January 20, 2019

CPA Reminds Tax Clients ‘We’re Not Fortune Tellers and Wizards’

It seems that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making New York CPAs’ jobs more hellish than they already are.

From Crain’s New York Business:

For New York’s largest accounting firms, the biggest tax overhaul in decades has put significantly more work on their staffers’ plates.

But it’s not just New York CPAs who are still struggling to wrap their heads around the sweeping changes to the tax code. Accounting Today recently spoke to enrolled agents and CPAs from California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, and Minnesota, many of whom lamented the complexities of the new law and the lack of guidance from the IRS.

David Lifson, CPA, partner at New York-based Crowe LLP, told Crain’s that keeping up with all the tax changes requires about 50% more time this year than it did last year.

But you know who doesn’t give a shit? Clients. They want to know, like, right now, how the tax changes will impact their financial futures.

Lifson explained what the life of a CPA is like nowadays dealing with impatient tax clients:

[C]lients are returning with myriad questions, turning tax season into a yearlong process.

“Clients want to make a plan for three to five years, but we’re not fortune tellers and wizards,” Lifson said. “There’s always uncertainty in tax law because there are changes all the time—and there’s still the likelihood of much more.

“The changes on Dec. 22 were just the beginning,” he added, “as Republicans introduced three more bills this month. Clients can take positions today, but they have to keep checking with me to see if anything has changed.

CPAs may have hemorrhoids, cornered the market on blue button-up shirts, and have poor personal hygiene, but what they don’t have is a crystal ball.

Image: iStock/nullplus

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