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Ripped off

London, KY

#1 Feb 23, 2013
Gone to CPA for years. Friend goes to H &R block and pays half what I do. We work a same business. Does anyone think CPA is safer to avoid getting an audit or a waste of money?
Business man

Murray, KY

#2 Feb 23, 2013
If you operate a business, you need a certified public accountant(CPA). I would never trust H&R block with my taxes. They hire temps during tax season. A local CPA has a reputation to protect , and moral obligations to uphold .
Critical Thinking

East Bernstadt, KY

#3 Feb 23, 2013
Ripped off wrote:
Gone to CPA for years. Friend goes to H &R block and pays half what I do. We work a same business. Does anyone think CPA is safer to avoid getting an audit or a waste of money?
My experience was just the opposite. I paid H&R Block a total of around $535 about a few years ago. That was after all their hidden fees of course. The next year I had an issue they could not handle so I went to a CPA thinking it would cost a fortune. The CPA handled the issue like it was routine and I braced myself for the bill which was $275 and a little bit of a lecture about what a rapid refund really cost me to get a little money a couple of days earlier. He calculated an annual percentage rate of around 200% and said they legally had to disclose that. I found the paper later and it was actually 220%. I asked the CPA what he thought about H&R Block and he just smiled and said he did not feel it professional to comment on them. I can tell you they don't mind commenting on CPA's. I'm wiser, better educated, and more savvy now and I still use the same guy. My return has gotten somewhat more complex and still not hit the H&R Block number. I guess each case is different. If you have a W-2 Block and their clones are probably OK and cheaper because the CPA will assume you won't be back and charge you for computer set-up.

On the other hand, I thought I would save myself some money and use Turbo Tax last year. I felt like I had been put through a wringer washer by the time I went through the interview and was not confident I was correct. I ended up taking my return to my CPA who keyed the information in and electronically filed it after a few changes and he didn't charge me as much nor did it seem to bother him. I guess working 12 hours a day, he didn't really care if he worked my stuff or not. But I decided that by the time I paid for the program and did the work, it was just opportunity cost lost. I just use the CPA now. I don't think most of them rip you off, they charge for time. The more you organize things the less it costs. I wouldn't go to Block or any of the people who set up signs on street corners and roads "so and so's tax service". If you have a problem the CPA office is open all year. They'll get most issues taken care of without even bothering you.

But each case is different.
SpeakUp

Eustis, FL

#4 Feb 23, 2013
My goodness, what a theme paper! Very prejudicial to say the least, not to mention quite inflammatory.

It really isn't acceptable to state anything bad about a company in a situation of this nature. The fact is, every individual has a different situation. One organization can clean up the other's mistakes alot of times. And it doesn't matter what degree one has. To be honest, without disclosure of credentials, there was a mistake on my own sister's return...prepared by a CPA Firm. That's not the say a mistake couldn't have been made in the opposite.

Further, if one has a $275 business, then I suggest that's about what it's worth, since it appears one needed a refund so quickly (for whatever reason).

In addition, there are many firms that are fully equipped with CPA's, enrolled Agents and about any other credential you're looking for. Simply...look for it if a title is what you're after.

Also, a box is a box. You can't talk to a box and it can't talk back to you. Garbage in-garbage out. You can answer 350 questions, but if if you're plum dumb, you can't recognize an error when you see one. Boxes are often big generators of business for tax organizations, given the fact the undeducated can't recognize error.

I do believe some years back there was an article run in Money Magazine where a very complex return was taken to several organizations and the result was, there was one company that charged the least and got the best RIGHT result.

Different strokes for different folks...but, the main thing is, it's sort of like a doctor. If you like them, no problem. But I find it interesting, if someone is so fabulous, why one would turn to a box.

Quite the contrary, if one has 1- W-2, then a box can't confuse you that much can it? And...simple businesses....add and subtract. More particularly, a $275 one.
Balls

Madisonville, KY

#5 Feb 24, 2013
Another big government mandate, we should be able to do our own taxes. In our head!!
Critical Thinking

East Bernstadt, KY

#6 Feb 24, 2013
Did I say anything at all about a business? Such a rambling statement to say nothing other than I wish I was a CPA.
Amazed

London, KY

#7 Feb 24, 2013
We operate three little companies. For years I used a CPA, until the fees got ridiculous. Went to an accountant/tax preparer (not H&R Block) in London who is not a CPA. They reviewed several years of corporate and individual returns, suggested they be amended. Based on this guys amendments, we got refunds. He has been preparing our taxes for several years. We get better service and his fee is about half.
Bamboozled

Milton, WI

#8 Feb 24, 2013
Everybody's case is different. I went to a non-cpa tax preparer for years. He seemed very competent but then I got a notice from the IRS and he didn't want to acknowledge the problem. Just said I needed to pay it. I decided considering the magnitude of it I needed a second opinion and took it to a local CPA firm. The CPA did not agree that I needed to pay it and asked to see my prior three years return. I took as many as I could. He found a consistent error and I got refunds for three years that amounted to over $10,000. The notice problem was fixed and I got a refund for that year. The worst thing was I should have gotten refunds for all the years I took in but he said the refund statute had run on them. My brother runs an active business not a really big business and he decided he should have this guy take a look, which he does for free. It put over $25,000 in his pocket just for one year. I guess on here you can get a few stories one way and a few the other but I'll stick with my CPA. I've been with him six years now and I think his prices are very reasonable. Just watch who you do business with either way you go.
Stay Away

Hazard, KY

#9 Feb 24, 2013
Stay away from Block, they will hire anybody. I even took a part time job with them once. I would start at 5 P.M. and work until around 10 P.M. and churn out between 8 and 10 tax returns. Only check in the whole place was you entered W-2's then some totals off them and the computer did a hash check. Other than that, send 'em. No review. I was pretty confident in returns with W-2's only but nothing else. I got a call from the owner in the summer after the season I worked for them wanting to know if I could come and help with IRS findings. I had no qualifications to talk to the IRS, but they were going to get around that somehow and they needed help. I didn't do it but it always struck me odd that they needed help with the number of notices they got. Heck, I was just a college student when I worked for them, but I knew more intuitively than most of their preparers.

I stayed out of the tax business myself but later was talked into running a small non profit. Didn't seem like a big job until I found out they hadn't filed their 990 and now had incredible penalties due. It would have bankrupted them. Block was about all I knew so I took it to them. The lady I talked to said she could take care of it and I needed to file a 990-PF. Long story short that's for a private foundation which it was not and she couldn't take care of it. I took it to a CPA, signed a form and she called the next day saying that all the returns were ready to sign and the penalty was gone. Her price for five returns and getting rid of the penalty was about $500. It may have been an easy $500 for her but I was glad to pay it.

I do my own taxes. They're simple. I make X, they deduct Y and I fill in the blanks. No debt, property tax is not significant, so itemizing is state only and I run a little business which I have separate checking for so it's simple. But if I didn't, I would stay away from the fly-by-night, the tax chain stores, the nomads, and the newly minted CPA's that show up ever so often and hang a shingle. Matter of fact, in London there is only two firms I would even consider.
No Bargains

Hazard, KY

#10 Feb 24, 2013
I have several business concerns. I used to live in Harlan and used a non-cpa to do my taxes until he retired then switched to a cpa. They were equally competent and billed about the same, never had a problem with either. My sister involved in most of the same businesses went to a large heavy advertising national tax chain. She always said I was stupid. She paid about the same but always got money back. Now, she's in hot water with the IRS and after all that talk, the preparers pretty much hold up their hands and say "wasn't us" but it was, still she's responsible. I would say remember two general rules, most of the time you get what you pay for and if it seems to be too good to be true, probably is. Apply those two together and you'll be okay.
SpeakUp

Eustis, FL

#11 Feb 24, 2013
Balls wrote:
Another big government mandate, we should be able to do our own taxes. In our head!!
Nice thing about this freedom thing is, you have a choice to do just that. But I'd sense, you'd have a problem with a 2-line form:

1. How much money did you make?_________
2. Send it to us:_________
SpeakUp

Eustis, FL

#12 Feb 24, 2013
Amazed wrote:
We operate three little companies. For years I used a CPA, until the fees got ridiculous. Went to an accountant/tax preparer (not H&R Block) in London who is not a CPA. They reviewed several years of corporate and individual returns, suggested they be amended. Based on this guys amendments, we got refunds. He has been preparing our taxes for several years. We get better service and his fee is about half.
You see, you experienced the opposite of what the rambling one had to say. No one is perfect all the time, never was, never will be. This poster seemingly is advertising for a CPA, but if it works, good deal. He might get a spiff off it. Who knows. Some of us may have even higher credentials, so if he's trying to impress someone. It wouldn't be me.
SpeakUp

Eustis, FL

#13 Feb 24, 2013
I won't get into any pis-ing contest about any company, because everyone has a story to tell. I guess it's a Preparer's fault when you walk through the door and try to take your last dying neighbor's grandchildren as dependents! You love those refunds no matter how you get 'em, and just can't understand why when you.....can't. Lord give me strength. The last person down there I heard talking about how high taxes were was someone who hadn't paid a dime of them in 16 years! So, excuse my while I gasp for breath being concerned about made up opinions.
SpeakUp

Eustis, FL

#14 Feb 24, 2013
Bamboozled wrote:
Everybody's case is different. I went to a non-cpa tax preparer for years. He seemed very competent but then I got a notice from the IRS and he didn't want to acknowledge the problem. Just said I needed to pay it. I decided considering the magnitude of it I needed a second opinion and took it to a local CPA firm. The CPA did not agree that I needed to pay it and asked to see my prior three years return. I took as many as I could. He found a consistent error and I got refunds for three years that amounted to over $10,000. The notice problem was fixed and I got a refund for that year. The worst thing was I should have gotten refunds for all the years I took in but he said the refund statute had run on them. My brother runs an active business not a really big business and he decided he should have this guy take a look, which he does for free. It put over $25,000 in his pocket just for one year. I guess on here you can get a few stories one way and a few the other but I'll stick with my CPA. I've been with him six years now and I think his prices are very reasonable. Just watch who you do business with either way you go.
Another touching advertising story. Everyone has freedom of choice and that's a good thing. But I have to say, that for your brother to have had such a "small business",$25K is alot of refund for one year! Why don't you share the type of mistake that was with us please, so some with higher credentials could dissect it? I figure if you're going to advertise a story, you willfully opened Pandora's Box, so you may as well not stop right where you sound the best at. Let's enjoy that big refund by sharing the type of mistake it was so we can all learn together! There's more than one way to make someone smile or put yourself in a martyr's position. Please share your story....details of it and not just what you really have set out to have us hear!
Amazed

London, KY

#15 Feb 25, 2013
As previously indicated we switched from a CPA firm to an accountant/tax preparer about four years ago and the results have been great. I like the present situation because its much, much cheaper, and I get better advise. With the accounting firm, I never knew year to year who would actually be preparing our returns and we sure never got advise on tax planning. With the current accountant, who has a college degree in accounting, I get preparation of returns and advise. I see the same person every time and have quarterly conferences during the year to discuss what is happening. For example, three years ago we suffered a major uninsured casualty loss. Our accountant helped us document the loss. When the return was filed we were told it would likely trigger an audit. It did, but the IRS quickly concluded nothing was amiss. So while each situation is different, I know we are getting better representation for far less money.
Ghostrider

Richmond, KY

#16 Feb 25, 2013
Granny is home and advertising for Block. Bet she started this thread.
Lenovo

Richmond, KY

#17 Feb 25, 2013
Hey speak up.........

You insinuate that your credentials are higher than a CPA. I am not sure but other than a PhD in Accounting, isn't a CPA the highest Accounting credential????
Lenovo

Richmond, KY

#18 Feb 25, 2013
And please don't try to convince me that you have a Phd or DBA (that is a Dr. in Business Administration in case you didn't know). Because if you did have a doctorate level educaiton, you would not be slumming on topix.
Science fan

Richmond, KY

#19 Feb 25, 2013
SpeakUp wrote:
<quoted text>
Another touching advertising story. Everyone has freedom of choice and that's a good thing. But I have to say, that for your brother to have had such a "small business",$25K is alot of refund for one year! Why don't you share the type of mistake that was with us please, so some with higher credentials could dissect it? I figure if you're going to advertise a story, you willfully opened Pandora's Box, so you may as well not stop right where you sound the best at. Let's enjoy that big refund by sharing the type of mistake it was so we can all learn together! There's more than one way to make someone smile or put yourself in a martyr's position. Please share your story....details of it and not just what you really have set out to have us hear!
Speak up, I wouldn't let you disect my frog. Noone in their right mind wants you disecting their finances.
Bamboozled

Whitewater, WI

#20 Feb 25, 2013
SpeakUp wrote:
<quoted text>
Another touching advertising story. Everyone has freedom of choice and that's a good thing. But I have to say, that for your brother to have had such a "small business",$25K is alot of refund for one year! Why don't you share the type of mistake that was with us please, so some with higher credentials could dissect it? I figure if you're going to advertise a story, you willfully opened Pandora's Box, so you may as well not stop right where you sound the best at. Let's enjoy that big refund by sharing the type of mistake it was so we can all learn together! There's more than one way to make someone smile or put yourself in a martyr's position. Please share your story....details of it and not just what you really have set out to have us hear!
I really don't know. I just saw the refund check. I guess his business is not big in the sense of hundreds of millions. It is very active. He seems to do well.

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