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December 22, 2007

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Jay Malik, EA

I agree the competition in the fast refund market seems to be increasing. In my little town in Northeast PA, we have three more tax offices open up this year as compared to the last year. All three of them are focusing on fast refund market. H&R Block was already in the town. In the neighboring town a Liberty office is being set up. The population on the other hand has remained constant. In fact one of the community welfare type organizations has joined the band wagon of criticizers of the fast refund tax preparers. They offer free tax prep!

Segmenting the fast refund market from the on-timers is quite a challenge. I was at a training of Drake Software users and heard about a CPA who is in both of these markets. He however, keeps two separate offices for the two segments of the market. Advertising separately and keeping the physical separation of two offices very distinct while branding them differently. This method works for him very well.

Jay Malik, EA
Uncle Sam Tax & Accounting, Easton,PA

Paul Knapp

At this time we intend to offer our clients a choice: file now without the affected forms and then amend after IRS funds. I suppose we could charge for the amendment but we intend to opt for a free amendment. The free amendment may be a mistake, but as of now....

For future discussions, I am very interested in thoughts about trends in the fast refund population. We have been holding steady with the number of returns processed but have experienced no growth in our two regional mall locations. Is that consistent with other folks? Are we missing something? What about opening offices outside the malls? There are so many competitors already outside the malls.

Also, how do you market to the on-timers without mixing the message and losing the loan filers? I guess that is a $64,000 question for all of us. Pooling ideas might find a solution, if there is one....

Note: I hope your forum starts after peak and continues all off-season. No time to do that now!.......................

Paul Knapp

Knapp Tax and Express Tax - Pasadena Baytown (Texas)

Terry Judge

Below is a notice we are including in our tax preparation client newsletter. It is a modified version of a suggested notice provided to our CEO by NSTP as a member benefit:

Possible Delays in Filing with the IRS this Year…

As you may know, there is a good chance that there will be delays in filing your 2007 Tax Returns due to the recent changes with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

The IRS has released the timetable of filing below:
Most taxpayers will be able to file their 2007 Tax Returns by mid-January, 2008.
• Taxpayers will be delayed in their 2007 Tax Return filings until mid-February, 2008 if they file the following forms in their returns:
1. Form 8863, Education Credits.*
2. Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits.
3. Form 8396, Mortgage Interest Credit.
4. Form 8859, District of ColumbiaFirst-Time Homebuyer Credit.
5. Form 1040A’s Schedule 2, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.*

• All other 2007 Tax Return filings should not be affected by the late enactment of the Alternative Minimum Tax “patch”.

*Notes: 1. If you claim an Education Deduction instead of the Education Credit, you will not be affected.
2. If you claim Child and Dependent Care Expense using Form 2441 filed with Form 1040, you will not be affected.

As your tax advisors, we will continue to monitor late Congressional changes in the tax law and assure you that we will file your taxes both timely and accurately.

If you have any questions, please call your Peoples Tax Preparer (list on www.peoplestax.com) or Peoples Corporate office at (804) 204-1040.


Terry M. Judge, Vice President- Marketing Director,
Peoples Income Tax, Inc., Richmond, VA

Timothy Gassmann

I have been informed by my tax software provider that there is a lock on the specified forms listed above and this helps in case I miss the fact that one of them may be calculated in a return. If the only one that shows up is the Child and Dependant Care expenses Schedule for 1040A filers the software will automatically file a 1040 instead with the appropriate form, which helps.

I like the idea of offering free ammendment, I may suggest that if it is of concern to my clients.

I guess that I'm blessed enough to not have any clients (that file before Feb 11th) that will be affected by the delay (at least any returning clients).

Timothy Gassmann
President, Budget Tax Solutions
www.budgettaxsolutions.com

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