What I do
First, I’m not a form filler. Yes, preparing returns clearly involves preparing the necessary forms to send to the IRS and other jurisdictions, but that’s not the extent of what I do. I believe my clients compensate me not just for preparing forms, but for my knowledge and expertise.
Not only is form filling not the extent of what I do, it’s one of the last steps in the return preparation process. The whole process from start to finish goes a bit like this:
Discovery > Research > Return preparation >Review.
An essential part of the return preparation process. I undergo a very detailed discovery phase, especially if it’ s the first time we’re working with each other. This not only ensures that I’m getting all the information I need to prepare the return, but it also ensures that we don’t overlook anything. That everything that should be reported gets reported. That you get every single deduction or tax benefit that your legally entitled to. I do this because through experience, clients don’t always know exactly what needs to be reported and don’t always know of every deduction or benefit that could be had. Because let’s be serious, if they did, why on earth would they need me?
Once the discovery phase is completed, this is where the research begins. In most cases, the return can be prepared without doing any (or very little) research, unless there is a situation that I’ve never dealt with before or there is something about your particular situation that, though I’ve dealt with the situation before, doesn’t fit in the usual mold, and I think it requires more research.
This is when I actually start preparing all the necessary forms that need to be filed. I prepare the return, ensuring that everything is where it needs to be.
After the return is prepared, I simply leave it alone for a while; maybe for a day or two, until it’s no longer fresh in my mind. And then I simply do a review. This ensures, for both our sakes, that I’m doing what you pay me for: preparing your return, ensuring that you don’t pay a dime more than you need to.
What I can’t do
I’m not an individual financial planner or a broker, so I can’t offer investment advice. If you’re looking for a practice that can offer those type of services, I’m sorry but it’s just not mine. My main focus is taxation, which I believe allows me cultivate my craft and gain more expertise in my field.
If you’re interested in working with me, great and thank you! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go ahead, shoot me an e-mail.