Some people really don’t like having their pre-conceived notions challenged.
For example, consider this response to the email I sent yesterday:
Boy are you wrong!!! Congress passed the Legislation after tax season already started – beyond our control.
IRS needed to interpret the changes made in the final Legislation – beyond our control.
Tax software needed to be updated for those changes – beyond our control.
State Legislators needed to decide if they were going to follow federal changes – beyond our control.
…plus six more lines, including one extolling my “insensitivity and arrogance”.
All because I had the audacity to declare that yesterday was the end of filing season.
In total, I received over 30 replies to yesterdays email. That’s a lot of replies for what was probably the shortest email I’ve ever sent.
Just so everyone knows, I am completely aware that IRS extended the filing and payment deadline to May 17th — I’m not an idiot living under a rock (although that’s heavily debated).
But as I’ve written a few times in these emails over the past month plus, just because the IRS extended the deadline, doesn’t mean you have to.
My advice to all tax pros has been to “act as if” April 15th was still the deadline, and do as you would in any other year. That means wrapping up existing returns in progress between April 1 and 15. As of April 1, cutting off any clients that have not brought you docs yet — everybody not in-progress goes on extension to October. The same best practices that you would use in any other year.
The most important reason is so that this doesn’t throw off your business operations for the rest of the year. In other words, don’t let external forces dictate your business decisions. Tax professionals that simply embrace the May 17th extended deadline will, inevitably, continue to operate in “filing season mode”. That means delaying 1040 tax resolution season marketing. That means skipping late April and early May business development opportunities, such as new ad campaigns, the early return of some trade shows, potential speaking opportunities, and the like.
By failing to enforce a standard April 15th deadline upon your clients, you are stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. If you also offer accounting services, and you stay 100% in “tax season mode”, think of all the potential accounting clients that … Continue reading