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Taxes…

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I should have been an accountant. I went to H&R Block today to file my taxes. Although I happened upon a copy of TurboTax, I decided to have someone else file for me as a) People who have their taxes filed by a professional are audited less and b) I have a Schedule-C which usually has a higher rate of audit (thus, in reference to point (a), this was more reason to file with a pro). Having my copy of TurboTax in hand, I decided to prepare my own taxes as a dry run, just to see. It wasn’t the easiest thing (Schedule C,s and Misc -1099’s are annoyingly long), but it wasn’t too bad. And so, given that it took me all of 1 hour to do my taxes, I figured the guy at H&R Block should be able to do it in at least the same amount of time.

Unfortunately, it was a disaster. The guy fumbled around for almost 2 hours. When I did my taxes myself (which I know I did correctly), I got a pretty hefty refund. He messed some things up and so I mentioned where he had made some mistakes. But the first iteration ended with me owing $1200?!?!?. I knew this was wrong and pointed out where I thought he had mistakes but was unsure (he was supposed to be a tax pro right??). Second iteration, I owe $800. Still wrong. And so, he gets up and talks to who I assume is a more ‘senior’ tax pro (mind you, this guy is easily in his 50’s and the ‘senior’ tax pro is at least the same age….).. neither of these guys can figure it out. So on to hour 3 I finally ask him if I can make some edits. He was hesitant, but I mentioned that I had an inclination as to where the mistake was… After 3.5 hours, finally, the refuned appears. Though, even then it isn’t the same as what I had originally thought it would be (it was about $100 off), but at the end of the day, it was done. Unfortunately, they charged me $209 which was somewhat ridicuolous as I had essentially completed my own taxes on their software (their software sucks btw). So at the end of the day I’m down over $300 (the H&R charge + the $100 I’m missing) + 3.5 hours of my life, but my taxes are done….

I need to find a good accountant who knows what they’re doing. Or, I need to suck it up and file my own taxes and get over my fear of being audited……