Don’t let competitors use a letter like this to steal your clients.
Most accountants spend the end of April and early May catching their breath and letting the dust settle from the spring filing season. Once you’ve cleaned up and started planning for the summer, remember that there’s a very rare opportunity this year related to the 263(a) tangible asset rules. Taxpayers who timely filed their 2014 federal tax returns receive an automatic extension of time to amend their tax returns to file Forms 3115 and make late elections.
Most commercial real estate businesses are likely to see a significant impact from the regs. Given the constant need for repairs, replacements and maintenance on buildings, these clients need to make sure that they have correctly implemented the accounting method changes and claimed the related adjustments. Because the IRS will continue to release guidance even after the filing season has ended, CPA firms should continue to consider this an important topic to discuss with clients. For example, the rules on building refresh’s are still evolving and IRS guidance is expected anytime.
You may very well be on top of things and maximizing any 263(a) opportunities for your clients. On the other hand, if you are behind the curve, you’ve opened up a tremendous window of opportunity for a more aggressive competitor to poach clients.
Given the complexity of these rules and the fact that significant pieces of guidance have yet to be released, the next few months are a great time for your firm to aggressively reach out to potential clients about their 263(a) opportunities. For example, if they already filed, explain how you can help them capitalize on a missed opportunity under the automatic extension procedures. If they are on extension, then their current tax preparer may not have pinpointed the tax savings opportunities, carpe diem (seize the day)!
Here’s what that letter from an aggressive accounting firm to your client might look like.
We’re pretty sure that you would be very displeased if one of your clients got a letter like this, but your clients are fair game for firms that can deliver more tax advantages from an opportunity with an ever closing window.
This opportunity to amend 2014 tax returns under the automatic extension period might be missed by other tax return preparers. But it’s also an opportunity that some of your competitors may seize if you don’t.
If you would like to evaluate your clients’ plan to comply with the new rules for tangible property, we can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.
For more on this topic, be sure to download our whitepaper, “Using the New Tangible Property Regs to Help Clients and Gain New Business”