Jul 30, 2013

Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame: It's a Family Affair

Tax Hall of Shame pic
The New Inductee to the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame goes to a..........FAMILY!!!!
In Brownsville, Texas, Judy Lynn McCune, Loretta Ann McCune and Rania Ann Sanchez have been sent to prison for conspiring to defraud the federal government by preparing federal returns and cashing refund checks in the name of deceased individuals. The three women entered guilty pleas in April.
Judy received a sentence of 57 months, Loretta Ann 20 months and Sanchez 24 months in prison. Restitution of $223,098 was also ordered paid to the IRS, and the women will be required to serve three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms.
McCune admitted that she recruited members of her family, including her mother, Loretta Ann McCune, and her sister, Sanchez, into the scheme.
The story gets real crazy. Read more about this story by visiting to www.accountingtoday.com.
Well, I wouldn't want to attend the next McCune family reunion. This should be a lesson to not let bad relatives bring you down. Just because they are family, doesn't make them right! Keep it clean folks!

Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com

Jul 29, 2013

Confessions of a Mad Tax Accountant #2: Dealing With Bum Clients

"Every client you keep, is one less that you need to find."  -Nigel Sanders
I agree with Mr. Sanders' quote but only to a certain point. Some clients are just not worth the headache.
My parents taught me that "hate" is a strong word. I  rarely use the word "hate" because hating is bad for your health. Therefore, when I say that I hate bum clients, it's a real feeling. Luckily, most of the clients that I dealt with in the past and present are great individuals. However, it is always that rare one percent of clients that were bums. As an entrepreneur, there is nothing worst than dealing with a disrespectful clients. These bum clients can ruin a nice summer day. I will only give "bum" clients two chances to prove that I should keep them as clients. In some cases, two chances may be too much. Here are some reasons a "bum" client won't make it to the second chance:
  1. I can't keep clients that wanted everything done yesterday but you have to chase them down for your fees. I have no problem dealing with urgent situations but it is so disrespectful when the client decides to disappear when it is time to pay. All of sudden, your calls are not being returned like you are a ex-boyfriend!
  2. I can't keep clients that want a deep discount but you have to do double the amount of work. Even worse, they won't even give you referrals for your great service! I have performed deep discount services and almost always get burnt in the end. I don't know how I always fall for it. The clients comes to me very humble and appreciative. However when the work is done, it is almost like they forget how I helped them in a tight situation. Some bum clients even try to repeat the same action like nothing happened in the past. This can only happen to me once then it is "good bye!"
  3. I can't keep clients that think taxes are easy. These clients come into your office with an arrogant attitude. It is almost like they think that they are doing you a favor by coming to your office. Telling me that "taxes are easy" is a big slap in my face and my fellow tax professionals. I will not allow someone to disrespect my profession. If taxes are so easy then the client should save their money and complete their own taxes.
  4. I can't keep clients that will disregard the law because their friend got away with the proposed scam. These type of clients will only help you lose your professional license. When they get into trouble, they will blame everything on you. Don't fall victim to these bum clients.
  5. I can't keep clients that get mad at me for owing the government money. It is not my fault that they withheld too little taxes from their paycheck. I'm not dumb, most of these type of clients know exactly why they owe money. How can you claim six exemptions on your paycheck when you are single with no kids?
There is nothing wrong with firing bum clients. Life is too and complex to deal with them! Firing bum clients will give you more time to concentrate on your valuable clients.
Next confession: Dealing with the IRS
 Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com

Jul 26, 2013

Confessions of a Mad Tax Accountant #1: Earned Income Tax Credit

If you are easily offended then here is your chance to stop reading this post. Confessions of a Mad Tax Accountant will not be politically correct. I will write about what most tax accountants will be too scared to say or write. The first confession will be dealing with some Earned Income Tax Credit clients.
Technically, the earned income tax credit (EITC) is is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earned. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
Trust me when I say that I'm nowhere close to be considered upper-middle class. I'm barely making the middle class income level. I understand that for some families, the EITC is needed and respected. However, I dealt with a great amount of people that think receiving the EITC is a bonus for being "poor." There was a two-year period in my career that I worked for someone that dealt with a lot of EITC clients. What I learned during this period shocked the crap out of me. I promised myself to never market my services to EITC clients UNLESS they meet the following standards:
  1. If you are dressed with $200 shoes, $300 sweaters, and $150 pair of jeans, then don't inquire about the EITC. Find someone else to do your tax returns.
  2. If you tell me that the EITC will pay for your Vegas vacation, then I'm not your tax accountant or travel agent. This tax credit is not play money.
  3. If you want me to make up a fake business so that you can qualify for the EITC, then you are disrespecting me by thinking your small fee is worth losing my license. Have a good day sir!
  4. If you are going to quit your job because the EITC is enough to cover your entertainment expenses for the next couple of months then I will not aid your plan to scheme the government.
  5. If you are claiming a child but don't know the basic information like the child's birth date and middle name, then stop being a dead beat parent and handle your responsibilities. Get out of my office before I decide to report you to child services!
You may think my standards are harsh or unrealistic. It is all good, maybe this is way I'm broke (lol)! However, I experienced crazy situations that you won't believe me even if I told you. I been cursed out for refusing to scam the government many of times. I promised myself to never lower my standards EVER. No client will be worth me going to jail. I'm too damn skinny to survive life in jail! I will not reject my moral for a little $100 preparation fee. Maybe some other tax professionals should show some morals too.
I will write about nine other confessions. Next confession will deal with bum clients! Stay tuned!

Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com