Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why I Do What I Do

Because I'm good at it. And because there are way too many people out there taking people's monety to prepare their tax returns who don't know their ass from a 1040.

Today was the day that makes up for the liars and tax cheats that I encounter far too often.

They have been loyal clients of our major competitor. Their usual preparer had moved since last year and so were assigned to another preparer. This year, the taxes were more challenging. They had, this year, some unusual items to go on the return. Nothing particularly difficult... just had to pay attention and put everything in the right places. In many ways, rather straightforward. But not something we get every day.

The competitor started their return and got to the 'out of the ordinary' things and said... no can do. Oh...and by the way.... you'll probably owe the IRS over $14,000. They knew they would owe. Everyone told them so. And this tax preparer assured them it was true....they would.

She fretted about paying that bill. She asked if she can make payments. She wondered if a Home Equity Loan would be a better option. Would the interest on an Equity Loan be more or less than the IRS would charge?

So she called us. Asked if we would even be able to DO the know...cause she had this extra stuff.... No problem she was told on the phone.

I admit. It gave me pause when she said the competitor couldn't do it. See... there ARE things we can't do. It is just beyond our scope of expertise. So I asked questions. I let her tell her story. I asked some more questions. I told her sure... I could do it. And yea... go get a soda... no need to watch me input numbers.....

She left her cell phone number in case I had a questions. I did. I knew it was coming but I wasn't sure of the EXACT wording (see the aforementioned 'unusual' aspect of this thing). I called. I asked my question. She gave me her answer.... and I felt a lot better.

We got through the rest of her federal return and I asked her if she was ready for the number. She took a deep breath and said, yes... yes she was....

$12,000 (and some odd in 'change').

Ok.... ok.... she said... it was a couple grand less than the competitor had estimated...ok....

In refund.

She looked at me. REFUND? I showed her the figures there on my screen. In a choked voice she asked if we had a restroom.....

When she returned with red eyes and a stuffy nose I explained. That very VERY important question.... It made all the difference. It made a $26,000 difference. This, of course, caused her a moment of panic.... why was it SO different?

I explained again. The very simple question the competitor did not ask.... it was all in that one question. And she started crying again.

And I told her.... you're probably going to owe the state...... And they do. A few hundred... not much at all really.

Then she said she didn't even care how much I was going to charge her. Good I thought.... cause it was gonna be spendy. We charge by the form, and this one required a LOT of forms....

When I told her how much they owed me...she laughed. Seems the competitor was going to charge them more too.....

As she stood to leave she shook my hand and said "I don't know whether to hug you, kiss you or just jump up and down!" I told her to just sleep well tonight. (yea.... I get enough germs offense...but shaking hands gives me the willies kissing...)

She said "Yea... I haven't been sleeping very well worrying about how we were going to pay the IRS...."

It isn't often you get to give someone the gift of peaceful sleep.

I got to do that today.


Martha in CA said...

Welllllllllllll...what was thatonequestion????

Sheesh! You know I hate a mystery!

And just cuz I used to know everyone in your town, it doesn't mean that I'll know your client based on thatonefrigginquestion!!

sarah lena said...

killer story. and pin a rose on your nose, sista.. you done good. :)

Elaine said...

That's awesome, Nancy!

Hmmm.... Mebbe you should do our returns this year... LOL

Sue said...

Whoo hoo!

I want Nancy to call me and tell me I'm getting a $12K refund!

Stacy said...

Can you save me enough on my taxes to justify me flying out there to personally hand you the paperwork? :)