Let’s debunk the myth here and now: Tax transcripts aren’t just for tax professionals.
Every client you have is a taxpayer. The IRS has been making efforts to increase its automation, which means more errors that can go one of two ways—fight or flight. Clients will either get anxious and take up too much of your time and emotional bandwidth trying to resolve their anxieties. Or they’ll fly—thinking if they just hide from it, it’ll go away (tip: that’s false).
What are tax transcripts?
An IRS tax transcript summarizes return information and includes adjusted gross income (AGI). It typically has all the tax information on it that you might need for your clients.
Why every accountant can benefit from transcripts and transcript data
To quickly state the obvious, since every client is making technological advancements, you now have the perfect combination of human errors plus computer errors that could make for some hairy messes that, more often than not, can be easily avoided.
Here’s what you gain by having transcript data on your clients:
You’ll know all
- Clients can forget about crucial items, documents or events. IRS tax transcripts will include every bit of previous tax information you need to know. So, when you see a document or event on a transcript and you don’t have the equivalent document for this current year, you’ll know exactly what you need to ask for to ensure everything is in order.
You’ll know first
- No human feels great when the rug gets pulled out from beneath their feet. And their efforts to reach out to you to figure things out take way more time than it takes for you to automate transcript pulls and compare versions. With transcript data, you’ll never catch your client by surprise.
- Ignoring notices can have larger financial consequences (e.g., clients could risk losing their right to appeal). IRS transcript data will help you ensure that your clients never ignore a notice and think it will go away.
- Often, simply talking to a human can quickly resolve issues. And most notices can be resolved with a conversation with little to no consequence, as long as it’s done in a timely fashion (i.e., before any deadlines).
You’ll know how
- There are too many notices to memorize how to respond to each of them. When it’s not possible to talk to a human at the IRS, Canopy Notice Templates have letter templates and scripts baked right into the workflows you use when dealing with any kind of notice you can imagine.
Improving your reputation and client experience
The knowledge above, paired with features in an IRS-approved tool like Canopy’s Transcripts & Notices product, will help you level up your accounting firm’s reputation and client experience. Here are four benefits you’ll want to look for in a tax transcript tool:
- You’ll save valuable time. No logging into the IRS system multiple times—time that your client would be billed for. Set up your login details once, and you’ll never have to do it again. You can then offer more competitive rates for your time on these tasks and reallocate your saved time to more productive activities.
- You won’t waste time calling the IRS. At the least, you’ll significantly decrease the times that you do have to call (i.e., only when resolving a notice). Find a tool that also helps you more efficiently manage the calls you do have to make to the IRS (remember those scripts we mentioned?).
- You won’t have to put out last-minute fires. Don’t derail valuable projects. You can now appropriately manage ALL of your work, not just the predictable stuff. This means you’ll know key information in plenty of time to allow for upcoming work.
- You’ll easily demonstrate your expertise. Humans often think we have to be doing something complex in order to demonstrate expertise. But most often it’s the simple things your clients can’t or don’t know. The things that save them time, money and stress—demonstrate your expertise. And that delights and thrills them. Not to mention, it sends them to their friends and family with a referral for you.
By knowing about tax issues before the letters even hit your client’s inbox, you can proactively send them a message notifying them of what’s coming. They’ll be impressed…and can also be assured that they’re compliant with IRS tax transcripts.
Right Networks + Canopy
Canopy and now Right Networks customers have access to a secure, one-time login to the Transcript Delivery System (TDS) through Canopy and their partnership with IRS. Knowledge is power, especially when dealing with stressed clients.
This blog was authored by Canopy, a Right Networks partner that provides tax and accounting firms with practice management software. For more information on Canopy’s practice management suite and other solutions including Transcripts & Notices, visit getcanopy.com.