Do I have your attention?
For the last two months, I have been able to help a lot of good people meet their tax filing requirements. I love visiting with them and catching up while I work on their return. I have also been lied to, scammed and manipulated. Sometimes by those same good people. It’s part of the job. I know that and most of the time I can laugh it off.
With three weeks to go, it’s harder to laugh off the downside. Part of it is that is because I’m tired but the real problem is that the manipulation gets stronger the closer to April 15th I get.
There seems to be a myth that all tax pros stop sleeping the first two weeks in April and live on caffeine to get everyone’s return finished. Nope. There may be other offices that will bend over backwards for the late filer but not me. I’ll help you all I can but I need to sleep and to…work on other returns, answer the phone, return calls, help clients sign their returns then file those returns and go to the euphemism. All the cajoling, crying, whining, pushing and manipulation won’t help if I really can’t do what you want me to do. You are not my only client. In fact, you are not my only client who wants special treatment.
I’m not talking about a client who brings in their return and wants it done by April 15th but understands if I can’t manage it. I’m talking about the client who wants their return now or sooner and they can’t or won’t understand that it might not happen. They bring in everything in a box and expect me to sort through and find the gems I need. That is if what I need is there. Then there are the clients who argue that what is the missing is the same as last year and they don’t have time to find the proper form. They are the ones who mentioned a life change last year and were invited to come in once they had some numbers for tax planning. They didn’t, they owe and they rant about how they can’t pay.
Speaking of rants, this is not the time to use me as an audience for your issues with the IRS, taxes, politics, immigration or healthcare. I don’t have time for a discussion and I’ve already heard it before.
I’m also not your mother. I’m not chasing you down for the information you were supposed to get to me. Also, unless I talk to you first, I won’t file an extension for you. You want an extension, just call.
Speaking of calls, I have an answering machine. Please use it. I can’t call you back unless you leave a message. Calling back every 2 minutes until I pick up won’t get the response you expect.
Your failure to plan is not my emergency.
I won’t be bullied. I tend to dig in when faced with people who push too hard. I won’t sabotage your tax return. I’m a professional. But if I have the choice between two returns, which do you think I will do first. I will think twice about any price discount you want. Push too far and I’ll fire you. You can find someone else to bully.
Demanding clients can be great, they keep you on your toes. Obnoxious, bullying clients are tolerated as much as possible but when they cross the line they need to expect fireworks.