“Real World” Personal Strategy Blog
Shakopee Accountant Explains How To “Reclaim Control Over Your Taxes – Even Old Returns”
April 16, 2012 by Roger Menden, Shakopee Tax Professional
Part of me can’t believe that I’m taking the time to write this post, here, Monday morning the 16th (the day before the filing deadline). But I also know if I don’t do it now, this tax season having been so full … well, I’ll admit that we can anticipate a bit of a break being needed come Wednesday :).
And, of course, the other part of me (the wiser part) says: “Roger, helping people with their taxes is only the means to a greater end: enabling your clients to live richer lives, without having to fret about the details.”
My relationship with you (and all of our clients in and outside of the Shakopee, MN area) is worth the time investment (and more).
And speaking of investments, I know that a fair number of our clients were graciously invited to send their final “investment” to the IRS (and their state) this week.
And some of our clients also received (or will be receiving) a payment from the Treasury, as a sort of “thanks for letting us have your money for a year!” gesture. No interest paid out, of course.
Both of these circumstances are problematic in their own way.
In the following weeks, I’ll be sharing with you how you can fix that — but one of the first (and often overlooked) methods is … well, allow me to elaborate.
Shakopee, MN’s Most Trusted Tax Professional Explains The First Step To Reclaiming Control Over Your Taxes
Our clients who filed with us this year already feel the peace-of-mind that you were able to claim every possible deduction which is legally allowed in the tax code for 2011. After all, we put each return through an extensive review process to ensure you keep as much of your hard-earned income as the IRS allows.
But what about your friends, both here in Shakopee, MN and beyond? And what about your previous years?
Well, since the filing deadline is already upon us, they (and you) might think that the proverbial “fat lady” has sung on 2011 returns (and 2010 and 2009). Not so.
Because according to the most recent report on the matter, issued by the General Accounting Office, taxpayers overpay the IRS almost $1 billion every year due to incorrect itemization and preparation.
What’s worse is that those who prepared their own taxes (with a software, or on their own) are the most vulnerable, according to the report. But did you also know that taxpayers who used one of the “big chain” preparers are almost as bad off?
An excerpt from an additional report from the GAO: In a Limited Study, Chain Preparers Made Serious Errors
In GAO (United States Government Accountability Office) visits to chain preparers, paid preparers often prepared returns that were incorrect, with tax consequences that were sometimes significant. Some of the most serious problems involved these preparers…
1. Not reporting business income in 10 of 19 cases;
2. Failing to take the most advantageous post-secondary education tax benefit in 3 out of the 9 applicable cases; and
3. Failing to itemize deductions at all or failing to claim all available deductions in 7 out of the 9 applicable cases.
More clippings from the report:
* The 19 paid preparers we visited arrived at the correct refund amount only twice. On 5 returns, all for the plumber, they understated our refund amount by a total of $3,465.
* All 19 of our visits to tax return preparers affiliated with chains showed problems. Nearly all of the returns prepared for us were incorrect to some degree, and several of the preparers gave us very bad tax advice, particularly when it came to reporting non-W-2 business income. Only 2 of 19 tax returns showed the correct refund amount, and in both of those visits the paid preparer made mistakes that did not affect the final refund amount.
So what can your friends do about this? And what could YOU do about it, if you didn’t have us handle your taxes in prior years? Simple: file an “Amended” Return.
Many tax businesses don’t provide this service, but even though we’ve completed our clients’ returns, we WILL review any of your friends’ returns–at no charge.
See the below special message, for more details…
“No Charge” Return Review
Special Gift Certificate
As a complimentary service this year, we will provide a Return Review To Any Non-Client.
We will also review prior year returns from clients who did NOT have us handle their taxes during the year under question..
No charge will be made, unless we have to file an amended return.
Email our office or call 952-445-8753 to set up this complimentary service!
Deadline May 4th
Sending you our affection, through a haze of tax forms…