Are you prepared for this coming tax season?

By Chuck | January 6, 2014

 ITS_2014_Tax_Season_Checklist

Tax season is almost upon on us and by now I’m sure your brain is in gear and ready to start taking clients.  There’s a lot to do to prepare for tax season and once you’re in the thick of it you’ll be sorry if you haven’t dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. We put together a list of items to help you get ready for January 31st.

Personnel

  • Hired the proper amount of staff and determined availability to ensure coverage over the tax season.
  • PTINs obtained or renewed through IRS by all tax preparers.
  • Hired seasonal receptionist/administrative assistant(s).
  • Employment documents (applications, I-9, W-4, etc.) completed for all new employees.
  • Employment Agreements signed by all tax preparers (including non-compete, non-solicitation & confidentiality provisions).
  • Written the employee schedule for at least the first month.
  • Held or scheduled pre-tax season meetings: one with your corporate staff and one with your office managers.
  • Trained all new associates.
  • Trained all new preparers on tax software and on your policies and procedures.
  • All preparers have completed their CE courses.
  • All preparers are informed of the changes to the tax law for the upcoming season.

Tax Operations

  • Sent letters to clients to encourage them to come in early to have taxes prepared before January 31st
  • Mailed tax organizers and cover letters to complex return clients and scheduled appointments with them.
  • Set fees and charges for the new tax season.
  • Reviewed and updated policies and procedures.
  • Updated all tax software.
  • Installed current year tax software with customized fields for pricing, client sources, etc.
  • Establish Refund Transfer bank relationship if applicable.
  • Set-up e-filing system.

Office

  • Signed lease for all locations.
  • Taken inventory of all maintenance issues and either fixed or created an action plan for repairs before the season begins.
  • All signage is properly lit and in good working order.
  • If you are leasing a mall office, ensured that it is properly set-up and ready to go.
  • Ordered office supplies and updated inventory.
  • Arranged for phones and utility to be operational for all tax office locations.
  • Cleaned office interiors and windows.

Equipment

  • All office computers are in good working order (purchased new ones if necessary).
  • Updated all computer software.
  • Arranged to have computer support personnel for any issues during the season.
  • Purchased any necessary additional equipment.

Marketing

  • Contacted previous clients for business this season.
  • Written and/or sent out newsletters.
  • Prepared a content plan for your website and social media sites.
  • Arranged for any PR campaigns (ie. guest posts, press releases and articles).
  • Scheduled seminars out in the community.
  • Created and printed fliers, marketing materials, and brochures.
  • Created an internet marketing plan to include Google and/or social ads.
  • Purchased any advertising (newspaper, direct mail, TV, radio, sponsorships, etc.).

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Are you ready for tax season? Leave a comment!

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