Last month I had a client who lives in South County come into the office for his annual tax appointment. He was running late (again) and traffic was the culprit (again) and our meeting was now running late and he was stressed out when he arrived. The meeting consisted of him handing his tax documents across my desk, one at a time, with comments like “Here is the tax statement for my brokerage account” followed by “Here are my 1099s for bank interest – aren’t they pathetically low? Do you think we will ever see 5% interest rates again?” and “Here is myW-2. I didn’t get a raise again last year” and so on… At the end of the meeting he asked me, “Do I really need to come to the office every year?” to which I responded “No. Why not use mySmartVault portal to upload your documents or mail them to me?” and he responded “Because I thought you wanted me to come into the office.”

?!?!?!?! (Insert picture of my super-surprised face here)
No, no and no!

He could have added 90 minutes to his day (30 minutes driving each way plus the 30 minutes showing me documents that I would be looking at again anyway as soon as I started working on his tax return). What could he have done with those extra 90 minutes? Not left work? Not contributed to our ever-worsening greenhouse gas problem? Gone to the gym to help shed those extra ‘pandemic-pounds’? Wait, no, that’s my issue.

(SPOILER ALERT: Yes, Zoom tax season meetings typically follow this same format except now I am looking at your documents while you are looking at me looking at your tax documents…but you did look quite fabulous!)

Is it ok for me not to have tax meetings? Did you know you can drop off your tax documents, mail them, upload to the portal and NO APPOINTMENT IS NEEDED.

What are your thoughts? How important is that tax season meeting?
Can we not meet and make this a standard practice?