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Old 02-05-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Tax Help

So, I thought I'd reach out to the kind folks of HBT for something other then brewing related issues.

SWMBO and I are interested in using a tax preperation service this year. We've moved, changed jobs a few times, purchased a house, and she still works for the same firm she did back in DC but is now working from home and considered an independant contractor and has been paing quartley taxes. So, no EZ form for us this year and we just simply don't want to screw it up.

So, who has used a tax service in the past? Did you use the big guys (HR Block, Jackson Hewlitt, etc) or go with a local service? Would you do it again? Why or Why not?

Thanks all.

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:37 PM   #2
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KB - I am an accountant and I have someone else do my taxes. Honestly, unless you live taxes, you cannot possibly keep up with tax codes. It should be around $300 for a good local CPA to do your taxes. Don't go to the H&R Block types, find a local guy with a private practice. The big shops will not give you personal attention.

Now that you have made the jump to home ownership and have ind contractor income, you're going to need someone else to do your taxes.

You will most likely save the $300, and maybe more. And you will not have to deal with it AT ALL. A small price to pay...

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
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I'd be leery of the big names in tax prep-- there are far too many horrible stories of the things they have boned up. Sounds to me you want to make sure you get a tax preparer that has expereince with home workers. Some of those home worker tax things are finiky.

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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I haven't used on in years, but I'm not in the same situation. If you want it done right with piece of mind, tax preparers are the way to go. I've used HR Block, and thought they charged excessive amonts, but have never used a local service/individual so don't know if it's any better.

The online services/software like turbo tax, etc.. are a quite a bit cheaper, even paying for the premium ones and they have decent checks and balances built in so I think it would be pretty difficult to jack up even a more advanced return. Plus they offer the same audit defense services, etc... as the companies.

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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I'm anti-HRB just for the record...

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:42 PM   #6
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I use a local guy he charges about $400 its for my business and our family expenses. We like him but he is slow. We go to him next week but we wont know what we owe/get back till April 15.

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Old 02-05-2008, 11:48 PM   #7
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Definitely find a local CPA specializing in tax law. There is no way anything online can cope with your situation. I used to work for Intuit (Quicken) and NEVER actually filed with the software. My CPA always beat their numbers.

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Old 02-05-2008, 11:52 PM   #8
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Get referrals from your friends/co-workers/family for a local guy. If they are happy with his service, chances are you will be too. I wouldn't trust the seasonal workers at any national tax chain.

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Old 02-06-2008, 01:19 AM   #9
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According to my wife, if your wife worked in DC for a partial part of this year you should definitely get professional help as DC is very complicated when you move in the middle of the year (as we did several years ago).

Personally I would recommend one of the larger firms; H&R Block is probably the most competitive for price.

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Old 02-06-2008, 01:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJadedDog
According to my wife, if your wife worked in DC for a partial part of this year you should definitely get professional help as DC is very complicated when you move in the middle of the year (as we did several years ago).
.
Well, we didn't pay DC taxes as we lived in VA. But moving anywhere mid year is always a bit tricky.

I'm getting a feeling it's a no on the big guys, and find a local. I like that. Only downside is everyone in my office is new to OR too (all moved up from CA last year) and the friends we already had living here all do their own, or have family do them.

We'll get it figured out. Thanks all for contributing.
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