Anonymous
Share this content
24

When you want to smack a client but be polite

Didn't find your answer?

Client (own beauty salon)  (within 5 min after bringing paperwork) - how much tax will I have to pay?

Me - not sure as I havent done calculations.

 

Tax return has been sent to client.

 

Client - from where all that profit? I`ve never had so much money. Why so much tax to pay?

Me (stop renting out chairs with profit you greedy cow) - rent you have collected from renting chairs is much more higher than your payments to your landlord. And money in the bank account does not mean anything. (I could go on and on)

Client - and I have paid VAT on goods and i will loose it (not even VAT registered). Its not even worth working!

Me - piss[***] off (in my thoughts of course)...

How do you deal whith clients like that (apart from getting rid of them) and make them understand that things are the way they are??

Thanks.

 

Replies (24)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By Bob Loblaw
10th Dec 2019 16:36

By being a professional who understands that some people (even those in business) aren't tax savvy and may not have a good grasp on how their finances work. I've accepted that the job demands a degree of hand holding and try to explain things in a clear and concise manner as is possible. It can be hugely frustrating, but it's part of the job and to think otherwise suggests a certain naivety.

If you binned off every client who was a bit dim/complained they were paying too much tax, you'd go out of business fairly quickly.

Thanks (7)
avatar
By lincolnartist
10th Dec 2019 16:42

If they fully understood accounts and tax, they wouldn't be engaging you.

Thanks (2)
By penelope pitstop
10th Dec 2019 16:49

Remember that some clients think that drawings are an allowable expense!

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
avatar
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
10th Dec 2019 17:38

Quote:

Remember that some clients think that drawings are an allowable expense!

Spoke to a dir/s’h of a newco the other day. He’s a recently emigrated Yank and was struggling to understand our tax laws. Final question was “we can do this is USoA, can you here ... rather than me be taxed for taking cash out, is it ok for the company to pay personal bills instead and they be tax deductible?”

Thanks (0)
By Red Leader
10th Dec 2019 17:06

It's fair enough for these queries/quasi-complaints initially. However, if they are a persistent offender, year after year, then show them the door.

It's the dullards who try to tell me my tax and a/cs are wrong when they couldn't add up the number of ciggies in a packet of 20 that get me.

Thanks (3)
avatar
By SXGuy
10th Dec 2019 19:15

Long standing client has numerous rentals, all making good profit always brags about how rich she is. Last year said she was skint wanted to reduce her fee. This year even more skint and told me what she was willing to pay!

Told her in a professional way, that it wasn't even worth my time at the amount she wanted to pay me, subsequently decided to "try it herself" oh but this is the best bit. "If I have trouble doing it your only at the end of the phone for help"

No, I'm not.

Thanks (3)
Replying to SXGuy:
By penelope pitstop
10th Dec 2019 23:08

I have a client who told me that she would pay me only £120 for her tax return. Dead simple property rental, state pension, occ pension P60s x 2, few divis, few bank interest.

I did it under sufferance. Then her partner was introduced years after with some lengthy CGT share calcs. Extra £600 quid in the bank ongoing basis.

In this case it was worth sticking it out for the extra job. But you never know!

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
avatar
By SXGuy
11th Dec 2019 08:01

I wasn't about to accept to do her 6 rental properties for £95 though and I knew her background enough to hedge a bet that no referrals would come from it. Ironically a few weeks later I got an email saying she was leaving lol

Thanks (0)
Replying to SXGuy:
avatar
By bernard michael
11th Dec 2019 09:49

Quote:

I wasn't about to accept to do her 6 rental properties for £95 though and I knew her background enough to hedge a bet that no referrals would come from it. Ironically a few weeks later I got an email saying she was leaving lol


She must have found someone else stupid enough to work for not a lot. Wait for the clearance request
Thanks (1)
avatar
By Manchester_man
11th Dec 2019 07:22

Yeah I’ve had my fair share of these type of clients. Interestingly, my worst ever offender was also a beauty salon!

Instead of a polite “I’m sorry I really don’t understand how I can have that much tax to pay, could you run me through it”, you get (with a defensive / aggressive tone) “why is it that much when it was only X amount last year”.

Accountant: yes, it’s because you’ve had a better year this year and you are now required to make ‘payments on account’ because your tax liability is more than £1k etc etc

Client: I only paid £x last year so why is it now more

Accountant: the actual tax is only marginally more, but you have bypassed the threshold at which you have to make payments on account of the following year

Client: but I only paid £x last year so how can it have doubled. It’s not worth me working I might as well close the shop

(Plus they often heard “I thought you were supposed to be reducing my tax”)

You’ve just got to grit your teeth and keep explaining it.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Manchester_man:
avatar
By Matrix
11th Dec 2019 07:24

Yes you really have to pre empt the POA questions, I sometimes send a link to how it works if they making them for the first time as clients have been very rude over the years.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Manchester_man:
avatar
By SXGuy
11th Dec 2019 08:03

Most clients will accept my explanation that if in one year your tax is over 1k hmrc will charge it twice on account towards next year when if things stay the same should see the tax half. They understand it better that way rather than explaining the way poa works.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Manchester_man:
Universe
By SteveOH
11th Dec 2019 10:08

I also find payments on account, especially in the first year that they have to be paid, especially difficult to explain.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Manchester_man:
Caroline
By accountantccole
11th Dec 2019 10:20

I resorted to a graphic showing accounting periods and when payments on account relate to, to try to get this point across. It still comes out from time to time

Thanks (2)
Replying to Manchester_man:
avatar
By Jackie in Wiltshire
11th Dec 2019 11:23

At the time of engagement all my sole trader clients get a sheet of basic explanatory notes showing how tax is calculated, when tax is paid, and how POAs work. If there is any further difficulty I sit down and explain it with their own numbers.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Jackie in Wiltshire:
avatar
By JDBENJAMIN
17th Dec 2019 13:07

The only clients who will read and understand such a sheet will be the ones who were never going to be a problem. The idiots, by contrast, will still ask the same stupid questions every year, whatever explanations you give them.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By lesley.barnes
11th Dec 2019 09:30

I don't worry to much about the clients who don't understand their tax. I'll go over it several times if necessary until they either have a light bulb moment or just agree to differ but accept it anyway.

The ones I worry about are the ones who don't listen because man down the pub, on the internet or another accountant has told them what they want to hear. That way lies disaster. I had a potential client who was the step son of a good client come for an initial meeting because step dad was worried about what step son was doing. To cut a long story short CIS and VAT were involved or not in the step sons world. He wouldn't listen said he didn't need to register another accountant had told him it was ok and he would use them. They knew how to get round the system.

I just wanted to shake him until he rattled no amount of reasoning would change his mind. He disappeared and lo and behold rang up 18 months later could I help him, he had messed up big time. The subbies wanted their CIS certificates to reclaim their tax but he hadn't deducted any. Let me think for 2 seconds - no.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lesley.barnes:
avatar
By bernard michael
11th Dec 2019 09:51

Quote:

I don't worry to much about the clients who don't understand their tax. I'll go over it several times if necessary until they either have a light bulb moment or just agree to differ but accept it anyway.

The ones I worry about are the ones who don't listen because man down the pub, on the internet or another accountant has told them what they want to hear. That way lies disaster. I had a potential client who was the step son of a good client come for an initial meeting because step dad was worried about what step son was doing. To cut a long story short CIS and VAT were involved or not in the step sons world. He wouldn't listen said he didn't need to register another accountant had told him it was ok and he would use them. They knew how to get round the system.

I just wanted to shake him until he rattled no amount of reasoning would change his mind. He disappeared and lo and behold rang up 18 months later could I help him, he had messed up big time. The subbies wanted their CIS certificates to reclaim their tax but he hadn't deducted any. Let me think for 2 seconds - no.


What did stepdad do ?
Thanks (0)
Replying to bernard michael:
avatar
By lesley.barnes
11th Dec 2019 13:46

As far as I'm aware nothing - you can take a horse to water etc. The step son was arrogant. I haven't seen step dad for a couple of years because he was suffering from cancer the last time we met and had to retire.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By enanen
17th Dec 2019 10:56

Become a Reginald Perrin character. Just think it.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By justsotax
17th Dec 2019 13:39

wonder whether she voted conservative....

Thanks (0)
avatar
By [email protected]
17th Dec 2019 15:41

I find it difficult to believe that an accountant in practice could ask such a question and denigrate his clients on a public notice board. Clearly you are an intellectual snob at home only with clients with IQs of 150 or more and a doctorate in economics.

Not all of my clients are tax experts but if they were they would probably be completing their own tax returns.
Do you not provide basic services to your client such as
a) cash flow statement to show how cash translates into profit
b) detailed calculations on how the tax has been arrived from the profit, and what could be done to mitigate the tax.
c) an analysis of whether they are better off registering for VAT or otherwise and how much could be saved through the Fixed Rate Scheme?
Do you not meet your clients to go through it with them, or do you send them the annual accounts in a format that even Einstein wouldn't understand, and without an explanatory supporting letter.

So they ask the same questions year after year, they have probably got more important matters on their mind such as winning clients and keeping themselves financially solvent.

Thanks (0)
Replying to [email protected]:
avatar
By Matrix
17th Dec 2019 20:20

Unfortunately clients don’t appreciate all of that, the ones which are the point of this thread don’t read any of that and only react when their tax bill is higher and blame the operation of POA on us.

Thanks (0)
By Red Leader
17th Dec 2019 15:57

I've been spending some time on You Tube recently. They have a facility for voting down as well as up. Shame it's not available here. Just sayin'.

Thanks (0)
Share this content