Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

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beth65
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Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:50 pm

Has anyone ever had a CPA not complete their taxes while they were there at the appointment? I’ve done my taxes for 19 years in three states, and never had an accountant just tell me to leave the paperwork and they would mail it to me to sign, and still charge me the full fee. I took time off of work, sat with him for 5 minutes, and he just told me he would mail it to me to sign when he was done (without giving a specific date). Thoughts?

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bostondan
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by bostondan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:54 pm

That seems pretty standard. I’ve never had a CPA do anything while I was there.
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pshonore
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by pshonore » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:57 pm

As a preparer, I cannot remember many tax returns where something did not come up during an "interview". Perhaps if the CPA has been doing your taxes for many years, that approach might work. I also used that time to ask about IRAs, why they weren't maxing out 401Ks, checking for RMDs, letting them know this was their last year for Child Tax credit, etc.

cusetownusa
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by cusetownusa » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:57 pm

I don't even bother with an appointment. I just download all of my relevant tax documents and email them over to him. I never thought to actually drive to his office and sit there while he completes my taxes.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:58 pm

My accountants have all sat with me through the appointment for about 30 minutes, complete the forms, had me sign and e-file immediately. I always receive my refund within about 2 weeks from my appointment with my accountant. I moved to a new state and was recommended an accountant, but I was not aware that they don’t just complete and file your taxes while you are there.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:59 pm

cusetownusa wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:57 pm
I don't even bother with an appointment. I just download all of my relevant tax documents and email them over to him. I never thought to actually drive to his office and sit there while he completes my taxes.
That was the strange part. He required me to come in for the appointment, but then only spent 5 minutes and told me he would mail me forms to sign, but didn’t give me a date. If he was going to just have me mail it in, I could have just scanned and emailed or faxed all documentation.

renue74
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by renue74 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:00 pm

I haven't seen my accountant in 6 or 7 years.

I send her all the documents electronically and she sends me a review copy of my return and then I digitally sign. Could be weeks before she does them.

Nate79
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Nate79 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:02 pm

I have never heard of an accountant doing the tax returns as you sit there in the office. Typically they only meet with the client at drop off to discuss all the details prior to working on it and then another meeting after they are finished. Potentially with phone calls during if there are questions. In particular this is how a number of services work, including some by family members of mine. Especially for many of these services due to the short amount of time and a very large number of clients they work very long hours. My father, who runs his own accounting service for example would be doing tax returns until midnight. Want to meet with them at midnight?

Traveller
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Traveller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:03 pm

The last thing I would want to do is sit there while my accountant does my return! (admittedly, my returns are fairly complex)

The process I have with my accountant is:
1) I submit all my information and documentation.
2) we have a quick meeting to review and answer any questions they may have of me.
3) I may or may not be contacted with additional questions.
4) I receive a draft copy of my return.
5) we have a quick meeting to review the return / answer any of my question, and to discuss any strategies or recommendations for next year.
6) done.
Last edited by Traveller on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexa9
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 pm

To me it would seem awkward for them to do them while you sit there and wait. Like they would have to multi task making conversation while filling things out. Seems like a waste of time and they don't want to waste your time. It's pretty boring stuff honestly. Although if you would prefer to be there while they do them, you should tell them.

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Clever_Username
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Clever_Username » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:08 pm

I hire an EA. He sends me an electronic organizer. I send him that filled out (takes me maybe 30 minutes), then the documents, and any questions I may have.
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Gnirk » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:00 pm

We are snowbirds, so I mail all of our documents to our accountant, along with a note anticipating our buy, sells, EE and iBond maturities that may affect next year’s taxes. This allows him to adjust our quarterlies, as necessary.
CPA mails back our return, we approve it and he files it electronically. If DH didn’t have a Vanguard brokerage account, we could do it a lot sooner. Though we seldom receive a refund.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by OnTrack2020 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:31 pm

I take all our paperwork in and sit down with our CPA for an hour. She asks me questions; I ask her questions. She runs through the numbers on paper and tells me what we will owe/get owed and also goes over any changes we should making in the future. They have a small staff that enters the numbers. Then in about 2 weeks, I get a call letting us know they are completed and we go into sign and they e-file. We've done it this way for years, and it works well for us.

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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by lthenderson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:43 pm

beth65 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:50 pm
Has anyone ever had a CPA not complete their taxes while they were there at the appointment?
Were they a CPA or an Independent Accountant like you might find at chain tax places like H&R Block? There is a big difference in skill sets and how they go about doing taxes. In my experience, CPA's do exactly what you described for a new customer. Perhaps in the past you have been using Independent Accountants at chain tax places which set up half hour appointments and do your taxes while you sit there.

Scrapr
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Scrapr » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:59 pm

the CPA likely has a Junior Accountant entering data and asking for more info if needed. If the CPA was doing all of it your return would be much higher cost. That's the way our CPA does it. Head partner reviews it and is familiar as they send it on to you

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SeeMoe
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by SeeMoe » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:00 pm

bostondan wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:54 pm
That seems pretty standard. I’ve never had a CPA do anything while I was there.
Agree. Our CPA calls when it is done, or if there are questions. If we send the taxes via Electronic means we have to stop by the office and sign off. (Usually send by snail mail though.) then she bills us later.

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HIinvestor
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by HIinvestor » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:50 pm

Our CPAs all have us discuss our documents during our appointment with them and then call us up to pick up the documents and provide any checks and sign anything that needs a signature sometime in April before taxes (or extension) are due. I haven't had any of our preparers do our returns while we are sitting there. They sometimes call us for clarification of anything that needs additional explanations or any missing documents. (Our returns are about 1/2 inch thick including attachments.)

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StevieG72
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:59 pm

Fairly standard procedure unless your taxes are so simple that you should not be using a CPA.

Your paperwork should be organized and complete. The CPA will contact you if any additional information is needed.

If I paid a CPA I would not want to sit with them while they did my taxes, however I would like them to review my taxes with me once complete prior to me signing and having them sent to the IRS.
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Rainier
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Rainier » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:00 pm

It takes us 8 months to do some tax returns.

123
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by 123 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:04 pm

Perhaps he doesn't want you watching while he uses TurboTax or a similar licensed product. If he could whip it out and be done in 5 to 15 minutes you wouldn't feel he really earned his fee, better for the CPA to keep the "magic" behind a curtain.
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ImaBeginner
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by ImaBeginner » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:05 pm

I have never met my accountant, after the initial visit 10 years ago. She sends me timely reminders, advice on what to fund at year end, and receives my scanned forms yearly. She fires off 1-2 emails every March with questions and suggestions, and we are good to go. If I have questions I get a well thought out response that is very specific to me.

I would picture her as a very nervous quiet perfectionist with a social disorder had I not met her that once and found quite the opposite to be true.

For me, it would be strange to watch her watching her underling type all my info into TurboTax 😂.

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Pajamas
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Pajamas » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:11 pm

Most professionals of all sorts meet with you and then complete needed tasks while you aren't there. Lawyers, doctors, clergy, accountants, professors, etc.

Maybe he had something more immediate to do or his computer needed to be restarted or he was hungry or your cologne or perfume was giving him a headache or he had another client waiting. Maybe the printer was broken.

Not sure why you would expect that this would affect the amount of his fee. Sometimes there is even an extra charge for services requiring an immediate appointment or fast completion.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm

I wanted to post a follow up. For the same CPA that did not sit down or spend any time asking questions for tax prep, I just received an invoice with no details or itemization for $500.

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.

I’m asking because we have used a CPA for over 13 years (I worked in sales and had a lot of deductions), and I have never paid more than $300 for tax prep in both NYC and Charleston, including four years ago which we moved to another state mid-year and purchased our first house and had a child in the same year. I moved to a much smaller city in Georgia, where it was assumed things would be less expensive, and I was quite surprised to open the invoice and see that fee. I plan to go back to using my old CPA in NYC (via phone and fax), as he was much faster and I only charged me $250 even with two separate state income forms.

rkhusky
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by rkhusky » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:35 pm

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
I would have asked them what they expect to charge for the above. And shopped around a bit if I didn't like the price.

On the other hand, you could probably do the above by hand, or at least use TurboTax. Especially for 2018, if you expect to take the standard deduction.

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Pajamas
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:07 pm

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
Sounds like you don't need a CPA. You could probably file your federal and state taxes using software in less than two hours the first time and in under an hour after that.

Not everything is less expensive in a small town vs. an urban area. Less competition or availability of service providers may mean greater costs. There may be only one cable company, one electricity provider, one accountant, one hardware store, etc. I was surprised that it cost twice as much to have shirts laundered in a small town vs. an urban area because they had a hard time finding people willing to do the pressing all day long for any length of time and had to pay up to keep employees. Even a bakery seemed pricey as it was the only bakery in town besides the one at Mega Lo Mart.

Or maybe they just figured you for a big-city type and charged you more. Remember Mr. Haney?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb84z7vp7Js

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Clever_Username
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Clever_Username » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:25 pm

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
I wanted to post a follow up. For the same CPA that did not sit down or spend any time asking questions for tax prep, I just received an invoice with no details or itemization for $500.

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
I pay about $300 for an EA (I think he's also a CPA). Part of it is I don't want to miss anything. Part of it is I've had a few years with tax situations where I wasn't sure I'd get it right, so I wanted someone who would to do it. Part of it is audit insurance.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_

mchampse
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by mchampse » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:38 pm

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
I wanted to post a follow up. For the same CPA that did not sit down or spend any time asking questions for tax prep, I just received an invoice with no details or itemization for $500.

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.

I’m asking because we have used a CPA for over 13 years (I worked in sales and had a lot of deductions), and I have never paid more than $300 for tax prep in both NYC and Charleston, including four years ago which we moved to another state mid-year and purchased our first house and had a child in the same year. I moved to a much smaller city in Georgia, where it was assumed things would be less expensive, and I was quite surprised to open the invoice and see that fee. I plan to go back to using my old CPA in NYC (via phone and fax), as he was much faster and I only charged me $250 even with two separate state income forms.
My sense is pricing is all over the map. Your taxes seem simple enough that you may want to consider TurboTax or something similar. You could ask your new person to explain why the charge was so high.

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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Darth Xanadu » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:44 pm

This is my first year using a CPA to do my taxes. While I haven't been thrilled with the level of communication thus far, I understand it's a very busy time in the in industry and frankly I'm sure he has bigger fish to fry at the moment.

But, we did discuss, and agree upon (after a perfunctory review of my tax situation), a set fee for my federal and state returns in advance of any work being done. EDIT - it was $400.
My friends said stick to your guns, but instead I just got stuck.

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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Katietsu » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:10 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:35 pm
beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
I would have asked them what they expect to charge for the above. And shopped around a bit if I didn't like the price.

On the other hand, you could probably do the above by hand, or at least use TurboTax. Especially for 2018, if you expect to take the standard deduction.
I am sorry this did not go as you planned. I would get a estimated cost before working with another preparer so you are not surprised. It is also hard to say if this cost is reasonable since not everyone's description of "a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A" means the same thing. Additionally, the fee for a CPA is often higher the first year because there is a lot of extra information that must be input. The fee for the NYC preparer could go up if they were charging by the hour after you have skipped a year ot more.

If the return really is "simple", then you should consider preparing it on your own. You could try it this year and see if you get the same answer as the CPA.

I would familiarize yourself with your state tax code should you choose to use an out of state preparer. Each state has their own idiosyncrasies. Tax software does not take the place of knowing what these quirks are. For instance, some states give a deduction for money paid for long term care premiums or contributions to specific 529 plans. Some states do not allow a capital loss of one spouse to reduce a capital gain of another spouse. You can not expect an out of state preparer to know these things about your state and software is only an aid.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:17 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:35 pm
beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
I would have asked them what they expect to charge for the above. And shopped around a bit if I didn't like the price.

On the other hand, you could probably do the above by hand, or at least use TurboTax. Especially for 2018, if you expect to take the standard deduction.
We have had some health issues with parents and didn’t really have the time to research or shop around. Our neighbor recommended them, and we just needed to have one less thing to worry about right now. I’m normally very diligent and do a lot of research before I purchase products or services, and with my work history in sales, I do normally shop around and negotiate, but this time it was the path of least resistance. Never again.
Last edited by beth65 on Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:21 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:07 pm
beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
Sounds like you don't need a CPA. You could probably file your federal and state taxes using software in less than two hours the first time and in under an hour after that.

Not everything is less expensive in a small town vs. an urban area. Less competition or availability of service providers may mean greater costs. There may be only one cable company, one electricity provider, one accountant, one hardware store, etc. I was surprised that it cost twice as much to have shirts laundered in a small town vs. an urban area because they had a hard time finding people willing to do the pressing all day long for any length of time and had to pay up to keep employees. Even a bakery seemed pricey as it was the only bakery in town besides the one at Mega Lo Mart.

Or maybe they just figured you for a big-city type and charged you more. Remember Mr. Haney?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb84z7vp7Js
I was just talking about this with someone else today. It’s not a small town in relation, but it’s a small city surrounded by rural areas in the deep south. So far, almost everything has been more expensive than Charleston, and even suburban NY! People who live here keep talking about how it’s more affordable to live here, and we thought that moving away from the coastal cities and to the landlocked south would help us save more and lower our COL, but that hasn’t really been the case. The only way we have saved more is because there is not much to do around here, so we tend to sit bored around the house a lot more.

Pacman
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Pacman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:45 pm

As a CPA, I'm hearing unrealistic expectations. Do you really want your accountant to get you in and out in 30 minutes? I know some accountants run their firms like fast food restaurants and get people in and out that quickly, but I think your more likely to see mistakes that way... heck, I can't even do my own return in 30 minutes!

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:00 pm

Pacman wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:45 pm
As a CPA, I'm hearing unrealistic expectations. Do you really want your accountant to get you in and out in 30 minutes? I know some accountants run their firms like fast food restaurants and get people in and out that quickly, but I think your more likely to see mistakes that way... heck, I can't even do my own return in 30 minutes!
No, not at all. The CPA in NYC was usually an hour-long appointment, forms were signed there and invoice paid at the end of the visit. In Charleston, it was about 30 minute appointment (questions about deductions, investments, etc), and taxes were completed and picked up for signature in about a week, which was also perfectly fine. The most recent experience was an appointment of maybe 10 minutes, 2 basic questions asked, some cordial chit chatting, and taxes took about three weeks to be mailed out for signature. I was charged $300 last year, $500 this year. I posed the questions on here because it was so different from my other experiences in two other states with other CPA firms.

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Pajamas
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:13 pm

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:21 pm
I was just talking about this with someone else today. It’s not a small town in relation, but it’s a small city surrounded by rural areas in the deep south. So far, almost everything has been more expensive than Charleston, and even suburban NY! People who live here keep talking about how it’s more affordable to live here, and we thought that moving away from the coastal cities and to the landlocked south would help us save more and lower our COL, but that hasn’t really been the case. The only way we have saved more is because there is not much to do around here, so we tend to sit bored around the house a lot more.
Not to derail the thread but since you are the OP I will add that every time I have looked at the finances of moving from my supposedly high cost of living area to a supposedly low cost of living area, I figure it would actually cost me more to live in a low cost area on an ongoing basis although everything would not be equivalent, primarily because I would choose a larger place to live in and would almost certainly need a car. Cars are expensive and my own health care coverage would be more rather than less expensive. Food and utilities and other daily expenses don't seem to be that different in cost by location these days, especially with national chains having moved into urban areas and the prevalence of internet shopping with universal prices. What really boggles my mind at this point in my life is how demanding a house is in terms of time and effort and even cost of maintenance compared to an apartment.

Suburban living with equivalent housing would probably be less expensive in a low cost area rather than in a high cost area with most of the difference being housing and housing-related costs. $300k will buy a fairly nice house in some areas of the country whereas you would be looking at three times that amount in other areas for an okay house with proportionately higher taxes.

michaeljc70
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:50 pm

To be honest, a CPA is not H&R Block. I'm not sure why you would sit there watching him do your taxes. Next time just scan the stuff in and email or fax it to him. If your taxes are that easy, you should consider doing them yourself. If you are using a CPA, I assume there is something to them.

wrongfunds
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:08 pm

I am still not getting why in this particular case a CPA is warranted at all. If your taxes are as simple as you have said, there is no reason why you could not input those numbers yourself in the tax software and be done. The most difficult part of doing taxes is gathering all the information. I genuinely do not understand why people are willing to throw away money on CPA when their taxes are so straightforward.

beth65
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by beth65 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:18 pm

I had several changes in one year; moving to another state, first time backdoor roth, bought and sold a home, and made some investment rebalances. I also wanted to ask questions about how to file and what changes to expect going forward with the new tax plan. Going forward, I plan to do my taxes myself. In the past, with questions regarding many itemized deductions, and considering I always get refunds, it was worth it to get a CPA and have a professional cover my a** and also ensure I wasn’t leaving money on the table.

spectec
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by spectec » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm

If somebody wanted to sit in my office while I prepared their return, I'd just tell them to go somewhere else. They need to find someone with time on their hands. With email and texting, any competent tax preparer can obtain missing information much more reliably than asking about it while the client sits there wasting both their time. I do everything possible to keep clients out of my office so I can get some work done.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Clever_Username » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:26 am

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:44 pm
This is my first year using a CPA to do my taxes. While I haven't been thrilled with the level of communication thus far, I understand it's a very busy time in the in industry and frankly I'm sure he has bigger fish to fry at the moment.
If your preparer also handles corporate taxes, then definitely the latter. I think corporate taxes are due on the 15th.
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:26 am

cusetownusa wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:57 pm
I don't even bother with an appointment. I just download all of my relevant tax documents and email them over to him. I never thought to actually drive to his office and sit there while he completes my taxes.
This. The guy I use is a former co-worker who moved away, and I just email everything to him. If he has any questions, he emails me back, and this has always worked well.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

cheesepep
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by cheesepep » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am

It would seem weird to me for an accountant to do my taxes while I wait (but H&R block is quite common as the taxes there are much easier and done on the spot). Usually give them the paperwork and answer a few questions, drop of the necessary papers, come back in a week, and review taxes with accountant and answer a few more questions, sign, write the check and come back to your house relieved and a few hundred dollars lighter.

rkhusky
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by rkhusky » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:17 pm
We have had some health issues with parents and didn’t really have the time to research or shop around. Our neighbor recommended them, and we just needed to have one less thing to worry about right now. I’m normally very diligent and do a lot of research before I purchase products or services, and with my work history in sales, I do normally shop around and negotiate, but this time it was the path of least resistance. Never again.
Sorry to hear that. Then perhaps the extra $200-$300 was worth it, if it allowed you to spend more time helping your family.

260chrisb
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by 260chrisb » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:12 am

Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there
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Unread post by OnTrack2020 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:31 pm

I take all our paperwork in and sit down with our CPA for an hour. She asks me questions; I ask her questions. She runs through the numbers on paper and tells me what we will owe/get owed and also goes over any changes we should making in the future. They have a small staff that enters the numbers. Then in about 2 weeks, I get a call letting us know they are completed and we go into sign and they e-file. We've done it this way for years, and it works well for us.



We must have the same accountant!!

nolesrule
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by nolesrule » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:44 am

beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm
A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:18 pm
I had several changes in one year; moving to another state, first time backdoor roth, bought and sold a home, and made some investment rebalances. I also wanted to ask questions about how to file and what changes to expect going forward with the new tax plan.
So, which was it?

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by Artful Dodger » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:17 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:07 pm
beth65 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:25 pm

How much does your CPA charge for annual tax prep fees? A Form W-2, a couple of 1099s for interest and dividends, as well as a few itemized deductions on Schedule A, no s-corp or anything complicated.
Sounds like you don't need a CPA. You could probably file your federal and state taxes using software in less than two hours the first time and in under an hour after that.

Not everything is less expensive in a small town vs. an urban area. Less competition or availability of service providers may mean greater costs. There may be only one cable company, one electricity provider, one accountant, one hardware store, etc. I was surprised that it cost twice as much to have shirts laundered in a small town vs. an urban area because they had a hard time finding people willing to do the pressing all day long for any length of time and had to pay up to keep employees. Even a bakery seemed pricey as it was the only bakery in town besides the one at Mega Lo Mart.

Or maybe they just figured you for a big-city type and charged you more. Remember Mr. Haney?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb84z7vp7Js
+1 to not needing a CPA. I have a small S-Corp with 3 employees and have my corporate taxes done by a CPA. That is $350. I use Turbo Tax for my personal taxes. You should give it a try sometime. $250 sounds reasonable for a private preparer. However, yours doesn't sound complex at all, and I would consider doing yourself.
Last edited by Artful Dodger on Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

J295
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by J295 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:27 am

When I was still working we used an accountant and met with him each year for about 30 minutes. Then a few weeks later he would provide us the returns.

michaeljc70
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:52 pm

I did work for a CPA firm at the start of my career. One thing could be the CPA is actually not doing your taxes! Just like when you hire a lawyer you might think they are doing everything, likely they have a paralegal doing much of the actual work and they are overseeing it. At our firm, I was right out of college and not a CPA and I did a ton of tax returns. The partners (CPAs) were the ones that collected the information and interacted with the client. I believe they also spot checked them depending on how difficult they were.

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randomizer
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by randomizer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:57 pm

I've never even met my accountant.
75:25 AA / Expected retirement: 2097

matt fe2o3
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by matt fe2o3 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:42 pm

We meet for a hour every year with our CPA. I basically have schedule C in a spreadsheet and read it off, we discuss a variety of things including solo 401 contributions, etc.,

He does all the worksheets - however I think the file transfer to the IRS / State get's done a day or two later and we get the hard-copies in teh mail a few days later - but the taxes are done then and there. We use a big regional form and have had the same guy for 20+ years.

So from my standpoint not doing the tax-workup while we are there is pretty strange.

SunnySeattle
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Re: Accountant not doing taxes while you are there

Post by SunnySeattle » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:17 pm

In the ten years she’s been doing our taxes I’ve never met our accountant in person. A few chats on the phone, lots of emails, I send her our tax paperwork, and then sign when she sends it all back. Easy peasy.

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