One of the keys to a less stressful tax season is ensuring that all your clients are prepared. According to a few comments from accountants on an AccountingWeb blog, most of their clients avoided their tax return till the last minute! Procrastination may make them feel less anxious temporarily, but it adds a lot of pressure and unnecessary stress to both your lives when January rolls around.
So let’s take a look at some of the key steps you can take to ensure your clients are ready for the self-assessment tax season.
Simplify the collection of your clients' tax data
Preparing a tax return requires a lot of paperwork – invoices, bank transaction details, pension policies and additional incomes. These things inadvertently end on your desk often times as a shoebox stuffed with unorganised paperwork. Simplify the whole process by using a self-assessment checklist. Helping them put stuff together is half the battle, and they will love that they don’t have to make multiple trips to your offices because they forgot something. As for you, you can finally dealing with shoeboxes.
Help clients understand income tax changes that apply to them
As an accountant you may know all the changes to tax legislation that might impact your client's tax returns this season, but your clients may not. Consider turning the tax measures into layman's language and communicating the material to clients. A brief telephone call explaining the schedule of the new changes help them better prepare for the tax season. Infact, it can also be an avenue to grow your practice by educating prospects.
Identify clients with a history of late returns
Even though taxpayers have 10 months to file their tax returns, 758,707 people filed their tax return on 31 January last year! Not only does this cause stress to those taxpayers who file late, but it can also leave you under pressure when Christmas holidays roll around. Therefore, it pays to draw up a list of clients who you know are perpetually late and schedule reminders to contact them at key intervals. If you convince your clients to file their tax returns early, you will both benefit from the stress the filing deadline brings.
Motivate clients to file early
Filing early in the season can reduce the stress that follows fast-approaching deadlines. Less stress for your clients means less stress for you. It also makes it less likely that your clients will be poached by online tax return companies that send out relentless ads during tax season. It pays to make effort to get your clients to file through you before they decide they are better off using a DIY software application.
QXAS can help you maximise your ability to serve your tax clients this tax season, whether they file in now in September or close to the deadline in January. We understand how important it is for you to get organised so you can deliver an excellent client service.