UPDATES FROM OUR TAX PREPARERS
Apr 9, 2020
We’re now a few weeks into our primarily drop-off and virtual tax preparation services. Hear what our tax preparer Paul P. from Rhode Island had to say about his experience with Virtual Tax Pro and drop-off services. This is just one example of how our tax preparers are meeting the needs of their local community.
What services are you offering?
“Given the current COVID-19 virus outbreak, and a recent “stay at home” order from our Governor, we had to change our tax preparation process to allow us to operate by drop-off, and “virtual” tax preparation.
For clients who are comfortable using computers and scanners, we direct them to our Secure Portal. We explain to them how to set-up and use their Portal, and ask them to upload their documents to it.
For clients who can’t or don’t want to use the Portal, we encourage them to either mail, FEDEX or drop off, all their documents, without coming into the office.”
What’s it been like so far?
“We make the drop-off collection of documents as “Contact-Less” as possible, similar to an “Order Pick-Up Window” at a drive-thru. We do our best to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of Social Distance when clients come to the office door. When clients come to the door, we have a large plastic cooler that we roll out the door, for clients to drop their documents in, and then we roll it back inside the office.
The key to good follow-up with drop-off clients is to make sure they give us their current phone number, and an email address, if they have one. Then we can communicate with them, without them coming to our office a second time.
Interview questions, and the pre-signing, “tax return review”, that would normally be done in the office, are now completed by phone and/or email.”
How are you making sure client information is secure?
“Clients are reminded never to email confidential information or documents to us. Rather, they are instructed to either upload those things to the Portal, or to give us things like their Driver’s License information, and direct-deposit bank account details, over the phone.
Even before the COIVD-19 outbreak, many clients liked the ability to use Remote Signature. Now with COVID-19, we are asking everyone to use it. We send clients a Remote Signature “How To” email, so they know what to expect.”
How are you going above and beyond to provide customer service?
“For clients who are uncomfortable with Remote Signature, we will mail the signature documents to their homes, with a stamped, self-addressed, return envelope. If they come to the door to sign, we put the signature documents in an envelope, with a clipboard, and hand it to them through the front door. The goal is always to minimize the physical interaction time, and maximize Social Distancing.
Once clients get used to using technology to upload documents to us, and have used Remote Signature; we find that they appreciate the convenience. Making things more convenient for our clients enhances customer loyalty, and is safer for everyone.”