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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to upset the Yuletide mood but I'm setting up for tax finales.
Does anyone know of a good site that keeps abreast of deductions? We have so much emergency stuff going on due to the storms that everything seems to change almost daily and I don't want to miss out on anything. Unka Sam gets enough from me now.
 

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What in the world are you doing? With all the businesses you are running don't you have a good CPA to take care of all of that for you? He/she should be contacting you about this time of year to check in with you and set up a meeting to get you squared away and see what tax planning needs to be done to wrap up this year and start 2005 correctly. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I posted a while back that my all time favorite CPA moved to CO. All the ones that I have found since want to just take the easy way out, fill out the basic forms and hit the send button. The one that I have now didn't even know about the truck deductions. I'll have another new one next year but I'm guessing that he/she won't be much better than this one.
I even went to a tax attorney one year thinking that they might be better. LOL No better, just charge more.
 

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Around the 1st of April start calling all the CPAs who are on your short list of being a good fit for you and beg them to do something for you. Any of them that even attempt to try to fit you in and solve your problem cross off your list. The ones that are too busy and refuse to help you think about hiring. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good advice Mike but I'm going to want to check up on them too and how am I going to know if they are doing their job if I can't verify it?
There has to be a site(s) somewhere.
 

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I leave all the taxes to my accountant. Infact I haven't paid myself a pay check at all this year just to not confuse my personal taxes. I've got a nice check coming January 1st. ;)

I should be meeting with my accountant some time in the next week or two. Thanks for reminding me to call him.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
Good advice Mike but I'm going to want to check up on them too and how am I going to know if they are doing their job if I can't verify it?
There has to be a site(s) somewhere.
You know, here is the thing, and I'm going to have a hard time believing that I will be telling you anything you don't already know...

... but when it comes to paying taxes and how good a job your accountant is doing in regard to deductions...

it all comes down to aggresiveness and your personal comfort level in regard to audits, penalties and interest.

I have learned over the years and because my wife is a CPA that there is no wrong or right method or guidelines when it comes to companies and taxes. There are so many interpretations of the tax code that it all comes down to how aggressively you want to pursue tax reduction strategies.

From the least level of risk you could take no deductions that you were legitimately due, basically way over pay your taxes... to the most extreme level of risk which would be basically don't even pay your taxes, and the reality is that you are going to end up somewhere between those 2 extremes, but where you end up is basically up to your comfort level and your tax planning with your accountant.

I know people who wouldn't take a legitimate home office deduction because they are so in fear of the IRS and I also know people who write off their nannies, and their dogs are counted as dependents!

So really as for double checking your CPA in regard to making sure you are getting your full dedutions? It really doesn't exist, because a good CPA should be offering you a selection of tax planning on a sliding scale of how aggressive you want to be and how much risk aversion you have to audits, penalties and interest.

I know in some areas I have pushed my accountant to be more aggresive in regard to tax planning, with full warnings from her in regard to the consequences and her voicing an opinion that she would council me to go a different direction, and on the other hand there have been instances where suggestions have been made to me by her in regard to areas where I could do things differently and be more aggressive and I choose not to.

I personally would advise you not to enter into a relationship with your CPA where he/she is simply telling you this is this and that is the way it is, nor would I enter into a relationship where you are dictating tax planning based on some sort of checklist. I would strive to find a CPA that understood your personal goals, and comfort levels with risk and was willing to work in those directions.

You know everybody is different, to some the checking up on their CPA would be met if they hadn't been audited in the last 5 years, meaning the CPA was being conservative enough for them, to someone else checking up would mean that they had been audited and they had to pay some penalites and that meant they were riding the edge of the envelope so aggressively that they knew for sure they weren't paying a penny more in tax than they should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mike, you are well aware of the 'Red Flag'. Over the years I have learned that the dreaded 'Red Flag' is available in different sizes. My best CPA knew how to set many small flags without setting 'The Big One' that gets you into trouble.
Most opt on the side of caution just so that they will not have to defend anything that they have done. It is sad to say that I know more about the recent tax laws than any of the CPA's that I have spoken to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mike, you should know that I believe in getting what one pays for. I'm not cheap in any respect.
I do find it disenheartening when three CPA's that I visited (all in their 40's) still had their games on the computer when I entered the office and two asked me to wait until they were done.
I may be old but I also have kids (young adults) and I do know what the games sound like.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
I do find it disenheartening when three CPA's that I visited (all in their 40's) still had their games on the computer when I entered the office and two asked me to wait until they were done.
You didn't pull a Dirty Harry on them? Knock their monitor on to the ground and tell them - are you done now punk?

Seriously, that is ridiculous. Either Florida is filed with idiots or you are fishing in the wrong holes. Like I said, I have never met a CPA that didn't have his act together. I've met plenty of non-certified accountants who were goof balls but not too many CPAs. What does Disney hire all the good ones down there?
 

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Unless this is spam, alexlimbert, please be more specific.

Not holding my breath...
 

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Mike Finley said:
You know, here is the thing, and I'm going to have a hard time believing that I will be telling you anything you don't already know...

... but when it comes to paying taxes and how good a job your accountant is doing in regard to deductions...

it all comes down to aggresiveness and your personal comfort level in regard to audits, penalties and interest.

Mike,

Great advice, but listen to your CPA, she doesn't want you in jail.

Ed

Plam Beach Gardens, FL CPA who is too busy in April!
 
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