Next time you think a #taxpro “just puts numbers in boxes” consider this map. Now, there are some people who call themselves taxpros but who won’t help you once you are out of that first green box. Those are the ones who put numbers in boxes and disappear when you have a problem. Unenrolled… Read More

For most taxpayers once the balance due is paid or the refund comes in they stop thinking about taxes. This article provides a great explanation about why tax time is the worst time to ask the important questions or to try to find a new taxpro. In general, if the year holds “potentially taxable events” for… Read More

The raging started around the second week of February and it continues online and in the offices of #taxpros around the country right now. Many taxpayers are furious that they are not getting as much back on their income tax refund as they were expecting or worse—they have a balance due! Alas, this was not… Read More

Today’s post is brought to you by the brainiacs over at the Procedurally Taxing Blog. Specifically, it was this post on a taxpayer winning damages from an employer who both misclassified him as an independent contractor (he got a 1099-MISC instead of a W2) and who reported more on the 1099-MISC than the employee (he… Read More

I love living here in the west. We have lots of sayings about “things cowboy” out here: Cowboy (or cowgirl) up. Not my rodeo, not my clowns. Not my cattle, not my (uh) manure. Big hat, no cattle. And the list goes on. I’ve visited lots of places in this country and all of them have… Read More

The question is not can you, but should you? I often answer calls from potential clients (often referrals from existing clients) who have 1099 (independent contractor/self employed) income. Sometimes they call because they “ran into problems with Turbo Tax.” More often it’s someone’s first time getting a 1099 instead of a W2 and s/he doesn’t… Read More

The Tax Girl (Kelly Phillips Erb) has an excellent post called 12 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Tax Preparer. It’s a great post, especially if you have actually narrowed the list of possibles to a few probably qualified candidates. My list of 5 questions overlaps some with hers, but is geared more toward finding that short… Read More

Many years ago, when my kids were still little, I mentioned to my friend, Julia, that we were having a birthday party at a kid-oriented pizza franchise (to remain nameless). She promptly responded “I have a strict policy of not eating at restaurants that have rodents as a mascot.” I remembered this on the drive… Read More

In an earlier post I discussed the various types of paid tax professionals and at the end I mentioned that, at an absolute minimum, your preparer needs to hold a valid preparer tax identification number (or PTIN). Ghost preparers are paid preparers who do not hold PTINs. They are often (but not always) small, independent, tax season… Read More

  Well, what are you paying for when you hire me to prepare your tax return? You are paying for my time, my education (at least 30 hours of tax education every year), and my experience. When you hire me, you will get a thorough review of your situation and your return—not simply data entry.… Read More