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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevesmowing, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    how much are people paying accounts for doing their taxes? How many people do them theirselves?
  2. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Turbotax online and get the turbotax audit defense.
  3. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    opps sorry for the typo
  4. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Maybe some of my accounts should do my taxes. This way they can see that thier $30 shrinks 30+%(taxes,overhead,insurance,gas etc...).They might just look at the price a little different from now on.. :blob3:
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I used to do it myself (via turbotax) and for the last 3 or so years we've had an accountant do it for us.

    I can't stress enough how important it is to get it done right - with an accountant. BIG difference between what a good CPA can do for you versus what you (or turbotax) can do for yourself.

    I am going through a full tax audit right now for the year 2001 - the last year I did it on my own. Thanks to crappy Turbo tax puting numbers in wrong areas, I am going to have to have an adjustment. I followed all of the questions TurboTax asked me and yet my return still got messed up. Call it user error or call it computer error. Either way, I am the one paying the difference now because of the errors. That would have never happened with my CPA. I only WISH he would have done this year for me.

    Fortunately, I think the audit is going to turn out fairly well for me. We also found some things we didn't claim. So in the end it will probably not be much of an adjustment. But if my CPA would have done it for me, I probably would have never been audited in the first place. And there would be NO mistakes or adjustments.

    The other thing is that a good CPA will teach you proper accounting practices. In 2001, my accounting practices consisted of throwing receipts into an envelope and totalling those at the end of the year. That KIND OF works, but it's a real mess when you get audited. And there are some big problems with that method as well. Now, thanks to my CPA and the training we've got from our bookkeeper, we're doing everything the correct way.

    It's more than I can explain in this email. I used to say that most LCOs biggest weakness was in Marketing. But now I think most business' (including LCOs) biggest weakness is improper accounting practices. Even with the best tax prep. service you're only as good as your bookkeeping. Even a good CPA can't fix a mess. He can try. But to really get tax returns totally correct and totally fool-proof, you have to have bullet proof accounting principles and stick to them and keep up on them. There's no other way to do it.

    I think most businesses probably fail from a lack of proper bookkeeping and financial (incl. tax) planning.

    My CPA charges like $175 per hour. But he's saved me TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars - way more than I've ever paid him. Do the smart thing. Get the best CPA you can find and learn from him.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Unless this "audit defense" service of theirs is going to pay the difference or "adjustment" for you, when you are audited and there is a correction that costs you money, then this "audit defense" is of little value.

    They might hire some cheap accountant to try to defend you. But if numbers are in the wrong place, it doesn't matter how much defense you got, you're still going to have to pay. And trust me, TurboTax isn't going to pay that for you.
  7. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Good info Jim Lewis!
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Hey Jim a CPA can make mistakes. You can get a CPA that is overly aggressive with what you can deduct. You can get a CPA that isn't up on the new laws.
    Remember they are human but the changes of errors will be reduced a lot from someone doing taxes on their own that don't know much about the tax laws.

    CPA's are also using computer programs these days to figure taxes so hopefully they are answering the questions correctly.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    pay in $180 for the work, but includes free advice throughout the year
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    My dad is a retired IRS accountant....no guesses who does mine. For his services I trade off mowing some of his rental houses every year.

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