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Very small projects

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  • Very small projects

    One aspect of my work (accountant) is that I am responsible for the personal tax returns of about fifty clients.

    Part of the tax process in Ireland is that, after you send in your tax return to the Revenue, they send back a tax demand. Part of our service is to check the tax demand. If itís correct, I write to the client (who also gets a copy of the tax demand from the Revenue) and I confirm to them that the amount to pay is correct.

    If the tax demand is wrong, I write back to the Revenue telling them where it is wrong. They will issue a revised demand (if they agree with me) in about two weeks.

    I can have ten to fifteen of these demands coming in close together (they all come in early Feb each year).

    This is my first tax year in this job. Checking the return and dictating a reply should normally take no more than twenty minutes, but I am only getting to know the clients situations, so it can take about three quarters of an hour to deal with each.

    I know exactly what to do. I hardly need to write down a NA. But the question is where is the best place to keep the demands until I deal with them?

    Although fifteen demands constitute fifteen different tasks, they hardly take up any room, so it is tempting to leave them in the in-tray.

    Alternatively, I could file them on their separate client files. This goes against tradition, where you donít usually file a letter before you answer it. However, if my tasks/projects/to-do list is complete and trustworthy, I should have no fear of filing the demand away like this: it should not fall between the cracks.

    It seems to me that it would be too purist to open a separate projects file for each one Ö but aside from using the established client file, a separate project file is the only way I can ensure it is immediately retrievable.

    I think the problem includes not only tax demands, but also any correspondence that is basically an exchange of information, where the related action is little more than referring to a file, but the whole process might take up to an hour.

    Anyone have similar experiences?

    Thanks

    Dave

  • #2
    Dave,

    I would set up a "work in progress" file which in fact is a single project file that contains all the tax demands. When the work is done (e.g. all the letters are answered) I would "delete" the "work in progress" file and put each tax demand and the correspondence into the file of the client to which it belongs.

    Regards
    Rainer

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    • #3
      Working in a law firm, we have similar situations. Unless I am dealing with the demand today (in which case it goes in today's pile) then it does get filed, and the client file diarized for the day that I am going to do it (I will do these five demands for major clients tomorrow, the next five the day after, etc.) At the beginning of the day, any diarized files are brought forward, you can compare the demand to the filed tax return, since it is in the file in front of you, dictate your reply, and move on.

      Pam

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      • #4
        Re: Very small projects - Tax Demands

        Originally posted by Busydave

        Part of the tax process in Ireland is that, after you send in your tax return to the Revenue, they send back a tax demand. Part of our service is to check the tax demand. If itís correct, I write to the client (who also gets a copy of the tax demand from the Revenue) and I confirm to them that the amount to pay is correct.

        If the tax demand is wrong, I write back to the Revenue telling them where it is wrong. They will issue a revised demand (if they agree with me) in about two weeks.

        Dave
        What if you created a "Tax Demands In Progress" file? Each time you complete a tax return for the client, photocopy the page that identifies the client and put it in the file, before you send the tax return to the Revenue. When they send you the tax demand, match it to the photocopied page, write the appropriate letter. If it is to the client, then you are finished and can remove the extra photocopies of paperwork from this file, and transfer the unique ones to the client file. If it is back to the Revenue because the tax demand is incorrect, photocopy the letter and add it to your papers for that client. One file, 50 paperclips.

        You might create a recurring action to check the file every few days to see if any of the clients' tax returns have gotten stalled.

        Hope this helps,

        Claudia

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