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About JohnH

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    ATX Supreme Guru

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  1. JohnH

    ATX Renewal

    And don't forget the vet bills & food for the "security cat" that guards the Salon. That's a deduction I was told one time by a multi-level marketer that is often overlooked.
  2. JohnH

    ATX Renewal

    Bart: If you'd gone to barber school you'd have become an instant tax expert without having to learn all those pesky details of actual return preparation.
  3. JohnH

    ATX Renewal

    Yes, I assumed you and NECPA both had good reasons. The clients don't have a good reason, but you're both kind and considerate enough to be concerned about them in spite of their inaction. That's admirable (and of course good business practice with profitable clients). In other situations, it sometimes takes a two-by-four to the head to get some clients to be more considerate. This business is all about making those distinctions, isn't it?
  4. JohnH

    ATX Renewal

    Usually the only way to get a significant discount in any negotiation is being willing to walk away (or at least convincing the other party you're prepared to do that). Maybe I'm naive, but if 2017 e-file isn't available for any reason, what's the problem with paper filing? It isn't as though the client is in a hurry to get it done... (But I do understand the overall concern extends beyond simply getting the return filed)
  5. JohnH

    Investment Fees

    I think you nailed it with the research comment. What passes for research in the investment field is little more than "investment porn". The airwaves and internet are full of this nonsense, and it all comes at a heavy price. As John Bogle famously repeated, "Nobody knows nothing"" when predicting the future. Investment advisors exist to make weather forecasters and astrologers look like geniuses. Anyone who will take the time to read and understand his speech entitled "The Dream of a Perfect Plan" in March of 2000 will know virtually all they ever need to know about investing for the long haul. The fact is, smart investing & wealth accumulation is quite boring once one grasps the basics. http://johncbogle.com/speeches/JCB_AZ_Republic_3-00.pdf
  6. JohnH

    Investment Fees

    scottmcfly: Steering them to Vanguard is one of the most important things you can do. Next best is getting them to read and understand John Bogle's philosophy on investing. He revolutionized the industry with the index mutual fund - I'm referring to the Total Stock Market Index, not some of the expensive knock-offs other companies are pushing. Understanding and properly applying Bogle's investing advice will increase ones wealth exponentially without the drag associated with the fees one typically encounters. But it takes a little work and many people just won't invest the time to educate themselves.
  7. JohnH

    Investment Fees

    Link to 10 great quotes from "Where Are the Customers' Yachts?": https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2015/02/10-great-lines-customers-yachts/ They're all great, but I'm especially fond of #2 (and #10 runs a close second place): --> 2. On the value of “I don’t know”: For one thing, customers have an unfortunate habit of asking about the financial future. Now, if you do someone the single honor of asking him a difficult question, you may be assured that you will get a detailed answer. Rarely will it be the most difficult of all answers – “I don’t know.” <--
  8. JohnH

    Investment Fees

    Client: "I thought you said this investment plan is designed to fund the education expenses for the kids ! " Broker: "Oh, sorry. I guess you misunderstood. I was telling you it's set up to fund the education expenses for MY kids."
  9. JohnH

    ATX Renewal

    I think I posted something similar to what I'm about to say on another thread, but here goes anyhow. I've never thought it is worth saving the equivalent of a couple of tax return fees in return for being tied to an unproven product. Once you're committed, there's a strong bias against making a change even if the vendor shows signs of serious last-minute problems. It's also important to have a standby product already in mind just in case. Sure am glad I was following this policy when the 2012 debacle reared its ugly head. I just jumped to Drake (my pre-determined standby), and found it so good that I never looked back. For me, Drake is far superior to ATX and I should have made the move much earlier than I did. However, even though I have an extremely high level of confidence & trust in Drake, I don't take advantage of their discount either. Maintaining flexibility right up to the last minute has monetary value to me.
  10. Bart: You failed to mention the "Take Nap" note. (Actually, I should say "notes" because I keep several for morning, noon, and afternoon stuck at various places on my monitor and also in the bathroom/library). But being as well organized as you are, I'm sure you have them up there.
  11. Oh, the client is always too busy. And it often doesn't make financial sense, which is why they will ask us to do it at no charge because they "don't like" paying penalties. Of course, they also don't like hearing us say WE don't like being asked to fix everybody else's problems for free. Rather than work for free, I'd rather just take the time off.
  12. Personally, I'm not a big fan of early renewals. I see it as potentially gambling your entire tax filing season on the equivalent of the fees for a couple of tax returns. Risk is greater than the reward. I was certainly glad I wasn't locked into ATX when the 2012 debacle struck. I simply moved over to Drake and found my only regret was not having done it many years earlier since it's a superior product (software and customer service) overall. But even though I now have a high level of confidence in Drake, I won't commit to them either until I see the software working. Anything can happen with any vendor in a given year. (I do realize that one could prepay with a vendor, find the program is unacceptable, and move to another vendor by either sacrificing the prepayment or gambling that the original vendor can be browbeat into funding all or part of the prepayment. But prepayment creates too much pressure to stick it out and hope the original vendor can rectify their problems. Meanwhile, there are those pesky clients wanting their darn work done, and they don't give a hoot about our vendor issues.)
  13. I had a client using Obamacare who got married in Oct and told me about it AFTER the fact. They were pretty upset that "nobody told them" about the recalculation of their ACA subsidy and all that stuff. I told them I'm neither a mind reader nor an insurance consultant. Also told them they could complain to the preparer who they needed to hire to figure out the complicated recalculation, because I wasn't going to get into THAT territory either. I had no interest in doing the research or assuming the risk of getting it wrong. Problem solved (at least on my end)
  14. It's 10:00 am on the 15th. I just now came in and double-checked my extensions to be sure all the bases are covered. There's one guy I haven't heard from, and he always owes. If he calls before I go home I'll fill out an extension. If I don't hear from him today I'll assume he's either he's doing it himself, has gone somewhere else, or is going to owe penalties. (His problem, not mine.) Will be working on 1st quarter payroll reports the rest of the day, except for a side trip to CarMax to take another look at a car I'm thinking of buying. The plan is to head home by 5:00 pm. All in all, not a bad way to spend the 15th.
  15. JohnH

    Wash Sale

    Sounds like the story of the day trader who won the lottery. His friend asked him what he was going to do with his newfound wealth. He replied, "I'll probably just keep day trading until I lose it all."
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