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11 signs you might need a new tax preparer

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  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    Here’s one more:

    You are generally fine with your accountant and decide to go with him again for the next year. He files your taxes. A couple weeks later, you get a bill and it’s $500 more than last year.  No upfront warning.  (BTW – Your income happened to go up about 50% this year.)

    You ask why and he tells you a bs story about how the previous year was actually discounted since you were a first time client.

     
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    lol, a little late to find that out, isn't it? Look for a CPA firm that practices "Fixed Price Billing", commonly called "FPAs" (Fixed Price Agreements). No surprises.

    Leave a comment:


  • rb6p
    replied
    Here's one more:

    You are generally fine with your accountant and decide to go with him again for the next year. He files your taxes. A couple weeks later, you get a bill and it's $500 more than last year.  No upfront warning.  (BTW - Your income happened to go up about 50% this year.)

    You ask why and he tells you a bs story about how the previous year was actually discounted since you were a first time client.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • rb6p
    replied
    Unfortunately, EnjoyIt, you're not alone.

    I left an accountant when your #1 happened to me.   When I emailed him with a bunch of bogleheads forum links that explained his error, he still thought he filed my taxes correctly.  I ended up submitting the amendments on my own.  His mistake uncorrected would have cost me $4k.

     

     

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    #12 - they efile your return without allowing you to review it for accuracy first.

    I'm adding this because taxpayers aren't generally aware of this. Before your CPA/EA efiles your tax return, they are required by law to give you a copy of your return and all schedules for review before you sign Form 8879. Don't skip this step. The instructions above your signature begin with "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined a copy of my electronic individual income tax return and accompanying schedules and statements for the tax year ending December 31, 2015, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete." Read more here.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    I’ll add a couple more.

     

    1) You tell your CPA about the Backdoor Roth IRA, explain it to them what you are trying to do, and they still file it wrong for you.

    2) You have to send in your paperwork more than once.

    3) Despite sending them your paperwork they still miss items

    4) You explain how you want to depreciate your business car expense and do actual cost instead of miles and they don’t depreciate the vehicle (I drive maybe 4000 miles a year and plan to sell the car private party.)

    5) They try and sell you whole life insurance.

    6) Try and sell me an expensive “privileged CPA package” where I can call and ask questions and they will respond quickly.  Yes, I had a CPA offer me this service for $5K/yr.

    The above are my true stories.

     

    I just can’t find a decent CPA in my area that is honest, returns phone calls, and does my return in a timely fashion. A CPAs job is to do my taxes and decrease my stress. Instead every CPA I have had over the years increases my stress level. I am completely sick of all the BS I have to deal with these people and this year I am doing my taxes myself.
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    Yikes - not a good reflection on our profession. Were those all the same CPA or multiple firms? So sorry to hear of your experiences and good luck with your tax prep. PM me if you get stuck on anything and I'll try to help.

    Leave a comment:


  • EnjoyIt
    replied
    I'll add a couple more.

     

    1) You tell your CPA about the Backdoor Roth IRA, explain it to them what you are trying to do, and they still file it wrong for you.

    2) You have to send in your paperwork more than once.

    3) Despite sending them your paperwork they still miss items

    4) You explain how you want to depreciate your business car expense and do actual cost instead of miles and they don't depreciate the vehicle (I drive maybe 4000 miles a year and plan to sell the car private party.)

    5) They try and sell you whole life insurance.

    6) Try and sell me an expensive "privileged CPA package" where I can call and ask questions and they will respond quickly.  Yes, I had a CPA offer me this service for $5K/yr.

    The above are my true stories.

     

    I just can't find a decent CPA in my area that is honest, returns phone calls, and does my return in a timely fashion. A CPAs job is to do my taxes and decrease my stress. Instead every CPA I have had over the years increases my stress level. I am completely sick of all the BS I have to deal with these people and this year I am doing my taxes myself.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    They don’t set good expectations and are not proactive at all
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    You are exactly right. Managing expectations can make or break a relationship.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daniel Wrenne
    replied
    They don't set good expectations and are not proactive at all

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    Sddds started a thread on this earlier but it didn't get too far. Perhaps you could revive it or ask WCI to start a poll.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    Much like financial planners, there will always be a bit of conflict of interest here.

    Tax preparers need to get the work done quickly or delegate to maximize profit. There is little incentive to really work hard to squeeze out every deduction or spend time on mid year tax planning.

    Excluding those with really complex tax issues, most would be better served educating themselves on the tax code and doing their own taxes with software. The time taken is well worth it. After all, investing and tax minimization go hand in hand.
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    Ahhh, I sense a touch of cynicism in your comment, no? Sounds like you must have worked for one of our competitors before you became a doctor? Or are you simply hypothesizing? Just as I choose to believe there are ethical doctors who will not order extra tests because they might make more money, there are those in this profession who do the right thing for our clients. I count ourselves as fiduciaries, even though we are not bound to that standard in a CPA firm. I'll give you a few examples from our firm because I happen to know it best:

    • All tax returns go through 2 reviews (3 for big issues). I consult with clients and review only (no tax prep) and complete no. 1. This is to search for tax-planning opportunities, discussion points, and to compare to prior years. 2nd is a technical review. Sure, this takes longer but it improves our error rate and the young ones (ha!) learn from me as we go.

    • Audits and amendments of any year we prepare are at no extra charge, no matter where the client is located (we've handled from FL to OR).

    • No firm is error-free, but we freely admit mistakes. On Friday, I found a $6300 MIP deduction we had overlooked from the prior year. Of course, we'll amend but it would be the same if the client had forgotten to give it to us. (It's more fun when we discover a deduction than the other way around :-)


    This is beginning to sound like an advertisement (not intentional) but most people have no clue what goes on in a CPA firm, warts and all, unless they have worked there. Ours happens to be centered on integrity and a culture of truth. Receptionists know not to tell a caller I'm on the phone when I'm not - whatever attitude the boss exhibits is contagious. There are plenty of firms that are similar or better but it's up to you to find a good one. Sadly, most people want simply to quickly trust instead of do their due diligence because it's easier. At the least, Google the search term how+to+find+a+good+tax+preparer.

    Just wondering, how do you recommend the average consumer define "complex tax issues"? You do realize the tax code is over 70,000 pages long and this is a profession, right? Not close to med school, of course, but I learn something new most days because I'm constantly reading thought leaders. GIGO to use TurboTax for a "complex" tax issue, but you'll never know what you don't know, unfortunately. I've seen some very costly mistakes made by very smart people doing their own returns - scares me to think of what will never be discovered before the SOL is up.

    I would put a bandaid on a cut but I wouldn't try to splint my arm to save on surgery...

    Leave a comment:


  • White.Beard.Doc
    replied
    I am curious to know how much other physicians are paying their CPA to prepare their taxes.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheGipper
    replied
    Much like financial planners, there will always be a bit of conflict of interest here.

    Tax preparers need to get the work done quickly or delegate to maximize profit. There is little incentive to really work hard to squeeze out every deduction or spend time on mid year tax planning.

    Excluding those with really complex tax issues, most would be better served educating themselves on the tax code and doing their own taxes with software. The time taken is well worth it. After all, investing and tax minimization go hand in hand.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    You are told that you can deduct your sneakers as a business expense in case you need to run because a patient is coding.
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    lolol - I have deducted expenses of a watchdog before. And a swimming pool prescribed by a doctor. But not sneakers.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied




    They charge way too much
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    Lol, that depends on what it costs you not to use a good pro when you really need one! Unfortunately, you'll probably never know.

    Leave a comment:


  • psych007
    replied
    They charge way too much

    Leave a comment:

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