How can tax professionals make sure they’re prepared for tax season?

January 05, 2015

While most people begin January thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, tax professionals have something else on their minds: tax season. Corporate tax returns aren’t due until March 16th and personal returns don’t need to be submitted until April 15th, but those deadlines approach quickly when you’ve got dozens of clients’ returns to file. As the owner of a small business that prepares taxes, how can you be sure you’re ready to provide clients with the best possible services on a tight timeframe? First, make sure your knowledge base and paperwork is as current and up-to-date as possible. Without the best information you won’t be able to give your clients the best guidance, and filing taxes using outdated forms or websites will result in time-consuming fixes and delays in refund payments. Next, go ahead and file your own taxes. Most people and businesses start working on their taxes in February, giving you the month of January to get your own taxes – both business and personal – done. Then you can turn your attention to your clients’ taxes. It’s no secret that filing taxes isn’t something people eagerly anticipate. It’s often a task they put off until the last minute, which means you’re scrambling to get everything done on a tight timeframe. So in mid-January send out tax organizer packets that tell clients exactly what receipts, forms, and files you’ll need to prepare their taxes. Keep a list of who’s returned the items to you, so you can send reminders. And don’t forget to make sure your tax consultancy carries the right types of small business insurance. Should a client trip in your office and get injured, you’ll need general liability coverage to protect you. And on the off chance that a client feels you did not serve their best interest and sues for negligence, a professional liability policy will defend your business.