At the Tax Help Desk we receive all kinds of requests and questions regarding different types of entities and the various rules that involve preparing the tax returns associated with those entities. Half of the struggle we have as tax practitioners is acquiring the proper, timely and correct information from the client.
We struggle to get the income, the deductions, the receipts, the fringe benefit information, the mileage on company vehicles, pension information, a list of partners, members or shareholders and their physical locations – all of the information required to prepare business based tax returns.
We are all familiar with the tax organizer for our individual tax clients – the information package we send out in December or early January to get our individual clients to organize all of their 1040 information – their W-2s and 1099s, their itemized deductions and all of their receipts and credit card statements…everything we need to prepare their individual tax return, their Form 1040. Well, we often do not think of this type of reminder to our business return clients – yet the business organizer does exist, although not as popular as its individual counterpart.
We have put together a couple of versions of the tax organizer for the business client. So that you, as a well prepared tax professional, can put the onus on the client…the partner of the partnership, the shareholder of the S-Corporation or the managing member of the LLC. We can remind them of what we need to properly prepare their business tax returns for them. That we not only need the information listed in the organizer, but that we need it timely, early in the tax season, so we have time to review the information and ask the proper questions to prepare a valid tax return for their business. This organizer will not have all of the answers, but it will serve as a reminder that we need their help in preparing their corporate or partnership tax returns.
These samples can be shortened or modified to your liking and can be used to remind your business clients that you need their help; you need their input and you need it early enough to do something about their tax situations before the tax returns’ due date.
It can be a nice marketing tool too – it can remind those business clients who you may not have spoken much to all summer that it is time to start talking taxes, and it may also just generate a BILLABLE year-end tax planning meeting before December 31 – when there is still time to plan.
So take a look at the business return organizers and see if they cannot help your practice out in some way. Your clients may not use them or fill them out, but they may call you before March 1 next year or they may prompt that much needed year-end meeting.
We hope that these help, as we are always looking to be of assistance to you, our valued member.