Author Topic: Turbo Tax vs CPA?  (Read 41948 times)

Numbers Man

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2015, 10:13:17 AM »
So a CPA could have saved you at least $2,500 in this case.
Or, if you took the time to read the IRS publications yourself, you would have saved yourself $2500 without paying a CPA. It sounds like this is already the case, because you realized that TT was doing it wrong.

How do you think a CPA knows about tax credits and deductions? They've read the appropriate IRS publications or some other source that is based on the IRS publications.

My main point was that people put a lot of faith in the tax software and follow blindly. Blissfully unaware that the tax software has limitations. I would wager that very few people read the tax law or would even know to think of reading it to check to see if the tax software is spitting out the correct numbers. So yes, in most cases a CPA that specializes in taxes would be a better alternative.

johnny847

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2015, 10:53:45 AM »
So a CPA could have saved you at least $2,500 in this case.
Or, if you took the time to read the IRS publications yourself, you would have saved yourself $2500 without paying a CPA. It sounds like this is already the case, because you realized that TT was doing it wrong.

How do you think a CPA knows about tax credits and deductions? They've read the appropriate IRS publications or some other source that is based on the IRS publications.

My main point was that people put a lot of faith in the tax software and follow blindly. Blissfully unaware that the tax software has limitations. I would wager that very few people read the tax law or would even know to think of reading it to check to see if the tax software is spitting out the correct numbers. So yes, in most cases a CPA that specializes in taxes would be a better alternative.
For the general population...maybe a CPA will be better. But to get the full value out of a CPA, you need to ask them questions in the off season about tax planning, not just ask them to file your taxes. Tax planning is where the true savings come from

For members of this forum? I doubt it. People on this forum have already taken steps towards frugaltiy and are willing to learn new things (ie, how to invest). Learning the tax code so they can do their own tax planning (and save money on either CPAs or tax software, though really the money savings here pale in comparison to the savings from tax planning) should not be all that difficult in most cases (obviously if you're somebody like Mitt Romney who has a 300+ page tax return, this doesn't apply to you).

FarmerPete

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2015, 12:19:06 PM »
The big TT issue this year was that they removed features from TT Deluxe and didn't make it as well known.  In the past, Deluxe was able to handle investment income.  Now, you have to pay more and get Premier.  It's a fairly hefty fee increase for doing the same thing.  TT claims that it was just making the boxed copy the same as their online software, but that's basically there way of saying, Suck it.  If you complain enough, they'll give you a free upgrade this year.  I wouldn't use TT, but I use my Dad's copy (on his computer), so it costs me $0 to file a more complex return.  I have investment income and will end up itemizing this year.

BaldingStoic

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2015, 12:32:44 PM »
I'm a Turbotax fan, and was pleasantly surprised when Turbotax filed my Federal taxes free and only charged me $9.99 for state, because I'm Vanguard Flagship customer.  So for all other Vanguard investors out there, click the Turbotax link after logging into your Vanguard account to get the discount.  (Note: Size of discount varies based on amount invested).   


geekette

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2015, 02:46:22 PM »
The big TT issue this year was that they removed features from TT Deluxe and didn't make it as well known.  In the past, Deluxe was able to handle investment income.  Now, you have to pay more and get Premier. 
They backed down. 

First they offered a $25 rebate if you had to upgrade, or, if you called in, they'd send Premier free (I got mine).  Now, from what I've read, everyone with Deluxe will be upgraded free when you connect.  Next year Deluxe will be like prior years as well.

H&R Block is trying to win people over by sending out free software if you send them your TTax receipt. 

fartface

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Re: Turbo Tax vs CPA?
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2015, 06:11:46 PM »
CPA here; no longer in public practice so I can't use our awesome software anymore... 

I picked up Taxact this year and it's pretty good.  I find it frustrating that the forms are buried b/c I know what I need but walking through the wizards and Q&A stuff can be a little annoying. 


Please don't go to a CPA unless you actually need to.  Generally it will become apparent when the time is right. 

Sometimes you can also find some good Enrolled Agents(EA's) who will do a good job. 


As far as "shady CPAs" go... It's a black eye on our profession if there is someone out there who is doing things they are not supposed to be doing.  Please be aware that sometimes what is happening is perfectly legal and the person bragging about it may not really understand what's happening and may sell it like they are getting away with something when they are actually fully within the law.  I'm in my mid 30's and as I get older it constantly surprises me how little some people understand about things that significantly effect their lives.

My mom is an EA (Enrolled Agent w/the IRS) and prefers TaxAct to TurboTax.