Q: When first meeting with a CPA, what should an individual bring i.e. documents,
pay stubs, etc.
OK, so you have decided that doing your own taxes is worse than going to the dentist and you are looking for help. Choosing a CPA to do your tax work is a great choice. In my Practice, a potential client usually calls me and asks the standard questions, can you do it, when can you do it and how much will it cost. Before those questions can be answered, if it is feasible, I request a meeting with the potential client. I get referrals for tax work from all over the country, so occasionally meeting face to face is not an option. But assuming you are local, I ask the potential client to review my web site before our meeting. I believe people should have an idea of what they are buying before they go to the store. I may be more than what they need, and is makes no sense to spend my time and their money if they don't need someone with my expertise.
Tax Tip on Write-offs This week we are going to look at a commonly used phrase that is used in a variety of ways. The phrase is write-off. It can be used as I'll just write it off, it's a total write-off, don't worry my tax guy will write it off, or the dreaded lets write this idea off and chalk it up to experience. My favorite write-off was an idea to cook freshly made meatballs on a skewer over a Hibachi. When I turned the skewer over, the meatballs began disintegrating and landing in the ashes like snowflakes falling. That night I decided to write-off the idea of cooking on the grill and ordered Chinese takeout.Read More
Uh, Oh!! You got a letter from the Internal Revenue Service that's says you are being audited. The average person's reaction is instant doom. That's it!!! I'm going to jail. Who will shovel the snow, who will cut the grass, who will play my numbers, who will feed the cat? This first reaction mellows a bit into, well at least I will get some peace and quiet, I wonder how many cable channels they have in a cell and what night do they serve spinach quiche?Read More
One of my favorite tax questions I ask clients is "how much did you give to charity this year?" For a new client the answer might be, "oh just take the maximum allowable deduction". Before I inform them that there is no such animal, I make it very clear that I am not into mouth to mouth resuscitation. The truth is, if you can prove it, you can deduct what you gave to a qualified organization. What is a qualified organization, what support is needed, and where to deduct the contribution are examined in this article.Read More