The Value of a Referral

A client came by the office yesterday to pick up his tax return as I was on the way into a conference. He spoke up, saying he wanted to thank me. Though this is nothing unusual, I could tell it was more than the run-of-the-mill expression of gratitude, so we chatted for a few minutes.

He reminded me that we had met to discuss some things last year and the topic of his incapacitated mother-in-law came up. Even with the help from long-term care insurance, they were quickly going through her funds providing around-the-clock care. They were considering a reverse mortgage for additional funds and wanted my opinion. As we talked, I remembered back to earlier in the week when I had met an attorney friend for lunch; he was talking about VA benefits for veterans and their spouses. He is VA Certified and was asking me to refer clients to him that needed and were eligible for these benefits. I asked my client if his father-in-law was a veteran and he said yes. I gave my client the information that my attorney friend had provided me and told him to contact the attorney for more information.

My client followed up with the attorney later, and it turned out that his mother-in-law was entitled to benefits of approximately $14,000 per year. This was roughly equal to their shortfall for her care each year - a huge burden was lifted and he and his wife were elated. I was able to help my client vastly improve his financial situation just by mentioning the name of a friend.

This got me thinking about the referrals I have received for our tax resolution services. One in particular came to mind. Another CPA referred a client to me who had been through a divorce and owed $116,000 in personal income taxes and $169,000 in payroll taxes. In the end, the client paid approximately $25,000 on the personal income taxes and $0 on the payroll taxes. The value of that referral to me was obvious, but what about the client? In both of these cases, the clients benefited tremendously from the respective referrals.

I realized I don't ask for referrals often enough. I want to change that. It's amazing what the fostering of a reliable network of professionals can do for firms like mine and our clients. It truly is a business practice that becomes beneficial to everyone involved. With that in mind, if you know someone who is suffering from tax problems, please have them contact us at (901) 624-2212. We can help.



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Phone: 901.624.2212 • Fax: 901.624.2252