No Whining Please

Todd's Tax Service LLC

Among the comments I'm hearing (and reading) as tax season unfolds is that some clients are frustrated because many tax preparers are no longer offering "sit down" appointments.

Background:  When the "retail" tax preparation industry was invented by Henry and Richard Bloch (Block), their business model revolved around the "one stop" tax appointment. The client came in with their tax information and left the office with a completed tax return.

There are several reasons that this business model is outdated. (It doesn't mean your tax professional will not sit down with you or set up a face to face meeting.)

As tax laws have become more complex and our financial landscape more complicated, there are lots of documents and pieces of information needed to prepare an accurate tax return. Many "one stop" appointments came to a grinding halt because information was missing that was necessary to complete the return. Clients wasted tax preparer's precious time scrambling to obtain missing information via phone or internet. Additional time was wasted setting up second appointments to wrap up unfinished tax returns.

Waiting rooms back up when clients are disorganized or conversations veer away from tax preparation to discussions of other topics.

Technology has evolved to the point where it is efficient and convenient to submit information and to communicate via text and email and secure portals. 

Most tax professionals (including myself) will gladly review a completed tax return in person either as a quick review at the front desk or a sit down appointment when requested.

The vast majority of my clients love the convenience of dropping off or submitting their information electronically and communicating via text and email. This has the added benefit of getting answers to your questions in writing for future reference. 

And most professional Enrolled Agents and Certified Public Accountants will gladly step up to the plate when a client needs tax advice or representation in a matter involving the IRS or state tax authorities.

The traditional one stop "sit down" tax appointment is a dinosaur. Get over it.