I work part-time for a tax preparation company. I like the people that I work with, learning about taxes, and for the most part helping people prepare their taxes. So I thought that I would give you a list of 'helpful hints' when getting ready to have your taxes prepared by a professional.
(1) Know how to spell your children's names and their date of birth if you are going to tell me that they live with you. Calling Nutter Butter's mom to find out when his birthday is will make me really sad when she doesn't know (unfortunately a true story).
(2) Be prepared to prove everything you tell me to the IRS. I don't have to believe you, they do. But if you are going to lie to me, work at your story. It's the respectful thing to do. I will ask questions, and if you are inconsistant, I will not do your taxes.
(3) Don't walk into the office 5 minutes before closing and think that I am going to be able to finish your return tonight because you have to have your refund by this weekend. In a semi-related note, please don't go the the bar and get drunk before you come to see me 5 minutes before closing. The city I live in still allows smoking in bars, and the smell of smoke on your clothes is really offensive.
(4) When I tell you the IRS will keep your refund because you owe back child support or didn't pay back your student loans, don't call me asking why the IRS kept your money when you already know why.
(5) Show up on time for your appointment. Better yet, just show up.
(6) Bring all your documents and open up your big-assed stack of envelopes before you come into the office. If you forget something, don't make pissy comments about having to run back and forth with documents you forgot.
(7) No I won't just ignore something that is required by the IRS, so don't ask. I like my job. I'll like it even better when you leave.
(8) When I ask you for your documents, don't keep the second folder with all the shit you don't know what do with as a special surprise at the end.
(9) Don't yell at me because you didn't remember that the bank account you gave me for your direct deposit is no longer open. And don't tell me that the bank closed your account because you kept bouncing checks. Just because I do your taxes doesn't mean that I am emotionally invested in your train-wreck of a life.
(10) Do not come into the office on the last day to file with a shoebox stuffed full of all your receipts for the year and act surprised that we don't have time to organize your world/prepare your taxes. Didn't we have this conversation for the last 2 years in a row? Didn't I call you repeatedly in March begging for the shoebox? The batteries in my magic wand are usually dead by the last day to file.
(11) Most of our clients are great. If you want to be one of the favorites, follow the above rules and bring me cookies, cupcakes or candy.