Income tax time is here again! The April 15th deadline congers up mixed feelings for tax payers. Regardless of which side of the tracks you dwell this year, every consumer is making changes. It’s only a question of whether you are making a budget or making plans. Hopefully you’re not purchasing a single stamp on April 15th. Last year 143 million returns were filed with 80% of consumers receiving a refund. This year the IRS estimates the average income tax return to be approximately $2000. In a perfect world, all your past due and delinquent patients and/or customers would march into your office and square up on the service/product they have received. But the reality is you are probably not on their priority list. Your competition for that money includes technological gadgets, Caribbean vacations, other creditors, etc. In order to get on their priority list, it is important to understand you can’t wait until April 15th to be proactive. Most tax payers have a plan for that money before the check is even in their hand.
1. Develop a plan to increase patient/consumer contacts before April.
2. In your communication with them, get a commitment from the patient/consumer to resolve the balance with their income tax refund. Get your receivable included in their plans.
3. Set up a secure arrangement structured around the expected return date. Get a credit card authorization or check by phone authorization for the respective date. You can always monitor the refund arrival date with the consumer through the IRS website.
4. Place calls on previously worked accounts as consumers will be more likely to communicate with you because they will soon have available resources.
Implementing these changes will obviously use up valuable time and resources. If your office isn’t in a position to make these changes, then place the delinquent accounts into your collection agency early so they can provide you with a better recovery rate. It’s no secret that collection agencies provide their clients the greatest return during the first quarter of the year.