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Q: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant) ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: davidla1-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Aug 2006 16:00 PDT
Expires: 15 Sep 2006 16:00 PDT
Question ID: 756775
With the assistance of tax software, I can personally complete my tax
information quicker, easier, and cheaper than using my accountant.  I
have a small business and receive k-1s from several out-of-state LLCs.
 Needless to say, my accounting bill is fairly expensive, and it takes
a lot of time communicating back and forth with the accountant and his

Although I have receipts for my expenses and would be able to pass
muster with an audit, I believe the cost of an audit would
substantially exceed the costs for preparation of my returns.

My question is simple: am I more likely to be audited if I prepare my
tax returns personally.  If I provide the same tax return except one
was prepared by me and one by my accountant, am I more likely to be
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: edvin-ga on 16 Aug 2006 17:19 PDT
If you provide the same exact return there is no difference in your
chance of getting audited.  However preparing the return yourself can
mean that you miss something or make a mistake.  Signing off on it
puts the blame on your shoulders.
Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: steph53-ga on 17 Aug 2006 18:54 PDT
My B/F is a Chartered Accountant and he managed to get the dreaded
"Taxman" off my a*s....

Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: frde-ga on 18 Aug 2006 10:25 PDT
I had a UK Ltd liability company for 10 years.

At a certain stage it struck me that I was paying the accountants to
be little more that copy typists
- a bit silly as my g/f was an accountant and I coached her through her exams

I was 'audited' twice, and in each case the look of relief on their
faces when presented with well kept books was interesting. The
'audits' cost me little more than tea and biscuits.

There is a school of thought that known accountants get things through
the tax office more easily, this might be so, but when my father died
some years ago, we prepared his final year business and personal
accounts, his relict insisted on using the usual accountant and was
astonished by the bill. They increase it for obvious suckers.

Whoops, I missed the point there, my father's prior accountant was a
very sharp cookie, when he died in a pile up on the M1 the tax office
went after his ex clients with a vengeance.

A good accountant is useful. I have not met many.
The rest are parasites.

After my first audit, I rather looked forward to the next one.

And the other thing is that in the UK one can get away with seriously
abbreviated accounts, something I only learnt a few years ago when
checking up on a company that was owned by a Chartered Accountant.
Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: davidla1-ga on 20 Aug 2006 14:07 PDT
Here in the U.S. I hear horror stories about this or that and how it
takes forever to clear up the slightest mistake.  I have gone this far
without the dreaded audit.  My fear is that signing my name as the
preparer of the returns is simply going to trigger some file at
headquarters, "Audit this guy."
Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: abezon-ga on 20 Aug 2006 21:04 PDT
Using a professional firm in the US reduces your chance of being
selected for an audit (other than a random audit). However, even
without a professional tax preparer, your audit chance is less than
1%. If you don't fear an audit, then I doubt the slight lessening
chance of an audit is worth the cost of tax prep fees to you.
That said, good tax pros are often worth their weight in gold because
they spend hours every year going over the *new* tax laws & how those
laws will affect their clients. Tax software probably doesn't think to
ask you if you're eligible for a domestic production credit, nor does
it help you decide who should claim what kids & whether being married
will help or hurt your tax situation.
The problem of finding a good tax pro is left to the student.....
Subject: Re: Tax (Should I keep using an accountant)
From: scopy-ga on 02 Sep 2006 08:35 PDT

The answer is yes!

1) They keep upto date with current legislation.
2) One less thing to worry about.
3) One less thing to do.
4) No more forgetting deadlines.(They will remind you)
5) Professional advice when you need it.
6) Third party audit is deemed to be better.
7) Know all the working practices and acceptable methods of keeping
records and dealing with taxes.
8) Has many clients in the same situation as yourself so the methods
used are up to date.

For an acceptable fee you can have all the above.

The only question is how to choose a good accountant. Get recommnedations.


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