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  1. #1

    Heads Up on Getting taxes done

    I have been taking my taxes ( federal & state ) to one of the biggest firms for the last several years. I used to go & have a 1 hour meeting, and they were done in an hour. This year it is different. I had to drop them off. It took a week for my advisor to get them done. When I picked them up today, my advisor said she had 22 waiting on her desk to be done. So don't wait till the last minute to get them done.

    edafan

  2. #2
    With so much new software on the market these days... unless you have significant business depreciations or complicated expense schedules, most people can download TurboTax or H&R Block apps and get your taxes done in a few minutes for a fraction of the cost... It's a simple follow the numbers process... I even saw a TurboTax download ad that people with simple returns using standard deductions can use the site for free... For years, one of my best friends was a CPA who did my taxes as I had more complicated returns, and when I moved to California, I'd drive 20 miles every year to meet with my CPA and pay him $250 for a one hour meeting for him to send my taxes in...These new programs will let you list your deductions and then tell you whether it's more advantageous to use the standard or itemized deductions... I'd say that 90% of individuals can use these programs and get Federal and State returns done and sent in online for from 0 to 70 dollars in the comfort of your own home...

  3. #3
    Stubass: I used to do them by myself. About 5 years ago, I had to be on the phone with an IRS agent, because of the wording in one section. He agreed that a person could interpret it the way I did. The result was that I had to file 2 years of amended returns. I used to do the taxes for other people also. I just found it easier to let a decent tax prep company do it. So, I agree with you if you can do it youself, do it. But if you are taking it to a tax prerparer, do it as soon as you can.

    edafan

  4. #4
    I consider taxes to be an important enough job that it should be left to the pros. When I was audited a few years ago (which I was told is strictly a random thing and not an indication that they suspect anything) I would have been unable to fight it myself, so I was more than glad to have an accountant help me with that.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I consider taxes to be an important enough job that it should be left to the pros. When I was audited a few years ago (which I was told is strictly a random thing and not an indication that they suspect anything) I would have been unable to fight it myself, so I was more than glad to have an accountant help me with that.
    Both the services I mentioned guarantee their return and will legally represent you at no cost in the event you are audited using their program. As I suggested, for a complex business return or multiple deductions and income sources, or with numerous questions, or like me in the past, or spending 1/2 hour of my 1 hour meeting discussing our recent golfing experiences for $250, I'd recommend a personal tax professional, but for 90% of the population filing singly or jointly, these online tax services are every bit as accurate as a CPA, simple to navigate, and even moreso than a small accounting office, as they are an entire nationwide firm whose programs understand deductions front, back, and sideways, better than most CPA's. Either way, get your taxes filed on time and accurately... They send men with guns if you don't...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Both the services I mentioned guarantee their return and will legally represent you at no cost in the event you are audited using their program. As I suggested, for a complex business return or multiple deductions and income sources, or with numerous questions, or like me in the past, or spending 1/2 hour of my 1 hour meeting discussing our recent golfing experiences for $250, I'd recommend a personal tax professional, but for 90% of the population filing singly or jointly, these online tax services are every bit as accurate as a CPA, simple to navigate, and even moreso than a small accounting office, as they are an entire nationwide firm whose programs understand deductions front, back, and sideways, better than most CPA's. Either way, get your taxes filed on time and accurately... They send men with guns if you don't...
    I don't have anything complicated but I had a terrible experience with the H&R Block software and service and will never chance it again.

    A few years ago, I had a relatively uncomplicated situation that involved the sale of an investment property during the tax year. The H&R Block software was useless, so I went for an office visit and consulted with an H&R Block tax "professional." The professional knew almost nothing about tax law. She incorrectly insisted I owed thousands of dollars in taxes -- and there was no one who knew anything about tax law in her office or that she could contact by telephone. All of those tax "professionals" had likely been working on retail a few weeks prior to tax season. It could go either way, they could make a mistake that favors you and because you get a big refund you don't question it. It really made me question the value of their guarantee. If they get the tax law wrong -- which they did in my case -- the taxpayer is on the hook.

    Since that time I've always used an accountant. The fee is nominal compared to the peace of mind it affords you. The IRS can ruin your life.

  7. #7
    Your last sentence is quite true... As I said, for complex tax returns or where deductions, multiple incomes, and/or business expenses are more complicated, I'd only go to a CPA (not someone doing seasonal work for a tax preparation company). Since I paid off my house, consolidated investments, and otherwise simplified my income, I've used both Turbo Tax and H&R Block easily, successfully, and inexpensively in the comfort of my own home... When it comes to incorporating "tax law" or in your case, taxation and depreciation on investment property in your return, then I'd recommend an experienced CPA... Most people don't have those types of investments, and since the standard deduction rose in the latest tax legislation, The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that 90% of households take the standard deduction instead of itemizing and in those cases, paying a CPA is a waste of time and money...

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