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Discussion:How to become a tax preparer

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> How to become a tax preparer


Dreamhigh (talk|edits) said:

February 14, 2007
Hi friends

I would like to gather some info reg'd tax filing. I want to start my own business of filing taxes for others. Could anyone plz tell me the various routes that this can be done. what are the procedural steps to start a tax filing business. Do I need to get a business license or get registered with IRS.....Iam so confused. Plz help me out. Any help is greatly appreciated. Anyone giving me some info can plz email me at dreamhigh9@yahoo.com

Thanks

Rose3304 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
what state are you in Dream?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
Get a job with someone else, and learn at their elbow, and attend tax seminars whenever you can.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
take the H&R Block course and get a job working for a few tax seasons before you go out on your own

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
While you're at it getting experience, check out other models and define who you want to serve. Do you want to do interviews, have people mail their information or what? That will define where you will operate. Familiarize yourself with the IRS website and download publications, especially #17, and buy guidebooks like JK Lasser, Quickfinder and the like. Then fill in your profile and ask the members of this board all the things you do not know. :)

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
Learn to like coffee at 3pm and 4pm and ...

Learn that the human body's requirement for sleep is your enemy

Learn that Easter with the family really cuts into your time at work.

Learn funny replies to "It must be nice to only work 3 months"

Learn how to use Tivo so that you can watch 24 in May.

TaxNerd (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
Dreamer: You may be surprised to learn that (at the moment) you don't need any special qualifications or pass any test to become a tax preparer. Just start crankin them out. And correct me if I'm wrong fellow boarders, but I believe that if you are not a CPA or Enrolled Agent, you could probably call yourself a tax "expert", whereas CPA's or EA's who are covered by Circular 230 can not, even though I would never call myself one, because I am obviously not, but I have a ton of people fooled so far.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
I have more people fooled! Like becoming a parent, no training or license required. That said, the world is full of incompetents in both categories. Do yourself a favor, if you're not an accountant, become one first. I remain amazed at the number of preparers who don't seen to know a debit from a credit, or why debit is abbreviated Dr. ( http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Discussion:Please_%27splain_this_to_me )You need to know this stuff. If you want to be of value to your clients anyway.

Corptaxhelp (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
TaxNerd, you make a great point. CPA/JD can be an albatross around your neck. As someone without letters after my name, I can give the same tax advice as my lettered colleagues but with far less liability and regulatory overhead.

I may lose some business because I'm not as credentialed as my peers. However, my ability to speak in plain English and not have my hands bound by the disclaimers and legalize of 230 is an offsetting advantage. Some attorneys and CPAs I have worked with for years have gone from being infinitely helpful to darn near mute for fear of getting bitten by 230.

Dream: work at a return mill for a season or two. Take advantage of their training. Learn the basics on their dime and then decide if this is what you want to do before starting out on your own.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
Keep in mind that it will take months after April 15th for your body to feel normal again, due to the stress during the three months called "tax season."

Glmpllc (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
JR1...for what its worth, not knowing why the abreviation for debit is Dr. has not hindered me one bit.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
GLM, its because when you first start using the terms, you have to say "an increase to the bank account is a Debit, Right?" and "An owner's contribution of capital is a Credit, Right?" DR, CR

SunGod (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
In the State of Washington where I practice, it is easier to become a tax preparer than get a license to operate a salon. After seeing my practice flourish in a few years, one of my clients (an ethnic grocer) has begun preparing tax returns. Sad to say - he has no knowledge of accounting or taxes. If a tough issue crops up, he calls me for professional advice. I wish the State could begin cracking down like CA or OR.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
Kevihh, LOL.

I once trained a would-be bookkeeper to just remember that debits are good and credits are bad. She still laughs about how it took her 3 months to figure out that wasn't always true.

Cwatt1 (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
I also contemplate becoming one (no, I'm not crazy, I hope...) I do have a CPA certificate but have not formally worked in the field -- just been preparing taxes for family members. I've heard good things about the Block course, but have a mental Block (pun definitely intended) about anything Block. Is the course really that good? And what about the courses offered by Jackson-Hewitt? Any comments?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

February 16, 2007
My understanding is that the Block course is the best there is. Many larger firms make it mandatory for newer tax folks. Thanks for that reminder, it's a good one.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
There was an old joke about when the old accountant died, they opened the desk drawer he looked in first thing every day and found taped to the bottom a 3 x 5 card. Typed neatly on it was 'Debit on Left, Credit on Right'

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
PS: did we scare Dreamhigh away yet?

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
D&T HAHAHAHA. I used T accounts in the past...still to this day, if I have an accounting question that needs research I use T-accounts....old habits die hard...no?

Woodstock (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
run, dreamhigh, run...

NJTaxman (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2007
This is a perfect topic for someone like myself who is going back east to start his own company. I have been doing taxes and accounting for the past 10 years and it's time. I am studying for the CPA exam, but it may take some time to get this accomplished. In the meantime, I want to get things started. Having said that, I have always been told that you need an EA to charge money for tax returns. Is this not the case? Is this not true?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
T accounts are how I figure out anything that involves accounting. I'm waiting for Intuit to produce Quik-Tees

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
I like the stripped down version - Strip Tees

Klesher (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Yup for T-accounts !!

Johnny (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
In addition to all of the above, complete form W-7P(Application for preparer tax ID number)to apply for preparer ID.

Will (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Dreamhigh: If you are not in OR or CA all you need is a shirt, pair of pants, and a pencil to get in the tax business. Most states will require you to get a license and a bond if you want to hammer nails into a board for the public, preparing peoples tax returns isn't really a concern ;)

Someone help me out, why is debit DR?

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 17, 2007
My first guess was "debit record" and "credit record." So I went to Google and found this:

Investopedia

Read the last two paragraphs.

Will (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Thanks deback! I'm going to spread the 'debit record' theory. :)

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Debitor = DR Creditor = CR

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
I like my answer better. :)

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
I learned my accounting skills from Bob Cratchit. Did you know he was fiddling the books, but old Scrooge never caught him?

MsTxLadi2U (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
I am new here, just signed up. Being a tax preparer is great, you get to meet great[and not so great]people. I went to H&R Block tax school, and worked for them for 5 tax seasons, and as long as you were an employee you could continue to go to their classes all the way up to becoming an EA. They do have great instructors, and the courses are great. I have been independent since 1989, I believe I will give it up next year. It is a lot of wear and tear on the cranium. All I did was went downtown to my local City County Bldg. and got a certificate for Conducting Business Under Assumed Name. My clientele has grown rapidly and I have had the same clients for 18 yrs. so it can be done.

MsTwizz (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
DreamHigh,

As one "newbie" to another, it takes much longer to do a tax form(especially business), than it does a more experienced preparer, because there is much research and reading regs. (and posting and reading tax almanac! Don't know what I'd do without this forum. But,I love the work! (yes, you gotta be a Geek) and I am working ALL THE TIME, but really, there's nothing on TV anyway! Don't be afraid to say, you don't know, but you will research to find out.

Prepare yourself for clients coming in-for example, if they tell you of a specific situation over the phone, RESEARCH and KNOW you stuff BEFORE they walk in the office)

Don't be afraid to think of yourself as a professional even though you are still "green." Don't be afraid to fee what you should fee. (This is my problem)! Don't be afraid! Go for it! It is very rewarding and I am hoping, someday, I will make a profit doing it1 hahahaha!!! www.irs.gov is your friend. Sign with the irs to e-file Read Circular 230 and Publication 470 (I'm not a CPA or EA yet) Have fun!

Woodstock (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Ms Twizz - Nothing on TV? What about reality stuff - and this Anna Nicole stuff - now THAT'S TV!

MsTwizz (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
UGGGHHHH!!! :o)

Birdman (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
DZ is right. Dr is abbreviation of debitor- going back to 18th century english recordkeeping practices. Kind of like Saint is St.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
don't forget the discussion of how much a "tax preparationist" makes [[1]]Tax Preparer Earnings

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 17, 2007
Yea, I hope you understood that I was only copying the terminology used by the questioner in that discussion.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

February 17, 2007
You're all wrong (including me) about what DR and CR means.

Here's a quiz you can take.

Take the above quiz and you'll find out the correct meaning of DR and CR.

Glmpllc (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
14 of 15, missed #10

NJTaxman (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
Do you need to be an EA or CPA or something other to be a paid prepaprer?

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

February 17, 2007
We also discussed this in Discussion:Please 'splain this to me

Glmpllc (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2007
your state laws will determine that...in Michigan, no.

April042771 (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
www.becomeataxpreparer.com

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
April has sited a course for certifying California tax preparers

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Discussion:Tax Preparer- Seasonal Salary?

Blrgcpa (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
A tax preparer should understand accounting in order to properly do tax returns.

Otherwise, how do you do business returns?

I'd suggest to start with a course of study at a local community college.

However, anyone can do a tax return with no training at all.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
as all the people at Jackson Hewitt have proved

Blrgcpa (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Way back when, in the year of the flood, I took acct 101. The instructor said the debits are by the door and the credits are by the window.

Boy was I confused when I took my next and the room was on the other side of the hall!

Westerntreks (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Dreamhigh,

I'm finishing my first year in the school of hard-knocks - if I had it to do over again this is how I would have proceeded - get started now, certainly start no later than this June.

First you need to decide whether to go it alone or to work with someone who is established - if you decide to strike out alone:

1. Decide how to organize (soleprop,LLC,etc) - contact your attorney or do it through the secretary of state.

Be sure to check with your state officials to see what their requirements are with regard to licensing - evidently only a few have them.

2. Contact HR Block and get enrolled in their course (it starts earlier than you might think - so don't wait too long like I it did!)

3. Go to IRS.gov, click on the "Tax Professionals" tab, then click on the "e-services" link and get your PTIN and EFIN applications going - you will need finger print cards etc.

4. This fall start working on your marketing plan. Several contributors here suggested that I work with the community service groups in my town but like large ships those groups don't react very fast, so start working with them now.

  I had offered to do returns for a very low fixed-fee for the Habitat for Humanity clients just to build experience doing the interview - everyone loved the idea but they were unable to get the information out to their clients fast enough.

Word of mouth advertising will be your best friend. I've tried flyers, large display ads, smaller ads in the Classified's Service directory and posted flyers/business cards on public bulletin boards - all with very negligible success. I've been told even the yellow pages don't help.

5. Know your limitations!!!!! In my case, I won't touch anything that has a "corp" anywhere near it.

6. Most Importantly - Don't expect instant riches - building a practice takes time.

Happy Easter all!

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Well said. I started out as a billing service for a friend's pool service then added bookkeeping services. That was while I was still working for a commercial bank. Then I got downsized. That happened at the perfect time to take the JH tax class. I took it because I thought it would help me review tax returns better when I got another banking job and if I was still job hunting when tax season rolled around, working for JH would give me a source of income. Two months after I was downsized I had another banking job but it didn't pay as well. I finished the JH class and worked for them at night to save money for a nice vacation (the one I was planning to take but had to cancel due to the downsizing). I had finally learned that there was no loyalty from the employer to the employee in the banking biz and that all I was going to do was work myself into an early grave. I continued to work in the banking biz for another four years before I had the guts to go out on my own. In hindsight, I should have left a year or two earlier but have always been financially conservative.

As Westerntreks said - building a practice takes time. Make sure you've got a way to buy groceries while you do it. Plan your marketing. Monitor your marketing return so you know where to spend your time and money. Provide good service. The clients will come.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Pray ALOT!!! During this Holy Season, I pray even more. I had a high paying job with a firm in Orlando and then moved to this poo dunk town and had a great job working in Non profit for a business that caters to wealthy nursing home persons. I HATED IT!! I was in charge of 5 properties from Minnesota to FL and prepared F/S to send to outside investors, P/R, A/P, etc. I started doing taxes for friends and relatives. After the FL hurricanes 2 years ago, I left that job...was going to leave the poo dunk town too but stayed.

I am now so busy I can't see straight. Do I make a good living? NO.....I don't make the money many of you do, but I am working my ass off to try to make a good business. I am sometimes embarrassed to state that I am a CPA since there are so many things that I have to question the non cpa's about....letters after my name mean absolutely diddly squat!!

I give away a ton of returns because I can't stand to see someone in need that I can help....does it cost me money? Sure does but I sleep at night very well (when it is not tax season)....

Every one of you has it in them to be successful or you would not be here....take what you know, expand on it and work it...but GIVE BACK....when you give, you get.....

My soapbox for Easter that is :)

Westerntreks (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Sandy,

Hehe - sometimes you just have to laugh at life. I did try to "give it back" too! After contacting the people at Habitat, I tried the people at the Center for Independent Living - offered to do 1040EZTs for free or 1040s for $30 for their clients - no takers there either. Next I put 5 gift certificates on bulletin boards around town for Free Returns. All 5 were looked at, 3 were taken off the boards but only one person called to see if the offer was for real - he got great service!

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
I also do some free returns for people in financial stress.

This is my second year by myself and my clientele doubled compared to last year, mainly for referrals. I always give my clients more than they bargain for, sometimes (most of the time) I undercharge. I am trying to charge more but prospective clients always ask about my fee first, so it's really tricky.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
I believe most of us undercharged at first. Tough to know what to charge and you don't want to run people off. You'll raise your rates to market as your practice grows but you'll always have those that you started low that you'll never be able to get up to market because you won't feel right doubling their rates if they've been with you that long. Train your clients now not to quote your rates to anyone. You can do this through general conversation. "Every return is different, etc" Once your business matures, you'll be ok quoting a rate and sticking to it. (Of course we always have our charity/discount clients but that's ok too.

Mill (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
Graduated with Accounting degree many years ago and could not do taxes. Took the H&R Block course - Excellent course. I would recommend to anyone wanting a basic understanding. Worked with Block for 25 years before 'retiring'. Trouble is with the computer programs today, some preparers don't know the theory. With the question of debits and credits; my professor said debit = left, credit = left. We accountants always have to think about making debit/credit entries. Ever talk to a banker about debiting/crediting an account?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
When I was in college I worked during the summers as a bank teller. I was constantly confused about debits & credits until I figured out that when you put money into your checking account, you're loaning money to the bank. When you borrow money, it's a note payable for you but a note receivable for the bank. After I understood that, I just had to remember which hat I was wearing. Ever notice that the accounting textbooks never use a bank as a sample company?

Dsglouise (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
I did not take any course at all. I simply read the instructions. I’m an accountant, and I think that you could prepare individual returns without knowing the difference between Dr and Cr, but not corporate.

I had tremendous problem with Dr Cr. In Russia it’s Dt and Ct, and when 20 years ago my English Second Language Teacher wrote on a black board Dr and Cr, I though that she was not qualified, and was about to leave the class. I didn’t mind of Cr, but Dr was not acceptable to me. She was an English teacher, and couldn’t explain to me why. Finally 20 years later you straitened things out, and explained where it came from. I love you guys. By the way, can anybody explain what CAF number is. I was trying to find an easy way to become EA, but instead got this CAF number. I use it once in a while, having no clue what it is.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
Not really an easy way to become an EA. You have to take the test and then take continuing education classes. The CAF is a number that they use to track people that have powers of attorney, EA's, CPA's, attorney's, etc that can talk with the IRS about other peoples taxes.

Dsglouise (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
Thanks, Bottom Line.

After I took a look at Publication 470, as per MsTwizz advice, I already don't know if I want to become an EA. I feel myself very comfortable as is. And by the way, yesterday at another discussion, you advised me on auditing matter, and I listen to you, guys, very carefully. Then I spoke to my client, and told him that I might be not qualified to help him with an audit. I was very honest with him, but he replied, "I don't care, I trust you, and I want you to conduct my audit." So now what should I do!? :o

Dwoloch (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
Hi - I started a tax practice last year. I had taken the Block course in 2003 and had worked there one season, and would have continued but I was finishing my mba which I had already started. The reason I took the course was I work in healthcare, and had my cpa, but wanted to diversify my skills, and also get experience working with "clients". I thought the course was great and my experience working there was really good as well, as I did a high volume of returns, and it gave me a good foundation of tax knowledge/skills for a start anyways. There were some great tax preparers there as well which I learned a lot from, and I still have a lot to learn

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
I am considering getting my EA because I'm hearing increasing chatter about Congress wanting to license paid preparers. I will definately go to more seminars this offseason which I hope will give me an idea as to how far behind I am with studying for the EA. I'd rather be grandfathered in and already have licensing instead of going into panic mode and HAVING to pass a test (less pressure especially since I haven't studied for anything in over 25 years and really didn't study much back then!).

Regarding the requested audit, depends upon what your client wants it for. If he specifically needs an audit, you don't have the licensing to render an opinion and cannot provide the service that he wants. If he wants someone to look over the books and make sure everything looks ok, you can do that. Be very careful in the wording of your report.

Dsglouise (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
I hear you, Bottom Line. Thanks

Laticiaw (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
DSG...I wouldn't even give a report AT ALL!!! It will come back to bite you in the end. The state can nail you for practicing without a CPA license(the only ones that can render an opinion on financial statements are CPA's...). From what I understood you were talking about standing before IRS, while I don't recommend it without talking to someone first that has been there...I am telling you if this guy want's his financials audited that's a whole different ball park, and as others are fond of saying to their taxpayers can land you where your clothing choices are stripes or neon orange...DON'T audit financials or even come close to it because your report can be interpreted anyway by anybody and could wind you up in the pokey...or at least with a fine that will take you the rest of your life to pay off.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
It is an IRS audit, not an audited financial statement. In some states there are other classes of accountants besides CPAs who can perform attest functions.

Laticiaw (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2007
Yeah, but it's a fine line to walk on. As for the IRS audit, that's different...I'd still be hesitant to do it, but that's just me...I sorta knew what she was talking about...

Rocnyc99 (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2008
Hello-I'm going to ask the same question that this forum was started with but just that I'm an atty. I don't do anything related to taxes(I'm a first year atty who work w/ low income clients at legal aid=I make no money but I sleep at night). However, a couple of years ago I started doing my in-laws taxes and a friend. Now people are starting to come to me and I think this might be a way to help me make some money especially since I have a ton of school debt....o.k. enough about my problems.

My question is whether I have to be enrolled w/ the IRS b/c I'm an atty in order to sign on the line for "tax preparer" and to be enrolled to have to take special tax classes? any help in this area is greatly appreciated.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2008
I assume you are in New York City from your initials, and in most states, you don't have to do anything or register anywhere to do taxes, but keep that quiet. We have a real open shop; anyone with the money to buy the software can do it, so Welcome to we Merry Brothers and Sisters and enjoy your first tax season.

But seriously, the more courses you take the better you will be.

RoyDaleOne (talk|edits) said:

8 February 2008
Kevinh5 what states allow attest functions by non-CPA's, and no grandfathered in professions please, such as PA, prior to the law governing CPA's in Florida.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Hi everyone,

I own a small business bookkeeping & payroll service, and have been contemplating starting to offer tax service. I have a BA & MA in Business with concentration in accounting, but no tax knowledge/education whatsoever, except whatever I have read the last couple of months! What I'd like to know is : how iminent is the licencing requirement for tax preparers by the Congress? And could anybody tell me what's a day in the life of a tax preparer is like? I know accounting and am good with numbers, but I'm starting to feel that it could get old and boring, not to mention the headache, backache, eyestrain, etc

Thank you

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Roy, the answer is as you imagine: grandfathered in RAs and PAs.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Get out, get out, before you get trapped.

Seriously, I think Congress has a lot more important things on the agenda than licensing, as much as it is needed. At this time of year, offer to work for someone in the business and then after season, take the Block course to get the grounding.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Discussion:Tax Preparer- Seasonal Salary?

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Thanks, Death & Taxes. In the meantime, one of my clients is a single owner LLC eith 14 employees and has asked me to do her business taxes as well as hers and her husband individual taxes. I do all of her bookkeeping and payroll. how much should I charge her? What forms should I use if she's filing jointly with her husband? Would that be complicated? This is my first tax return ever!

I appreciate your help

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
debtor...creditor is why the dr cr - but who cares, debit to the wall credit to the window (as per a acctng 101 prof) Unfortunately my desk now faces the window so I am thoroughly confused. FYI - any preparer - CPA, EA or joe off the street is subject to circ 230.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Day in the life? Well, you get up and get a snort of anything you can get your hands on. You can afford better liquor during tax season. This will steady your nerves for what's next. No time to bathe, you immediately start hacking away at that impenatrable mountain known as the Internal Revenue Code. After you lose your place a few times, and get totally confused, you put that down, and gander at an obscure provision of some state revenue act. About this time, a client calls that has not paid you in 6 months, and and wants something done RIGHT NOW.

It pretty much goes on like this until dinner, which the dog has eaten. But you are too hungry to eat by this time, so you finish the bottle, and THEN, only then can you get down to doing your work for the day. Get a couples hours sleep, and back to it.... It takes a lot of years to get to this level of success though, and it's even tougher for a beginner.

Irsfixer (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
I suggest you go ahead and get divorced first. It will be cheaper than once you have a successful practice and building the practice will cause the divorce.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
CrowJD....that's hilarious! I have a client that makes me go through a bottle every first week of the month, and that's only bookkeeping and payroll! That's good to know, though!

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
See there, you are already going thru one bottle of Old Revenuer a month! No joke though, do try to establish a good relationship with a Bottle Shoppe in your area. They will cash the client checks when the bank refuses to. I don't know about you folks in the ABC states.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
Wow...that bad, Irsfixer? I love my wife and baby daughter too much to do that. I'd quit my practice before divorcing my wife. It's not worth it AT ALL! One reason I'm not enjoying what I do is because I have passion for something completely different: cooking and the restaurant business. I know it's a lot of work, but it's something I really enjoy! I guess it's time for me to get on a career counceling discussion forum :-)

Irsfixer (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
In some ways they are the same really. The client cooks the books and you serve it up to the IRS and hope they don't want to know what is in it.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
The key to staying in the tax game is keeping the overhead low. Do not waste money on software. Get yourself an old reconditioned IBM Selectric (they are worth their weight in gold), some blank IRS forms, some carbon paper, and one of those special erasers to correct your carbons. I type all my returns. No copy machine or software expense. If it's really complicated, I will use the client's program. If they ask about Efile, tell them it's not secure, give then a knowing wink, and keep typing. That usually shuts them up.

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

12 February 2008
HA! You've got a passion for the restaurant business?

Take it from one who knows, the hospitality industry is a sure fire relationship killer especially for career changers, especially if your wife isn't in the industry. It's even worse then CrowJd's long nights of corn liqqer and rolling his own ciggies with NCR paper.

Seriously, get a p/t job at a local place washing dishes for a few months and tell me if the passion is still there.

If you're thinking about opening your own place, get some restaurant clients for your bookkeeping business first. It's a harsh business, especially for new operators. The saying goes, if you want to end up with a million dollors in the restaurant business, start with five million.


But what ever you do, you need to clear with the wife first. Don't expect any tender lovins when you crawl up to bed at 2am reeking of raw onions, garlic, and fish. Also get good shoes.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
That's right PFW, and don't forget, people have to pay taxes, they don't have to eat. I went three months without eating when I first put out my shingle. But I still paid my taxes on time.

Irsfixer (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Postingfromwork speaks the truth.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Take the amount of time that you now work and double it for January through April. Tell your wife and child that you won't see them for four months. I work 80-100 hrs/wk during tax season and take one day off every other week. There's no way I could do this if my husband didn't do all the cooking and housework.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Yeah, its tax season. I don't have time for _________. Fill in the blank with anything you want. Everything fits. I'm only here because I came down with one of the flus that the flu shot apparently didn't cover and am off work for the day. At least today I can get out of bed.

But if you STILL want to do taxes, take a class. Your local college may have one, or the ole H&R (although I hear they may not let you take the classes anymore if you don't work for them at least a season). If you are determined to do a return when you've never done one (what about your own return???), then start reading the instructions to form 1040 and related schedules; it seems like Sch C will be important unless your client has elected to be taxed as a corp. And if she has, I don't recommend doing a corp return as your first one out!

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Even though several of us beat up the tax stores, they do serve a purpose and their classes are fairly good for basic stuff. The cost is very affordable (usually less than $100). Try the class and then work for a tax store for a year. It will get you used to the hours and the volume. Then you can decide if you want to do taxes without spending a lot of money on software.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
first step - take a tax course & read read read & practice practice practice what you learn, dont forget circ 230

second step - file your own extension, before you forget third step - get a job working for a small firm. Work there at least 2 years. fourth step - decide if you really want to do this -Every year I say I will quit & I have been quitting for 20 years. fifth - if you decide to go out on your own, determine your absolute minimum financial needs (no cable or other luxuries) & try to scrape together a few clients. Join a networking group for referrals & to keep from going insane working alone. After a few years you will feel secure in the clients you have & overwhelmend with work & have enough $$ to reconsider re-estabilshing those luxuries you went without. But wait, yo are sooo busy you must hire someone & that will take at least 1/2 of your income, so yo are back to step 4. Who has time for cable anyway?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Or you could be like a few people: hang out a sign and start asking questions here! These types tend to think a business plan is a substitute for knowledge. Get 'em in the door and fake it. That's what the 1040X is for, to correct the mistakes of neophytes!!!!!

I know, people like Kevin and JD will wax sarcastic and tell you to use the search tool, but they mean it for your own good for reading the good old Tax Guide is one way to pick up things. Get yourself a copy of JK Lasser, or Willie Nelson's Your Federal Income Tax (with forward by W Snipes).

Finally, remember that you will never again see the Oscars, the NCAA basketball final four, Opening Day of baseball season, Easter or Passover or any other religious holiday, and just maybe Valentine's Day. President's Day is just a rumor to you, and forget about wearing green in March. By March 31st, your guard is down and when you have a telephone message to call Mr. Fox or Mr. Lyons on April 1st, smile when the zoo picks up.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Postingfrom work is very right. I had a passion for the restaurant business too. tried it out last year as well. Ran a wonderful restaurant. One of the best in the area. Ran the accounting practice too. Good thing I did both as I was able to take all the money I made from doing taxes to pay the bills of the restaurant.

I don't own the restaurant anymore, had it for a year. Kinda got a little bad lovin <euphemism> from the guy who sold it to me and I'm out about 80K, owe a bunch of money to family and friends, but, you know what, I sleep a whole lot better at night now than when I owned it. Concentrate on what you know, do what you do and do it well. I'm not saying don't try your passion, just understand that when you go into it, you should expect to lose $100,000. If you don't and you succeed, awesome, because it can be done. And it can be very profitable, mine would have, but I woulnd up trusting someone I should have. I counsel clients on not doing the thing I just did and i did it. bad bad me. lol.

So, what I'm saying is don't not do it, just understand the risks. Me, I look at it as getting an $80,000 crash course. I know what to do and how to elimintate what i did wrong. Eventually, after my wounds are fully healed, I will do it again. It was fun, but then again, I'm single and being a restaurant/cafe owner has a lot better appeal than being the owner of a tax shingle. Last year I was a cafe owner who also had a tax practice. got more oh's from the pretty little lady's <wink>. And my 13 year old son loved it. He came in did dishes, bussed tables and it was a fun time for both of us. He wants to do it again more then I do. and like I said, maybe we will.

If I was still married and had more responsibilities to others, I wouldn't have risked what I risked. Believe me, it was a long wait to tax season, but it's here and life is good again.

Think of trying the business the same way you should think about when you go to the casino. Go there planning to lose and if you walk out with money in your pocket and you had a good time, then be happy. Plan to win, expect the loss.

Everyone tells you why you can't do things. Listen to their counsel, take away their knowledge, but never let it deter you from trying. It's what we do. We try, we fail, we try again. Most millionaires, at least old school millionaires and not the new breed of internet types, have failed at least three times in business before hitting big, many have gone bankrupt too, they just kept trying.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Funny thing, Fsteincpa.Casinoa are my other passion. Actually, it's my #1 passion. However, I always plan as well as expect to win. It's a sickness! But like you said, if I had to choose between a successful tax/accounting business and a restaurant, I wouldn't think twice before choosing the latter! Thank you guys for all your input. I wish I could get more tips from you about the restaurant business, but I do realize this is a tax discussion forum! Would anyone be willing to discuss this with me via email, possibly?

Thanks for the encouragement Fsteincpa. I kind of know the type of risk involved in opening a restaurant, and that's the reason I've been putting the idea off, but somehow it keeps coming back to me!

Wwtaxes (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
HKlennon - have you thought about expanding your bookkeeping and payroll services instead? We've had to make the decision to send clients' payroll elsewhere bc we are overloaded trying to do both that and taxes. For a time, we thought about expanding that, but in talking with a CPA tax firm we work with, they also send out their payroll. There seem to be more and more small businesses, and very few have their books and payroll under control (ie - correct). Perhaps you could work with a tax preparer and do the books and payroll and get into the tax business that way. -- Just a thought.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Thank you, Wxtaxes! I have been trying to expand my bookkeeping and payroll services for the last few months. Several prospective clients called, but they were ALL looking for a one stop shop kind of service; they wanted someone to do their bookkeeping, payroll and help them with last year's taxes. That's when I started thinking about offering tax service asap! So I logged on to this forum, and honestly, I have not heard anything good about doing taxes. It's a little bit discouraging! And for someone like me, with no tax experience, I feel like I have to listen to what those who have been doing taxes have to say!!!

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Taxes are fun. I love the little old ladies. This 80 year old firecracker just came in. Told her to tell her husband to be careful, that I'm coming for her. Love the looks in their eyes. HK, I'd be happy to talk about the restaurant business, put something on my personal page with an email and I'll behappy to share my experiences. what I should have done differently, whether to buy vs start new one, etc. etc.

Wkstaxprep (talk|edits) said:

13 February 2008
Hi CrowJD,

Do you seriously do your returns without software? or were you being sarcastic?

If you do them all manually then:

1.) how do you do it?

2.) god bless

Will

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

14 February 2008
Doing taxes takes a different personality type. You have to be willing to do a certain amount of research. I've got some clients that I do everything for (bookkeeping through taxes), I've go some that I do just their taxes and I've got some that I just do their bookkeeping. I do the easier tax returns and I know what I know, I know what I don't know and I try to know where the line between the two is. For the more complex returns, I refer the clients to a couple of CPA's. These CPA's are used to my work and I get everything as ready as possible to make it as simple as possible for the CPA. I have found that knowing something about taxes has made my knowledge of bookkeeping and how to best serve the client better.

Lancermc (talk|edits) said:

14 February 2008
This is a very tough business, to hard to describe how tough in an email. I cannot imagine anyone starting out today on there own. I agree with those that suggest you try employment as a tax preparer with a reputable firm in your area. You'll know after a few years whether you want to try it yourself. This would even be a good time to get on board with someone. Depending on the firm don't be surprised if they do not keep you beyond tax season. Tax firms are not always the most well managed employers.

Lancermc (talk|edits) said:

14 February 2008
One trap to try to avoid is the firm that gives you a client assignement, and tells you the assignment budget is 30 hours, when in reality it would take most of us 60 hours to do the job. Next you get chastised for putting 40 hours in on the job, and of course you have made mistakes because you were rushing. I was a Becker CPA review instructor for 14 years. What students would tell me these firms did to them really was out of line. If you decide the employment route check the firm out, some of them are destinations of last resort. Ask to speak to current employees.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

15 February 2008
Thank you guys so much!

In the meantime, I have a single member LLC client who's asked me to file her taxes. She's filing as a sole proprietorship. She herself is an employee of another company, and she's basically asking me to file her LLC taxes, her individual return and her husband's return together. I do have the following questions:

1: Could I file these 3 returns jointly? What forms should I use?

2: For someone who's never filed a tax return before, except my own, do you recommend filing manually or using a software?

3: What is a good software for business and indivduals? By the way, are these softwares good for only one year? Would I be able to update it next year or would I need to purchase a new one?

4: Anyone could help me decide on how much to charge for such a return ? (I do all her business bookkeeping and payroll. She has 14 employees and 2 bank accounts)

I truly appreciate your help!

Waynecpa (talk|edits) said:

15 February 2008
1. LLC as a sole prop is a schedule C on the joint 1040 return unless they decide to file married filing separate - only 1 return needed.

2. Software is the only way to go. 3. Software is always only good for one year - tax forms and laws change. 4. Whatever they value your worth at.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

15 February 2008
thanks, Wayne!

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

15 February 2008
However, if you are in a state like CA, you will need to file a seperate return business return, regardless of disregarded status, in order to pay the business tax. In the case of CA, the income still gets reported on the individual return as a disregarded entity, however there is an llc fee that is based on the llc's "net income."

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2008
Wkstax: you were asking about the typewriter. I agree, that's a newfangled thing, but I was on pen before that, and before that pencil. Got away with using pencil for about 5 years, before a client got their return back with REJECT stamped on front. So, I am adapting to the new age, and finally got a typewriter to do the returns.

Jbscpa (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2008
Years ago I worked for a major CPA firm in a small town. I was one of about 20 professional and 15 or so staff.

One evening during tax season I was strolling thru the local mall trying to clear my mind and relax after many hours of preparing tax returns.

I noticed a middle aged man seated at a small card table with a calculator plugged into the wall. He had a pencil in his hand. He was looking around at passers-by rather expectantly.

He looked directly at me as I walked by. I asked him what he was doing.

"Taxes" he said.

"Huh?" was all I could muster.

"yep, just bring me your papers and forms and I'll do them right here." he offered.

He said he stayed busy enough, when I asked.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2008
A client bought a 1998 Jeep for $6000, in 2005, for personal use. In 2007 she started a business and started using the jeep for her business. Could she deduct depreciation on the jeep for 2007? How would she do that? Does the jeep need to be registered in the business name? I know automobiles are 5-year properties for depreciation purposes, but, is it 5 years of the manufacturing date or purchase date? I'm thinking "purchase date" but wanted to make sure!

Thanks everyone!

Victor1530 (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2008
How about the date placed in service?

Victor1530 (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2008
How about the date placed in service?

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

26 February 2008
it was placed in service in August 2007

Thanks, Victor

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

27 February 2008
That would be the date the depreciation would start.

Rgtaxservice (talk|edits) said:

27 February 2008
And use the Jeep's FMV not the 6K purchase price as basis.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

27 February 2008
Something like this, you will probably do better deducting 48.5 cents a business mile.

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

3 March 2008
What is the cost level at which items are written off as expense or capitalized? For example, if someone pays $800 to attend a saminar on sales, would that be considered an expense (continued education?), or should I capitalize that and later amortize it?

Also, are office X-Mas parties costs considered and entertainment expense? It cost $600; $230 to rent the facility and $370 in actual exoenses(food & drinks)?

Your help is very appreciated. Thanks!

Hklennon (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2008
A couple has filed their individual tax returns jointly, but did not file the return for a business they own (Single owner LLC taxed as a sole proprietorship). What could they do? Will they need to re-file or could they just file a separate return for their business?

Thanks

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2008
Do search for 1040X, and instructions? Attach Scd. C.?

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

14 March 2008
Items expensed or captilized - check out fixed asset pub, depreciation pub on irs site.

as a rule of thumb, depending on size of client, I have them determine a captialization policy that is in line with their revenue stream. If they are doing over 1,000,000 then they would have a higher capitalization threshhold than someone with 30,000 in revenue.

Irregardless of client size, anything under $250 is expense. $500 is good amount. I even do $1,000 and less expense.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

14 April 2008
Hello,

I'm filing a CORPORATION tax return (yes, they're late) and have the following questions: the owner operates the business from her house. Can she claim a a portion of her house utilities as a home office expense? How about mortgage interest payments and real estate taxes?

She also owns a car that she uses for her business and personal matters. The car is in her name. Could she claim any vehicle deductions? How would I answer " Does the corporation OWN a vehicle?" if the car is owned by the shareholder?

Thanks

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 14, 2008
OK, just how many of these have you done, eh? I ask because your questions are pretty basic, so I'm reluctant to answer and lead you further into darkness.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
Form 2106 employee business expenses

TheTinCook (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
Or you know, an accountable plan.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 15, 2008
Buzz. Can't use 2106 for corp shareholders.

WPCPA (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
Dreamhigh - this thread got off track - you asked "how do I become" If your in the State of florida - enroll in an accredited Business School - go to class - get College Credit for 150-hours of which 30-Hours are "Core Accounting" - join a CPA Firm and learn - file an application for the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination, study hard, pass the exam.

This takes, say 6-7-8 Years.

Good Luck.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
or study for and take the IRS' Special Enrollment Examination and become an Enrolled Agent. Search for the term in the yellow box - lots of hints on how to pass the exam.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
JR1...this is my first corp return EVER. One shareholder (100% ownership) but she's not an employee!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 15, 2008
OK, Tomn, I can read pretty fast this time of year and miss some things, but you said, "She's the owner...her house...her car...how do I write it off?" Oh, I get it now. She's not been paid. Same rules apply, she has to turn the expenses into the corp for reimbursement. Doesn't have to be an employee. But the corp expenses MUST be taken on the corp return.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
JR1, thank you so much. That helps a lot!

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
JR1...I just thought of something....since she did NOT actually reimburse herself in 2007, and she uses CASH accounting, can she deduct those expenses in 2007 or should she do that when she files her 2008 return? Thanks, again!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 15, 2008
It's just a journal entry, often, a NP to S/H and debit the expenses. So since you're doing the 07 Corp, I'd include them in the 07.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 15, 2008
And then cut the check to pay the Note in 08...

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2008
Ok. that's actually what I had in mind, but I thought because the check will actually be written in 2008 that the expense will be written off in 2008. I appreciate your help!

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2008
How is she not an employee if she is the 100% shareholder, and works out of her home, and uses her own car, and oh yeah, she heard somewhere she should form a corp, everyone should be a corp. Bet she didn't file payroll; doesn't mean she isn't an employee if she provides services to the corp. I'll bet she's the only one providing services to the corp too. And so, even though she now is late on her 941s & W-2s, she is an employee, and as such, files a 2106, unless there is an accountable plan in place. bet there aint.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2008
Joanmcq....she actually has 4 employees and she filed all of her 941s & W-2s on time. Bank of America processes her payroll, including filing 941, W-2s, etc. She started her business in Jan 07 but never paid herself on a regular basis. She did reimburse herself for certain expenses she incurred on bahalf of the company, and as JR1 suggested, I'll ask her to post the entriess for car and home office expense reimbursement, but I wasn't sure if this makes her an employee. She does not know much about accountable plans, and neither do I, and even though right now it looks like I should've not touched that return (1st corporation return I've), I am determined to finish it. Any advice and suggetions will help tremendously. Thank you!

Nancyshoemake (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2008
To become a tax preparer one must:

1. remove the words "its not fair", "it is not logical", "it doesn't make sense" from you vocabulary. 2. trade in your old party friends for a new set of geeks who love doing what you like doing - research. 3. have a little "obsessive / compulsive" behavior in your make up to make it through 3 grueling months. 4. have a loving spouse to pick up "ALL" the pieces for you during tax time.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 16, 2008
Joan, she isn't paid. That's what makes her not an employee. And we presume no other money taken either, other than the reimbursements. But that's not the point here...

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2008
If she provides services to the corp, she should be paid. That's what reasonable comp is all about. And if she isn't paid wages, but is paid for car and house etc, it looks even worse. And then there are the self-rental rule regarding the home office.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2008
We've been around this...if she takes no money other than legit expense reimbursements, then there is nothing wrong at all. And she wasn't taking self rentals, merely reimbursements for the expenses on the use of the space, which is how it's supposed to be.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2008
Joanmcq & JR1...thaks a lot for your input. She was not paid/reimbursed for rental, company use of personal vehicle, etc. She has not done ANYTHING about these expenses, and that's what I'm trying to figure out; how to account for these expenses. She did however take FULL deduction for mortgage interest and real estate taxes when she filed her individual tax return. Once again, she was NEVER paid for anything except those expenses she incurred on behalf of the company. 2007 was her first year in business, had a net operating loss, and no distributions.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2008
Again, you're fine, merely deduct the expenses for use of the space on the corp return, leaving out the mortgage int. and taxes obviously. It won't be much usually...a few hundred bucks normally. She doesn't have to be an employee for that.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2008
Thanks JR!. I believe I'm ready to finish the return!

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2008
Well, maybe not yet....I just found out the following: The business she has is a franchise that she started on 01/25/2007. the acquisition cost of the franchise was $31,500, $21,500 of which she paid for with funds from the corporation checking account on Feb 14, 2007'. She paid the remaining $10,000 on March 31,2007 with a personal check, even though she had enough funds in her business account. Later she took a draw from the business account to reimburse herself for the $10000. Since the $10000 is not a business expense, but rather capitalized, could she draw money to reimburse herself for that kind of cost?

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2008
Can I consider the $10000 transaction as a loan to the company that was paid off?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 18, 2008
Yeah, just book the entire franchise fee of 31.5, with a 10k shareholder loan amount, covered later.

Dude7707 (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2008
What is going rate for a tax preparer in State of WA? Looking at hiring this seasonal preparer either full or part time...depending on my budget. He just completed his 1st tax season..we agreed to $30/hr. through the 4/15..now determining if he is willing to stay on. His credentials are: 4 yr B.S. Acctg Degree, EA, and was working on his own as part-time tax/accounting consultant for the last 6 years...He is very reliable, always on time and very easy to work with.

Talking to other associates they pay based on commissions only..35 to 40%...

His duties also would be handling my Qiickbook clients such as preparing their YE adjustments, and assisting them with setting up new client's books on Quickbooks. He is not a certified QB advisor at this time however has several years working with mid size accounting software packages.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2008
Ok, I'm done with the return. the corp has a taxable income of NEGATIVE $16,361 (income of $10601, and $26,962 in deductions). These deductions include $5000 in organizational cost - total of $5870: expensed $5000 and capitalized $870. However, since the company has a $16,361 LOSS, would it be better off if I capitalize the entire $5870 and just deduct amortization?

Thanks

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2008
JR1....what if she decides she does NOT want the corp to reimburse her for use of her own vehicle and home office? Would that be considered some kind of income to the company?

By the way, can she NOT claim these deductions at all, now that the corp has a loss? the reason I'm asking is because total car and home office expenses is about $5000, and I'm not sure she wants to cut herself a check for that amount!! Any suggestions?

Thanks again!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2008
She could push them to 08, no trouble there. Ideally, you'd like to have an eesny bitsy profit, and then flip her to an S. Oh, wait, too late for that this year. So it matters not then. But your goal should be to get her to net plus by the end of 08, and then go S. So amortizing the start up over 60 months probably makes sense, and even delaying the reimbursement of those expenses as long as possible as well...so you might not be done, eh?

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2008
Well, I guess not....I'm almost there though. So what you're saying is that she would HAVE to post entries for the car and home office expenses and claim them on the return, and reimbursement would come later, right?

When you say "....flip her to an S' , do you mean S corporation. S corporations are taxed at the shareholders level only, aren't they? Now, I know if she was a sole propietor disallowed deductions for home office would be carried over to the next year. Does that apply to corps too?

JR1, I can't thank you enough. Thanks you so much!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2008
No, you missed this time! She does NOT have to record the expenses or reimbursements. She could wait until after you elect S status, yes S corp which is 99% of the time better, so that you can minimize the loss that would get locked into the C status and therefore lost when you switch. And no, there is no provision for carrying over home office expenses except on the Sch. C for some reason. But in any event, she can do expense reimbursements on cash basis, so free to book whenever you like.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2008
Oh, I see what you're saying now : she could cliam the 2007 car/home office expense deductions on the 2008 return, for example, along with the expenses she incurred in 2008. Can I say I'm done now? :-)))))

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2008
Or even 2009! You're done when you say you're done. When you started this, I presumed that you needed expenses to cut profit. Since it's a C, and a loss, that whole exercise turns out to be irrelevant. Well, good learning time I hope!

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2008
It was a great learning session for me. Seriously!

Thanks again for your time!

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

13 May 2008
A sole owner of a corporation wants to know if she's better off being paid a salary or dividends. She wants to pay herself $2000-$3000 A MONTH. I thought that this constitutes a salary, since she's paid on a monthly basis but wanted to make sure I'm right. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Waynecpa (talk|edits) said:

13 May 2008
Check out the many other threads on this topic. Also it would be best to ask questions related to the subject line of the discussion.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

3 June 2008
What's a good tax software to use if you only have 15-20 clients, most of whom are individuals and a couple of small corporations? Any idea how much it costs?

Thanks

OregonCPA (talk|edits) said:

3 June 2008
I use Drake. It costs $285 for 15 clients and about $20 or so per client after that. It comes bundled with everything.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

3 June 2008
Thank you, OregonCPA. When you say it comes bundled, do you mean you can use it for individuals, partnerships, corps., etc ? Thanks again.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

3 June 2008
Tomn,

almost every software provider allows you to use their pay per return features. Means you can get full blown product and pay for only the returns you do.

figure to pay from anywhere from $20 per for individual returns up to $50 for a business entity.

Tomn (talk|edits) said:

4 June 2008
Thank you, Fstein.

Regarding this talk about licensing/certifying all paid tax preparers; in case it does happen, what kind of license will they require? Is it a license you get through the State, or could that be a certificate you can obtain by taking tax courses? They're not talking about becoming an EA, are they?

Sfrancis (talk|edits) said:

4 June 2008
Hi everyone,

I have been toying with doing some taxes part time on the side this tax season. I am not sure what will be better: 1) Taking the H&R block course and working for H&R block part time where you will have to sign a 2 year non compete

2)Taking the H&R block course or another course and doing some taxes from my home in my spare time. I would start small and see how I like it.

Some more information. I have no tax experience besides me own. I will be a CPA (without attest experience) as soon as I pay my original license fee. I am in California and I know I need 60 hours education to be licensed with the CTEC. Which option seems like the better option for trying out a little tax this season outside my normal job?

{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Kevinh5|Date=4 June 2008|Text=Unless H

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