Discussion:Be a TurboTax Agent?

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Hgco (talk|edits) said:

16 November 2011
I received an email from Intuit about being a "TurboTax Agent".

See: http://intuit.apply2jobs.com/ProfExt/index.cfm?fuseaction=mExternal.showJob&RID=72315&CurrentPage=1#utm_source=avature&utm_medium=email&utm_content=11-13-11&utm_campaign=RTP

The description indicates an employment period from Nov 2011 - Apr 2012, 30-40 hrs per week, or basically pretty much tax season!

The pay is "up to" $8,400.00, and yes, you should have "ability to work overtime as business requires". Pay "up to" $8,400.00 is not a clearly defined description of what is actually being paid.

So basically they are seeking experts (EAs, CPAs, JDs) to basically work the tax season for $8,400.00? I guess if you are retired and just want some extra cash, or maybe you're a preparer and have a knowledgeable support person to spare for slower portions of the day, otherwise I don't get why an active (busy) preparer would want to do this.

[I do recall seeing some earlier comments on this topic. I searched the yellow box but couldn't find any reference.]

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 November 2011
Discussion:Intuit looking for tax line help....

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 November 2011
Discussion:Need additional income during tax season? Intuit needs tax experts. This is where I reported it 13 months ago.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Discussion:Career Change

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Note that in searching, the terms

Turbo Tax

and

Turbotax

are not the same, thus you might want to try searching under both should you need to search again. This is one of the problems with searching - not everyone uses the same terms, thus people can't find the appropriate discussions. For example, to find the discussion that I started in Oct 2010, I used the search terms

Kevinh5 Intuit 2010

Hgco (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Kevin,

I guess I didn't use the correct key search words for the yellow box. I searched using TurboTax Agent, TurboTax customer support, TurboTax phone support, without any luck. The right search words make all the difference.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
To answer your question, I believe they are paying an hourly wage of $20 to $25. I was curious last year and had inquired. It didn't seem like it would be worth it to me to spend my spare time telling people that tax software is no substitute for a good tax professional.

Oh wait, that's what I do here for free. Maybe I SHOULD get $25 an hour for doing it.

Rich66 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
$18 per hour - plus the bonus (the carrot up to $8,400)

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Well, could you watch full episodes of Glee on Fox http://www.fox.com/full-episodes/ while answering questions?

I am hooked on that show. If I miss out (Tuesday nights is also my Magic Club night - finally met fellow magic member Harry Anderson last week), I have to wait a week for Fox to release it on Full Episodes.

Hgco (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Long ago I worked at firm (before PCs were commonplace) and we used a series of entry line coded worksheets to compute various line items of a tax return. The firm would send the worksheets to a service bureau, which would send back sheets of computed figures. The secretaries would carefully place the appropriate tax form transparent overlay atop each page of computed figures then

photocopy to create the individual pages of the tax return. At the time the firm had one, maybe two PCs, and no one lower than a manager or maybe a senior could even touch the PC, much less even look at it!

I can honestly say that I gained no practical tax knowledge from the experience.

A few years later I bought my own PC, a Dell with a 40MB HD (actually came with signed letter from Michael Dell, though no guarantee that he actually signed it). Friends questioned why I would need such a powerful computer.

Then Taxview for Windows and Macintax (I believe the precursor to TuboTax) arrived.

It was magnificent! You could actually print a realistic looking tax return with your dot matrix printer!


My how far we have come.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
You must be young. My first PC had no hard drive at all. The program would run on one drive (you had to switch out floppy discs as the program progressed) and the data would write to the other disc. It was so exciting to hear those discs grinding away, computing the taxpayer's AGI. Please remove Program Disc 3 from Drive A, then insert Program Disc 5...grind grind grind. Now it was computing taxable income. Please remove Program Disc 5 from Drive A, then insert Program Disc 7. Grind Grind Grind. Please remove Prgram Disc 7 from Drive A and insert Program Disc 8. Grind Grind Grind. Finally....it would print the return on the dot matrix printer. That took another 20 or 30 minutes.

Hgco (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Well I guess I was kinda young when I bought that first Dell machine. The Taxview software program actually came with a run-time version of windows. But Bill Gates made you buy the full Windows 3.0 the following year. Progressed onto a Haynes 2400 modem, and then e-filing.

Youngsters these days don't even know what a floppy disk is, let alone Visicalc.

Gotta go, time for my Geritol.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Kevin, I got you beat. My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 and it only had a cassette tape with the programs. My next computer had the two floppy drives like yours (until I bought a hard drive and forced hubby to install it).

Stuart (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
It was called "VuCalc" on my first computer. It was stored on a casette. I couldn't load it without the memory expansion pack that tended to work loose, so I scotch taped it into place. Care to guess what brand it was?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Yes, I had the two disk computer with no hard drive, but mine was even more radical: one slot ran disks for DOS machines, the second for Apple.....at least I recall that, and you had to keep switching disks....running Quicken meant inserting the program disk then more disks. We also had a 5 year old Amiga.....wonderful for graphics, but a bit reluctant to do business stuff like rudimentary spreadsheets. Then came a PS1 which had a hard drive, 40MBs....we used it for billing, etc but my partner put a tax program in it....another one with many disks.....so the next year our company bought a PC for each of us. Mine was an AST, hers a Packard Bell.....within a month I found the limited RAM would not let me run several programs.....so I bought one of the first Pentiums from Gateway.

By the way, I keep getting phone calls from Intuit offering me this deal of a lifetime. If I could patch Beatle Fred into my phone system, I might let him answer the questions and pocket the money.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
I read over that help wanted ad.

(How many people call for help on their 706? Hilarious.)

Where does it say they are looking for preparers? This is a tax preparer job, not a information or advice line. Right?

TurboTax is a consumer product, right?

Doesn't Circ. 230 say that if you give advice to someone who is preparing their return you are a preparer and you are subject to 230 and frankly you should sign the return as preparer?

I'm conflused. Can someone explain to me why this isn't a tax preparer job? Remember, we are dealing with a specific return. The TP is not calling for the h*ll of it.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Great point Polly. Yes, giving advice essential to a major position or result on a tax return constitutes preparation of the return (which then requires your signature).

Several years ago, when I discovered this, we dropped doing separate forms ('I just need help with the Schedule D [or C or E, etc], I'll do the rest of the return myself') for do-it-yourselfers. Too much liability to have to sign a return for which I was only paid to do one schedule.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Also, don't people who purchase Turbo have to pay extra for being able to call the tax help line? I don't know. Does live tax help come automatically with the software? Presumably they would be calling regarding a major position. Why call on something unless it was a major point to them? Is this beginning to take on the flavor of a paid preparer?

I would guess that Intuit got high powered legal help on this issue so I am not accusing them of anything improper. However, it should be remembered that what may protect Intuit may not protect the professional. It would make an interesting discussion at an ethics meeting. Perhaps there is a law buried away somewhere that I don't know about.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
you mean like on Mars, Gazoo? Here on Earth we have a saying that goes something like

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Yes, I believe that calling a tax expert costs the TurboTax consumer extra. I'm not sure if they are charged per question or per minute, or, heaven forbid, an unlimited number of questions per tax return.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
I'd hate to see a preparer hung out to dry or to dangle in the wind. I don't know. I just don't know. We don't seem to enforce the laws we do have...(convenient budget cuts and so on).

I think the USDA has one meat inspector for the entire East Coast now. They make it easy for him by letting him grade everything an "A". This is one of the reasons the kids are getting sick from their hamburgers and turkey (burgers).

It's the little meatpackers that get the attention from the government; the big boys seem to sail by. How did I get off on meat? I didn't mean to change the subject.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
Same thing going on in the candy industry, Gazoo. The big fudgepackers get a wink and a nod from the government. And the peanut farmers down where CrowJD is - I'd bet the big guys never get their nuts inspected, even though salmonella is rampant in the peanut butter packing plants.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
There could be some similarities between the industries. The big guys seem to always get a pass. What with a corporation being a person naturally a big corporation would be a bigger person and take up more room at the table. Good point.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 November 2011
"I'd bet the big guys never get their nuts inspected,"

Are you Bracket Creep's straight man?

Taxaway (talk|edits) said:

18 November 2011
Isn't a preparer who's dangling in the wind being hung out to dry?

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

19 November 2011
Well I might have gotten a little carried away there.

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