Glock Forum - GlockTalk banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now i take my (simple) taxes to an elderly lady that charges $50 to do taxes for me and my wife. I dont know how well she is doing them however.

Is going to like a franchised tax place a good way to have them done, or what do you recommend....thanks
 

·
Who u lookin at
Joined
·
225 Posts
Many of people working at these places are "tax preparers" who have taken a 9 to 12 week course. They are not cpa's or even accountants for that matter. When I was an administrator of a technical school 90% of the students who needed their tax return to apply for a particular government grant and had used one of these tax prep companies had errors that kept them from getting the grant and had to file ammended returns.
 

·
SAF
Joined
·
10,614 Posts
In my area, the franchised joints (H&R Block types) charge very close to what a real CPA does. The people who prepare returns at the franchises typically go through a brief training course on use of their software and are mostly plug-and-play types. There are some experienced people, but an EA or a CPA will do better the vast majority of the time unless your paper consists only of a W-2. As your return increases in complexity, the need for a real pro increases proportionately.

My wife is a CPA and has fixed a godawful lot of bad returns done by people who think they're competent, typically caused by the IRS coming to call a few years after the problem has occurred. Think penalties and interest.

I'd use TurboTax before taking my taxes to anyone but an EA or CPA.
 

·
SAF
Joined
·
10,614 Posts
Harlan types faster than I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
If you do you taxes with H&R or whatever else and they do it wrong and you get fees, you will not win a lawsuit against them because you didnt read the tiny writing that releases them of any liabilty. However a CPA since they are licensed, legally they are at fault and you can go after them if your taxes are not done correct.
 

·
Come 'n Take It
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
In my area, the franchised joints (H&R Block types) charge very close to what a real CPA does. The people who prepare returns at the franchises typically go through a brief training course on use of their software and are mostly plug-and-play types. There are some experienced people, but an EA or a CPA will do better the vast majority of the time unless your paper consists only of a W-2. As your return increases in complexity, the need for a real pro increases proportionately.

My wife is a CPA and has fixed a godawful lot of bad returns done by people who think they're competent, typically caused by the IRS coming to call a few years after the problem has occurred. Think penalties and interest.

I'd use TurboTax before taking my taxes to anyone but an EA or CPA.
+1. If your return is not very complex, load up TurboTax, and follow the instructions. They haven become so intuitive, that it really is easy to do. You are apt to do a better job than somebody that was working retail last Christmas(not that there's anything wrong with that) or whatever. You can do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
During tax season, they hire a lot of temps and quality really declines. Like others recommended, do your own online if you can. I had an itemized deduction and it still was not difficult...just about 2 hours and a couple bourbons one night.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,713 Posts
The franchised places will charge more and not be any better.

My taxes aren't complicated so I do them myself.

This year doesn't look very promising. No Making Work Pay tax credit or real estate tax deduction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
tho only difference in franchise tax prep and turbotax is one has a person asking questions (read from a computer screen) and the other has the questions on the screen and you have to read for yourself.

Maybe 1 in 10 understands taxes, most have had a basic course and never done taxes before.

Most of the preparers have no idea what your return will look like when it is completed until it is completed. That's not really an issue since their typical tax return is a singly mom , HOH, claiming 2 dependents, with EITC, and Child Tax Credit. Many are innovative and claim child care

In their defense, I think next year they will have to pass some kind of test---I think.

They make money by charging a fee which may or may not be too much and they do rapid refunds (Not HR Block this year) and charging 212% APR on the refund, typically a fee of $200-400)

This probably doesn't apply to you, and not much help for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
+1. If your return is not very complex, load up TurboTax, and follow the instructions. They haven become so intuitive, that it really is easy to do. You are apt to do a better job than somebody that was working retail last Christmas(not that there's anything wrong with that) or whatever. You can do it.
You are kind! I thought most were unemployed before they started doing taxes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,340 Posts
Two things come into play here.

How simple are your taxes to do?

AND

How competent is the person on the other side of the desk?

My mother used to do taxes for H&R Block and worked there for many years. She knew a lot more than the people that came in for one season. There was another woman that worked there that had been a CPA for many years and closed her practice to work seasonal at the tax office. She rocked and taught my mom a lot over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,883 Posts
I suggest the firm of H & L Brock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
This is free tax assistance. They prepare your taxes and a CPA finalizes them. I'd never heard of it but am a volunteer this year. As far as the credentials of the volunteers, at least at our site we're all upper level accounting majors. But like I said, a CPA is the one who actually scrutinizes and files the return.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=219171,00.html


The above web page says $49,000 and below income cap, but our site does $60,000 and under.


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,857 Posts
Now would be a good time to educate yourself on your own tax matters...especially if they are that simple. Empower yourself as these people make money off ignorance.

These "tax professionals" are not CPA's and those in Tampa took the class because they've been unemployed "forever". A co-workers husband has become an expert at tax preparation almost overnight...before he was laid off, he was emptying port-o-johns. Now that he has a business card he seems to think he is qualified to prepare my taxes and even review last years return for errors. :upeyes:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
747 Posts
Is going to like a franchised tax place a good way to have them done, or what do you recommend....thanks
You mean, the places that advertise for tax preparers on the side of buses?

Yes, I implicitly trust them. Absolutely. I mean... it's H&R Block, for crying out loud? What could possibly go wrong?

I use TaxAct
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,536 Posts
Right now i take my (simple) taxes to an elderly lady that charges $50 to do taxes for me and my wife. I dont know how well she is doing them however.

Is going to like a franchised tax place a good way to have them done, or what do you recommend....thanks
For your simple tax return, get your documents together, go to turbotax.com, and do it for free. Seriously, they make it about as simple as it can possibly be, and you get the benefit of checking the numbers that you enter w/o relying on some high school dropout with 2 inch long nails. Oh, and did I mention that it's free. I would not trust my taxes to a place that has guys in statue of liberty suits dancing on the street. For the record, my simple tax return yesterday took about an hour, and half the time I was double checking the numbers I was entering. Got a nice refund too, that I should be getting in less than a week because e-filing is also free. I got an email saying that my return was accepted by the government about 6 hours later.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top