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Client Taking Tax Advice from TikTok-Grounds to Disengage??

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#1
Dbertke  
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Asking for a friend.
 

#2
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If a client decides other sources of tax advice are better than me, then it seems they should probably use that source for their advice moving forward and don't need my services.
~Captcook
 

#3
Frankly  
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Dbertke wrote:Asking for a friend.

Asking what?
 

#4
ATSMAN  
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Over the many years in this business I have run into people who will get tax advice from just about any source. It got worse with the internet. So now my position is pretty straight forward. If you engaged me to prepare your tax return then you take tax advice from me. You want someone else go to them. I will listen to whatever they say for a good laugh, but if I am signing that return I rule :twisted:

This method has led me to quickly disengage from folks who were not a good fit for my business model.
 

#5
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In principle, is this any different to someone saying "I read in the Sunday paper that..." What matters is the conversation that follows.
 

#6
mdavis  
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My stance on this has always been I listen to what they say and either say yes that could work with your taxes, or no that doesn't work with your tax position because of X, as long as the client is okay and goes no problem just heard or read it and thought I would bring it up to you and see if it would work for me and is fine not doing it I continue with them as a client, if they are set in stone I'm gonna do it that way, I tell them they need to find someone else to do it.
 

#7
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What was the advice?
 

#8
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Clients are always going to see or hear something, elsewhere, that will prompt them to inquire. It is our responsibility to hear the question, and respond appropriately--and that may be to disengage or simply explain to them why it is not applicable or is incorrect.
 

#9
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If they use it as a springboard to ask for advice it's all good. If they go ahead with the advice of TikTok or Reddit or the drunks at the bar (when they reopen) I charge full price to fix it.
 

#10
Dbertke  
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They e-mailed me a Tik-Tok video of some guy telling adult dependent children that they should mark on their 2020 tax returns that they are no longer dependent in order to get their first and second stimulus checks. I responded to her that while this is true, he is only telling one side of the story. I explained to her how her college age daughter claiming herself as a dependent would result in the parent taxpayer being unable to claim the AOTC, or the credit for other dependents.

To put this into context, this e-mail came after an initial e-mail from her saying that I should be prepared for her tax appointment because she wanted to take advantage of all stimulus related tax incentives including transportation expenses?!? (she is a W-2 employee).
 

#11
Frankly  
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"Tik-Tok" is some sort of thing now? Should I cancel my research subscription?
 

#12
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A grown-up with adult children is watching TickTock videos? Even ignoring the content, that sounds like enough reason for me to want to disengage :-)
 

#13
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Dbertke wrote:They e-mailed me a Tik-Tok video of some guy telling adult dependent children that they should mark on their 2020 tax returns that they are no longer dependent in order to get their first and second stimulus checks. I responded to her that while this is true, he is only telling one side of the story. I explained to her how her college age daughter claiming herself as a dependent would result in the parent taxpayer being unable to claim the AOTC, or the credit for other dependents.

To put this into context, this e-mail came after an initial e-mail from her saying that I should be prepared for her tax appointment because she wanted to take advantage of all stimulus related tax incentives including transportation expenses?!? (she is a W-2 employee).


Well, taken together, I'd consider all of that a strike in my book. When clients accumulate a certain amount of strikes, they're out.

I am always amused by the taxpayers that seem to act like they know more than their CPA, and seem like they only have a CPA so that someone can sign the paid preparer section. i.e. you prepare the return exactly how I tell you, then you sign.
 

#14
smtcpa  
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It's no different than advice from the friend's barber, Facebook, or any other source. I listen to it, usually dispute it because it's wrong, and they accept it.
 

#15
ATSMAN  
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I love a good laugh too but during tax season I don't really have the time to indulge in these activities with clients when I am pressed for time. I still recall a female police officer that insisted that she could deduct her hair and makeup because she was required to wear her hair in a certain way by her boss!
 

#16
CathysTaxes  
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smtcpa wrote:It's no different than advice from the friend's barber, Facebook, or any other source. I listen to it, usually dispute it because it's wrong, and they accept it.


Sometimes it's not that easy. I've had clients that demanded I do what their idiot friends do and I've literally printed out the IRC and shoved it at them. Most of these clients are history.
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#17
ATSMAN  
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CathysTaxes wrote:
smtcpa wrote:It's no different than advice from the friend's barber, Facebook, or any other source. I listen to it, usually dispute it because it's wrong, and they accept it.


Sometimes it's not that easy. I've had clients that demanded I do what their idiot friends do and I've literally printed out the IRC and shoved it at them. Most of these clients are history.


You are too kind and nice! I would not even waste my time and resources to print them a copy. If they don't agree with me find someone else :twisted:
 

#18
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CathysTaxes wrote:Most of these clients are history.


Most?
If I ever had a client demand I do anything I wasn't comfortable with, let alone wrong, I'd show them the door immediately.
~Captcook
 

#19
CathysTaxes  
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CaptCook wrote:
CathysTaxes wrote:Most of these clients are history.


Most?
If I ever had a client demand I do anything I wasn't comfortable with, let alone wrong, I'd show them the door immediately.


I retrained the remaining.
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#20
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smtcpa wrote:It's no different than advice from the friend's barber, Facebook, or any other source. I listen to it, usually dispute it because it's wrong, and they accept it.


Winner imo (the other answers were certainly insightful and correct too - but this summarizes it nicely).

CathysTaxes wrote:Sometimes it's not that easy. I've had clients that demanded I do what their idiot friends do and I've literally printed out the IRC and shoved it at them. Most of these clients are history.


True - and that's what I do - I show them the source. If they are not acting like reasonable adults about it... sayonara then. Agreed. VERY easy decision.
 

#21
CP Hay  
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The way I see it is that any time a client hears something, even if erroneous, it gives you the opportunity to explore and educate.

There used to be a department store chain called Syms. Their slogan was 'An educated consumer is our best customer' and I couldn't agree with that more.
 


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