.a distractions) at bay but also ensures you’re ruling your day, not scrambling in the battlefield of busyness. Use this wisely and this will help you prevent the got a minute call. If you set a payment system to book these calls and your clients will think twice about wasting your time.

2. Train Your Gatekeepers Whether it’s your receptionist, assistant, or a trusty software app, make sure your first line of defense knows who can breach your gates. They should be skilled in the art of saying “no” or “let’s schedule this” when unexpected visitors (tasks or people) try to storm your schedule.

3. Establish Communication Trenches Decree when and through what channels (email, phone, messenger pigeons) you will communicate. Inform your clients and your legion (your team) about these channels and respect them yourself. It prevents the chaos of missed messages and the anarchy of constant interruptions. I have had this note in the subject line of my email for the last 8 years. “Effective immediately, I will be returning phone calls and emails from 11am-1pm and 4-6pm ET.”

4. Proclaim Office Hours Set and communicate your kingdom’s operating hours—times when you are available to clients and staff. Outside these hours, the drawbridge goes up, and the moat is filled. Your time is your own to enjoy the spoils of your hard work, whether it’s spending time with family or indulging in hobbies. Block your time each day. I always did all day Tuesday and Thursday to have available to meet my noble subjects (clients). But I also did what I could to make sure they were back to back to limit the … Continue reading

Tax Pros – Fire that bad client – Here is what he/she looks like!

It’s time we had a heart-to-heart about those clients who make our lives miserable. You know the ones – they’re always late with their paperwork, they argue about every deduction, whine about our fees and they think we’re their personal servants. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to cut them loose! Here are seven reasons why firing your worst clients is the best decision you’ll ever make.

1) They’re always late. These clients are the ones who show up on April 14th with a shoebox full of receipts and expect you to work miracles. They don’t respect your time or your expertise, and they’re always surprised when you can’t get their taxes done in 24 hours. It’s time to show them the door!

You can’t train these people. If you could, it is not worth your time. It was the best decision I ever made to fire the bulk of the people who did this to me year in and year out. It actually made the next tax season the best I ever had.

2) They’re never satisfied. No matter how hard you work or how many deductions you find, these clients are never happy. They always want more, and they’re never willing to pay for the extra time and effort you put in. It’s a losing battle, and it’s time to wave the white flag.

These are the “Got a minute” people. Because you don’t want to offend them, you take their call (even though you knew you shouldn’t have) and 45 minutes to an hour later, you finally get to answer their question. Then YOU feel guilty about sending them a bill. Your time is valuable (and limited), don’t let people take advantage of you and waste your valuable time. Did you ever think that you could have used that time to get work done, that you get paid for and maybe gone home on time and done something you enjoyed?

3) They’re rude and disrespectful. These clients treat you like their personal servant, and they have no problem letting you know when they’re not happy. They yell, they curse, and they make your life miserable. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!

Not only do they do this to you, they do it to your staff. Then you wonder why Sally or Joe left. You never thought it was because of the rude client and that … Continue reading

2024 IRS Collection Financial Standards released today (4/22/24)

The IRS Collection Financial Standards outline the average living expenses for individuals and families across the nation, covering essential categories such as food, clothing, housing, healthcare and transportation. As tax professionals, it’s our duty to ensure that our clients are accurately represented when negotiating with the IRS. By using these standards, we can help our clients achieve a fair and manageable resolution to their tax troubles. In most cases.

Now, here’s an important update that you won’t want to miss. The IRS has just released new Collection Financial Standards today (April 22nd, 2024), reflecting the current economic conditions, inflation and cost of living. This means that it’s time to roll up our sleeves and update the financials of our current client cases with the new numbers. Failing to do so could result in inaccurate assessments and potentially unfavorable outcomes for our clients.

When applying the IRS Collection Financial Standards, it’s essential to thoroughly review your clients’ financial situations. Take into account their income, expenses, and any unique circumstances that may affect their ability to pay. By subtracting the standard living expenses from their income, you can determine the amount that the IRS expects them to allocate towards their tax debts. This information is crucial when negotiating installment agreements, offers in compromise, or other resolution options.

As licensed tax professionals, it’s our responsibility to stay up-to-date with the latest IRS regulations and guidelines. The release of the new Collection Financial Standards serves as a reminder of the ever-changing landscape of tax resolution. By incorporating these updated standards into our practice, we can provide our clients with the most accurate and effective representation possible.

So, let’s embrace the challenge and use our expertise to navigate the complex world of IRS collections. With the new Collection Financial Standards in hand, we can help our clients find a path towards resolving their tax issues while ensuring that their basic living expenses are met. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those we serve and demonstrate the value of having a knowledgeable and dedicated tax professional in their corner.

We will be updating our CFS Quick Reference Guide shortly. Check your email for how to access it.



Want to get some great education! Then click here to find out more about the Tax Rep Defender Odyssey 2024

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Dan Henn, CPA, CTR™
Managing Member
Tax Pro Academy, LLC

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