E. asks from Mesa, AZ on March 21, 2012
Income Tax Prep...Help!
Hi All! We have been having our taxes prepared for us for the last five years at least. The CPA does federal and state, we have a W-2's, own our home, rental property and 2 very small home based business. Submit the usual forms to get childcare, healthcare and charitable donation deductions. The asks for the expenses/figures and I give him all the info. He is not collecting the data from receipts etc. I am struggling with his price tag of over $500 this year. Theoretically we can budget that amount from the return which is usually about $2000-$3000. I am wondering if the Turbo Tax Home and Business would cover all this. My biggest concern is the depreciation on the rental and getting credit for expenses that are deducted over a period of time. I know my time to complete this would be significant...4-5 hours maybe. Travel time to the account is 2 hours. Any suggestions? I do not diminsh how important a good CPA can be just wonder what my options are this year since things are tight. Thanks in advance for sharing your past experiences, suggestions and any expertise!
~.~. answers from Tulsa on March 21, 2012
I started using Turbo Tax because my dad would let me use his CD. He has rental properties, various LLCs, multiple streams of income, plus additional deductions for clergy since he is a preacher. Turbo Tax takes care of all of it.
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S.B. answers from Dallas on March 21, 2012
Turbo Tax will cover it all. We use an accountant, not because we can't do it ourselves, we just want to be covered in the event we are ever audited. The first few years we used our accountant, my hubby always used Turbo Tax to double check his figures. The first year, my husband found a deduction the CPA missed.( My husband no longer double checks his work. ) And we are in a similar situation...My husband has his job, we own a rental property and I run a small business out of my home. Turbo Tax walks you through all this step by step.
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M.L. answers from Houston on March 21, 2012
You can go through the entire Turbo Tax and if the amounts don't add up or you are not pleased, then you just cancel it, no need to even pay. Then you can go to your CPA.
I own a small business and Tax Act and Turbo Tax both account for depreciation of property and various credits.
T.F. answers from Dallas on March 22, 2012
Turbo Tax is good for basics and we've used it for years.
Our CPA does all of our LLC tax returns. This year our return is more complicated with extra income streams and our LLC so he is doing our personal as well.
$500 is nothing compared to the fines/penalties you could face with the IRS. The IRS is NOT forgiving with mistakes.
Also, $500 for your CPA to do it is very reasonable.
B.M. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2012
We used to use a CPA at a rate of $650(!!). Our taxes got a whole lot simpler when my husband stopped doing sales work and getting some 1099's as well. We started using a certified tax preparer (who is an old friend and has been doing this for 25 years) instead for $125.
J.W. answers from St. Louis on March 22, 2012
When I was studying accounting we used turbo tax to do our tax homework. I know it does everything but I also know you need to understand what it is doing because sometimes it doesn't put things in the right place.
What I would recommend going forward is run your business through an Intuit accounting system. I can't remember the name offhand. That way at tax time it uploads and fills everything into the turbo tax program. It is just a cleaner way to prepare.
In defense of your accountant 500 is reasonable. Perhaps your best bet would be suck it up this year since it is getting late and change over for the next tax year.
M.!. answers from Phoenix on March 22, 2012
We pay less then $200 to have our taxes done. Unless you have special circumstances that require him, I would shop around or consider TurboTax.
We file the long form and itemize our deductions. In the past several years we have started to photograph and list all Goodwill donations. Doing do has uped our charitable donations from the standard amount to as high as $1400. This year is a little lower at around $1000. It takes me a few hours over the course of the year to do this, but it pays off.