By: Genevia Gee Fulbright, CPA, CGMA
Blog Series: Post 1 of 3
Tax Season is almost upon us again.
Whether you are a full-time CPA practitioner or part-time freelancer, 2015 will be a hectic tax season, especially if you work with self-employed clients.
Some of us still consider tax season the equivalent of what the retailers call their holiday season for retailers—a time to work hard, share in the enthusiasm/euphoria of actual tax outcomes close to tax plan estimates, and additional attempts to see if additional tax savings are available for clients.
This segment will hopefully provide some comfort to the early-career practitioners who have not had the delightful experience of representing a client for an audit before the IRS, the State, or working three back-to-back 12-hour shifts just to find your assistance is needed over the weekend as well.
Our Uncle Sam
Tax Season, to most self-employed clients, is often perceived as an exercise of torture to see how loud one can scream “Uncle Sam!”
If you have a few seasons under your belt, hopefully you have started implementing systems to make your tax season experience more tolerable so you can manage the rhythm and flow of the work.
As practitioners, always remind clients that the IRS just happens to be on the other team and there is no need to fear your opponent.
CPA practitioners have a few jobs
Remember it is your job and duty as a practitioner to help prepare your clients to make the best presentation on the field.
It’s like a championship game in which you help position your clients to put on their “game faces” and present yearly activities so they are in compliance and reduce instances of the “coach” yelling at them (IRS notices), putting them in the penalty box (IRS adjustments), or kicking them off the team (IRS levy or worse).
Self-employed clients dealing with tax season is very similar to running an athletic squad—one must practice and build up stamina (perform tax planning, execute business plan, and make a profit), play by the rules (federal, state, local, and/or international), deal with referees (IRS, state agents, and others), and strive to surround themselves with high performing team members to win (CPA advisors, bankers, investment and insurance advisors, and others deemed necessary).
Genevia Gee Fulbright, CPA is President & COO of Fulbright & Fulbright, CPA, PA, 25+ year veteran tax preparer, a board director, business strategist and author of Make the Leap: Shift from Corporate Worker to Entrepreneur and Make the Leap: From Mom & Pop to Good Enough to Sell (Infinity Publishing). Fulbright has previously served as Chair of NCACPA MIC, Trustee for the AICPA Foundation and NCM Capital Investment Trust and as a Board Director of M&F Bancorp and can be reached at [email protected] or (919) 544-0398.