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I don't often do this

But......

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I'm still working to a 31st January deadline despite HMRC's extra leniency

Today I got a telephone call from a prospect who "wants help with his tax return" After a brief chat he told me that he normally uses Taxcalc to prepare his  return but had concentrated on moving house. This caused me to reject him as a possible client and refer him to another local firm. My nose smelled trouble. Was I being too suspicious, just lazy or sensible?? The thought of trying to take him through AML and getting HMRC authorisation etc in a hurry filled me with horror. 

 

 

 

Replies (18)

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By meadowsaw227
17th Jan 2022 11:48

Sanity before money every time.

Thanks (3)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Jan 2022 12:23

I have long since stopped taking any SA related calls in Jan from prospects.

Not worth the hassle.

If I get lumbered with such a call I just laugh and suggest I don't really fancy working this weekend or late at night to get this done.

Thanks (1)
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By Wanderer
17th Jan 2022 12:35

January new prospects are often the ones that say "I've done most of the work already, there's not much for you to do".

All January enquirers are advised to call back in February.

Thanks (4)
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Jan 2022 12:38

I wonder whether the house move upon which he has been concentrating has happened yet, or whether he's at mortgage application stage.

Like you, Bernard, I'm working towards 31st January but am being torpedoed by the filing deadline extension. Already two clients have announced that they may not be able to get their records to me until February, and I'm expecting more. February's my gardening month...Grrr!

Thanks (3)
Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By adam.arca
17th Jan 2022 13:30

What I do:

Tell them that Feb is the start of the new year for accountants so, if they want to delay until then, they can be all means but they're going to be behind a big list of already committed work and there's no guarantees their work will get done.

So, in other words, why not get it in now in Jan which is the month "designed" for SA filings and nothing else? Not that there's any guarantees in Jan either.

Want a guarantee? Get your stuff in by Oct / Nov / select own date. Like I told you at the time til I was blue in the face.

Basically, I think we're all on the same page here which is good news. The last thing anyone needs right now is a local rival breaking ranks and guaranteeing Jan / Feb fulfillments.

Thanks (2)
Replying to adam.arca:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Jan 2022 15:39

@adam, those firms who do take them on, are probably the same ones complaining about mad Jans, working Xmas and weekends etc.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
17th Jan 2022 12:43

Sounds like a one off piece of work. I've recently told some one to politely sod off as they wanted to do his return so they could copy the numbers for Mrs and then DIY next year.

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By SXGuy
17th Jan 2022 12:47

Had a client call yesterday. After chasing all year to book in next week for the end of Jan deadline.

Then told me they are worried they will miss it.

Told them I can't promise anything as I'm sure they appreciate they have had all year to get it sorted.

Just won't bend over backwards for anyone in Jan anymore.

Sorry but like others, I won't be working weekends to meet deadlines because people can not be bothered to sort it sooner.

Thanks (4)
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By justsotax
17th Jan 2022 12:48

I would charge a premium fee, if they don't join no problem, if they do join you at least know that your admin set up costs are covered if it ends up being a one-off. But you are right to be cautious, generally those who call you in January for the return that needs doing by the end of that month tend to be low quality clients.

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By codling
17th Jan 2022 12:54

Just turned one down who needed CT Returns submitted by 31 January for 2 companies. Filed his own accounts at Companies House. Looking behind the filed accounts there were huge problems with what he had done including a bounce back loan where there was no trading and a bounce back loan in the other company about 3 times the maximum he should have been able to obtain!
Good luck for whoever takes him on - it will be needed.

Thanks (1)
Scooby
By gainsborough
17th Jan 2022 13:51

I suspect the same as accountantccole and would also have turned this down in case the client decides to go DIY again next year - not worth the hassle for a probable one-off client who leaves things until the last minute.

Plus, I would always trust your gut instinct if it tells you to say no. I ignored mine once in the early years of my practice but never again.

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Slim
By Slim
17th Jan 2022 14:32

If they normally diy then you've got a lot of last minute work and only one fee. Unless it is a very worth while fee then no.

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By bernard michael
17th Jan 2022 14:35

Update
The local firm I suggested has also turned him down

Thanks (4)
Replying to bernard michael:
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By Hugo Fair
17th Jan 2022 16:03

Ah, ping-pong has commenced!

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RLI
By lionofludesch
17th Jan 2022 16:26

MTD will mean that accountants will be able to be increasingly picky.

It's not all bad news.

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
17th Jan 2022 17:27

Spooky timing... Jennifer Adams has just published an article entitled, "Should you take on last-minute tax return clients?"

If you want to carry on this debate and see what she has to say, visit:
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/practice-strategy/should-you-ta...

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By Calculatorboy
18th Jan 2022 08:56

We always hear anecdotal stories from some about how they picked up that mythical really nice client late in January etc etc ..the reality most of the time is quite the opposite...

Dont waste time as a 49 'er panning for non existant gold .

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By SteveHa
18th Jan 2022 09:51

We actively stopped taking new tax clients on in late November/early December. We have enough to be doing with clients we already have.

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