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I have never so dreaded tax season.........


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I just don't want to do this again......  I haven't updated my software yet.  I haven't sorted thru 1099 people yet.  I haven't even purchased some jugs of water for the fountain.  I don't have any motivation.  I don't have a secretary - maybe that would help.  This season is just going to stink!

 

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I hear you.   I feel like I am not ready for anything this year.   I have my software, that is a start.   I am going to a Spidell webinar next week, hoping that gets the grey matter moving.   1099s and W2s are ordered but not here yet.  I was just reading the article about all the tax law changes and I am thinking that I am woefully inadequate for preparing tax returns this year.   I just know I am going to miss something and it will cost me clients.

On the other hand, I just got fired from my day job today.   I complained to much about taking a pay cut while taking on the extra work of laid off staff.   The owner felt I should be grateful not to be on UI myself.   I did not take kindly to that remark, and he did not take kindly to my characterization that he was preserving his wealth at the expense of my income.   Case closed, owner wins that argument every time.   So now I have lots of time to devote to tax season.   But I still dread this year.

Tom
Modesto, CA

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@BulldogTom I, too, am sorry about you losing the job. From some of the questions you asked about things you were tackling, I believe that he and his company will be the bigger loser to have let go a valuable employee. I know it's not much consolation, but he will have a hard time finding a replacement and will end up paying a greater price because of it. 

 

 

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I'm not ready at all either. Software is available but have not bothered to download it. I did get the MFA set up though, testing it on the prior years' programs. That was very easy and no problem.

Comcast was here for close to 4 hours today, initially to fix a connection issue with a spare TV in the basement, and he found multiple issues with all of our services and damage to the line on the poles on each side of the road. We have new connections and will soon have a new heavier underground cable that will give better signal because of the distance from the road, and we also now have a new, faster modem/router. 

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Don't be shy about asking your good clients to refer you to other good clients just like them, family, colleagues, etc. And, make sure everyone you know knows what you do, your broker, lawyer, banker, church friends, neighbors, kids' friends parents, the small businesses where you shop, everyone. Just say that you're expanding your company and have room for a few more good clients. Your business will grow rapidly, and you will forget your old company!

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How can anyone be prepared when the rules keep changing?!  I have completed my CEs for the year, including lots of updates so I'd be ready, and now it looks like I need update courses on my updates.  (Last course I took spend 1/2 hour on not deducting expenses covered by forgiven PPP loans, what to do if forgiveness application denied or not completed after all.  All out the window now--I need a course in unlearning things I just learned.)  And now we're learning that the rules we haven't learned yet for 2020 will change again in 2021.  We are all geniuses and will figure it out.  Although we feel lost, we have to realize our clients will never be able to navigate any of this and need us now more than ever.  I usually look forward to the new tax season but it seems like the last one was never ending and the new one has more hurdles than ever before.  We've done it before and will do it again, right?

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Thank you, Sara, for giving yourself and all of us a pep talk.

I feel more behind than ever. However, I've taken lots and lots of webinars and on-demand courses and have lots more scheduled this week and January. I think my brain is full. But, like you, I know our clients can't begin to deal with all the new laws without us. And, we have each other!

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@BulldogTom - my sympathies on the job loss!  It *will* backfire on the boss' company; from queries you've posted here it's been clear that you're doing the work of at least two additional people at higher pay grades.  He was getting a super-bargain and now he's going to pay through the nose, and that's if he survives, which is not at all assured.

This may be the silver-lining disaster you needed.  There is a HUGE need for tax preparation and also representation.  All the representation firms are talking about an expected immense increase for that need, between all the people now behind on taxes, small businesses ditto, and the ones who "outed" themselves to the IRS as non-filers when they filed for stimulus money.  As Lion said, tell EVERYONE that you have room for "a few new, good, clients" and watch them pour through the door.

Make sure you have a web site with a portal.  There are a number of excellent all-in-one sources (CPA Site Solutions, GetNetSet, Tenenz, and more) that come with site templates, branded portals, dedicated email, automatic monthly newsletters, financial calculator tools, and all manner of good things.  It's worth the cost just for the portal and email.

If you need appointment booking help, look at youcanbookme dot something or book dot me.  We've used it for years and it's easy to use, and the lowest tiers are free.  It's also linked on our site home page ("Book your tax appointment online - click here" it says).  Saves SO much hassle and time with the ditherers who can't make up their mind when they want to come by.  

May you look back in three years and think, "Getting fired was the absolute BEST thing that happened for my career."

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Tom, I am in line with Catherine's last thought, that this turn of events might well be the best thing to happen.  About 20 years ago I thought I was in the perfect place working full time tax season and part-time the remainder of the year with a small firm. That firm decided to buy a new building and realized that I was unaffordable with that.  So rather than being an employee, they offered contract help during tax season only.  I (respectfully and other emotions) declined and went out on my own.  BEST DECISION EVER!  It wasn't easy in the beginning but am so happy that happened. 

We all here, your virtual support system, are rooting for you and a great future ahead.  2021 could be the best professional year for you - make it so!

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Tom, I'm sorry (I guess).  You may look back at some point and conclude this was the best thing that ever happened to you.  Just reading your recent posts it may appear that you were not afraid to speak up about your increased frustrations as your company piled more and more on you.  Your employer must have been terribly remote to be so out-of-touch with what was going on.

I have to take a page from Sara's post and conclude that the govt believes they can pull the rug out and change the rules up-to-the-last-minute.  Just in the last couple weeks the EIDL grant had to be deducted from PPP forgiveness, and now suddenly it doesn't.  Tax issue?  Maybe not but all along we have to make allowance for non-deductible expenses paid from exempt funds.  Oh, wait a minute!  Now all-of-a-sudden these items change too, such that they are fully deductible.

One of the worst things about it for people such as accountants and tax professionals:  So much time is being spent on being sucked into PPP forgiveness applications and tax changes that we cannot address day-to-day normal issues that help management and profits.

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2 minutes ago, Corduroy Frog said:

One of the worst things about it for people such as accountants and tax professionals:  So much time is being spent on being sucked into PPP forgiveness applications and tax changes that we cannot address day-to-day normal issues that help management and profits.

Might I recommend what we plan on doing this year?  Put ALL of these clients on extension.  At some point the rules WILL get straightened out and finalized.  I, for one, don't want to do endless amended returns after the rules change for the fifth time.  We are TELLING (not asking) our affected clients that they WILL go on extension this year, and also telling them that this way they won't be paying us to prepare an amended return when the rules change.  

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Alas, the phone is starting to ring with the most mundane questions, such as "When will I get my stimulus?"  How do you answer that when you have no idea.  On the other hand, I am downloaded, updated and am training a new assistant.  My former girl won't come in because of Covid.  Well, we all have to deal with life in our own way and this may turn out to be a bonus for me because I found a girl who actually WANTS to learn.  She has some experience and wants more and in view of my age, that is exactly what I need.  Win/win for both of us.  I have three computers updated with the new program downloaded and ready to go in case the other girl wants to come and help out at some unknown date.  Five years of experience means something to me and I really don't feel ready to deal with all of this yet, pep talks and all.  CE is completed, Certificate is received and I really could care less.

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I might pay for the Compass class on the retention credits, especially the part about deferring SE tax for sole proprietors. All the 941 stuff is over my head; I try NOT to get involved with payroll. But if any of the deferrals get forgiven down the road, I don't want clients mad at me because I didn't tell them to do it. I enjoy learning new things, but the last 12+ months have had way too many new things for me to learn!

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Tom, when. I got fired from my part time job it was the BEST thing to happen to me! I had same sex couples to keep me busy, you’ve got PPP & all the other COVID changes to keep you busy. 
I’m not doing any PPP stuff; I refuse to learn it and don’t need the money, which is what a lot of you said with same sex couples 10 years ago.  I’ll refer out any that approach me. 

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On 1/3/2021 at 3:08 AM, joanmcq said:

Tom, when. I got fired from my part time job it was the BEST thing to happen to me! I had same sex couples to keep me busy, you’ve got PPP & all the other COVID changes to keep you busy. 
I’m not doing any PPP stuff; I refuse to learn it and don’t need the money, which is what a lot of you said with same sex couples 10 years ago.  I’ll refer out any that approach me. 

I won't have any PPP either that I know of.  I almost had a same sex couple.  They were planning on getting married in December, 2020, but postponed.  I have at least one more year to worry about it.  Still 2 single returns.

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Tom: do NOT charge too little or accept the wrong clients. You are NOT a newbie that needs any tire-kicker that happens to call. You are an intelligent and experienced preparer and have this water cooler surrounded by colleagues. Take ONLY the clients you want and CHARGE THEM WHAT YOU'RE WORTH.

PS That goes for ALL of you, whether it's your first year or your last.

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