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Time to Send Out Tax Organizers?

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The sooner the better. I just wish ATX would fix the bug so the organizer letter and organizer engagement letter is added automatically. It's going to be a pain to add them all manually.

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Mine go out today.  My engagement letter is based on AICPA verbiage and printed on my letterhead so I don't use the ATX one.  I do like their content, however.  It is very similar. 

I print out the basic questionnaire to include as well as information about Use Tax (clients really don't like to be reminded of this), and for a few I print out some pages for rentals or Sch. C with the prior year data and list of assets.  Most folks don't complete them but I think they are good guides. 

I would love to get back the signed letters right away but more and more folks are waiting to include with their documents so planning it a bit tougher.  And then I wonder about the one or two who just drop off.  Fortunately that doesn't happen often but I think it would be nice, after several years, to receive at least an email stating that they won't be back.  Just so I know - and I promise not to badger as I am not unhappy having some attrition naturally.

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I will send out my document checklist (instead of an organizer) and engagement letter as soon as they are ready to go (i.e., printed and collated).  I hope by the end of this week.

Have already had one phone call and one drop-off for 1099's for clients' vendors.  I am SO not ready for this...

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6 hours ago, Catherine said:

I will send out my document checklist (instead of an organizer) and engagement letter as soon as they are ready to go (i.e., printed and collated).  I hope by the end of this week.

Have already had one phone call and one drop-off for 1099's for clients' vendors.  I am SO not ready for this...

Not ready here either.  Several calls today for various reasons.  A few appts set up for Feb already.  Today, clients wanted Organizers, EOY Sales Tax Reports and Payroll Reports done.  I don't even know if the software is ready for that.  Have an audit next Thursday and my office is a mess.  Will she allow my assistant to be present during the audit process?  She can be working  quietly in the other half of the office.  Anybody know?

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And another email this morning; someone got a 1095-A and wanted to know how to get the company to rescind it as she doesn't know what it's for.

My husband came home from a trip to deal with stuff from his mom's estate in an ultra-foul mood, and someone in my town is putting a motion to town meeting that needs to be fought and I have a feeling that coordinating the battle is going to get dumped on me.

I'm telling you, New Zealand is looking real good right about now.  Even with all the earthquakes.

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I'd love to send mine out today, but I can't get Engagement Letters yet unless I roll all my clients over one by one.  The batch rollover in Drake will be available this week... they're late, probably due to the huge tax law changes.  In prior years we've had everything printed out, envelopes stuffed, ready to pop in the mailbox on the first business day of the year.  Not this year, though - so we have our checklist and general letter printed and ready, and mailing labels ready.  As soon as we get batch rollover out they go!

Then we'll start on payroll client W2s and business client 1099s.  It begins!  God help us all.

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End of this week.  Use most of the short form's pages but the Questions from the comprehensive Organizer to create a hybrid for clients; inflates this week's prep time but cuts down followup questions later.  Not too few clients skip everything but the questions, engagement letter and basic info.  [Btw, eternally grateful to Abby Normal for recommending Nuance PDF and its auto-filling facilitator.]

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Trying to get them ready but I don't like to send them too early.  I want them to get there before they get all their paperwork and have  a chance to lose it, but not early enough that they put the organizer away never to be found.  It is a guessing game.

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3 hours ago, Gail in Virginia said:

I don't like to send them too early

We start to get panicked phone calls by January 10th if folks don't have them in-hand.  Which phone calls then interrupt our attempts to deal with W2s and 1099s.  Ugh; can't win.  

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I started emailing my pre season tax letter, engagement letter, privacy policy, and my own very EZ organizer to cut down on time and mailing costs.  I only have to snail mail a few. My engagement letter doesn’t have to be signed and says “When you submit your tax information to me you acknowledge and agree to the following terms and conditions for my services.”

 I found that very few clients ever used the multi page detailed organizers I used to mail out. Sent the emails out today and am getting lots of thank you replies.

I moved from AZ to FL into my deceased father’s house. The office here is tiny compared to the one I had in Phoenix.  So far, so good with client retention. Wish me luck and accept my best wishes that your tax season is the easiest and most profitable ever!!

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Thanks for the 'push' to do more emailing.  This will be the last year for all the printing and mailing, I think, save for the few. Do you still include the name and address of each client on the emailed engagement letter?  Do you sign it?  I like the idea of the acknowledgement statement but may check with my insurer to be sure that suffices. 

The only detailed organizer pages I send out are for those who have self employment income and expenses and/or rentals to remind them of what they had the prior year.  Could also be emailed, though.  As can my questionnaire.  But then I do want the returned questionnaire and very few have the capability of scanning to email in return.

Giving this some thought!

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 I do not include the name of the client, nor do I sign the engagement letter but it does appear on my letterhead.   The sample tax engagement letter on my E&O insurer's website says this:  "To accept our firm’s offer to perform services based upon on the terms set forth in this Agreement, forward the completed tax organizer and other tax return information requested to us. By doing so, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms set forth above.", which is the same thing.  It's hard enough to get the signed 8879 forms.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Margaret CPA in OH said:

Do you still include the name and address of each client on the emailed engagement letter?  Do you sign it? 

Yes.

No.

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We will try emailing next year.  With a new assistant, changing procedures too was just too much this year.  Mainly because then one of us would have to go through everything carefully to make sure our elderly clients still got paper.  We have a number of older folks without computers, or without printers, or who can't handle a portal or even downloading an attachment.  Easier with a new assistant to give them a list and say "stuff the envelopes" plus she'll get to see and handle each one, familiarizing herself with the names. 

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