Need a Professional to Do Your Taxes? How About a Virtual CPA?

Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck wrote an interesting post today about the state of today’s tax preparation. Personally, I’ve always completed my income taxes myself. That is mostly due to the fact that they were not complex. I imagine if my blogging income picks up or I start my own business, they will become more complex and I will need some help. I would not like to go to a chain or use a box if they are that complex. I know I/they would miss something and it may end up costing me. The only other choice would be a CPA and they can be rather expensive. But, with technology changing the way it is, a virtual CPA makes a lot of sense. Why pay for the whole CPA when you can get the tax expertise you need for much less?

Of course, if you can do your return on your own (and maximize deductions), that’s ideal. But there are many individuals who can recoup their tax prep fee (and then some) by getting a real professional involved. Furthermore, given the free 30 minute phone consultation with a Certified Financial Planner, Total Candor Tax Prep seems like a great idea. He seems to be growing his practice by word of mouth, which seems like the right thing especially since it’s a repeat business.

Michael has plenty of discounts available for his services. You can get money off for sending in your returns early, being a full-time student, referring other customers and more! Want to be my referral? Head over there and check it out!

What about you? How will you get your taxes done this year?

8 thoughts on “Need a Professional to Do Your Taxes? How About a Virtual CPA?

  1. Mrs. Accountability

    I have done my taxes myself all my life, until last year. We decided to use the couple that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law use. I was not all that impressed, because they made some errors that I thought were elementary, for example, they didn’t even give the tax credit allowable to Arizona state residents without my pointing it out. I went through them because my husband had his own business, and I wasn’t quite sure what forms to fill out. I tried to do it online myself, but got hung up on a few areas so decided to try this couple. I am still not sure what I’m doing this year. They were very inexpensive, only $114 for our two business (sole proprietor), and our personal taxes. I’ll check out this virtual CPA option, too, thanks for sharing.

  2. Myriam

    I have been doing my own taxes for years. Plus, my best friend works for HR Block and she does the final check and helps me get all the deductions possible.

  3. Yana

    I had always done our taxes myself, until last year when it was a bit more complicated. I went to H&R Block, had a coupon for $25 off for new customers, and presented it after they gave me the bill for $200. They told me they had already applied the coupon, even though I had said nothing about having one. That ticked me off, because I don’t like being on the losing end of marketing gimmicks. I was satisfied with the service, but have since heard that locally, AARP helps with tax preparation for free, even if one is not old enough to belong to AARP. If I can’t do it myself this year, I may try that.

    That website is too expensive for my taste. If I want to pay that much, I know where to go locally.

  4. Adam Post author

    @Mrs A – Were the couple that you used CPAs or EAs? I guess for things that relate to state taxes, it might be the best option to stick to someone from the area.

    @Yana – I am working at H&R Block this tax season. We do not use the coupon unless someone brings them in. I guess a lot of offices got in trouble last year for doing the thing you mentioned. I’ve never heard about AARP doing that, especially for non-members. I will have to look into that! Thanks!

  5. Dusty

    You have to be careful when selecting a CPA or Enrolled Agent. Many times, a CPA may have many years of experience in audit, but none in taxes. This can make a huge difference in the amount of practical knowledge that they have. Personally, I do my taxes myself even though I am NOT a tax expert.

    I have always wondered how working for H&R or JH would be. It seems like a decent way to make some extra money using the knowledge that I already have!

  6. Chandler AZ CPA

    For an easy return you certainly can do it yourself. But many folks have more complex tax issues and also need a professional to talk to. Normally, a CPA can find a few errors you would have made and also allow you to sleep better at night. Remember…you get what you pay for.

  7. Chandler AZ CPA

    The main purpose of a professional tax preparer is to help the client understand the rules. There is no magic behind it, just the simple fact that a pro does tax returns all the time, and the average person does it once a year.

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