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Old 09-19-2011, 08:47 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,519,429 times
Reputation: 5800

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I am already thinking taxes! I know, how sad. I have an accountant in Maryland who does them for me every year, but he's starting to get expensive and I am thinking of shopping around. I don't like to do my own taxes anymore because the last time I did them on my own I made a major mistake (luckily for me, it was in the government's favor). And this year will probably be a complicated year too because of a number of different factors.

I may even just go the software route too (when I did my own, I did them by hand). Although I am not sure since this year.

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,735 posts, read 8,920,861 times
Reputation: 3857
Jillabean, we used to use a CPA. He kept making errors every year; there would always be some document he said he didn't get, or one deduction he forgot, and he would never answer my questions promptly. One year he billed us twice and then failed to apologize when I corrected him. Then he screwed up my wife's taxes when he forgot (or maybe never knew) the unique way that VA deals with partial-year residents' state taxes. And this is a guy who came recommended, who seems very legit!

Last year we switched to TurboTax. It's fantastic. Incredibly easy to use, and much cheaper. Each step offers an explanation behind why you can or can't deduct something. (E.g., there's an income cap for the student-loan deduction.) It almost seems foolproof. My only regret is that we didn't start using it years ago.

Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Leesburg
154 posts, read 389,227 times
Reputation: 118
For the past several years we have used Turbotax and it has always been great. However, I think we are going to go to a tax accountant this year since there have been a lot of changes in our lives recently that have tax implications and I don't want to screw it up myself. We are planning to go to my parent's tax accountant. They seem to like her so it's worth a try.

Diane Mastbrook
Cacciapaglia & Mastbrook, P.C.
703-255-1155
2960 Chain Bridge Road
3rd Floor
Oakton, VA 22124
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Leesburg
154 posts, read 389,227 times
Reputation: 118
Note: It's easy to get a crappy tax accountant apparently. The last person they went to a couple of years ago told them they had a substantial refund. When they went back a few days later to pick up the paperwork it turned out that they OWED thousands of dollars. The guy made a mistake and was too embarassed to call them so he waited like a coward until they picked up the paperwork. My parents were furious. Therefore, they started to use the lady I recommended above...they haven't had any issues with her so far. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:32 AM
 
1,256 posts, read 3,503,236 times
Reputation: 777
I've been using Stitely and Karstetter for about 20 years for both personal and corporate taxes:

CPA - Personal & Businesses Financial Planning, Tax Planning - S&K Stitely & Karstetter Northern Virginia, VA, Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington Washington DC, Prince William, Montgomery, Reston, Leesburg, Centreville, Manassas, Sterling, Herndon, Alexandr

I actually have been using Paul Karstetter since he was working out of his house; doesn't necessarily mean he's that good, might mean I'm not picky.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:56 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,519,429 times
Reputation: 5800
Thanks for the ideas everyone! I will call the two places recommended and maybe do some more research into Turbo Tax.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Arlington
91 posts, read 194,316 times
Reputation: 71
If you pay peanuts, you are liable to get a monkey.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:10 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,317,509 times
Reputation: 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Last year we switched to TurboTax. It's fantastic. Incredibly easy to use, and much cheaper. Each step offers an explanation behind why you can or can't deduct something. (E.g., there's an income cap for the student-loan deduction.) It almost seems foolproof. My only regret is that we didn't start using it years ago.

Good luck!
I like TurboTax and use it myself, but it is not a sophisticated program and it isn't appropriate if you have complex tax issues.

For example, if you have a business, weird sources of income (i.e. partnerships, LLC interests, S Corp shares, complex trusts, farm income, royalties, lots of rental properties, sophisticated investments, etc.), gift and estate tax issues, complex AMT issues, or need tax planning or structuring advice, TurboTax isn't going to help. I have to override TurboTax all the time for non traditional forms.

The computer systems that handle those types of transactions are very expensive and require extensive training, so only accounting firms and CPAs use them.

Most individuals don't have any of those issues and TurboTax or H&R Block for those that are intimidated by doing it themselves are OK most of the time.

Just make sure you go to a CPA that handles a lot of individual tax returns because a ton mostly do corporate stuff but won't turn away a paying client.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,536 posts, read 12,589,801 times
Reputation: 8305
If you want, give it to an accountant and do it yourself on Turbo Tax separately. If you come up with the same figures, you can always do them yourself next year on Turbo Tax.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,735 posts, read 8,920,861 times
Reputation: 3857
Here's the link for 35% off TurboTax, which I got from this very forum. (You can use the link even if you're not a BoA customer. I'm not.)

Bank of America - TurboTax Interstitial
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