Inform clients of significant changes in tax law through client newsletters. Retain a distribution list of such communications, including the dates transmitted to document that the client was informed of these changes.
Alert clients about other filing obligations such as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”), state and local income tax returns, and the consequences of non-compliance. Ask clients to schedule their appointments to discuss tax planning issues prior to year-end. If a tax projection will be prepared or tax consulting will be performed, obtain a separate signed engagement letter for these additional services. Sample tax planning and tax consulting engagement letters are available to policyholders in the Policyholder Resource Center.
Contact clients who have historically procrastinated providing their tax return information and consider providing incentives to them for early submission. Ideas on how to incentivize clients can be found in the article The Early CPA Gets the Return (Done on Time). In addition, provide these clients with deadline dates by which all information must be received. If information is not received by the designated date, consider terminating the client relationship. Not sure if it is time to terminate? Read the article Take a Hike: Ending Client Relationships for other items to consider.
What to do now … before the big rush
4 ways to help clients prepare
Guide | Tax Season