To those of you who sent kind e-mails offering to go on extension, to wait, or simply with kind words for me and Cat, thank you.
To those of you who are sending e-mails making suggestions for how I can improve my business during this time—less than helpful. Oddly enough I’m getting these from both colleagues who know nothing about my business or my clients and from clients whose only contact with my business is once a year when I file their tax returns (and none of them are professional business coaches—I actually have one of those and listen to her). In any case, I’ve been running this business for ten years now and you might, especially if you are a W2 worker or a freelancer with one or more relatively continuous gigs, take a moment to consider that running a business with over 100 clients at any given time (down from over 200 across three offices), a physical office (three physical offices once upon a time), staff on the payroll (albeit only one right now, but there used to be six spread across the three locations), and a huge level of professional liability because of the type of work being done 1) is fundamentally different than your situation and 2) might have already involved considering your idea and deciding against it. I also have to wonder if you e-mail helpful suggestions to the other professionals with whom you work (your broker, your doctor, your attorney, your realtor) or if you just accept that the way they are doing business is the way that it is done and/or the way it works best for them.
To those of you who have requested that we return your documents, thanks for letting me know. I understand. Cat will be picking up documents from the office twice a week and getting them in the mail.
Here’s what I’m working on this week:
- GRT Returns/Reports for the few clients for whom I do those
- Complex returns that have been in the office since February or early March
- Returns that were submitted from about 3/9 through about 3/16 and possibly some others depending on the number of issues with the returns and how much follow up is required
- Creating a blog post with further information on extended deadlines (but wait! there’s more!) and the Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) with (I hope) additional information for people who are below the filing threshold, adult children claimed as dependents, and for those of you who are eligible for the payments but did not have a refund direct deposited in 2018 or 2019.
If you haven’t turned in your tax documents to the office yet, you can mail them, you can upload them, or you can wait until the governor lifts the stay at home order to drop them off. We have until 7/15 to finish the returns at this point so I see no reason to open the office to clients at this time. Everyone should be doing their best to stay at home. I will, of course, re-evaluate if the order continues beyond May 15th. If you are one of my clients who routinely has a “late K1” that is still no problem! I know who you are, I’m watching the deadlines, and I will be in touch!
Same rules for finished returns as for incoming returns. For the most part Cat will be sending them to you “as if” you were one of our out of state clients. When you get your copy you can call (leave a message) or e-mail to schedule a full review appointment by phone or Zoom. In this case I do not recommend waiting until the stay at home order is lifted for a review & signature appointment. If too many of you do that it is going to create yet another bottleneck similar to the one that occurred when all those return packets came in during March.
Finally, a reminder. I do not use text to communicate with clients. I know that some of you would like it if I did, but it simply is not a workable option right now. If that’s a deal breaker for you, I understand but I have to run my business in the way that best meets the needs of all of my clients and my professional needs with respect to office efficiency and security. Not to mention in a way that respects the boundary between my professional and personal lives.
As always, I appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time. It has definitely pushed me to the breaking point and is causing me to re-evaluate how the practice will be run moving forward into next tax season.