Most of my business has been comprised of word of mouth referrals. However, on occasion, I have a “cold call”.
Today I was busy, but had a cold call. A woman came in, having moved from LA telling me she needed a new accountant.
She had no prior year returns, and very scant current records. She gave me her paperwork and proceeded to take a phone call about a rental property she owned.
After she ended her call, I asked her if she’d like to tell me more about the rental property. She told me that it wasn’t under a management company and it was a “cash deal” and, therefore, no need to report anything. I then asked her if she was asking me to file a fraudulent tax return. She quickly changed her mind, gave me a very small amount of income with many deductions.
With all her deductions, her refund was barely $500. In the end, she walked because my bill was larger than the $200 she had in mind and she really expected a $2000 refund. I wished her luck.
Why? Because my name is on that return and I get along well with the IRS agents I do deal with. They know that my returns are above board and generally not subject to scrutiny. Agents do talk, and I do not want to be the topic of conversation at the water cooler.
Each year there are tax shoppers out there. Often they are people that either try to prepare their own returns and can’t figure out how to manipulate the costs, or they are people who go from preparer to preparer until they learn how to present their information and get the result (read as refund) they desire.
Hey tax shopper—yes you! I have news for you, tax professionals talk too. After you left a memo went out to several professionals I know. Your name wasn’t mentioned, but they will be looking out for you.
Rhonda A. Mannes,