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Subject:  Tax season war story Date:  4/7/2006  2:15 AM
Author:  ptheland Number:  85831 of 127642

These are usually times to rant and vent. Very helpful therapy after working a bunch of 12-16 hour days.

But today's is different.

Tonight I saw one of my better clients - a nice couple. Hard working, not well off by any measure. After renting their whole lives, they managed to scrape things together about 3 years ago and buy a 4-plex. They live in one unit and rent out the rest. They actually have break-even or better cash flow on the rentals, and only have to come out of pocket for their share of the expenses - which work out to being less than owning a similar-sized condo.

I don't see many clients from 4/1 on - I need to concentrate on getting the work done that's already in the office. Late comers usually go on extension. But I make an exception for this couple, as I also know they're very well organized. And they didn't let me down this year. As usual, they completed an organizer (except for his business where they just give me his income statement instead of copying all the numbers over). They knew how much their over 24 year old son made, so we could decide if he qualified as a dependent. They had their W-2's and 1099's and 1098's and all the other documentation we need.

So after finishing up their current year taxes, we think ahead to next year. He's self-employed and things are lining up to make a little more money next year. So I do a little figuring and tell them how much I think they might owe this time next year if things do work out that way. And they are happy - no, thrilled - to know this. They quickly divide the estimated tax bill by 12 (and round it UP!) and tell ME that they'll need to save this much each month to be ready for next year.

And I have no doubt that the money will be there, ready to pay the tax bill when it comes due.

Some clients I really like working with. And every once in a while it's good to do a return for someone who truly appreciates the work you do.

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