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Do you charge more during the last week of tax season?


ETax847
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Just had a client email the following:

"I know I’m super late. Wondering if you’d be able to do my taxes again this year. Let me know what you need from me!"

Do you raise your fees for the late arrivals or tax season or just automatically put them on extension?

 

 

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Im always curious as to people who can file early in tax season, always wait until the last minute.  Going forward, I think I am going to add a surcharge for those who come in the final week and expect their returns to be done before the deadline.

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In my engagement letter, I stipulate a deadline by which time all, and I mean ALL, data must be received in order to timely file.  If this isn't met, I caution that I may extend their returns at my discretion.  It depends on my workload and how I feel.  If I do extend, well, that costs extra, but I don't charge extra for preparing the return.  I bill time.  As it happens, many of the late comers tend to email and drip documents in bit by bit.  Sooooo, every email I read and respond to and every document I address, well, I'm billing time.  At my age and situation, I will not go to extraordinary lengths to complete a return when my conditions are not met.  I'm fortunate with the majority of my clients and not afraid to lose one that doesn't play well with me.  YMMV

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It's amazing how many customers think the IRS is doing preparers a big favor by giving them an extra month to prepare returns.

No way.  I wanted this season to be over April 15th, and I suspect most of you felt the same way.  To answer the original question, my fees tend to go up during the season after I am drug through the garden on ongoing changes and PITA stuff I hadn't foreseen going into the year.  So late filers are subject to the maximum fee - not by design but by what happens.

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Like all of you, we are trying as sweet as we can, but there are always people we dont like.  Especially, relatives, soo hard, late and demands time and fees, how can I ask a fair fee from relative.  I always wish they forget and I can put them on extension, but they wont, they pop up at last moment and say, it is easy.....   so sad....

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I am in Texas, extended date is June 15th.  I don't trust IRS to not send letters, so moving along as if May 17th is deadline.  That and I have other state clients... arggh.    I hate even going to May, wish it was April 15th.  Just screws up another month of my  life.  I agree with the first reply, don't bill more, but end up having just a little more dollars in the bill if they bring late every year.

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I needed the extended deadline. 

And, my clients right now just cannot get it together, or they get it together and hide it from themselves.  H*ll if I know.  So, yeah, they pay more than a "normal" client, but I betcha I make less per hour.  One couple picked up yesterday, sweetest people ever, big project:   Form 1040 with A, B, C, D, E, three 4562s;  Form 1041, TN FAE and PA returns.  He came in to pay this morning, I guess it would have been too easy to handle that part yesterday.  Talked my ear off.  After he left, I looked down at the check.  Not signed.  Agree with Ron:  it's them, not us.

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My motto "Procrastination on your part does not mean emergency on my part".  After a certain date, clients wanting to drop things off or uploading documents or finally answering those last questions are told that they will be extended and I will be starting or completing their returns after June 1st. 

All clients whether relatives, friends, etc.  We are in business for ourselves, we make the final decision regarding our time management and mental well being.  I have rarely received pushback for giving them that information and they are free to go somewhere else.

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