Monthly Archives: September 2013

How to Resolve a Consumer Complaint

 Scarsdale CPA Paul Herman has all the answers to your personal finance questions! In the business world, consumer complaints are inevitable. However, approaching the complaint using these steps is your guaranteed way to solve the issue at hand, leaving both you and your customer satisfied! 

How to Handle Complaints from Scarsdale Accountant

Nobody likes to deal with a complaint. Luckily, these steps will help your business handle them with ease!

You should first approach the seller of the item. Then, get in touch with the relevant consumer agency. If neither of the previous provides adequate results, a lawsuit can be filed or you may use arbitration.

 

Approach the Seller

  1. Compile all necessary evidence such as canceled checks, receipt, photographs showing the issue, a warranty, bill of sale or contract.
  2. Determine your goal. Would you like the product replaced? Would you like a refund? Are you just looking for an apology?
  3. Schedule a meeting with the manager, customer service representative or other appropriate person by calling the store or service provider. In this meeting with the individual, describe as clearly as possible the nature of the issue and what your goal is. If you can only speak by phone, write a letter as follow-up and keep detailed notes of the dates and with whom you spoke with. It is important to note that if there is a valid warranty for the product, it is best to follow-up with the manufacturer and not the merchant.
  4. Take the issue to a higher level, if this doesn’t find a solution. This could be the corporate president or supervisor. At this point, you should put your complaint in writing if you have yet to do so. This letter should detail your name, phone numbers, address, and account number (if applicable). Include the date and place of purchase as well as the model and serial number if a product is involved. Concisely describe the issue at hand and the process you have gone through so far to reach a solution. Lastly, you should include what outcome you want and state a deadline for this outcome. Keep a copy of the letter for yourself and include relevant copies of documents. Make sure you keep the originals and retain copies of any correspondence you receive from the company.

Get in touch with an agency

If your desired goal has yet to be reached, you will want to look in the phone for a consumer complaint agency, such as the county, city or state consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau.

Another option is to go with the trade association method. There are industry trade associations that will offer to aid in mediating issues with regards to their members.

You may want to get in touch with the appropriate state-banking regulator if your issue deals with a bank. If an insurer is involved, you will want to get in touch the state insurance regulator, for a securities problem contact the securities regular or for utilities problems contact the public utilities commission.

Call the state-licensing department if you the issue deals with a state-licensed trade, such as a plumber.

Research the lemon laws of your state, unless you reside in Arkansas or South Dakota, by getting in touch with your state consumer protections agency in the event that you purchased a bad used car.

Get in contact with your area postal inspector, whose information can be located in the U.S. government section of the telephone book, for issues that pertain to mail order or mail fraud.

Look into finding a local television news program hotline for resolving consumer complaints.

Filing a lawsuit

When there are no more options, you will want to file a court case in either small claims court, if the amount is small (usually less than $5000) or if not, a regular lawsuit.

More than likely speaking with an attorney and having them draft a letter to the merchant or service provider giving the details about the lawsuit will resolve the issue.

You probably won’t need to hire a lawyer if a small claims case is involved. If the case is bigger than small claims, you will want to hire a lawyer.

Scarsdale  accountant Paul Herman is here to help you with all your personal finance needs. Please contact us for all inquiries and to receive your free personal finance consultation!

Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Larchmont NY, Scarsdale NY, Rye NY, Purchase NY, Bedford NY, Katonah NY, White Plains NY and beyond.

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Tax Tips for Freelancers

Scarsdale CPA Paul Herman has all the answers to your personal finance questions! Although tax season might still be far away, we know how stressful waiting until the last minute can be when it comes to our taxes (and most of us are guilty of procrastination at one point or another)! Tax tips and tools for freelancers from Scarsdale tax preparersAs a freelancer, or so-called independent contractor, it’s especially important to stay on top of your taxes and keep organized throughout the year so the process of gathering your tax information for your preparer is not a dreaded and enormous task and you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes to tax deductions, credits and more.

Discover the tax tools and tips you need to know as a freelancer in our guest blog with W@tercooler, a collaborative work space in Westchester for freelancers.

Scarsdale  tax preparer Paul Herman is here to help you with all your personal finance needs. Please contact us for all inquiries and to receive your free personal finance consultation!

Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Scarsdale NY, Mount Kisco NY, Mamaroneck NY, Purchase NY,  Bronxville NY, Greenwich CT and beyond.

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Taxes 101: FAQs

Scarsdale CPA Paul Herman has all the answers to your personal finance questions! Tax FAQs from Scarsdale accountantThe following are the most common FAQs our Westchester CPA firm receives on a regular basis regarding taxes. 
▼ Being self employed, what sort of deductions can I take?

To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

▼ If I have a large capital gain this year, what can I do?

If you have a large capital gain this year from an investment, it may be advisable to hold onto the investment until next year to put the gain into next year’s taxes. You may also want to sell off any investments that you have that are losing value at the moment to claim your losses.

▼ What investments can I make to help defer taxes?

The interest gained from state and local bonds is usually exempt from federal income taxes. These investments generally pay back at a lower interest rate than commercial bonds of similar quality.

Since Treasury Bonds are similarly exempt from state and local income tax, they can be a particularly good investment for those who are in high tax brackets and live in high-income-tax states.

▼ What retirement plans are available to aid in the deferral of taxes?

You have the ability to invest some of the money that you would have paid in taxes to add to your retirement fund. Many employers will offer the opportunity to defer a portion of your earnings and contribute them directly to your retirement account. Some of them may even match a portion of your savings. If this is the case, it is always advisable to save at least the amount that your employer will match. This will give you an automatic 100% gain on your money.

If you are self-employed, look into getting a Keogh, SIMPLE or a SEP IRA.

▼ What other ways can I defer this year’s income?

If you own your business you may want to postpone sending certain invoices to ensure that you will receive payment in the following tax year. This can help greatly if some of this income would push you into a higher tax bracket. You may want to accelerate paying for expenses to cover your taxes in the current year.

Scarsdale CPA Paul Herman is here to help you with all your personal finance needs. Please contact us for all inquiries and to receive your free personal finance consultation!

Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Katonah NY, Mamaroneck NY, Rye NY, Scarsdale NY, Tarrytown NY, White Plains NY, Bedford NY and beyond.

Photo Credit: Philip Taylor PT via Photopin cc

Any U.S. tax advice contained in the body of this website is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.