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taxes....do it yourself?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by illday, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. illday

    illday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    I just completed my 1st year in business. I worked solo all
    year so I don't have any employees and I haven't incoporated
    yet. I sought consultation earlier this year from an accountant
    and I'm suppose to call to set up an appointment to do my taxes.
    Work has been very slow these winter months so I'd rather not
    pay to have my taxes done if I don't have to.
    My wife and I usually do our taxes ourselves. I've kept good records and receipts. I even donated my car to charity for a tax
    write off.
    My question is:
    Is it wise to do your own taxes your 1st year?
  2. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Hi illday,
    I think it's a good idea to get some assistance from an accountant at tax time but you can certainly do MOST of the work yourself.What I do is go through my business checkbook as well as all of my receipts and provide my accountant with a month-to-month list of all my expenses along with monthly income.Once I do that there's very little left for him to do and it doesn't cost very much.I do have questions occassionally about what's deductible,what's depreciable and what's not.Mistakes can be very costly so I feel a little bit safer investing a few hundred dollars at tax time.Just my opinion.Good luck. Jim
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I do mine, my opinion is that its a waste of money for anyone else to do them. Its really not to hard to do. Fill out the forms, and fill in the #'s. If your small, and nothing complicated, i would do myself.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    It depends. Do you feel confident you know what you are doing? Have you read any books about small business taxes/deduction?

    If you haven't read much about business deductions then I would say at least let a CPA do it the first year so you can see what to keep track of the following years. Then start reading tax guides about taxes/deductions now so you are ahead of the game for next game.
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    LwnScott, Fill in the blank forms isn't going to get you all the dedustions you are intittled to. A good accountant will pay for their self. Trust me I thought I knew what I was doing untill I decided to hire an accountant for $110, she saved me a $1000. There are deductions you can't amagine. I say unless you have real experience (not fill in the blank experience) then you would be nuts not to hire one. They will save you more then they will cost.
  6. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Well said,Soupy.Accountants deal with this stuff day in and day out and the good ones will easily pay for themselves.
  7. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Soupy I am curious, what did the accountant catch that saved you $1,000?
  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    This is pretty much what I do. I use QuickBooksPro, keep track of expenses, and review all my info before sending to the accountant, more for a review by her than anything else, so she has as little work to do as possible. My accountant is experienced with QBP (as any accountant should be), so actually all I have to do is email her the files, and she takes care of it. I have actually not had to meet with her face to face for a few years now.

    The big thing is when you start to have employees, using an accountant assures you and your employees that everything is being done correctly. Also, if the state or IRS calls up or sends a letter with a question about your return, you have someone who can help you.
  9. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    I've already had a talk earlier this year with my CPA. In that discussion he informed me of all the things I need to keep track of and how to keep proper records. Illday, it sounds like you've already done this and have a good base to work from. In our discussion he also informed me of all the changes in tax codes that are made quarterly, and from that I was able to determine that it would be in my best interest to use his services. The way I see it is, unless you have enough time to keep up on all the changes in tax codes for both the state and federal gov't, it would be in your best interest in using a CPA. Good luck on whichever way you decide.
  10. illday

    illday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Thanks for the replys'
    I got some advice from a friend to try doing it myself and then
    if I think I can do better, go to an accountant.

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