Thursday, March 22, 2007

CPA worth the price?

Well this year our CPA charged us quite a large amount, $585 to file our taxes. Last year we were charged $475 for 2 states and 1 federal return. And it was complicated without our moving situations. This year it was one state and one federal return.

I'm not exactly sure why he charged us more. Neither is DH. We can't figure it out. I don't think we'll be using him again next year because the costs were exorbitant.

Granted this year we learned a lot of things we didn't know before about the ESPP being income, so it's taxed differently. Also our stock grants are treated also as income. Also we learned about donating our timeshare and stuff. So I sort of feel that this year we paid to become educated about the finer details about the tax law.

But $585 is ridiculous. Sure we had a lot of stuff, but we didn't have a second state this year? What is going on?


JW said...

We have paid a very similar amount in the past when I was working two jobs and owned a few rental properties. But, this year we tried something different, since we no longer own the rental properties and I only worked one job. We filed electronically using Turbo Tax Deluxe, and were very pleased with the results.

Never Again Debt said...

In 1996 my accountant told us we owed $6000 in taxes. When I asked him why, he didn't know. Though it was the AMT tax or something. Oh, and here's my bill for $500. I realized right there and then that the CPA didn't do our taxes, his hired help, who worked on a computer program did it!

For $250 I took a tax course at H&R Block. It was a very difficult course but nonetheless, valuable. Ever since then, I buy Turbo Tax every year. It is set up like an interview process, whereby it asks you questions and you fill in the blanks. (what do you think your accountant uses? duh!) The software cost $49.
It has an error check, an audit check and offers advice for next year. This and the H&R Block course has saved me thousands of dollars.

Living Almost Large said...

I don't know, maybe it's worth not hassling. But we have to ask why it's so expensive.

Snowbag said...

There's really no reason to use a CPA per se. I/we have a CFP who is a Registered Agent, and she has done our taxes for years. She enters our data into the software in front of us, asks us questions, etc. Some of her (common-sense really) advice over the years has allowed us to reduce our total taxable income. The service cost us 187.00 this year, to be deduced next year. It is like any other service: shop around.

limeade said...

I had it done by a CPA who was very knowledgeable and helpful. Over the course of the year, I had worked at 3 different jobs and my wife another. We lived in two states, and have a rental property with it's associated income and expenses.

The best part, I was only charged $175.

I didn't just meet this guy though. He came recommended to me from my mortgage broker.

Don't use the first guy that has CPA appended to his name. Interview them and ask what it's going to cost up front (at least an estimate).


Living Almost Large said...

Hmm...think it's the difference in the cost of living? I wonder if it's because my accountant needs to make a living, but whatever.

Next year I'm trying to do it on my own. I'm still pissed because we haven't heard yet if we are okay. Arrgh, I'm going to call again today. He's been avoiding me.