For most taxpayers once the balance due is paid or the refund comes in they stop thinking about taxes. This article provides a great explanation about why tax time is the worst time to ask the important questions or to try to find a new taxpro. In general, if the year holds “potentially taxable events” for you (marriage, children, retirement, college, lost job, new job or promotion, buying or selling business property) the time to start planning is now, not January! The same thing goes if you are considering changing from a DIY option to hiring a #taxpro or switching #taxpros.
Most #taxpros spend November and December installing and testing our software and doing refresher classes on tax law changes. Plus, most of us also have lives outside of the office and like to spend at least some of the holiday season with our friends and families! In January those of us who also offer bookkeeping and payroll services are busy doing end of the year close out work and preparing W2s and 1099s. Even those of us who don’t offer bookkeeping and payroll are usually busy getting ready for tax season: updating engagement letters, refining our client interview process, updating office policies and processes, training new staff, etc. By February we are working on returns (returns for partnerships and S-corporations are due on March 15th, not April 15th!). By March, when many taxpayers start to feel the deadline approaching and decide it’s time to “do their taxes” #taxpros are slammed with work. Many of us are not accepting new clients or, if we are accepting we will require you to go on extension. If you call us on or after April 1st looking to come in as a new client 1) we will hate you (we are totally burned out by the end of March), 2) we may laugh at you (but we don’t really think your request is funny), 3) we are going to either insist you go on extension or refer you to a shop (often one of the large franchises) who is set up to handle last minute walk ins. Note: Yes, we do consider two weeks before the filing deadline “last minute.” By April 1st (and, no, we don’t think the tax-related April Fool’s Day pranks are funny either—please don’t call saying you are being audited or levied if you aren’t) we are almost completely focused on getting returns out of our offices, not bringing them in. We are adding last minute documents to mostly completed returns. We are booking review and signature appointments. We are even planning for next filing season. We are rarely actively looking for new business.
The best time to find a #taxpro is actually summer through early fall. We have had a chance to recover from the April 15th deadline push. We may be busy working on returns on extension (especially if it is close to the September 15th deadline for partnerships and S-corps or the October 15th deadline for individual returns) but typically we are less busy than during the first part of the year. We will have time to review your situation thoroughly, answer what questions we can at your initial consultation, research questions for which we don’t have the answers, and we can give you an idea of our office process and what to expect and the documents we will need to complete your returns. It’s much less hectic and, at least in my office, a bit less formal when new clients come in for “onboarding” during the summer. You will also have a much wider range of appointment times available because existing clients for the most part don’t book appointments in the summer unless they are having a “taxable event”. So, whether you are an existing client ready to do some tax planning or a potential client wanting to find out more about the office, the time to call or e-mail is now! Give us a call at 505-352-0058 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to schedule a consult.