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Just for kicks and giggles how many you think you will put on extension? I think my May and June months could be as busy as this month has been. 5 calls today.

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I efiled a ton of extensions today. More extensions than completed returns!. I still have a week to prepare returns for some of those, plus some returns in limbo awaiting signatures that will probably be efiled by next Monday. But, I took on some new clients, referrals, and I always put new clients on extension to have time to review prior year returns and ask lots of questions. That plus the government shutdown, new laws, a week lost to back spasms, and probably some things I don't even remember, mean I have efiled more extensions to date than returns. I'll be taking some time off through July with new babies arriving in two states in June, baby showers in two states, our 25th anniversary, family things. Then back to work through 15 October. I can earn more money all year than I can in three months, so I like extensions.

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Same here - I like extensions.  Have always like them because they extended my filing season and therefore income-earning ability.  I'm continuing to scale back this year, trying to move down that retirement glide path, so less returns overall and less extensions this year than ever before.  But still they're useful.  After my cutoff date, everything gets an extension if it cannot be completed on a simple "first pass".  Some of those already on extension will likely be finished by or before April 15 if I decide to circle back to them, but it really doesn't matter.  With extensions in place, Apr 15 is just another day on the calendar with no special significance. Today I'm working on some payroll tax reports, thanks to the extensions on the personal returns.

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I sent 13 this morning. All the others are paper, and put back on the client to mail with payments. I'll probably have 20 or so. Trying to scale back, too. I would love to walk away after the deadline and not work the rest of the year.

An infection I've been fighting blew up in my right eye overnight. It looks like somebody hit me in the face. 

great...just great...

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We are putting everything left on extension, and I am working on my partner to just file 'em and ignore if money is owed.  Not OUR fault/problem/crisis if folks gave us their docs yesterday instead of before our March 15 cutoff!  But he hasn't learned that yet and is letting himself get all stressed out.  Like @JohnH we'll finish some that are extended.  And a few people who should have sent in extension payments will get hit with penalties later; NOT my problem.  We have one return, first info came in on Feb 6th.  They're not done.  They may not get done until late May - because every week they are sending new material that contradicts earlier documents.  I'm waiting until they say "that's it" and they've been told I'm not touching their returns again until I have *everything* in-hand.  We have another; guy is *always* late, so we recommended sending in big-ish payments based on prior year info, of $20K to the feds and a smaller amount to the state.  He emailed back saying it had been a good, but complicated year, and his thoughts were that he should send in $250K and $50K feds/state!  That will be a fun one - for the summer!

And @Possi I hope your infection AND your eye get better quickly!

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We are going to have more extensions than ever, but we will be trying to finish those extension by July 1 this year.  The Virginia general assembly set that as the deadline to file your return and share in the rebate they are giving taxpayers since they did not get around to revising Virginia's tax laws to coordinate with the federal changes until late in February.  So we just swap one deadline for another. Like always.

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Wow! How are you guys able to file extensions as you like. I think the same way as you all - extensions are a good way to relieve stress and pressure and extend the work season. 

A lot of my clients get nervous and don't want extensions. We try to explain to them that they are still in compliance and that's why the IRS allows extensions. 

When I explain that if they owe they should pay with their extension, they say they don't know if they will owe. Then I have to do an estimate which then takes up more time.

I need to know your secret.

Thanks.

 

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I'm on the slide to retirement and have filed zero extensions as I'm traveling all summer and into the fall.  So far, so good and it will nice to leave without any "baggage"!

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I am going to need hair exentsions after this tax season 😂  

I while back I was speaking to another accountant and he said he no longer sends extension if he hasn’t been given the okay by the client, out maybe 20 I haven’t heard from, only about 4 have called me to send an extension.

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37 minutes ago, David said:

Wow! How are you guys able to file extensions as you like. I think the same way as you all - extensions are a good way to relieve stress and pressure and extend the work season. 

A lot of my clients get nervous and don't want extensions. We try to explain to them that they are still in compliance and that's why the IRS allows extensions. 

When I explain that if they owe they should pay with their extension, they say they don't know if they will owe. Then I have to do an estimate which then takes up more time.

I need to know your secret.

Thanks.

 

David:  The secret is to take control of your business (and your valuable time & health) out of the hands of your clients and put it back into your hands, where it has always belonged.  Some of them won't understand - that is not your problem and they're not worth the aggravation.  Maybe they need to be ruining someone else's peace rather than yours.

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4 hours ago, Catherine said:

And @Possi I hope your infection AND your eye get better quickly!

Thanks. The doc said it's an infection in the eyelid. Wonderful. I see a specialist Thursday. In the meantime, I'll try not to look at the children directly. 

 

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2 hours ago, David said:

Wow! How are you guys able to file extensions as you like. I think the same way as you all - extensions are a good way to relieve stress and pressure and extend the work season. 

A lot of my clients get nervous and don't want extensions. We try to explain to them that they are still in compliance and that's why the IRS allows extensions. 

When I explain that if they owe they should pay with their extension, they say they don't know if they will owe. Then I have to do an estimate which then takes up more time.

I need to know your secret.

 

1 hour ago, JohnH said:

David:  The secret is to take control of your business (and your valuable time & health) out of the hands of your clients and put it back into your hands, where it has always belonged.  Some of them won't understand - that is not your problem and they're not worth the aggravation.  Maybe they need to be ruining someone else's peace rather than yours.

JohnH is correct as usual, probably because he was in my Algebra class 15 years ago (falsehood), and I will add that it helps to be able to say to people that I get an extension for my own return.  I also tell them I know I've paid in enough and will not owe.  Psssshhh, it's all good.  I will sooth fears of extensions one time and one time only.  I'm happy to extend the tax season, but the people having more than one panic attack about 4/15 are given a hug and my best wishes for continued success with another preparer.

 

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12 hours ago, TAXMAN said:

Just for kicks and giggles..

It's all kicks and giggles until someone giggles and gets kicked. 

I think I'll have 40 - 50 extensions.

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Hey, Possi: Lots of those liquid tears drops things all day long. Refresh Plus lubricating eye drops. And DO give the evil eye to any complaining clients now.

Hey, David: For those I know will owe, I use the 100/110% of last year's liability formula. For long-time clients, I can pretty much eyeball it. For those that do ES payments also, I make the extension payment a huge one that will cover April and June ES also, all to be reconciled when the return is prepared. If I've been the slow one, I do a more thorough computation. Did one last night for a complaining guy, just went through with round numbers against his 2017 summary with his 2018 documents and told him to pay $25,000 and $8,000. It's down from the year before (which is why I took the time and didn't do the 110%) so he'll pay it. I often look at how much paid with 2017 extensions and how 2017 turned out to calculate how much to pay with 2018, for those that don't vary much from year to year or I can see at a glance they're up or down. But, most e-filed extensions were done via "batch" and are zeros.

Many of my clients followed me from Block more than a decade ago, so were not used to extensions. I have a lot of push-back. But, they know, and I remind them when they drop off or don't have all their documents. I want to work all year and earn more money. I don't want to turn down their referrals, but do need time to review with new clients. Extensions.

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8 hours ago, David said:

Wow! How are you guys able to file extensions as you like. I think the same way as you all - extensions are a good way to relieve stress and pressure and extend the work season. 

A lot of my clients get nervous and don't want extensions. We try to explain to them that they are still in compliance and that's why the IRS allows extensions. 

When I explain that if they owe they should pay with their extension, they say they don't know if they will owe. Then I have to do an estimate which then takes up more time.

I need to know your secret.

Thanks.

 

John H and the other have already said it; I'll just reiterate.  YOU have to control YOUR business and your clients.  They WILL resist at first; be firm but polite with them - and let them go if they insist.  Not one of your clients is worth a heart attack or a stroke on your part.  Not one. 

Tell them the extension is their good friend; that your return goes on extension (if true).  Blame the new tax law; blame the IRS that lets banks and brokerages send materials out 6 weeks later than the deadline used to be.  Tell them when you rush to meet a deadline you worry you might miss something.  Whatever.  I work hard for my clients, and I put in long hours.  But I will not and do not (any longer) half-kill myself for them.  I have found, over and over again through the years (because I'm a slow learner, it seems) that the clients for whom I do the most, at THEIR insistence, are the ones who then leave in a huff (probably bad-mouthing me) when I make a mistake due to rushing for them and at their insistence.  To heck with that!

Our letter says we must have ALL materials in-house BY March 15th.  It also says that any returns not completed AND FILED by 4/1 WILL be placed on extension.  We put returns on extension that are done!  If something comes up and the client does not get us the signature forms (forgets, kid gets sick, their arches fall - who cares), WE are covered by the extension and don't need to worry about them one little bit.

Take charge.  The clients worth keeping will respect you; the others you don't need.  Their leaving will make way for more good clients!

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10 hours ago, Catherine said:

John H and the other have already said it; I'll just reiterate.  YOU have to control YOUR business and your clients.  They WILL resist at first; be firm but polite with them - and let them go if they insist.  Not one of your clients is worth a heart attack or a stroke on your part.  Not one. 

Tell them the extension is their good friend; that your return goes on extension (if true).  Blame the new tax law; blame the IRS that lets banks and brokerages send materials out 6 weeks later than the deadline used to be.  Tell them when you rush to meet a deadline you worry you might miss something.  Whatever.  I work hard for my clients, and I put in long hours.  But I will not and do not (any longer) half-kill myself for them.  I have found, over and over again through the years (because I'm a slow learner, it seems) that the clients for whom I do the most, at THEIR insistence, are the ones who then leave in a huff (probably bad-mouthing me) when I make a mistake due to rushing for them and at their insistence.  To heck with that!

Our letter says we must have ALL materials in-house BY March 15th.  It also says that any returns not completed AND FILED by 4/1 WILL be placed on extension.  We put returns on extension that are done!  If something comes up and the client does not get us the signature forms (forgets, kid gets sick, their arches fall - who cares), WE are covered by the extension and don't need to worry about them one little bit.

Take charge.  The clients worth keeping will respect you; the others you don't need.  Their leaving will make way for more good clients!

That is a beautiful thing, right there. I might have a little tear in my eye. You have changed my life.  ❤️

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In the past I have gained two new clients each whose former preparer died from a heart attack.  Both of them were fairly young and about my age at the time.  That got me thinking that this job does come with its health risks.   While I do work long hours they are interspersed with stretching, exercise, and drinking water.  I never allow myself to get stressed and smile when a client is freaking out on the phone about their tax bill (I do no face to face).   As it has been said, it's just not worth it, they can't pay us enough to have their stress transferred to us.

I've only done 3 extensions since yesterday as my cut off is 1 week before due date so from here out just extensions will be prepared, and that is a really good feeling.

Take care of yourselves everyone, life is short, don't let them make it shorter.

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We had a husband wife bookkeeping/tax prep firm close and leave town because both had heart attacks. Last fall, we started getting calls from businesses who needed payroll NOW, and we've been picking up a good number of individuals from them this year. It's a mixed bag though because they were crap at both bookkeeping and tax returns, so we've had to do a lot of clean up work/amendments, which is not fun. But in the long run, we added a lot of great new clients.

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This is an area that I struggle with.. I have done almost 1,000 returns already and every time slot is booked through the 15th and will go into the evening.  I am still getting calls.. I do not want to turn away the work and tell the client, or prospective client that I would love to prepare their returns but with the deadline here, I would be happy to file an extension and contact you in the next couple of weeks or so to complete your taxes.. most say that is fine but I get some hesitation and one person said they would "do their taxes themselves" .  I cannot take on anymore physically between now and Monday other than those already slotted for appointments, well maybe with a few I still may squeeze in.  

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8 minutes ago, JimTaxes said:

This is an area that I struggle with.. I have done almost 1,000 returns already and every time slot is booked through the 15th and will go into the evening.  I am still getting calls.. I do not want to turn away the work and tell the client, or prospective client that I would love to prepare their returns but with the deadline here, I would be happy to file an extension and contact you in the next couple of weeks or so to complete your taxes.. most say that is fine but I get some hesitation and one person said they would "do their taxes themselves" .  I cannot take on anymore physically between now and Monday other than those already slotted for appointments, well maybe with a few I still may squeeze in.  

Wow!  I do just over 400 returns, and I work basically every hour that I don't have to sleep from 15 February to 15 April (I do take my son to chess tournaments, etc., but I take my laptop and keep on working -- and I haven't had any tournaments since 9 March).  How do you do it?  What types of returns?  I'm standing in awe.  I do have legal/financial work that I have to do (although nothing where there's not 'blood', as I tell my clients), but even if I did NO other work except returns, I couldn't come anywhere close to 1000.

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I have help inputting and I check everyone and e-file them and I am only at  650! but I do go to bed and get usually 7 hours of sleep - most nights, a few are less and I take naps on weekends and sometimes during the day - I have to slip upstairs when my head hits the desk -  Abby was talking about - who still works in the area - how can some people be so *** and still do taxes!!      I will have about 400 extensions but quarterly's start Tuesday and it is difficult to do first quarter in 2 weeks - as the 1 member S corps we wait to do their payroll calculations until now.

Back to work - I have about 10 2015's to finish up...

Darlene

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@jasdim  Hi..  I am by no means bragging but over the years I have a system that I have modified and tweaked a bit that works for me perfectly.  First, the returns that I do run the spectrum, from returns with LLCs, rentals, self employment, S corps, and more.  During this time I also have a pretty big business client base, where I do payroll, payroll taxes, books, financials, and year end taxes for those companies.. I am bit behind on monthly account type work bit even that I have honed my system.. Most of these I use TeamViewer to remote into their computer and clean up their Sage50/Peachtree.. I have a few on QuickBooks but not a fan.. grew up with Peachtree and love that program.. I use Medlin for payroll, Sage 50 for accounting and ProSeries for my individual and business tax prep.

As far as 1040 work goes.. If they are a repeat client, I know how much time to budget. say typical family, maybe  three W-2, a few 1099- INT or DIV, maybe a 1099-B, two children maybe, even maybe on in college.. I schedule that for 30-45 minutes. client comes in.. they have  seat.. they have a monitor facing them.  I sort through the documents, put them in order, and work right through the return.. I am gracious and kind to my clients but very rarely engage in small talk about weather, their family, other than tax related.. work through the the return, they sign 8879, I efile,.. they pay me. and I thank them and they leave thrilled.. This whole tax season has been that way every day.. when they are walking out, the next client is just getting there or maybe was there a few minutes... 

Say I know a return will be one W-2, and maybe that is it  10-15 minutes max.. Rental property returns, self employment income, 30-45 minute return..  My clients know that I only work off summary listings for self employment or rental property and they come with a one page summary already done. with the current law this year is even better.. say client gives me mortgage statement,  real estate taxes.. some donations.. I glance at them. i know what the state and local taxes are about from the -w-2. and the 10K salt max.. if clearly under the 12/24/13.6/26.6 I just calmly and smoothly move them to the pile of extra things I do not need.. some new clients I may enter that data to show them how it id not matter but most often I do not enter items that do not impact outcome. even on the w-2.. Code C does nothing, Code DD does nothing.. Code D may if retirement income range but I am entering Code D for someone that is clearly outside of credit range.. 

Well I could say more but have more work to do.. I have other tweaks and not really tricks but just time saving things that I do that allows me to do this many returns, while still doing other work.. oh, and working long hours is part of it also.  

 

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