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ProSeries Responsibility for ES Fiasco

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Level 4

Just wondering what responsibility Pro Series should take for the ES fiasco that has developed. This whole nightmare is the result of a software error

.I have 67 clients that I have to check on. This will involve reviewing files, calling client and/or calling IRS. Then, if there was a problem, working on a solution. This will involve a lot of time and effort and possibly affect how the client views us as "professional".

Am I off base here thinking Pro Series should have some skin in this game?

 

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13 Replies 13
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Level 15
Level 15

I discovered that any returns I filed prior to April 15th had their 1st and 2nd estimated payments paid as scheduled....I called the EFW phone number and a phone rep walked through all of them with me to verify.

Does that help whittle down your list of ones to check on?


♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 4

Yes, that was the case with some. But the point still is that we are having to spend all this extra time sorting through all of the clients that might be affected. No matter what, we have to look at all of them and verify what did or did not happen.

Level 15

This is another reason why I hate making electronic payments through the software.  If Intuit or the IRS screws up, it's up to us to mop up the mess.  As far as skin in the game, Intuit sits on the bench and cheers you on, but they will never get on the field with you.  They might offer you a BandAid (for a small fee) to cover the skin you are missing but that's about it.  They will quickly point out that when you accepted their agreement to use their product, they take absolutely no responsibility for the software.  If there are errors or problems, they become your problems, not theirs.  

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 12

Intuit will probably stand with their usual policy: If you provide documentation of penalties and interest due to a software error they will probably pay for that, but nothing else.

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Level 11

Some people base their fees on the assumption that everything will always go right with the software and with IRS acceptance of data.

I'm not one of them.  

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Level 7

In watching this board over the years I'm baffled at why any tax preparer would want to take on the responsibility of handling payment of client taxes.  It's just another item to go wrong. With the easy online payment system for both Federal and states let the client handle it themselves and there is no malpractice issue.  It seems this system blows up, Link blows up, E-signature blows up, Import blows up.  Why add to the hassles?

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Level 4

From your response I have to assume that if a client wants you to set up electronic payment of tax due with their return you would refuse to do so? Or if they wanted you to set up automatic withdrawal of ES payments you would refuse to do so?

Don't get me wrong. That is your choice. Me personally, one thing I refuse to do is MAIL anything for a client.

But, I will gladly accommodate a client who requests electronic payment of tax due or ES auto withdrawal. I do make them aware that they have to monitor their account to verify what they wanted to happen actually did happen. They also have to provide me the bank account info in a written form.

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Level 15

 "Me personally, one thing I refuse to do is MAIL anything for a client."

Just because some of us try to avoid setting up electronic payments doesn't mean we have become our client's nannies.  I prepare vouchers and envelopes for my clients and it is up to them to muster the strength to put a stamp on the envelope and drop in in the mailbox.  

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 15

Yep... I "refuse" as like several others have stated, I decline to accept the additional responsibility.   It "is" a choice that as a professional, I am allowed to make.  We aren't required to do anything/everything that a client requests.

Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
If a post answers your question, click on *Accept as solution* for future searches
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Level 12

I think this is in interesting discussion.  It seems like I may be a middle-of-the-road guy.

I set up the direct withdrawal for the current year owed.  I consider that as part of the e-file process as much as setting up Direct Deposit.

But I don't set up electronic Estimated Tax payments.  There seem to be too many things that can happen between filing and January 15th (clients forgetting about the withdrawal, changing bank accounts, income/circumstances change, etc.) and I don't want to deal with those problems.    So I give the clients the vouchers, point out IRS Direct Pay and EFTPS, and let them deal with it (and let them know they need to tell me the amounts and dates of payments for next year). 

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Level 15

I will set up electronic payment of balances due and estimated taxes if client requests. Very few do. I check the routing number and account number about 4 times before I transmit.


ex-AllStar
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Level 15

LOL... me too.  I run batch totals & keep them in the file to have proof.

Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
If a post answers your question, click on *Accept as solution* for future searches
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Level 11

If we gave a cognitive test to most clients who make quarterly payments we would find two types:

1)  Those who could avoid making quarterly payments by having enough tax withheld from pensions or Social Security.  (I discourage Social Security withholding because it's too difficult to stop or change, but for some people it's an acceptable alternative.)

2)  Those who are self-employed or otherwise have income not subject to withholding.  By July 15, we knew how much they had made the first half of the year, so that provided some basis for how much to pay on that day.  But if they tell me that they want to assume the same income and deductions for the rest of the year,  it just makes me wonder about their planet of origin.  If they don't schedule a certain amount for September and January, I won't have to answer questions later about how to change the figure. 

Quarterly payments used to be a profit center for certain practitioners. Some of them even required quarterly visits to update the numbers.  This just fed the obsession that some people have with taxes.  We should try to steer them away from the quarterly ritual, by urging an easier alternative.  

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