This tax season has looked drastically different than any before it with the onset of COVID-19. Between the tax filing and payment deadline extensions and the majority of American workers—including tax preparation professionals and their clients— guided to work from home, it’s become a rather complicated few months.
If you’re a tax professional, you’ve likely already observed changes to your business and made adjustments where possible. For example, many of your clients are probably taking advantage of the extended filing deadline, so you are still busy completing returns. Your clients also might be reaching out to you for additional budgeting, financial and tax advice based on the tax implications of the CARES Act.
No doubt there will be many long-term effects coming out of this shift. Fortunately, as a TaxAct Professional® tax preparer, you have multiple opportunities to position your business to experience continued success in the years to come.
Key Adaptation Techniques
- Enhance your service offering. It’s likely that your clients are seeking your financial and tax advice now more than ever. Use this as an opportunity to expand the consulting services you provide beyond the preparation of tax returns. For instance, you could consider expanding your consulting services to include small business funding or helping your interested clients develop a business plan.
- Broaden your client base. View this extended tax filing season as an opportunity to both retain current clients and grow your base through various marketing efforts. Find creative ways to get in front of new people as a source of useful, timely tax information. Example: You could start sending a bi-weekly email newsletter to share IRS news, tax deadline information, and stimulus package updates. That information could also be shared on your social media channels to increase the number of people who see it.
- Lean on digital tools. If you’re used to meeting clients in a physical office, adjusting to digital communications can feel like a challenge. However, there are plenty of digital tools you can use to maintain that sense of connection. Start by leveraging virtual Q&As with your clients, providing one-on-one video conferencing sessions, and staying in touch via email. Digitize tax filing documents and client information by using digital conversion techniques, then keep them safe in an electronic vault.
One way to do this is with our secure website portal, Client Xchange. TaxAct Professional Client Xchange allows you to safely and easily exchange tax documents with your clients, receive email notifications, brand your website, and more. With Client Xchange, you and your clients can upload and download everything from photos of W-2 forms and receipts to CSV files of stock transactions, PDFs of client organizers and final tax returns – all within seconds. All you have to do is set up your website, grant access to additional users, and then email invitations to your clients. Once clients activate their accounts, you can begin safely exchanging information. With limited in-person accessibility, this portal is more convenient than ever.
TaxAct Professional is here to support you as you pivot your business strategy throughout the remainder of the year. We’re also working to keep you up to date with the latest changes related to COVID-19 and the CARES Act. If you’d like to get these updates sent straight to your inbox, use the boxes in the left-hand navigation to subscribe.