Ideas for Improving America
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You are certainly right about people about
Sat May 16, 2009 2:56pm

tax accountants fighting it tooth and nail. Many of those people earn really big bucks for filing taxes for people that actually qualify for free online tax preparation. One woman made a special trip to the library to tell me I am liable for a big fine for giving tax advice when I'm not licensed. She even reported me to my superiors for it.

My "advice" consisted of showing them how to get a email address (if needed) and access a free efile site (which came under the computer lessons I give at the library). I did tell them what information they would need and walk them thru it if necessary (which really isn't part of my job) and, as we live in one of the cheapo states that don't endorse free efiling, I showed them how and where to do paper filing (ditto on the job thingy).

Unfortunately, the county library administration told me that I would have to quit even the part that fell under my computer lessons because they didn't want the complainer dragging them into it if she reports me. So I don't do that anymore on work time...however if someone asks me to help them out when I'm off the clock...

Actually, I don't feel that I'm giving tax advice as helping people do for themselves and save a couple hundred dollars that this woman would insist on them paying up front. The kind of people I help usually don't have the fees up front and it takes less than an hour to prepare their taxes. This way, even the folks that don't qualify for free efile can pay by having the fees taken from the refund if they get one...and as I'm NOT an accountant I don't charge a fee for helping them.

With David's idea of doing away with all the frills and charging a flat rate, the people I help will probably receive a lot smaller refund but it will simplify the filing and maybe prevent a lot of what I consider gouging by some tax preparers.

  • Sounds reasonable but...T-Man, Sat Nov 29 3:06pm
    many will fight it tooth and nail. Claims will be all the accountants, assistants, IRS agents, etc. who will be out of work! It would be wonderful to have a simplified tax return with only a couple... more
    • You are certainly right about people about — ruthie lancaster, Sat May 16 2:56pm
    • Not much simpler than today.David F Mayer, Sat Nov 29 7:39pm
      Only deductions will disappear. Calculation of income will be the same. Tax tables are trivial. David F Mayer
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