When Benjamin Franklin said that “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” it was a simpler time in our history. Today, financial institutions are burdened with intricate reporting to the federal government and the requirement to send out detailed tax statements. While closing out the end of year at a financial institution is already a large undertaking, the piece of the puzzle with the highest potential for customer impact is certainly the annual tax statements.
With about 85% of Americans expecting a tax return each year and over $220 billion (with a B) returned to taxpayers, the importance of getting these statements correct and in the hands of your customers is vital.
With the important information tax statements hold, they need to be accurate, but they also need to be timely. Some core software systems streamline this process by selling preprinted forms stock that works with their output. It is also possible to print the tax form templates as an overlay and avoid purchasing (and over purchasing) forms stock and then destroying the leftovers since they are good for the current year only.
Depending on your volume, it may make sense to combine statements into the same envelope to reduce costs even further and provide convenient packaging for your customers. This process can greatly reduce your postage costs for the project. One customer, one envelope, one piece of postage, for multiple statements.
Here are ideas to help improve the efficiency of producing your tax statements:
- Use a forms overlay instead of buying proprietary forms stock.
- Combine statements so that your customers with multiple accounts can get one package.
- Produce your tax work during low volume production times - such as off cycle days or weekends.
- If you own manifest mail software, ask your provider to help you set up your tax work to apply a postage discount.
- Partner with companies that can do all or part of this process for you if you don’t have the bandwidth at year end.
What about you? How do you tackle tax season in your organization? What advice do you have for others that you have learned over the years?