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October 06, 2009

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Robert D Flach

Trish-

I agree with your assessment of April 15 vs. October 15.

From February 1 through April 14 I, too, have no life. As I am fond of saying I barely have time to relieve myself let alone do anything that does not involve a current year 1040. I work 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. While I do cut off clients on March 31st, I do work through April 14 (I no longer work on April 15th for a reason, which I have discussed on occasion at TWTP).

Once April 15th has come and gone I gradually get my life back. The reason I can put up with 90 hour work weeks during the season is that I know after 2½ months is will be over and I can live life much more leisurely and concentrate on me.

My goal has always been to be like my mentor. He also did 90 hours or more per week during the season. But once April 15th was over it was really over. No extensions! If he had to work through the night on April 14 or 15 he would to make sure all the work got done. I remember one April 15th when the last client left the office, and we locked the door, at 3:00 AM – actually April 16th. I also remember the last client saying as my mentor walked him out, “I’ll be early next year!”

Jim pretty much disappeared for the rest of the year. The office was not open and the phone was not answered. He did do the books and payroll for two or three local businesses, which amounted to a couple of hours a week, but that was it.

While I do realize that extensions are a fact of the business that cannot be avoided without giving up too much income, I do hate them and wish I could do without. I have no sympathy for a client who does not get to me during the season – except, of course in the case of family emergencies and those damned K-1s (I hate K-1s almost as much as extensions).

Unfortunately it is K-1s that make up the last of the GD extensions that I have been working on the past two weeks. Thankfully the deadline for extended calendar-year partnership returns has been pushed back to September 15th (5 months instead of 6).

But getting back to your post – I agree that the time leading up to April 15th belongs to our clients and that the time leading up to October 15th belongs to us. And if a client doesn’t understand why we don’t drop everything and give their late return our undivided attention on October 10th – tough excrement!

TWTP

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