No, this one is not about following the law. That goes without saying in the Tax Therapy office! This one is about office procedures, policies, and preferences that help us to process returns efficiently, keep prices reasonable, and keep my head from exploding.
If you have never actually been to the office, it is really small! Bigger than the old Nob Hill office, but still really small. We are a largely paperless office and we don’t have much in the way of storage space. So if you have ever walked in with a huge box of stuff and seen the look of panic in my eyes, that’s why.
Your attention to the following rules is much appreciated and helps tax season go more smoothly for us, which means faster turnaround time on everyone’s tax returns:
- Don’t even think about bringing “shoeboxes” or bags of receipts. Save your receipts and organize them (or not) however you wish but don’t submit them all. We do not do bookkeeping, sort paperwork, or run totals for you unless arrangements have been made in advance and these services are not included in the fee for preparing your tax return.
- Use the organizer! Review the client interview. Check the applicable boxes. Write notes and questions in the space provided. Total your receipts according to the categories on your organizer paperwork and record the totals where indicated on the organizer.
- Don’t submit your documents in “weird” folders. We keep your originals in your tax folder and we keep your tax folder in fire- and water-proof lock boxes. Large accordion files, folders with handles, etc. don’t fit in these boxes. If you bring your documents in in something like this, expect that Cat will remove them and return the container to you.
- Don’t use staples or tape to group your documents (paper clips or binder clips are OK). We scan the documents you provide to us and we have to remove tape and staples before scanning. We like returning things to you how you gave them to us, so we usually re-tape or re-staple paperwork. This may seem like not such a big deal, but when you consider how many thousands of documents we handle throughout tax season, trust me, it adds up. Paper clips and binder clips (within reason) are much easier and faster to remove and re-attach.
- Give us all of your tax documents but please open envelopes and self mailers and remove “filler” items. For IRS/State notices keep and submit the envelope. For general tax information like W2s and 1099s, retaining the envelope is not necessary.
That’s it. Nothing too complicated but it really makes a huge difference for us!