What is the cost of asking tax questions? How can I avoid huge fees when I have a “simple” or “quick” question?

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By Grant Gilmour

One of the things that often creates unnecessary friction between clients and advisors is the cost versus value of advice asked for and received. For example, a client might ask what seems like a quick question and then later be asked to pay $500 for advice that was far more involved than a quick question. This can sting a bit; especially when the advice is “don’t do it” or the advice is not used, as the question was a theoretical one. Equally troublesome though, is when we as advisors are asked to prepare a year end and we find that there was something that could have been done differently and saved some taxes or fees. The problem is that it is too late to fix it and the reason it is too late might be that the client was afraid of a fee and did not ask the “quick question”.

Discussion:

So how do we solve this dilemma of “do ask the question but don’t like the fee”; or “don’t ask the question but miss the valuable advice”?

Let us introduce the “LUNCH & LEARN PROGRAM”. Here is how it works. All of us at Gilmour Knotts are available for lunch everyday we are in the office. If you buy the lunch and we don’t actually write our suggestions or recommendations into a report or other paperwork, then it is FREE advice. The catch is that free advice is often worth what you pay for it. However, if it is good advice you might say “guess what let’s proceed” and we can do good valuable chargeable work for you. If it is a dead-end question you can say it isĀ  such and we don’t do any further work on it and all you have spent is the cost of a lunch. Heads up, Gilmour Knotts team members always travel in pairs so you are looking at two lunches, not one. The reason for travelling in pairs is that two heads are better than one and it helps ensure that you will always reach someone who knows the history when you call in.

 

Recommendation:

To have lunch with anyone at Gilmour Knotts Chartered Accountants just give us a call.