The holiday season is over, giving way to… tax season?? That can’t be right, can it? Tax returns aren’t due until April, but if accountants and CPA’s can get their clients to file sooner, that leaves more time for more clients when the busy season starts. Reduce the rush and stop the stress by learning how to get your clients to your tax business earlier in the year.
Why Should You File Your Taxes Early?
We don’t need to tell you all of the benefits that you as a CPA get when your customers and clients are filing ahead of schedule, after all, nobody wants to do a year’s worth of work in the last three weeks before the deadline. But how do you convince your customers that its worth their while to make your life easier? Here are some ways you can tell your customers why you should file their taxes early:
- Get your tax returns faster: Tax return day is the best day of the year for many people and businesses, but unlike Christmas and your birthday, you don’t have to wait for the day to reap the rewards! Emphasize to your customers that they can get their return money months in advance if they’re willing to submit early in the year.
- Avoid the tax season rush: Another major selling point to customers is that sooner = less stress. Why scramble for last year’s receipts at the last minute when you can start the process early and gather documents at a convenient, stress-free pace? After all, there’s a reason the IRS gives us four months at the beginning of the year for filing, so encourage customers to use it.
- Allows for deeper dives and client feedback: Tax returns are all about how much you can get back, but the tax code is ridiculously complicated. To take advantage of every opportunity for a return, you need time. Emphasize to customers that more time with their documents means more opportunities for money back in the long run.
- Get ahead of return errors: IRS agents make mistakes like the rest of us, and documents can get lost in the shuffle, or last-minute requests can throw off your return. Encourage customers to file early so there’s plenty of time to respond to last minute IRS requests for additional documents.
- Incentives: While logic and natural rewards are great incentives for savvy customers, many companies are going the extra step to attract new clients and return customers with giveaways, early-bird savings, and more. Customers love a good deal, so catch their eye with an obvious win, then sweeten the deal with those other natural benefits after.
Affordable Incentives For Early Tax Filing
When you’re trying to reel in new or return customers ahead of the last-minute rush, you don’t have the pressure of a deadline pushing clients your way. That means you’ll have to find new ways to get their attention. Here are some great offers you can use to both increase your early-year business and incentivize customers to choose you over your competitors.
- Cheaper filing options: When you don’t have as many clients offering discounts on your services early in the year is a great way to bring people in. Of course, these offers are usually limited-time only, because once we get closer to April, odds are you won’t have time to take on too many more clients.
- Discounts on next year’s filing: This trick will get you new clients today and a guarantee of return business next year! In return for filing early, offer your clients the chance to earn discounts on next year’s returns. You can even continue the trend for every consecutive year they come back as a way to reward customer loyalty.
- Refer-a-friend options: Not only is this a great way to get customers to file early, but it also leverages your customers to get you more early business. Offer discounts for them and their friends if their friends file their returns with you.
- Special access to legal tax counsel: This is especially appealing to small businesses who may have more complex questions about their returns. When they file early in the year with you, offer them special access to consultation on tax laws not just about this year’s return, but also how they can increase their returns for the coming years.
- Custom gifts and giveaways: Tax filing doesn’t to be all numbers on a sheet. Give customers something tangible to excite their interest in the process and in your business. You can offer complementary pens, folders, calendars, and more for the majority of your customers, then spice things up with a custom branded Bluetooth speaker or something related to their own business when working with high profile customers.
Tips to Make Client Education Easier Online
One of the most important things a CPA can do is educate their clients. Of course, you’re going to be doing this a lot during your one-on-one appointments, but what about outside? Whether you want customers prepped for their tax filing session or just want to get new customers engaged and aware of what you offer, there are a lot of ways to use the internet to educate your clients. Here are a few of the most effective ways you can get started right now:
- Set up a blog: Blogs are an efficient way to keep your customer base educated on all sorts of industry topics, whether you want to give an overview of small business tax filing or deep dive into the specifics of real estate related tax return options. This also increases search volume to your site as you offer answers to their questions online.
- Get on social media: Everyone is on some sort of social media these days, and so should your business. With social media, you can quickly and easily share videos, blog articles, and other educational resources with your customers and clients while keeping your brand visible and relevant.
- Offer a variety of media: Not everyone learns the same way. Some clients will respond best to engaging videos and infographics, while others do better with fully fleshed-out literature with detailed charts. Meet all of your clients where they learn best by creating a wide variety of options for educating customers.
- Use your data: You know what your customers tax returns look like, so you have a lot of data at your disposal showing what they’re eligible for, what questions they most often ask, what tax benefits they miss out on and why, and more. Use that data to give your customers an education that is most relevant to them and their tax needs.
- Offer chat options: Sometimes potential customers will have just one or two quick questions. For those people, offer an online chat service or even an email they can reach out to for easy questions. Answer questions like “how soon can you file taxes“ and “Do I need to pay taxes for starting bonuses” faster than any other business. With this line of communication open, you can establish yourself as a source of helpful information and encourage them to set up an appointment when things get more complex.
Promotional Products for Accountants
Not sure what to offer for gifts? We have a lot of options that not only make customers happy, but will keep your brand visible in all the right places. Here are some popular promotional products for accountants and CPA’s.
When your clients are meeting with you one-on-one, they’re going to want to take notes. So, offer them something stylish and packed with your branding to write on! Many of these quality notebook sets come with custom branded pens that look good and write great. Once your session is over, customers will take these notebooks home and have your information and ideas written down in an easy-to-find location for next year.
How soon can you file taxes? As soon as you get these calendars! With a seasonal business like tax prep, calendars make great gifts. Not only do you have your brand visible all year long on your customers’ wall, refrigerator, desks, and more, but it also provides a timely reminder that tax season has begun. You can put your brand on something big like a wall calendar, or something quick and compact like a pocket planner.
Folders and document holders are the perfect promotional product for accountants. Tax prep involves a lot of documents, ranging from receipts to essential government packets. Help your customers keep track of it all in one place with your branding on top when you offer custom branded folders and padfolios. Not only can these help with filing this year, but customers can easily reuse your gift every year when they file their taxes with you.
When working with small business owners and major clients, you want to make a bold impression so they come back next year. Luxurious metal pens are a great way to make that impression while staying visible and relevant in their life all year long. Customize your own pen so every signature is made with your brand in hand.
So what are you going to say next time customers ask why should you file your taxes early? Tell them about the savings, the stress-free filing style, the gifts and deals, and more. Filing early is a win-win for everyone, so don’t wait to make plans for how to get your clients to your tax business before the April rush hits!