March 22, 2015

The beauty of filing an extension

It's time to start encouraging your clients to file extensions. Don't be brow-beaten into making complex decisions when you have the least amount of time. Remember, even if the client pushes you to finish hurriedly, that same client will blame you if there are any problems later.

If you haven't already set a deadline for getting information, do it NOW! Also, set a deadline for appointments. Remember, even if you extend the return, you'll need information to file the extension, and even that isn't always easy.

To help you, here are five reasons you can use to convince your client that going on extension is okay:

  1. Only sophisticated, smart, and interesting people file extensions. If you, my client, are ordinary or boring, file on time. It's okay. But if you want to be cool, file an extension.
  2. Once a taxpayer files an extension, he or she never goes back to timely filing. It's just too rushed and a little extra time is always good.
  3. Don't send your return when the Internet is full of tax returns on the filing deadline. That poor little e-filed return will feel like it's part of a cattle stampede. Your fabulous return will be crowded by a bunch of unwashed, possibly incorrect returns, and you don't want the stigma of running with the wrong crowd.
  1. There is no longer a need to have the thrill of going to the post office at midnight on April 15. Your return, dear client, is being electronically filed. So rather than go to the post office in your work clothes, relax at home in front of the television in your pajamas, comforted by the knowledge that your return is being cared for by your tax professional and will be filed lovingly and timely, at the extended due date.
  2. Your client's return is important to you. Having it absolutely correct means that there should not be problems later. Tell them you want the time to dig a little deeper to just make sure they aren't paying any more tax than they should, and their return won't throw up a red flag with the IRS or the FTB.

Extension limerick

There once was a young man named Art
Who thought that he really was smart
His friends all extended
And all felt quite splendid
But Art timely filed from the start

Art was told to stop being a fool
And that April 15th wasn't cool
It gave everyone GERD
And was largely absurd
And would frazzle the nerves as a rule

An attitude Art's friends defended
And a fact that they long apprehended
Was one shouldn't get stressed
Or unduly obsessed
With a date that could just be extended

They convinced Art he shouldn't get riled
If his paperwork wasn't compiled
So with that Art relaxed
For he knew he'd get taxed
No matter the month that he filed

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Punching your accountant won't get you a bigger refund

At a Jackson Hewitt location within a Walmart in Texas, a dissatisfied taxpayer returned the day after having her return prepared and got into a brawl of Texan proportions with a Jackson Hewitt employee.

Insults were hurled (including a number of the "your mama" variation), and then the client head-butted the Jackson Hewitt employee in the face. The preparer retaliated by smashing the client's head into a merchandise display table.

When the dust settled, the preparer was placed on administrative leave, and the client has been banned for life from entering that Walmart location.

Later, in a follow-up interview,1 the client's wrath had not subsided: "I hope I broke her nose. I hope she has two black eyes, and I hope she remembers me for the rest of her life." When asked about her regrets regarding the incident, she said, "I would do it all over again and harder."

Watch the video here:

America's most dangerous job — accountant

In 2012, rapper Gunplay went from zero to outraged during a meeting with his accountant, pulled out a gun, and proceeded to pistol whip the accountant. During the altercation, which was caught on video, Gunplay also managed to steal a cell phone and a gold chain. The case against him was dismissed because the accountant wouldn't cooperate with authorities.

In 2010, Joe Bruner, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, attacked his accountant during a meeting at Bruner's home. He was upset about his refund amount and also accused the accountant of working for an accounting firm that he was suing at the time. Bruner punched his accountant and pushed him face down into a recliner and continued to hit him while he was down.


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A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Lynn Freer, EALynn Freer, EA, loves to travel and loves Starbucks. Here she is at Starbucks on the Champs-Élysées.

Diane FullerDiane Fuller is a gourmet cook with a refined taste in all things sweet. From traditional Japanese desserts to the best bacon donut that's ever appeared in our break room, Diane knows how to satisfy her sweet tooth. She also writes children's poetry!

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, is not only director of the editorial department, she also "rocks the house" as a regular in curling bonspiels around the country.

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