Monday, May 14, 2012

Taking Care of the Client

I spend quite a bit of time reading tax blogs and forums.  They are a great source of information and discourse, as well as entertainment.  The one thing I see frequently that I feel needs commenting on is an aversion by some tax preparers to "put their license at risk" for the sake of their clients.  While I agree that you should not do anything illegal or dishonest, I feel that we have a fiduciary duty to our clients to take the most aggressive, legal, factually supported position that the client is comfortable with, even if the IRS will be really pissed about it.  If the position is not frivolous, can at least be argued as reasonable, and the client is knowledgeable and comfortable with the worst case scenario, we are obligated to take that position, regardless of our personal feelings about it.  This includes taking positions against published IRS guidelines if we feel they are not supported in the code and have not been litigated.

I know most preparers do this with regularity, and even some of the ones who talk about "their license" will take the right position when push comes to shove, but I worry that there are preparers out there who are overly cautious or do not give the client the chance to make an informed decision.

It is, after all, the client's money.

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