It’s tough to know what to look for when searching for an accountant to do your taxes. Your choice is critical to your financial well-being, so it’s important to do your homework and make an informed decision.
Tax accountants strive to prove their worth in this age of tax software by claiming that their personal touch and intimate knowledge of the tax code can get you better returns. While some people can benefit from professional help, others can easily do their taxes on their own.
Although it’s tempting to duck and cover to protect yourself from the onslaught of tax forms filling up your mailbox these days, it’s a good idea to examine the numbers on your W2s and 1099s to ensure they’re accurate. If an employer or bank screws up and reports it gave you more money than it really did and you don’t notice, you’re on the hook for the extra taxes.
The IRS investigation into Jackson Hewitt’s malpractices has deepened, NYT reports:
The lawsuits filed against the Sohail-owned or controlled franchises said that employees had been pushed to crank out returns in exchange for bribes, to accept scant or false documents, like W-2 forms, and to falsify taxpayer data to receive the earned-income tax credit, a federal assistance program.
And that’s why we like accountants. Not only will a good one help you find deductions, they also know enough to not do stupid stuff. It’s you, not the tax form preparer, on the hook if you file a fraudulent return. — BEN POPKEN
We haven’t been getting many complaints about tax places this year but as far as we know, they still suck. They’re known for messing some people’s returns up pretty bad, or encouraging people to take questionable deductions. Like making up a child, for instance. Here’s a walk down memory lane, a lane that’s definitely shady…
The number of refund anticipation loans declined 22.5% last year as consumers took advantage of cheaper and only slightly slower alternatives, NYT reports.
The I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog has a certified public accountant (CPA) guest posting for the next month who will answer reader tax questions for free.