U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-04-2015, 03:28 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 11,116,061 times
Reputation: 6212

Advertisements

Do you complete your own tax returns for both the state and federal? Or do you utilize the services of an accountant or specialty tax company?

I use to use a CPA but got tired of the fees, given what I had to do to walk through the door to be seen, in another state. I started filing my own as I can do math. I didn't have any problems doing my own taxes.

Because I have a more complicated return this year, a family member suggested I utilize the firm that has done the taxes of several family members throughout the U.S. as well as locally. I called for an appointment and was told they weren't taking additional clients. That is wonderful to have reached that level of success. My family certainly contributed to it over the years.

I may be in need of a new firm and wondered who others were using. Would you recommend your accountant, if you use one, or the firm in general?

If I can find the answers to two questions I might complete this on my own. Or I am open to using an accountant others trust.

Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

MSR
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-04-2015, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Idaho Falls
71 posts, read 57,759 times
Reputation: 79
I do my own, so no accountant to recommend. I can offer a bit of advice, however. The IRS will answer your questions for no charge. If you are a senior, I believe AARP has a hot line available as well. There is also a world of professional help available on the web. One of these ideas may get you through the two questions you have to get answered. Hope you find what you need !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2015, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Aiea, Hawaii
2,086 posts, read 2,234,785 times
Reputation: 1280
H & R Block. when i first joined the Navy. At the time a California Resident. Every year i was stationed at Pearl Harbor. California, would send, i own California State taxes $$$!! Even though i was not in the state. Military personnel stationed outside the state is exempt from paying California State Taxes. I always had that exempt latter in my records at H & R Block.

I try to keep my taxes as simple as i can. But that is getting more difficult now days with healthcare mandates coming due.

But your situation is a bit complex MSR. I would not recommend H & R Block.

If i hear or see someone, new firm, advertised out here, in your area. I will let you know.
Scott
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2015, 12:16 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 11,116,061 times
Reputation: 6212
Default Too Complex for HRB - I Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottStielow View Post
H & R Block. when i first joined the Navy. At the time a California Resident. Every year i was stationed at Pearl Harbor. California, would send, i own California State taxes $$$!! Even though i was not in the state. Military personnel stationed outside the state is exempt from paying California State Taxes. I always had that exempt latter in my records at H & R Block.

I try to keep my taxes as simple as i can. But that is getting more difficult now days with healthcare mandates coming due.

But your situation is a bit complex MSR. I would not recommend H & R Block.

If i hear or see someone, new firm, advertised out here, in your area. I will let you know.
Scott
Thanks Scott. I agree that the specialty tax services are going to be lost with my questions. Yes, I thought about the mandatory health insurance too. But I decided that question is such a *Big Question* this year that I think there are plenty of online helps for it. The IRS even has a major subsection on it.

I try to keep my taxes simple too! Nonetheless, some once in a lifetime situations occurred that complicate things greatly. I've actually received two callback phone calls while writing this post. One was an ALJ from a different state. She was very nice, but her staff hadn't checked with other workers about my status.

When situations take years to resolve, I guess it is hard for state and federal workers to realize I'm in an unusual situation. I think the ALJ understood today when we talked for five minutes. Either that or the person who was suppose to document all of this did a less than understandable job and he'll be hearing from that judge.

I think I finally have this worked out, although things can change. I appreciate your willingness and suggestions to try and help me

Aloha for now.

MSR
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2015, 01:53 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 11,116,061 times
Reputation: 6212
Default Thanks for the Suggestions

[QU OTE=sie. ge;38311964]I do my own, so no accountant to recommend. I can offer a bit of advice, however. The IRS will answer your questions for no charge. If you are a senior, I believe AARP has a hot line available as well. There is also a world of professional help available on the web. One of these ideas may get you through the two questions you have to get answered. Hope you find what you need ![/quote]

Thanks for your suggestions, siege. I agree with you there is a lot of info online. Also, I have talked to the IRS directly before. The IRS does not intimidate me. I just proved to them, through lots of documentation and a detailed letter, why I didn't owe about $2,500 from an earlier year. They finally answered me saying my correspondence was so helpful and I had a $0.00 balance.

Unfortunately, I think too many people either fear the IRS or don't read the information available online. There is a bit of satisfaction quoting their own publication to them, at least for me

This year the IRS has less workers. That means everyone statistically has less of a chance of being audited or a correction if more money should be refunded. I've had to deal with the IRS as I mentioned above. I've found states to be worse than the IRS when it comes to them owing me money I overpaid compared to the IRS.

No, I'm not an AARP member. It sounds like they offer many services. I'll have to learn more.....I know two people who were counting the days until they were members for discounts to a few things. Please feel free to elaborate about AARP services if you know.

Yesterday when I initially posted, I was more surprised and a little shocked by the answer the local accountant's office gave me given many factors. They are an excellent firm. For individuals they charge approximately what an tax preparation specialty business does because they are the CPAs for a lot of big businesses in the Idaho Falls area.

There are both personal and professional reasons I was surprised the Sr. CPA at that firm would not have asked a Jr. Partner to see me. What happened later yesterday is the Sr. CPA found time to personally meet with me, but not until April. This is the person who does taxes for a lot of large businesses. I think that CPA realized who I was and which of my family member's taxes would be done this month.

It's safer for me this year to use a CPA, although I probably won't next year. While the IRS doesn't intimidate me, I have other things I want to do instead of spending so much time on IRS revisions etc. Plus questions of why I have to pay taxes for others in a one time payment etc. are beyond what I can easily find online. The CPA will know if I can deduct the earnings of the others given a category where I believe they belong, or whether I'll be cursing those people in my head.

Thanks for being willing to offer ideas to help me, siege. I appreciate your suggestions

MSR
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2015, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,654 posts, read 15,737,854 times
Reputation: 2502
Years ago I did our taxes, but they were simpler back then. Becoming homeowners and the husband driving over the road has moved me to using a CPA for several years now. This year he'll earn his money as we've both changed employers and then there is the lovely "Obama care" info that I clearly don't feel like dealing with.

I feel the more complicated one's situation is, the better it is to opt for a CPA as if something goes wrong, they are right by your side.

If you'd like to know who, send me a PM MSR.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2015, 08:46 AM
 
6,405 posts, read 3,424,347 times
Reputation: 10139
It depends.

It's easy for me to say, as a CPA, to utilize a CPA. I've gotten many new clients that have used Turbo Tax or H&R Block. I've lost clients because they think the fees are too high for what they get.

Tax law is complicated. If all you have is a W-2, then you can probably do your own taxes (although I do quite a few W-2 only). It's what you miss that may be costing you, not necessarily making a mistake on a return. Also, a CPA signing the return is responsible for that year, so if any tax notices come along, a good CPA will deal with it on your behalf. The IRS and state agencies want to work with you, but most are shorthanded. They'll work with you, but sometimes people pay on a notice out of fear when in fact it may be an assessment that can be adjusted. A good CPA is your guide, and hopefully explains your situation in a manner you understand.

Once you own a home, certain things can be deducted. If you are part or full time self-employed that offers up more potential deductions. A CPA helps in these matters.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2015, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Idaho
2,512 posts, read 2,254,084 times
Reputation: 5256
Most years, do my own and mail it. This year, with part year residences in two states, I just finished up with Tax Act. Recommended by a few people.
Pretty straight forward, a bit confusing on income between states. As for the Obamacare questions....quite simple in my case.
Question one was did I have healthcare for the entire 2014 year....answer Yes.
Question two was did this insurance come from the obamacare website....answer NO.

I'm sure, if I answer NO to question number one, a bunch of new questions would have popped up
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2015, 10:19 AM
 
8,440 posts, read 11,116,061 times
Reputation: 6212
Quote:
Originally Posted by cleosmom View Post
Years ago I did our taxes, but they were simpler back then. Becoming homeowners and the husband driving over the road has moved me to using a CPA for several years now. This year he'll earn his money as we've both changed employers and then there is the lovely "Obama care" info that I clearly don't feel like dealing with.

I feel the more complicated one's situation is, the better it is to opt for a CPA as if something goes wrong, they are right by your side.

If you'd like to know who, send me a PM MSR.
Cleosmom, yes please. Eitther FB or here, I'd like to know who you utulize. FB might be best so I'm sure you saw my last message .

Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2015, 10:26 AM
 
8,440 posts, read 11,116,061 times
Reputation: 6212
Quote:
Originally Posted by f5fstop View Post
Most years, do my own and mail it. This year, with part year residences in two states, I just finished up with Tax Act. Recommended by a few people.
Pretty straight forward, a bit confusing on income between states. As for the Obamacare questions....quite simple in my case.
Question one was did I have healthcare for the entire 2014 year....answer Yes.
Question two was did this insurance come from the obamacare website....answer NO.

I'm sure, if I answer NO to question number one, a bunch of new questions would have popped up
f5fstop, Thanks for offering your experience and thoughts. I think this could be a record year for CPAs given the questions about Obamacare alone. In your situation I would have done the same as you.

Thanks for taking the time to answer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:29 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top